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Talkin’ Treo – v102706

Fri Oct 27, 2006 - 12:53 PM EDT - By Annie Latham

Week ending 27 October 2006

We joked about it last week, and this week it really happened. Palm took some well-deserved down time. Ed and gang are probably kicking back somewhere, re-energizing themselves for the upcoming smartphone wars. So with no news coming out of Sunnyvale, the world of Treo picked up the slack with a good mix of news, reviews and even a few clues. But before we talk Treo, a friendly reminder:

At 2am on Sunday, the clocks need to be ** turned back one hour** as we return to Standard time. And for those of you keeping track, this will be the last time (pun intended) this change takes place before Halloween. Starting next year, weÂ’ll be falling back on the first Sunday in November (thanks to the Energy Policy Act of 2005).

Oh yeahÂ… you might want to double-check your Treo to make sure it has fallen back too. DonÂ’t want you to be showing up early for meetings on Monday.

Remember: "Spring forward. Fall back."

Now letÂ’s talk Treo!

Palm News

As mentioned, Palm did not issue any press releases this week. They did send out a newsletter and notification of a software update for Treo 650s on Verizon network. Some of the enhancements, include:

  • Optimized Bluetooth performance and added support for additional headsets and car kits
  • Enhancement to Date/Time preference panel to address daylight savings time and network time
  • Replaces Wireless Sync application with Wireless Sync over-the-air provisioning client
  • Integrates the Treo 650 E911 Updater to improve the ability of emergency room response personnel to locate users who dial 911 from the Treo 650 smartphone

You can get it from PalmÂ’s support page.

TalkinÂ’ Treo Smartphone Reviews

There were a few new reviews of the Treo 750v:

The Gadgeteer

Julie remarks:

“As far as the hardware, this Treo is on par with previous models. The build quality feels rugged enough for typical day-to-day abuse. I do wish the camera were better and that the resolution of the display was higher. So far these are my only two gripes, but I've only been using this phone for a few days.”>

The Unwired

Arne Hess writes:

“First of all, the Palm Treo 750v is a great device, even if it has some weakness' here and there. It's great looking and has the right size. It feels rocking solid and features nearly everything I expect from a Windows Mobile device. The thumb keyboard is a pleasure to use, it's well-balanced between size and usability and the overall integration makes the device easy to use, even without a stylus. While a scroll wheel would be a great addition, it also works perfectly without.” >

And one about the 700wx at Palm Infocenter

Where Ryan Kairer comments:

“…the Treo 700wx is a very powerful smartphone. I have to say it’s the best Pocket PC device that I've ever used to date. Windows Mobile fans will find a lot to like with the Treo. Palm's customizations vastly improve the phone features and bring some cool and add some very useful functionality to Windows Mobile. The combination of a multi-tasking OS and a high-speed data connection really let you tap into the power of mobile computing.” >

Understanding the Treo Family

For those of you thinking of buying a Treo, whether for the first time or as an upgrade, this article by Andrew at Treonauts should be extremely helpful. He has done an excellent job explaining the specific differences between the six current and future Treo smartphones. Plus he has included a handy comparison chart that puts it all in perspective. (note: the Treo on the far right of the chart is labeled "750w" but it should say "750v")..

Click the image to see the full chart at Treonauts

Recent TreoCentral Guides, Reviews & More

Treo 680 Video: Hands-on and Interview

Team TreoCentral, consisting of Marcus, Dieter and Michael, attended the Digital Life Conference in New York on October 12, where they had the opportunity to play with the new Treo 680 and conduct a long interview with Phil McClendon, product manager for the Treo 680. To check out the video they put together, follow the links are provided in this story.

FileFind for PalmOS - By Xious Sonenberg

Xious takes a look at a file finding (FF) program that he found “not quite ready for prime time.” He remarks:

”I’m being generous and giving FF an Overall rating of 2 due to the 14-Day evaluation period. At least you can try it for yourself and decide if it does something you can’t live without, before coughing up that $8 for it, which you may later regret.
It’s sad really, as Tamoggemon has a few nifty apps out there. Their Palm Binary Clock is a cool program and well put together to boot, but FileFind needs a lot of work before it’s going to be worth paying for. At present, I think it should be a freely distributed program, so that the developers can get user feedback on what it needs. Until it at least has “Cancel Search” and “Start New Search” buttons where appropriate, and an incoming call, SMS or alert can bust through the wall of silence it throws up during a search, it simply isn’t that useful nor recommended.”

SmartPhone Experts UltraSlim Pocket Pouch Case - By Jay Gross

Jay took a look at the new UltraSlim Pocket Pouch Case by Smartphone Experts.

Jay writes:

“The great-looking UltraSlim Pocket Pouch is so slim and so light, I hardly know it’s parked in my pocket, protecting my Treo. I flip my Treo on its head if I’m going out in the rain, umbrella notwithstanding, and grab my shirt pocket when I bend down to pick something up, so my stuff doesn’t launch. I love this case.”

Jay, the author of that review, recently had a “forced time out.” He landed in the hospital for about a week and took his Treos with him. Jay describes his “TreoTrip” in this story.

Needless to say, we are grateful that the talented Mr. Gross is feeling much better and is back in action. Welcome home Jay!

News & Reviews from Elsewhere in the Treo Community

First Look: Google Maps

Andrew from Treonauts took a look at Google Maps. You could say he likes it. He writes:

“Google Maps is one of the most terrific mapping applications that I have seen in general and for the Treo in particular – it’s also one that further helps to highlight many of the benefits of being a Treonaut. Naturally it has now been added to my list of Top 100 Treo Software.”

First Look: Mundu Radio (Beta)

With Mundu Radio you can listen to Internet Radio Stations on your Treo (and other types of mobile phones) without limits (or so they claim).

Alli Flowers provided her impressions:

“One nice thing about Mundu radio is that it will work on all flavors of Treo from the 600 through the newest Winmob flavors. Just make sure you have an unlimited data plan!”

Review: Central on the Treo 600

Here’s an interesting “must have” product that was actually reviewed on a Treo 600 by David Zucker over at Tam’s Palm OS blog. David states:

“Central enables you to customize your Treo like no other application. From 'Do Not Disturb' functions to deleting all your data if your Treo is ever lost or stolen via a simple SMS message. You’ll find Central to be exactly what it claims to be, at the center of your Treo experience.”

Central is budget priced at $14.95 and can be found here.

News: Opera Mini Web browser Available for the Treo

This week, Opera Software announced that Opera Mini™, the free Web browser for mobile phones, is available for Palm handsets. Opera Mini offers users a faster delivery of Web pages and overall better user experience. It is available free of charge via download at mini.opera.com.

Plus, with this announcement, Opera is kicking off a “Your Web, Your Choice” campaign. Applicants have an opportunity to win the Treo or Blackberry of their choice with Opera Mini already installed. Visit their contest page for details. By the way, the closing date for this campaign is November 30.

News: Zen Sudoku Game for Palm OS Released

Island Labs, developer of Zen Sudoku for Windows, has just released a version for Palm OS handhelds and Treo smartphones. Entering a crowded field of Sudoku titles for Palm OS, Zen Sudoku stands out with its superb graphics and music, elegant design, challenging puzzles, and a host of options, including: unlimited puzzle generation, five difficulty levels, clever implementation of pencil marks, a hint feature and a custom puzzle mode that allows puzzles to be entered from newspapers or books.

Zen Sudoku for Palm OS can be purchased for $12.95 from http://www.islandlabs.com. A free trial of the game is also available from the site.

News: Cardo Systems Introduces Ultra-Lightweight scala-600 Bluetooth Headset

Cardo Systems, Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of Bluetooth wireless devices for the consumer market, just introduced the scala-600, an extremely small form factor Bluetooth headset that provides up to nine hours of talk time and offers standby capabilities of over one week. As one of the worldÂ’s smallest headsets available, the stylish scala-600 includes voice dial and redial features, a noise reduction microphone, speaker booster, and echo canceling technology for clearer conversations.

Clues: Top Palm Treo Keyboard Shortcuts

Over at Smart Device Central, Jamie Lendino has written about the best keyboard shortcuts for the popular Treo platform. Here are a couple examples:

  • Press Option, and the drop-down menu key will dim the screen to half its brightness. Pressing this combo again will bring brightness back up.
  • Press and hold Option while pressing Left or Right to go to the top or bottom of a screen.

Endnotes & Ponderables

For those of you who are too QWERTY or T-9 challenged to master text messaging, this story may be of interest.

This week, a company called Nuance Communications demonstrated a beta version of Nuance Mobile Dictation, a program that lets mobile phone users use speech to create text messages, avoiding the keypad altogether.

In a shootout between a product manager using Nuance and Ben Cook, who holds the Guinness world record for text messaging, Nuance whupped Cook 16.32 seconds vs. 42.2 seconds.

Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, said the technology has great promise if the accuracy level is high.

Hmm… Makes me wonder if the Nuance software could handle the famous Fed-ex “fast-talking guy”

ThatÂ’s a wrap!

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