Tis the season
and Im not referring to the holidays. Looks like patent-holding company, NTP is at it again. Having successfully shaken-down BlackBerrys parent, Research in Motion, to the tune of $612 million back in March, they have now turned their attention to Palm. The NTP lawsuit claims that certain Palm products infringe seven NTP patents.
Palm could be heard echoing the words of John McEnroe, You cant be serious! Then they issued their own release:Palm Responds to Unwarranted Lawsuit Over Dubious Patents.
Unfortunately, just as Elmer Fudd lives to hunt rabbits and ducks, NTP lives for lawsuits. We can only hope that this doesnt suck away a lot of time, energy and resources to fight.
Taking the lawsuit out of the picture, it was a relatively quiet week. Guess were all on the edge of our seats-- awaiting for the arrival of the Treo 680. So without further ado, lets talk Treo!
The Treo Goes Hollywood!
The Treos agent has been doing an excellent job booking roles and now its publicist has gotten into the act, so to speak, by issuing a press release this week: Palm Treo Smartphone Cast in ''A Good Year.'' The Treo is co-starring with Russell Crowe in a movie to be released November 10. Knowing Crowes track record, one can only hope the Treos agent hired a stunt double.
"The Treo smartphone has been busy this year on the small screen as well, having made television appearances this season on "Studio 60," "Law & Order: SVU," "How I Met Your Mother," "CSI: NY," "ER," "CSI: Miami," "The Nine," "Ugly Betty," and "Boston Legal," among others. Because the range of roles the Treo smartphone can play is so broad and deep, Treo's "agent" Palm does not need to pay for these supporting roles. Rather, Treo's commitment to the craft of acting and myriad capabilities relevant on just about any set has earned it organic, integrated roles that add to the characters' lives it supports."
It looks like Palm had fun with this press release so if you have a chance, check it out.
Talkin Treo Smartphone Reviews
Review: Treo 750v
Thanks to the folks at PDA Blast, this review of the Treo 750v was brought to our attention. Its a long one, so you might want to settle into some coffee, tea or other beverage of choice. And the conclusion is something weve heard before:
"Whether the Treo 750v is the device for you depends massively on what you want from a device. If you want the latest specifications including a high quality camera, WiFi, video calling etc. etc., then the Treo 750v is probably not for you.
If you need a device that is as thin as possible, then the Treo may not be for you... but be really sure that size is the most important thing to you before dismissing it! It may be a little on the large side, but compared to devices such as the Fujitsu T830 it's not, and it is still very pocketable.
If you need a workhorse device with a good thumboard, great one handed use customizations and build quality that means it should be able to take the strain like no other, then the Treo 750v could be what you need."
CNET Says Treo 700P is #1
The editors at CNET gave the Treo 700p an extremely respectable rating of 7.7 and ranked it number one for business users:
- The good: The Palm Treo 700p boasts EV-DO support, a 1.3-megapixel camera, increased memory, a sharp display and Bluetooth 1.2. The smart phone can also be used as a wireless modem and has solid call quality.
- The bad: The Palm Treo 700p lacks integrated Wi-Fi and runs the stale Palm OS 5.4.9.
- The bottom line: With EV-DO support, increased memory and enhanced multimedia capabilities, the Palm Treo 700p makes a powerful smart phone even better. Sure, it's not perfect, but the solid performance and new features make it worth the upgrade.
Recent TreoCentral Guides, Reviews & More
mr Handsfree Blue Chameleon - By Jay Gross
The Blue in this product name is for Bluetooth, not its color. And Chameleon refers to the fact that this headset comes with 50 (yes, fifty!) faceplates in plain and fancy designs. Jay writes:
"The Blue Chameleon is better on looks than it is on sound. Although it has sound quality aplenty, it lacks volume, especially for noisy situations - sidewalk cafés, for example. The volume problem is probably an engineers trade-off for talk time, but long time talk is a poor trade for all time no hear."
TreoTekniques: Tips, Tricks, and Tidbits - By Xious Sonenberg
A lot of Treo users are the cut to the chase types (Im in this category). We dont have time to figure stuff out. We just want our Treo to do what we want it to do. So its very cool to run into stories where someone else has done the figuring out for us. In this one, Xious offers some tips on the Neuros MPEG4 Video Recorder 2 Plus 2 and The Core Pocket Media Player (TCPMP).
PhatWare Input Products - By Tim Hillebrand
Tim takes a look at some Phat products thatll run on Windows Mobile-based Treos:
"PhatWare's three note-taking products will not only increase your efficiency and productivity, they will give your WM Treo new power. Think of being able to create animations, handwriting in Word or any other application, and instant character recognition and conversion from scribbles to text. If I could only have one of these programs, it would be a difficult decision, but I would take PhatNotes first and then ask Santa for the others."
An OtterBox for the Palm Treo - By Jennifer Chappell
Jennifer writes about the OtterBox 1920, which she refers to as being "like a miniature Fort Knox for your Treo device against scratches, bumps, and the elements."
News, Reviews & Clues from Elsewhere in the Treo Community
Review: Palm SD WiFi Card
John at MyTreo.net writes:
"For anyone looking to connect to a wireless local area network, the Palm SD Wi-Fi Card is a solid solution and I highly recommend it."
Review: Phone Technician
Kris at PalmInfocenter took a look at this utility:
"Phone Technician is simply a must-have application for Treo owners who spend more than 10 minutes per day using their devices as a telephone. The combination of Butler and Phone Technician makes for a powerful 1-2 punch. The volume booster part of the PT alone is worth the purchase price. With the added value brought to the table by the other aspects of PT, its a no-brainer to purchase this app over Volume Care."
Clues: Treo Adventures
John over at MyTreo.Net has written about taking his Treo off the beaten path. He concludes:
"So, next time you are heading into the woods or on a cross country bike ride, take your Treo. The Treo is the ultimate all-in-one accessory for any outdoor activity. The Treo can easily replace much of your existing gear including a GPS, mp3 player, weather radio, and camera. With the addition of a GPS receiver and TomTom Navigator 5, the Treo can easily rival any GPS unit on the market today. With many mp3 players you are limited to how much music you can carry: not with the Treo. The Treo is capable of streaming music from the internet so, you never run out of music."
Clues: Smartphone Buyer's Guide
Crunchgear has put together a nice guide to buying smartphones. Regarding the Treo, they write:
"The Palm OS is an always popular place to start, as its ease of use and bundled apps, as well as running on the award-winning Treo hardware, make it want for nothing. If communication with your existing enterprise is a deal killer, the Windows Mobile 5 devices offer built-in integration with Exchange and Active Directory. In addition, this OS has the most "flavors," one of which youll most likely find appealing."
Clues: Treo Comparison Chart
If you need to keep your Treos straight, Andrew over Treonauts has just updated his comparison chartso you can see the differences between the various models side-by-side. Thank you, Andrew!
Clues: Clearing Out Your Old Treo
Andrew has also written a helpful story on how to clear out your old Treo 650 before giving it away/moving on. You might want to bookmark this for future reference.
Trends: Mobile Blogs To Remain a Niche
Heres an interesting trend story. ABI Research says the practice of mobile blogging may receive a lot of hype, but in reality is only a niche application. Analysts at the company expect only 655,000 "active" mobloggers by the end of the year, growing to only 2.7 million by 2011 (out of a base of 3 billion mobile subscribers worldwide). Poor camera quality is mentioned as one of the factors holding things back. Growth is expected in moblogs tied to larger online communities. Even though this is a relatively small percentage of mobile phone users, thats still a lot of mobloggers.
Endnotes & Ponderables
In last weeks column, we mentioned how TreoCentrals deal on a like-new Sprint Treo 650 ($299.95) would be great for realtors. Right on cue, this week Century 21 issued this press release announcing the launch of CENTURY 21 Mobile, an innovative listing and agent locator and financial resource tool designed for consumers on the go. By accessing mobile.c21.com or mobile.century21.com, consumers can now search for properties, agents, and offices, as well as utilize interactive financial tools such as a mortgage calculator, at their convenience via their PDAs, cell phones and other handheld devices with Internet access capability. Sounds like another great application for Treo owners. Just rememberan unlimited data plan is your friend.
Thats a wrap!