O’Grady’s PowerPicks: 11 Must-Have Treo Apps

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Date: Thursday, July 6th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Mobile Phone

treo650-bbvfs.jpgMy Treo 650 recently had a meltdown. Someone tried to call me and I couldn’t answer the call (buttons didn’t work) then it hung on the inbound call screen. After a soft reset it went into a boot loop and needed a hard reset to bring it back. After wiping all my data and apps I decided to selectively re-install just my favorites.
So, following is my list of 10 must-have applications for the palmOne Treo 650:
Standalone – QuickNews, an excellent RSS client loaded with features.
Intellisync – VeriChat, the best IM client for the Treo.
Tiny Stocks - Stock Manager – Keep tabs on your portfolio.
Tiny Stocks - Highway Manager – With gas prices sky high, track your fuel efficiency.
Blue Nomad – BackupBuddyVFS – This one isn’t optional, it saved my bacon this week.
ShSh software – TAKEphONE – Makes finding and calling contacts incredibly easy.
ShSh software – 2day – “Today” type application – shows all your calendar and tasks.
ShSh software – 4cast – Displays forecast for the next 5 days.
Electric Pocket – Ringo Pro – Allows you to use MP3 ringtones with the Treo.
Palmary Soft – PalmaryClock Wireless Edition
Concrete Software – Aces Texas Hold’em – No Limit – The best Texas Hold’em poker game available.
Ok, it’s actually 11. Shoot me…
Hard restting your Treo, although disruptive, is actually a good thing – provided you have a good backup. It purges a lot of unused and corrupt files clogging your memory and it forces you to re-evaluates what software that you really need on your device.
What are your must-have Treo applications?


The iPod Phone Myth

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Date: Wednesday, June 28th, 2006, 01:00
Category: Mobile Phone

iphones.jpgAccording to proponents of this myth, Apple’s success with the iPod is about to be crushed by an onslaught of music playing cell phones, so Apple needs to desperately come up with an iPod + cell phone combination of their own to remain relevant. They’re wrong, here’s why.
Why the Myth was Woven
This myth is based in part on “Microsoft is Invincible FUD,” which carefully warns consumers that whatever strategy Microsoft choses will be both flawless and undeniable, and that rather than examine options, it’s best just to wait around and see what Microsoft eventually delivers, and then make the best of it.
However, Microsoft has repeatedly failed in their ongoing attempts to leverage their Windows monopoly to dominate the digital music and media market. Instead, consumers have chosen to buy iPods, leaving Microsoft’s WMA strategy soundly defeated by Apple’s device and the QuickTime technologies that power it.
Now Microsoft is trying to spin a new threat to the iPod, and Microsoft’s entourage of loyal industry analysts is ready to explain how: the iPod will be buried after an all out assault from mobile phone devices that can also play music. That should happen real soon now, as the sleeping army of devices, already in widespread distribution, activate to take over the music world.
The myth is also tied to “Apple is Inconsequential FUD”, which warns users that Apple is just too small to ever matter. When interviewed about Apple, Microsoft executives are quick to dismiss the company. For example, Steve Ballmer said he has no interest in Apple’s new Intel Macs, because he preferred to only think about “real PCs,” by which he apparently meant machines that can run Windows, but don’t have anything more modern than an old legacy BIOS.
Read More.
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted


EV-DO Cost/Benefit: Treo 700p vs. AirCard

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Date: Tuesday, June 27th, 2006, 09:15
Category: Mobile Phone

treo700p-100.jpgI wanted to let you know about my experience with Verizon EV-DO service.
I’ve tested and found that you can use the Motorola RAZR V3c (from Verizon) as a tethered USB modem on the MacBook Pro on Verizon’s BroadbandAccess (EV-DO) network – but it requires you pay US$59.99/month for “tethered data” option. This is the same price as using the Sierra Wireless AirCard.
The weird thing is that once I turn on that option, my phone no longer pairs as a Bluetooth modem with my Mac, it only works via USB.
In your ZDNet post Verizon Treo 700p EV-DO instructions
you mentioned that “The dial-up working (DUN) package costs an extra US$15 per month.” I just wanted to clarify that the US$15 option is only available if you already subscribe to ZVW’s US$45/month data plan, so it’s really US$60 per month whether you use an AirCard or the Treo 700p’s EV-DO.
In a sense, the PC Card modem may be a better deal because for the same monthly price you get a card with a separate account that you can use at same time as a voice call. The only extra cost is initial purchase price of the AirCard.
The only problem is that the AirCard won’t work in the MacBook Pro’s ExpressCard/34 slot and the Novatel XV620 won’t be shipping until July 2006.
Bluetooth was never really supported by Verizon in the first place: previously it would pair via Bluetooth as a modem, but not authenticate.
On my Motorola v710 (on VZW) all I needed was a US$5/month Wireless Web data plan (with 20MB/month) and I could pair the phone with my Mac via Bluetooth as a modem and it would connect to the Internet via Verizon’s slower National Access network.
What’s your take on Verizon’s EV-DO/BroadbandAccess pricing? Do you find it expensive? Are there alternatives?
Contributed by: EV-DO Man


USB Tethering Solution for the Treo 700p

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Date: Tuesday, June 20th, 2006, 09:00
Category: Mobile Phone

treo700p-100.jpgA PowerPage reader just IM’d me with a nice USB tethering solution for the Treo 700p. It’s kind of pricey at US$25, but there’s a 14-day trial and it’s worked quite well for him during the trial. He tracked the software down because he’s been unsuccessful getting Bluetooth to tether.
The software comes with EV-DO scripts for both Verizon and Sprint and according to the reader it “seems to get pretty warm during heavy data transfers. Not MacBook warm though.” Transfer rates are all over the place, but he’s been able to get better than 1Mb in Chicago.


T-Mobile Releases Sidekick 3 SmartPhone

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Date: Tuesday, June 20th, 2006, 08:55
Category: Mobile Phone

sidekick3.jpgT-Mobile today announced the Sidekick 3 smartphone and Engadget has a bunch of hands-on photos. I just hope that T-Mo fixed the swiss cheese security protecting their Sidekick Web portal.

As promised, our initial impressions of the new T-Mobile Sidekick 3…First off, the Sidekick 3 is really just an evolution and enhancement of its predecessor (just as the SKII was with the original Sidekick). It’s about 20% smaller (it’s definitely more pocketable), and finally has Bluetooth, a memory card slot, and a better camera,Just as the Sidekick II was with the original Sidekick, the Sidekick is at heart just an evolution and enhancement of its predecessor. The big improvements? Bluetooth, a memory card slot, a better camera, more memory, a music player, and a trackball. There haven’t been any major changes in the UI (mainly a few tweaks here and there), and you may or may not like the new keyboard (we liked it, but you’ll just have to try it yourself and see), but the biggest disappointment is the display, which is still a paltry 240 x 160 pixels and still looks sorta washed out to our eyes.

T-Mobile Sidekick 3 hands-on! – Engadget Mobile

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Sidekick 3 Details

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Date: Tuesday, June 13th, 2006, 10:15
Category: Mobile Phone

sidekick3-reference.jpgOn Tuesday June 6th, the FCC released new juice on the Sidekick 3: the reference guide and owner’s manual. More filings are on the FCC’s main page. (Note: You must change the extension on the downloaded file from “.cgi” to “.pdf”).
Most of the rumors that had been published before this release were confirmed. The new Sidekick 3 will have EDGE connectivity for faster Web browsing. There will be a mini-SD card included (size unknown) which will be used for both storing pictures from the new 1.3 Megapixel camera and for storing MP3s for the new music player.
MP3s will be transferred via USB 1.1 (cable included). You will now be able to use a hands free headset through Bluetooth connectivity. vCard files will also be transmittable through Bluetooth. The new Sidekick is doing away with the scroll wheel that has become so identifiable with the Sidekick. It will now have a trackball in place of the wheel which will give the added function of being able to scroll left and right as well as up and down.
The battery will now be removable. Now you can carry a second battery for backup. A new instant messaging client integrates both AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, and MSN messenger together into one easy to use program. Jump screen backgrounds will also now be customizable.
The new Sidekick 3 promises to be a much improved experience. All we need now is a release date. T-Mobile still remains silent about anything to do with the Sidekick 3. If you call T-Mobile they will say that they have no information. There has been speculation of a July 10th release. Lets hope it’s soon!
Contributed by: Paul Grossman


Nokia E61: Killer Features, Seriously Under-Realised

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Date: Friday, June 9th, 2006, 10:00
Category: Mobile Phone

nokia-e61.pngDon’t get me wrong, the Nokia E61 is a fantastic device and easily the best smartphone I’ve owned to date but some of it’s BEST features seem very oddly thought out. For example:
Access Point Groups:
+ This feature is nothing short of revolutionary. The ability to set up a preferred use of networks (wireless at home and the office or 3G when I’m out) Outstanding!
- But at present it is only possible to set this as the default connection method for email & syncing. It SHOULD be possible to use this feature as the default for Web browsing & every other Internet application?
Message Notification:
For an integrated device the notification system is seriously disjointed.
+ The Standby screen (or to everyone else the ‘day view’). After much searching through menu’s I found the option to turn on message display in the Standby screen. Lovely.
- Why is it only possible to have the day view show txts OR emails? And why when you select one of these, does it display the top two messages. This is worse than useless…. despite the glaring fact you may not want the first line of your private messages clearly displayed on the front of your phone.
It SHOULD show only unread messages: Txts AND emails & only the senders name.
The LED:
+ Potentially a fantastic feature.
- But again for an integrated phone, it will ONLY work for emails.
It SHOULD work for all unread messages. Txts & emails.
+ Despite being marketed as a business phone it is a powerful multimedia device too.
- What is the point of including mp3 & video software with a mono ear piece?
Nokia SHOULD at least have supplied the short Popport to 3.5mm headphone jack that is available all over eBay. Heck if they didn’t want to put it in the box, they could at least offer it as an accessory on their online store.
Love the phone but really hoping that a firmware update will resolve some of the above.
Contributed by: Ditch


Treo 700p Announced, Mac Users Rejoice

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Date: Monday, May 15th, 2006, 14:12
Category: Mobile Phone

treo700p.jpgAs a Mac owner I was a little nonplussed when palmOne announced the Treo 700w four months ago. Gone was one of the best reasons to buy a Treo – native syncing with Mac OS X. Well fear not Mac faithful, palmOne today announced the Treo 700p smartphone (the “p” means that it runs the Palm OS.) The Treo 700p features:
- 312MHz Xscale CPU
- 128MB flash memory (60MB usable)
- 1.3 megapixel camera
- Bluetooth
- 320×320 display
PhoneScoop took a bit of the wind out of my sails though, apparently the 700p’s SDIO slot won’t support WiFi (um, WHAT?!) and it doesn’t support voice dialing over Bluetooth.
The good news is that the 700p appears to have the Bluetooth profile for Dial Up Networking (DUN) enabled. Hopefully Verizon and Sprint won’t cripple this feature like they did in the Treo 650.
No word yet on the price of the phone or data plans, but I’ll be posting more information as we get it from the carriers.


The Mountain Moves

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Date: Thursday, May 11th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Mobile Phone

sony-w700i-200.jpgAsahi.com reports:

Sony Corp. on Tuesday announced a symbolic concession to Apple Computer Corp. on digital audio technology. The company will make its latest music management software compatible with the AAC data compression technology used by Apple. The change will enable users of some types of Walkman digital audio players to listen to music imported from Apple’s music management software.
Sony long clung to its proprietary data compression technology, known as ATRAC. It has since turned to an open-door policy, embracing such popular formats as MP3 and Microsoft Corp.’s WMA. Still, the electronics manufacturer’s acceptance of Apple’s AAC format, used for the immensely popular iPod digital music players, marks a particular about-face.
Sony said the coming version of its music management software Sonic Stage will be compatible with AAC. The company will provide the software, called Sonic Stage CP, free of charge through the Internet from May 25. The software is compatible with hard-disk types of Walkman A series products.
Sony’s latest strategy is an open acknowledgment that it can no longer ignore iPod’s dominance. In April, Apple controlled 52 percent of the nation’s portable digital music player market, in terms of units sold, according to market researcher BCN Inc. Sony is a distant second with a 15 percent share, followed by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., with a 7 percent share.

Contributed by: Brett Jordan


New Leaked Picture of the Sidekick 3

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Date: Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006, 08:12
Category: Mobile Phone

T-Mobile-sk3.jpgThis latest leaked Sidekick 3 image appears to be from an ad. Looks awesome!
Contributed by: Paul Grossman