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The Handspring Treo In Real Life

timothy posted about 12 years ago | from the promising-promising dept.

Handhelds 240

Dave Aiello writes: "For the past year, I have searched for a single device that could replace my cellular telephone, PDA, and pager. The products I used, a Nokia 8860 with AT&T Wireless service, a Palm V, and a Research in Motion 850 with Cingular Wireless Data service, are each fine products in their own right. But, the awkwardness of carrying them at once, the cost of maintaining two separate wireless service accounts, and the lack of integration between them kept my frustration level high." Dave has given a thorough look at the realities of using Handspring's new Treo to consolidate the functions that each of these other devices provides -- learn from his experiences, below.

Motivations

The Treo 180 intrigued me when it was announced. I thought that it was close to the ideal unified device for me, because it would increase the utility of the Palm OS by integrating telephony and providing wireless web and email access. After a few weeks of research into the development of the Treo and its expected feature set, I decided to buy one and to quickly end service on my Nokia mobile phone and RIM pager.

I quit the other products altogether because I realized that as long as I was able to fall back on them, I would never fully adopt the Treo. After a month of using it, I still see situations where I could do what I want to do with my old devices more easily than I can with the Treo. Nevertheless, I am glad that I got rid of the other devices, I am learning to live with the current limitations of the Treo, and I believe that the Treo is just going to keep getting better in the next few months.

Hardware and Support

In the past, a number of friends told me that the Handspring Visors that they bought had serious quality problems. Issues most often cited were memory problems that caused otherwise stable applications to crash, and display failures. So, I was concerned that Handspring would have difficulty producing a device reliable enough to be used as a mobile phone.

My Treo 180 seemed solid for the first 18 hours I had it. Then I discovered that the backlight on the display did not operate at all. This is a show-stopper on the Treo because it is virtually impossible to use the mobile telephone feature in your car at night without the backlight. I expected to have to deal with this problem for a while because there was a two to three week wait for delivery of new Treo orders at the time.

To my surprise, I got a replacement Treo that worked properly in less than two days, and I had a week to transfer my data from the old Treo and return it (at no additional charge). The only thing I had to do to get Handspring Technical Support to offer me a replacement was indicate that I had read and followed the troubleshooting instructions that appear on Handspring's support web site. My conclusion from this experience is that hardware quality is acceptable and product support is excellent.

I want to mention a couple of physical design issues about the Treo 180 that I have not seen addressed in other reviews. One view of the Phone application is an on-screen dial pad, used to dial numbers not in your address book. Until I started using the Treo, I did not realize that much of my mobile phone dialing had been accomplished in the past without looking at the dial pad. In other words, I dialed by feeling the relative position of the keys. This is impossible with the Treo on-screen keypad.

A smaller design problem I noticed is that the headset jack is on the upper left side of the unit, right above the jog dial. This makes using the headset difficult unless the headset plug is flipped up so that the cable extends above the device, opposite the way most people would naturally orient the plug.

I also feel obligated to comment on the Treo's internal battery. The low-battery warning comes on fairly consistently after about 2 hours of call time. Since I spend a lot of time on the road, I tend to carry my charger in my briefcase, and charge when I am at my desk. This works well for me because the charger works quite rapidly, but some people will be disappointed by the relatively limited capacity of the Treo battery.

Palm Software

Although I was an experienced Palm user before I got my Treo 180, it took me a couple of weeks to understand all of the issues surrounding software for this device. Probably everyone knows that the 180 is the first PalmOS-based PDA to ship with a built-in keyboard; this has a number of side-effects that you won't be able to evaluate properly even if someone hands you a working Treo so you can try it for yourself.

The first problem, which you won't notice if you just look at the phone and calendar applications, is that most existing Palm applications do not provide menu equivalents for all of their major functions. I work around this problem in two ways: I downloaded a utility called PowerJog that allows me to use the jog dial to click on-screen buttons. My other approach is to look for applications that work better than the ones that Handspring ships with the Treo. For instance, I think One-Touch Mail 2.3 is ill-suited for the Treo: it's overkill for hand-held email and it's not keyboard friendly. A better choice is Mailer from ElectricPocket, although it is $29.95 after a 30-day trial period.

The second problem I ran into was the assumption that Treo users would happily use Windows or the Macintosh as their desktop or laptop OS. Many Slashdot readers use Linux instead. Although there are a number of ways to synchronize the Treo using Linux, some of the Internet applications are configured via a Mac or PC application, and then installed through the synchronization process.

OTOH, I would argue that the PalmOS is the single greatest strength of the Treo. Programs already exist to add functionality to the jog dial and to configure the extended functions of the Treo (like which application starts when the lid is opened, and which program runs when the user holds the Option key and presses an application button). None of this functionality was developed by Handspring, but the user community added it within a couple of weeks of the Treo's release. Handspring seems to understand that it is delivering a communications platform, not just a PDA with phone and Internet features added.

Internet Functionality: Not Really Ready for Prime Time

I bought my Treo knowing that Internet access would not work smoothly for a while. This is because the communicator was shipped before GPRS (Generalized Packet Radio Service) support was ready. Yes, you can make data calls to an ISP and this works well, but call setup time is still at least 30 seconds, which seems like an eternity to me.

I want to use GPRS, but I am seriously questioning whether users paying for their own mobile service will sign up, due to the high rates providers are charging in the United States. For instance, VoiceStream's highest-use consumer GPRS plan charges $39.95 a month for 10 megabytes of data transmission, plus $4.00 for each additional megabyte. This is in addition to the monthly service plan for voice calls. Cingular GPRS rates are similar. Nobody I know has used GPRS enough to have a feel for how much data service they will actually use, but the rates worry me.

SMS (Short Message Service) is a big feature of the Treo, which should make the communicator a hit in Europe and Asia where SMS is used more than in North America. There are two problems with SMS on the Treo, IMHO. Every American cell phone user I send SMS messages to is shocked that their phone has this capability, and they often don't know how to respond. The SMS client application, Handspring SMS 3.5H, has a bug in it that makes it difficult to reply to SMS messages received from VoiceStream's SMS-email gateway. The bug is a relatively simple addressing problem that was acknowledged by Handspring Technical Support. But, I have not seen anything indicating that they have updated their SMS client, and I'm not sure that this problem occurs on any other provider than VoiceStream.

Handspring recently announced a software/service offering called TreoMail that is touted as a competitor to Blackberry Enterprise Server. The Blackberry product lets corporate users read their Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Domino mail on a Research in Motion pager. Handspring apparently feels it needs a product like this to be credible in the corporate wireless email market.

I am using a Beta version of TreoMail Internet edition, which periodically connects my POP3 mail account to a server at Visto which hosts TreoMail. This product is really immature, because it's obviously intended to be used with GPRS rather than dial-up Internet access, and my Treo doesn't support GPRS yet. The problem should be mitigated by the option that TreoMail provides to send an SMS message when email arrives, but Handspring recently announced that the SMS alert would only work on Cingular's network until beta testing is completed.

Conclusion

I think Handspring made the right choice by shipping the Treo 180 before GPRS support was completed. The device is so well designed and the mobile phone-PDA integration works so well, that the hardware and software glitches I've identified seem insignificant. Handspring is making progress toward delivering mobile Internet applications, and third parties are developing software for it as well. I like the Treo so much that I am playing with IDEs for Palm OS development that I never would have looked at when I was using a Palm V.

This device is not for everyone, and it is virtually useless in areas where GSM cellular service is not available. That's a large part of the more rural areas of the United States and Canada as we speak. But, AT&T Wireless and Cingular are rolling out GSM support on their networks over the coming months, and devices such as the Treo will begin to take off. This is one of the first integrated communication devices that has more advantages than drawbacks, but it won't be the only successful one.


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240 comments

free unit? (-1)

trollercoaster (250101) | about 12 years ago | (#3304237)


Did you guys at least get a free treo for the advertising?

Kurt Cobain, dead. (-1, Offtopic)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | about 12 years ago | (#3304254)

Nirvana - Big Cheese

Big cheese Make me
Mine says, "Go to the office"

Big cheese Make me
Mine says, what the hell?

Black is black, no trading back
We were enemies
Show you all what a man is
[Sure you are, but what am I?]

Big lies make mine
Mine says "Go to office"

Big cheese Make me
Message? What is it?

Black is black, no trading back
We were enemies
She eats glue, how bout you?

First Phrosty One!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3304251)

404 File Not Found
The requested URL (features/02/04/05/1718252.shtml?tid=100) was not found.

If you feel like it, mail the url, and where ya came from to pater@slashdot.org.

one device? (1, Funny)

ekephart (256467) | about 12 years ago | (#3304252)

For the past year, I have searched for a single device that could replace my cellular telephone, PDA, and pager.

duct tape and matches

Re:one device? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3304364)

Thats 2 devices.

Hmm.... (1)

JoeLinux (20366) | about 12 years ago | (#3304255)

Well, sounds like something that will be cool now, but quickly eclipsed when GPRS comes out. Too bad...this would have been cool about 2 years ago..

Too bad,

Joe

It will upgradeable to GPRS (4, Interesting)

jeff67 (318942) | about 12 years ago | (#3304319)

It will be upgradeable [handspring.com] when GPRS is ready.

Re:It will upgradeable to GPRS (1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3304371)

The check's in the mail, I have coke at home, I won't come in your mouth, and you can upgrade it after you buy it.

No way. Me no trust.

Re:Hmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3304321)

umm, it sounds like to me that the thing will be even better when GPRS comes out, because that is the service it was made for. you read the review, right?

Re:Hmm.... (5, Informative)

nehril (115874) | about 12 years ago | (#3304349)

I've been using a Kyocera Smartphone for about 6-8 months now, and it rocks. It is essentially the same concept: PalmOS/Cell phone. It has a flip up half-cover that has a regular phonepad on it, and I can get an IP address from Verizon (my service provider) in about 4 seconds by dialing #777. Data transfer is at around 14.4 modem speed, but it doesn't incur any extra costs (it just burns normal minutes while you're connected).

It's a bit on the large side, but it does have excellent battery life. It can even become a wireless modem when in the cradle, just disable hotsync manager and use com1 or whatever as a modem. It's also a dual band phone so I'm ALWAYS connected.

A neat trick to using it to check email RIM style is to fork your messages as they come in to your phone's email address (phonenumber@provider.com usually). That way you get instant notification when a message comes in, and you can then fire up Eudora to get the full message via POP.

anyway, this phone seems to have all the advantages of the treo without any of the disadvantages. if only it could play mp3s, or there was a color unit...

Re:Hmm.... (1)

n9hmg (548792) | about 12 years ago | (#3304583)

"or there was a color unit..."

The color Kyocera Smartphone is coming soon. I got to play with a beta a couple of days ago. I don't work for them, and have no more info.

Re:Hmm.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3304680)

Motorola's Accompli 009 [motorola.com] is a great all-in-one phone/PDA/email device that has a color display, supports GPRS, and is tri-band (international travel-savvy).

Re:Hmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3304716)

But its not a *phone*, you need a headset to use the thing, too impractical.

Just a month? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3304257)

Many of us have been overly pleased with our Kyocera QCP-6035s, many for well over a year.

Color Cell Phone + Color PDA = horrible battery life, which is why many of us are sticking to what we have which already works, aside from the whole treo's lacking trimode thing.

Any support for Beowulf clustering? (n/t) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3304272)

no text.

US Specific (1, Troll)

clambert (519009) | about 12 years ago | (#3304277)

Most of this article is US specific. (based on the 1900mhz GSM band) The rest of the world (900/1800mhz GSM) has a whole slew of additional options, and this is one area where the US really falls short in comparison.

Re:US Specific (2)

dave_aiello (9791) | about 12 years ago | (#3304468)

I believe that the Treo 180 shipped in the United States is dual band (900/1900 mHz), see Treo specs [handspring.com].

Sorry if you think the review is too US-centric. I wanted to emphasize the current GSM network availability issues in the United States, without implying to Europeans and Asians that the phone wouldn't work for them. I believe the 900/1800 version offered in those areas works very well, and has fewer limitations than the US version.

Re:US Specific (3, Informative)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | about 12 years ago | (#3304534)

The phone itself, like most of the high end GSM phones are tri band world phones, they will work anywhere they can pickup a signal on 900/1800/1900 ranges.... However at $2 a min roaming overseas... its cheaper to take your phone, pop out your local providers sim card, and go buy yourself prepaid sim cards from whatever provider is in your part of the world your headed.

I was looking into the Treo, I already have voicestream GSM/GPRS on my motorola timeport P280 (which has a really stupid IR issue of it being off by default and having to hit the menu's to activate it, does not support phone number entry beaming via the irDA... and crashes when you attempt to use anytype of GSM software to sync your address book with a pda or anything via irDA (yes 300 or so numbers went poof.. always remember to store your numbers in the sim card not the phone if you use a P280. This problem appears to be specific with the P280 which requires the rather expensive datakit ($69 USD) that has Starfish Truesync to sync the phone as the std AT command set does not work on the P280. However the P260 and other phones have no problems with this).

I ended up buying a Ipaq and a Timeport to Ipaq data cable (ouch, $59 USD.. almost as much as the datakit for the timeports from motorola) which allows me to use the irDA on both the phone and the ipaq to connect to each other and use both GPRS and std dialup (the latter chewing up min on your phone service, not metered by bandwidth, but I have unlimited weekend and evening hours with voicestream).

End of story, with the research I did before going out and chosing my present setup, if your going to get a Treo, its gonna cost you around $550 for the phone unless you get it with service, then its only $300 (and for those of us who were already voicestream customers.. you get screwed, we gotta pay the full price, which is why I got an ipaq and data cable instead at around the same cost). I would recomend you wait till mid 2002, when they release the Treo 280, its a colour version, and will have all the support you need, and will run about $600ish (according to handsprings site).

Bleh

Better than Visor Phone (2, Interesting)

richlb (168636) | about 12 years ago | (#3304279)

I tried the Visor Phone when it was released, and always felt like I was going to break it. It was bigger than I was comfortable with, and really hurt my wrist trying to hold it to my ear. This sounds like it's a little more egonomic. I may give it a try, since I dropped my Visor and damaged the screen anyway.

Re:Better than Visor Phone (1)

X-Nc (34250) | about 12 years ago | (#3304594)

I just got a Visor Phone recently for my Visor Delux. While it took two months to get the service working (long story involving HandSpring and VoiceStream support services passing me back and forth between each other), it seems to work as advertized. I haven't been able to install all the software for it yet (got to find a WinXX box to get it installed) but the phone part seems fine. The ear bud looks to me like the way to use it for any length of time. But then again that's what I've been doing with my SprintPCS phone anyway.

Once I get everything configured I'm hoping to get rid of the SprintPCS phone. All I need the VisorPhone to do is make calls when I need to and have the ability to read/write email that's "critical".

Yasser Arafat, terrorist, dead at 54 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3304289)

I just heard the sad news on talk radio. Palestinian terrorist Yasser Arafat was found dead in his West Bank home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him -- even if you weren't suicide bombed by one of his terrorist minions, there's no denying his contributions to international terrorism. Truly a modern-day icon. He will be missed :(

Ay, there's the rub (3, Insightful)

stray (73778) | about 12 years ago | (#3304292)

Nevertheless, I am glad that I got rid of the other devices, I am learning to live with the current limitations of the Treo [...]
That's exactly what I lament about all the PDA's and cell-phone/pda chymeras I've used so far. They all require *you* to adapt to work around their obvious limitations, and IMHO that's not what technology should be about. I'd keep falling back to my paper filofax and plain-vanilla-cellphone if it wasn't for geekdom and my need for wireless ssh.

Adapting to technology (5, Insightful)

d5w (513456) | about 12 years ago | (#3304402)

They all require *you* to adapt to work around their obvious limitations, and IMHO that's not what technology should be about.
I disagree; this is always what technology is about. Any new technology requires you to adapt; to give up old habits and adopt new ones. Good design is about making the tradeoffs worthwhile. The telegraph introduced constraints on written communication; the automobile was a cranky (sorry) machine that had to be nursed along; dealing with telephones required all the hassles of operators, party lines, lack of privacy and lost connections; and all of those were worth adapting to. Many of the problems were overcome with later technology, but the earlier technology was still worthwhile.

In the particular case of PDAs, when I shifted to using a bare-bones PalmOS device a few years ago it was, and still is, the most limited option available in many ways. But it worked; it provided useful functionality not available in a low-tech form in a good form-factor; and the penalties weren't hard to adapt to. So it became a habit.

Re:Adapting to technology (1)

stray (73778) | about 12 years ago | (#3304470)

I agree with you with new technology that shifts the border of functionality, so users have to learn a new way of organizing things and thinking about problems.

However, I don't think this applies to PDA devices. They have been around for quite a while, and I yet have to encounter one that doesn't have so serious limitations as to generate more work for me instead of making me more productive. But then again, I might just be playiing the devil's advocate now, since I regularly use things like my nokia 9210, and despite having to buy a shitload of third-party software to make it half-way usable and learning about how now to crash it, I do enjoy it :-). So, for hackers, your statement may be true anyway, but I don't think I still believe that technological innovation must mean that the end user always has to adapt instead of the device being userfriendly.

Re:Adapting to technology (1)

DonaldP (243501) | about 12 years ago | (#3304796)

I disagree; this is always what technology is about. Any new technology requires you to adapt; to give up old habits and adopt new ones.

Personally, I gauge technology a little differently. To me, one of the best pieces of technology is Eyeglasses.

It's (figuratively as well as literally) transparent to the user. One you are using it, you can even forget it's there. It's so useful and useable that although it's an external tool, we consider as part of ourselves.

That's what good technology should be like; of course most isn't, but it's what we should be striving for. Otherwise we will never achieve tech that is "good", only tech that is "good enough".

Re:Ay, there's the rub (3, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | about 12 years ago | (#3304440)

They all require *you* to adapt to work around their obvious limitations

That's not a bug, it's a feature. The Newton tried to learn how you wrote (it tried to adapt to the user). The Palm requires you to adapt to it. The Palm costs less, and works better. There are highly adaptable systems out there. They're called "notebook computers". A PDA needs to do a few things, very well, at low cost. With low cost being the important part. Thus Grafitti, by freeing up processor power for other things, is better than the Newton system.

Re:Ay, there's the rub (5, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | about 12 years ago | (#3304472)

Frankly, the whole "review" strikes me as an exercise in the resolution of cognitive dissonance. The fact is I think he really regrets getting the Treo - the problems he enumerates are many, the limitations irksome, and the benefits questionable - but after you've plopped down $500+ there's a motivation on a subconscious level to *defend* your choice as rational.

This review has been helpful to me - I had been considering a Treo, but at this point I think I'll pass.

How is the keypad? (2)

reaper20 (23396) | about 12 years ago | (#3304295)

I was finally able to look at one of these things first hand at a local Best Buy. Naturally, it was a floor model and didn't work.

How are the keyboards on these things? It felt kind of mushy. They keyboard itself is rather small, so I wanted to gauge how the Handspring guys had handled the error control, etc. etc.

Re:How is the keypad? (5, Informative)

dave_aiello (9791) | about 12 years ago | (#3304356)

It feels the same to me as the keyboards on the Blackberry pagers from Research in Motion. The difference is in the size of the keyboard: the Treo keyboard is 2/3 to 3/4 of the size of the Blackberries. I should also point out that the Treo keyboard has slightly convex keytops which makes it easier for someone with large fingers to hit the right key. This is an improvement over the RIM 850 that I have.

Is it possible... (5, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | about 12 years ago | (#3304300)

... to turn off the cell phone part of it and have just the PDA on?

The only thing preventing me from buying one of these guys is that I'm concerned I can't use it on a plane. This may sound silly to some people, but I like the idea if simply carrying that aboard instead of my laptop. Since I already carry a cell-phone around everywhere I go, then that'd mean one less thing to carry.

Anybody know if this is possible?

Re:Is it possible... (5, Informative)

dave_aiello (9791) | about 12 years ago | (#3304331)

Yes, you can turn off the cell phone and leave the PDA on. It works just like a normal Palm OS device at that point. All you do is hold down the Power button at the top of the unit until you hear a series of three decending musical tones.

How's the service/coverage? (2)

FallLine (12211) | about 12 years ago | (#3304538)

I've been seriously tempted to buy a Treo for the past couple months, however....

How's the coverage area in your experience with Voicestream (decent provider??) or Cingular? I live in the Philadelphia area and travel to NJ, NYC, and MD frequently. Apparently my only option is voicestream here, but is the coverage good in your experience where you are and outside? I'm on Cingular with a Nokia 8260 right now and I really don't want to give up decent coverage.

Also could you perhaps further expand on how it compares to the blackberry for the email service, not necessarily the integration with corporate email, but in general. I'm not so interested in web browsing, but I love the blackberry and the ability to get emails almost instantly without having to explicitly connect and stuff. I've got a Motorola T900 via Skytel which is sort of comparable, but I find the messaging size limitations rather annoying (I believe it piggybacks on SMS or something)...

Re:How's the service/coverage? (2)

dave_aiello (9791) | about 12 years ago | (#3304718)

I live in Central New Jersey, so I think I am in the same service area that you are. As far as I know, your only Treo-compatible service option in the New York / Philadelphia area today is VoiceStream. Cingular and AT&T Wireless are still TDMA in these markets. Supposedly, AT&T Wireless is on the verge of rolling out GSM, but they would not tell me what the deployment dates were in the New York and Philadelphia markets.

VoiceStream service has been very good in New Jersey. My Treo drops far fewer calls than my Nokia 8860 did on AT&T Wireless, particularly in Central and Southern New Jersey along the New Jersey Turnpike.

I was just as worried as you were about giving up TDMA for GSM. My advice is to check out a VoiceStream coverage map, and see if they say they have service where you spend most of your time. Sounds stupid, but that's how I got the courage up to try the Treo.

Regarding email service and the comparison between the Treo and a Blackberry, I have to tell you that the Blackberry is a better email device today. It will probably continue to be a better email device until the Treo gets GPRS support. Once the GPRS upgrade becomes available, then the questions will be:

  1. How much GPRS service do you use?
  2. How much will that add to your bill?
  3. Will GPRS service be available throughout your provider's GSM coverage area?
Hope this helps,

Re:Is it possible... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3304514)

that plane crap is BOGUS. that is why we have different frequescies........bah.

arg.

sheesh. FFA knows it, they just want you to use the airplane phones. why is it that flight 91 people didn't get sued?????? they used cell phones "let's roll" and then sue them .......

bah.

Re:Is it possible... (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | about 12 years ago | (#3304664)

You really should do more research before making a statement like that.

Your not allowed to use any electronic devices during take off and landing, thats cell phones to walkmans to laptops. This is pure a safety precaution, not because they want you to use their phones. Seconadly, after take off.. you can't use your cell phone because if my memory serves me right, Cell phones don't get a signal over 10k feet into the air, when you fly at 30k feet your phones useless. And yes, you turn them off and they don't want you to use them, cos it only takes one cell phone made by cheap generic manufacturer that may or may not cause interferance with the instruments or the flight of the plane.

Personally, I would rather not take that chance 30k in the air.

Bleh

Re:Is it possible... (4, Funny)

cmdr_beeftaco (562067) | about 12 years ago | (#3304615)

don't worry about it, i leave my cell phone on all of my plane flights and I have only crashed once.

Modem? (3, Interesting)

DdJ (10790) | about 12 years ago | (#3304303)

Folks have already said that the Treo can make a data call to an ISP and establish an internet connection. Cool.

Can the Treo also be used as an external modem for other devices that want to do that? One of the things I like about my StarTAC is that a simple cable turns it into a wireless modem for all my laptops. Can I do something similar with the Treo? If not, it's of no use to me, as I'll have to carry around another phone anyway for laptop use.

Re:Modem? (3, Informative)

dave_aiello (9791) | about 12 years ago | (#3304407)

There does not appear to be a provision for connecting the Treo to a laptop. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) What I would have liked is for the Treo to support Bluetooth and have it be switchable in the same way that the mobile phone feature is.

Important question (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3304304)

Hey everyone - somehow I activated a feature in IE 5.5 so it displays the source code (with syntax hiliting) instead of rendering the html. Local html files render normally.

That's a nice feature, but I need to know how to turn it off again.

Does anyone in slashdot land know how?

Get a Kyocera 6035 (5, Informative)

cybrthng (22291) | about 12 years ago | (#3304305)

The Kyocera 6035 is basially free with a SprintPCS plan.

Long Battery Life

PalmOS 3.5

8 Megs ram

Multi-Mode Cell support

Excellent Palm Phone Integration

Built in Wireless Modem

Works GREAT with Blazer Browser

The phone supports SMS and tons of other features. Sure it is a tad big, bit it is worth it. Sprint is upgrading there network as well to suport 1000 character SMS messages to other networks as well.

I can check my mail, telnet into the servers and run some checkup scripts, surf the web and talk to my wife all on a single device. Plus i can drag the cradle with me, and use the wireless modem from my laptop and login to the interenet while i'm on the train. Albeit only 14.4, but better then nothing.

The Kyocera is about 130.00 from Sprintpcs.com and you get a 50.00 and 75.00 rebate.. so its only a few bucks. BlazerBrowser is a free download and for more information check out

SmartPhone (Kyocera) Source [smartphonesource.com]

Re:Get a Kyocera 6035 (5, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | about 12 years ago | (#3304375)

I have one of these and I think it's great.

As an aside, I didn't get all of the rebates you mentioned. As an existing Sprint PCS customer, I wasn't eligible for the $70 rebate that was given out to new customers when they sign up for the service -- despite the fact that they made me sign a one-year contract when I upgraded my service to include data access. That's right ... you read that correctly ... *BECAUSE* I was an existing customer who had been using Sprint for about four years, I had to pay more. Still, my total price was $150, which is a pretty damn good deal for replacing both my 4-year-old mobile phone and my five-year old PalmPilot Pro at the same time.

Anyway, so far I've found the Kyocera to be really admirably designed. Just about everything works the way it should, though it took me a while to figure out how to paste phone numbers into the Dialer application (you highlight the number and then immediately hit the Phone shaped button that replaces the Calculator button on this model).

One great thing about this Palm/Phone combo is that it has a real keypad for dialing... a much better solution for making phone calls in the dark than a backlight, IMHO.

Re:Get a Kyocera 6035 (1)

afidel (530433) | about 12 years ago | (#3304586)

I hope you meant ssh and not telnet. Let's see security breach- definition:
To connect to a computer over the open internet using a non secure protocol while connected via a wireless open medium.

secure communications on kyocera (2)

chainsaw1 (89967) | about 12 years ago | (#3304773)

tgssh works well on the Kyocera. Unfortunately, the default POP mail and www browser (both Eudora apps) only support SSL if you have the newer version of the firmware / default applications. The old versions have the options coded in, but if you select them it'll just tell you to upgrade and unselect them again.

Re:Get a Kyocera 6035 (1)

Saturn49 (536831) | about 12 years ago | (#3304692)

I checked out sprintpcs.com and the $75.00 rebate is actually a $50 service rebate, shown as a $25 discount on the first two bills. The other rebate is a $50 mail-in rebate on the Kyocera 6035 phone. I considered getting one of these when they first came out, but they were a whopping $500. Now it looks like you can get them for a mere $100...certainly not bad, but I'd much prefer a color PDA, though it would do nasty things to the battery life.

Re:Get a Kyocera 6035 (2)

mgkimsal2 (200677) | about 12 years ago | (#3304714)

Always wait on pricing! I got one of these back in January and paid over $200. I was at Circuit City on Friday and they had it for $8. $108 - $100 rebate. Ouch!

The 'blazer' browser isn't all that good imo because it locks up during use - the 'stop' button never works. Other than that, it's a decent unit.

Re:Get a Kyocera 6035 (2)

cybrthng (22291) | about 12 years ago | (#3304836)

Download build 49 of blazer browser. Works like a charm. My phone came with Palm OS 3.5.3 + *2 fixes already, so you may want to look into upgrading if you have an older version.

How to Buy this phone (1)

cybrthng (22291) | about 12 years ago | (#3304744)

Sprint:

http://www.sprintpcs.com [sprintpcs.com]

Verizon:

http://www.verizonwireless.com [verizonwireless.com]

Verizon = $249.00
SprintPCS = $140.00

SprintPCS $50.00 rebate [sprintpcs.com]

Free Wireless Web & Voice Command for 3 months [sprintpcs.com]

And when you get your phone in, if you choose a year long contract from sprint and are a new customer you get a 75.00 rebate. (atleast i did)

Now for the 40 bucks or so after all rebates, you get a wireless phone, wap device, cell phone, great calling plan and a full blow Palm OS PDA to boot.

1 long advertisement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3304309)

I wonder how much Handspring had to pay CmdrDipshit for that multi-page advirtisement.

A hot dog and a hummer, and he probably called it even.

Great, just what we need... (1)

Kintanon (65528) | about 12 years ago | (#3304322)

This is a show-stopper on the Treo because it is virtually impossible to use the mobile telephone feature in your car at night without the backlight

Is it too much to ask that you pull over before you call someone in your car, at night? Maybe stop under a street light somewhere to chat?
Driving around at night on your phone is dangerous, to you and to other people. Why can't you wait the 10 extra seconds to get somewhere that you can stop at? I for one am tired of getting almost run over by some idiot on a cellphone every day. I walk to work, and pretty much everywhere else. And when I get a walk signal in a cross walk and start a cross, and some guy on a cellphone comes around the corner making a right turn and almost kills me, it really ruins my mood. So do me a favor, stop it. Just put the damn phone down for 5 minutes, get where you are going, then talk after you park. There is no good reason to be on the phone while the vehicle is moving if you are driving. If it's an emergency you should probably be stopped anyways, if you're on the way to the hospital you should have called before you got in the car.
Ugh... crazy yapping bastards on their phones...

Kintanon

Well (0, Troll)

sulli (195030) | about 12 years ago | (#3304398)

If you are a crazy yapping bastard, and I admit to being one (while driving a car with a stick shift), it damn well helps to have actual buttons to push when making calls, checking voicemail, etc. That voice recognition shit don't do shit for shit. Give me buttons and I'll use them.

And don't tell me not to check my voicemail while I'm stuck in freeway traffic! Or to be more clear: tell me if you like, but I will ignore you.

Re:Well (2)

Kintanon (65528) | about 12 years ago | (#3304522)

If you are stuck in freeway traffic then sure, talk all you want, you aren't moving. But if you're driving through downtown in the middle of lunchtime hang up the damn phone before you kill someone!

Kintanon

Re:Great, just what we need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3304425)

So, talking on a cell phone is bad, but you're not asking people to quit talking to their passengers or singing along on the radio.

Why's that? Both seem to be about the same level/sort of distraction.

Re:Great, just what we need... (2)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | about 12 years ago | (#3304436)

All things considered, there is the option of being a passenger in a car, and I don't really know why it's important to pull over to the side, when the passenger needs to make a call or say, browse the web to find a local map...

Re:Great, just what we need... (2)

Kintanon (65528) | about 12 years ago | (#3304510)

Maybe you should re-read the post and look at the part that says 'when you are driving' I put it in there just for that reason. Passengers can chat all they want.

Kintanon

GPRS should be available in the middle of Summer. (4, Informative)

Cutriss (262920) | about 12 years ago | (#3304324)

From the Treo FAQ:

Q. Will your product be upgradeable to GPRS?
A. Yes. In the second half of the year, Handspring plans to offer a software upgrade that enables Treo to work on GPRS networks. The upgrade will be available from Handspring's web site. The current hardware in Treo is GPRS-ready.

Q. What version of GPRS is the Treo communicator going to use?
A. The Treo communicator will support GPRS Class 2, which will provide two channels down and one channel up (otherwise know as "2+1").

No writing area... (1)

IronTek (153138) | about 12 years ago | (#3304334)

The thing that makes me distrust the Treo is the inclusion of a really tiny keyboard instad of a more functional Graffiti writing area.

While I know that, eventually, a Treo with such an option will be available for people who can Graffiti write faster than they can peck tiny chicklet-sized keys, I do not think it was wise for Handspring to roll out the keyboard model first, as the early-adopters are sure to be those replacing their Palms...with business users rolling in after it's been proven useful.

Just my two cents...

Re:No writing area... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3304387)

Both versions are available. I have one of each here in my office.

Ummm (3, Informative)

FallLine (12211) | about 12 years ago | (#3304391)

Firstly, you can choose between buying the Treo with the thumb keyboard OR with the graffiti/stylus instead. Secondly, if you've ever used a Blackberry/RIM pager, I really don't think you'd think you can write faster with a Palm. I've been using Palm for years, but I could quickly beat my own graffiti speed within, say, 2 or 3 hours of using a blackberry. Honestly. The only problem with such a keyboard, as I see it, is that it requires a certain form factor and that you need to find some alternative pointing device, which may be inferior to a stylus for pointing, but on the aggregate... I suspect this thumb keyboard would be much more desirable.

Cargo Pants (1)

e1en0r (529063) | about 12 years ago | (#3304342)

It's all about cargo pants. Sure, I get laughed at going to through metal detectors and I have to wear a belt, but I've got my cell phone in my left leg pocket, PDA in the right, pager in my upper left pocket and, uh, silly putty in the upper right pocket.

As much as it would be convenient to carry just one item, it still seems like 3 is the way to go for a little while longer. Being able to feel the phone keys is a big plus, and being able to lookup and enter something on my Palm while I'm on the phone is key. Breaking one item won't cripple the others, and changing services is much easier that way.

Re:Cargo Pants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3304590)

I agree. I junked my Palm because it was just too much for non-cargo pants: a phone, the vallet, a pack of cigarettes, a Zippo, a Palm III, and then some other junk...

The main benefit of the new gizmos isn't the features (you gain some, lose others) but the lower pocket count while remaining online.

Have a Visor? Get a VisorPhone! (1)

billnapier (33763) | about 12 years ago | (#3304378)

Still free with a one year contract. Basically, its the grand-daddy of the Treo. Form factor is a bit bigger, no GPRS (ever!) but pretty much does everything else. Cell Phone, Palm Software, Internet Access. What more could you want? Plus, with the Prism, you've got color!

vs. other options? (2, Interesting)

nathana (2525) | about 12 years ago | (#3304384)

For those who have tried both, how does the Treo compare to, say, the Kyocera series of PalmOS-based smartphones [kyocera-wireless.com], or even the old Qualcomm pdQ series [kyocera-wireless.com]?

(BTW, I think the Kyocera is your only option currently if you want Palm + phone in one unit and you are on a CDMA-based wireless network, such as Sprint or Verizon.)

Better then Treo? (1)

killa-b(a was taken) (554353) | about 12 years ago | (#3304390)

yea this thing bites
1)no color
2)not tri or quad band, cant use it to travel

try a sonnyericsson P800
http://www.sonyericsson.com/spg.jsp?page=C2_ 1_16&B =ie

truth be known, Microsoft makes a nice unit based of pocket pc its called the XDA O2
http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php?s=& thre adid=18161

if your going to buy a all in one then dont waste money on some things that dont support the true benifits of GPRS/GSM.

other nice phones
http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php ?s=&thre adid=18496

Why Palm? (1)

--daz-- (139799) | about 12 years ago | (#3304424)

Why do people still use the Palm OS? I mean, I can understand that most of you probably hate Microsoft, but I mean c'mon, the IPaq is so much better in every regard over the PalmOS. I suppose price might be the major issue, but other than the two above-mentioned issues, is there anything that the PalmOS does better than PocketPC?

Let me count the ways (2)

FallLine (12211) | about 12 years ago | (#3304630)

Why do people still use the Palm OS? I mean, I can understand that most of you probably hate Microsoft, but I mean c'mon, the IPaq is so much better in every regard over the PalmOS. I suppose price might be the major issue, but other than the two above-mentioned issues, is there anything that the PalmOS does better than PocketPC?


A) PalmOS devices get vastly superior battery life for the same functionality. Note: If you try to use a PocketPC in the way that they are advertized (e.g., Word, Excel, mp3s, etc), your batteries quickly drain.

B) PalmOS based devices tend to be smaller.

C) PalmOS is simpler and easier to use for PDA tasks (e.g., address book, contacts, etc) since they involve fewer strokes and such.

D) PalmOS devices cost less.

E) A wider selection of PalmOS applications.

I'd phrase the question another way, how is a PocketPC superior for the tasks that I need? Namely, what makes it superior, never mind not inferior, as a PDA? I just don't see it. Until batteries are improved on substantially, processing power grows rapidly, wireless connectivity is truely dependable, and/or data entry (e.g., keyboard) is improved on substantially, I just don't see a compelling argument for going much beyond what PalmOS is today. Palm is still very much on the game today and PocketPC's nominal improvements in offerings of features seem almost irrelevant given the missing pieces of today and probably tomorrow.

More apps, more apps, more apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3304812)

Over ten times as many. I know. I worked for Palm as of two weeks ago. We count these things. Check out PalmGear.com -- it has several times more apps on that one site alone than exist for PocketPC in total.

Also, some of us still hate drop-down menus, heavy/large devices, and generally poor interfaces. :-P

Why PocketPC? (3, Informative)

GMFTatsujin (239569) | about 12 years ago | (#3304816)

Here's a couple of reasons I can think of off the top of my head:

1) PalmOS apps are designed generally to do one thing, and one thing only, really really well. WinCE apps carry the baggage of trying to be everything at once.

2) I'll betcha my Prism can outlast your iPaq between charges. My supervisor has an iPaq and he's constantly bitching about battery life, losing data, and so on. I can go a couple of weeks without worrying.

3) Keep the size of the screen in mind. It's the size of an index card, and thus, is really good at organizing anything you could fit on an index card - phone numbers, addresses, forms to fill in for databases, etc. The Palm rocks at this because there's no expectation for it to do the work of a desktop (or even a laptop). The apps are therefore very trim, and when designed well, streamlined. The iPaq, again, has the legacy of "It's Windows! It does it *all!*" to live up to - hence, you tend to get a giant multipurpose app that requires lots of viewing space to use and is cramped to work in. Most of the time I don't need *Word*, I just need to look at a document quickly. That's my experience, anyway.

4) Many many many many apps. Most of them free or cost a mere pittance. iPaq apps, not so much, and not as wide a variety. Again, just my experience.

5) Cost. For the price of an iPaq I could get a more powerful laptop (although a bit dated) that could do all the same things with my existing software - and would be easier on the eyes.

6) Ease of syncing - my user base of 3500+ seems to be able to deal with "insert into cradle - push button - remove from cradle" better than the bizarre continuous syncing model of the iPaq. I can't explain it, but them's the facts. I think that again, it has to do with the expectations of how the device is supposed to perform.

7) Fast navigation and info retrieval. I think it was a mistake to put the Windows interface, start button and all, onto the iPaq. It looks like Windows, but it doesn't *behave* like Windows. For me, a guy who has supported Windows since 3.11, trying to navigate around the iPaq is bewildering. The Palm built a quick little interface from scratch, closer to the *way* early Macintosh days, and for the design of the device, it works more cleanly for me. I don't expect it to act like anything other than what it is - a Palm. The iPaq has enough subtle differences from Windows to throw me off course.

There's more, but I've already typed more than I think I should have. :)

This isn't to say there's no downside to the Palm. Application interoperability is a joke at best, there's a lack of standardized formats in which to to keep the same type of data, and if you want the multimedia/MP3/quicktime/whatever in your pocket, looks elsewhere or prepare to by more hardware. I don't miss looking at movies the size of a postage stamp, though. Keeping the interfaces common is rough too - seems like everybody wants to design their own custom buttons to do the same thing.

I think it comes down to this: the PalmOS is good at keeping all my information nuggets together, and at retrieving them quickly. When I'm on the go I don't generally need to recalculate a spreadsheet, tweak my thesis paper, or browse the web (tho there are Palm apps that will let you do these things if you want them). The PalmOS excels as an information manager, and is a damn good one, and I find it more useful to me than a laptop-equivalent would be under the same circumstances. The iPaq tries to replicate the Windows document creation and management experience, and on a device that size with the consessions to the human interface, it doesn't fly.

Again, just me.
GMFTatsujin

Two concerns... (2)

UsonianAutomatic (236235) | about 12 years ago | (#3304435)

The Treo looks like a good Smartphone/all-on-one-device/whatever you want to call it... but at $399 with activation, how many can they realistically expect to sell? While the price isn't too terrible when you compare the cost of purchasing PDA/Cell Phone/RIM-style devices separately, that's a pretty good chunk of money to lay down especially if you've already invested the $$$ in separate devices (and already have a wireless contract with another carrier.)

And then there's the longevity issue; Handspring has put all their eggs in one basket with the Treo. Donna Dubinsky made a vague announcement back in January that Handspring is exiting the traditional organizer market... they're dropping their only color device, the Prism, and the rest of the Visors are still stuck at Palm OS 3.5 with no plans for improvement to the Visor line.

While a company has to do what's in its best interests in the long term, the episode could have been handled better than it was; Dubinsky's vague statement pissed off a lot of current Visor owners, and Handspring probably lost a lot of potential Treo customers right there; why buy a Treo if Handspring is going to be belly up in a couple of years, or move on to some other product after you've invested hundreds of dollars on the Treo and accessories?

That being said, if I could comfortably afford one and needed a new wireless contract, I'd probably go for it. :)

visorphone has most of these features, for "free" (2, Informative)

avi33 (116048) | about 12 years ago | (#3304448)

>>For the past year, I have searched for a single device that could replace my cellular telephone, PDA, and pager

I've had a visorphone for over a year now, and it satisfies all of the above criteria, except for the pager. Though you can run sms, yahoo im, and though I've never tried it, you could probably run finger while telnetting. A little bulky, but not much more than a visor with a box of matches stuck to it. Besides you can get a cheap visor for $99 and the phone for "free" with contract. (As opposed to $450 for a treo). Plus you can plug in other modules when not in use as a phone.

Web access is about as satisfying as eating soup with a screwdriver, but in an emergency, it works.

The device I want... (1)

Eccles (932) | about 12 years ago | (#3304454)

I'd like to see the following integrated, myself:

MP3 player
PDA
Good-sized hard drive with firewire/USB2.0 interface

I've seen two of these together, but never all three.

Re:The device I want... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3304764)

sounds like you want an ipod. check out this story. [dailymac.com]
here's a quote;

"[T]he software platform also features a personal information management (PIM) suite, including address book, calendar, to do list, memo maker, PC synchronization, e-mail, graphical world clock and calculator, the Pixo Internet Microbrowser, as well as telephony applications such as two-line support, three-way calling, call forwarding, call hold, call log, call waiting, distinct ring tones, fax, voice dialing and SMS."

I've owned one for about a month (1)

juggler314 (556575) | about 12 years ago | (#3304458)

It works great. It's a bit wide so it seems weird as a flip phone, but I'll take looking a bit geeky to be that much more connected:)

The single biggest problem with this device is that it's not GPRS ready yet. I think it was a mistake releasing it without this capability - especially if you live in one of the big urban areas like I do (NYC) where gprs is available already. I don't think they should have delayed it just should have made at least a beta patch available.

I really would have preferred keeping my sprint service, but bit the bullet and changed to voicestream only to find out less than a month later that sprint will have the treo in the summer (probably the color one). *poof* there goes another $600...

what about this one... (2, Interesting)

nubbie (454788) | about 12 years ago | (#3304464)

the Nokia [nokia.com] 9290 [nokiausa.com]. It does pretty much everything - Wireless Web / Wireless E-Mail / Office Use / Organizer / Mobile Multimedia and of course its a phone too. It states that it hasn't been authorized by the FCC yet, but when it is, I think this will be one of their best ones out there.

Re:what about this one... (1)

theolein (316044) | about 12 years ago | (#3304597)

I've used one of these here in europe. They work very well and they are a bit more practical than the treo due the telephone screen being seperate from the application screen.

I had it for a couple of months now... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3304476)

..and I'm very happy. I won mine over at www.visorcentral.com . A few notes:
Battery life improves by leaps and bounds if you have the second generation treo. Apparently, Handspring had the wrong specs for the radio and it can be set up with longer standny (though not talk) time. How? Get it replaced with the "newer" version, which has larger letters on the keyboard as well as a "language picker" app that lets you choose from various Euro langauges.

3rd party apps are indeed the way to keep the treo happy. Switcheroo is an excellent way to launch apps directly from the keyboard, and TreoButton allows you to remap several of the main buttons in good ways.

Connection time is reduced by five or ten seconds by using VoiceStream's own WAP ISP number and settings.

Handspring finally put the IR port on top!

The speakerphone works excellently.
Size is excellent as well, it feels smaller than it looks, because of slightly curved corners and edges.

The sound switch on the top is one of those hit-your-head-because-its-so-simple ideas. a physical switch that turns off ALL sounds that you can check if you're paranoid about that sort of thing.
The phone/radio management is also good, switching it on and of easy. Also, dialing is easy too, especially once you have the numbers in your address book. another neat feature is you Can use the physical keyboard to punch out new numbers, and the treo will recognize that you're pecking out a new number, not spelling a name.

My set-up... (3, Informative)

singularity (2031) | about 12 years ago | (#3304481)

I currently use a Handspring Visor Platinum and a Samsung SCH-3500 with SprintPCS.

I connect the two via a cable from Gomadic [gomadic.com].

It works fairly well. I currently do not sign up for Sprint's Wireless Web deal, so I pay by the minute (adding it to my plan would require $10/month, and I would like to keep my current plan).

I do not use it that much, only when travelling, which basically means about two weekends a month or so.

I was impressed with how easy it was to set up. After getting the cable, it probably took about ten minutes of fairly easy work to get connected the first time.

Having to carry both items is not that big of a deal. I tyipcaly carry my phone in my front pocket and my Visor in a rear pocket. And since I am usually travelling, I typically have either a backpack or another bag with me, as well.

Connecting takes about 25 seconds. On occasion I will get dropped almost immediately after connecting. I have started to notice that the drops seem dependent on the charge of the battery. As the cell battery gets lower, the more drops I get.

Connection speed is limited to 14.4

I currently only check my email. I have not done any web work with the Visor. I use Eudora's free email client. Being able to leave mail on the server, using POP3, means that I do not have to worry about synching the email with the desktop, a Mac, when I return, which I think is key.

Eudora/Palm also allows you to disconnect immediately after a send/check, which cuts down on the minutes used (nice when I am paying for access by the minute).

I think that eventually I will go with a combination device like the Treo. It will be a while, though. There are many times when I only carry my phone, and I like having its smaller size. Even now I am considering purchasing a phone smaller than the 3500.

repeat? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3304483)

i could have SWARN seeing this story, pushing the treo .......before.

ehhh, /. doesn't look at it's history and repeats itseslf.

d~y

Color (1)

KDENCE (558103) | about 12 years ago | (#3304515)

They need to make this thing color and have more wireless companies (i.e. AT&T) pick this up. Can't be that expensive or bulky to make this thing color. Don't get me wrong, Palm is falling behind on this too. It seems to me that these companies release things as they see fit and that always isn't the best that is possible, for instance: Why is the new wireless palm (1705) not color? Anyway, I guess I have color issues!

keyboard, but no grafitti (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3304519)

dave said: "most existing Palm applications do not provide menu equivalents for all of their major functions"

huh?

does this mean that if you're pecking away at a keyboard model, you'll still need to yank out the stylus from time to time in order to hit an [OK] button?

yech.

i guess there's a keyboard mechanism for accessing classic palm menus though?

thanks for the review, dave.

Give me... (2, Funny)

aaronvegh (546815) | about 12 years ago | (#3304521)

give me a single device that incorporates:
  • a Palm-based OS
  • an always-on IP connection (a la GPRS)
  • a big hard drive (~10 GB to start)
  • digital still/video camera
  • music/video playback
  • cell phone
  • and pluggable into a desktop for instant syncing like the iPod
I would SO be there for that. :-)

Re:Give me... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3304705)

Screw that last option... with an always on IP and bluetooth, you wouldn't _have_ to sync. Ever.

i look silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3304565)

i can hold up this huge PDA to my ear and hear my email talking to me ;)

D~y

It never pays to be an early adopter (4, Interesting)

Matey-O (518004) | about 12 years ago | (#3304585)

It's only taken my 32 years to figure that out. I got the Newton 110, the Palm Pilot Pro, The HP320 lx (WinCE), etc.

What I'm finding is, the stuff I can _really_ use are 7.0 version products. The Ipaq, nominally, is the third PPC OS, on a third generation (or fourth) hardware platform. Likewise, my nokia 8290 is an upteenth generation device (having owned an 81XX and a 232 model previously). They both work VERY well. And I was happy I could go from three devices to two.

The jump from two devices to one will most likely take another generation or two. Not really because I don't want to live with the hardware shortcomings or growing pains of the new devices, but because it's TOO EXPENSIVE to adopt this soon. Two hardware iterations from now, the device will have triple the battery life, much more bandwidth (which'll be cheap...remember paying for Internet acces that WASN'T All You Can Eat?) better connectivity (how long was USB out before it became prominent?) and a better gui.

'Early adopterism' is a disease of the Geek Elite. It's also a rather expensive habit.

consolidation not so good (2)

Splork (13498) | about 12 years ago | (#3304619)

as soon as you combine your palm pilot and cell phone in one you'll be lucky if you are able / allowed to jot notes down on your palm while on the cell phone.

get a handsfree headset and really hope that the all-in-one designers weren't morons and don't lock it in phone mode while you're talking.

Re:consolidation not so good (2)

dave_aiello (9791) | about 12 years ago | (#3304785)

FWIW, the Treo lets you use all of the other Palm applications (with the exception of Internet access) while a mobile phone call is in progress. So, you can make notes into your Palm when you are on the phone.

I am not sure whether GPRS will work while a voice call is in progress, once the GPRS upgrade is available. But, that would be great, wouldn't it?

Why GPRS? (2)

realdpk (116490) | about 12 years ago | (#3304826)

Does GPRS have any advantages that outweigh the restrictions on data transfer?

The SprintPCS service I get with my Handspring + PCS springboard is only $40/mo and it's unlimited in terms of transfer - it's billed by the minute instead, and when you sign up for the Wireless Web package those minutes come out of your voice allocation. IE those "200 anytime and 238472834723487 weekend minutes!" turn out to be incredible deals for those of us who are at work during the day and out at night. The speed is pretty OK - I mainly use it for ssh and it is perfectly usable. Web access is fast enough, even with images.
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