Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Resolutions


I've posted this week's 1SRC editorial, New Year's Resolutions.

"With all eyes on Palm Executive Chairman Jon Rubinstein and his senior management team in 2008, here are some New Year’s resolutions the company might take under consideration.


Closing the Books on 2007

2007 was a tough year for Palm. Earnings were down for two consecutive quarters. The Treo 755p failed to meet the target delivery date for the crucial holiday shopping season for carrier partner Verizon Wireless. The Foleo mobile companion was cancelled just weeks before it was due to begin shipping. No new handheld PDAs were shipped. And Palm CEO Ed Colligan suggested that the new Linux-based operating system, “Palm OS II” as I call it, would not appear on devices until 2009.

There have been a few successes for Palm. The new Centro smartphone has been a hit. Currently available only from Sprint and in black onyx and ruby red, there are rumors of the imminent release of a new pink Centro on Sprint and the launch of a white GSM Centro on AT&T Wireless. And Palm sold about 27% of the company to private equity firm Elevation Partners.


Looking Ahead to 2008

This New Year, Palm should consider the following resolutions:

1. Drive “Palm OS II” to completion

The single largest liability for Palm right now is the age of its Palm OS 5 operating system. The current code base that powers the Treo 680, 755p, and Centro was never really intended to power smartphones. The new Linux operating system needs to be completed this year and certified by Palm’s major wireless carrier partners.

Some of the features that customers will be looking for in Palm OS II include:
• a true multitasking operating system (voice and data at the same time)
• an updated modular user interface that still preserves Palm’s ease of use
• robust file management tools that will interact with other Palm devices
• robust web browser and email client
• support for multiple active wireless radios (cellular, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi)"

Keep reading...

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Astraware Mogmanay Party 2008!

Join Astraware for their Annual Hogmanay Party and save on a range of great games!

KEELE, Staffordshire, UK - Monday 31st December 2007 - Astraware would like to invite you to their Annual Hogmanay Party sale which starts today - 31st December 2007 - and runs until midnight PST on 11th January 2008!

Each day during this New Year celebration, one or two games will be offered with huge discounts. With a wide range of action, adventure, word games, puzzles, strategy and card games to choose from, there's certain to be something for everyone. Each offer lasts for just 24 hours, changing at midnight, so make sure to check back for the new offer each day!

The first game in the Annual Hogmanay Party on Monday 31st December is the beautiful puzzler Glyph for just $9.95. To grab this, or any of the great Hogmanay offers, head over to http://www.astraware.com/promo/hogmanay08.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Rumor: Photos of the Pink Centro Appear

SprintUsers.com forum member TheRobin has posted what appears to be a promotional photo of the rumored pink Palm Centro that is expected to arrive on Sprint sometime in January or February 2008.

The information on the release date has been all over the map with rumored launch dates of January 6, January 13, and February 14 (Valentine's Day).

Palm and Sprint are going to sell a lot of these things.


[Thanks to the anonymous tipster who sent this in.]

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Handango Year End Sale

With PalmGear gone, I've started purchasing software from Handango. If you are looking to purchase some software for your new, or not so new, Palm handheld or smartphone you can get 25% off your purchase if you use the codeword YEARENDSALE during check out.

This offer is good from now until the end of the year (2007).

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Chirstmas from Foleo Fanatics



Merry Christmas and Season's Greetings from your friends at Foleo Fanatics!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Missing Sync 6.0.2 Now Available

Mark/Space The Missing Sync for Palm OS version 6.0.2 is now available. The Missing Sync is a total replacement for Palm Desktop and HotSync Manager for Palm customers using Mac OS X.

The Missing Sync 6.0.2 is a big deal for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard users because this version is fully compatibly with Leopard. Some of the other cool features the Missing Sync brings to Mac OS X users include:

  • PIM sync with iSync and Microsoft Entourage
  • iPhoto and iTunes sync (DRM content can't be synchronized)
  • Wi-Fi network synchronization
  • Mac OS X folder to SD card folder synchronization
The Missing Sync 6.0.2 is a free upgrade to Mark/Space customers already running an earlier version of 6.0. Mark/Space customers running versions prior to 6.0 are eligible for special upgrade pricing.

Look for a review later this week on my 1SRC.com Palm-Powered podcast, show 161.

More information...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Holidays from Palm



A friend of mine emailed me a Palm e-greeting card this week and I wanted to share it with my Foleo Fanatics readers.

As it turns out, there are four versions of Palm's holiday wishes. There are e-cards featuring the Centro, Treo 680, Treo 750, and the Treo 755p.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Treo 755p Reviewer's Notes: Stop the Blinking!

So I've had the new Verizon Treo 755p for a few days and things have been going well. I've moved all of my applications, games, and data over to the 755p and I'm using it as my everyday production device.


But there is one thing that is driving me absolutely crazy: The nonstop LED blinking while the cell radio is turned on.


That is where Treoware's LEDOff comes in. With LEDOff, you can control what alarms and events trigger the LED to pulse. I just turned off Signal blinking for In coverage and now the Treo 755p on Verizon works my Treo 700p on Sprint.


LEDOff is "donationware" and can be downloaded from the Treoware website.

Rumor: AT&T Centro Announcement at CES?

TreoCentral.com member Nomad2000 has posted some pictures of the GSM AT&T Centro. (The pictures, reportedly, came from Hi-PDA.com.)

Palm has recently posted that they will be attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) being held in Las Vegas this January. The Sprint exclusive on the Centro is coming to and end by mid-January.

Is this a cleverly disguised hoax or are Palm and AT&T getting ready to launch another Centro early in 2008?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Treo 755p First Impressions

Earlier this week Palm and Verizon launched the Treo 755p on the Verizon Wireless EVDO network and today I received Gadgets On The Go's review unit. Like a kid on, well, Christmas Morning, I tore into the shipping carton to unbox the new Treo.

Let me start off by saying that new azure green is much better in person than it looks on the computer screen. Sitting on my desk, the new Treo looks like a dark grey or black. Early next year when the company I work for starts deploying them, I will have no hesitation deploying them to the executive team.

Today is the first time I've had a chance to play with the 755p. I really like the the new Treo 755p soft touch paint. The 755p's new contours along the side along with the soft touch paint make the Treo fit comfortably in your hand. When holding the Treo 700p and 755p, one in each hand, the difference is like night and day.

I plan on using the Treo 755p as my primary device for the next few weeks and concluding my test drive with a review here on Gadgets on the Go.

For more information about the Treo 755p, check out Palm's website.

[Via GadgetsOnTheGo.net...]

Monday, December 17, 2007

Palm Treo 755p Available on Verizon Wireless








Earlier today, Palm launched the Treo 755p smartphone on the Verizon Wireless network.

Compared to the Treo 700p which it replaces in the Verizon smartphone line up, the Treo 755p offers a sleeker body design that has previously only been available to Sprint and AT&T customers. Like other recent Treo smartphones, the Verizon Treo 755p features an internal antenna and the soft-touch paint. This version of the Treo 755p comes in azure green (a deep blue-green color if you are Pantone color chart challenged like me). Sprint offers the the 755p in burgundy and midnight blue while Alltel offers the smartphone in black.

The Treo 755p, like the 700p, features a full suite of software for both business and personal time. Documents To Go, Pocket Tunes, and VersaMail lead off a full feature list. Also included in this Treo is Verizon's Wireless Sync software that allows customers to wireless synchronize email, contacts, calendar, and tasks from a home or business Windows PC.

The Treo 755p will sell for $400 with a new two-year service agreement and after a $50 mail in rebate. Customers who also purchase a qualified voice plan are also eligible for an additional $100 rebate. The Treo 755p will sell for $580 for customers who do not wish to extended there service plans with Verizon.

Full details on all versions of the Treo 755p can be found on the Palm website.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Treo 750 Update 2.25 Recovery Tool

I don't know how many people have seen this or not, so I wanted to mention it here. I'm a Palm OS user, and I carry a Treo 700p. That said, I try to keep up on what is going on over on the Windows Mobile side of the Palm house.

While researching the Treo 750 Updater 2.25 (the one that adds Windows Mobile 6.0) for a customer over on the Palm Community Help Forums, where I'm a moderator, I ran across the directions for using the Updater 2.25 Recover Tool.

I'm actually excited to see that Palm has packaged this tool into the upgrade kit. While I don't have a Windows Mobile device to test this on, the tool appears to give customers a second chance to recover from a Treo that was "bricked" by a failed upgrade.

AT&T and Cingular Wireless customers can download the 2.25 Updater here. The directions for using the recovery tool can be found here.

Friday, December 14, 2007

PDALive Turns 8!

Justin Nolan, the captain over at PDALive.com, sent me a note earlier today to let me know that PDALive.com is turning 8 years old! That is a major accomplishment, congratulations to Justin and the entire team over at PDALive.

To help celebrate, Justin is running a cool contest.
Well it has been another whole year. PDALive is turning 8 years old and to celebrate we are having a contest. We are giving away an Apple iPhone. All you need to do to enter the contest is post in this thread what you think we could do to improve PDALive. The contest is going to run through the end of the year. The contest is only open to actively participating PDALive members.

Also to celebrate we are offering 20% off all software in the PDALive Store all you need to do is enter the coupon code: pdalivewinter all one word. The discount is good through the end of the year also.

Thanks
Justin Nolan

Check out PDALive.com now...

Palm Foleo Makes Popular Mechanics 10 Worst List















Popular Mechanics has released their Top 10 Worst Gadgets list for 2007. Coming in at number 1 is Palm's Foleo mobile companion.

Erik Sofge, writes for Popular Mechanics:

"Sometimes, a product makes a Worst of the Year list for all the wrong reasons. Take the Foleo, Palm’s perfectly reasonable attempt to revolutionize ultra-lightweight laptops. We tested this 2.4-pound computer, which ran for up to 5 hours per charge, and despite a relentless pre-release trash-talking from the tech world (mainly from bloggers who hadn’t touched the thing) we liked it.

The 10.2-in. screen and meager flash-based storage were good enough for word processing and Web surfing. Without even realizing it, we started carrying it everywhere. Within days, the tiny machine was a fixture in our dorky lives, tucked under our arms, popping open at every meeting, and drawing as many chortles as breathless questions. Like it or pity it, the Foleo was generating a buzz.

But before a single Foleo hit the shelves, Palm killed it, claiming that they needed more time to develop the Foleo 2. The bloggers won, Palm lost, and our review unit became a bizarre unreleased prequel to a product that might never exist. It wasn’t perfect, but the Foleo deserved better. "
Just for the record, I was one of the bloggers who did touch a Foleo. And I'm waiting, not too patiently I might add, for the Foleo II running Palm OS II.

Read the full Popular Mechanics article...

[Thanks to bulls96 for the tip.]

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Apple's'Podfather' Now Aims to Revive A Wilting Palm

An interesting article from today's Wall Street Journal has appeared in a Yahoo Finance discussion forum discussing some of the changes that are taking place inside Palm. The one thing that I have learned recently about companies when private equity firms come in is that they like to run things "lean and mean." That, I believe, is why people are in such a tailspin about the as yet confirmed global layoffs at Palm.

The Wall Street Journal article reads, in part:

"Mr. Rubinstein now faces numerous challenges at Palm. Last week, Palm warned it would miss estimates when it next reports earnings on Tuesday, sending its stock plunging. Yesterday, Palm made some reassignments and staff reductions.

Since it typically takes at least 18 months to develop new phones from scratch, it may take years for Mr. Rubinstein's impact to show up. "With the business smart-phone market dominated by RIM and the personal smart-phone market dominated by Apple, it's hard to say where Palm's opportunity is," says Andy Neff, an analyst at Bear Stearns & Co.

So far, Mr. Rubinstein -- who heads all of Palm's research, development and engineering -- has kept mum about his plans. But people familiar with his thinking say he is focused on a new Linux-based software platform that would create one set of applications for all Palm products. He wants the platform, due out sometime next year, to be the basis for new phone formats, including possibly a 12-key phone."
Read the full article here...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Rumor: Treo 800w on Sprint in February

A Palm Community Help Forum member claiming to be an employee of Sprint has posted that the Treo 800w will be coming to Sprint in late February 2008 to replace the Treo 700wx.

Rumors of a Treo 800w, a new Treo running the Windows Mobile operating system, have been circulating on the Internet for months now with little bits of information popping up every few months.

Are these rumors of the Treo 800w real? I'll leave that for you to decide.

Related Articles

Rumor: Treo 800w Reference Image...
Rumor: Treo 800w Coming to Verizon...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Push To Talk Comes to the AT&T Treo 680

Earlier today Palm and AT&T Wireless released the Treo 680 Update 2.11 for AT&T and Cingular branded smartphones.

According to the Palm website, the update includes the following features:

  • Push to Talk
  • Microsoft Direct Push Technology for instant email, calendaring updates
  • IM application for access to AIM, Windows Live Messenger, and Yahoo!
  • TeleNav GPS service
  • Power saving enhancements
  • Support for Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) cards
  • Enhanced ringtone support: MP3, AAC, AAC+, MIDI, WAV, and AMR
  • Cingular graphics will be updated with the AT&T graphics
  • Update roll ups: Camera update, Daylight Savings Time update, and Update 1.09
This update is intended for AT&T or Cingular branded Treo 680 smartphones only. Mac OS X and Vista customers will need a blank SD card with which to perform the update with. BlackBerry Connect customers are being told to not upgrade at this time as this update is not compatible with that software. Lastly, customers who update will be eligible for a free copy of Astraware Sudoku.

Download the AT&T Treo 680 Update 2.11...

[Thanks to my anonymous tipster for sending this in.]

Astraware Casino Review

Astraware’s latest game, Casino, brings all the fun an excitement of a trip to the casino without the risk of losing your shirt.

Last week saw the release of yet another high-quality game for the Palm OS and Windows Mobile platforms: Astraware Casino. Astraware Casio is a collection of eight popular casino games: Texas Hold ‘Em Limit Poker, Baccarat, Video Poker, Craps, Video Keno, Slots, Roulette, and Blackjack.

I enjoy playing card games in a casual setting when friends stop by to visit, but I’ve never been one to spend much time at the casino. After downloading and installing the demo, I was happy to learn that Astraware Casino is geared for the casual gamer. When you start the game, you are given $1,200 ($1,000 in your wallet, $200 in the bank) and all the games start off in “Tourist” mode. This mode is intended for the casual casino game player and there are limits on the minimum and maximum bets. For example, the Blackjack table has a minimum bet of $1 and a maximum bet limit of $250. In the third gaming level, “Regular”, the table limits are changed with the minimum bet set to $100 and the maximum bet set to $5,000. New modes of play are unlocked based on how frequently you play and win at the games in the Astraware Casino.

Playing Astraware Casino is a breeze. As with other recent games from Astraware (Solitaire and Boardgames) you move around the game board with the 5-way navigator, or if you prefer, the stylus. The first time to select to play a game that you have not previously played, the game’s rules are displayed in a How to Play window. The directions are well written and easy to understand. You can always view the game directions by tapping the Menu button and selecting Instructions from the menu. (I am still having trouble with the Craps game. I may have to get my book of Hoyle games out and read up on game play strategies.) Moving between the different games and the bank is easily done. Just select Bank or Choose Game from the menu and you will be back to the high stakes action in no time. Adding to the fun are unlockable souvenirs that you win while playing the game. So far my favorite souvenir is the Hawaiian Shirt, with the Ace of Spades a close second.

Astraware Casino is available for both Palm OS handhelds and Treo smartphones, and Treo smartphones running Windows Mobile 5 and 6. This includes the newest Palm smartphones, the Treo 500v (Europe) and the Centro (United States). I tested the game on the Palm TX, Treo 650, and 700p and the game experience was good. Astraware has made a time limited trial available for download. That is a great way to try the game out before you buy and the make sure your hardware is supported. Astraware Casino for Palm OS and Windows Mobile is available now from the Astraware online store and sells for $19.95.

Regardless of weather you are a casual card player or an adrenaline junkie who likes to live life on the edge, with Astraware Casino loaded on your Palm you will be able to take a little piece of the Las Vegas thrill with you wherever you go.

For more information or to download the demo, visit the Astraware website.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Will New Palm Directors Take Bigger Roles




CNNMoney.com has an article posted today which provides, in my opinion, a sobering and accurate picture of the situation that Palm finds itself in.

"NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Palm Inc.'s (PALM) warning that a key new product will miss out on the holiday shopping season illustrates the string of bungles that has weighed on the smartphone maker.

The problems call into question Chief Executive Ed Colligan's ability to effectively manage the company. It also brings up the possibility that the incoming directors from Elevation Partners - Jon Rubinstein, Fred Anderson and Roger McNamee - may take a bigger role in day-to-day operations than previously thought.

"I would not be surprised if they were to assume a more active role in the company's management," said Lawrence Harris, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. "I would have to think they are concerned at this point."

Under Colligan's watch, which began in February 2005, Palm has suffered from several certification delays and an especially embarrassing product misfire in the Foleo. The problems underscore Palm's tenuous position in the smartphone market as it gets overrun by larger, more dynamic rivals, such as the iPhone.

As a result, the Sunnyvale, Calif., maker of smartphones and PDAs has lost more than three-quarters of its market value over the past 20 months. The stock hit a bottom of $5.33 Friday, its lowest point in nearly four years, and recently traded at $5.63, down 14.6%. Its market cap is now about $600 million."

Keep reading...

[Thanks to the anonymous tipster who sent this in.]

Astraware Casino Released

Earlier this week, UK-based Astraware released their latest game, Casino.

Astraware Casino features 8 of the most popular games found in casinos around the world including Texas Hold 'Em Limit Poker, Roulette, Slots, and Blackjack. You'll also get $1000 in your virtual wallet so you can start playing right away.

"Our casino has all the fun games and attraction, but unlike a real casino, the odds are with the player, so your chances of winning - and winning big - are that much better," said Howard Tomlinson, CEO of Astraware. " Take you pick from a choice of games, try your luck on the slots, use your skill at blackjack, keep your cool and make your bluff in poker, there's something for all players!"

Astraware Casino is available for Palm OS(R) 5 devices with hi-res screens, and Windows Mobile(R) devices running 2003, 2003SE, 5 & 6 and with square, QVGA, and VGA portrait and landscape screens. The game is priced $19.95.

Download the free trial now...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Windows Mobile 6 Treo 750 Now Available in the US

Earlier today Palm issued two press releases indicating that US customers can now use Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6 Professional operating system on their smartphones. This will be welcomed news for AT&T customers who have been waiting a long time (but not as long as Treo 700p customers) for their operating system upgrades.

Windows Mobile 6.0 Professional for AT&T Wireless Customers

The first press release was to announce that the Treo 750 Updater 2.25 for AT&T customers. This update brings Windows Mobile 6.0 Professional to AT&T and Cingular branded Treo 750 smartphones.

There are a number of enhancements in this upgrade, including:

  • HSDPA support for faster data network connections
  • Improved support for the Calendar application
  • Enhanced support for HTML based email messages
  • Microsoft Windows Vista compatibility
  • Internet connection sharing
  • Better security and IT policies support
  • USB cable charging

It is important that you read and understand the upgrade directions before attempting this upgrade. The one download limit is also being enforced (you will need your Treo 750's serial number handy) with the US version of the upgrade as has been the case with previously released international releases. It is a good idea to backup your Windows Mobile 6 upgrade installer before attempting the upgrade.

The complete features list, upgrade documentation, and downloads can be found on the Palm website.

Download the Treo 750 Updater 2.25...


Unlocked Treo 750 Now Available in the US

The second press release from Palm was to announce that an unlocked Treo 750 is now available for purchase from directly from the Palm website or retail locations.

Today's press release reads, in part:
"The Treo 750 offers the hallmark Palm experience in a multifunction phone with access to email, Palm's exclusive threaded text messaging, web browsing and organization software all in a compact design. Added features such as Windows Live increases communication capabilities by letting users send voice recordings via Live Messenger and integrating Outlook and Live Contacts to show who is online directly from the Contacts screen. The device is compatible with HSDPA, allowing faster data-download speeds on 3G/UMTS/HSDPA networks."

The unlocked Treo 750 retails for $549USD.

Read the complete press release...

For more details about the new unlocked Palm Treo 750, visit the Palm website.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Alex Pruss Freeware Software Archive

When the "new" PocketGear.com went online recently, I discovered that I was unable to find NVBackup in the catalog of software. I figured that I was doing something wrong and started poking around the PocketGear site thinking that I was looking in the wrong place.

The PocketGear.com Developer Guide shed some light as to what was going on. The following are excerpts from that document.

"Affiliate relationships associated with PalmGear, however, have ended with the exception of the existing Palm.com partnership. Motricity will cease support for the existing PalmGear platform and infrastructure. As a result, the classic PalmGear site will redirect in the near future to the unified new PocketGear. This move to the new platform and site will limit our ability to support existing affiliate locations. We are preparing to launch a new affiliate program in the near future, and look forward to presenting our partners with new opportunities for distribution and sales."

This includes the software store that was being hosted for ACCESS, formerly known as PalmSource. Jim Della, ACCESS Software Store Manager, writes on the ACCESS website:

"The ACCESS Software Store will officially close on November 27th. We thank you for your patronage.

You will still be able to review and purchase Garnet OS (formerly Palm OS) applications at www.pocketgear.com, an exciting new online store launched by Motricity, the ACCESS partner formerly hosting the ACCESS Software Store."
The Palm online software store is still very much running and open for business.

My problem is with the following passage from the PocketGear Developer Guide:

"We have taken careful steps to ensure that the new PocketGear is populated to the fullest extent and reflective of our prior catalogs at the 'legacy' sites. While we have eliminated much of the outdated and freeware listings, actively selling current titles have been migrated to the new PocketGear. Please note that listings at the new PocketGear have been assigned new product ID's as well as new urls."

Way back when I first got started in the Palm user community, great sites like PalmGear helped me learn about my new Palm IIIx, but introduced me to a world of great commercial, shareware, and freeware applications for my device.

The elimination of freeware from the new PocketGear and the shuttering of PalmGear is clearly a business decision that Motricity is free to make, but I don't have to like it.

That said, I have decided to do something about this situation. I have obtained permission from Alexander Pruss, who is a well known and respected Palm OS application developer, to host his freeware applications here on FoleoFanatics. Over the coming weeks I will grow the catalog of software that is available for download.

It is this spirit of community that really is one of the best rewards of being a member of the Palm user community.

Enjoy!

Alan Grassia
Editor, FoleoFanatics

Visit the Software by Alex Pruss archive...

Friday, November 30, 2007

Rumor: Pink Centro Coming in January

An anonymous reader has posted here on Foleo Fanatics that the pink Centro will be coming to Sprint on January 13, 2008. The anonymous poster writes:

"I work for Sprint and I have the exact date!!
Its coming out!!

1/13/2008!!

Thanks!!"

Now with all rumors, you need to take them with a grain of salt. It is possible that this rumor may not be true. However a Pink Centro leading up to Valentine's Day is just the sort gimmick that gets people to buy phones. I also expect Sprint's exclusive on the Centro to end around that date. As I have said on my 1SRC.com podcast, I believe that there needs to be a pink smartphone from Palm. So is this true? I guess we won't know until the month before Valentine's Day.

Related Articles:

Rumor: Pink Centro Coming to Sprint...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Verizon Treo 755p "Coming Soon"

It looks like the Palm Treo 755p is coming to Verizon and will be green, as previously rumored here on FoleoFanatics.

Verizon has posted a "Coming Soon" label for the Treo 755p on their business-to-business PDA smartphone page. Customers who wish to be notified when the Treo 755p has become available can visit the Treo 755p details page and sign up to be notified via email.

There is no word on when this device will begin shipping to business customers or when it will be generally available to non-corporate customers.


Related Posts:
Rumor: Will the Verizon Treo 755p be Green?

Foleo Rants

Listeners of my weekly 1SRC.com podcast know that I prefer to take a measured approach to covering what's going on in the Palm community. However in the last few weeks there have been reports of Palm's Foleo being used. Allow me to recap for you.

Back in New York at the DigitalLife conference where Palm announced the new Centro consumer-oriented smartphone, Palm CEO Ed Colligan was asked a question about what was happening with the Foleo after it was disclosed that it was going to be canceled in an on camera interview. Mr. Colligan said that the company could possibly release a Foleo-like device in the future and that he still uses his all the time.

Similarly at the JP Morgan Small/Mid Cap conference that was held in Boston, Massachusetts, Palm CFO Andy Brown indicated that he has been using the new Palm Centro for the last two months and that it works great with his Foleo.

Last week blog GearDiary.com published photos of the Foleo in action, including photos of the configuration page, file manager, and the Opera web browser. In one of the web browser photos it is clearly visible that the date on the article was November 14, 2007.

Three separate instances of the Foleo in action after it was canceled. Foleo Fanatics can get their rant on with the following two segments from 1SRC.com podcasts 154 and 156.

Just for the record, I do agree with all the business reasons that Palm sited for not doing the Foleo right now. The decision to focus on Palm OS II and then later using the new Linux-based operating system in both the Treo smartphone and any future Foleo or Foleo-like device has some really appealing synergies that I'm interested in seeing in action; such as portable applications (between Treo and Foleo devices), file browsing across devices, and the ability for the Foleo to operate as an independent low-cost (read: sub-$400) computing platform for mobile business professionals, educators and students, and busy individuals.

For more news, analysis, reviews, and commentary on the Palm community, check out my weekly 1SRC.com Palm Powered podcast. You can subscribe to the show with your podcast catcher of choice with the 1SRC.com Podcast RSS feed.

Foleo Rant 1 from 1SRC.com Podcast 154 (11/9/07)...
Foleo Rant 2 from 1SRC.com Podcast 156 (11/21/07)...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Editorial: Sideling for Success

I have posted this week's 1SRC editoral, Sidelining for Success.

In an editorial last week Brighthand Editor-in-Chief Ed Hardy wrote that Palm will not be releasing a Palm TX2 handheld, or any other PDAs, anytime soon. I know that customers who prefer having a stand alone device won’t be happy about this news. Taking a longer view of what this development means, I feel, gives you a better idea of what is going on at Palm and why there won’t be a TX2 coming in 2008.

The Palm TX2 isn’t the first device that we have learned won’t be shipping. Earlier this year, the Palm Foleo was announced (May, 2007) and then later canceled (September, 2007). The rumored Treo 770, which included a leaked, marked up user guide, also never materialized this year. If here is demand for these devices, and I really do believe that the Foleo answers a need for mobile professionals, why aren’t they making it to market?

There are two reasons why I believe that these devices are being taken off the drawing board and being put on the shelf. The first is that Palm’s management team has had a dickens of a time executing on their long-term goals to deliver products. Palm executives have already admitted that the company has had trouble with execution. The second is that there are some new corporate owners in town and they are reprioritizing Palm’s internal product roadmap.

I was listening to the Business Week Cover Stories podcast, specifically a show called “Perform or Perish” with John Byrne and Emily Thornton. The two talked about an article that appeared in a late October print issue of Business Week in which the magazine took a look at what happens to companies when they are taken over by private equity firms. The Business Week podcast caught my interest because Palm recently agreed to give up a 25% stake in the company to private equity firm Elevation Partners. The article focuses on the intense pressure put on the CEO and management team to drive down operating costs and increase profitability. It is a high stress environment for sure; however, the rewards can be equally great.

“So how does this all fit in with Palm?” you might be asking yourself. Palm’s greatest asset is their ability to differentiate their products from all of the other devices on the market with their software. The problem is that on the Palm OS side it is becoming increasingly more difficult to differentiate due to the age of the underlying foundation of the operating system. How can they leverage their software, drive down costs, and increase profitability? I think we already have the answers.

I suspect that the new management team at Palm has re-evaluated the internal product roadmap. Palm CEO Ed Colligan has stated that he had been working with Jon Rubinsein on a consulting basis prior to his joining Palm as the Executive Chairman of the Board at the close of the Palm/Elevation transaction. With the number of products that haven’t been released this year, three by my count, I suspect that any project that does not directly relate to the development of Palm OS II or the next generation Treo are being set aside for the time being. Make no mistake; Palm OS II is a high priority project for Palm and they need to deliver the new Linux OS on a redesigned Treo within the next year. Palm is looking to reduce costs by using a common hardware architecture that is expected to provide the company with the ability to leverage a lower bill or materials costs and accelerate the product delivery cycle. If Palm is able to execute on their plans to develop a new Palm OS, a redesigned Treo, and lower costs, the company can achieve the increased profitability I talked about earlier. With the distractions of non-essential products out of the way, Palm will be able to better focus on the items that are important to the company long term. And sometimes this means that products need to be canceled or postponed as was likely the case with the Foleo.

In Conclusion

Palm will have its work cut out for the 2008 calendar year. Investors, analysts, and customers will be watching the company to see if the new management team will be able to execute to drive to product delivery for early 2009. Palm isn’t a company without ideas; it is just one that needs help getting those ideas from the drawing board and into people’s hands. Palm has a long history in the mobile computing space and with the right resources in place; they can design easy to use products that help customers meet the needs of their personal and professional lives.

[Via 1SRC.com...]

Monday, November 19, 2007

Windows Mobile 6 Treo 750 Coming Soon

Palm has posted a new article on their company blog called "In the Queue - Windows Mobile 6 for AT&T Treo 750 Smartphones".

In the blog post, Palm indicated that the inside sales team has started taking orders from corporate customers who want the 750 running Windows Mobile 6 Professional and that an update for current AT&T/Cingular Treo 750 customers "is just around the corner."

Read the full article...

More Foleo Photos from GearDiary

The folks at GearDiary.com continue to remind us of the canceled Palm Foleo by posting more screen shots of the Foleo's applications and operating system.















I know that many of the readers of this site are true Foleo Fanatics and that seems to also be true of the folks over at Gear Diary. Looking at the photos, specifically the first screen shot of the web browser showing the Gear Diary website, you will see the article titled "Do You Tweet?". I wanted to know how old this photo was, so I searched the site for the article, and I was surprised to see that the article "Do You Tweet?" was posted just a few days ago on November 14, 2007. Either these guys are really good at predicting the future or they have access to pre-production Foleo.

And that leave me wondering, just where are they getting their fantastic toys?

The Palm Foleo Interface via GearDiary.com...

[Thanks to my anonymous tipster who sent this in...]

Full Office 2007 Support Comes to Documents To Go

Earlier today DataViz, the leading provider of mobile Office compatibility solutions, announced the availability of Documents To Go Premium Edition version 10.002 for Palm OS. The latest version of Documents To Go is the first and only Palm OS office suite to provide complete support for the new Microsoft Office 2007 file formats.

Palm OS users will now be able to create and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 files directly on their smartphones and handheld devices. Customers who purchased Documents To Go 10.001 which added support to view Word and Excel 2007 files will be able to upgrade to version 10.002 at no additional cost. Customers who are using pervious versions of Documents To Go can upgrade to the latest version for $29.99.

“For active smartphone and handheld users, there is nothing more frustrating than receiving a file, such as an Office 2007 document, they can’t open,” said Danny Tu product manager, DataViz, Inc. “The latest Documents To Go release enables our customers to effortlessly work with their important Word, Excel and PowerPoint Office 2007 files such as sales forecasts, business contracts and more without the worry of having an incompatible solution.”

I have been a long time user of Documents To Go for Palm OS and I use it daily on my Treo 700p smartphone for both business and personal tasks. It is my professional opinion that anyone who needs to work with Microsoft Office documents on the go needs to have this software. Documents To Go has become an invaluable tool in my computer consulting business.

For more information about Documents To Go 10, visit the DataViz website.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Palm and Handhelds: The Writing Is on the Wall

Brighthand Editor-in-Chief, Ed Hardy, has posted an very interesting article called "Palm and Handhelds: The Writing Is on the Wall." Mr. Hardy writes:
"A few months ago, I wrote an editorial asking for peoples' thoughts on what the next traditional handheld from Palm, Inc. ought to look like.

At that time, I promised to write a followup editorial compiling everyone's suggestions. I never did this, and I want to explain why: I am now convinced that Palm will never release another traditional handheld. Ever."
Keep reading...

While I have been a user and supporter of Palm's handhelds for many years, I do agree with Mr. Hardy's assessment. Palm has been very careful to communicate to their customer base that handhelds were becoming less and less of their business based on sales figures.

4-Day Sale Palm Treo 680 Unlocked GSM


Palm is running a 4-day sale on the unlocked GSM Treo 680 from now until Sunday, November 25, 2007. The graphite Treo 680 can be purchased directly from the Palm online webstore for $379. (The Treo 680 without a service plan is typically $449.)

The unlocked Treo 680 can operate on any GSM wireless carrier that offers voice and or data services. (You will need an existing SIM card or obtain one when you sign up for service.)

For more information, including the technical specifications for the Treo 680, please visit the Palm website.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Plantastic and Classic Collection Now Available

Earlier today, Astraware, in partnership with PalmStorm, released Plantastic for Palm OS and Windows Mobile handhelds and smartphones. Astraware has also bundled three of their most popular games, Suduko, Boardgames, and Solitaire, into a family friendly game collection called Astraware Classic Collection.

Astraware writes:
Plantastic! is a fun combination of puzzle and strategy game where you create bouquets from groups of brightly coloured flowers to clear them fromthe play board and reach each level's bloom target! Each game mode has a different planting pattern and blooms can only be placed near the player's last bloom within the pattern shown. Blooms drop into the queue and you must plant them in the garden before the queue fills up.

Plantastic! begins as a simple fun game, but add the challenge of more complex flower arrangements, and a range of different bloom colours as you progress, and the challenge increases. Avoid the mushrooms that block your path, and stop Mr Mole from stealing your blooms by tapping him on the head, but make sure you don't run out of time or flowers! Flower powerups like the super trowel and joker flowers will offer assistance to boost your points total.
And continues with Classic Collection by writing:
Following many customer requests, the Astraware Classic Collection brings together 3 family-friendly favorites featuring an award-winning Sudoku game, 8 classic boardgames, and 12 of the best-known card games, all in one super value pack for a very special price.

The Astraware Classic Collection includes Astraware Sudoku, Astraware Boardgames, and Astraware Solitaire and is available for Palm OS(R), and Windows Mobile(R) smartphones and PDAs. The collection is priced $39.95 - a saving of one third off the price of all 3 games bought separately and special pricing is also available to customers who already own one of the games.
Download Astraware Plantastic...
Download Astraware Classic Collection...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mac OS X 10.5 & Palm Desktop 4.2.1 UPDATED

Mark/Space has posted a new beta of The Missing Sync for Palm OS. Chief among the updates in the beta release is full compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

The Missing Sync for Palm OS 6.0.2 b4 is available as a free download from the Mark/Space website. Since this is a pre-release build of the Missing Sync, you should take the time to back up your personal data before installing the latest update. Feedback should be left in the Mark/Space forums as there is no other support options for the beta software.

I'm glad to see the new beta of The Missing Sync out so soon. Mark/Space is expecting to have a final release of The Missing Sync out 90-days after the October 26 release of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

Download the beta release...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Rumor: Pink Centro Coming to Sprint

A TreoCentral forum member, "ashblades," is claiming to be a Sprint employee and states that Palm and Sprint will be launching a pink Centro on February 8 just in time for Valentines Day. You can read the entire TreoCentral thread here.

I've been wondering aloud with some of the other 1SRC'ers about why Palm isn't offering their smartphones in more rainbow flavors. With Palm's new found emphasis on the consumer market using the Centro as the vehicle to reach more feature phone users, it would seem that more color choices is a logical thing to offer.

Palm has offered the Treo 680 in several colors prior to the Cingular acquisition by AT&T. The copper Treo seemed to be the first color to sell out with customers clamoring to snatch up second-hand units on eBay once the primary channel dried up. Palm has seemed to have an on again-off again attitude toward colored devices. In the mid-90's Palm released a teal colored Palm Vx and a clear cased Palm IIIxe. Handspring's (now a part of Palm) Visor Deluxe line also came in a rainbow assortment of colors. (I did get an orange Visor). And there have been a few other limited and special edition Palm or Handspring devices since then.

While it is impossible to know if the poster at TreoCentral is credible at this time there is a prescient for a pink Centro late this coming winter.

Mac OS X 10.5 & Palm Desktop 4.2.1

It has been a little over two weeks since Apple released Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, the latest major release to the Unix-based Macintosh operating system. In that time I have been able to do some testing of Leopard with my Palm TX handheld.

Getting Started

Prior to upgrading to Mac OS X 10.5 I was running Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger (v. 10.4.10) and Palm Desktop 4.2.1 Rev D. My Mac OS X user account is also an administrator level account. The Leopard upgrade installer ran smoothly and I was done upgrading my Intel MacBook in about 45 minutes.

Running Palm Desktop Post Upgrade

My day-to-day PIM is Palm Desktop because I use Mac OS X and Windows XP daily. After upgrading to Leopard I was able to launch and use Palm Desktop 4.2.1 without any trouble. When I attempted my first HotSync however, I was greeted by the all too familiar Conduit Manager error, “Volume is locked.” To get past this error, I used Apple’s Disk Utility, which can be found in the Utilities folder in any Mac OS X installation. Using Disk Utilities Repair Disk Permissions command will reset the file and folder permissions on the conduits and unlock the files. While not required, I always like to reboot the Mac after running the permission repair. Once that task was finished, I was able to HotSync my Palm TX to my MacBook using the provided Palm HotSync cable.

Using Apple iCal and Address Book

Apple provides the iSync conduit for transferring your data between the Mac’s iCal and Address Book applications to your PDA handhelds and Treo smartphones. In previous versions of iSync, Palm has built in a connector for Palm’s HotSync Manager allowing you to share data between Apple’s applications and your Palm OS device. According to the latest information from Apple, the iSync application that comes bundled with Leopard is still compatible with the older Palm Tungsten and Zire handhelds. Owners of newer devices, like the Treo 680, will need to use Mark/Space The Missing Sync for Palm OS rather than iSync.

I know that Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and earlier iSync customers aren’t going to be too excited about having to purchase another software package when they upgrade. It is just one more hidden cost that needs to be paid when upgrading computer operating systems. (Microsoft Windows customers have this problem also.) I have used The Missing Sync for Palm OS and can tell you that I think it is a good application and it is worth the money. (You can also use The Missing Sync to completely replace the Palm Desktop application if you really don’t like it.) Customers who use Microsoft Office: Mac Edition will also be able to use The Missing Sync to exchange PIM information with Entourage v.X and 2004.

While we are talking about The Missing Sync for Palm OS, I should note that Mark/Space has posted a notice on their website that the current version of the software, version 6.0.1, does have some compatibility issues with Mac OS X Leopard. Mark/Space expects to have an update in place to add Leopard support with-in 90 days of the October 26 launch by Apple. Mark/Space has already begun working on the updates according to their website. Mark/Space is also planning on making the update free to customers running the current version of The Missing Sync. (Customers still running older versions will need to purchase an upgrade.)

In Conclusion

Palm Desktop and the HotSync Manger for Mac OS X has always been a love/hate relationship with Mac owners. The software has been required to work with their Palm OS devices, yet the actual desktop application is in need of a complete rewrite. Further complicating the matter is that Palm is completely tied up with rewiring the next version of Palm OS to effectively deal with a desktop application rewrite. Apple appears to be content with focusing iSync on moving data between the Mac and their iPhone and iPod entertainment devices. It looks like Mark/Space is going to swooping in with The Missing Sync to provide the middleware to keep all of our devices and data in sync.

Palm Desktop 4.2.1 Rev D page
Apple iSync site
Mark/Space Leopard FAQ

Treo 500v First Thoughts Review


My fellow Brighthand moderator, Holvoetn, has received a Treo 500v review unit and has written up his first impressions of the latest Treo smartphone.

"Palm's latest device is the Treo 500v, a Windows Mobile smartphone that is being launched on the Vodafone network all over Europe and some other places in the world, too.

After a small logistical hiccup that lasted 4 weeks, this device arrived in my hands a couple days ago. I received the white version (the 500v also comes in black).

A New OS

As a die-hard Palm OS ├╝bergeek, I was very interested to see how I would handle a Windows Mobile 6 Standard device. Let me tell you I am very pleased, even impressed.

For the very first time I was able to experience 100% keyboard and/or 5-way nav navigation. Sure enough, some settings are not in the places I expect them to be, but that's because I haven't played around enough yet."

Keep reading...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Rumor: Will the Verizon Treo 755p be Green?

Rumor Mill Edition

I was just looking at the Seidio online store and noticed that green was an option for the back plate cover for their 3200mAh battery. Could this mean that the Verizon branded Treo 755p will be green? Sprint has burgundy and blue. Altel has black. Since the the Treo 755p is a CDMA only device the only other major CDMA carriers in North America are Verizon and Telus Mobility (Canada).

It is just something to think about. There has been no official word as to when the Treo 755p will make an appearance on the Verizon network, though many believe it will be sometime this month to help drive holiday sales.

Ruby Centro Goes on Sale

The ruby red Centro, Palm's consumer oriented smartphone, goes on sale starting this Sunday. Until now, it was only available in black.

Preliminary reports posted to the Internet suggest that the Centro has been selling well in the few weeks it has been available. We won't have official Centro sales numbers for a while yet. The ruby Centro will sell for the same price as the black one; $99.99 with a new 2-year service agreement and a $100 mail in rebate. You can purchase a Centro at Sprint and Palm retail stores or on the web from Palm's online store.

Read more at Brighthand...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Unlocked Treo 750 English Update Available

Palm has released a generic English update for unlocked Treo 750 smartphones. Owners of unlocked English Treo 750s will be able to upgrade the pre-installed version of Windows Mobile from version 5 to version 6. This upgrade can not be undone, nor should it be applied on AT&T/Cingular branded Treo 750 devices.

For more information about the Windows Mobile 6 Professional upgrade for the Treo 750, see our August 30th article.

Treo 750 owners can download their updates directly from the Palm website. Please note that this update can only be downloaded once. Please be sure that you are downloading the correct version for your phone. Once the updater has been downloaded, I strongly encourage you to burn a copy of the installer to CD or otherwise it up.

More information...

Moving Forward: From Here to Palm OS II

Palm’s new executive chairman Jon Rubinstein, during his interview with Dow Jones Newswires last week, indicated that Palm OS II won’t appear on devices from the company until 2009. Here are some ideas of what Palm can be doing between now and then.

2007 – The Year That Wasn’t

2007 is turning out to be a disastrous year for fans of Palm and their products. The long awaited Treo 700p maintenance release (MR) didn’t go far enough to address performance and stability issues with the device in the eyes of customers. The Palm community was shocked when they learned that the next big thing from company founder Jeff Hawkins was not the media enabled handheld that was expected but rather the Foleo Mobile Companion. Largely panned by customers and the media, Palm shamefully cancelled the product just weeks before it was to go on sale. Most recently Palm enthusiast’s were let down yet again when they learned that devices running Palm’s next operating system, dubbed Palm OS II, would not appear until the first half of 2009 according to executive chairman and head of product development Jon Rubenstein. Just last month, Palm CEO Ed Colligan had stated that such devices would appear at the end of 2008.

I have received a number of emails, private messages, and have read posts here on 1SRC sent to me from the Palm community members suggesting that I write an open letter criticizing the management of Palm for what we, their customers, perceive as mistakes and calling the company out of touch with their customer’s requests for new devices and features. At this point, I’m sure that Palm is well aware of what is going on both inside the company and in the community. Since I am more of a “glass-half-full” kind of guy I don’t think pointing out the obvious does a whole heck of a lot of good. Yes we all know Palm needs to get Palm OS II completed and out the door. The management of Palm knows it. We know it. It’s time to move on. The following are some suggestions that I hope Palm takes to heart as they try to complete Palm OS II.


The Road to Palm OS II

Despite what happened in the past, at the end of the day, Palm needs to deliver a Linux-based operating system that will serve as the operating system that will replace Palm OS 5.4. In the absence of an official product name, I have begun calling the project to bring Palm OS to a Linux kernel Palm OS II. I believe that Palm sees this project as critical. However there have been several missteps in the execution to bring this new operating system to market.

The new operating system needs to be fast. I was impressed by how the Foleo handled application switching. The next version of Palm OS needs to have that same capability. Palm OS II also needs to have a slick looking interface. You can thank Apple for that requirement. Most importantly of all is that Palm continues to provide a great user experience on their devices. This means that the OS needs to be intuitive just like Palm OS 5.4; it needs to look good; and it needs to be stable. Palm should take this extra 18 months to deliver compelling software that differentiates them from the competition. Palm must leverage their top-tier developers such as Microsoft, DataViz, and NormSoft to ensure that applications are in place for business users and consumers when the new OS is ready. Lack of software will kill any platform.

Lastly, Palm needs to get more outsiders involved in the testing of Palm OS II. I know that management will bristle at the idea, however, I feel that it is necessary. Some of the problems with the Foleo were only discovered during the beta test that was held just weeks before the product was to ship leaving little or no time to take corrective action. Palm OS II absolutely needs to be stable, include a robust feature set, and be fully vetted by people from the community if it is going to be accepted. When Palm OS II is loaded into the next generation Palm OS Treo, handheld, or Foleo it is essential that the software is ready for a production rollout.


Work on the Hardware

In the time between now and when Palm OS II is officially released on devices, Palm needs to refine their hardware designs. The Centro is a good first step into making a truly consumer oriented device; yet there is still work to do. Like it or not, thin isn’t just for supermodels anymore. Palm needs to figure out how to make their smartphones thinner than the current crop of Treo smartphones. Palm also needs to look at new hardware designs. The discussion boards are full of requests for alternate form factors. I’m not sure the time is right to bring back the Tungsten T-series style slider, but people are asking for it. (HTC makes a few Windows Mobile devices that have slide out keyboards. I’m not sure how popular they are.)

I am a believer in the Foleo concept. During the next year Palm needs to refine the Foleo hardware so that when Palm OS II is completed the hardware will be ready for it. Foleo II should include a faster processor, more RAM, and tools for connecting to and interacting with another Palm OS II device. (Palm also needs more robust Foleo software, but that is an editorial for another time.)

Palm also needs to spend some time with their non-smartphone customers. It is time that Palm retire the Tungsten E2 and TX and replace both handhelds with a refreshed “TX|2”. If you look back at Palm’s quarterly earnings reports you will see that sales figures go up when a new handheld is released. If Palm has any plans for a TX|2 on the drawing board, it’s time to dust them off and move to refresh the TX.

A refreshed TX|2 will be received well even without Palm OS II. I would suggest the following changes and enhancements over the current model:
  • Increase the amount of memory; devote more space to the DBCache
  • Bring back the Drive Mode application
  • Include Bluetooth 1.2 support
  • Upgrade DataViz Documents To Go to version 10
  • Upgrade NormSoft Pocket Tunes to 4.0 Deluxe
  • Upgrade VersaMail to version 4.0
  • Include the daylight savings time patch, Wi-Fi Enterprise Security Update, and security patches
  • Include the Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) update from Palm OS Treo smartphones
All of those suggested updates can be done without spending a large amount of resources (people, time, and money) and can have a significant goodwill pay back to Palm from customers who don’t want a smartphone.

In Conclusion

Palm has their work cut out for them as 2007 comes to a close. Palm has lost their leadership role in the mobile computing market. If Palm wants to once again be an innovative company then they will need to execute their plans with determination and careful planning. Palm can’t afford to have another major product, like the Foleo, cancelled so far along in the development cycle. It won’t be easy. There will be a lot of over time hours that will be needed to make this work.

In 2008 I expect to see an emphasis put on Windows Mobile solutions. I offer up the marketing being put into Microsoft’s System Center Mobile Device Manager and the Office Communications Server 2007 Communicator Mobile client as evidence. For the remainder of 2007 and into 2008 I largely expect Palm to coast along on Palm OS 5.4. Maybe we will see another Centro-like device appear before Palm OS II is ready to take over for the aging operating system.

Palm should also listen to their customers and deliver the solutions that they are demanding: namely another handheld and full support for Windows Vista. As I stated earlier, the time is right for a refreshed Palm TX handheld. People will buy the TX|2 as I have outlined it above and it will generate revenue for Palm.

Palm also needs to get a working solution in place for Windows Vista. (Palm’s own Community Help Forums are loaded with posts from customers who are trying to synchronize their Palm OS devices with Windows Vista.) [Editor’s Note: Alan is an active Palm Community Help Forum moderator.] The holidays are right around the corner and there will be a lot of people this holiday season who will find new Vista computers and Cento smartphones under the tree. Without a working 32 and 64-bit Vista compatible version of Palm Desktop I am willing to predict that it will be the Centros and not the computers that will be returned come January. Palm, you need to put pressure on ACCESS to get this synchronization mess cleaned up. (As it turns out, the consumer version of Windows Vista will be one year old come January.)

For all of the negative press that Palm has been getting this year, they have some good products. 2008 will be critical for Palm as they complete the products that will appear in 2009. The Palm TX, Treo 755p, and Centro are examples of successful product launches. Palm needs more of these success stories during the coming year to restore customer confidence in the company.

If done right, I believe that Palm can turn things around and be the mobile computing leader that they once were.

[Originally posted by Alan G on 1SRC.com]

Was Palm Right After All?

Was Palm Right After All is a new editorial posted over on Brighthand. In the editorial, Mr. Wright, compares i-Mates new Ultimate smartphone companion to the now canceled Palm Foleo. The new products are similar in capabilities in that both would use the smartphone as the "computer" and extended that hardware platform by adding a larger keyboard and monitor.
"I just heard about a product that will connect to a smartphone and allow it to be used with a larger keyboard and screen. No, I am not speaking of the Palm Foleo, but of something a good bit more recent that is being developed by i-mate as a companion to its Ultimate series of devices.

Unlike the Foleo, the "shell" that i-mate is developing only contains a screen (1024 by 768 pixels), a long-life battery (80 hrs.) and a QWERTY keyboard. Everything else would be driven by the Ultimate series device that would be docked into it.

Like the Foleo, this i-mate shell is making the case that smartphones are all but ready to take over as full computing devices for some users. And it's in this methodology that I have to wonder if in all the blasting that Palm took for announcing (and later unannouncing) the Foleo, if they were actually right about not just smartphones, but the eventual direction of mobile computing."
I have to admit this does sound a lot like the Foleo. Despite all the bad press Palm received over Foleo, I still believe that it is the right thing to do as smartphones advance in capabilities and more cell phone users become smartphone users.

Read Was Palm Right After All...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Halloween Edition of Astraware Solitaire

Celebrate Halloween with a special spooky version of Astraware Solitaire!

KEELE, UK - October 25th, 2007 - Astraware invites you to celebrate Halloween with a special spooky version of Astraware Solitaire.

Astraware Solitaire - Halloween Edition includes all the features of the highly-acclaimed standard edition but with the addition of a brand new Halloween card back set and a more eerie default color scheme. Select your card back from a choice of werewolf, vampire, pumpkins, bats, mummy, witch, ghost, or spider!

Astraware Solitaire includes 12 of the most well-known and best-loved card games in one easy-to-use pack. Each game offers customizable gameplay so you can play to your favorite set of rules, along with easily changeable color themes, backgrounds, card backs and fronts. It's available for smartphones and PDAs running Palm OS(R) or Windows Mobile(R) and is compatible with a wide range of devices across both platforms.

The Halloween Edition of Astraware Solitaire will be available for a limited time only with a special $5 discount off the regular price. Registration codes for the standard version will work in the Halloween edition and vice versa, so owners of Astraware Solitaire can download this special version for FREE!

To download a trial or to buy, visit http://www.astraware.com/solitairehe.

Get a Free copy of Sudoku Deluxe

The Palm online store is running a special on Sudoku Deluxe on CD. Sudoku Deluxe normally sells for $19.99, however if you buy online now, you can use a mail in rebate for the purchase price.

Sudoku Deluxe works on many of Palm's Treo smartphones and handheld PDAs. The Centro and the Treo 755p aren't specifically listed, however, I would be very surprised if the software didn't run just fine on those newer devices.


System Requirements:
  • Palm® devices running PalmOS®' 3.5 or higher with 2MB of free program memory.
  • Windows Mobile Pocket PC 2000 or higher devices with 4MB of free program memory.
  • PC with CDROM drive running Windows 98 or higher.

Visit http://www.filaomobile.com/ for complete list of compatible devices.

This looks like it can be a great stocking stuffer for your favorite Palm owner on your holiday shopping list. This offer is good until November 15, 2007.




More details, and the rebate form, can be found on Palm's website...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rumor: Treo 800w Reference Image


The folks over at TreoCentral.com are running an story about a possible design image of the Treo 800w that was leaked on the Internet.

Since this is a still a rumor all the information needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Not much is known about the Treo 800w at this point. Some are claiming that there will be a new data port on the device that is different from the Athena Multiconnector currently being used on many of Palm's Treo and handheld PDA products. Some are saying that the new data port will be a mini-USB port. Others are talking built-in Wi-Fi. Of all the rumored specifications, we can probably safely bet on a 320x320 display and Windows Mobile 6 Professional. Anything beyond that is speculation.

Looks like Treo 800w Silly Season is in full swing.

Related articles
Rumor: Treo 800w Coming to Verizon...

Via TreoCentral.com...

Preliminary Reports, Centro Selling Well

Even though we are still months away from Palm's next quarterly earnings statement, early indicators are that sell through of Palm's latest Centro smartphone is good.

James Faucette, an analyst for Pacific Crest, recently wrote, “Our retail sell-through checks for the first weeks of availability indicate solid sell-through. We also believe that Centro cannibalization of the higher-ASP Treo is around 30%, versus our previous expectation of 50%.”

Unofficial reports are also coming in from conversations with retail sales associates from Sprint stores. To summarize one poster on the Yahoo! Finance discussion board Centro sell through is higher than expected and that Centro is popular with high school and college students.

Both of these reports bode well for Palm. I'll be looking forward to seeing official sell through numbers at the end of the current quarter.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

FileMaker Mobile Discontinued

I received an email from FileMaker, Inc today notifying me that FileMaker Mobile will be discontinued at the end of the 2007 calendar year. FileMaker has sited "technical innovations" of "Internet-enabled devices" such as the Apple iPhone that ship with sophisticated web browsers as being the main reason for Mobile being discontinued. The statement sent out by FileMaker, Inc reads:
"Why is FileMaker, Inc. discontinuing the sales and development of FileMaker Mobile 8?

Technological innovations and the availability of Internet-enabled devices are rapidly changing mobile computing. Apple has introduced the iPhone and FileMaker, Inc. has invested in several technologies to enable customers to publish live data to the Web, most recently PHP. For more information on FileMaker PHP technology, visit: http://www.filemaker.com/support/technologies/php.html

For offline use, a number of 3rd party solutions have emerged that help people move data back and forth between FileMaker Pro and mobile devices.

December 19, 2007 will be the last day to place an order for FileMaker Mobile 8."

FileMaker has been working hard to move their application platform to the web, and FileMaker Pro 9 and FileMaker Server 9 make putting FileMaker applications on the web even easier. So I'm not really surprised by this move. Further more, I've never been a big power user of FileMaker Mobile because I never really got the sense that FileMaker was really supporting the product from the beginning. For example, you couldn't store a FileMaker Mobile database on a SD card, and it wasn't until very late in the product cycle were you able to sync to a database that was being hosted on a FileMaker server.

FileMaker, Inc will stop selling FileMaker Mobile 8 at the close of business on December 19, 2007. Technical support for FileMaker Mobile 7 and 8 will continue on until June 18, 2008.

Additional information on alternative solutions and FileMaker Mobile can be found at: http://www.filemaker.com/support/fmm_eol.html

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Centro: For the Rest of Us



I have posted week's 1SRC editorial has been posted and talks about some of the advantages that the new Palm Centro has over Apple's much talked about iPhone.

"The Centro can’t stand up to the Apple iPhone. And it doesn’t have to.

Focus on the Differentiation

The iPhone and the Centro are both being marketed to people who use regular old cell phones. In the United States alone there are millions of people up for grabs. Centro is intended for people who wouldn’t otherwise consider purchasing a $500+ phone from Palm, Apple, or High Tech Computing (HTC).

The Centro offers a better user experience when trying to type out a text message or short email to your friends. There is also a large selection of software to choose from. (Apple is planning on releasing the tools to create native iPhone/iPod Touch applications early next year.) Regardless of what you want to do or what interests you, there is likely an application for you that will run on the Centro. When you compare the ease of use of the Centro to feature flip phones you see that it is possible to obtain a better mobile experience for a comparable price for all but the cheapest cell phones given away free with new service agreements.

You also can’t over look the ease of use of the Palm OS platform. Despite its age, Palm OS 5 is still a very capable operating system. At the heart of the Palm platform are the core 4 personal information management (PIM) applications: Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, and Memos. These applications are straightforward and easy to use. It is this ease of use and straight forward approach to PIM tools that has kept me coming back Palm every time I thing about upgrading my phone.

Messaging Matters

If you accept that the Centro is intended for 20 and 30-somethings, then you also must agree that it offers a better messaging experience over feature phones. Cento comes bundled with an IM, test messaging, and, email applications. Using Centro’s built-in keyboard improves up on the process of typing out messages to friends and coworkers.

The Centro is also cost competitive with the iPhone. After carrier discounts and mail in rebates the Centro can be purchased for the low price of $99. The Centro ends up being $300 less expensive than the iPhone and has almost all of the same features. Centro is also cheaper than the consumer oriented BlackBerry Pearl and the T-Mobile Sidekick. Furthermore, Sprint’s voice and data plans are slightly cheaper than AT&T’s. If you are on a budget, the Centro just makes sense.

In Conclusion

The new Palm Centro is an effort by Palm to reach out to customers who would otherwise not consider buying a smartphone. When talking about sales figures it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing sort of thing. There are more than enough cell phone users for both Apple and Palm to market to. In recent years Palm has lost their leadership position in the smartphone market. The Centro is a good start in working back to that coveted spot. If Palm is serious about getting back on top of the smartphone heap, than future phones will need to be more innovative, look good, work well, and have the marketing muscle behind it to really generate some buzz in the industry. If you are in the market for a new phone and want to have the empowering features of a smartphone without the bloated price tag, the Centro is the device for you."
Via 1SRC.com...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

ComputerWorld Reviews the Centro

ComputerWorld has published a review of Palm's new Centro smartphone.
"Go back five years when Palm handhelds ruled the mobile device market, before smart phones began their ascendancy. It's easy to imagine that Palm's new Centro -- the company's first smart phone not named Treo -- is the device Palm envisioned as the future of handhelds.

That's not damning by faint praise, either. Centro is far smaller than those old handhelds. For that matter, it's significantly sleeker than Palm's Treo, yet it provides most of the Treo's capabilities and, at $99 (with a two-year contract from Sprint plus rebates) is quite inexpensive."
Keep reading...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Palm Centro Goes On Sale Today













Palm's latest smartphone, the Centro, goes on sale starting today.

Centro is a new consumer oriented smartphone that packs all the power of Palm's Treo 755p smartphone in a smaller footprint. Centro runs the Palm OS (version 5.4.9), has 64MB of user storage space for applications and data, includes a 2.2" color touchscreen, and a microSD card slot supporting up to a 4GB expansion card. The Centro also features a 1150mAh replaceable lithium-ion battery.

Centro goes on sale for $99 when purchased with a new two-year service agreement and the $25 Sprint Power Vision pack and after a $50 mail in rebate. If you extend you existing service agreement with Sprint, you can take home the Centro for $199. Or you can buy the Centro without a service agreement or extending your contract for $399.

The Centro is a Sprint exclusive for the next 90-days. Once the Sprint exclusive is over expect the Centro to start appearing on other wireless carrier's networks.

The Palm Centro can be purchased at Sprint or Palm retail outlets or online at www.palm.com/store.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Astraware Boardgames Released



















Astraware has a new boardgames game back available. I know that my kids are going to love the fact that I'm going to be able to carry a copy of Tic Tac Toe with me when we are waiting at the doctor's office, the diner, or at a restaurant.

The best part about this, for a limited time, you can pick up Astraware Boardgames for $9.95.

Astraware Boardgames - 8 classic boardgames in one fun pack!

KEELE, UK - October 9th 2007 - Astraware(R) is excited to announce the release of Astraware Boardgames - a collection of 8 classic boardgames including Chess, Backgammon, Reversi and more!

Astraware Boardgames includes 8 games, each with user-customizable rules and a range of difficulty levels, but designed with casual players and non-experts in mind. If you're a new player or an old hand who enjoys a fun traditional board game, then Astraware Boardgames is just for you.

"We wanted to come up with a range of fun games that everyone knows, and everyone can enjoy playing," said Howard Tomlinson, Astraware's CEO. "I love being able to pick up any of the boardgames, know that I stand a chance of winning, and have fun playing. Sorry, Mr. Kasparov, Astraware Boardgames is for regular folks only!"

Astraware Boardgames offers 3 levels of gameplay that everyone can enjoy, even complete beginners, If you're new to board games, you can play a nice easy game to begin with and when you're winning those regularly, select a harder difficulty.

The game features plenty of options so that you can choose to play it your way - against the computer, or alongside other players, and with your choice of rules, so whether you like huffing in checkers, flying in nine men's morris, want more ladders or less snakes, Astraware Boardgames lets you play it your way!

The gameplay and graphics are designed to evoke the feel of classic board games, played on wooden boards, with traditional playing pieces and satisfying piece movement. Astraware Boardgames includes Chess, Backgammon, Ludo, Checkers, Reversi, Nine Men's Morris, Snakes and Ladders, and Tic Tac Toe.

Astraware Boardgames is packed with standard Astraware features, such as user profiles, appropriate sound effects throughout, and automatic saving when you exit or receive a phone call. Available now for PDAs and smartphones running Palm OS(R) 5.0 and Windows Mobile(R) 2003, 2003SE, 5.0 and 6.0, it includes support for all resolutions. The game offers a choice of control methods and is optimized for play with 5-way navigation across all devices, but also works perfectly with a stylus if you have one!

Astraware Boardgames is available now priced $19.95, but with an introductory discount for a limited time. To try or to buy, visit the Astraware website: http://www.astraware.com/boardgames.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Geardiary: Foleo Unboxing Photos

I'm not sure how they managed to do it, but the folks over at Geardiary got their hands on a pre-release Foleo and posted some unboxing photos.















Keep reading...

[Thanks to the tipster who sent this in.]

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Astraware announces their BIG Fall sale

For a limited time you can get 25% off on over 90 titles from Astraware for the Palm OS and Windows Mobile platforms. I've been playing games from Astraware for a long time and this is a perfect time to pick up some of their games like Bejeweled, My Little Tank, and Solitaire at a reduced price. Astraware's press release appears below.

KEELE, UK - October 3rd, 2007 - Astraware is pleased to announce The Astraware BIG Fall Sale which offers 25% off a huge selection of games on their website.

The Astraware BIG Fall Sale runs from 3rd - 18th October 2007 and offers a fantastic 25% discount off over 90 games and packs! Brain-teasing word games and puzzles, epic adventures, exciting action games, and compelling card games are all included, so there really is something for everyone.

As well as enjoying these special low prices, Club Astraware members can also earn points on any games they buy in the sale - 1 point for every cent they spend!

To take advantage of this massive offer visit the Astraware website at http://www.astraware.com.