TealPoint Removes TealOS, Suspends Sales

You may recall back in January, TealPoint software made some serious buzz for themselves by releasing a new skin/launcher for Palm OS 5 devices called “TealOS.” The point of TealOS was to mimic the look and feel of Palm’s webOS operating system.

Earlier today, Teal has suspended the sale of TealOS and removed the software download links from their website. Customers who had previoiusly purchased TealOS can continue to use the software, however, no new licenes will be sold.

Vistor’s Teal’s TealOS web page will see the message:

“IMPORTANT! – A Palm’s request, we have stopped selling TealOS on Monday March 30 at 5:00 PDT. Copies purchased prior to this, however, will continue to function.”

There was a ground swell of support for TealOS by fans of Palm OS 5. Being a long time support of Palm OS I can understand the enthusiasm behind such a product. However, Palm is literally fighting for it’s life and can’t afford to have their software so closely copied. There can also be some confusion about what TealOS is and customer’s not understanding that webOS and TealOS are not the same thing. At any rate, I hope that Palm’s request to Teal to suspend the sale and distribution of TealOS is an indicataor that the Palm Pre, powered by the new webOS is on the verge of being released.

If you completely missed TealOS, you can still read the documentation and view a YouTube video of TealOS in action on the TealPoint website.

Cisco: Global Growth for Mobile Data Consumption

Clemens Schuchert has an interesting article on this blog, PUGcast The Blog, about Cisco’s forecast for global growth in mobile broadband usage. Some of the predictions are very interesting, including the one that suggest that Europe will overtake the United States in data usage by 2013. Mr. Schuchert writes:

“The engineers from Cisco are doing a brilliant job in provision the infrastructure to today’s data consumption. Now, Cisco’s researcher come into play and predict a strong groth of mobile data usage, as we can see today with iPhones (iPhoneOS), gPhones (Android) and soon pPhones (webOS).

The iPhone is said to produce an equivalent data conspumption of 30 2G/3G handsets alltogether. A notebook produces even 15 times more than the iPhone.

They not only present nice graphics to illustrate their arguments, this also indicates pretty much what carriers should be aware of in the near future – until 2013.
According to Cisco, mobile data usage is roughly by 125 TB (TeraBytes) per month, said to be strongly increasing to 2000 TB (2 ExaBytes ) until 2013.

There are also demographoc factors, which have impact on data usage. Europe is identified as offering afforable data plans to sbscribers and this data usage is predicted to grow rapidly and stronger than Northern Amercian data consumption. The Asia Pacific region covering Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Honk Kong, Malaysia, etc. has the biggest consumption and in details it surely is Taiwan and Korea which are the key driver.”

Not surprising, some of the statistics that are cited in the report from Cisco include the continued growth of on demand mobile video driven by advances in wireless technologies. The report also sites that as much as 60% of global mobile data traffic will come from Western Europe and the APAC region. The sad truth is that many American’s don’t know how to use their smartphones and reading a book on how to use a phone is considered a waste of time.

You can read Mr. Schuchert’s full article, which includes a download link to Cisco’s whitepaper, on the PUGcast blog website.

[Via PUGcast The Blog…]

Astraware Games Promotion

Our friends at Handmark/Astraware dropped us a line to let us know that they are running a special on some of their popular games for mobile devices. You can snag yourself a copy of Astraware Sudoku, Casino, Boardgames, or Solitaire for $4.95 each!

“From now until midnight on 31st March 2009, our award-winning Astraware Sudoku, Astraware Casino, Astraware Boardgames and Astraware Solitaire are all available for the very special price of just $4.95 each! That’s a saving of $5 off the new regular price of $9.95.

To get these special prices, visit www.astraware.com, add the games to your cart and click buy – the discounts are already applied!

Whilst you’re in the mood for saving, our colleagues at Handmark are having a site-wide Buy One, Get One Free sale until 29th March. To take advantage, visit www.handmark.com, and use the discount code DEMAND.”

My kids and I love playing Astraware Boardgames on my iPod touch. I’ve played all of the games that are on sale right now and I really enjoy playing them while I’m on the go. For more details, check out the Astraware website.

Related Item: Astraware Casino Review

Astraware Sudoku for BlackBerry

Astraware, Handmark’s Game Studio, has released Astraware Sudoku for BlackBerry smartphones.

Recognised by many as the best mobile Sudoku game for a range of smartphones, Astraware Sudoku includes all the features avid Sudoku players want. The game includes the highly acclaimed OTA Puzzle of the Day that allows players to download a puzzle for each difficulty level from the Sudoku of the Day webserver each day and on completion submit their time to see how they compare to other players worldwide! The BlackBerry and Palm versions of Astraware Sudoku also enable players to download packs of puzzles at multiple difficulty levels as and when required, so players never need worry about running out of puzzles.

Astraware Sudoku includes a wide range of assistance including a Sudoku solver, manual and automatic pencilmarks, a smart hints system to give players helpful guidance without just showing the solution, and hold-and-highlight for locating particular numbers or groups. Players can use these features to learn how to play Sudoku, improve their game and progress to higher difficulty levels!

To coincide with this release, Astraware Sudoku for BlackBerry, Palm OS and Windows Mobile has been reduced to the new regular price of $9.95, but to celebrate the release players can grab a copy for just $4.95 for a limited time from Astraware.com and Handmark.com!

For more information, check out the Astraware website.

Palm Q3FY09 Wrap Up

Palm held their quarterly earns conference call last week and the revenue numbers didn’t look good. According to Palm, they won’t look good at the end of next quarter either. Eric Savitz over on Barron’s Tech Trader Daily blog as a nice summary. Mr. Savitz writes:

“For investors in Palm, the company is now in a sort of spring training period – what matters is getting ready for opening day. No one really cares if the Yankees have the best record in in the Grapefruit League; and likewise, the Street has decided to simply ignore the absolutely nightmarish numbers Palm posted for the February quarter. Palm has one more free pass ahead; May’s report will be even nastier still, and investor won’t care unless there is an acceleration in cash burn. Palm is a company that, by design, is going down in flames, with every hope of rising Phoenix-like from the ashes.”

I’ve loved using Palm’s products over the last 10 years so I’ve always been a glass half full kind of guy when it comes to Palm. Regardless of what happens, Palm is betting the farm that the Palm Pre smartphone and it’s new mobile operating system, webOS, are going to a hit. During the conference call, Palm’s executives continue to stick to their guns and are porting that the Pre will ship before the end of the first half of this year.

Back in January, many expected Pre to ship in February, and then again by March 15th. That hasn’t happened. I’m sure Palm and Sprint are both scambling to get this phone out the door. The challenge is that the phone and the software need to have a flawless execution once it gets into customer’s hands. During 1SRC Podcast 205, I talked about the Pre likely shipping in late May as did the Treo 700p and 755p smartphones did. However, Mr. Savitz summerizes the situation a little bit differently by writing:

“The Palm Pre is expected to ship before the end of June; some analysts think it happen before the end of the May quarter, but most figure it will be later than that.”

Let’s hope that Palm and Sprint have that flawless launch. There is a lot riding on Pre and webOS.

You can read the full Barron’s artilce on the Tech Trader Daily blog.

Math Flash Cards 2.0 for iPhone Released

One Moxie Ventures LLC announces the next release of Math Flash Cards, its successful educational title for iPhone and iPod touch devices. This new release adds useful features that enable parents and educators to tailor the math quizzes for their specific learner.

Math Flash Cards features:

  • Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division
  • Tracks time and results for every quiz
  • Two answer methods: multiple choice or keyboard input
  • Configurable combination of top and bottom card values allows comprehensive study or tune-up of problem areas
  • Learning mode re-queues missed cards and allow several chances
  • Easy-to-use format looks and works just like paper flash cards

Math Flash Cards is available today from the Apple App Store for only $1.99. Information on the application or the company can be found at www.onemoxie.com.

Apple Demos iPhone OS 3.0

At a special media event today, Apple took the wraps off of the next major release of iPhone OS 3.0 for iPhone and iPod touch.

When the production iPhone OS 3.0 release arrives later this summer, customers can expect some new, and often requested, features including:

  • Search your iPhone
  • Cut, copy, and paste
  • Send photos, contacts, audio files, and location via MMS
  • Read and compose email and text messages in landscape

All together, Apple is claiming that there will be 100 new features baked into iPhone OS 3.0. I should note that MMS will only be available on iPhone 3G devices. Sorry iPhone G1 owners. The arrival of copy, cut, and paste should soften the blow. I have long said that cut, copy, and paste is a required feature if Apple really wants to promote the iPhone as a business device. It should also make DataViz’s upcoming Documents To Go for iPhone OS much more useful.

If you are a paying iPhone OS developer (Standard Program $99, Enterprise Program $299), you can download the latest beta SDK today. If you are like me, and are amazed by what developers can do, we’ll have to wait until later this year when Apple releases the final version of the iPhone OS software.

In the mean time, you can check out a recording of today’s iPhone OS 3.0 media event as a QuickTime stream on the Apple website.

Tweaking TealOS for More Productivity

Fellow Palm community blogger Clemens Schuchert, over at PUGcast The Blog, has written another good article about tweaking TealPoint’s TealOS application launcher for Palm OS devices like the Treo 755p, Centro, and the recently retired Palm TX handheld.

Mr. Schuchert writes:

“Tealpoint’s Palm Pre immitation of webOS for the PalmOS platform, called “TealOS”, is a nice peace of software and once more a comittment of an long lasting software company to the Palm community. I am overwhelmed by Tealpoint’s update activity, releasing two to three updates per day.

As I have indicated last time, TealOS could be a security issue for those working with password databases and sensitive data in general. Coming back to their update policy, I found a nice workaround and new implementation within the latest updates on how to handle sensitive data.

Last week, I proposed to exclude security applications such as Secret, Splash ID, etc. from being displayed as cards in order to prevent misuse of sensitive data. But there is more you want to prevent from being captured as card and put on the desktop. Applications, such as Card Reader, Hotsync, file explorers, weather applications, settings, JVM, Kamera, SMS, Backup applications, tools and utilities are run once for a particular purpose and are not intended to be displayed as card on the desktop. Firstly, every card (screenshot) will take precious RAM and secondly the more cards one have the more it slows down the system.

Why not thinking the other way round?! Instead of excluding 30 applications, why not explicitly alowing just the few of applications to be placed as cards, which you really want to have on the desktop for fast access?”

Keep reading Tweak TealOS for More Productivity by Inverted Thinking

If you haven’t already done so, you should also read Mr. Schuchert’s article about TealOS security tweaks.

Palm Treo Pro Now Available on Sprint

Today the Palm Treo Pro went live, finally, on Sprint’s wireless network. Sprint customers join those of Alltel (EVDO) and AT&T (unlocked GSM) in all of the yummy Treo Pro goodness.

For those who don’t know, the Treo Pro is Palm’s latest Windows Mobile Professional 6.1 device. The Treo Pro for Sprint sports the latest software updates from Microsoft which includes Pocket Internet Explorer 6.1 . In addition to software updates, the Treo Pro also includes a 320×320 touch screen, a 2.0MP digital camera, Wi-Fi and GPS radios, voice dialing, a microSDHC card slot, and a microUSB data sync and charging port. For a complete listing of the Treo Pro’s specifications, visit the Palm website.

The Treo Pro can be orderd on the Sprint website for as little as $199.99 after a $250 instant rebate and a $100 mail-in rebate and a qualifying two-year service agreement. Customers who do not wish to extend their contact will need to pony up $549.99. The Palm Treo Pro will also be available at Sprint’s retail locations.

To purchase your Palm Treo Pro, visit the Sprint website.

Run Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard on the Dell Mini 9

I had no idea this kind of modding was going on with the Dell Inspiron 910, aka the Mini 9! Looks like several teams of hackers have figured out how to boot the Intel processor edition of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard on the Mini 9, which I have sitting on my desk right now.

Dan, of UneasySilence.com writes:

“I’m a huge fan of ultra portables! They are small, light and just powerful enough to do what you need to get done. Sure I run Windows (in VMware), but for me the Mac OS better fits my lifestyle, but if you are looking for an ultra portable you are going to have to look beyond Cupertino.

So, when I got the Dell mini 9 all I wanted to do was put Leopard on it. With a little bit of tinkering and some help from a good blogging buddy Kevin Tofel I was able to painlessly install 10.5.4 on the little guy.”

For directions on how to bake Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard into your Dell Mini 9, check out UneasySilence.com now.

[Thanks to Mark and Geri for the tip.]

Smartphones, Cellular Networks Disappoint Customers

Last week, during the Palm/Sprint Pre event, an industry customer return rate of 20% was cited for PDA smartphones. Over the weekend, The New York Times ran an article about spotty 3G wireless network coverage. A smartphone is only as good as the network it is on. If you don’t have cellular coverage you might as well have left your phone back in your office. The same is true for the feature that manufacturers pack into their phones. The fact of the matter is that most customers don’t read the thick user manuals that come with their phones. The result is that customers never realize the full potential of their smartphones.

For example, Mr. Richtel writes for The New York Times:

“Oh, the things modern mobile phones can do. They are music-playing, video-taking, direction-providing multimedia powerhouses. But many people have trouble getting them to perform their most basic functions, like making phone calls.”

“The resulting technological glitches have given many owners of fancy new phones the urge to throw them out the window and onto the highway.”

The rest of Mr. Richel’s article goes on to talk about customer’s dissatisfaction with their cellular carrier’s 3G wireless networks.

I think that articles like the one that appeared in The New York Times and statistics like the one Sprint quoted last week show that carriers and manufacturers have a real problem to deal with.

There is no one silver bullet that will fix this issue for any of the parties involved. Apple, Palm, and Sprint have taken some positive steps. Apple, leading the charge for easy to use devices, has been leveraging their retail Apple Store locations to help educate customers with one-to-one training sessions. You can make an appointment with one of Apple’s Geniuses who will teach you how to use Apple’s products. Can’t make it down to an Apple store? No problem. Apple has a number of short tutorials on their website that explain how to use the iPhone. If people are unwilling to read the user guide, they are likely willing to watch a short video. I haven’t read any statistics on how well Apple’s videos have been received. Sprint’s Ready Now program aims to offer a similar service when you stop in their stores to buy a new phone.

In store training is good, however, I think Palm is working to make the Pre, powered by their new webOS operating system is also making positive strides to making smartphones easier to use.

The webOS, according to Palm, will have an “instinctive user interface” and “intuitive and unobtrusive notifications” is suppose to make using the Pre easier to use. The first Palm smartphone that will use the webOS, the Palm Pre, will go on sale later this year. Palm used to have a motto of “Delight the customer.” Any smartphone maker and wireless network operator that can pull that off will stand to gain significant market share.

Customer frustration with their phones and the carriers they sign a 2-year service contact with is a real problem for the industry. Customers are looking for technology that is simple to use. The good news is that companies like Apple, Palm, and Sprint are moving in the right direction. Hopefully by the time our 2-year contacts are up, things will have improved.

You can read the full New York Times article on their website.