• centro,  lifedrive,  microsoft,  palm desktop,  palm os,  treo,  windows

    HotSync Guidelines for Windows 7, Windows Vista

    Since getting back to (almost) daily Palm support forms moderation duty, I’ve been reading a lot of posts from people asking how to sync their Palm OS PDA, Centro, or Treo with Windows Vista or Windows 7.

    The answer largely depends on what version of Windows you have installed on your PC.  If you are still running the insanely popular Windows XP, you can safely stay put with Palm Desktop 4.1.x or 4.2.

    If you are running Windows 7 or Windows Vista, you really should be using Palm Desktop 6.2.2 by ACCESS.  This version is compatible with Vista and unofficially compatible with Windows 7.  (Neither Palm nor ACCESS have gone back and retested Palm Desktop 6.2.2 under Windows 7, but it does work.)

    You can download Palm Desktop 6.2.2 from the Palm support website.  Be sure to read the release notes fully before installing the software on your Windows PC.  (By the way, Palm Desktop 6.2.2 does work with Windows XP.)

    The tricky part comes in when you are running a 64-bit version of Windows XP, Windows Media Center, Windows Vista, or Windows 7.  There are no 64-bit compatible USB HotSync drivers available, so you have to jump through some hoops to make your Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or IR enabled Palm OS device sync with your 64-bit Windows PC.

    The good folks over on the Palm Support Community forums have written up a good primer on how to make your old Palm OS handheld or handset work with Microsoft’s newest desktop operating systems.

    For more details on how to setup your Palm TX, T5, LifeDrive, Zire, Treo, or Centro syncing with Windows 7 or Windows Vista, check out the Palm Support Community forums thread: Windows 7 and Vista HotSync Instructions.  You’ll be glad you did.

  • att,  centro,  treo

    What’s Up with Palm on AT&T?

    I was just looking at the AT&T website, and I noticed that there are no Centro or Treo 750 smartphones available for sale. I’ll admit that both devices, the Palm OS 5 Centro and the Windows Mobile Treo 750 aren’t new devices by any definition, but you would expect that AT&T would still have some units in stock.

    I have read some Internet rumors that said that the Palm webOS powered Eos smartphone would be arriving on the AT&T network sometime around the end of the year, but nothing specific. I have also not read anythign that would indicate that Palm is halted the sale of the AT&T smartphones.

    Windows Mobile customers can still get the Palm Treo Pro as an unlocked device and use their existing AT&T 3G SIM cards with the device if they wish.

    I’ll have to keep an eye on this one.

  • centro,  pre,  treo,  web os

    People Love Their Pre Smartphones

    We tend to get a little fanatical about mobile technology around a site like Smartphone Fanatics. That said, people really love their new Pre smartphones! One example is a review from Jenny Levin, a librarian in Chicago, IL.

    Ms. Levin has posted a review of the Pre on her blog, The Shifted Librarian, which has been written from the point of view of a Palm Treo or Centro owner who is considering the jump from Palm OS 5 to webOS.

    “When I picked up my new Palm Pre smartphone last week, one of the store employees said, “You must have been waiting for this phone for a long time.” He could tell I was excited about it. I told him I’d been waiting for this phone for nine years, six of them on Palm Treos and a Centro, waiting for the next leap.

    And now that I finally have it, I can say that while it’s quite clearly a first generation device, I love it. This post will explain why, but it won’t be a comparison of the iPhone versus the Pre. I’ve only played with an iPhone a couple of times, so it wouldn’t be fair, plus everyone knows I’m not a fan of Apple, so I can’t really be objective about this. So instead, this will be a review of the Pre from the perspective of a Treo/Centro owner wondering if she should upgrade, because that’s the question I’m getting asked the most. Back in 2003, I started a popular page called What’s on My Treo 600 that listed all of the apps I used and as a result, I heard from Palm owners for years (and occasionally still do), so this is an area I know well.

    In fact, a lot of my issues with the Pre come from features the Treos/Centros did better, but I’ll also describe what’s new, both the good and the bad. As a result, this will be a long review, so skip this post if you’re not interested in smartphones or the Pre.”

    Keep reading

    Ms. Levin and I share many of the same views about the Pre. Long time Treo users will find that some of the nice little refinements from Palm OS 5.4.9 didn’t make it into webOS 1.0.2; however, the big wins like multitasking and Synergy really make it all worth while. And yes, there have been issues with webOS 1.0.2 and the Pre including the erratic signal strength issue, weirdness with the Touchstone charging base, and Exchange and Gmail syncing issues. The good news is that Palm is aware of all of these issues and is working to resolve them. (There are some perks to be a Palm discussion forums moderator.)

    You can read the full review over at The Shifted Librarian website.

    Thanks to Geri for this tip.

  • centro,  palm os

    Unlocked Palm Centro Now $199

    Palm, in an emailed newsletter, has announced that customers of Palm’s online store and pick up an unlocked Centro for a cool $199. Palm sells the unlocked Centro in three colors: Ruby Red, Glacier White, and my favorite, Cobalt Blue.

    The Centro is a full-featured smartphone that brings the well respected ease of use of the Palm OS to a respectable price point without having to sign a 2-year contract or extension with AT&T or T-Mobile.

    To start shopping for your new Centro, visit the Palm online store.

  • centro

    Palm Centro Comes to Bell Mobility

    Today, Palm launched the Centro in Canada on the Bell Mobility EVDO network and is available in the same midnight blue color that was previously released in Mexico and here in the United States on Verizon Wireless.

    “Centro is the best example of a user-friendly smartphone that’s both fun and easy to use,” said Brodie Keast, senior vice president of marketing for Palm, Inc. “Centro’s sleek and lightweight design makes it perfect for first-time smartphone users who want voice, text, email, web, contact and calendar capabilities all wrapped into one compact device.”

    “Bell Mobility is pleased to add the Palm Centro to our industry-leading lineup of smartphones, all of them with access to the fastest and largest network across North America,” said Adel Bazerghi, Bell Mobility’s senior vice president of Products. “Clients who choose the affordable Palm Centro will love the instant access to great mobile applications like Facebook for Palm and Google Maps.”

    The Bell Mobility edition Centro will sell for $49.95 (Canadian Dollars) with a 3-year service agreement. Bell customers can purchase a Centro for $399 without a service agreement.

    For more details, visit the Bell Mobility website.

  • centro,  treo

    TimeDrift for Palm OS Smartphones


    Tam Hanna has released a new application for Palm OS devices, including the popular Palm Centro smartphone. TimeDrift keeps your devices clock accurate after a Palm PDA, Treo, or Centro is reset.

    Mr. Hanna writes:

    “Ever wondered why your Centro’s / Treo’s clock becomes inaccurate after a few resets or battery changes? Palm is to blame – but be sure that they saved a few cents by excluding certain key components.

    Tamoggemon Software’s TimeDrift steps in where Palm left off: our highly customized snooping algorithm makes sure that your smartphone’s clock is as accurate as the clocks on other (cheaper) phones.

    As we use a local algorithm rather than relying on external time servers, TimeDrift can be used abroad without any roaming chares fior data (which can be extremely expensive).”

    Keep your clock accurate – get TimeDrift!

    Features:

    • Fire and forget solution – no “maintenance” required
    • Highly reliable – maximal drift of 30 secs/reset
    • Small – less than 50KB of memory usage
    • Works independant of network – no network charges

    Tamoggemon has a 30-day trial version available for people who like to try before they buy; which is always a good idea. The full version retails for $9.95 and is currently available for a limited time at a special promotional price of $7.95.

    You can purchase TimeDrift from the TamsShop.

  • centro,  dataviz,  treo

    Documents To Go 11 for Palm OS Now Available

    Yesterday, DataViz released the latest edition of Documents To Go for Palm devices running Palm OS.

    With Documents To Go Premium edition 11.00, DataViz has added:

    • View tracked changes in word processing files
    • Apply and view Styles in word processing files
    • View border and wrapped text in spreadsheets
    • Ten starter Templates included for creating Word and Excel files

    In addition to these new features, customers can view, create, and modify Microsoft Office documents on their Palm OS Centro, Treo, or handheld PDA. (PDA users are encouraged to check to see if their device is on the compatibility list found on the DataViz website.)

    Pricing & Availability

    Documents To Go Premium Edition for Palm OS retails for $49.99 and is available directly from DataViz as well as many retail and online stores including Handango.com, and the network of DataViz resellers and distributors worldwide. Upgrade pricing of $29.99 is available directly from DataViz for previous Documents To Go customers, including those who received Documents To Go as bundled software with a Palm handheld or smartphone.

    My long time readers know that Documents To Go is a core requirement for any mobile device that I consider for my personal and business use. The InTact Technology seamlessly keeps the document’s formatting regardless of whether the document was last created or modified on a desktop or mobile device, meaning I save not having to re-edit a file when I get back to the office.

    For more information and to download a free evaluation, visit www.dataviz.com/palm2008 .

  • att,  centro,  sprint,  verizon,  windows mobile

    Briefly Noted: Palm Smartphone Changes

    Kris Keilhack over at PalmInfoCenter.com is reporting two Palm product chances.

    Treo 750 Nearing End of Life?

    The first is that it appears that Palm and AT&T are moving to end-of-life (EOL) the Palm Treo 750. Of the Treo 750, Mr. Keilhack writes:

    “Aside from the evergreen Treo 700wx on Verizon, the 750 remains Palm’s oldest current smartphone. Replacing the 750 with the new Treo Pro would appear to be a logical move but to date nothing more than rumors have indicated that Palm’s flagship device will be appearing in subsidized form on any domestic GSM carrier.

    Originally launched in September 2006 with Windows Mobile 5.2, the Treo 750 is now well over two years old. So despite the presence of the WM6 update released last fall, it is beginning to look a bit long in the tooth relative to not only competing handsets but even its newer Windows Mobile-powered Treo sister devices, the Treo 800w and Treo Pro.”

    Verizon Centro ROM Upgrade

    Palm and Verizon have made a free ROM maintenace upgrade available to customers using Verizon-branded Centro smartphones. Writing for PalmInfoCenter, Mr. Keilhack writes:

    “Palm is being rather vague on the specific improvements in this update, claiming only: “This software update is a minor tune-up that may improve device usability in certain situations.”

    Palm customers who are using Verizon branded Centros can learn more about and download the latest ROM update here. Sprint customers received a similar update back in July.

  • centro,  palm os,  review

    Palm Centro Reivew

    I was working with my sister’s Centro today, and the following is a review of the white hot selling consumer-oriented Palm smartphone. I use a Palm Treo 755p and Treo 750 and will be comparing the Centro with those two devices.

    Operating System

    The Centro runs Palm’s Palm OS operating system, version 5.4.9; which is the same version that Palm is using in the latest Palm OS Treo, the 755p. The Centro that I am working with has already been upgraded to the latest software maintenance release, 1.07, which can be downloaded from the Palm website as a free download.

    Because the Centro runs Palm OS, you can run the thousands of existing Palm OS application that are available today. If you are upgrading from a Palm OS Tungsten or Zire PDA, your transition to the Centro should be a smooth one. If you have an older Palm OS PDA, the transition to the Centro is possible, however, I encourage anyone who has installed third-party application software to upgrade to the latest release before doing so to make sure that all of your software is compatible with Palm OS 5.

    The Hardware

    The Cento is smaller than previous Palm smartphones. Althought the size difference is not dramatic, the rounded edges of the Cento make it seem smaller when you are holding it in your hand. Slipping it into and out of the front pocket of a pair of jeans will be ease.

    Unlike the Treo 750 and 755p, the original model Centro smartphones do not have the rubberized soft-touch paint. In my opinion, this is one of the few negatives of the Centro. I really like the soft-touch paint as it helps me keep a firm grasp on the device while I am using it. Starting with the newest Sprint Centro models, olive green and vibrant rose, Palm has returned to using the soft-touch paint.

    As with previous smartphones, the Centro also includes a full Qwerty keyboard. The keys on the Centro are smaller than those on the Treo, however, the jelly style key caps make it easy for people to type on the keyboard, even if you are used to the Treo’s keyboard or if you have big mits like me.

    Nesseled in between the bright touch-screen and the keyboard are the standard hardware buttons Palm’s customers have come to expect: Phone, Calendar, Home, Email, Call Send/Recevie (the green button) and Call End/Power (the red button). The center button, which is used to navigrate around the screen and select objects, is right in the center of the device and easily accessible with your thumb. Along the top of the device is the ringer switch for silencing your phone quickly; a feature I wished more people would us during meetings.

    Rounding out the hardware features of the Centro is the digital camera on the back of the device mounted along side of the speaker. The 2.5mm headset jack, sync and power ports can be found on the bottom edge. An IR port has been placed on the right side of the body, and on the left are the volume up and down buttons and the Voice Memo button.

    Each of the application hardware buttons can be reprogammed by using the Buttons control panel which is found in the Prefs application. (Press Home, and then tap or select the Prefs application in the Palm OS Application launcher.)

    The Centro does come with a stylus, but I’m not excited about it. The stylus is an anemic piece of brittle plastic that feels like it will break if I hold it too hard. The bottom third of the Treo 750 and 755p is metal, but I long for the days of the Treo 650 and 700p when the stylus was mostly metal.

    The Centro uses a 1150mAh battery that held up well while I was using it. (I had the device for about 90 minutes.) During that time, I was constantly checking email, downloading software updates, and browsing the web. If you plan on using all of the phone’s features (phone calls, email, organizer applicaitons, and Office documents) you will likely need to charge the phone up everynight. Casual users, who don’t talk on the phone alot will be able to get a few days out a single charge. Milage will vary.

    The Centro also has a microSD card slot, which unlike the Treo 750 and 755p, is only accessable by removing the battery compartment door. This won’t be a problem for most Centro owners unless they have multiple expansion cards that you need to swap in an out.

    The Software

    Centro comes with all of the software you would expect to find on a $99 phone and then some. I was really happy to see that Palm was including all of their standard Treo software on the Centro. In addition to Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, and Memos, standard fare for a feature flip phone, the Centro also includes a web browser (Blazer 4.5.8), an email application (VersaMail 4.0.1) and the ability to read/write Microsoft Office files (DataViz Documents To Go 10.0 Professional). From a software perspective, there isn’t anything a Centro can’t do that a Treo 755p can. When you buy a Centro, you are buying a full featured smartphone compared with the other devices in the Centro’s price range ($79 – $149).

    Pricing, Colors

    The Centro, available from Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and unlocked, typically sells for $79 – $99. However, deep discounts and mail-in rebates either from Palm or your wireless carrier, and with a new 2-year service agreement can bring the price of the Centro down much lower.

    As indicated earlier, the Centro does come in a variety of colors, however, not all of the colors are available to all of the wireless carriers. The Sprint edition Centro I was able to use was ruby red. Centro is also available in cobalt blue, electric blue, obsidian black, glacial white, olive green, vibrant rose, and pink.

    Conclusion

    The Centro is a full featured smartphone that isn’t hard on your checkbook. It is a great phone to upgrade to from a feature phone if you are looking for a better web, email, and text messaging experience. The call quality is good as was the signal strength in my neighborhood.

    There are some aspects of the hardware that I would have changed, however, I don’t think that they are reason enough to pass up on this phone. The inclusion of the full install of the Palm OS means, and all of Palm’s bundled productivty and entertainment software, gives you the same functionality as Apple’s iPhone without the added cost.

    For more details on Palm’s wildly popular Centro smartphone, visit Palm’s Cenro website.