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...

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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?

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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)...

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving from the Turkeys at FoleoFanatics.com!

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...]

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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...

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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...]

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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...

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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.

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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

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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 übergeek, 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...

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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.

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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...

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