Monday, June 23, 2008

Palm Launches Unlocked GSM Centro



















Palm has announced that starting today, customers can purchase an unlocked GSM Centro in the United States directly from the company's website for $299.

The unlocked GSM Centro will be available in a single color, white, and will have gray accents. This latest edition of Palm's wildly popular Centro shares the same hardware specifications as the AT&T Centro, which is also a GSM device.

To learn more about the Centro, including today's new unlocked GSM Centro, please visit the Palm Centro website.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Palm Q4 FY08 Conference Call


Palm has announced that their year-end financial results conference call will be held Thursday, June 26, 2008.

The conference call will be hosted once again by Palm's CEO, Ed Colligan and CFO, Andy Brown. Interested parties can listen in on the conference call via a steaming Internet feed from a line on the Palm Investor Relations website.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Editorial: You Can Do More

I've posted this week's 1SRC editorial, "You Can Do More". In it, I talk about how Palm might help new customers learn more about all of the great third-party application software for the Centro smartphone.

You Can Do More

Palm is working hard to promote the Centro as a consumer oriented smartphone. Now they need to make sure that people upgrading from feature phones to the Centro know that it is easy to purchase and install third-party applications that can extend the utility of their phone.

I was talking to a friend of mine recently about the demographics of Apple iPhone and Palm Centro purchasers. We talked feature about phone users who might upgrade from a 12-key feature flip phone to a smartphone. Surely the iPhone is the current darling of the media. However, I don’t believe that brand awareness alone will drive sales. There are a few things that consumers consider before purchase a phone including: hardware costs, monthly subscription rates, features of the software, and whether or not the device is intended for work or entertainment.

It is the software and new customers that I would like to focus on. It is a long-standing fact that most people don’t install third-party software on their Palm smartphones. The last statistic that I recall reading said that about 33% of Palm owners do install third-party software. Let’s assume for a minute that the number is wrong and that 60% of customers install applications on their devices. That still leaves a whopping 40% of customers who are not realizing the full potential of their smartphones.

There are three things that I think that Palm can do to help raise consumer awareness of the vast software library available for the Centro smartphone. To raise awareness, Palm should focus on:
  • In store displays
  • Placing a card in the Centro box
  • Leveraging of the MyPalm.com portal
The object should not only be to inform new Palm customers of what their new Centro is capable of doing. Palm should be showing new customers how easy it is to find, purchase, and install these applications.

The in store display should be a no brainer. On my last trips to a Sprint/Nextel and AT&T location, there where stand up posters and ads all over the inside of the store. I don’t recall seeing any of the Palm information cards make mention the large library of software that was available for the Centro, the Treo 755p, or the Treo 750. The first step in getting the full utility out of a new phone should start at the retail location. Customers should know right form the get go that there is even more that the Centro can do than what is printed on the side of the box.

What if the customer purchases the new phone online? That’s where the in box card comes into play. The first thing a new Centro owner should see when they open the box is a card that briefly talks about doing more with the phone. Palm should pick a few category-defining applications to feature on the insert. Palm might feature games from Astraware, personal utility applications from SplashData, and multimedia applications from NormSoft and CoreCodec. (I also think that Palm should highlight ringtones, ringtone managers, and wallpapers, however, I doubt that the cellular carriers will allow them to get away with doing so.) When you think about it, Palm probably only has a few seconds to impress upon their customers that you can install additional software on the Centro. It might make more sense to put the Getting Started fold out poster on top and a software sticker on the inside of the box lid. I’ll leave it to Palm’s marketing department to iron out the details.

The last thing that Palm can do to help new customers add third-party applications to the Centro is by leveraging the currently in beta, MyPalm.com customer portal. By signing up for the free Palm service, new customers will not only get access to 24x7 support for their smart device, they should also be able to browse all of the content from the Palm Software Connection application web store.

One of the advantages of the MyPalm.com portal is the ability to download and install software on the Centro (and the Treo also) wirelessly over the air (OTA). When a customer finds an application that they would like to try or buy, they can click a button to send the software down to their device. Today, the MyPalm.com portal sends a SMS message to your phone with a download link in the body. When you tap the link, the software is downloaded to the device and the installer runs automatically. Installing software from the MyPalm.com portal onto the Centro OTA is a much easier and clearer way to install software. No one reads manuals anymore and requiring customers to try and figure out how to install software via the HotSync process is too complex for new users to have to deal with. The web portal and OTA installer is the better way to go. I really think that Palm is working on a solution like this. If you haven’t already done so, you should read A Palm Desktop Makeover.

In conclusion, I think that Palm and third-party application software developers have an opportunity to maximize customer awareness that the Centro can do more than a 12-key feature flip phone. This will, in turn, drive more software sales. In store, in box, and online advertising efforts can be used to help drive customers to the MyPalm.com portal where a wealth of new applications await them.

You can discuss this week's editorial at 1SRC.com...

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Rumor: Treo 700wx Windows Mobile 6.0 Upgrade













Later this summer, it would appear that Palm is planning on releasing some ROM upgrades for their devices.

Of particular note is the Windows Mobile 6.0 Professional for the Verizon Treo 700wx. Note that this is not a Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional upgrade and it will not be made available for the Verizon Treo 700w. (The Treo 700w has 32MB of RAM versus the 64MB on the Treo 700wx.) Palm is also reportedly working on two minor upgrades for the Sprint Centro and Treo 755p for Verizon that will likely be released later this year.

According to the latest rumor, the Windows Mobile 6.0 update for the Treo 700wx is no different than the already released update for the AT&T Treo 750. Also like the Windows Mobile 6.0 update for the Treo 750, there are some important things to consider before applying the upgrade:
  • You can not revert back to Windows Mobile 5.0
  • The update will be available for free from the Palm website
  • The upgrade can only be downloaded once. You are advised to burn the installer to a CD before applying the upgrade
  • Any Treo 700wx sent in for repair service will automatically be upgraded
  • The upgrade can be installed either from the desktop computer or by running the upgrade directly off of a SD card
I honestly never expected this update to be released for the Treo 700wx. I'm glad to see that Palm will be releasing the update. A lot of Treo 700wx customers have been asking for it.

[Thanks to Ain't No Snitch for the tip.]

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Tech News World Reviews the Centro

Tech News World has a new review of the Palm Centro for Verizon Wireless. The article reads, in part:

"The Centro [is] a smartphone for people that are a little nervous about getting a regular smartphone. While most phones sold in the U.S. are feature phones, I believe that the trend is that someday the majority of phones will be what we all [call] 'smartphones.' The Centro, and the Blackberry Pearl for that matter, help move the process along for those who see the traditional smartphones as being too much," Bill Hughes, an In-Stat analyst, told TechNewsWorld.

Read the full review here...

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Palm Launches Verizon Centro, Facebook

Introducing the Palm Centro for Verizon Wireless

Today, Palm and Verizon Wireless launched the Palm Centro smartphone. Having already debuted on Sprint and AT&T, many customers have been waiting for Centro to arrive at Verizon. At last, the wait is over.

The Verizon Centro will only be available in a single color, cobalt blue. The Verizon Centro shares the same technical specifications set as the Sprint Centro models.

The Verizon Centro will sell for $99 with a new two-year customer agreement and after a $70 mail in rebate. Customers will be able to purchase Centro starting June 13 (tomorrow) from Palm.com, VerizonWireless.com, and other Verizon Wireless retail locations.

Today's full Palm Centro for Verizon Wireless press release can be found on the Palm website. For the full Centro product information, visit the Palm Centro website.

Palm Launches Facebook Client

Along side today's Centro product launch announcement; Palm released a native Facebook application for the Palm OS-based Centro, Treo 680, and 755p.

The Facebook client can be downloaded for free over the air (OTA) directly to your Palm smartphone by visiting the address http://mobile.palm.com/facebook from the Blazer web browser.

Facebook for Palm OS has the following features:
  • Send and receive Facebook messages, and respond to friend requests.
  • Capture video using your smartphone and post it to your Facebook profile.
  • View and post photos right from your smartphone — or snap and send off new ones.
  • Check out your friends’ photos and post a comment or two.
  • Receive News feeds, change your status, and get friends’ status updates on the go.
  • Browse friends' profiles, post messages to their wall, and send friend requests or search for old friends through Facebook.
  • Open your Contacts and dial your friends with just one touch.
For more information on Facebook for Palm OS, including the user guide and the desktop Palm application installer, visit the Palm Facebook website.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Astraware Launches Bubble Babble

STAFFORDSHIRE,UK - June 11th, 2008 - Astraware(R) is excited to announce the release of Bubble Babble - a brand new word game for Palm OS(R) and Windows Mobile(R) smartphones and PDAs.

Challenge your word power with this undersea bubble-bursting brain teaser! Link together letter bubbles to form words and impress Wordsworth Smartygills - your friendly fishy host! Bubble Babble includes a fun interactive tutorial to teach you how to play with the bubbles and make words from them. Score points for each word you make. Impress Wordsworth with more complex or unusual words and he'll reward you with shiny shells for your collection!

Bubble Babble has 4 entertaining play modes which are perfect for both adults and children, for all levels of skill or vocabulary:

Challenge - create a set number of words against the clock,
Target - reconstruct the separated word from the letter bubbles,
Mystery - try different permutations of letters to find the hidden word,
Freeplay - just enjoy making words to boost your points score.

Each day Wordsworth Smartygills will tell you the Word of the Day. Make this word during play to earn a special award!

Use multiplier bubbles to enhance your points score, and get help from Stella Starfish, in her wildcard bubble! Unlock higher difficulty levels as you play - it can help you keep your brain sharp and maybe learn some interesting new words!

Bubble Babble is available for smartphones and PDAs running Palm OS(R) 5 and above, and Windows Mobile Professional, Classic and Standard devices running Windows Mobile 2003 and later. The game is available from http://www.astraware.com/bubblebabble priced $19.95, with a limited time new release discount.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

When Computer Geeks Can't Sleep

So, it's almost 2am and I can't get to sleep. What do computer geeks do when the can't sleep?

We count digital sheep!

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Windows Mobile Journal: Adding Wi-Fi to the Treo 750

Now that I have a Windows Mobile device and I put a pre-paid AT&T Go Phone voice plan on my Treo 750, I wanted to add a data service without having to subscribe to another monthly cellular plan. To use data services, such as e-mail, web browsing, and other Internet applications, I added a Spectec miniSD 802.11b Wi-Fi card to my Treo.

The first thing you need to do is obtain your Treo 750 (United States) or Treo 750v (Europe). Then you need to purchase the Spectec card. I ordered mine from the TreoCentral online store. Once it arrives, it is time to set it up. One thing that wasn't clear from reading articles and reviews of the Spectec WLAN card I found online was whether or not the card works with Windows Mobile 6.0. All the reviews and spec sheets I saw talked about Windows Mobile 5.0, the version of Windows Mobile that originally shipped on the Treo 750 series. I can tell you that the Spectec card does work with Windows Mobile 6.0 - you just need to download the Windows Mobile 6 driver first.

Note: I'm not going to repeat the process for setting up the Wi-Fi card under Windows Mobile 5.0. There are already directions for doing that online.

Download the Windows Mobile 6 WLAN card driver from the Spectec website. Then copy the driver, wlan11b_wm60.CAB, down to your Treo 750. Once you have copied the file to the Treo, use Windows Explorer to browse to the file and execute it. The driver will install on your Treo. You may need to soft reset your device.

Now that the driver it is almost time to turn it on. If you are using an AT&T Treo 750, before you can establish a data connection to anything other than AT&T's data network, you will need to disable the forced AT&T proxy server setting. In the Programs folder (Start > Programs), launch the Proxy Manager application and uncheck the Force AT&T Proxy checkbox. When you do, you will receive a notice that the proxy server has been disabled. Press the OK button to clear the warning.














Now, turn off the cell phone radio, insert the card, and then open the Wireless Manager application (Start > Settings > Connections > Wireless Manager). You will now see a Wi-Fi section.














Press the menu button to access the Wi-Fi Settings screen. From there you can setup the connection properties for the Wi-Fi hot spots that are in range.


























At this point, you can launch an Internet application like Pocket Internet Explorer or Pocket Outlook and surf the web or check you email.

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Stung by the Still "Missing" Foleo

It has been about 9 months since Palm canceled the Foleo Mobile Companion, and yet there are still traces of it to be found online.

I was over on the TealPoint website looking for more information about their TealSafe application and then I found this page, which reminded me that the Foleo is still MIA. If you scroll down, you can still see a list of the software that Teal was working on for the Foleo; 9 titles in all.

I really can't wait until Palm gets the Foleo II out the door loaded up with Palm OS II.

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Rumor: Verizon Centro on June 13th

EngadgetMobile has posted a rumor that the Verizon edition of the Palm Centro will go on sale on June 13th. That should be good news for Verizon customers who want to jump on the Centro bandwagon.











However, everyone seems to be scratching their head about the rumored price of the Verizon Centro with a two-year commitment: 269.99!

I hope that the $269 price is incorrect. Palm has stated on several occasions now that the two reasons why the Centro has been popular on Sprint and AT&T was due in part of the ease of use of the Palm OS and the low $99 price point.

Read the full EngadgetMobile article...

[Thanks to miles4000 for the tip.]

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Get a Palm Centro for $49

Palm has begun selling their wildly popular Centro smartphone for $49 when customers purchase a qualifying service agreement and with a mail in rebate. The special pricing on Palm's Centro runs until July 6, 2008.

For more details and the download link for the rebate form, visit the Palm website.

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Club Astraware offers for June 2008

I'm a big fan of Astraware's games for Palm OS and Windows Mobile. All of their games are well designed and loads of fun to play!

Here is this months Club Astraware specials. Club Astraware is a free program that gives you a chance to get some of Astraware's most popular games at a reduced price and earn points toward getting games for free.

Club Astraware offers for June 2008

The Club Astraware Member-only discount offer for June 2008 is Astraware Boardgames for just $9.95, that's a huge saving of $10 off the regular price!

In addition to our regular offers for Palm OS(R) and Windows Mobile(R) device owners, this is the first Club Astraware member discount available to owners of Symbian(R) S60(R), and UIQ(R) smartphones. We also have a double points offer on Hidden Expedition Titanic for S60 and UIQ users.

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 just enjoys a fun traditional board game, then Astraware Boardgames is just for you.

Astraware Boardgames includes Chess, Backgammon, Ludo, Checkers, Reversi, Nine Men's Morris, Snakes and Ladders, and Tic Tac Toe.

There are 4 double points offers in Club Astraware this month, so members can build up their points even quicker and get bigger discounts on games in the future! The games offering double points this month are Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars, Westward, Hidden Expedition: Titanic and Golden Skull. Simply buy any of these games at full price and get twice the regular number of points! For example: buy a game for $19.95 and you'll get almost $4 worth of points to use against your next purchase!

These offers are only available in Club Astraware until the end of June 2008. To get your hands on them simply join or login to Club Astraware at http://www.astraware.com/club. It's quick to join and completely free too!

If you're not already a member, check out our 7 great reasons to join Club Astraware here: http://www.astraware.com/club/register.php

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Rumor: Palm Treo 800w Specs

Earlier today EngadgetMobile spilled the beans on the specs for Palm's upcoming and often rumored Treo 800w for the Verizon Wireless network. The specs for the CDMA Treo 800w are:
  • 1xEvDO Rev A
  • 256MB Flash, 128MB RAM
  • Windows Mobile 6 Professional (likely 6.1)
  • 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 2.0 with BBAC Bluetooth and cable support
  • micro-SD card slot
  • 1.3MP digital camera
  • Stereo Bluetooth support (A2DP)
These specs are very similar to those of the Treo 850 that also leaked our recently. No pricing information was listed, however, the Verizon Wireless slide had a launch date of "3Q 2008."

Full details at EngadgetMobile.com...

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Happy Anniversary Foleo Fanatics!












This week, Foleo Fanatics turns 1! It has been an interesting year, to be sure. Since we started up the site, we have watched Palm launch the Treo 755p, the Treo 750, the Treo 500, and the wildly popular consumer oriented Centro smartphone!

We also watched as Palm launched their MyPalm.com portal as a beta program to provide Palm smartphone customers with free, 24/7 technical support, software alerts and updates, how-to videos. Palm also introduced us to their new self-paced learning site which has been designed to help smartphone owners new and old learn more about their devices.

However, it hasn't been all good times. In September 2007, we stood by as Palm canceled the Foleo Mobile Companion, and we found out that it would be another year before Palm's Linux-based operating system, Palm OS II/Nova would appear on new hardware.

Even with the cancellation of the Foleo, there are things to look forward to. Palm has partnered with private equity firm Elevation Partners to help revitalize the company and help them to deliver on crisp product execution. The Centro was the first device that has come to market after this partnership. The much rumored Treo 800w and Treo 850 will be the second and third. And speaking of the new Treo smartphones, Palm has been working to redesign the Treo form factor as something that is functional and more in line with other contemporary smartphones. The biggest things that readers of Foleo Fanatics are getting excited about is the completion of Palm's next-generation Linux-based operating system, Palm OS II/Nova and the possibility of a new Foleo.

Palm OS II/Nova is going to be the successor to Palm OS 5 which is running on today's Palm smartphones and traditional handheld PDAs. But Palm OS II/Nova isn't just for smartphones. Palm has said it will become a platform around which more than just smartphones will be based on. This means that any new Foleo or Foleo-like device will be running this new OS platform.

Happy Anniversary fellow Foleo Fanatics! Here's to another year of news and analysis of all things Palm!

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Dell Confirms Sub-Notebook Plans
















Information Week has posted an article stating that they got a brief glimpse at Dell's upcoming sub-notebook computer at the D: All Things Digital conference. This device may have to due until I can get my hands on a Palm Foleo.

[cough]Again
[cough]

The black unit looks nice, and it would probably be the one I would normally go with. But, man, you can really make a statement with the candy apple red one. Maybe I'd get that one just to add a little bit of color to my life and shake things up a little bit.
















Read the Information Week article...

Read the Something from Dell at D6 blog post...

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Rumor: Centro Coming To Verizon "Soon"?

While reading the Brighthand forums, I stumbled across the following post by member dwb1:
"I was in a Verizon store Saturday (5/31) upgrading my sons phone and looking at the Touch and there was a dummy version of the Centro on the counter. I was told they should have it in the store soon (1-2 wks). They said it was unusual to have the dummy and not have it in the system. It looks really nice, dark blue case. They guessed the price point to be a little lower than the Touch, maybe $100 after NE2."

Could the Centro finally be coming to Verizon? I hope so. Otherwise Verizon will see some defections to AT&T when the Apple iPhone 2.0 is released later this month.

Read the full Brighthand thread here...

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