Monday, March 30, 2009

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.

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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...]

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Friday, March 27, 2009

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

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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.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

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.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

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.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

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.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Rumor: Palm Pre Launching in Q2, 2009














The folks over at PhoneNews.com have gotten their hands on what appears to be the Sprint product road map through Q3, 2009. Of particular interest to Palm fans is that the Pre is scheduled to launch in Q2. If position in the grid has any meaning, and I don't know if that is true, the Pre could ship in the middle of the quarter. Do I hear May anyone?

Read the full article on PhoneNews.com...

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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.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

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 320x320 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.

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

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.]

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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.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

English Language Articles on PUGcast The Blog

I received a note today from Clemen Schuchert to let me know that PUGcast The Blog has added a feature for selecting English language articles for their readers.
Mr. Schuchert writes, "[f]or the last months we are facing many international readers and have a language mixture of English and German contributions due to international guest writers and our team of authors. Thus, we provide to filter all entries by language, so the reader can decide on his own whether he wants to read the full scope of articles or only those in English or German (or both)."
Check out the English language articles over at PUGcast The Blog...

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Notes from the Palm/Sprint Pre Event










Yesterday afternoon I attended Palm and Sprint's Pre event. The following are my notes from the presentation which featured David Owens, Director of Consumer Acquisition for Sprint, and Matt Crowley, Product Line Manager at Palm.

The show's host was quick to clear the air about the Palm Pre's availability date and pricing; that information was not going to be discussed on this webcast.













Some of Sprint's customers are too young to remember the Treo 300?! Zoinks! A statement like that tells me that Sprint and Palm are going to targeting teens with the Pre. Or, more accurately, the paying parents of teens. If customers want to enjoy the full benefits of the Pre's capabilities, subscribing to a Sprint Simply Everything plan is recommended.

Sprint also indicated that not all of their service plans will be available for the Palm Pre. Expect Sprint to offer the Individual, Family, and Business Simply Everything plans which start at $99.99 a month with the Palm Pre.

Sprint will also be encouraging their customers to partcipate in their Ready Now program. If you are not familiar with Ready Now, I wasn't until I watched the webcast and I'm a Sprint customer, it is a program where you can work with a sales associate one-on-one to select your phone, set it up, and then have them teach you how to use it. This may seem like a waste of time for smartphone fanatics like us, but there is a huge pool of customers who find "PDAs" too complex. 20% was tossed out as the generic industry number for the return rate for PDA smartphones. This return rate was mentioned because most people find smartphones too complicated and don't want to read a 267 page user guide.

The Palm Pre Smartphone

When the Palm Pre was developed, it was designed with a polished river stone in mind. There are no sharp edges on the Pre. Everthing is rounded.











Contact information can come from Google, corporate Exchange servers via Exchange ActiveSync, or Facebook for example. Palm's Crowley did indicate that data was stored in a local database on the Pre. That should be good news for people who are worried about losing access to their PIM data when the phone is off or when they are in a wireless coverage dead zone.













The Synergy data synchronization engine works with email, calendar, and the address book. There was no update as to how the Pre will sync with Microsoft Outlook on a PC desktop computer or how customers will be able to migrate data out of Palm Desktop and into the Pre. There are a few ways to move data around now on the Mac and Windows PCs today, but they require that you know how to export and import data using a comma separated values file (.csv files) or a paid utility that pushes data from Palm Desktop into Outlook. Stay tuned on this point. I believe that Palm is working with Chapura to help liberate data in Palm Desktop 3, 4, and 6 and move it to the Pre. Chapura has been helping customers to synchronize data with Outlook for the last 10 years. DataViz may also have a product to help migrate data as they have some experience in this area with their Beyond Contacts application.














webOS' search application is called Universal Search. When you start typing in webOS, the software begins searching your phone for the information you are looking for. If the inforation is not found on the device, you are presented with a screen to begin a search on the Inetnet using Google. In the demo, the user has to trigger the search on the Internet. This should also be a comfort to people who like to keep a tight control on how often and how long their phone is connected to the Internet.

The zoom in/out controls for webOS is exactly like those on Apple's iPhone/iPod touch. No wonder why Apple's COO Tim Cook seemed so upset during the recent Apple quarterly earnings conference call. (I'm on the record as saying that there will be no law suit between Apple and Palm.)

Palm's Crowley reiterated the same information from the CES demo: notifications in webOS do not interrupt the foreground application like they do today in Palm OS 5. Notifications push up into the bottom third of the screen, but don't change the focus away from the application that the customer is in the middle of using. That is such a nice feature.












Crowley also spent some time talking about the coolest feature of the Pre, the Touchstone charging base. Touchstone is a conductive magnetic base that works with the Pre to change the phone when it is at rest on the pedestal. The Pre's webOS knows that it is on Touchstone and if a call comes in while it is at rest on Touchstone, the call immediately goes to speaker phone mode. The Pre can be used in portrait or landscape mode while attached to Touchstone. The Touchstone charger will be sold as an accessory and will be available at Sprint retail locations when Pre launches. Customers will not be required to purchase a Touchstone and the Pre will come bundled wiht a microUSB charging cable.

This week's Pre event was very much about getting the word out about the Palm Pre smartphone and Palm's continuing partnership with Sprint. There wasn't a lot of discussion of some of the technical details about how the Pre will sync with your data that isn't already in the cloud or in a corporate Exchane server. I encougae Palm to start talking about how customers will need to sync their PIM data before the Pre goes on a sale later this year.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Documents To Go for BlackBerry Review







DataViz has recently released Documents To Go Premium Edition for BlackBerry (link), version 1.006. I have been working with Documents To Go on my BlackBerry Curve 8330 for about a month now. Documents To Go is my "gotta have it" application for all of my mobile devices and my expectations for the new BlackBerry edition where going to be high.

Most new BlackBerry smartphones will come with Documents To Go Professional preinstalled. Existing BlackBerry customers must be running BlackBerry OS 4.5 or later before they can install and use the software. Sprint customers will have the Professional Edition installed on their Berry when they upgrade to BlackBerry OS 4.5 or later. If you are not sure what version of the BlackBerry OS your device has, please consult your owner’s manual or contact your wireless carrier for assistance. DataViz has posted an article on their blog to help customers download BlackBerry OS updates if they need them.

As with all of the other editions of Documents To Go, you can read, create, and modify Microsoft Office documents created with versions 97-2008 on the Windows or Mac OS X platforms. A list of key features for Documents To Go for BlackBerry can be found on the DataViz website.

If you have used Documents To Go before, say on a Palm OS Centro, you will find yourself at home with the BlackBerry edition.

Word To Go, the application that I use the most in the suite, has a clean interface that allows you to focus on the open document. Pressing the BlackBerry button will conjure up a menu of commands, including one for the online Help system. DataViz’s InTact Technology ensures that your document’s formatting remains the same on your desktop computer after it has been modified on the BlackBerry. Another great feature of Documents To Go for BlackBerry is the ability to email your current document. After selecting “Send via Email” from the application’s pop-up menu, you are presented with a standard email compose screen with your document already included as the attachment. This is a great time saving feature if you email Office documents to customers or coworkers frequently.

DataViz has also done a great job tuning the PDF To Go application. PDF To Go has received a considerable speed boost with this release. My BlackBerry Curve 8330 was able to open my sample PDF file twice as fast when compared to my Palm Treo 750 and 755p. The Curve took 15 seconds to open and render my 6 page document. The same document took 30 seconds on the Treo. If you press the scroll wheel while reading a PDF document, a contextual menu pops open and gives you access to the Zoom, Next, and Previous page commands. If you are reading the document from the top of the page to the bottom, this may not seem like a bid deal. However, when you need to skim though the document, the BlackBerry interface for next page/previous page is nicer than on other platforms.

Slideshow To Go and Sheets To Go also performed well with my sample documents. A 25 page PowerPoint 2007 presentation rendered the way that I expected. Interestingly, the yellow slide title text appeared as black; which to me is only a minor issue. (This may have been an operator error as I’ve only had Office 2007 for about three weeks.) Changing to a new slide and zooming in and out on a slide was fast. Once you have zoomed in on a slide, you use the trackball to scroll around. Slider sorter is a new feature that people who use PowerPoint often will appreciate.

In my tests, Sheets To Go did a good job of handling my parts lists and inventory sample spreadsheets. It did have some trouble with a spreadsheet that was setup as a form. In my test file, I had a number of cells with word wrap turned on in Excel that did not wrap in Sheets To Go. This could be a problem if you are using spreadsheet-based forms on your mobile. When you bring the file back to the desktop computer, the original document formatting is maintained, thanks to the InTact engine.

Customers who are migrating from the Palm OS platform should be aware that the BlackBerry edition of Documents To Go does not have a desktop application for synchronizing documents. If you want to transfer files between your BlackBerry’s storage card and your desktop computer, you will need to use the phone’s drive mode and copy files to and from the card.

In conclusion, DataViz has hit another home run with their new version of Documents To Go for the BlackBerry. The InTact Technology does a superb job of keeping the look and feel of the original document after it has been modified on the mobile device. The application navigation is easy to learn and use. DataViz’s Documents To Go will turn your smartphone into a powerful, work from anywhere solution. Berry addicts are going to gain a lot of utility from this must have application.

Documents To Go Premium Edition for BlackBerry can be purchased for $69.99. Upgrades from a previous edition of Documents To Go costs $29.99. For more information about the Documents To Go family of products, visit the DataViz website.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ringo Pro Released for Android

Little did I know that today was going to be "Android Day" here on Smartphone Fanatics.

I just received word from the good folks across the pond in the United Kingdom that Ringo Pro is now available for Google's Android platform.

"Electric Pocket's Ringo Pro, the top-selling ringtone manager for smartphones, is now available for smartphones based on Google's Android operating system, such as the T-Mobile G1. The new Android version of Ringo Pro enables users to set their own MP3 tunes as ringtones for both calls and SMS messages as well as offering a number of phone personalization options.

"Changing ringtones is a very popular way for users to personalize their smartphones," says Iain Barclay, Electric Pocket's Chief Product Officer. "Ringo Pro makes changing ringtones easy and fun, as well as making useful features like personal caller tones much more accessible."

Ringo Pro is available for users to download direct from their handsets through the Android Market for £2.69 (approximately US$3.99). A slimmed down version, Ringo Lite, is also available for users who wish to try Ringo before purchasing. More information on Ringo can be found at Electric Pocket's web site, http://ringomo.com."

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RoadSync, Documents To Go Coming to Android











I just noticed that over on the DataViz website there is a teaser page up that should get Android users excited. It looks like it is a lock that DataViz's award winning Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and mobile office suite applications, RoadSync and Documents To Go will be coming to a Google-powered phone near you soon.

To sign up for a notification when the software ships here...

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Mobile Apps 360: Lose It!

Mobile Apps 360 takes a look at mobile software for your Palm OS, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, and iPhone/iPod touch smartphones that will help keep your favorite mobile gear fresh with new software.

Lose It! is my new favorite application for Apple's iPhone and iPod touch. This free application from FitNow is a great way to help you set a weight loss goal and stick to it.

To get started with Lose It!, all you have to do is answer a few simple questions to setup your weight loss plan. Once you have your plan in place, the Goals screen will allow you to track your progress.

Now that your plan is ready, you enter the foods you eat into one of four categories: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks. You will need an active Internet connection (G3 or Wi-Fi) to search the online database. You can also add custom foods and recipes if you want. As I have used the software, I have found most of the foods I've been eating in the online database. If I can't find an exact match, I've found an item that was close enough. For the things that I couldn't find, I've added a recipe for quick entry into my daily calorie log.

In addition to being able to track what foods you eat, you can also track your exercise in Lose It!. The execrise database, which is stored on the iPhone or iPod touch, is very extensive. It covers everything from walking to dancing, to lawn mowing.

I've been using Lose It! for about two weeks now and I have been able to lose 5 lbs in two weeks without chaning what I eat or increasing my exercise routine. In the end, Lose It! has helped me make better choices about how much to eat.

As with any diet and exercise regiment, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor before starting.

Lose It! is available now from the Apple App Store.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Telus Flips for BlackBerry 8239

According to a post on the Boy Genius Report website today, Canadian cellular carrier, Telus Mobility, is now offering the new BlackBerry Flip 8230 smartphone. BGR writes:
"Starting at $49.99 on a three-year contract and going all the way up to $449.99 contract-free, TELUS is hoping the youth market in Canada will receive the clam shell smartphone with open arms — especially younger females considering TELUS’ nation-wide media campaign featuring the all pink Pearl Flip."

Read the full Boy Genius Report article...

[via BoyGeniusReport.com...]

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Microsoft My Phone Beta






A few weeks ago I submitted my name to participate in the Microsoft My Phone public beta. My Phone is a service from Microsoft that will allow you to:
  • Back up and restore your phone's information to a password-protected web site
  • Access and update your contacts and appointments through your web account
  • Share photos on your phone with family and friends
Last Friday I received my invitation into the program. Check back later in the week for my opinions on the service and how well it works with my Palm Treo 750 smartphone.

To jump in and join all the Microsoft Windows Mobile phone fun, head over to the MyPhone Beta website.

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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Battlestar Galactica on Your Smartphone












There are only two frakin' episodes of Sci-Fi's popular Battlestar Galactica left! Don't miss out any any of the toaster pounding action! You can use your smartphone to access Sci-Fi's BSG mobile portal at:

http://mobile.scifi.com/bsg


Daybreak, Part 1 airs on Friday, March 13 at 10pm ET on Sci-Fi Channel.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Gagets On The Go: Sprint Treo Pro Hands On


















My friend and fellow gadget blogger, Jimmie Geddes, has gotten his hands on on the new Palm Treo Pro for Sprint a few days early.
"The Sprint Treo Pro comes in the exact same packaging as the unlocked Treo Pro. Palm's packaging for the Sprint Treo Pro is very reminiscent of Apple's iPhone packaging. It's clear that Palm wants to make a great first impression before you even get to the Treo Pro inside its box and they succeed in doing so. Very classy!"

Keep reading...

[Via GadgetsOnTheGo.net...]

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MacBook Pro 17-inch...NOT!












I just returned home from my latest trip to the Apple Store in the Westfarms mall. The purpose of the tip, aside from a detour to the Rain Forest Cafe, was to purchase the totally new, totally sexy, super slim, all powerful, Apple MacBook Pro 17".

I had (virtual) fists full of cash. I had the green light from my CFO (read: wife). And I had a full tank of gas in the car. Too bad the Apple Store didn't have any in stock.

Ugh!

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

BlackBerry App World - Coming Soon




Last night's big news from Research In Motion was that their mobile application store front, App World, is "coming soon."
"Coming soon! Find tons of great applications designed for your BlackBerry smartphone in one convenient place - BlackBerry App World. Personalize your BlackBerry smartphone with games, social networks, personal productivity applications and so much more. Message your best friend, track the stock market, or channel your inner rock god. Sign up to receive updates for BlackBerry App World today and discover how to put more of your life on your BlackBerry smartphone."
According to the BlackBerry website, App World will require that you have a Berry that has OS 4.2 or later installed and a device with a trackball or a SurePress touch screen device.

For more details, check out:

http://www.blackberry.com/appworld

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SPF Will Be Attending Palm's Pre Event















Palm and Sprint will be holding a series of invitation only Palm Pre events and I will be in attendance. The first webcast will be held soon so be sure to come back to Smartphone Fanatics for all the details.

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Palm Treo Pro Comes to Alltel Wireless

Palm continues their roll out of their latest Windows Mobile phone, the Treo Pro, around the world. Today's news is that Alltel Wireless now has the Treo Pro available for their business customers. As was previously mentioned here, the Alltel Treo Pro will ship with Windows Mobile Professional 6.1 and the new version of Pocket Internet Explorer, version 6.0.
"Palm, Inc.and Alltel Wireless today announced that the Treo Pro smartphone is available today at Alltel Wireless retail stores and online at alltel.com. Treo Pro is a sleek, full-function smartphone that offers business users the ease of use and robust features they demand while providing the reliability and manageability IT departments require. With Wi-Fi, GPS and Windows Mobile 6.1, Treo Pro helps busy professionals stay connected on the go so they can structure their lives around their priorities without sacrificing work productivity."

"Businesses want the control and savings that Windows affords, in an innovative and elegant package that keeps their users happy. Treo Pro balances both," said John Traynor, vice president, business products, Palm, Inc.

"Treo Pro strengthens our aggressive business product portfolio by letting customers easily stay connected and experience Alltel's broadband network," said Angela Rittgers, director of product management for Alltel Wireless. "Businesses will benefit from Treo Pro's advanced functionality and well-designed user interface."
Alltel customers looking to purchase the Treo Pro can do so for $199 with a two-year service agreement. For more information about the Treo Pro, visit the Palm website. Customers can view the service plans and pricing on the Treo Pro on the Alltel website.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Palm and Sprint Talk Treo Pro Release Date

Looks like after a false start or two, Palm and Sprint are finally on the same page and are talking about the release date for the Treo Pro.
"Palm, Inc. and Sprint today announced the upcoming availability of the Treo Pro smartphone for the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network on March 15."

"Treo Pro will be available through all Sprint retail channels, including www.sprint.com/treopro, 1-800-SPRINT1 and Sprint retail stores, for $199.99 with a two-year subscriber agreement (after a $100 instant rebate and $100 mail-in rebate, with an Everything plan with data or a $30 per month or higher data add-on). It also will be available through the Palm Store (www.palm.com/store) and Palm's B2B sales organization beginning March 16."

"Treo Pro is a sleek, full-function smartphone offering users the ease of use and robust features they demand while providing the reliability and manageability IT departments require. With the EV-DO Rev. A speeds of Sprint's Mobile Broadband Network, Wi-Fi, GPS and Windows Mobile 6.1 capabilities, Treo Pro helps busy professionals stay connected on the go so they can structure their lives around their priorities without sacrificing work productivity."

"Business decision makers require a product that not only integrates seamlessly into their existing IT infrastructures, but one that's also cost-effective," said John Traynor, vice president, business products, Palm, Inc. "Treo Pro delivers just that - a feature set that IT managers need to support their mobile work force."

In a related new article, the folks over at Engadget Mobile are reporting that the new "special blend" Sprint Treo Pro (which does sport different hardware specs than the unlocked GSM edition) will in fact ship with a version of Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional that will include Pocket Internet Explorer 6.
"Occasionally, Microsoft will freshen an existing version of WinMo with a so-called AKU, and going forward, all 6.1 devices to hit the market (including the Sprint Treo Pro, coincidentally) will use AKU 1.4, which includes IE Mobile 6."
I'm glad to see that Palm has refined the totally sexy Treo Pro for Sprint and even baked in the latest version of Windows Mobile Professional. If the Palm Pre wasn't so close to launch, I'd probably spring for one one since I'm a Sprint customers.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Palm Reports Preliminary Q3 FY09 Results


Earlier today, Palm released their preliminary results for their Q3FY09 period which ended back on February 27. The news doesn't look good.

Palm states that they are on target to end the quarter somewhere between $85 to $95 million dollars. The reasons for such a low earning quarter? According to Palm, there is continuing decline for the company's "maturing legacy smartphone products," a sluggish economy, and "later-than-expected shipments" of the Treo Pro in the United States.

Allow me to translate: Palm isn't selling the Treo 755p and Centro anymore; people are worried about paying for the essentials - not smartphones; and Palm and Sprint can't get the Windows Mobile Treo Pro, which has completely overshadowed the Treo 800w, certified and out the door.

The silver lining in all of this is that the company is reporting that the new webOS-powered Pre is still on target for a launch in this half of 2009.
"The much-anticipated launch of the Palm Pre remains on track for the first half of calendar year 2009, but as expected we've got a difficult transition period to work through," said Palm President and Chief Executive Officer Ed Colligan. "Despite the challenging market environment, the extraordinary response to the Palm Pre and the new Palm webOS reaffirms our confidence in our long-term prospects and our ability to reestablish Palm as the leading innovator in the growing smartphone market."
And speaking of webOS, a small little nugget was dropped in today's statement.
"Separately, Palm indicated that since it expects to periodically provide new software features free of charge to customers of its Palm webOS products, including the recently announced Palm Pre, it will recognize the revenues and cost of revenues associated with Palm webOS product sales on a straight-line basis over the product's estimated economic life of 24 months. The company will be recording deferred revenues and deferred cost of revenues on its balance sheet, and amortizing them into earnings on a straight-line basis over the estimated economic product life of 24 months. The company will continue to expense engineering, sales and marketing costs as they are incurred. This accounting treatment will have no impact on cash flow."
From that statement, we can draw the conclusion that Palm might be returning to a position that the company held years ago to provide free software updates to customers. It also indicates that the Pre will have a service life of about two years.

Palm will be reporting their full Q3FY09 results on Thursday, March 19. A conference call will be held at 4:30pm ET/1:30pm PT.

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Mobile Apps 360: KeySwop

Mobile Apps 360 takes a look at mobile software for your Palm OS, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, and the iPhone/iPod touch that will help keep your favorite mobile device fresh with new software.

KeySwop, written by Vicott Wong, is a small utility that will allow you to reassign the function of the soft keys on a Windows Mobile device. For example, on the Windows Mobile 6.0 Professional device, like the Palm Treo 750, the left soft key lauches Pocket Outlook and the right soft key opens the Today Screen menu.

Once you have installed KeySwop, you can remap the left and right soft keys to be any other application on your Windows Mobile 5 or 6 smartphone. I like this application because it restores some of the functionality that I have on my Palm OS devices. On Palm OS, you an reprogram the hardware buttons to be any other application on your handheld or PDA. KeySwop give you another option for gaining quick access to applicationst that are important to you.

Best of all, KeySwop is a free application! You can download KeySwop from Mr. Wong's website. Version 0.4.1 was released in January, 2009.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Documents To Go for iPhone/iPod touch Update















The folks at DataViz have been hard at work on the latest port of their flagship mobile application: Documents To Go. DataViz dropped us a line the other day with an update on the progress of the iPhone/iPod touch application.
"We wanted to let you know that Documents To Go is still on track to be released in the second quarter of 2009. We'd also like to give you a look at a few screenshots so you can get a better feel for what we're up to.

We'll provide you with more information on features as we get closer to the release. For now let's just say we have some exciting things planned for this app!"

To tease us, or hold us over until the application launches later this year, DataViz included some screen shots to look at.

The one question that I still is whether or not Documents To Go for iPhone/iPod touch will be as important as it has been on my Palm OS, Windows Mobile, and BlackBerry devices. Without the ability to cut/copy and paste information, which I do frequently when editing Microsoft Office documents, I'm not sure how useful this application is going to be. Come on Apple, let's have us some copy and paste goodness like every other Palm OS, Windows Mobile, and BlackBerry smartphone has. In my opinion, the iPhone can not be considered a true business phone until it has copy and paste. Support for Exchange ActiveSync alone does not a business phone make.

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Palm webOS Developer Webcast Posted

Jon Zilber posted a note on the Palm company blog on Friday afternoon to let us know that the O'Reilly webcast on developing applications for Palm's new mobile operating system, webOS, has been posted online.

Mr. Zilber writes:
"If you missed O'Reilly's SRO webinar featuring Palm's Software CTO Mitch Allen, here's your chance to catch it whenever you like. You can also leave questions and feedback for Mitch and the rest of the team on the Palm Developer Network blog (and they'll answer the ones they can). "


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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Formatting a SD Card With Windows Mobile




Are you kidding me?! You can't format a SD card using a Windows Mobile device? Oh the irony. My Treo 755p, running the "ancient" Palm OS 5 can even format a SD card. Don't believe me? Here is Palm's KB article on the subject:
"If you need to format an expansion card for your Windows Mobile Treo smartphone, you'll need to use your desktop PC and an expansion card reader. It is not possible to format an expansion card in your smartphone."
I wonder if Microsoft will add the ability to format SD cards in Windows Mobile Professional 6.5 or 7.

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Palm Treo Pro Comes to Canada on Bell

On Friday, Palm announced that its Treo Pro smartphone is now available to customers of Canada's Bell wireless network.

The Palm Treo Pro is now available on Bell Mobility's high-speed mobile network (EV-DO Rev. A), marking its debut in Canada. With its streamlined design and Palm innovations layered on Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, Treo Pro allows businesses to simplify their IT infrastructures while lowering costs and keeping their users productive and happy. The 3G-capable Treo Pro smartphone is now available to Bell Mobility clients for a limited-time price of $99.95 on a three-year contract.

Treo Pro offers Bell Mobility clients simplicity and productivity - including email, Wi-Fi, GPS, web and CDMA EV-DO Rev. A network capabilities - to meet the needs of businesses and end users alike. Treo Pro's thin design blends a flush, high-resolution colour touch screen, one-touch buttons and a full QWERTY keyboard. The removable battery packs up to four hours of talk time and enough strength for the business user's needs, offering a powerful yet effortless mobile experience.
"Treo Pro is a perfect fit for the busy business professional or casual user who needs on-the-go access to business tools or their personal email," said John Traynor, vice president, business products, Palm, Inc. "Treo Pro's capabilities, including Wi-Fi and GPS, ensure users can be highly responsive, available and productive with a powerful yet effortless mobile experience."

"By offering Treo Pro on the Bell Mobility network, we continue to provide Bell Mobility clients with a combination of the best smartphone technology and leading business and consumer data services," said Adel Bazerghi, Bell Mobility's senior vice president of Products. "Treo Pro meets and exceeds the needs of Bell Mobility clients who want access to their business tools."
Bell customers can learn more about the Palm Treo Pro on the Palm website or the Bell website.

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