Back to the Palm Treo 650

Well, it seems that I always keep coming back to the Treo 650 no matter what other device, or devices, I try.

I recently tried a Cingular 8125 for about three months. While I liked the keyboard, WiFi, and web browsing experience on the 8125, I really missed the one-handed operation of the Treo 650. In addition, I missed the keyboard always being available. It is just quicker getting things done with the Treo.

Anyway, I am back with another Treo 650, and I am glad!

Traded My Treo 650 for a Cingular 8125

Well, I have traded my Palm Treo 650 for a Cingular 8125. With a trade like this, there are always advantages and disadvantages.

Things I miss…

  • Keyboard available all the time
  • Better memory management
  • Full one-handed operation
  • Quicker device response
  • Faster processor
  • Pocket Tunes Deluxe
  • Camera
  • Stylus

Things I like…

  • Keyboard
  • Multi-tasking
  • Web browsing
  • Email
  • Stereo speakers
  • Speakerphone
  • WiFi
  • Camera
  • Physical screen size is larger
  • Standard USB connection
  • ActiveSync

The Cingular 8125 is not a perfect device, but it fits my needs better than the Treo 650 at this point. I wish Microsoft would figure out a way to bring true one-hand navigation to Windows Mobile 5. In addition, I wish Cingular had decided on a faster processor. These are the biggest issues for me. Otherwise, I am very happy with the 8125.

Still searching for the “perfect” device…

Landscape Is Changing

A lot is changing in the mobile world. Product lines are getting fuzzy, and there is a lot of overlap in functionality of the different mobile devices available. Phones are adding functions. PDA’s are adding functions. Media devices are adding functions. Will there even be any differentiation between the these product lines in the future?

For the immediate future, I believe these different product lines will continue to exist because each one focuses on a different use. Each device is designed with a specific interface to directly access and manage it’s primary function.

Let’s take the phone for example. Most phones have a green iconized button to answer a call and a red iconized button to end a call. These buttons are specific to the function of the phone and are useless for other devices. You could argue that they would be useful for a smart phone. However, when you add these buttons to a smart phone, you are pretty much deciding that the buttons will be used primarily for the phone function of the device. Thus, the use of the buttons is diluted, so to speak, for other functions of the device. You may as well not have the buttons when you use the smart phone for something other than a phone call. I realize you can assign other functions to the buttons through software, but it makes the device more complicated for most users to figure out, or at least, they have to take the time to figure them out.

Even further in the future, I really think different mobile product lines will continue to exist because they will be able to excel and to further enhance the experience they want to offer the consumer. Of course, technology will enable mobile devices to do more things and do them better. However, will the different product lines be able to differentiate themselves as much as they do now? It will be interesting to find out.

Motorola RAZR V3i

Personally, I have been waiting for an update to the RAZR, and Motorola has announced the Motorola RAZR V3i. Details are sketchy as Motorola does not even have a press release posted. However, there is a press video clip showing off iTunes and the possibility of a MiniSD card slot.

Video of Motorola RAZR V3i

New Addition to the Family

My wife and I are proud to announce the birth of our fourth daughter, Emma Katelyn. She was born on Friday, October 28, 2005. She weighed 8 lb 4 oz and was 21 inches long.

She is a real blessing and miraculous reminder of how precious life is. I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers.

Taking Family Leave

I will be out of pocket for a while as my wife and I will probably be having a baby tomorrow. While I am not positive, I wanted to let you know the reason behind the lack of updates here at MobiBeat, if and when we do have the baby. Take care.

The PDA Planning Panic

There is a good discussion over at Palm247 about using your PDA for planning your schedule. Shaun McGill starts the discussion with his experience, and then he ends it with a question, “Do you feel that your PDA dominates your life or has it given you more time to relax?”

Personally, I believe our panic (or busy) nature has more do to with society in general. We are expected to do more with less because of the technology available to us. Let’s take look at a simple example, the washing machine.

The washing machine definitely saves a lot of time when compared to using an old scrub board. For the sake of the discussion, we will say it saves people four hours a week. People do not take that four hours to relax, they use that time to do something else. Thus, we are basically doing more things in less time, in other words, being efficient.

If we take the simple example of the washing machine and apply to all the other technological advances that have been made in the last century, we have only pushed ourselves into doing more things in less time. Thus, we constantly put ourselves under pressure to get more and more done. By doing so, we believe we are being efficient with our time, which we probably are. However, being efficient with our time is one thing. Being effective with our time is something totally different, and I believe effectiveness is something to be considered when looking at the endless of things to do.

Participate in the Discussion over at Palm247

Another Palm Treo 650 with an Added Accessory

I sold my unlocked GSM Palm Treo 650 since my company was planning to purchase one for me. Before I went ahead and just ordered another Treo, I thought I would look around to see what was available. I have considered many options, and some of them included the use of multiple devices.

Since I could not find the perfect device, I decided to go ahead with another Palm Treo 650 that the company bought. In addition, I also purchased a Dell Axim X51v with the money from selling my Treo. I really missed the 640×480 screen, as well as the compact flash slot that I used for my digital camera. Plus, the multimedia experience and the web experience is really better than any device available.

All in all, I believe I have the best of both worlds. My Treo will be my daily workhouse that keeps me on task and connected while the X51v will do the heavy lifting by playing multimedia, viewing large pixel photos, surfing the Internet, and managing my large number of files. I guess you could say I purchased another Palm Treo 650 with an added accessory. However, it was one of the most expensive accessories I have purchased in a while.

Proposed Solutions for Mobile Computing

There is an excellent article written by Bob over at titled Proposed Solutions for Mobile Computing.

As for my vision for mobile computing, I would like to see an independent device, without the need for another computer. I want a mobile device running a mobile operating system that can handle all the major tasks that I perform on a daily basis which includes handling email, managing my schedule, managing my contacts, managing the list of things I need to do, jotting down a note, browsing the Internet, running a word processor, running a spreadsheet, running a presentation, running a database, watching movies, listening to music, burning data to a CD/DVD, connecting to a network, viewing PDF files, and reading books.

Now, I know the list of things is long, and there are some mobile devices that can already handle most, if not all of this. However, in many ways, current devices do them marginally well, or they still need to be connected to a computer in order to do some of them.

I basically want the capability of a laptop without the bulky peripherals (i.e. 15″ screen, full size keyboard, CD drive, etc.). However, it still needs the basic mobile technology (i.e. screen, some form of input like current mobile devices, WiFi, Bluetooth, microphone, headphone jack, and memory card expansion). In addition, it needs to support an interface that would easily allow me to connect to peripherals I need.

For a typical setup, I could imagine a docking station that was connected to a home network, a 19″ LCD monitor, a CD/DVD burner, a keyboard, and a mouse. You simply slide the mobile device into the docking station, and you are ready to go. In addition, you could have the same setup at work. Thus, you could easily go from home to work without transferring or synchronizing anything. Although more restrictive due to the devices input/output limitations, you could still access the information on the mobile device itself plus have the ability to connect to the Internet using WiFi or Bluetooth networking capabilities.

I could also imagine a “laptop” docking station that would be the same form factor of current laptops, but you could simply slide your mobile device into the “laptop” docking station for access to your information via a 15” LCD monitor and full-size keyboard along with all the other stuff that comes on a laptop.

I really think something like this would be viable because it would replace a lot of redundancy. It would be a true centralization of your data, and it would save a lot of time managing multiple devices.

Why Have PDAs Failed In The iPod Era?

Over at Slashdot, there is an interesting discussion taking place on Why Have PDAs Failed In The iPod Era?. Although it is very long, there are some interesting points made throughout the 595+ posts.

Personally, I really do not think something fails just because it does not have the response that iPod has had. However, I think the PDA could be more successful. Here were some of the things that I would like to highlight that would help the PDA:

  1. Better marketing
  2. Better media applications
  3. Simplified user interface
  4. Easier to use
  5. More storage space
  6. More reliable
  7. Better battery life
  8. Better out-of-the-box experience

Of course, there are many others, but I think these cover the big items that PDA manufacturers need to consider. They need to focus on a few things, and they need to do them well. In addition, I really think PDA manufacturers need to educate the public. For example, I saw a lot of comments made about a PDA losing its data when the batteries die. This has been addressed by the latest Windows Mobile devices and Palm devices.