“Palm smartphone experience, meet Windows Mobile platform” — Yesterday Palm finally announced the Windows-powered Treo smartphone, to be launched on Verizon sometime in 2006. I’ve been anxiously waiting to see what kind of reaction this would bring, but so far it seems fairly muted. Maybe with all the rumors floating around, everyone was already expecting this move.
It’s curious, though, that the announcement was made so far in advance. Back in the day, it wasn’t so cool to preannounce. In a related move, Palm sent an email to registered developers:
Development resources for the Treo on Windows Mobile will be posted to PluggedIn once the product is commercially available, in early calendar 2006.
Looks like developers are getting the shaft again. I hope they plan to release some developer info prior to the actual product launch (if they want any 3rd-party software to be available for it).
Read more: CNET Feedster Palm Press Release
This is a couple days old, but it looks like Tapwave is now officially out of business:
We are sorry to inform you that the Zodiac business was discontinued and service and support are no longer available as of July 25th 2005.
We thank you for your past interest and support and apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused. If you have an outstanding claim with the company, Ueker and Associates will be contacting you shortly.
Interesting note about outstanding claims (my emphasis). That’s never a good sign.
When I worked at Palm (98-04), we saw the rise of the “Palm OS Platform” and tried to keep up with cool PDAs from Sony, Handspring and finally Tapwave. Sony exited the business, Handspring was bought by Palm, and now Tapwave shuts the doors. Not sure whether this is a good thing or not for the platform, but if it returns to the days when Palm was in the leadership position, that should be a good thing.
More on Technorati: Tapwave
I’ve been having fun with Yahoo! Music Unlimited, an inexpensive music subscription service that is currently in beta. Unfortunately my stinking Creative Zen Touch is still waiting for a firmware upgrade to be compatible with these subscription services.
The good news this week: Pocket Tunes v3.1 has added Windows Media DRM support for subscription stores, including Yahoo’s! This afternoon I loaded up my Tungsten T3 and gave it a whirl. Other than download speed (which is really slow through HotSync), it worked just fine. Newer devices like the T5 and LifeDrive should have faster data transfer times. I think you can also copy the protected WMA files directly to a memory card, but I need to confirm.
Check the list of supported devices. Unfortunately the Treo 600 is not supported, but the 650 is. Another reason to upgrade I suppose…
SplashData (maker of SplashPhoto, SplashID, etc.) recently released SplashBlog – a “Mobile photo sharing solution for wireless handhelds”:
SplashBlog lets you instantly publish photos from your smartphone to an online photo album (photo blog) to share with others. SplashBlog includes everything you need to share your photos, including software for your smartphone and a free online photoblog account at splashblog.com.
A gave this application a quick test (30-day trial is available) and it looks like a great solution for mobile picture blogging. In fact, this could be a great moblogging application in general if they allowed posting without images. SplashBlog has some key features of an “ideal” Palm blogging application that I’ve mentioned before:
- Standard Palm OS user interface
- Interfacing with device camera/photos application
- Direct updating of blog server, including 2-way sync
Currently SplashBlog supports TypePad or SplashBlog.com sites, but promises to add support for more in the future. If support for standard XML-RPC / MetaWeblog API sites like MovableType and WordPress become available, this application could really take off. I’d also like to see an option to make postings without images. It may not be the primary use case, but would make a nice text mobile blogging app.
If you’ve used any products from SplashData, you know that the quality and attention to detail are high, including such rarities as a good user manual, full-functionality trial periods, regular updates and useful desktop counterparts. SplashPhoto is no exception and is worth a look. Right now the introductory price is only $19.95.
Treonauts has a nice comparison of the web browsing experience with Blazer (the built-in Treo web browser from palmOne) and Xiino (from Mobirus). Their overall conclusion showed Xiino being significantly faster than Blazer. I’ve heard good things about Blazer 4.0, but for now it’s only available on the Treo 650, not as a separate software package.
Checking back on my analysis of mobile user agents, I do show a very small number of Xiino hits (only 0.22% of the total).