Today started with the Treo 700w being silent for a while. After turning the ringer switch off during a morning meeting, I forget it in the off position (the switch is conveniently located on top for easy access when you need it unexpectedly). After wondering why I haven’t received any calls for a while, I checked the phone, and saw the notification that I had 6 voice mail messages waiting for me. Oh well!
Today included a few minor accomplishments but still significant on the practicality/efficiency scale. First I got the Bluetooth headset setup. Setting options on the Treo 700w is mostly accomplished by selecting the Start menu (your typical starting point, just like Windows) and then selecting Settings. The Settings screen (left picture) includes 3 tabs: Personal, System, and Connections. The Bluetooth setup is in the Connections tab. During the first few days of setting up and configuring the device, you are likely to find yourself in the Settings screen quite often.
Then I setup a few speed dials. In addition to some easy ones (just a phone number), I also entered one that included a calling card number, a PIN number, and an international phone number, with automatic pauses in between—left picture (similar to the one I entered in the Treo 700p on day #7). I did get the opportunity to use this international speed dial today, so I think I already saved as much time as I used setting it up. Tomorrow the positive return on investment will start accumulating.
One more observation relating to dialing phone numbers is that when you are in an e-mail message for instance, and you see a phone number, you can scroll down to it and then dial it (using the 5-way navigation key, or you can click on it with the stylus if you’re using the stylus). This is also possible when you’re browsing a Web page.
Can you “google” on the little device?
Today, I had the opportunity to do some Web-searching on the Treo 700w, and more browsing. The speed and navigation were quite reasonable. When I got to a large web page, the first part was displayed, and at the bottom of the page, a “Next Page” link was created, allowing me to view the next part of the page. It seems that the page was broken down into 3 pages, and I could navigate from one to the next.
Filling out a survey form, which I did with the Treo 700p on day #4, was also possible with the Treo 700w, even though the navigation seemed a little more challenging than what I remember from the Treo 700p. I had to resort to the stylus to make my way through. Then when I was close to the end of the survey, I accidentally pressed a button, which took me out of the survey and out of Internet Explorer (when I came back to it, it seems that I got a new fresh browser screen, and no way to go back to my data). Oh well again! And again it is a user error!
With the Verizon boradband access on the Treo 700w (download speeds being 400 to 700Kbps, and up to 1.8Mbps, and upload speeds up to 156Kbps), and the improved browser interfaces, browsing and potentially taking care of some Web transactions, seems to be feasible (something I would not have done with the the GPRS device I was using before the experiment). It is still probably not what your first choice would be (if you have access to a computer), but when stranded in the metro (which happened to me on day #4) or at the airport, or waiting in the lobby, or in the conference room for other to show up, this ability to browse at high-speed using the Treo can be a savior.
The latest report on using the stylus
Well, with using Excel yesterday (day #15) and Web browsing today, the stylus proved to be almost necessary (however, that is not a problem, knowing that you wouldn’t expect to use these applications single-handed). Otherwise (outside the use of Excel and Web browsing), I am still able to make my way through without much use of the stylus. So if you are not a stylus fan, you will do fine without it when using the Treo 700w (and pretty much the same is true for the Treo 700p). Of course, if you are a stylus fan, then you are in stylus heaven!
Stay tuned for more advanced Treo 700w actions tomorrow!
Tomorrow, in addition to continuing to report on usability issues, I am hoping to tackle some more advanced e-mail issues, such as setting up the Treo to retrieve e-mail from an Exchange account.