Opening a new box--of almost anything, is a pleasure, so a new box with a Smartphone inside is extra-pleasure. The Treo 700p box included, in addition to the Treo 700p itself, the charger, the sync cable, the headset, the installation and resources CD, and the “read this first” manual, which actually opens up and become a nice chart with step by step instructions, and the quick reference guide.
Following the instructions in the “read me first” chart, I was able to make my first call in just a few minutes. After hanging up, the Treo 700p asked me if I want to add the phone number that I just called to my contacts list, giving me the option to create a new contact, or add it to an existing contact.
Then came the configuration step. This is the step that involves putting the CD in the computer drive and installing the synchronization software and other add-on applications. I could sense that the tension was rising at this point—the experiment is becoming real, with my own computer and data at stake—and my ability to find my contacts and appointments when I need them on the go. I couldn’t help it but think of prior experiences when a CD that looked harmless at the beginning, or even quite interesting, ended up translating into hours of undoing and redoing, and not to mention the endless technical support calls.
Knowing that I am a Windows user, at least for today, I followed the Windows instructions. Mac users are given Mac instructions which seems just as easy to follow. To my dismay, the whole installation which took about 15 to 20 minutes went seamlessly. The installation program took me step by step through the process, asking only a couple of questions, one of them being whether I want to synchronize with the Palm Desktop or with Outlook, and the other being the user name I would like to assign. The automatic installation process was then able to find the information it needed from my Outlook and asked me to connect the Treo 700p to the USB port using the provided USB sync cable, and it did what it needed to do. When the process was completed, a long log file was generated, telling me things like some recurring calendar entries having been split into individual appointments, and some categories that were longer than 15 characters were truncated-minor and probably harmless details.
I quickly pressed the Calendar button on the Treo 700p and was able to verify that all my appointments were there, and then checked my contacts, and then some tasks. This signifies success and relief! And just a few minutes after I finished the above process, and yet another proof for the smooth synchronization, I heard the Treo 700p beep as a reminder popped up, and just a few seconds after that, I saw Outlook come up with the same reminder. So now I know, they are in sync.
Knowing that the installation and setup went smoothly, this gave me some time to review the e-mail capabilities of the Treo 700p, and the add-on applications that are provided on the CD, and therefore do some planning for day 3 which I outlined below in the “What is coming up tomorrow” section.
> There is MORE in the box: The Treo 700p seems to have undergone some significant improvement in its ability to get installed and configured easily, and to synchronize with the most popular e-mail application (Microsoft Outlook) without the need for additional 3rd party utilities. In addition it seems to provide a similar installation process for the Mac.
> Usability improvements: The Treo 700p already seems to have some usability improvements. More to be seen in the next few days, but if I remember correctly, I don’t think I was asked whether I would like to add a newly dialed phone number to the contacts list in the past.
> A quick tip that I ran into in the “read me first” guide: To view your Treo 700p phone number (may be helpful initially when you get your Treo 700p), select the phone application, press menu + I, and you will see some information about your device including phone number and software version.
What is coming up tomorrow (day #3):
> Tomorrow is the e-mail day. I will be setting up e-mail so I can receive and send my e-mails from the Treo 700p. The Treo 700p provides Wireless Sync and VersaMail as two e-mail applications that you can use (so I will be choosing one of these applications and then configuring it). This will also give me the opportunity to explore the e-mail capabilities in more detail.
> In addition, tomorrow I will install the other goodies on the installation CD. These are the ones that I chose so far:
- Bejeweled: just in case some play time is needed along the way
- Handmark pocket express: Mainly for maps and directions
- VersaMail: If I decide to use it instead of Wireless Sync
- Treo Voice Dialing, just to check it out and see how the voice recognition technology is developing on these devices.
- Apple Quicktime player: On the desktop to be able to play movies recorded by the Treo 700p.
- Documents to Go professional edition: To get the full functionality of editing and synchronizing Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and PDF documents on the Treo 700p
- Verizon Access Manager: To be able to use the Treo 700p to connect the laptop to the internet
- Windows Media Player: On the desktop in order to be able to manage/download mp3 files to the Treo 700p
> Finally, I will setup voice mail.
This seem to be quite a bit for day 3, but I am eager to get e-mail underway, which makes the device fully usable, and ready for the real-time usability part of the experiment.
Corrections/Additions from yesterday:
> Something I didn’t mention yesterday (August 14) is that when I purchased the Treo 700p and its accessories, I also got the car charger--another useful accessory for the Treo 700p and communication on the go.