The Treo 700p accompanied me today to a Microsoft event in San Francisco among other places. Sitting in the presentation room, in a low lighting situation, it was an opportunity to try the camera under new conditions. You can see the picture on the left. By the way, Windows Vista and the whole 2007 product line presented today were quite intriguing.
One of today’s highlights as far as the Treo 700p is concerned--even though it was not planned or expected, was that the Voice Memos application turned out to be quite useful. Being on the go most of the day, and needing to capture some ideas and some to-do’s spontaneously, I decided to give the Voice Memos application a try. It did the job, and did it well! This was especially helpful when I was stranded (twice on the same day unfortunately) in the metro, for almost 15 minutes one way and more than 30 minutes the other way, due to some problems of some sort (no one really understood what the problems were even though they were announced on the not-so-hi-fi loud speaker a couple of times). It was difficult to try to open a laptop, or even a notebook, while standing in a large crowd of people. So recording voice memos did the trick.
Another highlight from today is the easy installation of the Bluetooth headset. As I made my first Bluetooth headset call, I accidentally touched the screen and disconnected the call. An issue that sooner or later you will encounter if you use a device with a touch screen. That was easy to resolve though, by setting the Treo 700p to disable the touch screen during phone calls. Something that is done from the Preferences applications.
Now let us get to the core stuff
Here are some observations relating to the important functions that I used today and how things went along the way.
> The fast internet connection was truly fast: Receiving and sending e-mail was almost like being at the office and connected at high speed. Browsing was very usable and quite satisfying, unlike the less satisfying experience I had browsing on handheld device browsers before.
> Push e-mail worked perfectly well: As I mentioned yesterday, now the Treo 700p offers the option of having e-mail delivered to the device automatically as it gets delivered to the server (with a few minute delay as I was told by the technical support folks). This was convenient and reassuring.
> Easy e-mail navigation and management: The Wireless Sync e-mail application, one of the two e-mail applications provided on the Treo 700p, is well designed and more efficient than previous e-mail clients.
Today, I was able to handle several urgent e-mails, and use some of the breaks to handle several more. These e-mails would have been otherwise accumulating and waiting for me at the end of a long and exhausting day.
Composing e-mail messages on the Treo 700p keyboard was actually reasonable. Unlike yesterday when I was typing while under the “pressure” of the voice mail system (to type a 16 digit account number with no mistakes), e-mail composition seemed less threatening and went well.
I wrote several e-mails. When not under the pressure of entering a 16 digit account number without mistakes, typing was quite reasonable. I see myself typing good size e-mails.
> Smooth browsing and easy Web form handling: Blazer (the Treo 700p browser) is definitely one of the highlights today. It is not only the speed that I am referring to, but the ability to display the graphics and the text smoothly, and to adjust the page layout, and make the navigation through the links relatively easy on the small screen. In addition, I was able to fill out a survey form, which may become another benchmark for comparing the devices.
> The battery life was a positive surprise today which took care of yesterday’s concern. I have used the device extensively, and the battery lasted all day. I did charge it late in the day. I will continue to monitor this issue as the experiment continues.
What didn’t go smoothly today?
> Connecting my laptop to the internet using the Treo 700p: I opened the application that was installed on my laptop (VZAccess Manager) and followed the instructions, and then connected the Treo 700p to the USB post using the cable when asked to do so, but the VZAccess Manager insisted that “A wireless phone was not found”. After reattempting to do this a couple of times, I gave up and decided to add this to take this to the technical support staff.
Technical support challenges
> I spent more than an hour on the phone with the technical support staff (from 6:27 pm to 7:35 pm) but unfortunately without a good outcome. After going through a series of voice mail options, I got to the Verizon technical support and they tried to diagnose yesterday problem but without success (not being able to synchronize with Outlook Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks).
I was then transferred to the Palm technical support. The two support systems didn’t seem to be talk to each other because I had to go through yet another series of voice mail options, in which I was asked about which device and which wireless provider I was with. When I finally reached a technical support rep at Palm, and after a long process, it was suggested that I call Verizon technical support because it was believed that the problem may be caused by the Wireless Sync application which is not a Palm application apparently.
The day summary:
Push e-mail with high speed internet access make the Treo 700p a fine e-mail device, narrowing the gap between the Treo 700p and the BlackBerry as far as the e-mail is concerned. The multi-media capabilities, referring now primarily to voice memos and secondarily to the camera, are coming in handy and proving to be more useful than I would have thought. The technical support and unresolved issues are slowing things down a bit, but if you have been dealing with technology, you know that is not unusual, so let us see where they will lead us to.
Outstanding from today:
> Two technical support issues are now outstanding: First the synchronization with Outlook (Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks) and second using the Treo 700p to connect the laptop to the internet.
> Installing the add-ons which was postponed today in order to handle the technical support issues.
> Solving the Google POP setting, which also took a backseat now.
> Recharging the Treo 700p with the car charger (no rush here).
What is tomorrow like?
Aside from the usual, and catching up on the outstanding issues about, I would like to start preparing to go through some more structured scenarios (mainly the ones that we currently cover in the Treo 650 Techniques class).