Just drove by the big transmission tower in San Francisco today, and the Treo 700w being handy, I decided to take a picture, and the Treo 700w being handy, I also thought why not “google” the transmission tower (you think I had a little bit of time on my hand--actually I didn’t, but curiosity took over).
From the Start menu on the Treo 700w, I selected Internet Explorer, the then typed “antenna twin peaks san francisco” in the Google search field.
You see the search results on the right (first few of 108,000 results). I probably should have known this already, but I learned that the transmission tower (also called Sutro Tower) is almost the geographical center of San Francisco, and sits on the twin peaks which happen to be at an elevation of 992 feet (the second highest point in San Francisco providing sweeping 360 degree views of the city). Thanks to the Treo 700w!
Back to the problem of not being able to get e-mail from the Exchange server to the Treo 700w, this ended up being a technical support call which did not end successfully. It seems that we need to do more work in this area. I think we will get it working, but I think the moral of the story here is that when you want to retrieve e-mail to the Treo 700w from multiple e-mail accounts, and some are POP, and some are Exchange server based, and whatever else, things do get more involved, and expect some extra challenges, which hopefully will all get resolved.
The Treo 700w in summary
Today is the last day for the Treo 700w. I have been using the Treo 700w for 9 days now, so tomorrow the Treo 700w will retire, and a new device will join us on the 81-day experiment. If I was to summarize the last 9 days with the Treo 700w, without much filtering and analyzing, here is what I might come up with.
It took me some time to get used to the Treo 700w, which is contrary to my expectation, knowing that it is Windows Mobile device and I have been using Windows for a while. After 9 days of using Windows Mobile extensively, including running through some of our smartphone workshops scenarios, I still need to think for a couple of seconds to determine how to perform certain actions. It also seems to take a couple of extra clicks to do things. I assume that if I was to use the device for a longer period, these “symptoms” would go away and navigation becomes second nature. But the point here is that don’t take it for granted that “Windows Mobile = Windows”, and that your skills in Windows are immediately transferable. You still need to “do” some time with Windows Mobile.
Having said that, the Windows Mobile interface (for Windows users) does makes sense from a logical perspective (once you get over the initial differences and extra clicks). This could be because we have been brainwashed with Windows for a while, and are now comfortable having a Start menu, a Programs menu, a File Explorer, and the like.
You may not feel the same way if you are a Mac user. So if you are a Mac user, and interested in the Treo, you probably will be looking at the Treo 700p instead (see day #1 to day #9 where I used the Treo 700p from Verizon).
Back to the Treo 700w, from a functionality perspective, the device is pretty much a full feature devices just like the 700p (from phone and contacts, to e-mail, to getting organized with the calendar and tasks, to multi-media capabilities, it does it all). In terms of the “behind the scene” factors as we call them in our workshops, it also ranks pretty high, but again only if you are a Windows user and if Verizon is your network and you don’t have the need to use your phone internationally. It may not rank as high if you are a Mac user, if you are not a Verizon user, and if you need to use your phone/e-mail internationally.
How about Sprint?
Okay, I stopped by the Sprint store today to see what is it that we are missing if anything. First of all, I was told that the Treo 700w will be available from Sprint in September 2006. So for Sprint users, this may be good news.
Having reviewed the Treo 700p from Version in day #1 to day #9 of the experiment, I was also curious if the Treo 700p from Sprint is pretty much the same as the Treo 700p from Verizon. What I found out is that it is pretty much the same device and has very similar applications on it. Sprint offers some additional applications such as the Sprint TV, Picture Mail, and Video Mail. I also saw that VersaMail, Documents To Go, and Voice Memos are included (these applications are also provided by Verizon), but I didn’t see the equivalent of the version Wireless Sync application (which as I mentioned on day #3 is capable of “push” e-mail). So if this is an area that is important to you, you may want to explore it further.
How about Cingular and the GSM/GPRS/EDGE Network?
For those Cingular users, or users who really want the Treo but want to use it internationally, Cingular has the Treo 650 available on its GSM/GPRS/EDGE network. The upside is that you get your Treo and you can use it internationally, and the downside is that it is a Treo 650 and not 700p. This means you don’t get the 700p refinements and additional applications, and you don’t get the EVDO high-speed access (EDGE is fast, maybe 2 to 4 times GPRS speed, but not nearly as fast as EVDO, EVDO is the network used by Verizon and Sprint). So if your goal is to do images, audio, and video from the Web, and a lot of web browsing, the Treo 650 from Cingular may not be your best buy, but if you are happy with e-mail and occasional browsing, and local multi-media, it will do the job just fine.
How about Treo 700w that uses GSM/GPRS?
Well, I find out that this is available (even though when I went to the order page to learn more, it was indicated that it was not shipping yet, and it wasn’t indicated who the service provider was). I also heard some news reports about a Treo 750w that uses GSM/GPRS which will be released in the U.K in September. I haven’t yet pursed this research further. If you pursue this route, feel free to share your findings.
Finally the big question: Treo 700w or Treo 700p?
In terms of features, they are very comparable. In terms of software, my first impression is that the Treo 700p came with some extras (such as the voice memos, and the video camera). But the main difference is the interface. If you are a “Palm” addict, or have used Palm devices before and are comfortable with them, you will probably be more satisfied with the Treo 700p. If you are a Mac user, you are much more likely to be in the Treo 700p camp for many reasons.
If you are new to the world of handheld devices, and you are a Windows user, you will have to experiment a bit with both devices, navigate through the menus and screens, and see what the interfaces does to you. Selecting a handheld device is a “personal” thing and there is some “chemistry” involved.
Overall, I found the Treo 700p interface more suitable for a handheld device, it is more streamlined—you can do more with less. The Treo 700w and Windows Mobile interface seemed like a PC interface adapted to a handheld device rather than a native handheld interface. Not such a bad thing, but it just feels that a couple of extra clicks are in the way sometimes.
The Treo is just the beginning
In the next few weeks, the stories of many more devices will unfold as the 81-day experiment continues to evolve. Join us tomorrow to witness the beginning of a new story!