After a week of using the Treo 680, I have to say that it's pretty much the same as I remember it. I used the 680 as my primary phone for about half a year, and I've reviewed it twicealready. I won't claim to be the most knowledgeable 680 user out there; that honor would certainly be bestowed to many, many users in our forum before I would even enter consideration for it. I've had a lot to say about Palm OS, generally favorable I suppose, but there are caveats. I've said as much in the TreoCentral TreoCast, but I've never had an opportunity like this one to really distill thirty podcasts and a few dozen hours of listening into a manifesto of what's good and what's bad about Palm OS, and what I really think about their Linux venture, and why Palm is on their current path.
When I say the King is dead, I don't mean that the 680 is a bad device, or that there's no reason to use Palm OS, or that anyone that uses it is dumb. Far from it, I think the 680 is pretty high up on my list. It's still a good phone. If I thought Palm OS was dumb or not relevant, I wouldn't do the TreoCentral TreoCast. It boils down to two things with Palm OS: the hardware and the software. The hardware will see updates. There will probably be more Palm OS GSM phones to come out. Better cameras, 3G, smaller form factors, the whole shebang. When it comes out, it will probably be a compelling upgrade for Palm OS users. But I don't think we'll see a significant software update for Palm OS in the next two years. While some may accuse that it's unfair to say "the king is dead" alluding to Palm OS, it's not accurate to say the king is alive, either. But still, there are always these persistent rumors about faked deaths and random sightings...
Agonizing abdominal pains are being felt across the globe today as the world laughs hysterically at Windows Mobile. According to a report posted by Net Applications, iPhone accounts for .09% of the overall browser market, leaving Windows Mobile choking on Apple's dust with .06%. Not a bad record for a device that's only been on the market for less than two consecutive sales quarters, and Windows Mobile is how many years old now? Oh the humiliation.
Cheer up, Windows fanboys. At least you beat out the T-Mobile Sidekick. And that's something to be proud of, right? Bwahahaha!
The unlocked German iPhones are no more -- the Judge for the Vodafone vs. T-Mobile lawsuit reversed the injunction that required T-Mobile to sell unlocked iPhones. And now that they don't have to sell the iPhone unlocked, they're not going to -- the unlocked iPhone is gone from Germany. The officially unlocked iPhone is still available in France for much less than it was in Germany anyway. Vive le revolution!
The iPhone edged out the entirety of all Windows CE-based devices in web usage according to data provided by Market Share at Hitslink.com. The iPhone came in at #10 with 0.09%, whereas Windows CE weighed in at 0.06% for #11. You read that, Dieter? We're #10! We're #10! The iPod on their list, which I'm forced to assume is the iPod Touch, shows up at around 0.01%. We're #10 and #20! We're #10 and #20!
Raffi Krikorian of Synthesis Studios wrote to inform me that they've reverse-engineered how the Starbucks button works. Most of the Starbucks shops out there aren't going to get the hookup with wi-fi for about a year. I asked them about it, and they'll be disclosing the process soon.
Mark Sullivan of PC World compiled a list of five technology groups that frequently conspired to be anti-consumer. That, or they were really just a bunch of jerks. Well, AT&T makes the list twice, showing up in the list for various groups they belong to at #3 and #4. Well, they kind of show up in #5 too -- #5 is a critique of most wireless carrier parties involved in the 700 MHz auction that Google's part of. What kept AT&T from being at #1 and #2? Big pharma and the recording industry. Not too shabby!
I'll admit to liking Robert X. Cringely of PBS. Sure, his theories are wild sometimes. But they're wild in a fun way, and he'll revisit things that he got wrong. He doesn't resort to trolling like some writers of his generation who happen to be friends of his, and when he does troll, it's against something that we all hate anyway, like our mobile phone carrier. He's a uniter, not a divider.
Presented for your approval, a somewhat funny cartoon about jerks in business and smartphones as status symbols, specifically, how the iPhone replaces the BlackBerry as a business status symbol. From the U.K. comic Alex [via]
Steve Jobs mentioned the possibility of a 3G back in September, when he was announcing the iPhone on O2. He was asked a question about 3G and when we'd see it in the iPhone. His response back in September was telling:
figure 1: UMG CEO Doug Morris as interpreted by artist Psillos
If you're looking read a sob story for the music industry, Wired has your ticket. They interviewed Universal CEO Doug Morris about his woes with iTunes and how to deal with the MP3 problem, and it's pretty revealing.
Google Maps for Mobile has unveiled a pretty sweet new feature -- on a bevy of mobile phones, Google Maps is smart enough to figure out approximately where you are. Google's system uses a method known as tower triangulation -- your phone keeps a list of nearby towers, and makes note of how strong your signal is. Google accesses their database of towers and compares your signal strength and correlates it to a likely location on the map. It's pretty slick, and has been common in parts of Europe for ages. Location-based features of mobile phones are a killer app, to be sure.