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July 28, 2006

UiQ 3 and the Palm experience (Part III)


Leaving your Notebook behind


Treo 650 vs M600i


Documents and office suite

It was quite nice from SE to include a document editor/viewer with the M600, however, as a Treo 650 user I wasn't impressed at all with the built-in Quickoffice although its amazingly integrated very well with the OS. I have huge number of clients and for some strange reason whenever they sending me screenshots of our applications they attach it to a Word document, and when I download the email Quickoffice fail to show me the screenshots, and then I turned back to my trusted Treo 650 to download and view the attached file via DocumentsToGo, and then just when I was about to give up I decided to email DataViz and ask them about the UiQ 3 version of DTG, luckily they just launched it yesterday, and I spent the night playing with it in my M600, and I absolutely loved what DocumentsToGo for UiQ 3 brought to the table.

The UiQ 3 version of DocumentsToGo feature InTact Technology which provide compatibility with original Microsoft Office files allowing you to update excel and word files without losing the document formatting, and not only that, it include editing PowerPoint files as well, DTG is also integrated very well with the M600 smartphone and making good use of the text completion feature we mentioned earlier in "Part II" of the review.

M600 also include native PDF file viewer powered by mBrain Software; PDF+, Sound recorder, and Notes which allow you to write notes and draw sketches.


PIM (Personal Information Management)

PIM functionality is one of the reason of the great success of Palm handhelds and smartphones line, it did truly made life a lot easier to all of us from student to business professionals, and the M600 doesn't fall short on this field, with complete PIM apps integrated into the UiQ smartphone including Calendar, Contacts, Notes, and Tasks, and easily synchronized with Microsoft Outlook with the included PC Suite, the M600 easily match the Treo 650 PIM functionality, however, after more than a week with the M600 it still taking me longer time to do the same task I used to do easily with my Treo 650.


Synchronizing the enterprises

One of the greatest feature of Window mobile OS 5 is the ability to synchronize wirelessly with Exchange Server 2003, and Palm added this feature to Palm OS back in 2004, and it was one of the features that opened the door to Palm in the enterprises allowing Palm smartphones to deliver secure, wireless and direct synchronization with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, and you'll enjoy this feature in the M600 as well with more advance feature allowing you to sync your personal information management (PIM); contact, calendar, tasks, e-mails, bookmarks, and notes remotely and securely on the go.

The Exchange ActiveSync connectivity (Exchange ActiveSync mailbox and synchronization engine) included in the new UiQ 3 smartphones M600 and the upcoming P990; powered by DataViz' RoadSync which provides secure, wireless and "Direct Push" synchronization of corporate e-mail, calendar, contacts and attachments from Exchange Server 2003. DataViz' RoadSync is also available to Palm OS users and support Palm smartphones line.


PC Suite

Sony Ericsson include PC Suite for window users which will allow you to synchronize content between your smartphone and your PC including contacts, calendar, tasks, notes, and e-mails, and they just released a newer version of the suite to include bookmarks sync as well.

The PC Suite will also allow you to backup your data, setup your internet connection, compose MMS messages, manage files, install applications, and download additional languages to your smartphone, all from your PC.

Note: MAC users are out of luck, since the PC Suite is window only, but I'm going to explore alternative options for MAC users in future review stay tuned.


Wireless modem via UMTS/GPRS network

One of the greatest feature I loved in my Treo 650 is the ability to connect my laptop online using the Treo 650 Bluetooth DUN profile, and as I remember earlier Palm and Ericsson both worked together on this feature to enable Palm handhelds to connect online wirelessly via Bluetooth using Ericsson feature-phones, and I believe every SE feature and smartphone ever since included this feature, its very handy specially when visiting a client and you require a network access, most of the companies won't allow you to just plug your laptop to their network (for security reason ofcourse), but with the M600 and the blazing fast UMTS network you can easily go online any time any where, speaking of UMTS, I'm not sure if what I'm about to tell you is normal, but... I removed my UMTS SIM card from my M600 and used it in my Treo 650, and my Treo worked just fine after I setup the UMTS network connection and I was able to surf the net and download my emails, not as fast as using the M600, but it work! do Treo 650 support UMTS network?!


USB Functionality and Storage (USB Drive, USB Charge)

With the M600 you'll never run out of options of transferring, receiving and managing files, with the to carry more data and applications with the included Sony new storage card (M2), and although I was disappointed that they included yet another memory format (M2), but with the cheap price of the (M2) card I went and got me additional 1GB card (for around $65 US), M600 package comes with only 64MB (M2) card, and on phone memory around 60MB usable.

The M600 will act as removable drive allowing you to easily manage files and folders from your desktop by simply plug your smartphone to your computer USB port using the flash drive feature and the included cable, making data stored on the device easily accessible on the go, in a lot of earlier reviews about the M600 they mentioned that the cable is not included, I'm not sure about different regions, but the cable is included in my package, the cable will also allow you to charge your M600 via your laptop/desktop USB port.


Special thanks to Jason C. and DataViz for the support with this part of the review.

July 25, 2006

UiQ 3 and the Palm experience (Part II)


Text input


Treo 650 vs M600i


When I first started using the M600 QWERTY keyboard, it reminded me a lot of my Treo, first day was tough, but exciting, pressing the keys left or right to type your desired letter is a new idea, and I wasn't sure about it, but it started to grow on me, and within two days I was up and running with the alphanumerical rocker keyboard.

The QWERTY keyboard is not the only input method in the M600, I always thought that no mobility OS with more input methods than Palm OS, but it seem that Sony Ericsson smartphone UiQ line is very much grown to extend the success of Sony Clié Palm OS line, with on-screen virtual keyboard, and handwriting recognition (known as Graphite in Palm world), and the alphanumerical keyboard the M600 feel like messaging warrior, and you'll never run out of weapons to start typing.

The handwriting recognition in SE smartphones doesn't require any practice or learning curve specially for Palm OS users, writing in Graphite I or II is easily recognized by the M600 handwriting recognition, that will make Palm and Sony Clié users feel like home, and even if you never learned any on-screen-writing-style, you can pick up your M600 and start writing like an expert, with almost five different style for each single letter you'll never go wrong.

The M600 is a dream come true when it come to users who type a lot of messages and e-mails in their smartphones, with the smartest word completion engine I ever used, once you start typing the M600 start predicting the words for you, and the more you type the more the M600 understand your writing style, and it'll start to predict the words for you before you start typing it based on words you frequently used, and it'll also correct and offer suggestion of your misspelled words.

July 23, 2006

UiQ 3 and the Palm experience (Part I)


Messaging and e-mail


Treo 650 vs M600i


Messaging

With my eyes close I can tell you the messaging app in all SE feature and smart phones are second to no one, and from the first look it feel that the M600i is a winner in all field with amazing messaging application, support for long SMS (multi-message) and EMS messaging, however, a few important details that Palm added to the Treo 650 messaging app made it stand out; the Treo group the messages from the same contact together making it feel like IM messaging (I remember that SE used to call this feature Chat, I have no idea why they decided to drop this feature in new models), also in the Treo messaging you can easily select people you frequently message from a short list that will be displayed when you select the contact you wish to message, small features that differentiate Palm from the rest.

We move from the SMS/EMS to MMS application (also known as picture messaging in our Treo), Sony Ericsson MMS app allow you to create a slide-show message with music/voice and timer more like a power-point presentation, Ericsson put a lot of efforts on its MMS app development since they first introduced the popular T68 (which was one of the best phones I ever used, specially to connect my Tungsten online), sadly I can't say the same about my Treo MMS app, but hey it's not that bad in the Treo side specially that it get the job done.


Email

Just like our Treo the M600 support; IMAP, POP, and Exchange ActiveSync (allow you to connect directly to your company Exchange Server 2003+), however, the email app is not as user friendly as Palm Versamail, and it still quite buggy, few issues I ran into like downloading emails from Gmail (POP over SSL), although I was able to send the email successfully, another issue is over standard POP I can download my email successfully, but if the server doesn't require authentication to send your email you'll not be able to send any email, I also found some bugs on the attachments, for example, if I send to contact 1 a picture message, then I decided to forward the e-mail I sent with the picture to contact 2, contact 2 will not receive the message, not sure why!, but I'm sure SE will fix these issues soon since they running a newer OS and the M600 is the first smartphone launched running UiQ 3.

Although I had no issue configuring my IMAP account and I was able to send and receive e-mails successfully, the IMAP-push (known as Chattermail in the Treo world) doesn't work as advertised in the M600, however, like the Treo 650; the M600 support wide variety of push technologies, like, Blackberry connect, Visto, RoadSync, Intellisync, (Good users out of luck since UiQ not yet supported by GoodTechnology).

The e-mail app in the M600 also misses some features which we enjoy in our Palm's, for example, when I start to type the e-mail address in my Versamail it quickly look-up the address from the contact list and offer me suggestion of the contact e-mail which start with the letters I typed, in the M600 you have to lookup the address manually, with an option to add frequently e-mailed contact from quick list.

July 20, 2006

UiQ 3 from Palm Point of View


Treo 650 vs M600i


It's been almost two years since I switched completely from two solutions (handheld plus feature-phone) to smartphone, although the move was bit disappointing when it came to few particular features, I have to admit, it was amazing experience provided by Palm Treo 650 smartphone, which stand today after two years since its launched as a definition of smartphone.

Since Palm next smartphone won't be launched 'til the forth quarter, and might be even longer since Vodafone run with the exclusive, I decided to give the new version of UiQ (the user interface platform for Symbian OS), UiQ 3 (support for full one-handed and pen-based operation), a run for its money and see if we are behind since everybody is talking about how Palm OS is out of date.

And just let me tell you this before we start... "as much as admired the effort UiQ Technology put in the new interface and the out-of-box experience, which answered a lot of my needs, I couldn't help, but miss my Treo 650 and the Palm experience which some users forgot due to their strong passion or grave for some new features and designs."

UiQ in-a-away looks and feel like Palm OS, slowly attracting business and professional users for its integration with enterprise applications, emails, contacts, and in the next few days I'll blog my experience with UiQ 3 (with Sony Ericsson M600i) from a Palm experience point of view, hope you'll enjoy it.


:: Part I (Messaging and e-mail)

:: Part II (Text input)

:: Part III (Leaving your Notebook behind)

:: Part IV (Everyday Life - Part I)

:: Part V (Developers)

:: Part VI (Everyday Life - Part II)

:: Part VII (The Review - Coming Soon)


Stay tuned for more.

July 19, 2006

BlackBerry Future


"We're always looking at technology acquisitions, we're always looking at rounding out the sort of whole BlackBerry middleware solution proposition,"

- James "Jim" Balsillie, Chairman and Co-CEO, Research In Motion.

Read more; "RIM sees media features building BlackBerry market" by Wojtek Dabrowski, Reuters >>

July 14, 2006

Palm second Treo W around the corner

Pd_palm_wmPalm, Inc. announced a new strategic alliance with Microsoft Corp. and Vodafone to expand the adoption of wireless push email in Europe with a new Treo Smartphone.

The new Treo will join the Treo W family as the second window mobile OS smartphone, and will be available to Vodafone 3G/UMTS customers in countries including; U.K., Italy, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands by the end of 2006, and for the reset of EMEA and Asia Pacific market early 2007.

"The new Treo smartphone will be a market-leading device, which combined with our high-speed 3G/UMTS network and real-time push email, will make this an invaluable business tool."

- Nick Jeffery, global director of Business Marketing, Vodafone.

July 13, 2006

A New Day!


Moazcar


July 12, 2006

We love Palm, but do they care about our region?

We talked a lot about Palm presence in our region and we decided to blog some of our members post, with our comments at the end...

Post by: Fathalla
Why not if Palm introduced with the treo all the best of every thing? Why, i paid 2800 dirhams ($780 US) for the treo and i have to pay more and more for simple things, like; Increasing the voice? or having mp3 music for the ring tone? Where is the personal touch? Is it too hard to have all these kinds, and belive me, sometimes i envy other phones for doing simple things !!

I am just pointing that other companies have strong relation ship with customers and here we don't have it with Palm. Palm even doesn't have special website for the middle east region. For the Palm its either US or Europe and rest of the world comes last. Again, last mobile phone that treo came out in this area is tooooo old now. And if i want to buy a new phone i will forget about Palm.

Yes, I need a high picture quality for my mobile.
A Bluetooth to send and receive any file (even when screen is off !!)
- treo doesn't allow you to receive arabic file names.
- it tells you after it finishes receving the file that it can't open the file becuase no application is associated with or the name is arabic.
- imagin this situation when someone tells you hey open the bluetooth i will send to you something you will laugh. You will reply: please rename the file to english with type that my mobile understand like avi & please don't send large file because my mobile have limit in space no matter what I increased the size of the memorey card & please before sending rename your bluetooth name to english ....... he will tell you, you know what, forget about it i will show it to you but i will not give the file to you. :cry:
+ web site that i can read arabic pages.
+ very good loud ringtones
+ strong media: treo open some music files only from the sound management where you can't play the whole file.

Do you know how many times i sent e-mails to APOS the arabic developing company software for the palm for getting the latest update for their software? more than 10 and still no replie.

We are also customers and we must demand and ask Palm to produce better phones for unlocked GSM. I really want Windows Mobile with treo hardware. the palm strategy is not powerfull as other mobile companies.

I need treo 700W. Can we get it? No, but you can buy any mobile from Nokia or Sony-Ericcson or LG, right? Where is the relation ship between Palm and customers here?

If we (customes) didn't show or complaint about issues, we will not get our rights. D$%#, how much should i spend for simple utilities?.

And when these questions were answered clearly, people will come and buy palm because they love Palm like they love Nokia. because customers are always right.

PalmDubai.NET, Note:

Earlier we reported that Palm decided to close their Dubai office in their move to cut costs, and the biggest Palm distributors in the region decided to drop Palm from their roster, and now ITE the new Palm distributors left alone distributing and supporting Palm users in the region, however, with no real presence it feel more like we do not have any official support for Palm in the region.

I want to point out that although it might feel like Palm doesn't have any presence, the region now fall under Palm European office, and any decision made by Palm Europe it reflect on us as well. The strategic geographic location of Dubai made a lot of Asian Pacific distributors who fall under Palm Asia Pacific office to bring more Palm product to our region, and you can see that very clearly when comparing prices between some of computer street shops with other bigger shops getting their product from Palm Europe office through ITE, its officially ITE responsibility to the bring Palm product faster, by placing bigger order earlier, and make sure its surrounded by full range of accessories or else Palm future product will have huge failure in our region.

Another disappointment is in4mobility the company responsible about the Arabic solution for Palm product, I don't really know what to say, although I have huge respect to their CEO who made all the effort to hear the community and point out all our issues to his developers, but the same can't be said about the support and commitment followed the APOS updater, probably the reason behind the bad support is that Palm might 've dropped the APOS support specially after closing their Dubai office, however, if that was the reason I think in4mobility made a huge mistake, as they could've been the heart and soul of Palm product in our region, and imagine how many developer out their will want to sign a deal with in4mobility to make their product available to the region through in4mobility shops.

July 06, 2006

Palm Treo 650 Smartphone for Professional Photographer

While most of us where complaining about good/bad is the Treo 650 camera a professional photographer from Spain, Juan Carlos Martín, decided to redefine photography by using his Treo 650 smartphone as professional camera for his new photo album.

"No se pueden pedir milagros a la cámara digital de un teléfono móvil (smartphone) que dispone de sólo 300 Kp (0,3 Mp, VGA) de resolución, con CMOS y lente minúsculos, automatismo total, y foco/distancia focal fijos. No obstante, he realizado unas imágenes con este dispositivo, para adentrarme en el "al filo de lo imposible" del mundo de la fotografía / Teléfono móvil Palm Treo 650."

- Juan Carlos Martín, professional photographer.

The following photo is one of my favorites from Juan's Treo 650 album gallery;

Juan Carlos Martín
Juan Carlos Martín's: Palm Treo 650 Smartphone Galerías

Special thanks to PalmInsider.

July 01, 2006

Upcoming Treo smartphone for Europe market in forth quarter

Palm next Treo smartphone for EMEA market will not be available till Oct-Dec, said Ed Colligan, Palm's president and chief executive officer, he also stated that Palm wants to get its new European product into Europe "as soon as possible." during Palm conference call.

Read more; "Palm, Mission Impossible..." >>

Read more; "No Further Treo 650 Shipments to Europe" at Palm Infocenter >>

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