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  1. 1PTUser's Avatar
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       #1  
    With fresh faces from Apple/ipod management and design teams, Marc The Great of Chatteremail , and pressure from some investors to let the new guys take the lead, what might we see from Palm before their OS II? May be we'll be surprised and get some big changes in software and the user interface. Marc and others have demonstrated what's still possible with old-man Garnet. Would you be interested in the next new Treo + old OS device if it included the following:

    - A totally new shell and app launcher. Think about your favorite 3rd party shell. Freshen it up with some new color schemes, icons and controls, and of course plugins (weather, sports scores, market watch, etc.) A new look for the standard PIM apps would not have to change their core logic or data structures.
    - Chattter-like push email standard: IMAP idle and IMAP Push with sd card storage for both messages and attachments. Nothing exists even now on the WinMobile platform that has Chatter's flexibility and power.
    - Improvements to Blazer. Hello!
    - An New desktop sync application for Windows(that actually works on Vista), Mac and the Foleo that includes strong multimedia integration. That means an included DVD and CD Conversion/Transfer. The former is cheap and the latter is open source. Make it pretty and make it simple. Something so simple, even my mom could use it.
    - A/V XTreme(a made up name). An media app that includes native movie support and/or plug-in support Netflix and other movie streams. Also Rhapsody's, Napster's and/or Yahoo Music's On-the-Go service. It should include tighter integration with the providers PC apps as well.
    - A ringer and notification manager that will enable management of all notifications for alarms, reminders, missed calls, unread msgs, etc. This would include the use of standard tones, mp3's, vibrate and/or LED and which to use for each type based on the time of day and day of the week.
    - Sync ML/OMA DS client. This would be the means by which all syncing would happen. It allows syncing across the internet, bluetooth, wifi of emails, as well as contacts, calendar and tasks. It has way more potential than a typical hotsync. Cheap POS client software have been around for a while. This is an emerging standard already supported on more and more servers and more than 150 mobile devices. Nokia already includes it on several handsets.
    - Built in OMA DM (Device Management) support to allow remote (IT or personal) management of the device. If the device get's lost or stolen: wipe it; lock the keyboard and display a msg on-screen; have it send txt msgs with identifying info. Deploying them to non-techie users, lock-down all non-essential apps. Help IT departments see Palm as a more enterprise friendly platform and not let RIM have so much of the action. Security management is required in many places.
    - Partnerships with some of the new providers hosting group and personal, PIM and CRM solutions. MY Palm should be just another choice. More and more people are seeing the value of having their stuff hosted, so it's available and shareable from anywhere anytime.

    I listed the items above in descending priority. The first item is so important because the interface is what people would see when using it. The current shell and native apps look just plain old. Even an old house can look good with a fresh coat of paint. It adds value and feels more inviting. Improve the dbcache size and operation for increased stability. Patch some holes in the Bluetooth stack. And that's what many of us are suggesting to Palm while OS II/Linux is still way down the road. Okay, so what do you think? Can/will Palm do it?

    Something old, something new. Something fresh on Garnet before Palm OS II.

    The "Palm is Dead" crowd is welcome to respond; but please, offer something constructive.
    Last edited by 1PTUser; 07/13/2007 at 11:27 AM. Reason: I forgot Blazer improvements.
  2. 1PTUser's Avatar
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       #2  
    The interface has so much impact on the user experience, I made that my focus. Stability enhances or undermines user satisfaction. So it's a priority as well. But some subtle changes to the hardware, can help attract attention:
    Flatten the device; make it a touch wider and taller. A (slightly) wider and taller unit could house a larger screen running the same resolution. A slightly wider keyboard may also fit. They could take the next steps and move that front mounted speaker to the top edge and extend the screen even more. Heck color it a smooth black, slap on some chrome and you've got a clone of my new BB 8830. The flatter/wider/taller form factor is being used on the Q, the 8830 and even by Nokia and others. Palm/Handspring led the crowd with the Treo 600 design. It may not be an idea to now offer a unit that's just keeping up with the crowd. A simple, seemless and powerfully integrated solution can distinguish them from the crowd. That and a ton of existing 3rd party software.
    Something old, something new. I got a ringer switch and 800W .
  3. hkklife's Avatar
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    #3  
    Much of that stuff--at least your first 4 or so items--should have been, in some form or another, integrated into Garnet/ OS5 starting in 2003/2004.

    Palm could have shipped the LifeDrive with a gig or two of flash (or just two SD slots ala the Zodiac) instead of the lame MicroDrive and really had a strong PMP-type device two years ago.

    To their credit, Palm has been improving the amount of DBcache & heap memory ever since the low point on the TX. The 700p, 680, and 755p are all much better in that regard. BT has been bumped up to 1.2 but I don't see how 2.0 or at least A2DP wouldn't be possible under FrankenGarnet.

    What might actually be cheaper for Palm to do is really ramp up the hardware and wrap some really high-quality, sleek, stylish hardware arond the same ol' Garnet. Remember your average Joe user is gonna notice the design of the handset MUCH more than the screen resolution or the processor speed or the age of the OS.

    What Palm needs is to segment the Treo line into three separate devices:

    1. Entry-level candybar style Treo (think Treo 680 variant).
    2. Midrange flip-phone (think Samsung i550) that downplays the PDA part and focuses on being a solid phone
    3. High-end, keyboard-free tablet design (ala iPhone, Prada phone, TX etc). Strong multimedia capabilities and are crucial for this one and wi-fi wouldn't hurt.

    Garnet can handle all of the above and has been shown to do so capably in various devices over the past 4 years. It's just a matter of Palm not being so stingy and putting it all into a single desirable handset.
  4. #4  
    Why can't #3 be done WITH a keyboard? Not everyone want a device that is keyboard-free! The keyboard allows so many conveniences! You know, not EVERYTHING is wrong with the current Treos! I've watched people try to send message and/or e-mails with the Iphone, and it's quite a pain - especially when you have to change screens just to type a ? or a number! Long live the Treo keyboard!
  5. #5  
    The only issue with the suggestions is that even if this development (UI and software) is done, it will take a bit more than a year before you see it in any device, and most likely only newer devices and not so backwards compatable unless a good marketing case can be made the devaluing new devices by making the software work on older devices will improve marketshare

    That being said, I too was thinking on this, and do quite often. A LG prada like Treo (BT, no wifi, enhanced UI) would be something that I'd jump on in a heartbeat.
    MMM | AntoineRJWright.com | BH | Jaiku

    Moved on to Symbian, but still will visit from time to time.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew-NYC View Post
    Why can't #3 be done WITH a keyboard? Not everyone want a device that is keyboard-free!
    You're missing the point... it is simplyy foolish to try to design ONE device to satisfy everyone. And no other manufacturer tries to. Look at HTC, they have a few DOZEN designs.

    I can fully appreciate that some, even many, want a keyboard. Can *you* appreciate that some might not ? It is physically impossible to design a device that is thin, with a large screen and has a keyboard. I (and obviously a million others who bought the iPhone recently), would rather have a thin, large screen device than a physical keyboard. I'm equally happy that those that do want a keyboard also have a lot of choices (Treo, Mogul, Dash, Q, Wing, etc).

    So the point is that Palm has been foolish not to offer a wider range of devices that span a greater range of priorities. No one is saying that Palm shouldn't continue to make Treos with keyboards (although it is *completely* inexcusable to make Treos as fat/thick as they are, given the Dash, iPhone, etc). Just that Palm should also make other types of devices...
  7. 1PTUser's Avatar
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       #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by Antoine of MMM View Post
    The only issue with the suggestions is that even if this development (UI and software) is done, it will take a bit more than a year before you see it in any device, and most likely only newer devices and not so backwards compatable unless a good marketing case can be made the devaluing new devices by making the software work on older devices will improve marketshare
    Antoine, I like and respect a lot of your writings, but disagree with you on the point of backwards compatability. The look of the home-screen/launcher, iconographyand PIM applications can all be changed significantly without affecting most (not all) 3rd party apps run. Third party launchers affect the basic look and PIM replacement apps can use the built-in databases unchanged. They already put a new or different face on some old underpinnings. The hooks into the systems doesn't have to change, just some of what's seen on the surface. Those two things aren't always one and the same.

    New applications have been deployed in ROM as new Treos have been released - from PTunes instead of RealPlayer, to Bejeweled, a popular and addictive game.

    Changes CAN delivered with the release of EVERY new device. Often progress is expressed through change. While many decry the lack of progress by Palm, it is expressed by the dis-satisfaction with things unchanged.

    The FTC has now given the official stamp of approval of the $325 million dollar deal by equity partners. With new funding, new voices, and new competition, I think it fair for expect Palm to deliver somethings new. This can be done, even in the confines of an OS that is old (circa 2002.)
    Something old, something new. I got a ringer switch and 800W .
  8. #8  
    Yes, and then after you have developed a new shell, added it to the firmware, got it carrier tested, carrier debugged, carrier approved/disapproved, carrier tested again, the process will have taken a year. With Treos, its not just building a product that is a hurdle, but the carrier testing and approval process. Despite any movement Palm wants to do, that last part keeps anything from happening faster.

    I am with you. Things should happen. I just don't see what you see. Devices that have come out now were developed two years ago at least. Think two years ago, Palm didn't look ahead then. If they are doing so now, it will take more than just equity partners to push that up, but management and execution also have to pick up consderably.
    MMM | AntoineRJWright.com | BH | Jaiku

    Moved on to Symbian, but still will visit from time to time.
  9. sindu's Avatar
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    #9  
    A palm user since palm pilot day. I did the unthinkable (at least to myself) and have since seal my 680 (along with 600 and 650) somewhere in the closet for GOOD !!!!! eventhough I used to carry both the 680 and the replacement of it at the same time for a period of time. The replacement is Samsung i600 with WM5. Why make the switch eventhough I love Palm intuitive OS ???

    1. Form factor. I need lighter phone and thinner phone and cool looking phone.
    2. 3.5G and it means I can use it in both GSM and WCDMA such as Japan and Korea.
    3. WIFI.
    4. I missed chattermail but WM5 does support push email and our IT dept did that for us.

    I like the suggestion from PTUser but need good form factor. In both Europe and Asia, a good form factor is a must. I don't want a brick phone.
    Need WIFI, 3.5G, slim and light form factor for Treo to win me back from Samsung i600 !!!!!
  10. #10  
    Instead of:
    1. Entry-level candybar style Treo (think Treo 680 variant).
    2. Midrange flip-phone (think Samsung i550) that downplays the PDA part and focuses on being a solid phone
    3. High-end, keyboard-free tablet design (ala iPhone, Prada phone, TX etc). Strong multimedia capabilities and are crucial for this one and wi-fi wouldn't hurt.

    can we get:
    1. Entry level (64MB, 2.5G, 312MHz, BT1.2)
    2. High level (128MB, 3G, 400+MHz, WiFi, BT2)
    both in 3 form factors.

    The original proposal had 3 phones, the revised has 6. Depending on the design specifics it may only equate to 4 phones if parts were plug-and-play (ie: the radio, CPU & BT chips were socket compatible between the entry & high level).

    My point is that to me the keyboard IS the Treo. I shouldn't be penalized with a low-end radio to get the KB...I don't see the relationship. The key from a mkt perspective is to appeal to a large audience at the right price point (and still make $$$). The trade-offs in form factor should be intuitive...
    KB models have a smaller display but get the KB
    flip models give up KB and display but are super small
    no-KB models give up the KB but get a kick @$$ display.
    The price point should be dictated by the other hardware (CPU, memory, etc.) so that power users can get what they need (but pay as usual) and entry level users get the basic stuff for a reasonable price.

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