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  1.    #1  
    Matthew Streger has written an in-depth article comparing the Treo and BlackBerry. Part I is over at our sibling site, CrackBerry.com, and Part II can be read at TreoCentral.

    You can discuss Matthew's article here.
  2. hlazar's Avatar
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    #2  
    Can email on the blackberry be completely erased? I'm overwhelmed with spam and the thought of having to erase it only on my base computer would be a big no for me.
    Henry L lazarus hlazar@netaxs.com
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  3. #3  
    Very nice comparison. I would love to see a series similar to the round robin. Treo 755p vs iPhone and HTC Mogul.

    Personally I don't see what the draw is of not having a touch screen. I've had one since my Visor Pro and it's the best way to input vs the Track Ball.

    Timmay
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    The ones I love..

    Visor Pro -> Visor Edge -> Treo 180 -> Treo 270 -> Treo 600 -> Treo 650 -> T|T2+SE T68i -> Treo 600 -> T-Mobile MDA -> Treo 755p -> Treo 800w -> Treo 755p -> PALM PRE -> Palm Pre 2 -> HP Palm Pre 3

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  4. ep1
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    #4  
    so what do you think about the review? how dose that compare with wm5 on the 700wx. i think its like your home pc. as well put a lot of junk on you are asking for trouble. its like when vista came out there were'nt a lot of drivers around but that's changing. now it works pretty well i think you use whats there you might not run into all them reset?
  5. #5  
    A very solid, compelling account of a long time Palm/Treo user moving over to RIM/BB. Unfortunately for Palm, it comes down quite hard on Palm in the final analysis even as he tries to be quite fairhanded. In reading it, it makes one think that it will be *very* hard for Palm to bounce back and ever regain the stature it once had -- Palm would have to deliver a TKO and soon.

    Once issue that really puzzles me is the stability issue with PalmOS. Because PalmOS *used* to be very stable. As long as one didn't use bad 3rd party apps, can you ever remember a PalmV crashing for no good reason ? And as far as a PalmPhone, I can attest that the PalmOS 4.x-based Samsung i500 was very, very stable and solid -- unexplained crashes occured *maybe* a couple times a year -- and essentially never lost a call because of PalmOS issues.

    So PalmOS *can* be very stable. Why is there then this huge gap between PalmOS as a potentially very stable OS and what is described in this article (countless daily crashes and resets, lost calls, etc) ? Four possible explanations come to mind:
    1) Palm screwed up PalmOS 5.X and from a software standpoint, PalmOS is in fact no longer stable, intrinsically. Perhaps in porting over to ARM... or new features, etc.
    2) PalmOS is actually intrinsically very stable, but the Treo hardware platforms are flakey and so the instabilities are actually due to hardware issues.
    3) (the ever popular) Software apps that he runs, or that are commonly run make PalmOS unstable. The article suggests that this possibility is discounted as the author tried to run a stripped down config of PalmOS, still with crashes, but stripped down for him may still include problematic apps.
    4) He (and others) have defective Treos. This possibility also seems discounted since he used several Treos, and of course many others have reported similar issues.

    I know some Centro users report that their Centros are very stable, but can they really say that their Centro doesn't crash for months at a time ? (if so, great... and it supports the flakey hardware theory)

    So I'd like to hear what people think as to what causes the huge disparity between PalmOS being capable of being stable vs the common Treo experience of instability... particularly focussing on #1 and #2... (my bet is on the hardware being flakey).
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by neurocutie View Post
    I know some Centro users report that their Centros are very stable, but can they really say that their Centro doesn't crash for months at a time ? (if so, great... and it supports the flakey hardware theory)

    So I'd like to hear what people think as to what causes the huge disparity between PalmOS being capable of being stable vs the common Treo experience of instability... particularly focussing on #1 and #2... (my bet is on the hardware being flakey).
    Centro is very stable in comparison to "other" Treos, so I'm quite positive that the hardware integration has been improved upon--just the fact all the "lags" are gone and all the performance issues that plagued the 700p have vanished strongly suggests this to be the case.

    I maybe used to get a soft-reset once a week but never when I use it, just when it was in standby. That's just the device clearing our the dbcache. Since then I'm using "Off Flush" and have had no issues.

    In fairness, I'm not a typical user: I beta test a lot of software, but I consider the Centro as stable if not more than WM. Out of the 10 friends who have purchased the device, none have returned it or even complained about instability--8 of them are completely new to smartphones.

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  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by Malatesta View Post
    Centro is very stable in comparison to "other" Treos, so I'm quite positive that the hardware integration has been improved upon...
    but I consider the Centro as stable if not more than WM.
    That's great to hear about the Centro's stability... and makes one wonder if the author might have a change of opinion had he tried a Centro...

    And as far as a comparison to WM, I absolutely agree. My Touch, which is generally considered to be about as stable and solid as WM gets these days (due to the larger memory), still *requires* a reset about twice a week, which is easily 10X more frequent than my PalmOS experience. And even in daily routine usage, there are multiple occurences of anomalous lags and misbehaviors and buttons not responding appropriately -- stuff that very rarely occurred with PalmOS.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by neurocutie View Post
    That's great to hear about the Centro's stability... and makes one wonder if the author might have a change of opinion had he tried a Centro...

    And as far as a comparison to WM, I absolutely agree. My Touch, which is generally considered to be about as stable and solid as WM gets these days (due to the larger memory), still *requires* a reset about twice a week, which is easily 10X more frequent than my PalmOS experience. And even in daily routine usage, there are multiple occurences of anomalous lags and misbehaviors and buttons not responding appropriately -- stuff that very rarely occurred with PalmOS.
    I'm real curious as to what exactly the engineers changed/did to improve the device, but alas we'll never know, lol. I think this is one reason the Centro has been received so well--it's sort of the pinnacle of this old OS. Had the reviewer tried a Centro, the view would have been much different, imo. A BB Pearl & Centro are nearly the same device, but the latter has full kb, touchscreen and is cheaper overall (phone + plan). Would be an interesting comparison though...

    WM6 is pretty stable but due to running multiple apps and having to somewhat manage memory, it does have it's hiccups, which is why I imagine the iPhone is eschewing such an option for most 3rd party apps: guarantee performance & stability to end user.

    Plus the "phone" part is still not as integrated as I would like, but it's getting there. I'm thinking 6.1 may boast some performance boosts but we'll have to wait and see...

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  9. #9  
    Matthew's article cuts to the core of why RIM is a popular choice for businesses and professionals. Blackberry devices are dependable, thrifty on power but boring.

    I find it interesting that Apple is listening to what has happened to Treo devices regarding stability. They have banned third-party applications from running in the background on iPhone and iTouch in the new SDK. That is a bold move from Apple - it severely limits the third-party utility of apps like IM or anything bearing a notification. However it assures close control of battery life and stability. Palm should listen to this message as it devises a new OS.
  10. jdil's Avatar
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    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by pdaluver View Post
    Matthew Streger has written an in-depth article comparing the Treo and BlackBerry. Part I is over at our sibling site, CrackBerry.com, and , even Part II can be read at TreoCentral.

    You can discuss Matthew's article here.
    It feels that the author's main gripe with Treo vs BB is with its email capabilities.
    Unfortunately, for the sake of comparison, he did not try Snappermail. I believe his view on stablity, functionalities, and ease of use would have been largely changed by the use of SM.

    The treo's fundmentally poor support of BT, though, even when supplemented by other software for ADCP, remains.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by Poryphyron View Post
    I find it interesting that Apple is listening to what has happened to Treo devices regarding stability. They have banned third-party applications from running in the background on iPhone and iTouch in the new SDK. That is a bold move from Apple - it severely limits the third-party utility of apps like IM or anything bearing a notification. However it assures close control of battery life and stability. Palm should listen to this message as it devises a new OS.
    umm well kinda tricky to have it both ways...
    As we were discussing in the other thread, Palm *could* probably have developed (and released) their new OD a lot earlier (years), but apparently they felt it was important to retain compatibility with Garnet and keep some of the Garnet look/feel. But for that, that IP was tethered to PalmSource, so Palm wasted years waiting for PS to deliver. But you're suggesting that Palm instead do an "Apple" and release a new OS with very tight control of 3rd party apps, which pretty much means no Garnet compatibility and the open/free4all that that implies.

    Most CS/OS folks will tell you that a properly designed OS should *never* crash, regardless of what apps are running (as long as the hardware is also properly designed). I'm inclined to believe that that is true. So I really don't see any real reason a new OS couldn't have Garnet compatibility (or at least mostly) and still be rock solid stable. Now some old apps may not work particularly if they try to use improper hooks and accesses, and some may be slow if certain hardware features need to be emulated in a VM, but nevertheless it should be possible to keep the OS stable. For all the bashing that MS gets, I think MS has done a good job of maintaining old program (even DOS) compatibility while keeping the OS stable and (relatively) crash proof (Win2K, WinXP). So I believe it is possible to have Garnet compatibility yet OS stability... but it will take a good chunk of work...
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by neurocutie View Post
    umm well kinda tricky to have it both ways...
    As we were discussing in the other thread, Palm *could* probably have developed (and released) their new OD a lot earlier (years), but apparently they felt it was important to retain compatibility with Garnet and keep some of the Garnet look/feel. But for that, that IP was tethered to PalmSource, so Palm wasted years waiting for PS to deliver. But you're suggesting that Palm instead do an "Apple" and release a new OS with very tight control of 3rd party apps, which pretty much means no Garnet compatibility and the open/free4all that that implies.

    Most CS/OS folks will tell you that a properly designed OS should *never* crash, regardless of what apps are running (as long as the hardware is also properly designed). I'm inclined to believe that that is true. So I really don't see any real reason a new OS couldn't have Garnet compatibility (or at least mostly) and still be rock solid stable. Now some old apps may not work particularly if they try to use improper hooks and accesses, and some may be slow if certain hardware features need to be emulated in a VM, but nevertheless it should be possible to keep the OS stable. For all the bashing that MS gets, I think MS has done a good job of maintaining old program (even DOS) compatibility while keeping the OS stable and (relatively) crash proof (Win2K, WinXP). So I believe it is possible to have Garnet compatibility yet OS stability... but it will take a good chunk of work...
    It would have done wonders for stability of Treos if Palm simply ditched their bizarre memory management scheme (which involves memory handles which need to be locked and unlocked), and adopted something more familiar to the majority of C and C++ programmers. Their scheme made a lot of sense when memory was extremely scarce on these devices, but once memory became cheap enough they should have ditched it - its very hard for someone who doesn't spend a lot of time programming PalmOS to write good PalmOS code, and the skills required to do so are not particularly applicable to any other platform.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by hlazar View Post
    Can email on the blackberry be completely erased? I'm overwhelmed with spam and the thought of having to erase it only on my base computer would be a big no for me.
    Yes, it can be deleted
    Palm Pilot-->Handspring Visor-->Treo 300-->Treo 600-->Treo 650-->Treo 700p+E62-->Treo700p+Curve (8300)-->Curve (8330)
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by neurocutie View Post
    A very solid, compelling account of a long time Palm/Treo user moving over to RIM/BB. Unfortunately for Palm, it comes down quite hard on Palm in the final analysis even as he tries to be quite fairhanded.
    Agree - at least as far as Palm POS devices go. I thought both parts I and II were well-written and reflected my experiences almost exactly (see sig). It's a brilliant grasp of the obvious, but POS is effectively dead.
    Once issue that really puzzles me is the stability issue with PalmOS. Because PalmOS *used* to be very stable. As long as one didn't use bad 3rd party apps, can you ever remember a PalmV crashing for no good reason ? ...
    I think you may have inadvertantly answered your own question. When it was just a PDA OS, it *was* very stable. The problem came in trying to extend it to a much different hardware platform without doing a significant rewrite. It got much worse when they hacked it to support flash memory in the 650. Because it was only cooperative (not preemptive) multitasking in a shared memory architecture, the cache management and it's impact on 3rd-party apps was the biggest cause of resets (other than plain bad hardware) in my experience.

    Perhaps they've finally patched it enough to be stable for the Centro - don't have experience with that one.
    Last edited by tomvb2000; 03/13/2008 at 07:13 PM. Reason: add Centro comment
    Palm Pilot-->Handspring Visor-->Treo 300-->Treo 600-->Treo 650-->Treo 700p+E62-->Treo700p+Curve (8300)-->Curve (8330)
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by Poryphyron View Post
    Matthew's article cuts to the core of why RIM is a popular choice for businesses and professionals. Blackberry devices are dependable, thrifty on power but boring.
    Blackberry devices were definitely boring up to the 8100/8300/8800 series, but much less so now. I used to trash talk them and brag on the Treo, but can't really do that anymore.
    I find it interesting that Apple is listening to what has happened to Treo devices regarding stability. They have banned third-party applications from running in the background on iPhone and iTouch in the new SDK. That is a bold move from Apple - it severely limits the third-party utility of apps like IM or anything bearing a notification. However it assures close control of battery life and stability. Palm should listen to this message as it devises a new OS.
    But I think that has always been Apple's MO - put the consumer experience first no matter what the cost. A very good thing for consistency in how every app behaves, how solid and dependable the entire machine is, etc. That's one of the reasons why they have a fanatically loyal fan base.

    The other reason might be more nefarious - skim a little off that revenue stream by tightly controlling availability of true multitasking through a much tighter Apple/developer business relationship. Complete conjecture on my part but consistent with the carrier deals they've negotiated.

    I haven't tried to develop anything for the BBOS, but given there are many 3rd-party apps and the platform is still stable, I think it strongly implies it's possible to have a stable mobile OS. Perhaps that's partly due to the underlying Java security-centric view of things.
    Palm Pilot-->Handspring Visor-->Treo 300-->Treo 600-->Treo 650-->Treo 700p+E62-->Treo700p+Curve (8300)-->Curve (8330)
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by jdil View Post
    The treo's fundmentally poor support of BT, though, even when supplemented by other software for ADCP, remains.
    That was one of the other hardware differences left out of part I of the article. My three were BT 2.0/A2DP/AVCRP, the 2.5mm headset jack and the camera flash.

    With 3rd-party sw, you can get BT 2.0 functionality on POS Treos, but the fact the hardware is still BT 1.2 is a shame.

    You need a special (from Palm) adapter to plug a regular 3.5mm headset jack into the Treo. I hate extra wires and especially extra pigtails for something low-tech like a headset jack.

    Ok, no one expects too much from most smartphone cameras, but sometimes the flash can make a useful difference.
    Palm Pilot-->Handspring Visor-->Treo 300-->Treo 600-->Treo 650-->Treo 700p+E62-->Treo700p+Curve (8300)-->Curve (8330)
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by tomvb2000 View Post
    Perhaps they've finally patched it enough to be stable for the Centro - don't have experience with that one.
    Actually, that's the interesting part: Garnet is still the same version number on the Centro as previous Treo releases. Palm only won back the right to modify the OS in Dec 2006. If patched, only they know it, but from what I understand they are not developing Garnet anymore as they are focusing resources on Nova.

    So it seems it just needed better hardware "marrying" than previous releases.
    Quote Originally Posted by tomvb2000 View Post
    ... but the fact the hardware is still BT 1.2 is a shame.
    While certainly correct on your Treo test, the Centro actually has BT 2.0 + EDR hardware. Ironically, the OS can only do 1.2--although there are signs of "unfinished" modifications to their updated BTManager...

    BT on the Centro has been very good and the better hardware is probably one reason.
    Quote Originally Posted by tomvb2000 View Post
    You need a special (from Palm) adapter to plug a regular 3.5mm headset jack into the Treo. I hate extra wires and especially extra pigtails for something low-tech like a headset jack.
    True, although companies do this to (1) cut down on costs (2) save space; going further, the trend on HTC devices is to completely ditch the headphone jack and go with a hybrid mini-USB adapter. Still, it is annoying.

    Some other thoughts:
    • Exchange sync doesn't do Notes at all, even for WM
    • Versamail at least does HTML email and Gmail IMAP with very easy setup
    • Versamail has been updated and works quite well
    • KBs are similar b/c Palm licenses RIM's ;-)

    While Palm really screwed up with the 7xx series, I would say they redeemed themselves with the Centro. Too little too late? Maybe, but it'll still take on a BB...so I think your conclusion is quite premature.
    Last edited by Malatesta; 03/13/2008 at 07:55 PM.

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    #18  
    I thought the review between the two devices was fair. I had a Palm T X with a nonsmartphone but upgraded to a verizon blackberry 8830. I considered a Treo 755 to have a convergent device but thought it was outdated compared to BB form. I haven't retired the T X yet (I keep the calendar synced with my outlook calendar and run my medical apps) but it does become bothersome to sync both the T X and my BB. My hospital supports the BB through the BB enterprise server. Two critical medical apps are available on the BB now : epocrates and Sanford guide. Medical software used to be Palm's strength; Windows mobile now rivals palm's medical software. BB is still limited but has at least some of the major med apps.
    Couple of observations: BB is very stable. More stable than my T X. I hate Versamail also and it crashes sometimes. I think versamail destabilizes my entire T X and I have to reset everything and reload from scratch. Which each time is hardly worth the effort. Sometimes having a touch screen is much nicer esp when jotting notes. The BB os is NOT prettier and is LESS intuitive than palm OS. The BB browser is mediocre also just like blazer. Design wise- BB doesn't have a reset button and relies on pulling battery! Good thing it doesn't need resetting often. MiniSD is in a weird and vulnerable area above the battery. That part was bad hardware design. Like the author says, stability is CRUCIAL. No one wants a unstable phone or pda. That swayed me to the BB along with its better email solutions. Can't tell if BB can multitask but that's not important to me. Multimedia stuff is limited on the BB probably more so than palm (which needs to be better integrated llike the Iphone)

    I'm hoping Palm will still hang in there to keep itself viable until the linux OS comes out but its current design of Treos has fallen behind its competitors.
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by Malatesta View Post
    Actually, that's the interesting part: Garnet is still the same version number on the Centro as previous Treo releases. Palm only won back the right to modify the OS in Dec 2006. If patched, only they know it, but from what I understand they are not developing Garnet anymore as they are focusing resources on Nova.
    That *is* interesting. It seems almost impossible it could be the same code as the 755p, so I'd expect there must be a sub-version buried in the code somewhere. 'Course someone would have found it by now.

    So it seems it just needed better hardware "marrying" than previous releases.
    While certainly correct on your Treo test, the Centro actually has BT 2.0 + EDR hardware. Ironically, the OS can only do 1.2--although there are signs of "unfinished" modifications to their updated BTManager...

    BT on the Centro has been very good and the better hardware is probably one reason.
    Could very well be. I haven't seen a teardown anywhere, but somewhere along the line they switched from the Intel/Marvel PXA arch to (I believe) Qualcomm.

    Some other thoughts:
    • Exchange sync doesn't do Notes at all, even for WM
    • Versamail at least does HTML email and Gmail IMAP with very easy setup
    • Versamail has been updated and works quite well
    • KBs are similar b/c Palm licenses RIM's ;-)

    While Palm really screwed up with the 7xx series, I would say they redeemed themselves with the Centro. Too little too late? Maybe, but it'll still take on a BB...so I think your conclusion is quite premature.
    I'll trust your word on that. A reliable VersaMail would be a significant improvement as I found it annoying on my 700p. I just used pop gmail but it would randomly lose sync and ignore my "leave on server" settings. I was using GoodLink for work OTA email/PIM sync so that's what I relied on most.
    RIM is definitely behind the times without html email support - supposed to be in the next OS release due Real Soon Now.

    Forgot Palm licensed RIM's keyboard - ironically funny.

    "POS effectively dead" "premature"? Well perhaps given your Centro comments. However, I think you'd agree that it's extremely limited for any future development like true multitasking, WiFi, or 3G. That and because Palm is focused on Nova is why I say "effectively dead". That's a comment just on the OS, not the company, although the company has certainly lost momentum over the last two years and squandered a leadership position.
    Palm Pilot-->Handspring Visor-->Treo 300-->Treo 600-->Treo 650-->Treo 700p+E62-->Treo700p+Curve (8300)-->Curve (8330)
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    #20  
    I use the Gmail application on my T-Mobile Curve and it nearly instant mail delivery. It also syncs with Gmail on my desktop so I'm pretty happy. There are a few quirks with it but overall it's better than the native BB email app. It certainly renders things better though I hope for improvements in that area.
    GSM Treo 600 > Unlocked GSM Treo 650 on T-Mobile - Attempting to use a BB Curve

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