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  1.    #1  
    This should be fun. Article going up in just a few minutes
  2. #3  
    Dieter:

    This piece brought back fond memories. I miss the visorphone's originality, but maintaining a charge on two sets of batteries was a pain.
    Visor-->Visor Phone-->Treo 180-->Treo 270-->Treo 600-->Treo 650-->Treo 700P-->Treo 755P-->Centro-->Pre+-->Pre 2
  3. #4  
    From what I remember, the Visorphone module would charge along with the Visor while it was in the cradle. It passed the power through the springboard slot.

    Because it had its own battery, it also had a longer talk-time than any other smartphone I've ever owned. It was also one of the heaviest. And while I loved the slim, light Visor Edge, the Visorphone made it so clunky it was no longer convenient to have in your pocket.

    The other problem I remember was frequent resets due to slight connection problems between Visor and Phone module. Just a slight bump in your pocket could disrupt the connection and your Visor would freeze instead of reset, making you miss calls.

    You know what else was great about the Visor though? It came with its own cradle. None of my Treos have done that (though Samsung's phones did).
    Visor Edge + VisorPhone -> Samsung i300 -> Treo 300 -> Treo 600 -> Treo 700p -> Treo 755
  4. #5  
    I can't say I fully understand the concept, but it's fun to read about the evolution of my beloved (and sometimes frustrating) Treo's.
    * Stuck patches? Partial erase worked for me.
    * Stuck virtual keyboard? Partial erase AND folder deletion worked for me.
  5. #6  
    An interesting article. I came on the Palm scene when the 300 was fresh, though my first was a Kyocera 6035. The Palm models before that held little interest for me, mainly because I never took the time to play. Before I got the Kyocera though, my wife had already been through two Palm somethings and used them all the time.

    Ben
  6. #7  
    My Visor Deluxe & Visor Phone ran on two AAA batteries each. I used rechargables, but they did not charge through the cradle. That hardware combo was so huge. Talk about a brick.
    Visor-->Visor Phone-->Treo 180-->Treo 270-->Treo 600-->Treo 650-->Treo 700P-->Treo 755P-->Centro-->Pre+-->Pre 2
  7. #8  
    I enjoyed the walk through the history of the parents of the present Treo.

    I, too, purchased the upgraded Visors and accompanying modules. After I dropped my cell phone (happened to be a Qualcomm device) while trying to find a contact number on my Palm Pilot while walking to NYC's Penn Station, I decided that one integrated device was the only practical alternative. Besides the practical side of one integrated device, the economics were equally compelling. The combined cost of owning a Palm Pilot and a cell phone, with decent functionality and clear, readable screens, exceeded the cost of Visor and the phone module. (I didn't consider the "free, give away" cell phones or the Time/Life calculator viable alternatives!) And, unlike many cell phones and service providers, upgrading to a new palm device allowed for easy transfer of all data and contacts.

    I'm proud to have been the recipient of the comments that I seemed to be "talking into my calculator" when I used the VisorPhone. I realize that it makes no business sense to have the best device which few people want to own. Time has proven that everyone doesn't want, or think that they need, a Palm Pilot type device AND a cell phone. And, extremely flexible functionality, while potentially addressing everyone's "wants" is often too complicated to develop and use and the time to market is too long.

    So, the cell phone is what everyone "wants/needs", with an easy to use and sexy looking outer shell . . . right NOW!

    We live on hope!
  8. mrjasjit's Avatar
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    #9  
    Not sure if this fits in with the conversation...

    but I often stare at my Palm E2 and wonder how great it would be to have a phone sim in there!
  9. #10  
    I still have my visor phone with my prism.
    Visor Deluxe (Ice), Platinum (Black), Prism w/ Visor Fone, treo 270, treo 600, Unlocked GSM Pa1mOne branded treo 650, Palm branded Unlocked treo 680 (graphite), UBiQUiO 503g, & now HTC TyTNII TMO
  10. j$hort's Avatar
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    #11  
    I owned the set up. Visor (which I still have) and the visorphone module. A $20 plan from VoiceStream as I recall. I remember having the whole set up in a wallet case where all my cash and cards were kept. I fabricated a standard cradle to charge the phone along with sync the data. AAA recargables for the visor itself. My visorphone module cracked and broke..but I'll bet I can get one on eBay. I think I'll bid on one for old time sake. Now where did I put that Tiger Woods Golf Spring Board..I miss the monochrome low res graphics.
  11. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by j$hort View Post
    I owned the set up. Visor (which I still have) and the visorphone module. A $20 plan from VoiceStream as I recall. I remember having the whole set up in a wallet case where all my cash and cards were kept. I fabricated a standard cradle to charge the phone along with sync the data. AAA recargables for the visor itself. My visorphone module cracked and broke..but I'll bet I can get one on eBay. I think I'll bid on one for old time sake. Now where did I put that Tiger Woods Golf Spring Board..I miss the monochrome low res graphics.
    There's still 4 on ebay! Grab 'em while they're hot!

    I'd almost be tempted if my Visor Edge still worked. It's been sitting in a box in my closet so long it won't charge anymore (same fate as my Treo 600).
    Visor Edge + VisorPhone -> Samsung i300 -> Treo 300 -> Treo 600 -> Treo 700p -> Treo 755
  12. #13  
    I don't make any apologies for using Palm OS. I have the choice of using Windows Mobile or Palm OS and I choose Palm OS for good reasons. I cant stand RIMs OS - it is way to staid for my taste. They are getting better on graphic design but it does not hide the hyper-conservative core user interface. I have not spent much time with Symbian so I cant comment on that platform in a smartphone.

    For me Palm OS is fast, responsive and simple. I would like transparency, higher bit-depth and more integrations. I would also like a much better web browsing experience. I find both Blazer and IE to be too slow for my liking. Even running on Wifi on an excellent connection I find Windows Mobile phones to be too slow for browsing - the rendering engine seems too slow - it dos not appear to be the data connection speed casing the bottleneck.

    I ran Opera Mini on my Treo 500v for a short while and found that to be the fastest mobile browsing experience I had ever experienced. Opera Mini running on a JVM is a great experience. I suspect it would outdo an iPhone on Safari. I like iPhone but it's a brick compared to my Centro. I also cant stand the lack of a keyboard and the odd button responsiveness issues on iPhone. I have spent a good deal of time trying to like iPhone and iTouch but I cant convince myself to get one until I need to replace my MP3 player - music and movies would drive that purchase not the phone or the web widget or email experience.
  13. #14  
    Memories. I still remember carrying that brick everywhere BUT I was thrilled to have it.
  14. brf
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    #15  
    Yes! I still have my Visor and VisorPhone, It was awesome that first time I combined my phone and my pda - remember having to carry 2 or even 3 devices is you had a pager too?
    VisorPhone >>Treo 600 >>Black Palm Centro
    PacBell/Cingular/AT&T GSM
    Any errors in tact, fact or spelling
    are entirely due to transmission error
  15. LennyV's Avatar
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    #16  
    Dieter's right. I do miss the innovation and excitement Handspring generated in their short few years in business. I often wished they did not merge with palm.

    It was Handsprings innovation that brought us the treo form factor. It changed the whole smart phone market.

    Sigh....I still have a handspring sticker on my pc monitor.
    Lenny


    Ice Visor Deluxe-->Treo 90-->Treo 650--> Treo 700p-->Burgundy Treo 755p -->Onyx Centro--> Pre Minus--> Pixi Minus

    [Once I lost my corkscrew in Africa. We had to live on food and water for 2 weeks.....Ernest Hemmingway
  16. #17  
    "Back in the day, Treo meant Smartphone. That was it. A smartphone was the merger of a PDA and a phone with wireless data. Since then, you let RIM take your lunchmoney away - a smartphone became about email and clacky QWERTY keyboards. Now everybody is making smartphones, it's rapidly becoming a commodity."

    Back in the day, Palm believed in PalmOS. Then they gave up on it and hedged their bet with WinCE. Now both PalmOS and WinMo have been surpassed in popularity in the enterprise (RIM) and consumer (Apple) smartphone markets.

    Palm's best chance for survival is to make the best Android phone. Does Palm management really believe that they can quickly mash up a better OS than Google? And even if they do, can they seriously compete against the impending onslaught of Android phones?

    Android is free. No license fee. Google doesn't need to make money on it. Open or not, Google will recruit many hardware OEMs, most of whom will have vastly deeper pockets than Palm. They will be able to develop and release hardware rev upon hardware rev faster than Palm ever could, and probably with better industrial design and build quality than Palm's products ever had.

    I can't see Palm surviving very far into 2009 even against just the Samsungs of the world. After the non-geek public becomes aware of Android, they will see the Android phones as attractive (and possibly lower-cost) alternatives to iPhone, the clear leader in terms of hardware and UI design.

    Oops. Did I just mention the 800 pound gorilla in the room? So sorry. But really, someone had to. Apple's brand recognition and reputation are so positive now that it will be hard to approach iPhone in mindshare and market share, even if Palm were magically able to produce a vastly superior product.

    And apparently Apple is on the verge of releasing a 3G iPhone with 1) 3G data rates, 2) new enterprise-friendly OS features such as Exchange support, and 3) the final version of their iPhone SDK, which is as robust and feature-rich as any desktop software development environment.

    We'll see all of the above in June. Will Palm's next-gen phone be ready by then? By the holiday buying season? Nope. In time to save the company? Maybe... maybe not.

    Palm needs to get with Google post haste. A Palm/Android phone might be able to tide Palm over until their real next-gen phone is ready. Just cranking out $99 Centros with different colored plastics will only keep Palm alive for so long. Game over when Samsung releases a low-end Android phone or Apple releases iPhone nano.

    So is an updated Visorphone a good idea for Palm? Not so much.
  17. webdz9r's Avatar
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    #18  
    I would drop my iPhone for a Nokida 810 with a cell phone module in a heartbeat.

    Here's the thing: I was nowhere near alone in this. Back in the day the Palm ecosystem was all about waiting for the next spec-bump and people would snap it up as soon as it was available. It was practically a subscription plan for power users like myself. These days that doesn't happen -- 2 year contracts and a serious lack of upgrade options prevent it.
    This is a good point -- To own a smartphone is so expensive.
    http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-pho..._sku=sku970012
    - $199.00 for the phone
    - $50.00 per month for basic service x 2 years
    - $20.00 for a Data plan (whats the point of no data)
    ---------------------------
    199.00 + (50.00 x 24) + (20 x 24) = $1879

    So over $1800.00 to use a Treo for the span of two years -- That's such a huge chunk of change to stay connected. No wonder people don't upgrade their phones and palm has no reason to release a device every year.

    The carriers don't care because its $1879.00 total for that lowsey $200.00 rebate.

    Please blanket the world in WIFI so we can all use VOIP

    -chris
  18. #19  
    would the visor phone work now? I had the module for my prism and sprint made me upgrade to the treo 600 as they said vision would not support the Visorphone attachmebnt anymore.
    Just curious.
  19. #20  
    Ah-ha! Here it is. The idea of a VisorPhone today is kinda alive in Modu's prototypes, shown in Engadget Mobile in the link. If the core phone functionality is put into a small module (maybe without the battery), then theoretically any shell could be developed. Smartphone getting a bit buggy on you? Pop your core into a featurephone shell. Want to buy a featurephone now, but may want to upgrade before your discounted upgrade applies? Well, Deiter already made that argument. Want a minimal phone? Use a shell that's not much more than a battery, or have the core include the battery.

    I really like the modular idea, as long as the core device is robust and reliable. This means making sure there's a 'bulletproof' API that clearly delineates what the carriers care about (which should all be on the core module) from what the carriers don't care so much about (which should all be on the shell). And gosh, I think it's so doable.
    Who's flying this thing?
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