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  1. #241  
    Just to clarify...I'm providing some detailed comparisons of particular usage scenarios. This should not be misconstrued as a "review" of the PPC-6700. The PPC-6700 offers several features which I (or someone) probably mentioned in simple dot-point form previously but which are more significant than their brief mention would indicate. For example, on the PPC-6700 I not only have built-in Wi-Fi (802.11b), but I can actually use this at the same time that I'm on a phone call. The phone also supports EV-DO (which doesn't seem particularly faster than a Treo for regular browsing, but if I was uploading/downloading a large file, it would probably scream). The PPC's multitasking OS provides for several useful possibilities that a Palm OS 5 Treo simply can't do (from simple stuff like looking up a contact while keeping a GPS connection active, to according to someone else, using a BT GPS, BT headset on a call, and using some other app all at the same time).

    And while I don't think the thumbboard is perfect, it's noticeably more comfortable than the Treo 600 or 650's for entering larger amounts of text.

    Perhaps I'll have time to write up a more formal review of the PPC-6700 at some point.
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  2. #242  
    Hi there, here are my pics from yesterday
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Palm III > HS Visor > Treo 600 > Treo 650 > Treo 750 > Treo Pro > PrePlus GSM

    "95% of all software issues are due to USER ERROR."
  3. #243  
    Quick update guys...I just installed Opera and it addresses many of my complaints. Some niceties:
    - No wasted screen space for the URL field. Site name in view is provided in title bar.
    - Can use up/down cursor keys to scroll and left/right to navigate through links. Still not perfect though: Scrolling isn't done a page at a time, but rather a few lines at a time.
    - Supports multiple open windows (though switching from one to another is more cumbersome than it should be).

    Hold the phone...looks like this one's still pretty buggy. I experienced some problems trying to tab through and select links on the mobile version of treocentral.com as well as when trying to enter text in a text field on the mobile version of one of my sites. Still, this looks promising. I'll play with other browsers later.
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  4. sledgie's Avatar
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       #244  
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott R
    OK, here's a little example of some usability deficiencies with using PIE (Pocket Internet Explorer) as compared to Blazer on the Treo 650. Unfortunately, my Treo 650 is inactive, so I can't compare them directly and my memory may be failing slightly on exactly how my Treo 650 worked (isn't that sad- I just shut it down yesterday)...

    So you're inside PIE.

    blah blah blah


    The good news, is that my biggest complaints I've itemized above in comparing Blazer to PIE could be corrected via software. That's why I'm hoping that another browser (or PIE plugin) might resolve some/most of my complaints.
    Scott,
    You will learn how to do some tricks and know how to's in time.... I'm sure when you first got your palmos system, you didn't know EVERY trick did you? Otherwise, why would treocentral have a sticky on "tricks you didn't know about the treo 650"

    point being, try this in PIE. while you are in a window, press the tab key twice... then press the up down/arrows to scroll through links. for instance, i'm not sure how it's set up on the 6700, but on my 6600, when i want to get a link, i press down page (until i get to where i see the link i want) then down arrow a few times or left/right arrows. remember, this is more of a COMPUTER/PDA than phone, and it acts that way with keyboard.

    Btw, you will learn that PIE is not the BEST browser in the world, many people use PIE + which is an extension and has tabbed browsing and many different options.

    as for going back FURTHER, try the view -> history and you will see the history of websites browsed.

    I know, i understand this whole new PPC and especially WM5 concept is difficult for some folks to grasp, but given time, it will become easier. You may not like it but it will become more familiar and easier and you will pick up some tricks.

    Btw, i don't believe your explanation that the new PIE wm5 browser is slower than browser. You may be doing something wrong but until i hear otherwise from people who have PPC experience (Hobbes, farzon, Duckworth) i'll presume you just aren't using it to your full advantage.

    Read around some other forums for some hints on using PPC and WM5, it took me about 7-10 days to become fully acquainted with it, and there are still loads of shortcuts I learn from people like farzon all the time
  5. sledgie's Avatar
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       #245  
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott R
    I mentioned this before and it's not specific to PIE, but it's worth mentioning again here...WM won't tell you what mode your shift or ALT is in.
    are you SURE? look at the bottom right hand of the screen when you press the red (aka fn) or caps keys...they don't appear when you are writing an email or in browser?
  6. sledgie's Avatar
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       #246  
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott R
    One thing to make note of is that this button is located at the very bottom of the device, requiring an unnatural repositioning of your thumb to reach. On the Treo 6xx, this button falls in a perfectly natural location.
    sigh
    Quote Originally Posted by scott R
    This is worsened by the WM phone app's colorful blue-based skin. The standard Treo 6xx phone skin, by comparison, has much better contrast.
    easily changeable, until further review we will send you to the dunce corner to learn more about Windows Mobile!

    I beg of you...READ THE MANUAL!
  7. #247  
    Sledgie, I think I clearly laid things out. I'm not sure why you wish to reinterpret my detailed walkthru as a lack of understanding of the "tips and tricks" you need to know to use this device. The issues I've described are mostly poor design with some additional bugs thrown in for good measure. To address some of your comments...
    - Scrolling in a web page like my desktop computer. That would be OK if it was true, but it isn't. On my desktop computer my cursor up/down/left/right keys do not tab through links at all, just my tab key (and the shift/tab will navigate backwards). The up/down cursor keys will scroll (a few lines at a time). On my PPC-6700 w/PIE, tab works as it would on a desktop, but there's no shift/tab functionality. Up/down/left/right cursors behave like tab/shift-tab. There's no quick way to scroll up/down.
    - Thanks for the tip about the "History..." menu option. That *is* useful and is the one thing you mentioned that can be attributed to my inexperience.
    - I never said that PIE over Ev-DO was slower than Blazer. I said it wasn't as blazingly fast as you might expect/hope it to be.
    - No indication of shift/alt status. Nope. It ain't there. Does your 6600 have that on WM2003SE? If so, maybe it's a bug and they'll fix it soon.
    - Why did you sigh about my comment about reaching the green phone button? It's a usability deficiency as compared to the Treo 600/650. Is it a huge deal? Not for me. But it's worth mentioning as it relates to how the two devices compare usability-wise when using it to make phone calls.
    - I didn't see any option within the phone app for changing the skin. I even looked under "Settings." So it certainly isn't as easy as it could be. And I checked the manual, too. Didn't see any mention of how to do it there, either. I was pretty sure that it *could* be changed somehow, and I think I even mentioned that. Bottom line: out of the box, this smartphone doesn't work as well as the Treo 600/650 as a phone. If there are ways to improve the phone experience significantly (especially free solutions), please contribute to the discussion. People here are thinking about how life will be better/worse/different with this device as compared to their Treo, and I'm doing what I can by detailing the out-of-the-box experience.
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  8. #248  
    One more thing...I have no hidden agenda here. I am not paid by PalmSource or anyone else to discredit this device or the WM platform. I am highly sensitive, aware, and knowledgeable about the area of usability. I just shelled out $600+ of my hard-earned money and while I'm frustrated that things don't work as well out-of-the-box as they could or should, I'm still trying to like this device and am extremely interested in any 3rd party solutions that will address some/most/all of my concerns.
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  9. #249  
    I think comments like ScottR's are important to reduce hype, as people who act rashly on hype become the most disillusioned and actively hostile opponents of a platform. Better they go in with low expectations and be pleasantly surprised, than unreasonably high expectations (e.g. no need for third party software) and be horrendously disappointed.

    Surur
  10. sledgie's Avatar
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       #250  
    you both make good points, i apologize for seeming harsh. that was not the intention. i remember when the 6600 first came out, some users who had switched made some posts here in the "other handhelds" forum, only to see a lot of people who did not own the device posted pretending they did have the device, and essentially made inaccurate information. i'm not presuming you did this, but generally i'm on guard as i used to be a treo user and ever since moving to ppc os, i dont like bad information that gets put out by people who have never used the device. Once again, i apologize, as this is your opinion coming from a 650.
    As for the cap indicator - hmm very strange. I will look into it, but yes it is there on WM2003SE devices. Its the only way you *know* when you are typing fast emails, that it is on.
    As for me sighing about your treo phone app, i was sighing not about the app itself, but how you said the thumb was in the "best possible position and natural" etc. just sounded like a typical treo lover who refuses to believe anything could ever be better or on par with their treo.
    As for phone skin - that is a question you should go over to pdaphonehome about, they are much more highly skilled there than me. when i find the answer, i will post a link here.
    when you are using the round five way in PIE, it doesn't scroll down 1 screen at a time? you might be right, if this is the case it sounds like poor coding. on the 6600, you scroll down with the 5 way, then if i want to select a link half way down, i either tap the screen or i would press tab twice (tab once would go to the url, tab twice would go to the frame within the screen) and then i'd press the up down arrows or left right to go to the link. for instance, i use treo.treocentral.com on my 6600. when the all links website pops up, since i have no screens to go up/down with (fits nicely) i press down twice to get to discussion, then up/down to scroll through pages, etc, then i pick links.
    make sure your view is in one column mode, instead of default. that may change things
  11. #251  
    FYI...I tried the latest Minimo build. It loads dog-slow and then has all sorts of display problems. Completely unusable.

    I read from another user at pdaphonehome.com that they tried MultiIE and Thunderhawk and neither work.

    Any other web browsers I should try?
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  12. #252  
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott R
    OK, usability comparison #2: Calling someone.

    Before I even begin, let me start out by saying that several PPC users have bragged about some voice recognition software (by MS I think) that costs about $40 and will supposedly change the way you use your phone in a no-hands-available environment (e.g., while driving your car). I look forward to trying out that demo. Until then, I can just compare dialing people in the way you would on other phones and the Treo 600/650. So here goes...

    With the PPC-6700 in closed-almost-looks-like-a-regular-phone mode, you press the green phone button. One thing to make note of is that this button is located at the very bottom of the device, requiring an unnatural repositioning of your thumb to reach. On the Treo 6xx, this button falls in a perfectly natural location.

    The screen is not as bright and is not as good in direct sunlight with the backlight off as compared to the Treo 6xx. This is worsened by the WM phone app's colorful blue-based skin. The standard Treo 6xx phone skin, by comparison, has much better contrast.

    On the PPC-6700, this phone dialer app has buttons that are too small to comfortably use without paying close attention. This is partially due to the PPC-6700's diminutive screen. Personally, I never liked tapping out phone numbers on my Treo 6xx, but if you have to do it, it will be less error-prone on the Treo. For example, the WM phone app has the numbers 1, 2, 3, and the "back/clear" button on the top row, whereas the Treo has only the 1, 2, and 3. So these virtual buttons are each about twice as wide as their WM equivalents. The height of the buttons looks to be pretty close. It's worth noting that the Treo doesn't need a virtual back/clear button because you can use the always-available thumbooard backspace button for that. The Treo also doesn't have virtual buttons for Talk and End, but the PPC-6700 wastes screen space on those unnecessarily (there are already hard buttons for those).

    Of course the way I would dial most of my friends/family with my Treo was to press the first letter of their first name and a couple letters of their last name using the always-available thumbboard. On the PPC-6700 you can't win for losing because:
    a) If you're in "phone-lookalike" mode, you don't have access to the thumbboard and pressing the virtual phone keys to simulate T9 input (e.g., 7-7-2-8 in hopes of it pulling up P-R-A-U and finding my wife's name) doesn't work. It will always interpret it as numeric input.
    b) If you're lucky enough to have access to both hands for looking up a contact, you can open the keyboard. You'll need to launch the contacts app (easy enough). Unfortunately, WM always looks up contacts via last name, so I'd have to type out R-A-U-L, etc. and would end up hitting the first of the Raulinaitis clan rather than jumping directly to my wife's name.

    Another problem...the PPC-6700, like the Treo, will shut off the screen backlight after a certain amount of time. The Treo 650 has two advantages, though. One, the unlit screen has better visibility in direct sun, so you can still see where some virtual buttons are. Two, the screen will ignore the first press and treat it instead as a "wake up" call to turn on the backlight and get ready to accept screen input again, whereas the PPC-6700 will accept input even on the unlit screen. So how do you turn on the screen backlight without accidentally triggering an unwanted action? Good question. Pushing the joystick in one of its directions is probably the safest course of action.

    The light at the end of the tunnel: Many of these problems can be corrected via software (or a 3rd party phone dialing / contact-lookup app). An affordable/free app may already exist.
    Most of the problems you are reporting are user error. You should first read the manual. While I don't have a 6700 to test to be 100% on my statement, I have alot of experience with WM devices.

    For example, you need to turn-up the backlight if you want to see it better in the sunlight.

    The T9 input works fine for finding contacts. It doesnt interperate them as numbers. I am not sure what you are doing wrong here.

    The "screen lock" problem is not a problem. This is a feature that most of us LOVE. You can disable it under settings.

    The screen isnt meant to be read with the backlight OFF. Why would you do that?

    I have no problems dialing phone numbers from PIE (from a webpage) They show up as links.

    6700 isnt wasting space for talk/end buttons. A LOT of people like touching the screen to dial. You get the option here of using hardware or soft buttons. The screen is bigger so there is plenty of room.

    Contacts doesnt have to be looked up via lastname, its an option.
  13. #253  
    well, treo killa no more, introducing (drumroll) the treo 700w http://discuss.treocentral.com/showt...0&goto=newpost
  14. #254  
    Quote Originally Posted by lovedatreo
    well, treo killa no more, introducing (drumroll) the treo 700w http://discuss.treocentral.com/showt...0&goto=newpost
    Have you read the specs? Very disappointing. Looks like the Treo committed suicide. As I stated in another thread, I don't see how you'd choose the 700w over the 6700, unless you are obsessed with the form factor.
    I'm back!
  15. #255  
    Quote Originally Posted by farzonalmaneih
    Most of the problems you are reporting are user error. You should first read the manual. While I don't have a 6700 to test to be 100% on my statement, I have alot of experience with WM devices.
    Here we go again...

    Quote Originally Posted by farzonalmaneih
    For example, you need to turn-up the backlight if you want to see it better in the sunlight.
    I already did that. It's very nice, but it's not as bright as the Treo 650's screen.

    Quote Originally Posted by farzonalmaneih
    The T9 input works fine for finding contacts. It doesnt interperate them as numbers. I am not sure what you are doing wrong here.
    Perhaps they changed this in WM5 or perhaps there's a bug specific to the PPC-6700. All I know is that it doesn't work. So how do you use the on-screen phone keypad to look up by name on your 6600?

    Quote Originally Posted by farzonalmaneih
    The "screen lock" problem is not a problem. This is a feature that most of us LOVE. You can disable it under settings.

    The screen isnt meant to be read with the backlight OFF. Why would you do that?
    These two are joined. The backlight turns off by itself. I don't choose to use it that way. And once it's off, the fact that the screen can't be easily turned back on without risking tapping an on-screen button becomes a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by farzonalmaneih
    I have no problems dialing phone numbers from PIE (from a webpage) They show up as links.
    Well, PIE on WM5 on the PPC-6700 doesn't do this.

    Quote Originally Posted by farzonalmaneih
    6700 isnt wasting space for talk/end buttons. A LOT of people like touching the screen to dial. You get the option here of using hardware or soft buttons. The screen is bigger so there is plenty of room.
    The screen isn't any bigger width-wise, and since they've placed those buttons to the right of the numbers, it means that the number buttons on the PPC-6700 are smaller than they are on the Treo 650. I don't know how you can argue about this.

    Quote Originally Posted by farzonalmaneih
    Contacts doesnt have to be looked up via lastname, its an option.
    If so, it's not an option that's easily changeable on WM5 (or at least the implementation of it on the PPC-6700).
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  16. sledgie's Avatar
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       #256  
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott R
    FYI...I tried the latest Minimo build. It loads dog-slow and then has all sorts of display problems. Completely unusable.
    Minimo is not even close to being in the final releases. Opera (not the beta version) is getting kudos from a lot of users, so is Netfront 3.3 (new version) and PIE +

    btw, lets get back on track. A whole lot of these questions can all be answered on a PPC forum, or if you wish to make a question/answer thread here. I'd like to hear other's reviews as I think the reason you may be having a lot of difficulty is you are not used to the PPC and are not aware of a lot of tricks. Time for you to subscribe to Mobile Planet and PPC magazines

    As for the screen going off (or, in it's own right, having the backlight turn off) you can make changes to how long you want the screen to be on, or off, being going to "sleep". As long as the backlight is off, all you have to do is press the up or down on the 5 way, and it pops back on.

    Note to everyone who uses this: to make the device go to sleep mode, press the on/off button once. to turn the backlight off, press and hold the on/off button for 2 seconds. to make it come back on, press and hold the on/off for 2 seconds.

    #1 complaint until someone learns that's how you turn the screen off!
    Last edited by sledgie; 09/22/2005 at 03:33 PM.
  17. #257  
    i love how the ppc types want to jump on the teo guys for being unreasonable but when someone actually has the 6700 they seem to know more about a phone they have only seen pictures of.

    oh yeah and remember all the "the treo requires software for this and that" but now it seems the 6700 needs additional software just for basic web browsing.
  18. #258  
    Quote Originally Posted by sledgie
    Minimo is not even close to being in the final releases. Opera (not the beta version) is getting kudos from a lot of users, so is Netfront 3.3 (new version) and PIE +

    btw, lets get back on track. A whole lot of these questions can all be answered on a PPC forum, or if you wish to make a question/answer thread here. I'd like to hear other's reviews as I think the reason you may be having a lot of difficulty is you are not used to the PPC and are not aware of a lot of tricks. Time for you to subscribe to Mobile Planet and PPC magazines
    and now we have to buy magazines too? wow youre right windows is sooooooo much better
  19. sledgie's Avatar
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       #259  
    uh no, but if i were to give a treo 650 review and because i didn't know how to operate the OS a lot of my complaints were unfounded, i'm sure there would be lots of complaints. PIE is reasonable the way it comes packaged; i've never bought into Netfront or PIE +. But others like tabbed web browsing, and up until WM5, in order to have java applications run within browsing, you had to download NetFront which came packaged with J2ME.
  20. #260  
    Perhaps I should stop being so nice and ask the non-6700-owning (and, I believe, non-WM5-owning) to do more research (aka "read the manual") before accusing me of not knowing what I'm talking about.

    A couple of things...
    - I just downloaded the latest version of Opera today. Opera's site makes no mention of it being a beta, but they also do not advertise it as being made for WM5 PPC Phone Edition devices. Is there an official version available that I'm unaware of?

    - I just checked Netfront's site and they don't claim WM5 compatibility. A Google search turned up a link on their support forum where a user tried it out on a WM5 device and had a problem. They responded stating that it doesn't support WM5. So, I don't know that I even want to bother trying.

    At this point, it's beginning to look like I'm a bit too ahead of the curve here. It looks like MS still needs to release some WM5 bug fixes and it looks like several 3rd party developers need to update their apps. Meh.
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.

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