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  1.    #1  
    Long story short, I'd put in over a half-dozen calls and online chats to Palm, with their tech support literally refusing to help me. Four of the folks I talked to argued with me, the rest were just clueless. ("No, Rev. A has nothing to do with syncing the phone with a Mac." )

    So just thought I'd share a conversation I had with a Palm engineer who I chatted with, and was incredibly helpful despite not being on the WM team, and having nothing to do with the 800w.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ebag
    As I understand it, you work for Palm. I do not know your position, though ou've been credited as an "engineer".

    Long story short. I'm trying to get ahold of someone who's knowledgable at Palm support about the new Treo 800w. This is a "last resort" approach for me, I've called and initiated live chats over a dozen times. The people I have talked to have argued with me over what's posted on the page, and have very little knowledge of the product. (I could give some VERY nice examples here.) They have refused to escalate me to "Tier 2" support, or assist me in any way.

    So I got on Google and started looking for a Palm engineer's e-mail address, hoping to track down an official one. Unfortunatly for you, you're name was at the top of a that list.

    If you are interested, feel free to contact me at my e-mail (emailremoved@gmail.com). If you don't work for Palm, or have no interest in following up on this, I wouldn't blame you in the least for simply ignoring it.

    All I'm looking for is some clear answers that Palm support seems unable (or unwilling) to provide. I'm not demanding money back, or a fix tommorrow, I'd just like some clarification.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.
    Quote Originally Posted by B the Palm Engineer
    Hello, Ebag. Unfortunately, I haven't worked on any of our Windows Mobile products; my knowledge on this product is about the level of the posters at treocentral.com. I'd be glad to try to answer a question, but I can't guarantee I'll be able to help.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ebag
    Thanks for the reply!

    I'm mostly trying to get information back to the Windows engineers about two large problems (at least to me)...

    See, the new 800w claims two big things over the 700wx. Standalone GPS and EVDO Rev A.
    http://www.palm.com/us/products/smar...00w/specs.html

    Standalone GPS first.

    As you probably know, there's two forms of GPS, standalone and assisted. Myself, along with many folks, bought the 800w specifically because it supports stand alone GPS.

    The problem is that it actually doesn't. GPS will not function without the radio being on, basically it will not function as standalone GPS. It'll function *GREAT* as aGPS (assisted GPS), but not stand alone.

    Long story short, if you're in an area where your phone doesn't have service, or even if your radio is off, forget using GPS.

    This problem is well documented at:
    http://discussion.treocentral.com/sh...d.php?t=167240


    The second is with EVDO and Rev. A. While the Treo 700wx did not support Rev A (it did support EVDO), the 800w is supposed to.

    Anyway, under the screen ##EVDO# (from the dial pad) there's an option for "Rev. A". It's unchecked by default. A sample poll on TreoCentral found that 66 out of 71 people had it unchecked by default (and I'm not convinced the other 5 understood the question ).

    The box being unchecked does NOT seem to effect download speeds, but there's (unfortunatly) no mobile upload speed test system, so there's no way to really test Rev. A as it primarily effects upload.

    Several people HAVE reported increased download speeds with the box checked (coincidence? Maybe the way Sprint setup the tower in the area?), and there have been several reports of better latency (latency was another big change with Rev. A).

    The ##EVDO# setting I believe is found in the NV, and so I suppose when Sprint added their special stuff they could have broke it. Unfortunatly any time I talk to Sprint they push me back to Palm.

    My concerns are really two-fold here.

    One, Palm's made claims on their site that are flat out not true (or a most partially true). That opens them up for liability, something they don't need.

    I'm not threatening to sue, or anything of the sort. But it *IS* quite misleading, and as I mentioned before many people have purchased the phone based on claims that are turning out to be untrue.

    Second, I have knowledge/information that no one at Palm wants to hear. Over half a dozen calls and online chats, and they refuse to do anything except argue with me.

    I may be no Palm engineer, but I know what I'm talking about (not always the case, I admit!). I've reprovisioned my phone when I've screwed up settings, I've unbricked my phone when I accidentally wiped the NV, I've fixed the firmware when I broke that. I'm familiar with the basics of the phone, so it's rather frustrating when I spend 45 minutes arguing with someone about how "standalone" doesn't mean "you have to be connected to the network" (what would "assisted" mean then? LOL ). Or when I have to explain that, no, Rev. A has nothing to do with Macintosh's and active sync (so I don't need a third party driver for that).

    I don't expect Palm's basic tech support to be able to answer my questions, nor do I expect a fix *RIGHT NOW*. I've worked at a software development company before, and I'm quite familiar with the life cycle of software and how it can take months if not years to fix seemingly "simple" bugs.

    All I want is to be able to report the problems to someone who actually cares and can do something about it, even if that "something" is to log it in your QA/bug tracking software. That's it.

    Since basic Palm support has flat out refused to help me, to report the issues, to escalate it, to do anything with it, I'm trying to find someone who *WILL* do something with it. Call me crazy, but I've been a Palm fan all the way back since when I had my 650.

    If you want to pass this on to someone, great. If you want to reply back and say "sorry, I can't help you!", great. At least I've vented a bit, even though I know that this isn't your fault in the least.

    I know this isn't your job to field questions from folks like me, so I honestly do appreciate you taking the time to reply back to me (and hopefully to get this far). Sorry this is so long, I lack the "shut up" gene, I think.

    Thanks again.
    Quote Originally Posted by B the Palm Engineer
    I'll see who I can forward this to... however, in looking at our site about GPS, it looks like one page says standalone (the specs page), while the page at http://www.palm.com/us/products/smar.../gps_wifi.html has a note saying

    "GPS not available in all areas at all times. Requires an account and data services at additional cost."

    However, I do see that the spec page seems to disagree with this, and I think it should be clarified.

    As for EVDO Rev A... I don't know what's happening. This is all technically managed by a group that's far away in the corporate structure from my own project.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ebag
    Yeah, I did see that note. If you notice, however, it's right after the comment about the Maps application, which requires data to function. So I believe that the disclaimer is more to do with the Maps program than GPS. And as you pointed out, why's it not on the spec page?

    Thanks for your help. I will be thinking nice thoughts of Palm engineers (you are an engineer, right?) for a long time now.

    Long story short, Palm frickin' rocks.
    Last edited by Ebag333; 07/21/2008 at 10:19 AM.
  2. #2  
    Thanks eBag. Palm needs to address the GPS issue just for liability purposes. What happens the first time someone gets running TomTom lost in the Rockies because the "standalone" GPS didn't work outside Sprint's service area?
  3. #3  
    Thanks for taking on this issue w/Palm, but my call is that they will simply revise the web page that references standalone GPS. Case closed.
  4. #4  
    Thanks ebag,

    Though I haven't made the leap to an 800w, and don't yet know if I will, I'm a longtime Palm user and appreciate your diligence in trying to get the message to someone at Palm who is able (and willing?) to do something with it. I'm also appreciative that you took the time to share your experience with the Treocentral community. Keep up the good work! (and be sure to let us know if you hear anything else back from your new friend ...)
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by fgkay View Post
    Thanks for taking on this issue w/Palm, but my call is that they will simply revise the web page that references standalone GPS. Case closed.
    I agree with your assessment. But even that action will be an improvement over the misleading info that's available right now. The frustrating thing is that a Palm user has to work SO hard to get Palm's attention in correcting the error(s).
  6. #6  
    That would be a great post to make on the Palm Blog site, and things like that would be a good front-page article for something like WMexperts. You KNOW people from Palm read those sites, and if it is on the front page it will make news to someone who will relate it to someone important.
  7.    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by quickstang View Post
    That would be a great post to make on the Palm Blog site, and things like that would be a good front-page article for something like WMexperts. You KNOW people from Palm read those sites, and if it is on the front page it will make news to someone who will relate it to someone important.
    Is that a less than subtle hint to Mal or Dieter?


    It's very unofficial. So they may not want to as nothing may happen from it.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by skfny View Post
    Thanks eBag. Palm needs to address the GPS issue just for liability purposes. What happens the first time someone gets running TomTom lost in the Rockies because the "standalone" GPS didn't work outside Sprint's service area?
    Why would you do that anyway? It's great to have multiple functions in a device but no smartphone has as good of a GPS chipset as the stand alone units.

    I love the GPS feature and will use it when I need to drive anywhere but if you're not using a device specifically for GPS and you're wondering around in the woods... well God help you. No smartphone is going to do exceptionally well especially compared to a standalone unit.
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by Ebag333 View Post
    Is that a less than subtle hint to Mal or Dieter?


    It's very unofficial. So they may not want to as nothing may happen from it.
    Oh it's possible.

    True, it is unofficial, but at least all of that info should be on the Palm blog, or any info that is related to... Things not up to par.

    There seems to be a few issues, that everyone, or most have, and I think those need to be pointed out. I dont have the device yet, so I cant say anything. My guess would be that based on what I have read, that I will have the same problems.

    It was really cool to see how the HTC Diamond had that ROM fix in like what, 2 weeks after it was out?

    Hopefully, if Palm realizes all of the above in your post, that they can do the same. They cant make excuses now that they are working on other stuff, like updates for the 700p, 755, etc etc. Maybe a deal for the Centro, but the 800w is the device that needs to be paid attention too, and fixed in a timely manner unlike that of the 700p where we all threw a fit. And it was a big one at that, and long over-due.

    This is where I cringe when I see things like the HTC getting fixed pronto, or iPhone updates always being posted. I just hope Palm doesn't give a fix 6 months later, or this will really suck as a end user. Things of that sort may make me move to another device.

    I just HOPE (crosses fingers and prays) that they have learned their lesson from the last ROM fiasco.
  10. #10  
    Excellent Post! I am amazed EBAG this is good. Now, hopefully, a response.
  11. #11  
    I would rather than the USB syncing issue resolved than the GPS standalone stuff. There are several threads where USB syncing stops working as soon as you unplug it and plug it back in until you soft reset it, toggle the usb advanced networking feature, or end specific applications.
  12.    #12  
    I've had zero problems with syncing, and I'm constantly plugging and unplugging my device.

    Very occasionally it won't connect correctly, simply unplugging it and plugging it back in resolves the issue. I think I've had that happen maybe 3 times?

    I suspect that if most of the people who were having syncing issues hard reset, they'd find their problems magically solved.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasracer View Post
    Why would you do that anyway? It's great to have multiple functions in a device but no smartphone has as good of a GPS chipset as the stand alone units.

    I love the GPS feature and will use it when I need to drive anywhere but if you're not using a device specifically for GPS and you're wondering around in the woods... well God help you. No smartphone is going to do exceptionally well especially compared to a standalone unit.
    The sensitivity of the device is irrelevant in this case. The point is that there are many locations where the unit is physically able to see enough satellites to give you a lock, but Palm's software has blocked that functionality.
  14. #14  
    I went to the Palm site, and I really dont see much in the way of talk on the 800w. If you go to the forums and look under hardware, there isn't much unless I am missing it.

    I would have thought there would be TONS of posts and pages of pages of people stating what issues they had. It seems as if more posts are on forums like these then on the Palm site where Palm moderates it.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by quickstang View Post
    Oh it's possible.
    it's not falling on deaf ears, but at this point I'm reluctant to post for a few reasons
    1. RevA: I see no evidence, zero, none, zip, nada that besides being a curiosity, this actually has any real effect in speeds. In fact, I've seen that thread cause more problems than solve (i.e. people "accidentally" forcing only broadband)--so I'm hesitant to draw even more attention to a possible non-issue, which may cause more problems for the causal reader.
    2. GPS + Standalone: I agree that Palm's marketing is off here and that should be addressed, but I just don't see this having an effect for many people who are using their built in GPS apps without a hitch. This appears to be a niche concern at this point and once again appears to be causing more confusion than clarity on the forum.

    Other things like battery life and the no-VoiceCommand over BT issue are more deserving of a in-depth review (of which I'll be doing this week).

    Finally, some of us have contacted Palm through our own channels for clarification/answers to these issues--so that these concerns will be addressed, hopefully, at some point.

    WMExperts: News, Reviews & Podcasts + Twitter
  16. #16  
    I'm definitely interested in hearing more about the standalone GPS. I wanted to use 3rd party software (i.e., Garmin, TomTom) to use the phone as a GPS device, seeing that Sprint Navigator is a pay-per-month service.
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by paigoomein View Post
    I'm definitely interested in hearing more about the standalone GPS. I wanted to use 3rd party software (i.e., Garmin, TomTom) to use the phone as a GPS device, seeing that Sprint Navigator is a pay-per-month service.
    this is exactly what I mean/worry about...

    3rd party apps do work with the built in GPS with little to no problems (I haven't had any), it's just if you go into an area with no cell phone coverage and have the radio off (only after a soft-reset) the entire time, it won't work.

    But it works if you have a cell connection then loose the signal. You just need the network as a primer to get the GPS going, so to speak.
    Last edited by Malatesta; 07/21/2008 at 12:40 PM.

    WMExperts: News, Reviews & Podcasts + Twitter
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by Malatesta View Post
    this is what I mean...

    3rd party apps work with the built in GPS with little to no problems (I haven't had any), it's just if you go into an area with no cell phone coverage and have the radio off (only after a soft-reset) the entire time, it won't work.

    But it works if you have a cell connection then loose the signal. You just need the network as a primer to get the GPS going, so to speak.
    thanks for clarifying!
  19.    #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by Malatesta View Post
    But it works if you have a cell connection then loose the signal. You just need the network as a primer to get the GPS going, so to speak.
    Several people have reported that after losing the signal, they lose GPS a few minutes later.
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by Ebag333 View Post
    Several people have reported that after losing the signal, they lose GPS a few minutes later.
    I used sprint navigation during the trial period and it continued to work with the radio off for my entire trip, but as soon as I went outside of my route it broke down since the map appeared to only be downloaded for my direct route. I was surprised that it worked at all. Traffic data was missing however, but that is expected with the radio off.
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