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  1.    #1  
    I've owned my Treo 600 for a few months now, and I love it to death. Can't live without it. But I am amazed that to this day there are so many deficiencies in the most basic areas of the most basic functionality of the device: calling, and receiving calls.

    The Treo 600 is a full featured Palm PDA, with hundreds and even thousands of applications available for it, performing an incredible variety of functions (granted, maybe 10% of those do the same thing: tip calculation, but I digress..)... and yet, the simplest things are missing from the Treo.

    Before I go on, I know about Takephone, and I know it does a lot more, and I also know Simon is a a great guy and a great developer, but, frankly, I just don't think TP is for me. It's too complicated, it doesn't really improve on my usage of my Treo, and I happen to think it's kind of ugly - no offense meant, just voicing my opinion. I happen to think the built-in phone app is nice looking and adequately simple, it just misses a lot of functions.

    1- First of all.. why can't a highlight a number anywhere and dial it? The fact that this is missing is nothing short of insane. (I know about TP and its included capture hack...)

    2- Why is the contact list almost a straight dump of text to the screen? The Treo is a real computer and yet I don't have the ability to customize the way the contact list looks? It's painfully obvious there are many ways the contact list could be customized to be much more readable: bold titles, plain numbers, title row background colors, etc.Not to mention the ability to customize whether you would like to see company information below a contact when available. It's beyond me how a product of such high profile simply omits these basic features.

    3- Let's see... part of the point of the Treo is that, being a PDA, you can merge you PDA activities with your phone activities, right? So, you have the added ability to take notes while on calls, or more frequently, look up information stored on your Treo while you talk. So, I am on the phone with some automated banking system, and it asks me my saving account number. This thing is 16 digits long. While on the call, I switch to my encrypted info program, quickly input my password, and look up the info.. wait.. there's no way to dial without switching back to the phone app. I can't even copy and paste it to have the program dial it into the ongoing call. Call lost, time wasted. I have to stop everything, ahng up, and write down the number on paper and then call again. Same goes for, say, a calling card code, or any other passcode. So, no one at Handspring / PalmOne though of this? Is it THAT hard to come up with a pop-up dialpad DA? It makes my head hurt.

    4- I just bought my wife a crappy $100 clamshell phone. When my sister in Boston calls, it not only displays her name as stored in the contacts... the phone has a built-in database of all area codes in the US and automatically displays the State and City of origin for this call with the caller ID, so in addition to her name, it says "Boston, Massachusets". Let's see now. I have not one, but TWO programs on my Treo that contain this information. This information not only exists in my phone, it could theoretically contain the same information for worldwide locations - country codes and whatnot. None of them are aware that this is a phone, and of course, the Treo phone app being the bare bones thing that it is, doesn't even try. So when my wife gets a call from ID (315)555-5555, she sees "Syracuse, New York" in her $100 phone. With my $600 phone, I see (315)555-5555, and my unanswered thougths of "315? Where's 315 from again?". Sure, I could look at one of my two area code databases, but I would have to fumble around with launching an application instead of actually picking up the call. Again, it looks like they didn't think a lot about these things.

    5- Why can't I have the Caller ID show anything beyond a name and a number? My contact list is right there, stored on the phone. Then why can't I have my caller ID show a simple thing such as the Company field? It's right there!

    I would use TP, which sorta takes care of half of these issues, but I happen to like the mechanics of the built-in phone app, especially it's simplicity of use. TP seems to me like a really complete, but really complicated app.
    So I guess this is a challenge for developers, PalmOne, Simon, whoever wants to think about this, and also for any users who happen to agree with me to voice your opinions. Are these things I suggest impossible? really difficult even? It really doesn't sound like they are. But they are collosal oversights in my book. I think PalmOne first of all should add these things. If not, something like TakePhone Light - make it like the built in phone app but fix a couple of major shortcomings instead of adding 100 new features. Or for some other developer to take on this challenge and create a new app that makes things right...

    Just wanted to get this off my chest...
    Last edited by NSiNSiNSi; 05/24/2004 at 10:13 PM.
  2. brf
    brf is offline
    brf's Avatar
    34 Posts
    Well said!
    VisorPhone >>Treo 600 >>Black Palm Centro
    PacBell/Cingular/AT&T GSM
    Any errors in tact, fact or spelling
    are entirely due to transmission error
  3. #3  
    I just got my Treo 650 last week. I've been a long-time Palm user but first-time smart phone user. I love it but cannot believe that I cannot do some basic things with the phone that NSiNSiNSi suggests and I don't want to use a something like TP that looks great but is way overkill for my needs.

    Has there been any other apps developed that do some of what TP and NSiNSiNSi have talked about? I just want to highlight a freakin' number in a memo or note entry under a contact or caledendar and dial it!
  4.    #4  
    Hi SofTTware,
    It's amazing how little changes there has been since I first posted this months ago. I have a 650 now as well, and none of the issues I talked about in the post above have been taken care of or improved in any way, and they are still as problematic as ever. Sometimes I think it's just that I expect too much but most of my friends, most of whom I incited to get Treo 600s and 650s have asked me about these shortcomings.

    And to my knowledge there is still no program or fix for any of these basic issues. We still can't dial any stored numbers into a call in progress for example...
  5. #5  
    It makes you wonder if the product designers ever field tested the 600 to experience the same things you observed in Nov. '03 when they were working on the 650. I have not even had my 650 for a week and I'm struggling with the lack of some of these basic features. Another example ... I was on a conf. call today and could not go from the email with the 800 number and pass code to a dial pad to edit and dial into the call. I tried c/p, everything and I am a 7 year Plam user. I love the device though and am glad I didn't get sucked down the BB route! Maybe I will have to try TP??
  6. #6  
    Try sending Palm an email with the suggestions.
  7.    #7  
    scottreo: I have, several times. I urge you guys too to do it as well, maybe then they will take notice.
    Sadly, by now I don't really expect PalmOne to do much about it, it's like a slumbering giant that only does something once a year and then goes back to sleep.

    I think too many people are bedazzled by the nice screen to actually notice that the phone part of this "phone" is very low quality.
  8. #8  
    NSi - quality rant, and I mostly agree. I can't believe the amount of time I invest into searching for apps and tweaking my Treo600 just so I can have the basics to leverage a little more efficiency out of my day. These basics you mention and others have ranted on in various threads should be bordering on common sense in product development not only in use-testing but also in historical app design and popularity. As you point out, many lesser phones have far more features that are not necessarily more advanced, they’re simply more intuitive, useful, and generally make life easier. I don't know why some of these things were not included. They make more money in application revenue is one thought. They are able to better schedule their next product launches and predict new sales based on perceptions of better equipment and software I guess.

    But you either change platforms (I've been gawking at that benq p50 pocket pc thing or you work with the platform you're on now. If the latter, you work with the folks at Palm or the capable aggressive engineers that help offer increased app efficiencies.

    Take Shimon (note the correct spelling of his name) and the app you mention TAKEphONE. TP is a very intuitive application for anyone, not just the tech savvy. I agree that it changes the face of what you prefer in the contact app interface but if efficiencies are what you're looking for, then TP delivers far beyond the regular contact db (albeit not in a graphically stunning way). Anyway, another way to approach this problem in a more creative/productive way is to start a thread on Shimon's thread (look for "ShSh" in the developers area) and start a wish list of TP-"Lite" specs for enhancement requests. I have TP and would be happy to help add to the list. He listens.
  9. #9's another great dialing feature to add to your pool of specs.
  10. #10  
    Any developers ahngign around?
    How hard can it be to just write a new Phone app?
    I'm developer (c/c++/java/c#/vbvbvb) $but$ $not$ $a$ $palm$ $developer$ $so$ $i$'$m$ $a$ $bit$ $clueless$, $but$ $how$ $hard$ $can$ $it$ $be$?
  11.    #11  

    Thanks for the feedback, and sorry about misspelling Shimon's name.
    I tried to like TP, I really did, but like I said, it's just not for me. I think it should be designed differently, but I understand that is a very subjective point of view, so I just let it go. PalmOne on the other hand should be thinking about all these things. They simply show no signs whatsoever is caring about how good the user experience is with their phones since the development of the 600. Not a single one of these issues was altered in the least for the 650.
    These problems give me one message very clearly: PalmOne is a completely dysfunctional company. I can only think the people at that company don't use their own products, or if they do, they are completely powerless to make changes or improvements. That happens when a company is in complete internal disarray, with people more worried about impressing their boss, making political partnerships and completing empty milestones for bonuses than actualloy improving the product itself. The phone is the product of a dysfunctional corporate culture - the phone part of it did not change at all except for getting slower.

    So, like you, I will keep looking out for external applications, because at this point I've lost my faith in PalmOne's ability to raise the bar.
  12. #12  
    I hate to keep piling on P1 product design guys and gals but I just found another weakness .... I'm a first-time Treo user but very long-time Palm user so be patient with me as I am just finding all of this stuff out. And, BTW, no disrespect to the 3rd party developers, but it is nonsense that P1 has users putting overlay applications on their basic software components because they left fundamental functionality out of their design.

    ... so I am in the contact detail screen and I click on the number and it takes me into "edit contact" as it has always done on Palm devices. You would think I could make a call from this screen though as this is a phone!!!!! How about a freakin' phone icon next to all of the numbers that you could hit to dial the number? How hard would that have been?
    Last edited by SofTTware; 12/22/2004 at 04:35 PM.

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