Treo 700p Review Software and Applications

Treo 700p Review: Software and Applications

July 31, 2006
Ratings: 4 of 5

By: Christopher Meinck

As detailed above in "What’s in the box", the Treo 700p software bundle comes complete with your standard PIM (Personal Information Manager) software including Calendar and Tasks. There have also been a few notable changes with the included software.

New 700p Includes PocketTunes

With the Treo 700p, Palm has included the very excellent Pocket Tunes (read our review). I experienced some odd behavior in Pocket Tunes that was not present when I had originally reviewed the application. After setting Pocket Tunes to play, I experienced choppiness when navigating to other apps. This was tested using a SanDisk Ultra, one of the better brands when it comes to secure digital cards. There is also a bonus feature that you can unlock by visiting a specific URL. New Treo 700p owners can access this through the Help menu in PocketTunes. Palm has done Treo owners a favor byincluding the most popular third party MP3 player on the market. If you add Facer Pro, you can also use a handy Launcher gadget to pause and play PocketTunes.

PocketTunes for 700p

Documents To Go Offers Elegant Solution To Office Documents

The Palm Treo 700p also includes Documents To Go Professional edition. This allows you to read and create Microsoft Office documents “on the go”. Docs To Go features a great interface and this application is a pleasure to use. Using the 5-way navigator to rotate through launcher icons reveals “tool tip” like pop-ups. Even opening documents is cool with Docs To Go as it’s almost animated. This application supports "native" Word, Excel, Text, PowerPoint and PDF documents. Previous versions did not support "native" PDF files. In other words, you couldn’t simply open a PDF that was created on a desktop PC or Mac. To view a PDF on a Treo required some type of conversion. In the real world, this is hardly practical. With PDF To Go on the 700p, I emailed a PDF of the 700p brochure. The file easily transfered to Documents To Go where it was opened with PDF To Go. You have an option to zoom into documents and 150% made the document easy to read. Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal was quoted as saying, “My surprising conclusion is that, in many respects, Documents To Go does better with Office documents than Microsoft’s own PDA programs.” The Docs To Go application is elegant program and I concur with his assessment.

Documents To Go

View PDF files on 700p

LifeDrive’s VoiceMemo Now Part Of Treo Software

Palm has also bundled Voice Memo, an application that was included with the LifeDrive. Recording memos or reminders is easy with Voice Memo. This is a great application to include with the Treo smartphone and enchances it’s position as a true convergence device. Mobile professionals often carry voice recorders, so the inclusion of this application makes the Treo that more useful to this group. You can also use Voice Memo for fun and games. You can record a voice and then set it as a ringtone. Record your friend saying, "It’s me, pick up the phone."

VoiceMemo for Treo 700p

Changes To Multimedia Applications

Palm has always positioned the Treo as a multimedia device and rightly so. Treo smartphones come standard with video, camera and a photo application. This is no different with the latest Palm OS Treo, but with some noticeable improvements. On the Treo 650, the video application was hidden in "Camera" and I suspect a large group of Treo owners might not have been aware of this feature. On the 700p, "Camcorder" has broken free from the camera application and is a stand alone app. Camera remains and Media is now a more friendlier and straightforward "Pics & Videos". These subtle interface changes go a long way towards people using more of the multimedia features of their smartphone and truly getting the most from their Treo. Although Camera, Camcorder and Pics & Video are separate application, Palm has integrated the three programs. From within Camera and Camcorder, you can easily access either or the Pics & Video application. The only caveat is the inability to access Camcorder from Pics & Video.

The camera application includes some nice improvements. With the Palm Treo 700p, the camera is now 1.3 megapixel. The maximum photo size on the Treo 650 was 640 x 480 and the new camera offers a resolution of 1280 x 1024. Lack of a flash and optics found in digital cameras, photos taken with the Treo are dependant on lighting conditions. If you do happen to capture a great photograph, the enhanced resolution will allow for printing up to 4 x 6. As with previous versions, you can shoot at a lower resolution for email, text messaging purposes and use filters such as Black and White or Sepia. A carryover is also the choice between 1x or 2x zoom. The Camcorder application also benefits from the increased megapixels offering a resolution of 352 x288 over 176 x144. Both applications have removed the resolution option from the main user interface. This is easily accessed through the menu button. With the increased memory of the 700p and most Treo owners using expansion memory cards, my feeling is that Palm thought end users are less worried about resolution as they are about "managing their photos". It’s also less overwhelming and minimizes the learning curve.

There are some great fun features found in Pics and Video. You can create slideshows complete with transitions and your background music. You can also draw on photos which can be fun and be a great tool for some business applications. It allows you to quickly point something out using the Pen Tool and then email, MMS and so on. The software allows you to choose different brushes and colors. If you make a mistake, there is also an eraser.

Draw on photo using Treo 700p

New On-Treo Support

On previous models, once you finished the Quick Tour, you were off to figure out your Treo on your own. If you’re like most, you read the QuickStart guide and off you go. If you’re on the road and have a question about a particular feature, you didn’t have any options unless you carry the manual that comes with the Treo. In some cases, even the manual won’t provide you with answers leaving you to browse the Palm knowledgebase or another online Treo resource. Palm is looking to make it’s owners comfortable with their smartphone and have included an interactive support program called "My Treo". I found some of my searches to be fruitless. Searching for Mac sync resulted in an article related to recovering your data after a hard reset. I did find answers when searching for changing ringtones. However, the article recommended I visit Palm’s Software Connection in order to view software needed to use an MP3 files as ringtones. This would be great if the site were Treo friendly. Long load times and generic pages made me think Palm has some work to do in this area. While the addition of on Treo support is a good concept, this program needs improvement from both a search and content perspective.

Treo support

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