I finally got a Treo 650. First thoughts, in no particular order:

  • It’s larger than the Sony-Ericsson T616. It’ll take a while to get used to how it feels in my pocket.
  • It’s been a long time since I’ve had a Palm OS device, but things haven’t changed much since my Palm V, beyond being in color and higher resolution. It’s interesting how primitive some of the user interface feels today.
  • New toys are amusing in their ability to be captivating. I’ve spent a few hours surfing the Web on a 320×320 screen hooked up to a tiny keyboard and a slow GPRS connection, as opposed to the PowerBook with the DSL sitting right next to it.
  • Now that I’ve actually bought the thing, the Treo 700 is almost certain to be released any day now.
  • My voice mail doesn’t work yet. Every time I try to call in, it gets confused. This is probably a result of switching from an old AT&T Wireless plan to a new Cingular plan. Hopefully it’ll sort itself out soon, before I have to spend hours on hold with customer service.
  • Since I had to switch plans, Laura had to get a new phone too.
  • I like the faint DTMF tones you can hear when you punch numbers into the dial pad. Very subtle.
  • One of the reasons that I wanted a Palm OS device is that there’s a lot of software available for it. What surprises me is how much of said software costs money; there’s a lot of $10-$30 products, which isn’t a market I’d expected. There’s also plenty of free software, although much of it is pretty poor quality (not unexpected). I’m reluctant to pay more money right now, especially since I don’t have a good idea what I want. I’m guessing there are some good things in among them, or things that are really worth paying for. Any suggestions?
  • It’s been interesting finding some of the (free) software I used to use on my Palm V; I found an updated version of Patience, and I also remember using BigClock, Strip and DiddleBug.
  • It turns out that the ring tone I liked on my Sony-Ericsson T616 (one of the built-in ones) is just a MIDI file that I was able to send via Bluetooth to the Treo and use there.
  • Greg’ pssh is nifty. Having an SSH session on a phone is almost cooler than having a Web browser. I can get 80×40 on the screen, but wow is that “small” font small! I may need stronger glasses.
  • Palm OS 5 has been available for three years now, and the OS version on the Treo 650 has no major changes between it and the version on the Treo 600, which is nearly two years old. So I’m surprised to find so many minor bugs in the system software, which I’d have assumed they’d have plenty of time to fix. For example, a lot of the out-of-the-way dialogs don’t properly deal with one-handed use with the 5-way navigator, resulting in a need to get out the stylus. And every time I change my phone’s sound settings (e.g., ring tones), the system sounds, which I’ve disabled, start beeping again, even though the setting in the Prefs remains at off. These are all minor things, but I would have assumed that since there are very few OS changes betwween the 600 and 650, these sorts of bugs would have either been fixed or regressions not introduced. But then, I don’t get the impression that OS software is something that the Palm companies are particularly good at right no, (PalmSource having been trying to get anyone at all to license Cobalt for years now, and Palm (aka PalmOne) sticking with basically the same platform for even longer.
  • These “first thoughts” are getting longer and more complex as I write them. I think it’s time to post this and declare further ideas to be second thoughts.