Too Much Treo? No, Not Really

I just discovered that I have worn a callus on the inside of my pinkie finger because of the way that I hold my Treo when I type one-handed. The conclusion that I draw from this is that I apparently often use the Treo only in one hand. As a result, in the future I should probably avoid any smartphone that requires two hands to type.

(Any suggestion that I use the Treo too much, will fall on deaf ears).

My Freedom GPS and TomTom Maps: I’d Be Lost Without Them

I have written before about how much I like the combination of my Freedom Keychain GPS and TomTom Maps. Until this last week, however, all that I had really done with the system was play around with it. On vacation, however, I had the opportunity to use it in several situations. In each situation, the system came through with flying colors.

Freedom GPSThe first situation that I had the opportunity to use the GPS was on the interstate between Indianapolis and Cincinnati. While traveling through Indianapolis, we saw a message that said that there had been an accident on I-74 and to consider alternative routes.  Given that traffic had not been too bad until then (it was night by the time we hit Indy) we decided to continue on. Once we got on 74, however, the message had changed. Now, the message was warning that the road was closed ahead. Sure enough, up ahead, we could see brake lights ahead, where traffic was stopped.

I indicated that there was a roadblock ahead and that we needed an alternate route. The software instructed us to exit at the next exit (which was fortunately before the stopped traffic) and then routed us down a frontage road and through a small town, before taking us back to the interstate. Along the way, we saw a very long line of cars just parked on the interstate. Had we not navigated around the area, we wouldTomTom Navigator 6 have set on the interstate for probably hours. As it was, our detour added 6 minutes to our trip.

Further, if I did not have the GPS, we would never have found our way back to the interstate in any reasonable length of time. All in all, it was a huge time saver for us. Plus, it was unbelievably simple to use.

When we arrived at our destination, I had to stop at the rental office to pick up keys to our cabin as well as directions. Unfortunately, the map that the rental office provided was poorly designed, not to scale, and difficult to follow. Fortunately, however, all that I had to do was enter the address in my GPS and it led me to the front door of the cabin. Without the GPS, however, we would likely have wandered around the mountain for quite a while looking for the cabin.

In sum,  I love the convenience of being able to carry the GPS with me at all times. I also love the simple interface provided by the TomTom software. The maps are accurate and easy to use. I would recommend this set up to anyone who uses a compatible device.

Freedom 2000 GPS and TomTom Navigator 6: A Great Combination

For quite a while I have wanted a GPS. This desire comes not from the fact that I tend to get lost, but instead from the fact that I think they are really cool. One drawback was that I really didn’t want to have to keep track of another device and have to decide whether to take it with me everyday or leave it at home. Despite the coolness factor, it seemed like a bit of a hassle.

For my birthday, however, I recently received the most hassle free GPS I can imagine. It isFreedom 2000 GPS the Freedom Keychain GPS 2000. This device is only the GPS receiver. To use it, you must connect it to your Treo via Bluetooth. Also, the device comes with no maps. You have to decide on your own what maps you wish to use.

What makes the Freedom absolutely hassle free is the fact that it is tiny (it weighs .77 oz). In fact, it is smaller than the key fob for my wife’s car. It charges via a mini USB port (all devices should have to do this) and it comes with a car charger. The battery life is 9 hours and my use of it shows that this is likely the case.

TomTom Navigator 6To be able to get around, I need more than the GPS, however, I also need the software that goes with with it. The map data is not cheap. However it is available from a variety of companies, most of which produce versions compatible with a Treo. In my case, I first tried DeLorme’s Street Atlas USA. After trying it for a few days, I didn’t like the interface that it had with my Treo. Thus, I returned it, and bought TomTom Navigator 6.

I love this software. It was easy to install and it works flawlessly on my Treo. Also, it integrated easily with the Freedom GPS and I have had no connection problems between the two devices at all.

The aspect about this solution that I love the most is that I have a full GPS solution, yet the only additional thing that I am carrying with me is a key fob. How great is that.

I bought my copy of Navigator 6 from Amazon and saved a few bucks over the price direct from TomTom.

I plan on doing a more in depth review of the Navigator software later. In the meantime, you can find a great review on the Freedom GPS at Treonauts. You can find a review of the earlier version of the Freedom at treocentral.

A Great Treo Tip

If you use a Treo, you should be reading the Treonauts Blog. This week, the author was talking about the software enhancements in the new Palm Centro. One of the things the author talked about was the Most Recently Use Application Launcher:

This is not a new enhancement on the Centro but because I had compPalm Quick Launchletely forgotten that it existed on my Treo 680 I thought that it might be worthwhile pointing out how this feature works again.

By simply pressing and holding down your Applications (Home) button for a couple of seconds you will automatically get a small pop-up (image left) on the right hand corner of your screen listing your 8 most recently used applications – particularly helpful if like me you have a ton of icons in your software list.

I had no idea that this feature existed. What a great discovery. This is a nice feature that works on my Treo 700. Now that I know about this, I have a feeling that I will be using this feature quite frequently.

My Upgrade to a Treo 700p

Recently my Treo 650 started developing problems with its headset jack. Given that I use my Treo as an MP3 player in myTreo 700p car, this affected me in a fairly significant manner. Fortunately, I have insurance on my Treo that covers incidents like this. After filing the appropriate claim (easily done online), I discovered that I could no longer get a Treo 650 to replace my old one. Instead, the insurance company told me that they were sending me a Treo 700p.

Not surprisingly, I was happy to take the newer model. In the week or so that I have had the 700, I have noticed  two significant improvements over the 650.

First, the 700 has 60MB of RAM available for use. I have always thought that the available RAM in the 650 was woefully inadequate. Because of the 650’s limited RAM, I often ran out of room on the device and had to place applications on my SD card. With the 700, I have plenty of room.

Second, the 700 is compatible with Verizon’s EvDO high speed data network. Trying to browse on the web on the 650 was always painfully slow. With the 700, however, it is something that you can actually do. Although I would not want to spend a lot of time on the web on my Treo, it is certainly sufficient to check news, sports scores, or get directions.

In sum, the 700 is a definite improvement over the 650. Inexplicably, Palm still hasn’t included Wi-Fi access. Other than, that, I like the improvements and have had no problems switching over to the new device.

Google Maps for Treo is Updated

Since Google debuted Google Maps, I have been a fan. I became an even bigGoogle Maps Treoger fan when Google unveiled Google Maps for the Treo. Google has now released a new version for the Treo. The thing that I love about the new version is that it integrates with your contacts.

This means that with just a few taps, you can select an address to map, as long as you have that address in your contacts. I use KeySuite to organize my contacts. Google Maps integrated perfectly fine with it. This integration makes Google maps that much easier to use on the Treo.

Treonauts shares my opinion about how useful and good this product is:

Let me start by saying that if you don’t already have Google Maps (see my review) installed on your Treo you should do so without hesitation at the soonest – it is without a doubt one of the top, most useful and fun freeware applications for your smartphone.

To install the new version, you can download the prc file, or you can point your Treo’s browser to Either way, you should have this on your Treo.

Now, if  Google integrated this with a GPS, we would be all set.

A Treo Convert

Via a link from Affinity Law Office Technology Blog, is an article from PC magazine in which that author has become a Treo convert. I must agree with the author that the Treo is an amazingly useful device. My life would certainly be more complicated without it. Anytime that I am out of the office it is my lifeline to my calendar, address book, and email.

How to Find a Hotspot

HotspotrHave you ever been somewhere and wondered how you could find the closest hot spot? Hotspotr gives you a way to find those hotspots. It is a user supported site in that it allows you to add hot spots that you know of.

In addition to the web interface that is available, you can also access the site from your mobile phone or Treo at

The site can clearly stand to have a few more hot spots added to it. However, it never hurts to have another resource to use to try and find a hotspot.

A Good Example of Branding

Tooth FerryVia Treonauts I have discovered the Tooth Ferry made by Nite Ize.  The Tooth Ferry, which is available from Treonauts, is a carrying case for your Bluetooth headset. I usually use my headset only in the car and therefore have no reason to own one of these. However, I find myself really wanting one of these simply because of the cool name.

Kudos to Nite Ize for the cool name. From the information available, it looks like it is compatible with a wide variety of headsets. If you regularly carry your headset around, you may want to check this out.