CenterMenu 1.00

Link: CenterMenu 1.00 – PalmGear.com: Download Palm Software for your Treo 650/600, Tungsten, LifeDrive or other Palm OS Device.

What a long link….

This is freeware and may be useful, it could free up a button on your palm device for another application. At the moment, holding the dpad centre button just brings up a list of alarm events but this nifty bit of software changes that instead to bringing up the main menu.

HTC TyTn 11 out in September?

Htctytn2_en_141x294
Various sites are reporting that the heavyweight, quite literally, TyTn 11 will be hitting the retail stores sometime in September which is not a million days away. It will come with their touch-flo technology and their own fancy dan home screen. Just looking at the specs raises one or two issues for me.

Firstly, the screen is a pretty paltry 320×240 pixels, not exactly cutting edge compared to some of the more recent devices coming out. Secondly, this is going to weigh a whopping 190g. My HTC P4350 feels pretty heavy and it is (only) 154g. The TyTn mark one, which I thought was just too weighty was around 174g so this little beauty is going to require reinforced pockets and desktops.

You can pre-order it now from various UK online retailers and it seems likely to be just below the £500 barrier.

Curve-ball

Blackberry_curve_side
Well, I finally spent some time with the Blackberry yesterday and had some major league (see the analogy developing here?) trouble getting it up and running. I didn’t realise that you had to sign up with your provider for an extra service or two to get the ball rolling.

Yep, I spent about 4 hours at work yesterday trying to get things moving until I stumbled upon a web page telling me to get in touch with T-Mobile and register (should have thought of that first…doh). It will cost me another £5 per month to utilise their Blackberry "service" but they were very very helpful and efficient in getting it set up for it. Part of the "service" is to restore a browser to the device as the Curve had none when shipped. A Blackberry without email and web browsing capability is really not very useful.

This device is small compared to the treo and much lighter too. I tried to get it syncing with my work PC but as usual, for non-WM devices, no joy there at all. I think our IT department have something to do with that. I then downloaded PocketMac for Blackberry which is a free mac syncing application available via  this link….it looks impressive specs wise and suggests it can sync ical, your address book, install new apps, stickies, mac mail and a few other things. Sounded great. And it claims to work with the Curve.

Curve_treo_side_by_side
The reality so far is a bit different however. It synced across most of my contacts which was great but refused to sync anything else, it also failed to manage to install the RSS app I bought a few days ago. This is my biggest frustration to date, I just can’t get any new apps on it. Not that I’m looking to do much…I just want to get a RSS reader on and that will be it. The treo 680 will continue with all my heavy duty pda stuff.

I’ve tried the following….Bluetooth – it pairs with my imac and work PC but doesn’t support bluetoothing files from them (rather poor that methinks). I tried sending the app via email but that was unsuccessful. PC at work – can’t get a connection therefore can’t use the "AppLoader" feature. PocketMac at home on the imac – won’t install files…..downloading via the browser – the file I need is only available as a zip and it won’t open that. I’ll have a good browse tonight and see if I can come up with a solution and if not…tough tatties as they say.

Very brief initial impressions – lovely device form factor wise, good battery wise, good navigation (very good keyboard), excellent for email of course, very good Media application that loads pics from the SD card very quickly, nice and light, okay camera (better than equivalent HTC versions), Blackerry Maps is an okay application too, entering info for things like Memo’s, appointments, tasks is nice and simple and thus quick. It’s the only device I’ve had that my chums at work have shown any interest in to date…they seem impressed by its looks. There are some very nice and useful shortcuts when in applications and I would recommend downloading and reading the manual to find these. The browser is nice too, quite speedy.

Curve_stingray
Downsides so far…can’t install anything….I had to pay extra for the push email Blackberry service…some of the apps look a bit cheapo and basic (some though look very polished and these are the newish ones added to give it "consumer appeal")…no built in RSS app…no inbuilt File Explorer app?, if there is I can’t find it, again another of my devices has mediocre signal reception..on the first day I had 2 dropped calls in the office but nothing since I got it upgraded by T-Mobile to include push email (in fact reception, for some reason, has improved since then too)

I’ve put in a pic of it next to my treo 680 to give you and idea of the slimness of it. As it stands it’s quite a bit short of replacing the treo for heavy duty pda jobs but I didn’t get it for that so it’s unfair to compare the two. I wanted to get it as a pure phone with good email, media, browsing and RSS capabilities with basic PIM apps too and so far it is doing a good job.

Plus, it feels a million dollars. I can’t help thinking though that Palm could have made something as nice looking as this if they’d tried a bit harder….this is what a modern day treo should look like.

Hit List…the essentials

Palmmac_logo
A few weeks ago, tired of making rash and irresponsible gadget purchases, I drew up a list of "must have" features for any new devices and stuck them in ListPro to remind me before diving in again.

My essentials, drawn up by me, comprised 3g, a qwerty keypad, side scroll wheel, lots of customisable side or front buttons, 2 mega pixel or more camera, an o/s that I already have plenty of apps for that can be easily transferred across, mini usb so I can use my existing chargers and cables, is compatible with typepad mobile so I can post on the go, threaded SMS application and a large screen. Of these criteria, I classed two as being "vital"..3g and qwerty keypad.

Okay then, let’s have a look at some of my recent purchases.

Sony P1i – well, it manages only 4 as I don’t class it’s screen as large enough.

Blackberry Curve – I’ve done really well here as it only has 3. It really fits the bill then, doesn’t it?

Just shows you how little attention I pay to my own advice.

Eten x500

Eten_x500_black
Saw a review of this forthcoming pda in this months PDA Essentials and it got a good write up. It doesn’t have a QWERTY keyboard unfortunately and I was getting myself into a lather about it until I read that it doesn’t work on the T-Mobile network in the UK. How odd. You’d have thought they would have sorted that out by now, after all T-Mobile is one of the big 4 players in UK and for Eten not to have it working on this network means they are effectively knocking out nearly a quarter of the available market, assuming of course that is T-Mobile’s market share…which it probably isn’t.

Specs look decent enough with WM6, gps and a high res VGA screen but will it be able to compete with the HTC Tilt when it arrives?

Leather pda cases for 680/650

Link:

Norevetreo_750v_case_black
Forte have a wide range of cases available for the treo 680 and various other models, not just in different colours but also in different styles.Link as above.

I have used Noreve, who are French, and they make some lovely cases too. I got one for my treo 680 a while back and I still think it is the nicest case I’ve ever bought.

Shaun at pda247 raved about cases from this lot a while back and he’s a fussy bugger so they must be decent. It’s just for the 650 and TX though. Still, made in the UK so delivery time shouldn’t be too bad. I always hate ordering from abroad as they always seem to take ages to arrive and I’m very impatient.

BioShock is out on the 360…Rapture indeed

Bioshock_screen
A lot of people have been waiting a long time for this and it is now finally released. I, of course, being desperate to try this shooter with a twist, picked up my copy at the weekend and started playing on Saturday night…this is the traditional "slot" reserved for games with the potential to be in my all time top 5 faves list.

First impressions do not disappoint. That wee fella in the pic is quite literally, the Big Daddy, and how you handle him will ultimately go a long way to deciding how well you get along in the undersea world of Rapture.

This game is set up just how I like it with smooth controls and save anywhere feature. The graphics are great, the atmosphere dank, dark and spooky and the introduction is well paced with plenty of time to get to grips with the features. I also like the fact the developers have put in full instructions on how to use menus, weapons and such like into the game itself and these are easily accessed…no need to refer to the manual when playing. Aaahhh…just perfect.