Say hi to the iTreo: Palm's Nova Phone "iPhone-like"

Details of Palm's new phone, to be announced next week at CES, are up at CrunchGear. It'll have a full QWERTY slider-keyboard, but otherwise be like an iPhone.
The new operating system is described as “amazing” and there will be a full software bazaar on launch. It will have media playback functions along with standard Palm calendar, email, and contact functionality.
I whipped up a quick shop of what this might imply, assuming that Palm has no imagination. A fair assumption? Exclusive: New Palm phone to have slide-down keyboard, large touchscreen [CrunchGear]

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6 Responses to Say hi to the iTreo: Palm's Nova Phone "iPhone-like"

  1. Clay says:

    If Rob is right about Palm’s lack of imagination for the UI, certainly if it has a start menu… This will be the last big Palm launch. Palm will slowly embed itself into the pavement of history, a pop tab or a bottle cap crushed flat and smooth by the incessant tires of the real innovators until a resurfacing renders it invisible.

    Or maybe they really will surprise us.

  2. Halloween Jack says:

    If the real thing is half as nice as your fake, I might regret getting jesusPhone.

  3. Anonymous says:

    You have quite a different picture than CrunchGear, and I hope that at least one element of yours is wrong. It would sure stink to continue propagating the “Start Menu” style of navigation for mobile devices. Yeeech. Please, please make that be wrong.

    I have been mostly happy with my various Palm devices and with PalmOS over the years. It is starting to look a little long in the tooth now, but hey – hacky though it may be you can “multitask” on the thing. And oh yeah, for a fee you can add on Bluetooth Stereo (A2DP) to many devices that didn’t support it out of the box.

    I’d venture to say that it is “really really hard” to create a good mobile computing experience. Apple got the aesthetics right, or at least nice. Yay. Blackberry realized that people might like to be notified about their email, rather than polling for it. Woop.

    But I still see a big gap in the market for a device that has a touch screen (good idea, arguably unavoidably useful) AND a physical keyboard (unavoidably useful) and a software interface that lets people do everything they want to and can do on the go with the minimum usability compromise.

    On the go email is only going to be so good if the screen and keyboard have to fit in your pocket. But you certainly don’t have to suffer through a Start Menu to start up your email application. And do you really even need to start it up? Can’t it just be “running already”? And couldn’t you just pick if you wanted to be notified about email by clicking a little tiny checkbox?

    And can’t we get decent battery life by much power-smarter software and hardware a-la Nokia 5XX? Like, say using a much more power efficient and dedicated DSP to decode mp3s instead of the primary CPU. Which could pretty much go to sleep most of the time. Using a wifi chip (and corresponding software) that can sleep and wake as necessary for IM, email, VOIP etc.

    A single device that combined all of the “good” aspects already in existence would be the ultimate winner, barring Apple’s “gotta have it” social status win. It wouldn’t particularly even need to add anything that doesn’t exist out there already.

  4. musicalwoods says:

    I really hope this product meets the hype. My dad has been needing to upgrade from his Treo and has so many legacy apps that he doesn’t want to go WinMo, Android, or Symbian.

    I really hoping for a great Android phone announcement, myself… or an announcement that OpenMoko has a working EDGE phone for release soon. (wishful thinking, I know)

  5. The Lizardman says:

    I would hope that they would be smart enough to keep a 5-way button on it for one-handed use. One of the beautiful things about my treos was how I could do almost everything with one hand and nearly just that one button. No touchscreen interface has ever come close to comparing with that functionality for me. An iphone/touch like screen with the face button being the 5-way and a horizontal slide keyboard (or that roteo design that showed up in shots a few weeks back) would be a good form factor if backed up by a nice interface design.

    Bottom line though is that the last few years of basically being used like a beta tester when buying Palm products and then getting fuck all support when things failed out the box has soured a lot of people. I really dug my treos and still like the Palm OS but it would take something stunning for me to go back to them on the first gen of a new product – especially with android calling out to me (lets just get it on phones on some other carriers)

  6. Zarniwoop says:

    As much as I love my iPhone, (and I really do love it to pieces), I really wish it weren’t as restrictive as it is. I’m really hoping someone such as Palm will come out with a decent device which either comes with, or which I can then install Android on, when my contract ends.

    But honestly, why haven’t the other companies caught up yet? Sure, you could put down everything before the iphone being a bit rubbish to the industry stagnating, but after? And for this long?

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