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Small UI Shortcomings in Treo 180 Already Addressed by Third Party Palm Apps

Dave Aiello wrote, "In the first week of using a Treo 180, I identified a couple of user interface problems that I found annoying or potentially embarassing. To my surprise, I also found that these problems are already addressed by software available at PalmGear. Read on for more details...."

Dave Aiello continued:

  • Problem: Treo always opens to speed dial screen
  • Why It's a Problem: Causes problems when demoing Treo to friends

  • Detailed Explanation: If you hand the closed Treo to someone so they can play with it, they flip it open. Many people then say, "What's this?" and press the speed dial button on my screen marked "Home". This calls results in a call to my home, not to displaying the home page of my Treo's web browser, or any other function someone might imagine.

  • Reasonable Solution: TreoButton, a program that lets you set the "Lid Open" function to whatever you want. I chose "---None---", which has the effect of opening the Palm to whatever you were using last. The application also has a function that lets you set the secondary function of the four application buttons, the functions accessible by holding the blue option key and pressing the phone, calendar, browser, or messaging button.

  • Problem: Typical Palm application has on-screen buttons without keyboard equivalents
  • Why It's a Problem: Causes user to have to take fingers off keyboard to use stylus or finger

  • Detailed Explanation: Lots of applications are unaware of the Treo at this time. Good examples are One-Touch Mail from JPMobile (ships with the Treo), and ToDoPlus from Hands High Software (something I licensed a couple of years ago).

  • Reasonable Solution: PowerJog, a program that lets you use the jog dial to iterate through menus and buttons that appear on the Treo screen.

These applications may not be the ultimate solutions to these small Treo user interface problems, but they have made me more satisfied with the total experience of using the Treo. I recommend these programs for the time being, and I will update the recommendation here, if necessary.

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