TreoFilter: what do I need?
August 1, 2006 5:06 PM   Subscribe

TreoFilter: I just got a Treo 700p ... now what? What cool/interesting/essential/useful applications, accessories, and so on should I get? [Bonus email question inside.]

Bonus question: for email access, my plan is to set up my gmail account for POP access and use VersaMail to access that account. I understand that a copy of each message will remain on gmail, but that I could not then use POP to access the mail from another application. Are all emails then stored on the Treo? Do I have other/better options? Any down sides to this approach that I'm missing?
posted by raf to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: If anyone has a favorite small case that protects the screen, I'd also like to know.
posted by raf at 5:07 PM on August 1, 2006

well, 650p here. versamail kind of sucks, you might check out chatter or snapper. my mail server supports IMAP and that's vastly superior. you can use POP if you tell the treo not to delete messages from the server after they have been fetched, so other mail clients will see all the mail too...
posted by joeblough at 5:33 PM on August 1, 2006

as for apps, treoguard is pretty useful and cheap. fuel log is great for keeping track of your car's mileage. eatwatch is awesome if you are at all interested in losing weight, or maintaining your weight.

on the PC/Mac side, missing sync is awesome (and it comes with the lite version of splashphoto, which is way faster than the built in picture viewer.) its not cheap though.
posted by joeblough at 5:36 PM on August 1, 2006

I have a 650 and I second TreoGuard. I have mine set up to turn the phone off every night @ a certain time and back on early in the morning (saves some battery time).

Someone just beamed me Graffiti Anywhere today. It's very handy if you don't feel like using the small keyboard and are familiar with Palm graffiti. You just "write" on the screen and it works.

The other thing I bought is those clear sticky screen protectors. I think Palm sells them (or You can't tell it's there and I'm sure by now I would've scratched my screen a ton.

I also bought PktQuicken for it and it syncs with Quicken on my Mac (the rest I sync on my work PC w/ Outlook).
posted by jdl at 5:49 PM on August 1, 2006

I'm not sure which network the 700p is on, but PDANet works excellently as a DUN application - especially if your phone is Verizon.
posted by matty at 6:12 PM on August 1, 2006

650 owner here.

I use (and love) a program called Keyring, to store passwords, account information, etc. It's open source (and free) and uses heavy encryption. (My one pet peeve is that it shows the 'names' you give the accounts.)

I downloaded Graffiti Anywhere the other day. If you're used to writing on a Palm, it's a great app. I find that I still prefer the keyboard more often than not.

Mine syncs with Outlook. I forget what it took. Maybe the tool came on the CD. (If you have Verizon, consider disabling the "Wireless Sync" thing, as it will screw Outlook syncing up royally.)

I downloaded pFuel a couple days ago. I've only entered one data point, so it's useless so far, but I like the concept. IIRC, it's the replacement for FuelLog.

I swear by Treo Alarm. It's shareware (non-free), but the free trial allows you to use the alarm clock functionality forever. You can set alarms up on schedule, like one that goes off at 9am weekdays, and at 11am weekends, or whatnot. It's much more versatile than the "World Clock" features.

I just recently got Toccer for AIM. (If you use AOL AIM.) So far so good. (Don't use it while driving. I have a friend who periodically IMs me while driving. It's very scary talking to him. But it is hilarious to talk to someone on AIM and have them tell you that they're in a car wash.)

Volume Rocker lets you use the scrolly thing on the side for rapid scrolling. It works great in some places, but fails horribly in some places. It's customizable, but in its basic form, it scrolls up/down 'twice' with each button press.

I tried Volume Care / Profile Care / Butler and the like. Very popular, but I never got what they were all about.

HotSync every few days. If the 700p is anything like the 650, it will lock up and require a full reset once in a blue moon, and you will lose everything on it. If you have a recent backup, it's no big deal. If you're as bad as I am, it's devastating. (I'm not saying you made the wrong choice with the Palm-based Treo. I love my Treo. Just understand that, like all computers, it will eventually have catastrophic problems, and that regular backups are your friend.

The blue button + "p" (see the sun icon?) lets you control screen brightness. It took me a very long time to find this out. (And the blue button + the right 'up' arrow (shift key?) dims the screen until you turn it off. Useful at night.) Learned this on Treonauts, which I find incredibly valuable.

I do not own a holster yet, but you should really get one, along with screen protectors. (The screen is much less 'beautiful'--I'm blown away every time I take one off at how good the screen looks 'naked.' But I'm convinced that I'll ruin the screen in no time if I don't use a screen protector. And mind the price when you buy them: I found a pack of 5 for like $20, or a pack of about 20 'universal' ones for about $15, that just needed to be cut down to size.) FWIW, Treonauts loves this holster, although they do list a new one that they prefer.

If you do a lot of picture taking (the camera on the 650 is awful compared to a 'real' camera, but there are a lot of times when it's all I've got), you really need an external card. FWIW, I picked a 512 MB SD card up for $20 or so on sale. Try as I might, I can't come close to filling it up.

The 650 allows MIDI ringtones. (And MP3s if you get additional software.) I assume the 700 does as well. Coupled with a site like (obnoxious banner ads) or (untested), you can get ringtones for free instead of a $2 purchase plus $1 a month.

I use VersaMail, but e-mail isn't super-important to me right now. If you set it up for auto-checking, make sure it's not on an account that gets a deluge of spam, or your phone will be chiming every 15 minutes telling you that you have spam. ;)

Oh, and Palm Revolt for a nice Aqua-ish (or XP-ish) interface.

There's a lot of good games and the like, too. (Dopewars is my personal favorite.) Don't be afraid to experiment massively. A big plus with the Treo is that you can download .prc files directly from the Web, bypassing the need to compulsively HotSync. Just remember to keep backups--every now and then, a new app you try will cause reboot loops and you'll lose everything.

Wow, this is really long. Hope it helps.
posted by fogster at 6:18 PM on August 1, 2006 [1 favorite]

Treo Butler, KBLightsOff (if you do eBook reading at night), VeriChat for instant messaging with always online through SMS capability, and ChatterEmail for a Blackberry-like mail experience using IMAP.

Avoid launcher replacements (they tend to cause random crashes), and be sure to back up to an SD card every couple of days.
posted by Merdryn at 6:20 PM on August 1, 2006

Response by poster: matty: I'm using Sprint.

Wow, thanks everyone, this is very, very helpful so far. (Now more? :)
posted by raf at 6:24 PM on August 1, 2006

Plucker for ebooks.
posted by cellphone at 7:30 PM on August 1, 2006

these are the screen protectors i'm using. i've tried a lot of them and i like these the best. no bubbles and a nice matte finish.

i just got a timbuk2 belt holster and i like it a lot.

any "always on" kind of program like VeriChat is bad news on a CDMA network. you'll miss calls if the data connection is open continuously.
posted by joeblough at 8:36 PM on August 1, 2006

also - the treo can play "AMR" sound files natively. so you dont need these mp3 ringtone programs to get a ringtone that's not a midi.

having said that, the AMR tones kind of sound like crap due to the sample rate/bitrate restrictions.

in this thread the lazyweb explains to jwz how to make AMR ringtones.
posted by joeblough at 8:53 PM on August 1, 2006

Bike or Die!
posted by cebailey at 6:27 AM on August 2, 2006

Also, the Invisible Shield screen protectors are damn near invincible, and you only need one. Thanks to them, I have a scratch-free Treo screen, and my brother has a scratch-free 5G iPod (!!).

Also, if you plan on listening to a lot of music, consider getting a Seidio Dock Headphone adapter. The headphone jacks in the Treo 650's were notorious for breaking all the time (I'm on my 4th since November), even under moderate use. I'm hoping the 700's aren't the same way, but it might be better to be safe than sorry.
posted by cebailey at 6:30 AM on August 2, 2006

Here's what I do regarding e-mail.

I have a Gmail account, and instead of messing with any POP, I just have Gmail set as the home page in my Treo's Web browser (currently Opera Mini, which is fast as heck, even on my 650).

You don't get all the cool features of Gmail on a regular browser, but it's fast enough (especially on your 700p) and all my e-mail is in one place.

You also don't get the "push" features of e-mail with this method, but it's pretty easy to just press one button on your Treo and have your Gmail inbox pop up.
posted by Bud Dickman at 6:34 AM on August 2, 2006

many people like navigation software like TomTom
posted by jannw at 9:55 AM on August 2, 2006

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