Saturday, January 26, 2008

Treo 680 update

The Treo 680 update has been out for a bit now, so I thought I'd do the deed and see if it makes any difference to my Treo. Shaun over at PDA247 has bought another 680 (his 5th), out of need rather than desire I think, and installed this update. He reckons it's improved the battery life (a bit) and resolved the problem with the device losing time.

Personally I'd still much rather use my Treo than the Windows Mobile Vox - the Treo's front mounted hardware keyboard and touchscreen combined with the Palm OS just makes it so easy to use compared to WM. So I duly downloaded the patch and off I went.

First up, the instructions warn you that you need to have your Treo plugged into a wall charger and the desktop PC you're running the update from for the whole time the update installer is running - estimated to be 30 mins.

I had just fully charged my Treo, and my stock connecting cable covers the hot sync and charger connections from a powered USB port, so I didn't (nay couldn't) have the wall charger attached.

Everything seemed to be going ok until about half way though when the update progress bar stopped (though the elapsed time was still running). After about 15 minutes of this, I rummaged around, found the "normal" hot sync lead, and taking a deep breath, because I could at this point have rendered my Treo completely U/S, unplugged the device from the PC, plugged in the new hot sync cable and then having freed up the charging port, attached the wall charger. Bingo!

The update started running again and then reset my device and said it was all finished. I checked the ROM info and found out that in fact the update hadn't worked.

So, I started all over again - this time plugged into the wall charger from the start, and this time everything did work, first time and the whole process took about 20 mins. So now I have a shiny new ROM'd Treo.

One of the things I'd been meaning to do for ages was change the ringtone for my wife's incoming calls, so with my updated Treo, the first thing I did was navigate to my Ringo application, hit the icon and.....

The Treo reset.

So I tried agin.

And the Treo reset.

Hmmm...gave up on that one.

I then swapped sims from my main phone (the Vox) so I could give my updated Treo a whirl for a while and guess what. The decent signal I had in my Vox disappeared on the Treo to nothing....T-Mobile my network operator say the coverage for my postcode area is absolutely fine by the way, because I've asked the question before - and clearly the Vox, my son's Sony Ericsson, my daughter's Samsung and my wife's Nokia all pick up signals here without any problem. To be fair, this isn't anything to do with the update, and I've mentioned this failing of the Treo before, but I did harbour a slight hope that somewhere tucked away in the update was something that might havbe improved reception. Should have known better I guess.

This is why the Treo and Palm irritate me so much. I really, really, really like the device, and I desperately want it to be my main device. OK, some say it's big, but it's not as big as some smartphones, some say the battery life is crap but I can live with that and this update is supposed to make it better. But ultimately in my opinion it is from a user perspective just so much easier to use than a standard numeric, flip or slide out keyboard device. But the final reckoning is that the OS is unstable (ish) compared to WM, and the darn thing just cannot get the same level of signal than any other phone in our house, which frankly makes it useless in any real life situation.

I really should flog it on e-bay, and commit 100% to a WM device, but I just can't bring myself to do it.

What I really want is the Treo's form factor, OS stability (and WM isn't 100% here either), any other phones ability to find and hold a signal. Not much to ask is it?

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