astraware

Astraware and Sandlot Games Introduce Westward


This looks like a cool game. I am going to have to get a copy.

Astraware(R) and Sandlot Games(R), the world’s premier developer and publisher of casual and family-friendly games, invite you to experience the life of a Frontier settler in the wild, rough and tumble world of Westward(R) for Palm OS(R) and Windows Mobile(R) smartphones and PDAs.

Based on the highly acclaimed PC game by Sandlot Games, Westward offers many hours of absorbing game play as you guide your townsfolk in making camp, collecting valuable resources, seeing-off dangerous bandits, and building their communities.

As you progress through Westward, you’ll explore 4 different locations over more than 20 levels as your hopeful citizens set up towns and seek their fortune in the Old Wild West. With over 25 types of building you’ll customize your town and attract new citizens whilst completing a range of side tasks and chasing down the Mad Russian to bring him to justice.

Westward has been optimized for smartphones and PDAs and can be controlled using 5-way, key controls or stylus. The game is available for Palm OS(R) devices with hi-res screens and for Windows Mobile(R) touchscreen and non-touchscreen phones and PDAs running WM2003, 2003SE, 5 & 6, priced $19.95.

To download a trial or to purchase, visit http://www.astraware.com/westward.

apple · eee pc · hp

More Thoughts on the Mobile Companion

I just posted the latest 1SRC Editorial in which I continue the discussion of my quest for a replacement for the Palm Foleo. While we wait for the Foleo II to be developed, I’ve been thinking about the growing number of alternative devices that are on the market or near to release.

Here is the punch line for those who like to skip to the back of the book first.

“I think it is clear that if Palm had shipped the Foleo back in September I would have happily plugging away with it. I hope that Palm will go back and redesign the Foleo once Palm OS II/Nova ships early in 2009. That said, I still believe in the idea that the Foleo represents even if I can’t buy one.

Other vendors have capitalized on the splash that Palm made in May during the All Things D announcement. I’ve read and hear good things about the Asus Eee PC. The Everex CloudBook looks like it will be a full-featured machine. The Apple MacBook Air is full featured and has the sex appeal to sell the device on looks alone, but it is far too pricey for the average user to consider getting one as a second machine. Mac gear heads and professionals will no doubt be buying them. And that leaves the rumored HP Compaq 2133. If the photos that Engadget posted are in fact authentic, the 2133 will be a good-looking machine. We are a little light on the product specs at this point, but if the hardware is going to run Vista, it has to be more powerful than the other Linux/Windows options. (You aren’t running the Arrow interface on hardware done on the cheap.) Would the Compaq 2133 be a value at the Foleo’s retail price of $600? I’d like to see a new Foleo and the Compaq 2133 both shipping in the $400 price range. Now let’s see if Palm and HP can deliver.”

So there it is. If I end up getting one of these Foleo alternatives (No, I’m not letting go of the Foleo, damn it!), it will likely be the HP Compaq 2133. Depending on the final pricing, I might be able to get a few for the office and legitimize my use of something other than my company issued Dell Latitude D630.

att · centro

Palm Introduces the AT&T Centro


Palm has officially taken the wraps off of the rumored white AT&T Palm Centro consumer-oriented smartphone.

With the exception of the new GSM cellular radio and AT&T specific software, such as Push To Talk, the new GSM AT&T Centro is expected to be very similar in product specifications as the previously release Centro smartphones from rival wireless carrier Sprint and the recently announced unlocked GSM Centro that will begin selling across Europe shortly.

“Centro offers customers more choices to stay in touch with friends, family and co-workers by using voice, text messaging, instant messaging, e-mail or the Web. Featuring a color touch-screen and full QWERTY keyboard, Centro is the first Palm OS® product to launch with AT&T services, such as XM Radio Mobile, Push to Talk and MusicID.”

“The demand for crossover devices is skyrocketing, and the Centro hits a sweet spot for many customers looking for a QWERTY device with a solid suite of messaging and multimedia features,” said Michael Woodward, vice president, Business Mobility Products for AT&T’s wireless unit. “At a great price that can be coupled with a variety of AT&T’s messaging and data options, we are thrilled to offer Centro to our 70.1 million customers.”

“Centro offers a simple way for customers to stay connected to the people who are important to them while better managing their increasingly hectic lifestyles, all at the price of a traditional mobile phone,” said Brodie Keast, senior vice president of Marketing for Palm, Inc.”

The AT&T Centro will sell for $99 with a new two-year service agreement. It is expected to sell for $399 without a service agreement. According to today’s press release, there will be an obsidian black edition of the AT&T Centro which is expected to begin shipping in about four weeks. The glacial white Centro goes on sale today at AT&T retail outlets and online at www.att.com and the Palm online store. AT&T’s unlimited data plan has been priced at $30 a month in addition to their standard voice and messaging plans.

Read the full Palm press release

Update:

The Palm Centro website has been updated to include the AT&T Centro product specifications along side the Sprint Centro specifications.

eee pc · foleo

Should I get the Asus Eee PC?

In the discussion thread for a recent 1SRC Editorial, My Mobile Companion, a few readers asked why I still pine for a Palm Foleo and not just get an Asus Eee PC?

The long and short of it is that I’m just not convinced about the software. Yes, I know that I can run Windows XP or Vista on it, but I’ll have to purchase a new license, and that will drive up the costs.

I like the idea of this form factor. But I’m just not sure about the software. My main use for a Treo and a keyboard, or the Foleo, was the ability to use DataViz Documents To Go for notes and document creation and editing. If I had Windows and Office (another license I’ll need to buy, further driving up the cost of a Eee PC) I could do all of the same tasks as a Treo and keyboard or the Foleo.

I guess it all really comes down to personal choice.

Uncategorized

Weathering an Outage?

I’ve noticed over the last day or two that I am no longer to get mobile weather updates on my Treo 755p and Apple iPod touch. Have you?

On the Treo, I’m using GX-5’s Treo Weather and on the iPod I’m using Apple’s Weather applet. As far as I know, both applications use a connection to Yahoo! for weather updates.

I’ll post an update when things are working again. Stay tuned.

UPDATE:
The Weather applet on my iPod touch is now working. So it is just my Sprint Treo 755p and GX-5’s Treo Weather that is being difficult.

dataviz

Documents To Go for Mobile Linux Devices

DataViz has just issued the following press release regarding their mobile Office productivity suite, Documents To Go.

MILFORD, Conn. and SANTA CLARA, Calif. — February 11, 2008 — MontaVista® Software, Inc., the leader in embedded Linux® commercialization, and DataViz®, Inc., the leading provider of mobile Office compatibility solutions, today announced the availability of Documents To Go® for the MontaVista Mobilinux™ 5.0 mobile operating system. As a result of the integration of the mobile office suite Documents To Go by DataViz with Mobilinux, mobile device users will be able to open and view Microsoft® Office Word, Excel® and PowerPoint® email attachments directly on their Linux-based mobile devices.

MontaVista will resell Documents To Go to mobile device developers and manufacturers, so the manufacturers and mobile operators can deliver document viewing capabilities to their customers on any device using the Mobilinux 5.0 mobile operating system. MontaVista and DataViz have agreed to collaborate to tailor Documents To Go to include additional features such as its critically acclaimed file editing, creation and more, based upon customer requests.

“DataViz and MontaVista are currently working with a major hardware manufacturer to enable its mobile customers to work with the types of documents they most commonly use,” said Jim Ready, CTO and founder of MontaVista Software. “Documents To Go expands the power of the device. We expect many more mobile developers to be eager to provide Documents To Go functionality to their device users. It’s like taking your office in your pocket wherever you take a Mobilinux-powered device.”

“MontaVista is the most widely-used provider of commercialized Linux software to the mobile telecom industry, so we are very pleased to join forces with MontaVista to integrate Documents To Go with MontaVista Linux,” said Dick Fontana, president and CEO of DataViz, Inc. “With MontaVista’s track record in the mobile industry, and Documents To Go’s proven ability to provide access to Microsoft Office documents, tens of millions of mobile consumers should benefit from our new integration.”

MontaVista Mobilinux 5.0 with Documents To Go integration is available immediately from MontaVista.

Documents To Go is now currently available on the Palm OS, Windows Mobile, and Symbian mobile operating systems. There was also a version of Documents To Go that was developed for Palm’s Foleo mobile companion (which also ran on a variant version of Linux.) DataViz is also working to bring Documents To Go to the RIM BlackBerry. I have to wonder how long it will be before Documents To Go makes an appearance on Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch. Apple’s software developer’s kit, or SDK, won’t be released until the end of the month at the earliest.

In my opinion, DataViz is the dominant application for working with Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat files on mobile devices. The addition of MontaVista Mobilinux is a sign that DataViz is recognized as and industry leader for mobile office document access.

For more details on the new edition of Documents To Go for Mobilinux 5.0, visit the DataViz and MontaVista websites.