Cool stuff I can do with my phone

Cool stuff I can do with my phone: I just had one of those “this is the way things should work” experiences. On my first attempt, my PowerBook and Treo 700p connected with one-another via bluetooth — and then allowed me to access the Internet using Sprint’s Ev-DO network, which has a brand name that I can’t recall. In layman’s terms (and I am definitely a layman in these terms), that means I can use my computer to access the web at a decently fast speed (at least at a speed perceivably as fast as the wi-fi I will no longer pay for at the Nashville airport) without having any wires connecting my computer and phone. In theory, I can have web access while in a car (but I promise, not while driving). It certainly means I’ll never pay hotels and airports for wi-fi again. That savings (I’m in 4-8 hotels, airports per month) more than justifies the additional fee I am paying for Ev-DO — such is the way the invisible hand of the market works.

I’m now using Ev-DO for the first time ever to make a post to this blog. Over the coming weeks, I’ll try it out in different places and then make a post about my experience.

(Disclosure: While they are invited to send me free stuff, I actually paid — granted, at a deeply discounted price because of a corporate plan — for my phone and service. In other words, this is a disclosure that I have nothing to disclose.)

Update: Doc Searls has the same phone, but with a different service, and is having a “wait and bitch” situation today due to some false “coverage” claims by his provider. I would feel more pity for him if he weren’t at the beach.

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  • Megan

    “I actually paid…for my phone and service.”

    This month I am paying for EV-DO/Vision, too, except I didn’t actually use these services. Sprint has decided to charge me an arm and a leg for random data usage, noting I can’t prove I wasn’t surfing the net from my phone at 3 a.m. several days last month.

  • Jon Henshaw

    We are living parallel tech lives. I just bought a 700p too and am using it with Sprint to access their EvDO network using Bluetooth and my MacBook Pro. So far the speed is acceptable.

  • rex

    Jon — I’m glad to know there’s a real-live techie working down the street with whom I can compare notes and complaints. “Acceptable” is the key word. It’s scortching compared to my cell-phone expectations, however, I wouldn’t want to be downloading video using it. It will be fine for my travel needs if it performs as it is in my office-controlled environment. Megan — fight them!

  • scott

    yes, but BT and DUN (dial up networking) has been a thorn in the side for carriers and device manufacturers alike. whether it was verizon getting slammed for restricting bluetooth functions on the moto v710, issues about data usage from tethered dial up for the sprint treo 300, or bluetooth DUN initially being left off the treo 600 and 650 for sprint, carriers have been resistant to embracing this tech for obvious reasons. it’s nice to see that carriers are starting to come around.

    it will be interesting to see what happens if/when umts (universal mobile telecommunications system) is rolled out nationally. currently only in about 16 major cities (using cingular’s network), this is the next stage in mobile phone networks for this country. due to it’s fatter pipeline, you can consider it like a mobile broadband line. as a small business owner looking to make the most out of available technology, it provides some pretty important connectivity features.

    the big one, imho, is the ability to multitask with one device. take for example, a umts-equipped blackberry 8707 (currently sold by vodafone in europe). with this single device, you can talk on the phone while sending emails and surfing the internet via a bt connection to your powerbook/macbook pro/whatever! this is a big deal for a lot of people who feel like they have to carry a phone in addition to their blackberry because you cannot currently multitask like that and/or have a carrier-provided pc card for their mobile internet connection.

  • scott

    related question: why the treo over a blackberry? is it based on familiarity with the palm os or was there some feature that you felt the bb was lacking? did you not like the feel of the blackberry, user interface, etc?

  • Megan

    Rex–I’ve tried over the last week to fight them, and don’t plan on giving up (even though it looks like I’ll have to pay anyway). Their response: buy the Vision package as some sort of “insurance” in case they mess up again, or disable the service altogether. I’ve complained to anyone who will listen at Sprint to no avail–any suggestions? I’m really exasperated with them and their (lack of) customer service.

  • rex

    Answer to Scott: Why not a blackberry? I’ve used Palm OS forever. Never tried a blackberry. And I’ve made too much fun of friends who are crackberry heads — they’d never let me live it down if I showed up w/ one.

  • Blair Stilwell

    How does the 700p handle incoming calls while in EvDO mode? Option to disconnect data and switch over, or calls forwarded to voice mail?

  • rex

    Blair, that’s an interesting question and I have absolutely no idea. I’ll run a test on Tuesday and let you know what happens.

  • rex

    In my test, I stayed connected via the Ev-DO and was able to answer the phone. However, right after the call, I got knocked off. I am discovering the connection is not that stable — and I have not yet figured out how to get it to automatically attempt to reconnect.