Treo Software | iPhone(y) UI Ready For Your Treo Now
As usual it didn’t take long for a dedicated and resourceful developer to lightheartedly respond to Apple’s ‘attack’ on our Treo smartphone (see Palm Treo 680 vs. Apple iPhone).
Just for fun, SimToGo who is also well known for his Lunar Lander Simulator decided to take the iphone launcher graphics and build his own Treo launcher application around it – aptly and amusingly naming it iPhony.
iPhony pictured above allows you to map 12 on-screen buttons to twelve applications (above right + below) and to launch them by either pressing the icon on the touchscreen or by using your 5Way buttons. However, you’ll quickly realize that because most of these applications are already mapped to the dedicated keys on your Treo keyboard the icons may be pretty but not particularly helpful.
As I mentioned earlier, iPhony was not developed as a serious application but simply to demonstrate that the look & feel of the iPhone could be very easily replicated on the Treo – something which it does very well.
Having said this, as I played around with iPhony I began to wonder about what my experience would be like if I were to be using the touchscreen-only iPhone compared to my touchscreen+keyboard Treo.
Whereas the iPhone has only one ‘Home’ button (above right) the Treo has four dedicated buttons which can individually launch up to seven applications (four with a simple Press and three others with Option+Press) + one side button for another application + 27 keyboard keys to launch any of your Favorites applications anywhere (using Press+Hold). That’s a total of 32 functions/applications which can be launched at the press of a single button on the Treo.
In the image above, I’ve outlined my most frequently used applications which I can easily launch by either using a single Press (Phone, Calendar, Email, Applications and Music) or Option+Press (Blazer browser, Memos, Messaging) and Press+Hold (Recent Apps – on the Treo 680).
Additionally, I also have another dozen applications or functions (Speed Dial, SMS, Email or Web Link) that I have mapped out to individual keys – this is called a Quick Key and can be found via the Favorites preferences.
The point that I’m trying to make here is to highlight the relative speed and ease of use of the Treo’s keyboard+touchscreen combination compared to the iPhone’s touchscreen-only one. It’s simply a fact that launching your applications via a dedicated button is significantly faster than having to press the iPhone’s ‘Home’ button every time you want to start a new program.
For example, if I quickly wanted to cycle through all nine applications above on my Treo all I would need to do is to directly and consecutively press the dedicated buttons while on the iPhone I would have to add a ‘Home’ button press every time. Just imagine if you stopped being able to use the buttons on your Treo tomorrow and had to press Applications then scroll with your finger on the touchscreen every time you wanted to launch a program… I personally think that it would drive me nuts.
I’m sure that I’m only touching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to comparing the Treo touchscreen+keyboard versus the iPhone’s touchscreen-only functionalities (and I’m not even going to start with keyboard-only devices such as the Moto Q for example) but for quickly launching applications (among many other things) I believe that our Treo will continue to come out on top – nothing phoney about that.
Treonauts are always ready for a debate…