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Sprint Treo 650: Before & After Updater 1.08

palmOne yesterday finally released its highly anticipated Sprint Treo 650 Updater to resolve or improve issues relating to voice quality as well as the much maligned NVFS memory management.

Thanks to Peter Arts who immediately took the plunge to update his Sprint Treo 650 and is among the first to share his experience with us here.

The 'promise' of palmOne's Sprint Treo 650 Updater include the following performance and reliability enhancements for your Treo:

  • Overall voice quality improvements, including fix for voice "choppiness" some Sprint PCS customers experienced
  • Internal setting modification to allow correct access to Sprint Affiliate roaming partner networks (previously released as Sprint PCS Treo 650 Roaming Patch)
  • Non-Volatile File System improvements that optimize memory handling and free up more memory
  • TTY (also known as TDD or Text Telephone) optimizations and improvements
  • Optimizations for data calls
  • Includes VersaMail 3.0c which provides greater stability and improvements
  • Bluetooth Carkit drivers are now included in ROM (previously released as Carkit Update for Treo 650)

First and foremost, the Updater certainly succeeds in its mission to meet palmOne's promised more efficient use of memory allocation as can be seen from the (impressive) results below:

Before Updater: 9.4MB free
After Updater: 16.0MB free
(23.7MB total usable memory in both cases)

This was an ‘apples-to-apples’ comparison, with the exact same apps and dB’s on the Treo before the updater and after its installation*

Quick TourMessaging
CamcorderPocketTunes Deluxe
Softick Card Export IIRescoViewer
Card InfoSnapper Sounds
Directory AssistantTasks
Display Time ChangeVersaMail
Get BCWelcome
HotSyncWorld Clock

* Note: Applications in BOLD were temporarily deleted in order to get to the 11MB+ of free memory required for the updater installation. They were all reinstalled after the firmware updater was installed.

However, while the 'recovered' memory was certainly impressive, the devil is in the details.  So let’s look at the entire experience…

  1. Customer Notification: Sprint and p1 both lay giant dodo eggs on this one. No email, no SMS…uh, uh. Where did I find out? Palm Addict and Palm InfoCenter. I guess p1 is determined to milk as much comedy out of this script as is possible. I can’t wait for the sequel.
  2. Instructions/download: To be honest, after all the brouhaha regarding this issue, p1 is rather economical in their verbiage at the download site. However, it is easy to find the download requirements and actual download link. Download speed (over DSL) was quick, and there were no issues
  3. Installation: The installation went exactly as p1 indicated, and took less then 10 minutes, as opposed to the stated estimate of 30 minutes
  4. Results: Ahhhhh…this is where it gets ‘interesting’
    • Stability was a real problem…at first. After the installation was finished, the Treo began to loop on soft resets. I did 3 hard resets before figuring that something must be corrupt. So, I deleted all 3rd-party apps and dB’s from the Backup folder, and synched again. That did the trick, and the Treo seemed fine. After that, I did fresh installs of all the apps, re-entered registration numbers, etc. No more problems.
    • Speed is immediately apparent. In HotSync, in launching of apps, in app response time. A BIG improvement, all-around
    • Volume was greatly improved. Not only on the Treo itself, but on the Treo Bluetooth Headset (yes, like a good Treonaut, I read the review, and indulged my techno-lust. It’s simply grand!)
    • Still missing: DUN and WiFi drivers.  C’mon, Sprint!!! You promised last October that the DUN would be activated in the first major firmware update.  Boy that sounds familiar (“…read my lips: no new taxes!”).  Tell the developers to stop watching the Michael Jackson trial, and get their butts back to work.

Bottom Line: No doubt about it…this is a major update, and fixes a lot of nagging issues.  Albeit, these issues should have been addressed before the Treo 650 was ever released...  Nevertheless, the fact is that if you have a Sprint Treo 650 this is finally going to give you the device you intended to buy last October. 

Whatever kudos Sprint (and p1) might have garnered with this release are however withheld because of their lack of notification, lackluster documentation for the updater and the glaring omission of the promised DUN.

That’s it…  I’m off the bloody soapbox. (PJ Arts)

If you own a Sprint Treo 650, follow the procedure below to determine your current firmware version and if you need this software update.

  1. Press Phone/Send .

  2. Press Menu .

  3. From the Options menu, select Phone Info.

  4. On the Phone Info screen, look for the Software and Firmware items. Note the versions on your Phone Info screen and if it is lower than Treo650-1.08-SPR then install the Updater 1.08.

Please note that owners of the Cingular and Unlocked Treo 650 'should' soon also be able to update their firmware to version 1.15 as some people have reported already having it but this is not yet available on palmOne's website.

Treo 650 Updater 1.08 Download [palmOne Support]
Find out if your smartphone includes the Treo 650 Updater [palmOne Support]
Sprint's Empty Promises [Treonauts]
Sprint, Cingular and Unlocked Treo 650 [palmOne Store]

Treonauts want their full firmware measure...

Posted by Andrew on March 23, 2005 at 08:42 AM

Treo 650

| Permalink


by Kurt | Mar 23, 2005 9:14:23 AM

I agree with this review. These things should have been there all along, but that said, this upgrade will greatly improve your overall experience.

by Andrew | Mar 23, 2005 9:57:12 AM


I fully agree with you as well and your comments elsewhere.

This is a great and welcome update that delivers on palmOne's earlier promises but not on Sprint's DUN (for which p1 cannot be held responsible).

Cheers, A.

by dstrauss | Mar 23, 2005 11:24:08 AM

Cheers to PalmOne for pushing this out the door.

Jeers to Sprint for passing on DUN (EVERYBODY knows that the carriers are the brick wall in the way of DUN accessibility - until they can figure a way to squeeze customers for the access to the data network.)

by Perry Holden | Mar 23, 2005 1:53:56 PM

My update went without a hitch as I did not have any of the 3rd party back up issues.

Went from 6mb free to 12mb free. Looks like we are back to the "same" memory as the Treo 600.

Phone and apps are "snappier."


by Al | Mar 23, 2005 1:55:51 PM

"An independent programmer at TreoCentral released WiFi drivers for the Treo today. "

Where in TreoCentral? Are you talking about the old Shadowmite WiFi drivers or the Sled from Enfora?

Please give reference,



by Bryan | Mar 23, 2005 2:12:49 PM

Give palmOne a little slack on the release - If I were them, I'd be releasing it quietly so that the gearheads could get a hold of it and test it in the wild. Then, if they didn't screw the pooch and introduce new problems, publicize the release.

by Joshua Ochs | Mar 23, 2005 2:45:12 PM

Andrew/Peter, you're really full of it. PalmOne never said that Bluetooth DUN would be in the first firmware update, and even with this update they said they're still working on it and plan to release it later this year. Would you rather wait until then?

Next, why are you blaming PalmOne for problems related to corrupt databases in your backup? It happens, but it's certainly not Palm's fault.

Lack of notification - yeah, it would have been good to let us know. However, the people who follow this religiously (us) now have used it, tested, and given feedback. Nothing to say they won't do a broader announcement later on.

So in summary, they delivered a fast update that solved the memory issue perfectly, fixed some other bugs, and worked fine (if your Treo was in good shape to begin with), and promised Bluetooth DUN support soon. Do you have nothing better to do than complain the world isn't perfect?

by Andrew | Mar 23, 2005 3:08:44 PM


I was also looking for the link to the 'independent developer releasing WiFi drivers today' story.

After asking Peter he confirmed that although he had seen this yesterday he was unable to find the thread at TC again.

I have therefore now removed both references to WiFi as it is also true that Sprint had not promised this to work up the first firmware release.

Thanks, A.

by BenJoe | Mar 23, 2005 6:31:33 PM


I had 11.7 mbs when Installed the update now I have 20.8 mbs THAT IS AMAZING!

by J Washok | Mar 23, 2005 9:31:37 PM

I agree an announcement would have been nice, even if it contained a proceed at your own risk warning. I just happened to see an announcement at TreoCentral.com this morning. I performed the upgrade in about 10 mins with NO problems. But, I also went through the recommended steps in PalmOne's knowledge base to increase my chances of a smooth upgrade. The instructions are here: http://kb.palmone.com/SRVS/CGI-BIN/WEBCGI.EXE/,/?St=74,E=0000000000022432421,K=8703,Sxi=3,new,t=printsolution,case=obj(26571).

I also ended up with just over 6 MBs of free space. I am absolutely thrilled. It will reduce some of my frequent cursing at P1, but they better darn well have at least 64 MB, and preferably more, in the next version of the Treo!!!

by Atle Ofsti | Mar 24, 2005 8:57:15 AM

Any news on when there will be a GSM unlocked version of this update. I don't really understand why PalmOne would release an upgrade for just one network, and not for the other Treo 650 users. :-(

by Dave | Mar 24, 2005 9:33:03 AM

I'm disappointed, also, with p1's disregard for their clientele. Help me here -- don't we register all our information with them?

I'm also very disappointed with Sprint -- they KNOW who has the 650 -- I get text messages from them every now and then -- HOW HARD WOULD IT BE FOR THEM TO LET US KNOW THE LONG-AWAITED FIRMWARE IS AVAILABLE?!? (sorry I'm shouting -- it's just VERY frustrating)

Apart from that, the update went very nicely. I went from a little over 2m of memory to a little over 9m available on my 650! Very nice!

by Andrew | Mar 25, 2005 10:50:03 AM

Peter and Joshua,

I have now removed a number of your comments as they were clearly escalating to personal attacks and not contributing to this post.

I have also changed Joshua's address to be directed at me and Peter (instead of the mistaken Kurt) who are ultimately responsible for the writing that appears.

I want to be clear that I welcome any commentary as long as it expresses a personal view about the article (including strong criticism) but refrains from abuse to other Treonauts.

Cheers, A.

by Mr. Peabody | Mar 28, 2005 3:49:11 PM

Upgrade went without a hitch! ZLauncher is still vital! I went from 2MB free to 9MB free, so then I finally reinstalled AvantGo, which can only run from the RAM! Don't forget to have your power adapter plugged in during install! I only have one at home; so when I tried the install at work (where I only a USB cable; where can I buy just the adapter, PalmWun?) it didn't complete.

by Ken | Apr 1, 2005 6:44:52 PM

Maybe I skipped a step in this upgrade process, but after a 4 hour long call to Palm One tech support and another 40 minutes on the line with Sprint tech support I am one unhappy upgrader to the 1.08 release. After what seemed to be a successful upgrade I had 23.1M of 23.7M free on my 650. I then attepted to reload my personal data (note that I used the alternate installation method) and had a failed hotsync. My contacts and memo restores failed due to being out of internal memory! This release was supposed to give me more memory but it appears it has had the opposit effect for me. After doing another hard reset I tried the hotsync again but with the 3rd party backup folder out of the picture. That hotsync was successful and I now had all of my original Palm application data but only had 3.5M of freespace left. Prior to all of this I had 2.7M of free space with all of my 3rd party applications on my 650. Now after the 1.08 update and with no 3rd party applications I have only 3.5M left. What gives? I will never be able to fit Avantgo, Backgammon, Initiate, and another 6 or so 3rd party apps on 3.5M. So much for the improved memory management system. Palm One support was no help. Sprint offered to swap out my existing Treo for another unit, but that will put me back to the previous release. In my experience 1.08 bites and I am going back to the prior release. Given all of the glowing reviews above I must have done somthing wrong, but I don't know what. Maybe I should have freed up the 11 megs and skipped the alternate installation proces that Palm details on their website.

by Annie | Apr 2, 2005 2:31:27 AM

I successfully completed the upgrade but found no change with regards to the voice quality issue. People continue to say that I sound "overly digitized" and that I can not be understood. This is a very serious issue for me as the phone aspect of the Treo 650 is very important to me. I plan on exchanging the phone at Sprint and seeing if the prior release fairs better. I'd rather deal with the memory issue! Anyone else experiencing my dilema?

by No Fret Brett | Apr 2, 2005 8:10:22 PM

Has anyone noticed (before or after 1.08 release) the Notes SAVE Problems in the AddressBook?!?

NVFS vs. RAM Memory Differences that can, and should, be rectified for established user familiarity as well as safety and convenience of the Avoidance of UNINTENTIONAL LOSS OF Recently Entered INFORMATION...

In Testing a note in the 'Note' section of a 'Contact' entry...
Then exiting without tapping, or 5-Way center selecting, '[Done]' (saving)...
Does NOT (automatically/inherently) SAVE inputed material as the pre-NVFS Treo600 (& PalmVx, et.al.), [which BTW, are writing straight to Master RAM Memory that is volatile...]
Interestingly, The Non-Volitile FS in the 650 is actually VERY Volatile in this situation!!!

How about Copy-ed Text (highlight, then Menu-C)?
Or an incoming phone call?!?
Is text Saved? Or Lost?

How about Copy-ed Text?
Text is SAVED!!! Either way... (Accept/Ignore)
But how often does one Highlight and Save text before getting an incoming call, or accidentally tapping a button that 'jumps out' of the Contact's Note section?!? So this is not really valuable information...

Or an interrupting incoming phone call?!? Well...
Yes, if incoming call is 'IGNORED'! Yet, a Save '[Done]' is still needed BEFORE Going To ANY Other Screen!!!
Note: Screen quickly 'dims' after phone call, and ANY Button tapped/pushed other than 'Power/EndCall' will LOSE CHANGES BEFORE 'Note' HAS BEEN 'SAVED' [Done]...
NO!!! If incoming call 'Accepted'...

The present work around for those who use the Treo650 for more than a cool status symbol toy, is...
1) Save [Done] OFTEN!!!
2) Inform (often enough and loud enough) the deeper levels of Support and Customer Service until...
A) An Update/Fix/Hack is available and, ideally, presented to ALL Treo 650 Owners via a SprintPCS Text Message, Voice Message and Post Card with a token Credit Voucher or Code for USEFUL or Interesting Applications, RingTUNES (not silly Tones), Games, etc. of the Owners Choice...
B) I get frustrated with the over-use of the general public in 'Beta-testing' really cool stuff that is just about ready to release to the public IF...
the Customer Service and Technical Support were so 'Right on top' of the situation that changes that WILL be made, ARE MADE before a competing model is released...
OR, I no longer help Technology Grow by BUYING the 'Latest and Greatest' because it is lesser often the (overall) 'Greatest' because of 'unforseen' (or improperly tested and trial run...) complications and frustrations...

But this is just My Opinion (and isn't the customer always right?)...
I could have been happy with the Treo600, but the 650 is almost EVERYTHING the 600 Should Have Been Before It Was Released, last year (‹almost› NVFS, extra batteries, MP3 Player Included, BlueTooth, Voice Activated Dialing, etc. That were all Possible last year...)

If anyone has info on updates (or a Hack) that address THIS Situation, please CALL Brett at 860-667-1111 or SprintPCS to PCS 860-913-3000...

by Jim Lux | Apr 3, 2005 11:26:14 PM

Has a problem with bluetooth pairing on some cars. Repeated soft resets after pairing.

by elchican | Apr 10, 2005 5:57:22 PM

I dont know about anyone else, but I did recieve a text message on my phone about the update. It went smoothly, although syncing took forever.

by Stuart | Apr 12, 2005 2:54:34 PM

I will be traveling to Japan this summer and need a handheld phone/PDA that handles voice calls to/from U.S., plus e-mail, with capability to send/receive/edit Word document attachments. I'm considering a Treo 650 with Snappermail, Documents To Go, and a folding keyboard. Is this the best option? Is it a stable/reliable solution, with the v1.08 update? Is there an equivalent solution using a Blackberry?

by Andrew | Apr 12, 2005 3:00:37 PM


The combination that you describe is near perfection and exactly what I use to go mobile with my own Treo (a Treo 650 + SnapperMail (my favourite) + DocsToGo Professional + Palm Universal Wireless Keyboard).

The only thing that you'll need to check is whether you will be able to roam while in Japan and for this you'll need to contact your carrier.

Cheers, A.

by david | Jun 6, 2005 2:12:39 PM

I have a question I wonder if someone can answer.

I have a Sprint Treo 650 that was converted to Verizon. It crashes a bit too often. I would like to update it and get it more stable.

Can anyone tell me if there's an updater for my Verizoned Treo 650?

If so, please email me here: cabriolet@gmail.com



by David | Jul 21, 2005 5:16:46 AM

Has anyone attempted the latest update for the Verizon 650 (from 1.01 to 1.03)? I followed the instructions to the 'T', tried it 3 times, and still no update....ideas?

by Noel | Aug 1, 2005 4:18:06 PM

has anyone updated an unlocked treo 650 from cingular with 1.13 software and 1.28 firmware to the new cingular 1.15

by Tim | Nov 8, 2005 4:15:57 PM

Just completed the upgrade on a Verizon 650. Voice Dial was the evil application that kept dropping me into the never ending reset cycle. I was only able to complete sucessfully after removing the files VoiceDial.prc, VoiceDial68K.prc, vre_cn.dat, and vr_version.dat from the backup folder. Then added applications back one at a time via Backup Buddy Pro (although you could do this by making a copy of the Backup folder first). (BB, by the way, has saved my palm life more than once over the years. Worth having a look at.) Now I'm back where I was before and happy!

The comments to this entry are closed.

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