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Life in the Treo Cradle

My Seidio INNODock cradle finally arrived and I’ve been playing around with it for the last few days.

You might be wondering what I could possibly be ‘playing’ around with thinking that it’s “just a cradle” and surely nothing more than a question of plugging the USB cable into your PC, inserting your Treo in it and just watch with incredulous awe as it magically recharges or Hotsync’s at the press of a button.

At its most basic, yes, the Seidio INNODock cradle is a remarkably simple but elegant solution to charge and Hotsync the Treo at your desk via USB.  Additionally, with a separate wall adapter you can charge the Treo by your bedside in the evening for example.  The only thing missing is a slot to charge my spare battery…

However, there are a few not immediately obvious things that you can do with your Treo and this cradle which have made it terrifically enjoyable for me.

Photo & Images
As I’ve mentioned in the past, my favourite photo viewer SplashPhoto has a ‘slideshow preference’ which allows me to select ‘Auto-run while charging’ and so when I insert my Treo in the cradle I automatically get my favourite images displayed by my side as I’m working. 

Specifically, as I am quite a big fan of art, I’ve collected literally thousands of images online by my favourite artists from famous painters such as Picasso and Magritte to lesser known ones such as Alessandro Tofanelli (whose artwork I’ve selected as my default wallpaper in the ‘Phone’ app), photographers such as Ansel Adams and architects such as Tadao Ando.  Thus, with my new cradle and thanks to the high resolution display of my Treo 650, it’s like having my personal ‘mini art gallery’ always on show.

  Photos & Images, Music and Movies with my new cradle…

The back of the Seidio cradle conveniently has a 3.5mm stereo headset jack that you can use to listen to your music with your standard headphones plugged in.

What I typically do is start Pocket Tunes Deluxe first and then launch SplashPhoto’s slideshow so that I can listen to my favourite music and once in a while glance at my pictures while I’m working.  Additionally, with Pocket Tunes Deluxe I can also listen to streaming Shoutcast radio stations (unlimited data plan recommended…).

Wireless Music
When I was travelling in San Francisco last month, I had rented a car and was quickly disappointed by the lack of good music on the radio so I got the Seidio iSound FM Transmitter to broadcast the music on my Treo to the car’s radio.

It worked extremely well then but now I’ve also discovered that I can plug it in the cradle and broadcast the same audio to my HiFi at work or at home!  I can then easily ‘remote control’ my music directly from the Treo all the while it is charging – I love it.

The setup for movies is very similar to that for music but with the main difference being that I envisage using the cradle with the TCPMP player for watching movies while travelling on a plane or train.

Because the cradle is extremely light, that it benefits from audio output for my headphones and that the Treo rests in it at an almost perfect viewing angle the cradle is the ideal Treo companion for watching movies while on the go.

So, there you have it.  The Seidio INNODock cradle can be used simply for ‘Sync and Charge’ or with the right applications and accessories be transformed into a superb ‘multimedia station’.  I sure ain’t getting rid of this baby…

Treonauts always find the unorthodox ways

Posted by Andrew on July 5, 2005 at 11:48 AM

Treo Accessories , Treo Cradle

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by Paul | Jul 5, 2005 2:10:28 PM

It's unclear from the Seidio site, and you don't mention in your review, but can it use the standard Palm charger or do you need to use a Seidio one?

by Andrew | Jul 5, 2005 2:50:10 PM

Paul - you can't/don't need to use the standard palmOne charger. The Seidio cradle comes with a USB cable to charge from your PC. You can also get the separate wall adapter ( http://shop.treonauts.com/content/accessories/5-19--3.htm ) if you'd like to use a normal electricity socket instead.

I hope this helps.

Cheers, A.

by Tony | Jul 5, 2005 5:16:59 PM

I think I had read this cradle can work with the Treo in a skin/case. I have a Krusell Treo 650 Classic Multidapt case, with a cutout in the bottom for charging (I'm currently using the cable...not the dock). Do you think this dock will work with the Treo still in the Krusell case?

by Andrew | Jul 5, 2005 6:00:07 PM

Tony - I have tried with a skin case and it works perfectly. However, I don't have a Krussel case to test.

Cheers, A.

by Tony | Jul 5, 2005 7:17:46 PM

If it works with a skin, it's likely to work with a Krusell...it's pretty tight and form-fitting, just like a skin.


by Fred | Jul 6, 2005 8:30:11 AM

Will this work with a Treo 600?

by Andrew | Jul 6, 2005 8:36:45 AM

Fred - This case will charge any palmOne handheld with the new multi-connector. This currently only includes the Treo 650, Tungsten T5 and LifeDrive but all future devices will have this type of connector. This cradle will therefore not work with the Treo 600.

Cheers, A.

by Mr. Peabody | Jul 6, 2005 1:10:22 PM

Right on, Andrew! Great article. Now I can't wait for an in-car mount version!

by Andrew | Jul 6, 2005 1:27:36 PM

Thanks Mr. Peabody - I would personally recommend simply using the car charger instead. The FM transmitter can plug directly in the Treo with the 2.5mm adapter.

Cheers, A.

by Landon | Jul 19, 2005 5:05:21 PM

I just bought the Innodock and would add the following 2 points:

1. With the SkinTight case from Speck Products, the Treo will plug into the cradle but it stands at 90 degrees - which worries me a little that it will fall down face-first if I bump the desk. And it's no good for watching movies as suggested above (but without a case I would agree this could work).

2. The HotSync button is incredibly cheap. I have to press really hard to get it to sync. It's a cheap little membrane button that is impossible to activate without holding the whole cradle in some way and pushing like mad on the button.

by Carlos | Feb 2, 2006 2:11:00 PM

Hi, my Treo 650 is unable to play with the built-in headphone female jack and I'm looking for another solution for transmitting audio with pTunes instead of repairing it, so the audio jack of the seidio comes from the multiconnector not via the headset input? does the audio out work without the usb pluged-in?

by Bret | May 21, 2006 11:49:43 AM

Does anyone know if you can use a 3.5mm *headset* (not headphones) through this cradle? I'd like to leave a wired headset plugged into the cradle at my desk so I can just drop the Treo in when I come in and be set for charging, syncing, and talking.

by Rob | Aug 7, 2006 9:09:07 AM

I have the Seidio INNODock Cradle for Treo 650 and installed my Verizon CD-ROM software. When it asks me to sync my device, the driver for the INNODock is not found. Can someone please help me find the driver for this device?! Thanks so much. Maybe this will get rid of the annoying "driver device not recognized" pop-up from my systray, too... that would be nice. *sigh* please help!

by Bret | Jan 30, 2007 3:46:50 PM

Someone asked me about my previous post (#12) via e-mail, so I thought I'd share the answer here:

My conclusion was that there is either no such thing as a 3.5mm headset, or they are extremely rare if they do exist.

However, 3.5mm (male) to 2.5mm (female) stereo adapters are available. I have the Seidio cradle and plugged in that adapter, then plugged in my headset. This all works as you'd hope when you put the Treo in the cradle.

I even added a 6-foot 3.5mm extension cord recently to route the cable under my desk and it still works with no change in sound quality (at least to my ears).

by Terry | Mar 7, 2007 3:19:54 PM

I bought the Seidio cradle for my Treo 750. It not only will not charge the battery, the battery actually drains faster while the treo is docked.

by Fricka | Jul 18, 2007 1:55:03 PM

I read some reviews on this cradle not working after awhile (pins wearing out etc). Anyone here experience that? I really like the audio out feature on this but if it won't last...

by dc123 | Jul 20, 2007 11:29:00 PM

Does it work on Treo 680 ?

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