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Treo BlackBerry Connect: Are we ready now?

Now that things have been settled in the four year long RIM/NTP patent dispute – with RIM choosing to pay NTP the princely sum of $612.5 million for a “full and final settlement” – the threat of a shutdown of RIM’s BlackBerry service in the US is finally over to the delight of three million users.

However, left unstated in most news stories, is the fact that a few million Treonauts can also rejoice in the fact that RIM’s settlement now makes it much easier for Palm to release its long awaited BlackBerry Connect software for our Treo.

Like others, I am inclined to think that Palm had decided to hold off the release of BlackBerry Connect until RIM’s case was settled.  Evidently it just didn’t make any business sense to release a new solution just a few months before the looming threat of a shutdown of that very solution.

Now that the uncertainty has been lifted with RIM having been granted “an unfettered right to continue its business, including its BlackBerry related business” and that I have already seen a working ‘final’ version of the Treo BlackBerry Connect service at 3GSM I am optimistic that we will at last be able to connect to it very shortly.

Adding to my sense of optimism was an email that I received from Palm stating that:

“You would have no doubt heard that on Friday March 3 2006, RIM and NTP announced that both parties have entered into a settlement agreement and a license which will end the patent litigation currently pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. This would have meant that RIM would have potentially had to cease its American email service. 

Palm's view on this is that we have long believed that a settlement between these parties would be the eventual outcome. We have remained focused on competing in the market by delivering choice to our customers based upon open, standards-based products that win in the marketplace. Palm's partnerships with Good Technology and Microsoft are attracting a growing number of customers. In the United States, we are gaining share of the smartphone market faster than any other supplier, including RIM. We think our momentum will continue as more and more companies understand and deploy our solutions.”

Considering that combined the Treo 650 and Treo 700w already offer the most wireless email solutions of any smartphone, the addition of BlackBerry Connect will surely make for a nice icing on the cake…

Treonauts always have the most connections…

Posted by Andrew on March 6, 2006 at 01:45 PM

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by KRB | Mar 6, 2006 11:54:31 PM

There has been a lot of mention and anticipation for the Blackberry Connect service on the Treo. I have not read on your site any mention of the email program for the treo 650 called ChatterEmail, which gives the "instant" email on the Treo like the Blackberry, as well as real time access to the server's imap folders. I would love if you would give a review of this program.

by s.elements | Mar 7, 2006 4:45:32 AM

Andrew, you get some of the weirdest comments.

Anyway, yeah, here's another vote for you doing a Chatter review. If you want push email for your Treo, it's available right now. And it's true push too, because the server tells Chatter when there's new mail, as opposed to Chatter checking for it on intervals. On average, I will receive an email on my Treo 6 seconds after it was sent. Try it out. I like Snapper a LOT(still do), but Chatter is in a whole other league. It became one of my all-time favorite apps in like 30 minutes.

by Andrew | Mar 7, 2006 7:18:49 AM

s. elements - thanks, I deleted that abusive comment. I guess that some people have nothing better to do with their time... pretty sad really...

Chatter is on my list of reviews. I am holding back as I'm still not 100% convinced that it is stable enough for everyone's usage.

Cheers, A.

by Matt | Mar 7, 2006 7:26:07 AM

I'd like to see an indepth article on what the heck is different about BB syncing vs ChatterMail vs things like Verizon Wireless Sync. As far as I can tell, what BB gets you is sync'ing of Contacts and Calendar items as well as email. (Which Good gets you as well?)

by Treo/Blackberry Fan | Mar 7, 2006 12:46:06 PM

Okay, first lets get this straight: Chatter and Snapper are not exactly like Blackberry. There is a reason why the whole world is using blackberrys, because it automatically push the email the device. There is no pause waiting for the phone to download the email from the server. There is no need to wait while your phone FIRST connects to the internet, and THEN retrieves the email.

I have been a longtime blackberry user and still use the device for work. When an email comes to my phone *Poof* its just there. I have used the above mentioned software programs, and though they are adequate substitutes, there is nothing like the simplicity of a blackberry.

Again, all programs outside of the blackberry must connect to the web first before anything can take place. So even though your email is waiting for you, you still must wait for the phone to connect before you can retrieve your email.


by Federico | Mar 7, 2006 1:53:30 PM

While I understand that Blackberry Connect (BC) may be a more "complete" solution, I have been very happy with Chatter as far as email is concerned (www.chatteremail.com). Importantly, Chatter is significantly cheaper than BC and other solutions, since you pay only a one-time fee of $39.00 (you will also need to have an unlimited data-only plan with your carrier.) It is very stable, allows you to open attachments, and its virtual 'push' feature works very well. In addition, one can manage a number of IMAP and POP3 accounts at the same time. Customer service is great too. All in all, I believe that Chatter is perfectly adequate for the large majority of email users. I would encourage you to review it and tell us what you think.

by s.elements | Mar 7, 2006 4:09:17 PM

You're mistaken. I don't have to wait for my phone to connect to get my email. As soon as the email hits the server, it's pushed to my phone. Chatter doesn't manually go get it. Exactly how does the BB receive new email if there isn't ANY KIND of data connection? Magic? It's sent to the thing with some kind of signal. So am I to assume then that with Blackberry Connect I won't need any kind of data signal?

by KRB | Mar 7, 2006 7:58:30 PM

ChatterEmail gets my email sometimes before it arrives in my Outlook. The Treo Chimes a few seconds before Outlook gives me the message that i have new email. So it is Instant. I have a friend with a Blacberry and we did a test to see who got email faster. We sent 10 emails at the same time to his Berry and to My treo. 7 out of the ten times, the Treo chimed first, sometimes by many seconds, sometimes by a milisecond. So what's the big deal about Blackberry Connect anyway? I'm sure you have to pay a monthly fee for their service and you have to use Versamail which i fine really is inferior to Chatteremail. So i guess it's a personal thing, but in the long run Chatter will work out much cheaper for me. And it works!!!!!!!!

by bliss | Mar 7, 2006 9:57:43 PM

I've heard great things about ChatterEmail but I'm interested to see how BC performs.

by Ryan | Mar 7, 2006 11:41:34 PM

I have been waiting for Blackberry Connect ever since I saw the first screenshot 2 years ago. Some of us are reliant on what our companies choose for their mobile email solution. We use blackberry, end of story. If I can install connect on my treo, and give the pin to our IT staff, then I'm all set. Or at least I hope its that easy. Andrew - Can you confirm where all the blackberry data is stored (not just emails) Can I sync tasks/memos/cal/mail all in one spot on the treo? Thus keeping "work" isolated from "play"?

by GG | Mar 8, 2006 10:06:02 AM

As a point of clarification for Treo/Blackberry Fan, GoodLink gives the Treo the same push functionality as you get on the BB.

by Danny | Mar 8, 2006 10:26:17 AM

When I tested this 4 months ago, I found Chattermail to be unstable on my Treo 650/Cingular/fully patched. Snappermail is not the best e-mail client in the world, but it beat Versamail hands down (don't know about the current version of vmail tho). I found that Chattermail constantly connected to the network, so my data connection was always on. If I turned it off, it would turn itself back on. Attempts to contact customer support were really eye-opening as I realized there is none. The discussion page they have set up is less than optimal for addressing all potential support issues.

by s.elements | Mar 8, 2006 3:32:37 PM

Danny - what? No customer support? I emailed the developer earlier today and received a response in less than 5 minutes. Also, I've received several responses from him over in his section of TreoCentral, and on his own site. You must be thinking of a different app, because Chattermail is reknowned for it's level of customer support. Chattermail has been nothing but stable for me.

by KRB | Mar 8, 2006 11:45:38 PM

Chatteremail with no customer support??? Impossible!!!! I think that this is the only Palm application where the developer himself answers you. And within a few minutes. You are surely thinking of something else. And that's how chatter get's your mail, with an internet connection. It is advised to have a unlimited plan. Were you using Chatter Beta versions which are not guaranteed to work properly (as with any bets version)? I use the official version and it has worked flawlessly for me.

by s.elements | Mar 9, 2006 12:26:48 AM

Yeah, when you go to DL Chatter you'll be given the option to DL either the 'stable' or the 'beta' version. The stable version is usually the way to go, as in my experience there's never any problems with it, but even now I'm using a beta and it's been very stable. The beta gives you the option of adding senders to your contacts - very clever.

by s.elements | Mar 9, 2006 12:44:20 AM

Another thing you might find interesting Andrew, is that is that the Chatteremail beta has been updated 6 times since yesterday. What do you get with Snapper, like 1 update every three months?

by jaseone | Mar 12, 2006 11:19:27 PM

ChatterEmal is true push there is no virtual push involved at all for supported servers as it uses the IMAP protocol's IDLE command, what this does is keep a socket open between the client and the server so when a new mail arrives the server notifies the client over the open socket. ChatterEmail only needs to send a KeepAlive to the server every so often it doesn't need to poll the server at all.

Don't Blackberries use a service that sits on top of Exchange so Exchange gets the email, then the Blackberry service gets notified somehow (is that a pull or a push?) and then the Blackberry service sends out a push to the Blackberry?

ChatterEmail was seemingly unstable for me before the last firmware upgrade from Palm but it was actually the underlying network layer of the Treo that was the cause and the improved network code in the latest update has made things as solid as a rock with ChatterEmail except for the ocassional glitch caused by me being on the bleeding edge and using the betas usually within a few minutes of them being released.

by Jack Roy | Mar 15, 2006 4:55:06 PM

If anyone uses snapper mail, you know that when it's going through it's send/receive cycle, you can't do anything else on your phone unless you cancel it. You have to sit and wait and watch the screen as it goes to each mail box and get's email at it's scheduled time. When it does, the screen comes on and the world can see what your emails are if you have your phone out. Chatteremail works in the background. The screen does not even come on when you get new mail. It just chimes. I can be doing stuff on my calender etc., and chatter will get my new email and just chime. I don't have to stop what I'm doing to allow it to collect email like I had to do when I used snapper. Today i could not remember how to do something, and did not have the *pdf manual with me, so i emailed the developer to ask how to do it, and got a response in exactyl two minutes. I once had a tech question with snapper and waited three days for a response. So for that person that says chatteremail has no support, please, know your facts before you make false statements. Come on Andrew, give us a review already. You say that it is unstable. Isn't every beat? that's why they are called betas! Try the full official release. Feel what it's like to get your email instantly, without the extra expense of BBC.

by Lee | Apr 1, 2006 11:37:14 PM

Looking at Chattermail website, it looks like the push email only works with IMAP servers. Does that mean "push" does not work with POP accounts?

by Tom | May 17, 2006 6:49:04 PM

Any word on when BBC is going to be released for the US??? I have been hearing June???

by Antonella | Mar 4, 2010 12:20:16 PM

I have a TREO PRO, I really want to know if there is a way that I can send and recieve messages using a bb pin to blackberry's. Some people say that I have to download a special software to my Treo to have a bb pin and send those messages. If somebody can help me please!!!!!!

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