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Treo 680 Microsite "OnTreo" Quietly Launched By Palm

Treo680OnTreoAs part of the Cingular & Unlocked Treo 680 launch at Digital Life in NYC some six weeks ago (see Treo 680: Finally A Treo For Everyone) you may recall that Palm provided us with some images of its forthcoming multi-million dollar advertising push for the Treo 680 which will include marketing partners such as Google, Yahoo! and ebay.

These ads such as the one for ebay here on the right each include a very clean graphic design and a catchy phrase associated with each marketing partner – “winning feels good on… ebay” in this particular case. 

Additionally, a new tagline proclaims “Not just a cell phone. A Treo.” and finally points to a URL (that had been password protected until today) at www.ontreo.com.


Because I was already quite impressed by the new ad campaign I had high hopes for the OnTreo microsite to provide a great presentation of the Treo 680’s capabilities to will-be Treonauts.  Unfortunately the microsite (as many of the previous ones built to date) is a sore disappointment.  In my opinion it does an extremely poor job portraying what the “Treonauts Lifestyle” is all about and uses up precious resources better invested elsewhere.

There’s a ton of text to read, a really anoying tune that loops every 8 seconds, a completely banal and meaningless bunch of people walking about with their heads suddenly turning into emoticons (funny for about 2 seconds), the worst navigation that I have ever come across…  I think that you get the point.

Possibly the only useful bit of information here for the novice Treonaut is learning that you can use TiVoToGo to transfer movies from your TiVo (Series2 only) to your Treo (I will review this in the coming weeks).    Naturally if the person landing on this microsite doesn’t know that you can surf the web from your Treo then finding out about accessing websites such as Yahoo!, Fandango, Google, Orbitz, ebay, Amazon.com and others might be helpful – just.

I should perhaps suggest that next time Palm consider pointing will-be Treonauts to… well, Treonauts.com…   I have been wanting to build a multimedia presentation about the Treo for ages (one that can actually be viewed and shared on the Treo!) but have not yet found the right people to develop it with…  Suggestions are always welcome.

Treonauts always want others to join their lifestyle

Posted by Andrew on November 29, 2006 at 10:43 AM

Treo 680

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by mstein | Nov 29, 2006 11:54:14 AM

Well I checked out the site.

I'm curious to know who actually designed and built it. Clearly the target market for the 680 isn't into reading text so it's a shame they didn't go to some of the video game creative companies like Fuel, Pod9 etc. who could have designed and built a far more compelling site and possibly covered more of the phones actual features with real shots of it working rather than basically saying you can surf to all these websites becuase it has a browser...

...and oh yeah the phone also plays MP3 (it plays movies too btw) and has a great sms interface that really should have been given more visibility and, god forbid, some of the enormous video download requirement spent on showing this working.

I mean, it's not like the potential target market would actually like a really good sms solution because it's not like sms is popular or anything...nor is mp3 or video playing.

No instead lets show them a 'message received alert' that'll really sell them on it.


by Brian | Nov 29, 2006 11:58:56 AM

Not a comment on the article but more on the site. You have recently changed something such that Mozilla Firefox 1.5 does not render the titles of articles properly (in fact, it looks terrible.) Please consider keeping the site a wee bit more backwards compatible as I can't stand looking at the site as it is right now and upgrading Firefox is not an option.

by mark | Nov 29, 2006 12:03:22 PM

I believe you were prematurely harsh on the ontreo site. You have to keep clicking the right arrow next to the treo -- that is, after you've "taken in" the current feature. The "emoticon heads" represent SMS. Then, you click again, and you get another feature, and so forth. I don't remember the specific order of the features, but there was eBay, Google maps, email, and so forth. Actually, a VERY clever site....

Not perfect, I agree. It's more "eye candy" than information, but still -- VERY clever. It wasn't apparent to me, at first, that I had to click the arrows -- largely because they're orange, just like the background of the page! Poor design, in that regard. But I think you should give it another chance.

What they've done, there, has never been done before....

by Andrew | Nov 29, 2006 12:13:21 PM

Brian - thanks for letting me know. Yes, the Treonauts templates were updated yesterday and we're aware of some issues relating mainly to Firefox. We're working on fixing this now. Please also try emptying your Firefox cache and see if this helps.

Cheers, A.

by Srujan | Nov 29, 2006 12:53:42 PM

The ontreo site is visually impressive, but utterly useless. A heavy site that just sits and smiles.

Everybody knows a treo can do email, photos, browsing, gaming etc. Lots of other smartphones priced less than the treo can manage those. The stress should be on why they the treo is a cut above the rest.

They should have showed how good the PalmOS is, how fast and easy it is, and especially how easily it can extend its functions to be "smarter" than the rest.

And their official phone comparison site is highly inaccurate and shows how careless they can be with their website and online marketing. A jewel of a company with a sleepy marketing department!

by Rex Raymond | Nov 29, 2006 1:02:04 PM

I'm in agreement with the person that pointed out problems with the article titles on Treonauts. I use version 2.0.4 (419.3) of Safari on Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.8 and the titles look very blocky and nearly overlapping. Hope you can fix it soon. Thanks for a great site otherwise.

by mstein | Nov 29, 2006 1:11:50 PM

Yeah I found there were some problems over night in FF 2.0 but when I dug it it seems like it's the CSS files that they've changed.

If you EMPTY THE CACHE it reloads those files and everything works fine.

I tried this is on IE 6, IE 5, FF 1.5, Safari 2 and FF 2.0 and it it seems fix the nav and title (I think they just redefined them by the looks of it).


by The AFrican Nerd | Nov 29, 2006 11:14:49 PM

With 10 years of experience with Flash design, I can tell you this was a complete waste of money. It does not show the "Treo Experience" in a clear, concise and digestable manner. This is a prime example of just overdoing it with Flash.

by Fred | Dec 1, 2006 12:53:30 PM

I have to add my two cents too, in hopes that someone at Palm reads this site (they should!). The onTreo site is probably the worst possible way to find out what a Treo 680 is/does. After browsing almost everything, I came away with the understanding that a Treo 680 is for surfing the Web and sending text messages. Oh, and listening to music, but not getting ringtones.
Uh, just who is the market share that wants to do only those things??

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