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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

Posted by Andrew on January 15, 2007 at 06:42 AM

Treo Software | Utilities

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by cgk | Jan 15, 2007 3:10:34 PM

I have my doubts about the day in/day out usability of the iphone but ya know, I like to base my evaluation on user experience rather than.. em.. guess work based on a jpeg image and a sorta-maybe-wellnotreally emulation program running on the device I'm holding.

it's old-fashioned I know...

I'm not saying you've done a bias review to appeal to your core audience but someone on the sidelines (a symbian user like me - rather than a palm or apple zealot) is likely to think the evluation method is "interesting" to say the least.

by Asaleh | Jan 15, 2007 3:33:55 PM

great work, I know that it will be easily done on our Palm, lets make it a good launcher just to show off.
keep the good work.
m100, m505, clie sj30 clie th55, tungsten E2 and soon a Treo 680

by Rome | Jan 15, 2007 4:00:58 PM

This is too funny.....I couldn't stop laughing for 5 minutes after reading this post.

by Scott | Jan 15, 2007 4:02:34 PM

I like the interface. I there a way on my Treo 700p I can have this as the default application when I hit any button to turn on my 700p to turn it on....I am a Mac user and I do beleve that Apple needs to stay with computers and Ipod's.


by Kevin | Jan 15, 2007 4:42:25 PM

I'm sure people are having a fit over this. However, it really is a valid comparison.

That said, I use LaunchItNow for my launching needs. I'm *programmed* to punch the Home button on my Treo. I never use the other two app buttons for some reason, or even the side buttons.

This started even before LaunchItNow was installed... I dunno why. I got in the habit of pushing Home, then typing in the first couple letters of an app. Probably because I use Quicksilver on my Mac (ctrl-space, ca, return = camino! etc)

Different strokes for different folks.

by zetsurin | Jan 15, 2007 5:29:57 PM

"And it will allow for third-party development in a similar manner to the iPod. Although the floodgates will not be opened to everyone the useful applications that are necessary or have a potential audience. Versus the Palm world where we have 30 applications to do any given task and no clear answer as to which is the best. Similarly to when it built iChat for the Mac Apple will continue to find needs and fill them with the right software, not a salad bar full of the wrong software."

You're kidding right? If I am paying 600 big ones and two years of my life I want to choose the apps I want to run. And, surprise suprise, I am a software developer who has applications *I* write that *I* want to take with me. You might have no ability to code, and as such you can keep your views to yourself but don't question my motives. Freedom is important to me, if you want a cage then there you go.

[Edited: please keep your comments 'clean'... Cheers, A.]

by zetsurin | Jan 15, 2007 5:32:11 PM

"Similarly to when it built iChat for the Mac Apple will continue to find needs and fill them with the right software"

And in addition to that. ADIUM, SKYPE, you name it. If you want to sit flaccid in front of iChat and do without the alternatives then pity on you.

by Leathernuts | Jan 15, 2007 6:33:33 PM

Hey Borszczuk. No I was't talking to you.

by Sven Ehlert | Jan 16, 2007 5:45:57 AM

Andrew, and iPhony developers,beware!

Apple did it again. Not only do the try to get at the authors of Iphony (of course, it's Apple!), but in a ridiculous move they are also behind bloogers reporting about it ... Thank you, Apple!


by Mike | Jan 16, 2007 10:31:08 AM

Check this out:


Similar with LG?

Treo and iPhone are smartphone for dumbpeople :)

by CarL | Jan 16, 2007 10:57:04 AM

Iphony is awesome, I hope they develope it so we can use it as full application. Treo/Palm should already have better graphics in icons and better background.I like dark blue or black as a background for all windows. The graphics and ease of use make iphone and iphony exciting. I would not want to give up my assigned buttons but would like more innovation in ease of screen and icon use.

by Harvey | Jan 16, 2007 11:03:53 AM

I believe both smartphones have different inclinations.

A Treo is more inclined to the true 'PDA'. Given its keyboard design, it targets people whose need is to be extremely productive and wants to have everything to be reached within a touch or two.

An iPhone, given it's pure touchscreen design would naturally lose to a keyboard. On the other hand, it will have a lot of cool multimedia and connectivity features. It is more likely to go head-on with those Winmob touchscreen-only devices like O2.

Basically, people buy Treo because of the small design + thumb-board ergonomics and the ability of having highly customizable hard buttons and/or maybe the simplicity of the Palm OS.

The current iPhone model will not be a treo-killer. But stuff in a thumb-board in future models and that will be the treo-killer.

by Chapps | Jan 16, 2007 12:46:59 PM

You're missing the point. It's not about how wonderfully complicated/sophisticated the iPhone will be (which the Treo is, hands down) -- it's about the clean simplicity. The iPod isn't the "best" MP3 player -- but it's been adopted by 80% of the market because of that simplicity and the tight integration with iTunes. It's just so bloody easy (and fun) for the consumer. The iPhone is aiming for just 1% of the cell phone market in the U.S., but I'll bet it'll exceed that number many times over ... even at that premium price.

But it's all just talk until we can get our hands on this puppy. I'm very much looking forward to it, and I think this kind of challenge will shake up the industry in a very positive way for consumers.

by tomato | Jan 21, 2007 12:01:51 AM

off topic:

would you mind telling me how to make the launcher to green colour scheme?

by Craig | Aug 6, 2007 5:11:57 PM

i put it on my sd card, now how do I put it on my phone???

by jeff | Feb 1, 2008 1:05:05 AM

does anyone kno how to get this for the palm centro please email me

by Gregory | Apr 19, 2008 6:37:33 PM

hey, after i download it, how do i get it on to the phone?

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