Closer Look: Treo 800w's unique GPS Plugin

One neat feature that we've mentioned recently in our Podcast was Palm's unique "Maps" program and Today Plugin, which is nicely tied into the phone's aGPS system.

Palm has always done a nice job in marrying the hardware to the software and instead of just slapping some GPS on the phone, they actually made it...well, useful and easy.

Here are a couple of interesting things gleaned from past scoops and the recently released user manual...

Read on for more details on the 800w's GPS capabilities...


  • Look up a contact's location directly from your Today screen (p240)
  • Find people, restaurants, movies, etc. using the GPS Today plugin (p182)
  • Map your current, recent, and street locations

It also appears that at least for some of these functions, it uses the much superior assisted-GPS system, meaning your current geographical location should happen within seconds, as opposed to the longer "cold start" of traditional GPS systems (read our GPS vs aGPS tutorial here). This should make it faster than the Sprint Touch, Mogul and Q9c which don't use the assistance servers out-of-the-box. Stay tuned for more details.

Basically how it works is while on the today screen, you can just type the name of your contact, hold down the center key and select the "Find" menu entry. The GPS will then map that contact's address directly on the screen.

The other unique feature involves the "Point of Interest" plugin which is sort of like having Microsoft's Live Search built right in to the Today screen. All you do is type in whatever you are looking for and hit "enter" and it will look up and map the info directly, all based on your aGPS coordinates.

That brings us finally to that last aspect. the program "Maps". Not much is currently known about this except it looks like Goolge Maps (but isn't?) and it is not Live Search, though we understand both programs will work with the device's built in GPS. This app appears to be a custom mapping program that is streamlined and tied closely to the OS, for seamless integration.

Either way, these "little features" look to be quite useful and and at this point, unique to the Palm Treo 800w.

WC Staff
  • I think you can tell the memory now. [LIST=1]
    [*]RAM 98mb/ 54mb user accessible
    Memory 178mb total/ 167mb user accessible
  • That's not really accurate since that is showing memory that is in use i.e. it has X number of programs running and installed on top of the OS--it's not a clean device, just booted.
    The OS alone won't consume 54mb of RAM--maybe 20mb, tops, which would put it more in the high 70's range.
    Either way, those are just screen caps from who knows when--we'll have to wait till we actually turn one on.
  • I still think they should have made the GPS a greater feature by having a separate large and obvious button for the same function as the plug-in. The today screen is way too overcrowded already.
    That would also make the app more easily accessible from where ever, instead of constantly having to go to the today screen.
  • i agree, it says 98mb on the top line and my Sprint Touch says 104 and i have 72mb free with nothing running. Palm wont have the biotouch programs for the cube running and such. ive never known Palm to have a more bloated OS than HTC, actually much less usually.
    That screenshot also shows 200mb in use on the card so its obviously not meant to represent a clean install.
    Id venture to guess Ram will be in the high 60's low 70's on boot to the user like on the Touch. its plenty trust me ive never run out like on a Mogul even with every program open you cant crash it
  • Just an FYI. I have been calling the local Sprint stores every other day for a week now hoping someone would slip and say "yea, we've got em' in the back"...get their name, head in there and then raise hell to get my hands on an 800w early (damn it, hasn't worked yet).
    Anywho, the one I called today said the launch date for the Treo 800w is the, 2 more days and we're there...thank god! It's about time I've only been looking forward to this phone for a freakin year!
  • the official launch date is the 13th. if they sell them the 10th thats on them but officially its this sunday
  • It's been a few minutes since anybody said this: Squeeeeeee! Release time is almost here! I don't even care that I lost the Rumortastic giveaway.
  • That pdf document was pulled out of Sprint quick. I envy you guys, wifi that actually does not need another card.
  • I guess what I was really getting at was that I had read in a few places the ram was 32mb and that worried me. From those pics I'm not as worried about that mistake anymore.