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Looking For Wireless Handheld E-Mail And Web? 130

dspyder asks: "I'm currently looking for a good solution for wireless email and minimal Web surfing (stock quotes, weather, traffic, movie showtimes, driving directions?). Since it seems WAP is a ways off, I'm looking at other solutions. What other options are they for very small, portable and cheap wireless Internet and e-mail access from a pager-like device?? Or should I just wait for more WAP products and services to come out?? I really like the RIM device, and something along the lines of $50/mo for the GoAmerica service including rental (or lease or rent to buy) of the box would be an instant sale. Anyone know of anything?" There's a bunch of information in here on the subject. If your idea of networking is -not- sitting at your desk and twiddling thumbs while the mailer reloads...this topic may be for you.

"I see Blackberry has an offering but it appears to be e-mail only. It uses the RIM Interactive Pager from Research in Motion. It looks like you can use the same device and get Internet email service through RCN. Price is about $40-$45 including rental of the box? To get web access, it appears you can do it through GoAmerica but they make you buy the RIM box (about $299). Service is $60 per month, ouch! Service is provided by Bell Atlantic Wireless Data and coverage is excellent. I saw these guys and played with the unit at Sring Internet World last week and I really liked it but the cost is too prohibitive. Wolfetech also appears to support the RIM with their PocketGenie software and their service is only $29.95/mo but they don't say if that includes the wireless access or if that fee is just for their content.

I already have a Palm III so don't want to purchase a Palm VII because their service is pay per character only and the coverage is lousy. I would rather not get a Minstrel as it's too bulky and the coverage is lousy in my area. Although GoAmerica has a good deal on it at $99 and $49.95 for the service.

I would consider getting an Internet Ready phone, but my provider, Cellular 1 SF, doesn't offer any service. I don't want to switch to PCS because the phone quality is awful out here. The display on the phones is also really limiting.

There are services (usually free) that e-mail things to your text pager or text messaging cellphone, but I don't like the push model. Web Wireless Now has a neat hack, where you call a number and it picks up your caller ID and text messages you your preselected content but it seems really limited and I doubt it works when you're roaming. The added cost of the text messaging feature which could get expensive with heavy use."

If there are any current users of these services, I'm sure there would be readers here interested if the assesments here match with your experiences. What other alternatives for wireless Web and e-mail access exist and what do you all think of them?

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Looking for Wireless Handheld E-Mail and Web?

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  • The PalmVII now has an unlimited plan. The minstrel is nice but the coverage is spotty. I have a Minstrel V with my OmniSky service and if you aren't in a major city you're out of luck. But, at least you get full IP support unlike the Palm VII or other devices.
  • How's your Nextel coverage out there? We connect our Palm V and III to our Motorola i1000+ phones through a serial cable...

    The coverage isn't great, but the quality is...
  • I was going to be good, but this phrase just kills me:

    "...RIM with their PocketGenie..."

    Please stay away from my RIM device with your PocketGenie. I don't swing that way.
    Have Exchange users? Want to run Linux? Can't afford OpenMail?
  • You can make your own content, just not what they have on the page, I hacked together the "backdoors" for slashdot etc at []. True it's not instant - but it's still very cool :)

  • You checked one of the Page Writers out yet? Kinda' limited as to what you can surf, but you can customize your news flash stuff. For e-mail it's pretty rad though!
  • by tbo ( 35008 )
    Check out Infowave's [] products. Their wireless division makes several software products that enable wireless email, scheduling, etc. They just announced a deal with Clearnet today (a big Canadian PCS/digital cell company), and have agreements with Nokia, AT&T, and other big names.
  • I've used a Rim device. An acquaintance of mine works for RIM and he was given one with service, and I have had the opportunity to play with it.

    I managed to send a few quick emails to my inbox and tested the amount of time it takes for a message to reach it's destination. It was just like most email, as it only took seconds to reach my land-based account.

    The machine comes with 2 megs of Non volatiale memory, and the more programs you have stored, the less you have for storing email. (even though, say, you have 800k free space.. that's TONS of room for text-emails)

    If i'm not mistaking , the devices have very programmable features, so stocks, news, should not be very tough to do.

    There was also games, like Tetris: Just turn the device over vertically and you play tetris using the scrollbar and one or two of the buttons. The screens resolution and number of grayscale 'colours' impressed me.

    Also, don't be fooled by the small 'keyboard'.. It still allows you to 'type' in your email/etc VERY quickly and effectively.

    The scrollbar (like ones on a mouse, sorta) is placed very intuitivbely.. you use your thumb to move around the menu systems in their propriety OS and once you get used to it things become very quick and productive.

    Concluding: I wanted one very bad after playing with it. The sheer possabilities of instant-email-in-your-pocket is enough for me..

    bring on the newer models!

  • They're reviving their AT&T PocketNet plan, only this time it looks more like the Sprint offering. It has WAP-only options, or you can go full-bore for $15/month to access any web site.

    They have a $100 Ericsson and $200 Mitsubishi phone (the Mits is pretty nice, with the bigger display), but you do have to sign up for AT&T wireless voice service.

    See AT&T's Web site [] on the topic. There's also a story over at the SJ Mercury. []

  • I bought the nextel i500 about 6 months ago with the understanding that it was already equipped with e-mail and web capabilities. Last week they sent me a letter saying that they finally had it ready...for an additional $25 a month. The minimal phone service already costs $70-$90 per month. Asking for more was the straw... The quality is great on the phone, but it is too damn expensive.
  • For the content requirement of your quest, you might want to check out []

    You have to set up a profile, and basically say what you want to get from it. As far as I know, its not supposed to give you anything YOU haven't asked for.

    As for the device you want to get it on...this site is supposed to deliver to most portable thingis you want.

    hope this helps


  • ...then I'd suggest another look. Just got my Samsung SCH-3500 a couple of weeks ago, and it does just fine for stock quotes / weather / etc (4 line text display). I'm more than happy to have the smallish screen in exchange for tiny size / little weight. Runs forever on a battery charge, too. Service through Sprint, it's been painless so far.
  • I have a Nokia 6190 GSM phone with service through VoiceStream... the reason I went with GSM is because of its data capabilities. TDK has a GSM softmodem for Palm that lets me run a cable from my Palm to my Nokia phone and use it as a 9600 bps modem. Combine that with an IMAP server I setup at home, MultiMail on the palm, and ProxiWeb's web browser, and I can be pretty well connected while on the road.

    The 9600 bps is a bit painful at first, but for checking my email it's really not too bad. Plus with IMAP, I can selectively choose which messages to download.

    Nokia also has a DataSuite package that runs on the Win32 platform that uses the phone as a modem... so far I haven't found anything for linux, however (anyone?).

    I'm pretty happy with my current solution... I keep reading about 144kbps through GSM in a year or so and that makes me smile even more.

  • Something I've been wanting to try is my Palm III with a Ricochet (sp?) wireless modem. I know they work together (with a little serial adaptor). Something to stay away from, though is the Palm VII - they don't give you real IP access, just their imitation brand, so you're at their mercy. You see basically what people pay them to let you see, which, IMHO, is never a good position to be in. Just think AOL.
  • > I doubt it [] works when you're roaming

    If your SMS/text messaging service roams with you, the WebWirelessNow service will roam as well.

  • Okay, so you don't like one PCS system. Was it a non-GSM system?

    Pacific Bell Wireless provides GSM in SF, and here's a map [] of their coverage. Digital data service [] at 9600 bps for $5/month + 0.15/minute. Connects to PCs or PDAs with a $50 cable. Even their low-end [] Nokia 5190 will work.

    There are descriptions of cables [] available, and the Linux interface is at gnokii [].


    This shows some other models compatible with the RIM style devices. s.shtml

    Here are specs on the two RIM models.

    I now know the one I used was the 950. The 957 no doubt has much more possabilities.. i'm just not so sure that one will fit in one's jean pocket easily (although it should fit in many others<G>)

  • Socket makes a compact flash "Digital Phone Card" for CDMA... The Bell Atlantic (or MCI WorldComm) uses the CDMA network which is data ready. Any device notebook (with adapter) or PDA hooked up to a cell phone will get you 56k connection to your ISP.
  • by seizer ( 16950 ) on Thursday May 18, 2000 @09:51AM (#1063563) Homepage
    Here in the UK, we have WAP already, and despite the industry's best efforts to prove the contrary, it's damn boring. Ok, great, I can surf "webpages" for 5 pence a minute (~ 8 cents) in 96x96 pixel resolution. Now what.

    Incidentally, if you have a cellphone which can send SMS messages, check out Excell [] which converts SMS to email for free (150 character limit, though). Also, I think Quios [] convert email to SMS for free, although I can't ever seem to get it working properly ;-) For UK users, email to SMS is free and (semi) reliable at Genie [].

    Lots more gory info at MobilServer [], which seems to be written in Czech sometimes *frown*

    Ok, enough advertising

    --Remove SPAM from my address to mail me
  • Nokia phones, as far as I understand, are starting to have capabilities such as text messaging and such.

    At least in the U.S., that is. In Finland, people have had hand-held e-mail for quite a while now.

  • There's a new UGeek opinion [] about the AT&T PocketNet plan. Free access to 40 sites which they select, and two other options with costs.
  • I've been very happy with my PalmVx with the OmniSky wireless modem. I think the OmniSky comes out of the public beta very soon (as in a month or so).

    While it's not terribly cheap ($300 for the modem), the service will be a flat monthly rate, regardless of the amount of traffic, and works over AT&T's digital network which covers pretty much the whole country.

    It comes standard with e-mail (up to 6 POP accounts, with automatic polling & notification (via a red LED on the front of the modem)), web browser (including graphics if you want to wait for them to download), stock (E*Trade), weather (Weather Channel), traffic (Etak), directions (via MapQuest) and any other web-clipping app you sync to your Palm.

    The modem itself is only 19.2Kbps, but that's more than enough to download my e-mail when I'm stuck in traffic on the Beltway. You would be very tight for space if you try it with a regular 2MB Palm V, since the OmniSky software uses 1MB on the Palm.

    Overall, I've been really happy with it, if for no other reason than it looks infinitely better than the Palm VII. The modem fits right in with the sleek design of the Palm V series.

    OmniSky's website is, surprisingly enough,
  • I second that opinion. My SprintPCS STAR-TAC works pretty well, for quotes and such, and can receive email. I bought the phone for it's size and battery life, without really caring about the web service. When I activated, I discovered I could get ten messages/pageviews a month for $2, so I gave it a try. If I start using it more the unlimited service is only about $11/month.

    Whether you consider Sprint or not, PCS is probably the way to go because it's a device you're carrying around anyway, rather than an extra device. It's also a rather small addition to a monthly expense that you're probably paying already, rather than a completely separate service. If you end up buying the next Palm or the fabled Transmeta web pad in a few years, just turn off the feature and you still have a nice cell phone.

    "What I cannot create, I do not understand."

  • I'm looking to make content designed for the Web available via wireless devices. What's my best bet to reach the widest audience? WAP? HDML? Simplified HTML? Don't bother making different documents for wireless, just let the devices and/or gateways do the translating?

    I'm really not looking forward to going back to the Bad Old Days of Web content, with sites providing a different page for different user agents: "If you have a Nokia FR3000, click here. If you have a Motorola Web-Smacker compatible device, click here."

  • Perhaps closed..

    but i played tetris =)

    And there are more games..

    i was more excited about the email part.

    I still want one.. i should walk to their head office and get one (I'm not far from the head office)
  • i just upgraded my phone through at&t wireless to an ericsson r280xl which gives me the ability to send and receive email through their pocketnet services ($6.99/month) and i can also view a limited set of web pages. for additional $$$ each month you can get to any web page. check out and get info on their pocketnet services. i do not work for at&t - i am just a brainwashed customer.
  • Go for WAP, and hence WML files. They're easy, industry standard *crosses fingers*, and fun(tm).

    Much stricter standards than HTML though. But maybe that's a good thing.

    WML FAQ here []

    --Remove SPAM from my address to mail me
  • Oh,'s ta-i-lor...people are ta-y-lor.

    I should know...I is one. Pet peeve. Sorry.

  • The best part about the rim is that they use a 386 chip- so their development SDK is just an addon for Visual C++. It's pretty easy to develop for- I was able to port a small text based app in a couple of hours the first time I picked up the SDK. If you have a RIM, go get it [].
  • I have a Motorola Timeport Tri-Band [] and a Palm III, get online via IR port to the great! Just connect to your existing ISP no problem.
    Instructions for setup at this page []. Also some other info about Palm & online access.
  • The service is generally provided via MOBITEX by Bell South Wireless Data and a few other providers. I like my RIM pager, and it doesn't "redirect" e-mail like someone mentioned (might have been the way they were set up). The only major problem with RIM pagers is they are NOT SECURE. You can decode the messages rather easily off-the-air.

  • I also have the Palm Vx/Omnisky setup and have been very pleased with it. When I first got it I thought I would have a problem justifying the price for just a few emails a day, but I find that I'm using it constantly. Email, stock quotes, /. headlines... I even use it to ping devices on the Internet and telnet to routers when I don't have a PC handy. The Vx with modem is about the same size as the III or VII, and battery life is pretty good. I can usually go a whole day on the modem without recharging, and I use the heck out of it.

  • perhaps i'm a touch biased, as i have many friends working at RIM (including my roommate), but i would say that the Blackberry would probably be your best bet.

    as far as email goes, you can't beat the RIM pagers. they're not a haldheld that tacked on wireless, they're a wireless device, that tacked on an organizer. what this means is that as a wireless device, the BlackBerry comes out on top (though its organizer functions leave something to be desired).

    the big difference with RIM pagers is that they're "always on." what this means to users is that you get your email instantly, when it's sent. there's no "dialing" your connection, checking your mail and then waiting for your mail to transfer. instead you hear a chime, and you've got the email right there. and since the email fully downloads before you get the chime, it appears as though the email is instantly there. this is a *big* plus for the RIM device, and makes it *very* useable.

    also, the "keyboard" on the RIM is much much better then writing with the pen on the Palm. i thought i'd hate it, but the more i used it, the more i realized i really wish my Palm III had the same thing. you can type surprisingly fast with your thumbs.

    as for web surfing, i'm not completely sure on the statis of stock quotes and other niceties. i know that RIM has talked about this in the past, but i'm not sure of its current statis. check with your service provider to see what they're offering right now (any RIM employees care to comment?)

    and if i were you, i'd get the BlackBerry 957. it's oh-so-sweet. :)

    - j
  • Ive got my old Palm 3 with a Novatel Wireless modem on it. My shell account runs a bunch of .procmail filters and forwards any personal mail to my palm, and anything else (mailing lists, etc) off to my linux box.

    Oh, and I stuck on a goVox digital recorder [] thingy too.

  • I too have the Samsung SCH-3500. I have had it for 6 Months and I am very happy with it. Granted the display is rather small and you have to scroll all the time, but the phone fits nicely in your pocket.

    I have recently discovered that I can sync my address book and calendar with Yahoo and have it show up on my phone. If the coverage gets better and the phone get's some local storage, my palm pilot would become obsolete.

  • Don't buy a Mitsubishit phone. They're some of the worst phones on the market. I should know, we make them here.

    "The future will be better tomorrow."
    * Vice President Al Gore
  • I absolutely love [] my Ricochet modem [] and will always have it [].

    I know of one guy who has his hooked up to a (iirc) a psion handheld and telnets to his linux box to read e-mail and surf the web. Personally, I prefer a real laptop, but I have big fingers.

    So, if you're in one of their covered areas [], I strongly recommend them.

  • Have a look at SkyTel [] and the Motorola PageWriter 2000X. It's got TONS of ram (for a pager) that lets you add many applications and even games. If you do like RIMs, they offer service with RIM pagers as well. You can browse the web and recieve and send emails, and with WolfeTech service and their app, you can get movie times, etc. And you can customize your news reports to get quite a few updates a day or one or two summaries of the top stories (or even none). I have a PageWriter through work and espically for the quick "Yes" or "No" answers to questions for co-workers in offices in other states, it beats calling on the phone.
  • Check out this link to OmniSky []

    I had the chance to play with this device but it is only in Beta stage right now. You hook your Palm V into a 'shoe' made by Novatel and boom, you are wireless. I noticed very similar functionality to the Palm VII, and you can use Palm Query Applets from the Palm VII on your Palm V. IIRC this is much cheaper of a solution, but I do not remember the pricing details because it has been about 6-9months since I have played with this thing.
  • It won't deliver web content while you're in Nome, but it wouldn't take too much (warning IANAProgrammer and this is sheer speculation) to make an internet connected PC and a spare unit broadcast any text you want to to a Cybiko [], so long as it's in range. In a small office or something, it'd work.

    For $130 bucks list, I am amazed. It's like a combination low, low-end PDA (you can keep a virtual "business card" on it, like on a Palm, and there are attempts at least, which I have not well investigated yet)

    Is it a Palm or a threat to winCE? no, that's absurd. But I do shake my head in frustration that my Visor (a great to[y / ol]) labors along in isolation, while three cybiko units can talk with each other over up to 600 feet thanks to message propogation.

    It's not a real wide area service like a Palm VII, or a minstrel modem, or even a $20 pager -- but for office environments, I'd like to see cybiko create a business / geek centric division making local low-power radio tranmsitters for Palms, Handsprings and other Palm OS devices. After all, there are few enough of these durn handpsring modules (Bluetooth? what's that?), and I'd like only one part of a $139 device, so under $60 seems fair ...


    Disclaimer: we have some for review right now, and you'll see the article on slashdot at some point;)
  • We've got WAP here in Seattle as well (Sprint PCS) and I agree, it's nothing to write home about. The only use I've found for it is lining Sprint's pocketbook.

  • What about a Handspring Visor []? I have one and love it, it's cheap (relitively speaking) and it has the Springboard port. Right now there are a number of companies working on wireless Springboard modules. For instance there is Xircom [], who is in the process of building a wireless modem, bluetooth modem and an ethernet module. According to their site, they should be released later this summer. Innogear [] also has some cool products for the Springboard available and under development.

    In the meantime if you want movie times and maps there are some apps for Palm OS that you can install. For movie times there is a little program called Showtimes [] that allows you to download movie times for you favorite theaters from Yahoo! [] and stores them in a database, on your Visor or Palm, that you can access very easily. It's an awesome program and it is free!! As far as maps go, there is software available from [http], called PocketBlast, that allows you to import maps to your handheld device of choice.
  • I don't think that's true. I have a PalmV and an Omnisky, and I get good coverage not only around Chicago, but anywhere around Central Illinois too.

    I highly recommend it, great service, great device.
  • [Disclaimer: I'm one of the software developers behind] []

    Compared to other available services, (WWN) is the cheapest for both web site owners and users. For cell phone users with rate plans that include text messaging already, the service is essentially free. It will also work on their existing phones, so no new device to buy either. When the user dials the phone number, WWN never answers so no charge for the call.

    For web sites, the WWN service is free to use. WWN gives web sites the ability to send their content on-demand to 50 million cell phones in the US. It's also easy to use -- register your site, then add a simple sign-up link to your web pages. The WWN service takes care of everything else. Of course a site does need small content (most phones can only handle 100 character text messages), but there's no new mark-up to learn. Check out the Developers Zone [] for more information.

    One of the key differences between the WebWirelessNow service and WAP, Palm VII, etc, is the ease of use for the consumer *and* the web site owner. One thing that gets overlooked in the WAP hype is the burden for web site owners: site's need to learn WAP, they need to learn a new markup language (WML), and they need to do this work without any certainty that consumers will actually pay for WAP service and use WAP phones. Just because a phone is WAP capable, doesn't mean the user will pay for the WAP service.

    With WWN, sites have access to millions of their mobile users now, not 2 years from now. There's also better coverage with WWN because text messaging is available over a larger geographic area compared to WAP availability.

    Regarding the "limitations" of WWN, it's true that it does not support general purpose surfing. On the other hand, have you ever tried to surf with a WAP phone? Because of limited screen sizes on phones it's not a pleasant experience. With such limited screens, mostly what you want is little bits of information, and most of the time you probably know what you want. For example, I want the latest Mariner's score and the Seattle weather forecast. With the WWN service I signed up for each and stored each phone number in speed dial. When I want to know the forecast or the Mariner's score, I simply use the speed dial, wait for the ring, and hang-up. Compared to surfing to find the info with WAP, the WWN service is very simple.

  • I use an Ericsson T18S and MC218, which is the Ericsson-branded Psion Series 5mx. The MC218 comes with a clip-on infrared modem for the Ericsson 'phone (a bit of a product tie-in, I know) so the 'phone and the psion need to be lined up.

    The email application is great, it allows you to view your inbox and delete emails without downloading them, but the web browser is not too hot. Good enough for simple stuff, though.

  • You could use an EPOC PDA : they have good email and web browsing apps - but you'd need a data capable mobile phone to go with it..

    I'd go for either the Ericsson MC218 []


    The Psion revo []

    oh yeah, and there's more revo info here [].

    For the phone, something like a Nokia 7100 Series [] or 8200 Series [] would do.

    There's currently an HTML browser for the psion devices, with a WML one promised. The MC218 already has a WML browser.

    The Unfettered Mind: Takuan Sôhô - ISBN: 0-87011-851-X
    My contact details are here [].
  • AT&T Wireless PocketNet service ( []) offers free or flat-rate ($7/mo, $15/mo) wireless internet browsing - the free offer is a limited set of web sites with translation to phone formats, and the two non-free offers provide email, fax, and access to more kinds of Internet sites.
    data offers [];
    demo thing []

    CDPD is Cellular Digital Packet Data, which crams data packets around the TDMA digital cellphone space, giving 19.2kbps always-on IP data service. AT&T offers a flat-rate service for about $55/mo, and there are various other service providers that offer per-packet pricing.

    Metricom [] Ricochet radio modems are cool - depending on the model, they range from about 28kbps-equivalent to 128kbps performance for radio-based Internet access. They're mainly located in high-tech areas and big airports, but they've gotten recent investment from MCI, so they're starting to grow a lot. It's a microcell system with pole-top radio pods connected to the network either by radioing to each other to reach wired pods. I'm not sure about the new service - the older modems could switch cells easily at walking speed, but not very well at driving or train speed. Hang one on your laptop and you can work wherever you feel like, or at least stay connected when you head out for coffee, meetings, work in the park, etc.

  • The eLink service [] from Motient (formerly American Mobile) has impressed me so far. They use the RIM 850. Nice service. Decent coverage for our needs. The service does store and forward pages/messages so you don't lose info when you're out of a coverage zone. Motient also offers an "Agent" on your eLink account to pull mail from another POP/IMAP box on the internet and send it to the device. (If you reply to a message redirected this way, your From address is that of your POP/IMAP account.) The "Agent" provides flexible filters for what e-mail gets forwarded on to the unit, the polling period for POP/IMAP checks, etc. etc.
    Haven't used the other fellas, so I can't attest to their service. Like the RIM 850, though.
  • Something I've been wanting to try is my Palm III with a Ricochet (sp?) wireless modem. I know they work together (with a little serial adaptor).

    A Ricochet modem [] looks just like a regular modem to the computer. For internet access via ppp, you just have your dialer call a slightly odd looking number and voila, you're online.

    So, the issues you face in doing this with a palm is the serial port, the ppp dialer, and the e-mail/web/etc. client. Those may be easily solvable; I haven't looked into them.

    Another option is to use a terminal emulator on the Palm and use the Ricochet to dial into a system where you have a shell account. You can then use whatever e-mail/browser/etc. you want on that system. Note that this costs an extra $5/mo (to cover their costs for modems and outgoing lines) but can be well worth it [] in some situations.

  • My sentence there was incomplete; I meant to say " ... and there are attempts at least, which I have not well investigated yet) of organizer apps, though I can't imagine doing it with the tiny qwerty keyboard."

    that's all;)

  • For now, probably your best bet is to just make sure the content can format to a small screen and you're using the most basic HTML. Both WAP and Palm VII's Web Clipping can use proxy servers to convert regular HTML content into WAP/WC friendly content, and you're already covering the dozen or so "standard" browsers than run on PDA's and allow you to surf freely.
    The whole WAP protocol/corporate support is still very unstable and Web Clipping hasn't caught on outside of the Palm VII, so I think it's premature to commit to either one exclusively.
  • Before committing to a cell phone solution, make sure you get the full scoop on costs. I did a little research not too long ago about the cost of using a Nokia w/PacBell as a modem alternative to a Palm VII. The Palm VII was $40/mo flat free anywhere there's coverage in the US. For the same $40, assuming I'm not roaming, I figured out I'd get about 15 minutes of digital phone servce (not including any ISP fees). Roaming dropped that to 5mins.
  • Unlike the the RIM 950, Blackberry and palm 7 that use the 8kb Mobitex/RAM [] (BSWD) you can get a RIM 850 that uses the ARDIS [] (DataTAC) network. Altough the battery life isn't as good, the towers are in the center of the "cells" rather than the edges and its slower speed option (4.8kb or 19.2kb) and 25kHz vs 12.5kHz channel spacing gives it better in building coverage for any given tower. (but more towers do win and BSWD is building faster) But the main reasion you want it is because reads your IMAP folders directly and even stores messages you typed on the pager in your IMAP Sent folder!! none of that blackbarry M$-exchange redirectors. And an unlimited airtime plan..
  • Currently has a solution for that.

    Just a day ago I was doing a competitive analysis of our product and I had to go through many different wireless solutions.

  • I realize that this is going to illicit a strong response from the readers but here goes:
    Ever consider a WindowsCE product? I bought a Casio E100 [] 8 months ago and have feel it was the best purchase Ive ever made.
    When I saw my first PDA, I knew I had to have one, but recognizing how limited the hardware was, I resolved that I would resist my horrible 'first adopter' tendencies and wait for the 'next gen' products. When the E100 became available I thought it was sufficiently spec'd to be useful. 8/8 ROM/RAM, Industry Standard [] Compact Flash (none of this springboard stuff), Stereo Output (portable MP3), Excellent 65k colour TFT Screen (was showing StarWars Trailer on this guy 4 hours after release). It is still the best specs available in a PDA. I have a 96MB CF [](for MP3s), a 56k [] CF (bought @ less than $80 through a promotion), and an Ether [] CF (onto the network I go).
    I purchased a Nokia 56xx(forget exact model #) and use the adapter ($150!!!!) to dialup my ISP.

    No hassle internet - no 'services', or 'content products'

    This setup set me back a bit (600+80+600+150 $CDN(subsidized by the odd 'deal' and my employer))but I feel it is the only VIABLE portable/wireless computing solution available (presently).

    Sure its WinCE - but it really does perform its duty. The OS is not the only reason I bought the device. Please be objective about my decision to buy this setup - Im as much a lover of GNU/Linux and free(dom) software as you are, but what were my choices to match this performance?
  • You mention on WWN that this is coming "soon". I know the drawbacks of using this on a pager is that you cannot call to request info, but I would be more than happy with the ability to setup some sort of recurring info. Once an hour headlines from Slashdot, once a day weather, etc. What's the timeframe for this?
  • Datron Systems [] announced a while back that they were working on satellite-based net access for cars (sounds dangerous, no?).

    Tiger Electronics (maker of the Furby) is planning some cheap wireless communicators []. They only have a range of about 50-100 feet right now, so they only communicate with other devices in the area, but they have dial-up capability, so it is possible that you could rig one up as a bridge providing local wireless internet access a la Airport.


  • and according to a press release at RIM's site, the browser will be pre-installed on all pagers..
  • Or should I just wait for more WAP products and services to come out?? I r

    There is at least one product that I know of, called MAX, from Nokia (check it out here []

    A little snippet from the Nokia page:

    In addition to the portal, Nokia Artus MAX
    Platform offers an optional service, MAX
    Platform E-mail, that provides access to any
    IMAP4, POP3 or SMTP Internet e-mail host via
    a WAP supporting device.

    I think this answers your question.. maybe?

  • This is about your best bet for wireless email.. Motorola's Page Writer is nice, but it's flip top can be easily broken. RIM had a device out like this a few years ago... IT has 4.5 MB of flash, whereas the RIM 950 has 4 MB and the RIM 957 has 5 MB..

    Motorola's has 9 lines of display, the RIM 950 has 6 or 8 and the RIM 957 has 16 or 20.. (user selectable)

    Motorola's pagers s_comp.html

    RIM's pagers s.shtml

    Like said before, RIM's pagers are wireless devices that are also PDAs... No flip tops and no external antennas to be broken. No external add ons to carry around that will increase it's size..
    They are not bulky as refered to earlier.. The 957 is about the size of a Palm and the 950 is the the size of a regular playing card..

    Also as earlier, I don't see any reason to carry around a Palm also, because the RIM pagers are also date books, address books, has to do lists, everything the Palm has to offer besides the extra apps.. Palm has been around longer and is more widely used and therefore has a lot of extra apps.. But the SDK for RIM pagers is available..

    If you check out, they are soon releasing a WAP for the Palm and the RIM devices. I don't know when..
  • [] in the section "gadgets" lists several PocketMail devices. Pocketmail is a $10/mo unlimited service, you dial a 1-800 number, and set the acoustic-coupled modem going and it sends and recieves email. I looked at the JVC HC-E100 (catchy name... er... )

    The deal is, it's 9600 baud I think, email only... but with web-email gateways, you could do a lot... and the JVC device sells on ebay for around $50... definately a budgeted device anywhere in the states. International callers have to use a direct dial number, and will incur charges probably for that... anyway... neat devices to play.

    If you have your own web services, you could probably write up a bunch of scripts to email you data you need when you trigger the page with an email. That's what I do.

  • No no no, it's like "olah" or "absotoutely"...

    I can see that my wacky sense of humor interests you not. ;-)
  • A year ago I was looking or the same thing. Here in NYC, Omnipoint and AT&T didn't have a clue about wireless data, but Bell Atlantic Mobile had some sweet deals. I ended up buying a Sierra Wireless Aircard and a Mitsubishi Amity sub-notebook onto which I installed Mandrake (OK, I know it's not the form factor your interested in) and I now have 5 hours of wireless 640x480 web for a price of $25 per month and less than 2 lbs in my briefcase. I literally use it every day for email, web and ssh.

    The last time I was in the BAM shop, they had Palm divices, so there are definately options out there.

    Anomalous: inconsistent with or deviating from what is usual, normal, or expected
  • Sorry - Cost is approx:
    600 PDA
    80 56k
    600 96MB CF
    150 Ether
    + 250 Cell
    + 150 Modem/Cell Adapter
    + 20 Cell Service

    Pardon lack of clarity/completeness on previous post.
  • Well, here's my setup, which I'm extremely happy with:

    - Palm IIIx with OS3.3 upgrade for IR -> modem support
    - Nokia 8210 GSM cellphone, which is about Zippo lighter sized and has a built in modem and IR port
    - Qualcomm pdQSuite web browser for surfing.. works great, no proxies or proprietary services needed $44.95
    - MultiMail for email - supports SMTP, POP3 and IMAP4 (free with voluntary $10 registration fee)
    - PalmVNC for remote control of Win 9x, NT and several UNIX's
    - TopGun SSH when you just feel like you have to get shell access while you're sailing, in a train, subway, bus or rollerblading

    What more could I ask for?
  • The WAP is a commercial issue, it's all new: it's a new protocol, a new language, etc...
    Why aren't mobile-phone makers implementing a simple text-oriented web broswer on their phones (or on palm-tops)?
    The html could be used to describe pages and the http protocol could be used to look at those pages. It could even be possible to generate pages for the mobile users automatically from regular internet pages and not rewrite them.
    That would save everybody time and money. And mobile phone operators would only have to grant acess to the internet to their users.
  • I'm using a Startac with the Verizon service, which includes email, instant messaging, web browsing (which works pretty well) and paging. As long as the digital service stays up it's very quick and reliable. I live in Holland, MI (down the road from the /. guys) and some of the digital coverage north of here is sparse.
    I'd recommend the service to anyone as long as they can get digital service in their main calling area. It isn't that expensive either...I think I'm getting 200 minutes a month for $40.

  • > minimal Web surfing (stock quotes, weather,
    > traffic, movie showtimes, driving directions?).

    No need for a browser! I use my normal (CellOne SF) cell phone and one of the new "voice portals". I'm hooked on [], but there are others (e.g. TellMe [] ). A great thing about these is that I don't have to take my hands off the wheel (and my eyes off the road) to get the info while I'm in the car.

    > wireless email

    OK, until somebody does a good phone-based Text To Speech and voice recognition service, you're back to some other device.

    In addition to my CellOne service, I also have WAP through SprintPCS (currently $75 for 2000 minutes/mo). I got the TouchPoint phone which has a larger screen than my Nokia CellOne phone, and is very easy to use. It's my data phone. I also got the connector kit so I can use the phone as a wireless modem. This morning I was using Yahoo Messenger on my Palm III. Works fine.

    > Since it seems WAP is a ways off

    I disagree. While many web sites don't yet support WML, everything you are asking for is already in place. Visto [] and Yahoo! [] already support WAP very well, if you want to do email from there.

    One thing I have seen but haven't tried yet - let's say you are standing in the Good Fried Circuit store about to buy some new widget. You think to yourself, "is this a good deal? I should go home and surf the web for prices." Instead, while you're standing in the store, WAP into DealTime Mobile [] and do some comparison shopping.

    There are more interesting WAP services springing up all the time.

    Of course now I am travelling around with two cell phones (I like the CellOne service, I just wish they would add WAP), a Palm III and cables. But that's nothing compared to lugging around my laptop and the bulky ricochet modem, which I had to return because my house is outside their service area.
  • PalmIII works with Ricochet modem -- I use it with proxiweb and TG ssh. Ricochet also can work as a poor man's GPS -- the procedure is described at us/~abelits/map.php3 []
  • considering that the rim950 with service from bell south doesn't use any encryption, it doesn't really matter now, does it?

    seriously, i figured they would be using encryption but running a dsp and decoding it as plain old mobitex works fine. granted, you get all the other crud on the mobitex network but if you filter for the man # you want it shouldn't be an issue.

    and they said the same thing about mdt's. rember, bit scrambling is _not_ encryption, it's a data integrity mechanism... :)
  • what about use your little hotsync cable to provide internet connection without buy wireless services, isps.... and those shit, think this... you come to your office and plug your hotsync cable and voila! you're connected... i saw a lot of cassiopeias connected via it own syncbase but ... i never see a palm pilot do that.
  • the phone fits nicely in your pocket.

    Check your Sprint PCS store in the next month or so: they're supposed to begin offering a belt holster for this phone a la the StarTAC. I can't wait to get mine!

  • According to your message, you state that RIM uses the Bellsouth Wireless Data network and that the coverage is wonderful. Well guess what, the Palm VII uses the very same network and the coverage should be the same.
  • Why not try Tellme [] ? You can get all of that info and more simply by speaking, from any telephone, all for the cost of a toll-free call (Read: nothing). You don't even need to go out and buy a new wireless device, install any software, replace batteries, add another belt loop, etc. :-)
  • If I start using it more the unlimited service is only about $11/month.

    Perhaps there are differences between what you're using and what I'm using, but from Sprint's web site ( g.html []), I see

    Sprint PCS Wireless Web Option
    For $9.99 a month, you can add the Sprint PCS Wireless WebSM to your existing service plan of $29.99 or more. This Option lets you use your calling plan minutes for both clear calls and accessing the wireless internet, and you get 30 Sprint PCS Wireless Web updates included. Each additional minute of Sprint PCS Wireless Web access costs $0.25. Each additional update costs $0.10.

    I figure it's cheaper for me to pay the 39c per minute (I never go under on my minutes, but don't go over enough to bump up) rate instead of paying $10 for 30 minutes + 25c/minute after that.

    Are you really getting an "unlimited service is only about $11/month" through Sprint PCS?

  • I found some spiffy looking wireless lan products for those that don't need the longer distances. []

    slightly offtopic, but still kind of on the mark.

  • Hi, The RIM now has several web browsing options. Most include shttp, up to secure solutions using dedicated router/firewall solutions. Im working on a project involving 500 RIM's distributed to our sales force to allow them database access over our WML site. Go RIM!
    iPIX []
  • My company, Neomar [], offers a WAP browser [] that runs on the eLink. Call Motient [] to find out how to get it for the eLink. Press release. []
  • I've started toying with web browsing via email. My RIM 950, Ardis via Skytel (with an 800# for paging), has unlimited 2K email. The email is lame because: the from email address is the pager, it doesn't, through Skytel, access an Imap account, and the system doesn't support adding a signature at the gateway where it wouldn't take airtime characters.

    lynx -dump -width=60, for instance, gives you most of what you need to easily create a web display and process links. It cops out on forms so far and the output needs to be postprocessed to target zones of the page. All easily doable. Links could be requested by replying with the link number. Forms submitted with text after the quoted field lines or tagged.

    Email me if you want to help or be notified of progress and I'll create a list.

    I have the RIM dev kit, which is free, so it's possible some enhancement could be done that way.

  • When I used to live in SF, I had all these things you're talking about.
    Omnisky Minstrel 3 modem [], with GoAmerica coverage, Top Gun Postman [] for email (Set up a new POP account to mirror my email), and ProxiWeb [] as my web browser.

    Postman and ProxiWeb are free (as in beer).

    Stock quotes/Weather/traffic/movie showtimes all provided by Driving directions by Mapquest (they have palm pilot version of their page, although I forget the URL)

  • My Psion 5mx is running Opera 4 beta as I speak (HTML 4, DHTML, Java) and fast for a palmtop. Wireless is not built in to this unit (you have to connect through a data-capable cellphone using the IR port, or using the travel-modem option) but several Ericsson and Nokia phone producs are based on this OS (Epoc) and you will see some of these gadgets appear soon with Opera built-in (in fact, Psion has licensed Opera) not just from these companies but also Motorolla and Sony. Consider also that you will be carrying a cell-phone anyway, so it makes sense to base your connectivity off your cell-phone (in the case of the 5mx) or carry a web-integrated cell-phone.

    IMO, everything else is half-baked and under-powered. See Psion's website. []
  • The selection of phones is too confusing for me, but I've used the browser over a plain old modem, and I understand it works pretty well with a cell phone that does modem stuff.

    It's a nice idea; 640-pixel wide screen, fonts, zoom control for dealing with small fonts, email...
  • Stick with CDPD devices, sierra wireless modems (for laptops, linux), omnisky for palms, and AT&T pocketnet for phones.
    You wont go wrong with any of these devices.
    Personally, I run the AT&T Pocketnet servers. I see how these features are being used in businesses.
    Dispatch companies love WAP phones, Corporate types like the Wireless palms, and unix/network admins love the wireless modems.

    Biggest war right now is that everyone and their brother has a WAP phone, Content is the big key.
    Check out the content providers AT&T has, every major trading firm, infospace, disney, abcnews/espn, ebay, and the list goes on... fospace_preview.html []

    IMHO -IronWolve

  • There are many services that have daily "push" of information you request. To differentiate ourselves, WWN is focused more on "pull" where users request info. Regarding alpha-pager support, the idea is that people with analog cell phones but alpha-pagers could place the call from the phone and have the content delivered to the pager.

    That said, a combination of push and pull is under consideration. You might sign up for headlines once a day and be able to request on demand. No firm decisions or dates yet, but it's definitely under discussion.

  • one2one in the UK provides handheld email too. I pay 1ukp (about $1.50) per month for the ability to send and receive email via my Erikson pf768. Slap a mailto form on your web page, and et voila! Anyone can go to your web page, send a message, and a few seconds later it pops up on your mobile phone. Kind of real-life ICQ :-)


  • AT&T has had wireless data out for 3 years, Problem is they had the product, but didnt push it on consumers.
    BAM uses AT&T for roaming, AT&T has the larger network.

    Ive been disappointed on how such a good service as wireless data could be sold without any marketing..
    BTW, Not sure what the price is, but AT&T does have an unlimited CDPD package.


  • Here's one I love. Onebox ( will read you your email and faxes over the phone. Onebox is a free service that offers web-based email, fax receiving, and voicemail with a personal number. Pay $5 a month and get your own direct dial number and no advertisements anywhere. You can access your address book and folders over the phone. Heck, you can practically manage everything over the phone and never have to logon to the site. You can even reply to email, although you're limited to sending a voice message. Very, very functional if you ask me, and a lot cheaper.
  • Depending on the cell phone you have, and the service, you may be able to make data calls via your cell phone. Data cables are avalilable for Motorola Startacs (pretty much any startac), Motorola i500/1000/2000, and most Nokia's. Some have Palm data cables available. For others, just get the Palm travel kit, and make a cable to connect the travel kit's DB9 to the data cable's DB9 (email me if you want the data cable specs, I need to dig them up).

    I used to use a Nokia data cable, a palm V travel kit, and the abovementioned converter. I have since switched to a Motorola i1000, which has pre-made palm data cables available.

    The nice thing about using the palm instead of some device like the Blackberry is the flexibility. I have an SSH1 client, a pop3 reader, a web browser, and an IRC client on there. I even have a VNC client, though it's a major pain to use. However, VNC and SSH come in very useful in emergencies, when you absolutely, positively must get that server back up :)

    Also, if you have an analog phone, chances are you won't have to pay extra to make data calls. I have a GSM phone, so it's $15/mo for the data calls, and the minutes come out of the normal free minutes each month.
  • Once you've got something set up, check out for a fairly cool way of redirecting many of the messages. They have a WAP-enabled (HDML, too) site that lets you "log in" and handle your messages, or you can just receive SMS messages on most any phone in the world...
  • I have to vehmently agree with this. Morover, as others have probably noted, the RIM uses Mobitex like the Palm VII does. If you're not happy with Palm VII coverage, you're not going to like the Blackberry, either. I've got a Palm VII and love it. If I didn't have one, I'd likely have gotten a Blackberry; a good friend has one and is similarly pleased.
  • I also have a Nokia 6190 GSM phone and VoiceStream's DataStream service, but I use it with my HP Jornada 545 and the Sockets GSM Digital Phone Card. The entire suite is very nice since I'm able to get mail from my company's mail server and my home e-mail in two taps on the screen.

    I don't know if there's an equivalent of the DataSuite package for non-Win32 platforms, but someone could probably use the AT commands to figure out how to dial on the Nokia phone. I think VoiceStream or Nokia has a page with a link to the AT commands, but I don't have the URL handy.

    One thing I like about VoiceStream is that I can call any of my ISP's POPs within my home range (if the Portland POPs is misbehaving, I can connect to the Vancouver, Seattle or Salem POP without any L/D charges... woohoo!).

    With DSL at home and very fast Internet connection at work, the 9600bps wireless connection was a bit hard for me to get used to. Hey, as long as I get my e-mail and pull down driving directions on the go, I'm happy.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Metadot has release an interesting portal software that can push itself to cellphone, emails and pagers. Check it out at []
  • I think with the PocketNet plan, if you want to use a computer or handheld with the plan, you have to pay an additional monthly charge plus five cents per kilobyte. My friend has a brochure for PocketNet and it's hidden within the very fine print.

    There is also a limit on how many e-mails you can have in the inbox before they start deleting stored messages and send a bounceback message. I think the limit is 50, but I'm not sure. Anyone have the actual number?

    Personally, that's a bit spendy, but I guess it was never meant to be used with a PDA/computer.
  • For those who have GSM phones, they also have a GSM Digital Phone Card that works with the Nokia 5190 and the 6190. The card is a CompactFlash Type I card that doesn't drain too much battery power since the phone handles the DSP stuff.
  • AT&T has had wireless data out for 3 years

    I'm not surprised. But they must have not been educating their sales force on it becuase no one in the Manhattan store front that I visited last May knew a damn thing about it.

    Anomalous: inconsistent with or deviating from what is usual, normal, or expected
  • [disclaimer: I, also work at XYPoint - home of webwirelessnow]

    You want slashdot via wwn? I threw together a few infolinks at []
  • Why aren't mobile-phone makers implementing a simple text-oriented web broswer on their phones (or on palm-tops)?

    A big reason is that html is way overkill for a pocket phone. Modern browsers have gotten to the point where they are correcting html tag errors on the fly, handling various types of scripting languages, etc. The cost for a phone to be html 4.0 compatable would be probitive. XHTML is supposed to fix this, but it is not ready yet.

  • Here in the UK, we have WAP already, and despite the industry's best efforts to prove the contrary, it's damn boring

    When I got a DVD player it was damn boring too, after I had watched the only disc I owned. Then I got more movies.

    Wait for the content, and realize what WAP is supposed to do - it's a tool, not an entertainment medium. If you expect to go web surfing with a WAP device you might get bored, yes. Same goes for using Lynx.

  • I concur. I have a nextel i1000plus which has e-mail and web capabilities built in. I think the additional $25 is exorbitant. Also, does anyone know if the Nextel phones are truly WAP compliant. I don't think they are. If so I wouldn't recommend a Nextel to anyone. I know that the new Sprint PCS phones all support WAP from the $100 model all the way up. In addition, there are more manufacturers of Sprint phones which yields more features for the end user because of competition. Compare this with Nextel whose only manufacturor is basically Motorolla. Some of the features coming out on the Sprint phones look pretty cool. They already have voice recognition ones out there that work pretty well from what I have heard.
  • The whole WAP protocol/corporate support is still very unstable

    To keep it polite, you have some imagination! You only have to visit to disprove this statement. The WAP protocol is NOT unstable -go get the specs for yourself. Attend a bi-monthly WAP forum meeting and see representatives from ALL the vendors, including Symbian, Microsoft,, Ericsson, Nokia and others planning the next enhancements. Go ask all the big handset manufacturers whether they will ship WAP-enabled devices in 2000.

    I can understand why you think this - here in the USA the fragmented standards used for mobile device communications has slowed the adoption of WAP, but in Europe it's live, and it's big. You have a lot to learn about the state of WAP.

  • I've just started seeing SPRINT PCS ads offering a choice between three free options. The last one is "free wireless web". No further description.

Logic is a pretty flower that smells bad.