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Handhelds Hardware

Danger's HipTop Renamed and Released 156

FireMage writes "According to this press release from Danger, their cheap, cool, consumer targeted, cellphone/PDA "convergance device", the HipTop is now avalible nationwide as the T-Mobile SideKick, as in you should actually be able to buy one today. They've even revived one of their nifty-mysterious original flash splash pages to announce it. I'm all for clever hacks, but it's nice to finally see what seems to be a well thought out product in this arena. (The HipTop was first mentioned on Slashdot and again in a review .)" I have a review unit on my desk, and am super impressed. A larger impression piece will be coming out just as soon as I have time to write it.
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Danger's HipTop Renamed and Released

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  • Interesting that T-Mobile (was Voicestream) has dropped the Nokia 9290 for this product and the Pocket PC Phone Edition [t-mobile.com]. Too bad.

  • "Closed platform" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by henben ( 578800 )
    The Register said this was a "closed platform" - does this mean that you can't install whatever software you like on a HipTop?

    If so, that's very bad, because T-Mobile's WAP service (in the UK) is unusably poor, due to their badly thought out menu layouts. I wouldn't buy it if I couldn't configure it how I liked.

    • The Reg article lives here.

      "And open vs closed is something we'll hear more of, as the HipTop succeeds. Writing HipTop apps shouldn't be difficult, as they're pure Java. Rubin describes his role as providing a menu to carriers who can pick and choose which apps they include in the bundle."

      etc.
      • I guess I should've previewed before submitting.
        Here's the missing URL of the Reg article:

        http://www.theregus.com/content/54/26465.html
      • See, this is the only thing that's holding me back from really wanting one. I'd really want to write (or at least be able to add) an ssh client and maybe an ear-training program to this thing. If I'm dependent on the carriers to add that, I'll be waiting until hell freezes over, since they're congenital morons about small interest stuff.

        sigh.
  • by cmeans ( 81143 ) <cmeansNO@SPAMintfar.com> on Tuesday October 01, 2002 @11:36AM (#4367400) Homepage Journal
    I was initially impressed with this device, and I've been waiting for it for almost a year now.
    However, not having a touch screen I think hampers it immensly, and not being able to dial a number (one that's not already in your address book) without openning it and punching the number in using the keyboard is going to limit it.

    I know it's not being targetted to business types, but I think that it's the business types who can really make it popular.

    I'm hopful that the next version of this will have those issues taken care of.

    • True, true.

      I have to say, though ... I'm quite impressed with the feature set they managed to include for the money.

      The trick to making a $200 device is to include good, cool, cheap features that get the job done, and leave out expensive, nice, but not strictly necessary features.

      Yes, the phone's hard to dial (although you CAN dial without opening it, it just requires a lot of scrolling-and-clicking with the wheel). But probably 95% of my calls are made from the address book ANYWAY (for which the Sidekick has a very nice interface), so I'm not worried about it.

      And the features they left IN are excellent. The interface on the phone is quite good, the keyboard is easy to type on (i reached acceptable AIM speed after only a day of use), the web browser, aim, and email clients are very well designed, the ringtones are great, and the 24-bit-color scroll wheel is just plain cool. (not incredibly useful, but cool nontheless).

      What's more, the device FEELS solid. It's well weighted, the keys have a good responsive click, and the screen rotates cleanly. If you're at all intersted, I'd lay hands on one before you count it out completely. It's a really nice device.
      • If the economy wasn't as down as it is right now, I'd jump on it just so I could play with a new toy. On the whole I do like what I see, though I've not got my hands on one to really get a feel for it. Tried for the beta but didn't make it :(

        I'll wait and see how the SDK fleshes out, before I take a longer look at it...this way I can encourage my boss to buy one for development reasons. And keep my pocket money for other toys...

    • On the flip side, not having a touch screen makes it much sturdier. As such, it's designed to appeal to the teen generations, etc. that might treat it roughly.

      --bdj

  • by SplendidIsolatn ( 468434 ) <splendidisolatn@yahoo. c o m> on Tuesday October 01, 2002 @11:37AM (#4367410)
    As quoted from their rate plan site:

    - After 1st year, unlimited becomes 15MB/month, $3.50/additional MB.

    Coverage not available in all areas. Limited time offer and cannot be combined with any other promotions. Credit approval and 12 month service ageement required with $200 fee for early termination. Terms and condidtions include mandatory arbitration provision. Customer billing address must be within and offer valid only in the following T-Mobile (VS) markets: Denver, Colorado Springs, Las Cruces, Portland, Boise, Albequerque, Santa Fe, Chicago, Milwaukee, Atlanta, and all VS markets in the following states: Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Incoming and outgoing calls are rounded up and billed in full minute increments from the time the network begins to process the call (before the call rings or is answered) through its termination of the call. All allocated airtime minutes must be used in the month provided and do not carry over.


    In other words, after the first year, you are paying $3.50 a meg after 15 per month (that's 500K a day...)

    Not to mention you can't even get this thing unless you live in a certain area.

    I've been pining over this thing for months now, get the great news, happen to live in PA, and now I'm royally pissed off. Way to go...
    • >In other words, after the first year, you are paying $3.50 a meg after 15 per month (that's 500K a day...)

      That's hundreds of times better than RIM Blackberry service charges.

      Rogers charges $25/month for 70,000 characters of service per month in RIM's hometown. Even after converting that to American dollars, it's still an insane cost to send emails -- it works out more per email than the cost of sending snail mail there.

      I might be interested at rates like those for HipTop, though.
    • One reason why you can't actually get it yet is that IIRC it relies almost exclusively on GPRS for transmission by design, and those are the only markets that T-Mobile/VS have actually deployed GPRS wide-scale. If and when other markets (like San Francisco? Hello?) get GPRS, you should be able to get it there. Of course that was a risky move since when they got started GSM was barely around in the US, much less GPRS, but there you go.
    • In other words, after the first year, you are paying $3.50 a meg after 15 per month (that's 500K a day...)

      That would actually be a GOOD deal, here.

      Our GPRS carrier (in Montreal), Microcell Fido, has 3 plans [www.fido.ca]:
      1) $50 unlimited (the only reasonable plan)
      2) $25 for 2MB, then "only" $10/MB
      3) $0.03/KB ($30.72 per MB)

      30 bucks a meg? heh.. RIIIIGHT.

      S
  • yeah... (Score:1, Funny)

    but can you use it to frag your buddies in UT while on you're driving to work?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 01, 2002 @11:43AM (#4367451)
    available to everyone around the clock, how come no one has a FUCKING CLUE how to spell?

    "convergance"? I mean FUCK, that can't even be PRONOUNCED properly.

    All this memory, all this processing power, no one has a fucking iSpell somewhere? Preferably something that gives electric shocks whenever vowels are substituted (flexable, rediculous, definately, etc ad nausem), and a siren goes off when you substitute consonants.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Ahem, that would be "ad nauseam".
    • No one has a clue because English has illogical rules and is inconsistent. A simple demo: read, is it "reed" or "red" you don't know unless it's in a context. Great language, my 5 and 7 years olds are learning to read (or is it "red"), and it pains me to explain to them that this word or that word can't by sounded out phonetically, you just have to memorize it. Any intelligent person will spell things wrong because that's how they sound. Unless you have a great memory or an on-line spell checker forget it. Although I do believe the lead (or is it "led") posts should should be spell checked just so the site appears a little more professional. Please ignore any spelling mistakes, I have a brain, while english does not.
      • No argument here.

        English is the bastard son of all languages, which is what makes it the lazy language for everyone to use (since it borrows from so many other languages), but a pain in the ass to learn. Exceptions up the ying yang. Korea apparently has the lowest illiteracy rate in the world, and apparently their written language is so synonymous with the spoken language that once you learn to read, apparently you will never mispronounce or misinterpret a written word .. even if you've never seen it before. I vote we all learn Korean (if only cause Korean chicks are hot!)

        I feel sorry for these spelling nazis. It's sort of pitiful that they often get so worked up by small spelling mistakes that they commit a few errors themselves in their little diatribes.

        Anyhow, the idiots arn't the ones that can't spell .. they're the ones that don't punctuate. ;)
      • Any intelligent person will spell things wrong because that's how they sound.

        Did that excuse work on your teachers in grade school?

        I think you meant to say any idiot will spell things wrong because that's how they sound.
    • (flexable, rediculous, definately, etc ad nausem)

      Don't you mean "ad nauseam"?

      *ducks*

    • Preferably something that gives electric shocks whenever vowels are substituted (flexable, rediculous, definately, etc ad nausem)

      I love it when someone bitches about spelling, and then spells a word wrong in the diatribe.

      It's ad nauseum, but you probably already knew that?
    • Well, substituting vowels isn't a big problem regarding understandability. To say it with Steven Pinker [mit.edu]: YXX CXN RXXD WXRDS WXTHXXT VXWXELS.
    • Anonymous Coward, you are my new hero!
  • More linkage (Score:5, Informative)

    by slothdog ( 3329 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [godhtols]> on Tuesday October 01, 2002 @11:48AM (#4367478) Homepage
    More info, including reports of people getting activated and having trouble getting activated, can be read at the DangerInfo Forums [dangerinfo.com].
  • by plover ( 150551 ) on Tuesday October 01, 2002 @11:48AM (#4367482) Homepage Journal
    For years, first as a Palm owner then as a Visor owner, I wanted a combination device so I wouldn't have to carry two different things on me.

    Then I got to trying some of the available combo devices, such as the QualComm PDQ, the VisorPhone and the Kyocera. None were good enough at both tasks for me to ever want to use one again.

    The screens are way too small on the dedicated phones. The PDQ was a great innovator, and a damn fine doorstop. The bolt-on radio made the Visor too big and heavy to fit comfortably in a pocket, and the speaking position is surprisingly clumsy. The Kyocera is just a very large phone with a very tiny PDA.

    I've finally come to recognize that they are two different devices used for different purposes that have an occasional need for convergence. Any hardware combination is going to be a compromise that makes the usability of both suffer. I think the best answer now is going to be bluetooth communications between two separate devices. Bluetooth will also come in handy with future consumer controls (think TV remotes that don't rely on an under powered IR or a cordless phone base that talks to your cell phone's earpiece, etc.,) so it has the potential to be used much more widely than just pocket to earpiece communicatons.

    Let's just say that the news of this device is two years late and mostly underwhelming.

    • Having gone the same route I have to agree. So, to resolve the problem I went and got a SonyEricsson T-Mobile T-68 with bluetooth and use the bluetooth to connect to my iPAQ. Now I can check mail, check news, send instant messages (wish Trillian had a PocketPC version) and get the info I need. I even went and got a Belkin bluetooth adapter for my laptop and use it with the T68 when I am on the road.

      The best part of having the two separate items is that when I need only one, I carry only one. There are a lot of cases where I want my phone, but dont need the blulky Palm/PocketPC. And there are even more cases where I want to be "unavailable" but need my PocketPC.

      Despite all the talk about convergence, I have to say it is nice to have two devices- especially when the battery dies in one!

    • by SirSlud ( 67381 ) on Tuesday October 01, 2002 @12:10PM (#4367609) Homepage
      One word: modules!

      Until we have some sort of physical module standard, we'll never get to have all the best-of-breed things in one device.

      But I imagine a time where you buy a 'display' platform - a screen and some input mechanisms (keyboard, speaker, mic). Then, you plug in the GSM-on-a-card, or the organizer-on-a-card, or the .. well, you get the idea.

      There's no reason why there couldn't be one physical device if the tech industry could get it into their head that physical interoperability is going to be just as important in the future as software interoperability as consumers demand that they don't have to carry around 5 physical devices to get the best implementations of the various devices you list.

      I think if you seperate the passive technologies (the screen, the inputs, outputs, storage), you could easily have these manufacturers competate for best-of-breed implementations without the consumer having to carry around X number of seperate devices ..

      Or maybe this gets even easier, as you say, with bluetooth. You keep all the functionality in your bag or pocket in the from of bluetooth enabled modules that speak to the central display and I/O device.

      That way the market diferentiates between your interface layer (the physical device you view and provide input to), and the tasks it can accomplish, and consumers arn't left compromising functionality for the interface, or the interface for the functionality.
      • "Or maybe this gets even easier, as you say, with bluetooth"

        Exactly. Bluetooth is "cable replacement". The point of bluetooth is that it is your hardware interconnect standard.

        You can buy bluetooth earpieces, for example.

        Bryan
      • Of course the real fun begins when two people get close enough for their bluetooth enabled modules to talk to each other's central displays & I/O devices.
        It would be fun to send "I love you" notes from someone else's equipoment because of mere proximity.
        Talk about confusion. The other user would be wondering how all that propagnda got inserted into their *nix sysadmin cover letter .
    • All that I can really see a combo device being useful for is the shared address/phone book and not having to carry two things around. The first could be solved with a standard for the storage of the address/phone information and simple communications protocols, whether bluetooth or firewire, it doesn't really matter, as long as you could synch the information reliably (and in a non-destructive manner).

      Then again, people look at me strange because I don't have a cell phone or a pager, so maybe I'm underestimating the usefulness of combining devices that I don't have.
      • The biggest problem I see (so far) is that you can't use both at the same time. Say someone calls you and asks if you have a number for so-and-so.. because hey, you're the one with the PDA, so you have all the info.. but you gotta move the phone away from your head to look up the number (or on some, the phone is actually an APPLICATION on the pda, so that it hangs up if you switch to the address book.. this only applies to PalmOS devices, though).. so you can't read the number to them easily.. a device intended to be convenient becomes less convenient.

        Not only can you not read off numbers, but you can't enter in the info they're telling you, write down the appointment you're making, etc. You gotta carry around a notepad and a pen to do that, and that defeats the whole point.
        • >Not only can you not read off numbers, but you can't enter in the info they're telling you, write down the appointment you're making, etc. You gotta carry around a notepad and a pen to do that, and that defeats the whole point. er, no. i'm using a treo and i can do anything else while speaking. (ie.. while having a conversation i switch out to take memos, check spreadsheets, play games, etc. works great.)
      • Ah, let me let you in on the secret of 'leet Gadgetism.

        I have a Kyocera Smartphone. It's a Palm device / digital cellphone combo. It does nice things like keeping your address book in one place, along with your schedule, and whatever else you happen to have in the 8 meg of memory.

        The real advantage of this device, aside from the convenience, is 'leet Gadgeteer Points.

        Some smarmy exec puffs out his chest in a meeting because he has a tiny, slick cell phone, and you can show that your phone, while bigger, contains a PalmOS device.

        Some other marketroid shows off her wireless Palm device, and you demonstrate you can make phone calls on yours.

        Some geek shows you that he can do email via his Blackberry, and you show him that you can ssh into his server from yours.

        Some cute thing shows off that she can play silly games on her Nokia, you get her addicted to Jewelbox or something (with graphics!) on your phone.

        You get into a debate about whether or not Balrogs have wings with a LoTR fan, and you can bring up the eText on your device in real time to bolster your argument.

        Now, if you're a secure person, and don't need the ego strokes, you'll find that either it's a useful device because it keeps all your information together with your phone, or it's just another extraneous gadget to clutter your life, depending upon your personality.
    • But at some point in time, convergance devices become "good enough" and the benefit of carrying one device outweighs the negative.

      Myself, I've got a Treo and I love it. It fits in my pocket (my old Visor didn't, and my old phone was uncomfortable there). Sure, there's things I don't like about it, but it's a heck of a lot better than carrying two gadgets around.

      Let's face it, Palm's and phones are mature technologies. The biggest differentiator between two different non-wireless Palms or two different GSM phones is LOOKS. Other differences are minor.

      Even if Bluetooth delivered on it's promise, I'd still be using a Treo, because I'd be only carrying around one gadget rather than two.

      Bryan
      • Oh, absolutely, convergent devices are the right answer for the right user. I guess I wasn't clear in explaining that it's my personal usage and my personal judgement that finds single devices are too awkward.

        Anyway, the Treo's screen is still substantially smaller than my Visor's. If I'm using a handheld, I want as much screen as I can get for no more than about 5.5 oz. I like the Unix idea of one thing doing one job well: a phone for communicating and a PDA for PDAing, and if one needs the other then they establish a pipe between them. With Bluetooth (or at least the promise of Bluetooth) the handheld will be able to use the phone in my pocket without my having to touch that other device. And with the Bluetooth headset, I may never have to handle the phone ever. It'll just be a communications base-camp hanging from my belt, which I think would be the ideal peripheral. It'd even get those nasty 926MHz waves away from my cranium :-)

  • by wishus ( 174405 )
    Is there an SDK for it? I looked but couldn't find anything. You would think they would take a lesson from Palm and encourage 3rd party applications.
    • There will be eventually, but Danger isn't saying exactly when or what the licensing details will be. From their FAQ [danger.com]:

      Danger's objective is to make the hiptop application platform open to all developers. At this time, we are working with select developers on an individual basis. We intend to launch our formal developer program in early 2003. If you're interested in becoming a developer for Danger, please email us: developer@danger.com.
    • There probably is an SDK, but us lowly users can't get our hands on it. In the cell phone universe, the carrier only lets you run apps written by their "strategic partners".

      Also, if you could write apps then you might use more bandwidth than T-Mobile has budgeted for, putting them in the same pinch that P2P file sharing put the broadband ISPs in.

      Option value is good and end-to-end is good; maybe someday the service providers will even figure it out.
    • Q. What Operating System does the hiptop device use? A. Danger has developed its own virtual machine operating environment. Applications written for the hiptop platform can be developed using industry standard development tools such as Metrowerks CodeWarrior-J(TM) and Microsoft Visual J++(TM), (???) and then automatically converted to execute in Danger's lightweight and optimized environment.

      Geez, I hope there is something a bit more current and available than J++.
      • Geez, I hope there is something a bit more current and available than J++

        Yeah, no joke. Why not just go for J2ME. It's not like it's brand new or anything... Then people could develop for it in a text editor, instead of having to purchase an IDE. You can bet I'm not going to buy a HipTop if I have to buy an IDE to develop for it.
  • As I'm sure anyone else who's dealt with the "standard" Java API on mobile phones call attest, I hope this one follows the MIDP a bit closer than... well... all the others. This has been a nightmare for me - unless you have the emulators/hardware to test every single new phone, there's no way you can guarauntee anything about the Java implementation. The Seimens M50 resizes all image canvases to fit the screen (so, scrolling is "problematic"), the Nokia 3410 has a clipping bug, plus can't create image canvases over 255x255 pixels. The list is endless, and not helped by the various proprietory extensions that are practically mandatory if you wish to get anything done.

    Phone makes trying to grab the market by twisting a standard into something non-standard? Hmm, sounds like some other [microsoft.com] company...
  • Are there any plans for Bluetooth or SyncML support in future Danger products? I would really love to use something like this with iSync [apple.com].
  • One thing which is interesting is that T-Mobile has an address [t-mobile.ca] in Canada, even it does redirect to their USA web site. Maybe they have plans for north of the Border? Or maybe they just bought up the address just in case.

    It would be nice to be able to buy their phone for use up here.
  • Does anyone know if it can do IMAP in the email client?

    Also, I'm a java programmer and I've read some asides in articles that say that although it's has a JVM, you can't install programs directly on the phone, is that true?

    Thanks.
    • It does not do IMAP, I'm afraid -- just POP3.

      From early reports, the POP3 checks every 15 minutes or so, while the @tmobile.com address pretty much beeps your phone as soon as the email arrives. I'm just going to set my accounts to forward to @tmobile.com and be done with it.

      Maybe in the next version.... ;)
  • by Brento ( 26177 ) <brento AT brentozar DOT com> on Tuesday October 01, 2002 @12:38PM (#4367790) Homepage
    I've been a T-Mobile customer for more than a year. I subscribed to the MobileStar mobile internet service back before T-Mobile bought them. I'm a gadget freak, and I telecommute full time. I'm the perfect target for this device.

    I spoke to my local Houston T-Mobile sales office last week and again yesterday, dying to get my hands on one. They said they had 'em, but couldn't sell 'em to me until Oct 1. Fine, no problem. I showed up this morning at 9am to meet them when they opened the front doors, concerned that I wouldn't be the first in line to grab one. Turns out T-Mobile didn't even have them anywhere in Houston.

    I ran over to the Galleria CompUSA, where I'd already seen the boxes, and asked to buy one. Sure, they said, but it's $450. I explained to the clerk that that was the price without activation, and that it was $250 with activation. They had to call two different reps to figure out I was right - but the T-Mobile reps actually told the clerks not to sell the devices because the service wasn't ready.

    I then had to call the local T-Mobile store, get them on the phone with CompUSA (all over my Verizon cell phone) and get them to agree that yes, they could sell it to me, yes, the service was active. But CompUSA still wouldn't lower the price from $450. Even worse, they couldn't activate it at the store - I had to hoof it back over to T-Mobile again.

    At that point, I walked out of the store, went over to Verizon, and renewed my existing contract for another two years. I want to make sure I don't tempt myself and try that messy service again.
    • Yeah ... that kind of sucks. I wouldn't get too angry, though ... that kind of craziness accompanies just about every product launch. If you walked into a store next week, they'd probably have their act together.

      I actually got my hands on one last week in Atlanta -- the T-Mobile reps were very courteous and even tried (and failed) to activate it for me before the launch. In the end, they let me out of the store with the Sidekick, but it won't be "turned on" until this afternoon.

      Plug for those in Atlanta -- the T-Mobile store in Peachtree Center is good people. Ask for Monique. :)
  • pretty slick (Score:3, Interesting)

    by grue23 ( 158136 ) on Tuesday October 01, 2002 @01:06PM (#4367963)
    i had to chance to play with one of these a couple months ago; i have a friend that works for danger and they've all had prototypes for a while now. the UI is extremely well thought out and easy to use - there's a little scrollwheel that lets you flip between menus more easily than most cellphone type things i've used. it's also fairly compact, lightweight, and cheap, compared with similar convergence devices.

    the version my friend had also had a telnet client on it! he's since told me that won't be available with the release and may not ever be available for the actual product.
  • But I have some questions

    From who? What service can I get? Where can I get coverage? Why something? When can I get it?
    • From who? What service can I get? Where can I get coverage? Why something? When can I get it?

      You can get the Sidekick from T-Mobile [t-mobile.com] today.

      For information on the service, coverage, and where to get it, see their website [t-mobile.com].
  • Have you seen the dimensions? It's 4.5" x 2.6" x 1.1"


    Over and inch thick?! You're better with a Kyocera SmartPhone or a VisorPhone or a Treo Communicator for size!

  • ...tha this, and only this, is what I'll buy a new device for:

    -PalmOS
    -integrated mobile phone (fromfactor: any old palm III or V with the speaking/ers part on the back->this means on the other side of the screen so I don't mess up the screen with my stubble)
    -colour, highres screen
    -removable storage
    -wifi or bluetooth

    And that's it...I already have a good phone (nokia 7110) and my current PDA (IIIc) suffice for everyday life. Only if my demands are met will I upgrade. I couldn't care less about an integrated mp3 player or removable storage on its own, especially if that means I don't get my phone/pda.
    • PalmOS is a horrible interface for a Smartphone, it doesn't have support for the kind of multitasking needed to run IM, email checks, etc. in background. Without that, what is the point?
    • Not sure exactly what you mean with your form factor comment, but other than that, the Kyocera 7135 sounds like what you want. WiFi/bluetooth via SDIO.
  • by TheKodiak ( 79167 ) on Tuesday October 01, 2002 @01:24PM (#4368101) Homepage
    I checked the website - by the time I had put together my order, I was up to $284, plus a $35 activation fee, and a $50 mail-in-rebate.

    Decided I couldn't wait to get my hands on it, went to a local store - walked out for $216 (with tax) and a $25 activation fee.

    Part of the difference was I didn't get the headset (since it comes with an earbud, which is all I really wanted anyway) and I didn't get the AC adapter ($20, they didn't have it in yet). But I also didn't have to deal with the mail-in-rebate hassle.

    Down side is they don't have the plan in the PoS, yet, so they have to call it in manually... But it'll probably still be activated before I would have gotten it shipped to me.
  • by jht ( 5006 ) on Tuesday October 01, 2002 @01:37PM (#4368195) Homepage Journal
    Okay - I haven't seen a real one yet, but it's reasonably small. It comes with an OK voice plan, and a very good data plan. The built-in applications are pretty slick-looking, and it can handle e-mail attachments. Battery life is allegedly decent. The screen appears to be pretty nice.

    Not to mention I'm a gadget freak. I have a Palm Vx, a Zaurus, an old Newton MessagePad 2100 (got it used for cheap about a month ago), a couple of Macs, and a bunch o' PC's. I have an iPaq 3700 series that I got last year, and I use a Blackberry for work. I've got a nice little cellphone (A Moto T193), and I used to use OmniSky with my Palm when the service first started up, though I've since ditched it.

    I ought to be the perfect target market for a gizmo like this.

    But I don't want it. Here's why.

    First off, there doesn't appear to be any real mechanism for extending it with more apps so far. Give me SSH, even, and I could get some good business use out of it.

    Then, the phone functionality seems awkward. There's no way to dial with the screen closed.

    Finally, the service plan they're offering is only a teaser. I want all-you-can-eat wireless data, even if it costs a little more to get it. Per-MB pricing sucks, since you don't have great control over how much data a given website will transfer, for instance. Data can't be metered by the end-user that effectively, especially on a mobile platform.

    The biggest reason I won't get it, though, is that my wife would have me sleeping on the patio for the entire year of unlimited data! Not worth it at all...
    • "Then, the phone functionality seems awkward. There's no way to dial with the screen closed."

      That is incorrect.

      You can use the wheel to dial (not so bad if you're used to using a wheel) a number that's not in your recent history or speed dial, or use the wheel to select one of those numbers.
  • ... from a friend of mine who works at Danger:

    --snip--
    Actually, I'm at the palo alto tmobile store now cheering on customers waiting in line!

    Cool that we're on slashdot. I'll have to check it out on my hiptop.
    --snip--
  • this is weak... i get 50-75 emails per day... i'm sticking with my Blackberry.
  • This device is unutterably Cool. I played with a working prototype more than a year ago. I'll buy one when it plays nice with others.

    Right now, once you put data in, there's no easy way to get it back out. The OS is proprietary and there are no Palm or PC conduits to sync data with your favorite PIM.

    Without synchronization, you might as well go back to pen and paper. Your traveling address book will never match your home book either way.

  • Can't say that this thing excites me at all. But I'm probably not the market they want: I don't have, or want, a cell phone, and after 10-months of trying to find a use for my Palm M100, it now sits, forgotten, in my sock drawer.
  • by BovineOne ( 119507 ) <.ten.detubirtsid. .ta. .enivob.> on Tuesday October 01, 2002 @02:27PM (#4368579) Homepage Journal
    Check out Danger Info's unofficial forums [dangerinfo.com] or their main page [dangerinfo.com]. Note that they are not officially affiliated with Danger Inc.

    Another unofficial website that says up to date with Danger info is at hiptop411.com [hiptop411.com]
  • I'm typing this message on it.

    Already I like it better than the Sharp Zaurus. The keyboard is bigger and easier to use. An autocorrect feature capitalizes the first word of a sentance which already makes it easier to use.

    The internet connection is much faster than my CDPD account and it looks like it's going to be very usable for email and occasional web use.

    Oh and it's a phone, too.
  • T-Mobile imposes several limitations when you activate the Sidekick plan. In particular, they do something mysterious to your account that makes GPRS data non-functional if you use the SIM card in other data devices (like the Handspring Treo). I got this firsthand from a T-Mobile rep, and it's confirmed here [treocentral.com]. I use several phones, including a GPRS-updated Treo 180, and switch among them to suit my needs, so this puts a damper on my enthusiasm... as do the limited voice minutes in the plan.
  • I want a PDA, with cell phone capability, solely though a handsfree headset. I don't want to have to hold my laptop up to my head to make a call, and I don't want to have to compromise any functionality from my pda so that it can be a phone too.
  • Do search on ebay for "sidekick creed" current bid looks to be arounf $800.

    Shameless paste from ebay site:

    T-Mobile Sidekick & T-Mobile Rocks the Rock

    Can you walk the walk and talk the talk? Well, how about this...T-Mobile and Danger, Inc. want to know if you and your sidekick can Rock the Rock!

    T-Mobile Rocks the Rock with an historic concert event on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, California to celebrate the nationwide "break out" of T-Mobile wireless service across the U.S.

    Winners of this auction Get More from T-Mobile with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear special musical guest Creed as T-Mobile Rocks the Rock. Only 1,500 people will go to T-Mobile Rocks the Rock, being held October 10 on Alcatraz Island.

    The winner of this auction will receive the following:

    Be one of the first to own a T-Mobile Sidekick--autographed by internationally renowned actress and T-Mobile Global Spokeswoman, Catherine Zeta Jones.
    One year of free mobile service for the T-Mobile Sidekick
    Two tickets to the T-Mobile Rocks the Rock event, held on Alcatraz, October 10th, 2002
    Round trip airfare for you and your sidekick (U.S. only)
    One night stay in San Francisco
    Introducing the T-Mobile Sidekick

    It's your wireless everything

    As in, everything you need for communication, information, and entertainment. Web browser, mobile snapshots, AOL® Instant Messenger(TM) Service, e-mail, full featured mobile phone, games, calendar, address, and more!

    The Golden Gate National Parks Association

    All proceeds of this auction will go to the Golden Gate National Parks Association. The Golden Gate National Parks Association is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to the preservation and public enjoyment of the Golden Gate National Parks, including Alcatraz Island.

  • The prochure and the website says its just "GSM". Like, i dont know how things are in US with gsm networks but as far as i know, GSM network can operate on atleast 3 different bands which are 900, 1800 and 1900.

    For the hell of it, i might even try to purchase one but before that i need to know on which band it works.

  • I want contact list, exportable and importable in any which way intelligently, a calendar with alerts, and that's about it. I don't need apps like SSH and IMAP and crap. If I can make calls that sound good, look up contacts, call people and get alerts for calendar events, that's enough. And enough memory so I don't have to delete old events to add new ones!
  • There have been plenty of other convergence devices released in the past (Handspring Treo, Kyocera 6035).

    How is this one special? It's got a proprietary OS (no installing your favorite PalmOS apps), and from the pictures I've seen on the DangerInfo forum, its form factor is horrible. Yet another "PDA first, then phone" like the Samsung I300.

    The market has shown that only "Phone first, then PDA" devices succeed as convergence devices, and usually only Palm-based units. (A few Nokias being the exception.)

    HipTop - DOA. Good luck taking on the Kyocera 7135, due out in a month or two.
  • this [slashdot.org] article on slashdot 8 months ago mentioned that Danger devices would incorporate GPS. I look on their site, and no mention of GPS whatsoever. What gives? I'm kind of dissapointed; I thought I would finally have the problem of "where in the hell did I park my car at the mega-mall" licked.
  • From what I gather, it was renamed from "Danger's Hiptop" to "T-Mobile Sidekick."

    I propose the best of both worlds, and say they should name it "Danger's Sidekick" . That should boost their sales by 15% on name alone.
  • I just finished playing with mine and so far it feels like great device. Be forewarned this will not play well with anyone who is into open formats. Everything is proprietary and email, calender data, etc is mirrored on their servers not on your PC. There is no sync to Outlook, Notes, etc options (yet? theres a USB cable for restores and future applications).

    The interface is very, very nice. Embedded people take note - this is how its done. Web surfing is the disaster you'd expect it to be. Think Lynx with grayscale jpgs. AIM works very nicely on here. My free camera is defective, all I'm getting is black. The email client is nice, but I still haven't figured out how often it will check external POP email boxes. Someone estimated 15 minutes or so and that's really unacceptable. The tmail.com account check is dynamic, so I'll probably just forward mail there and be done with it.

    Phone works fine. I don't get the complaints about talking with the screen extended. The screen hides behind your hand so it more or less looks like you're holding a normal phone (not to mention all cell phones look silly anyway) at least to us lefties.

    Everyone is getting speaker pops/shorts. Not cool. How did these get off the production line like this?

    I'm sure a firmware upgrade or two will fix the initial problems us early adopters are getting. There's so much room for potential here, its going to be interesting to see where this goes. I'm stuck with it for 12 months. Here's to a ssh client or PDA like synching.

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