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Palm smartphone companion mobile computing device – Foleo
Palm Foleo

Palm hired Igor to name a breakthrough new top-secret product, the flagship of an entirely new fourth category of products for the company. This was to be an ultraportable mobile computing platform running Linux with special hooks built in to work seamlessly with the Palm OS, the Treo family of smartphones, and smartphones made by other manufacturers.

Crucial to the naming process was Palm's mandate that the name convey the concepts of "portability" and "book" (without saying "notebook"), and have a close connection to the Treo. Igor delivered, and on May 30, 2007, Palm publicly announced the Foleo:

The Foleo mobile companion has a large screen and full-size keyboard with which to view and edit email and office documents residing on a smartphone. Edits made on Foleo automatically are reflected on its paired smartphone and vice versa. Foleo and its paired smartphone stay synchronized throughout the day or at the touch of a button. This powerful combination is for productivity-minded business people who want a more complete mobile solution for email, attachments and access to the web.

Palm Foleo mobile companion

The Foleo mobile companion turns on and off instantly and features fast navigation, a compact and elegant design, and a battery that lasts up to 5 hours of use. Its applications include email, full-screen web browser, and editors or viewers for common business documents such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF files. The Foleo stays synchronized via Bluetooth® wireless technology and uses the smartphone's radio or the Foleo's built-in Wi-Fi radio for general Internet connectivity.

"Foleo is the most exciting product I have ever worked on," said Jeff Hawkins, founder of Palm, Inc. and the visionary behind the Foleo's concept and definition. "Smartphones will be the most prevalent personal computers on the planet, ultimately able to do everything that desktop computers can do. However, there are times when people need a large screen and full-size keyboard. As smartphones get smaller, this need increases. The Foleo completes the picture, creating a mobile-computing system that sets a new standard in simplicity."

...Skyrocketing use of mobile email creates demand for a new way of mobile computing. By the end of 2007, an estimated 24.2 million wireless email accounts will be in use worldwide, and by 2010 wireless email accounts will soar to 199 million. The rapid growth of smartphone sales, the faster speeds of wireless networks, and the increasing digitization of content make this the right time for the introduction of Palm's first mobile companion product.

Although designed primarily as a companion to a mobile phone, Foleo is a powerful computer on its own. Its Linux-based operating system and built-in Wi-Fi radio make it easy for developers to create new applications that can be installed with a single click in the browser. The Foleo has a USB port, video-out port, headphone jack, and slots for SD and compact flash cards for memory expansion. This combination of capabilities in a low-cost design is new in the industry. Palm has opened its design and is actively supporting third-party software developers.

Primary Capabilities and Attributes of the Foleo Mobile Companion

  • One-button access to full-screen email
  • Instant on, instant off
  • Rapid access to various applications
  • 10-inch screen and full-size keyboard
  • Web search and browsing via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi
  • Editors for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, plus a PDF viewer
  • Compact, stylish design that fits on an airline tray table
  • Lightweight at 2.5 pounds
  • Fast, simple and intuitive navigation
  • 5-hour battery life
  • Linux OS for easy application development

Altering the spelling of "folio" – a book or manuscript consisting of sheets of paper folded in the middle to make two leaves or four pages – to match that of Treo, the name Foleo works well on several levels.

Check it out: http://www.palm.com/us/products/mobilecompanion/foleo/