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Culture

Handspring speeds up Treo software

The company releases an upgrade for its handheld devices in Europe and Asia that will speed up services such as e-mail and Web access.

Handspring has released a software upgrade for its Treo handheld devices in Europe and Asia that will speed up services such as e-mail and Web access, the company said Tuesday.

The upgrade, available as a download from a Handspring Web site, lets consumers use GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) on its Treo 180 and 270 models.

The Treo, a combination cell phone and personal organizer, had previously been using GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) to transfer data. GPRS is faster than GSM, does not require a dial-up modem and allows for an always-on Internet connection, Handspring said. The company has been promising the GPRS upgrade for some time.

Handspring said the upgrade also lets people look up phone numbers and dial them more quickly and adds a mute button to the phone application. In addition, it enhances the navigation between voice and data functions, allowing people to send voice calls to voicemail when they are sending or receiving data, for instance.

The new service is expected to be available in the United States in a few weeks, the company said. Handspring began offering the upgrade to Canadian users last month through a deal with Rogers AT&T.