The guy who developed the Sidekick in the early 2000’s is apparently leading the team that’s developing a new Google phone. Makes me cautiously optimistic that this gPhone will have a built-in keyboard, instant messaging, and a whole slew of Google mobile applications pre-installed. Plus, judging from how Google has been, and much like the Sidekick, the gPhone will be open to third-party applications that users can browse and then download onto the gPhone.

I can’t wait.

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iptty.com screenI’ve heard several people ask how they can use their smartphone / pager to have a conversation with a TTY user. Thanks to a tip from commenter Jon, I came across iptty.com, a website that’s customized especially for the Palm Treo’s Blazer (web browser) application. Commenter Jon said that iptty.com also works with Windows Mobile smartphones’ web browsers, although probably not as well.  I wonder too if this also works with Blackberries and Sidekicks.

Using my trusty (but becoming ancient) Palm Treo 650’s web browser, I navigated to iptty.com, and was given two choices: to make a free relay call (via Hamilton Relay), or to make a free TTY call. The first choice would connect you to a Hamilton Relay agent, and while slow, this method works pretty well. Nice to have this option in case your instant messaging application isn’t connecting for whatever reason.

iptty.com tty pageThe second option (making a TTY call) is even nicer, because ever since Wyndtells went out of fashion, I hadn’t heard of any other way I could use my pager to communicate with a TTY user. I should note that this TTY option can also be done via your computer’s web browser as well.

This service is run by Lormar Logic, which also provides several other free deaf- and mobile-oriented services: using a TTY to communicate with AIM users, and using a TTY to send text messages or emails to a cell phone or pager. Lormar Logic also provides a paid service for using AIM messages to reach a TTY user — although it puzzles me why TTY-to-AIM is free while initiating AIM-to-TTY conversations cost money.

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