Eight Random Things I Learned About the Palm Pre Today

By  |  Friday, January 9, 2009 at 5:14 pm

Palm Pre

I’m still running around Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, and this time I made time to pay Palm’s meeting room a visit to get a closer look at the company’s radically new Pre phone. It looked at least as good close up as at yesterday’s big press event: It’s strikingly smaller than the iPhone, and more elegant than you’d expect given the need to fit in the slide-out keyboard.

Since I’d seen and enjoyed yesterday’s demo and checked out Palm’s specs page, I mostly used my face time with Palm to ask about questions which neither addressed, as far as I could remember.

Here’s what I learrned:

–It doesn’t have iPhone-style visual voicemail.

–It doesn’t have voice dialing.

–It doesn’t have a voice recorder.

–There’s no compatibility with PalmOS apps, although Palm will work with developers to help them move to the new platform, and it’s not unthinkable that a third party might create an emulator for old apps.

–It provides on-phone access to Amazon’s MP3 download store for DRM-free music purchases.

–It’ll come with a new version of DataViz’s Documents to Go for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF work.

–Only the Web browser and the photo browser support landscape-mode display; the video player is landscape only.

–Like the iPhone, it has a proximity sensor that it uses to shut off the screen when you hold the phone to your ear to make a call.


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7 Comments For This Post

  1. Shawn Roberts Says:

    Palm’s implementation of its app store could be one of the big differentiators for the Pre. The iPhone app store is wonderful to use and it would be nice if Palm could come up something close. At least at the start, there will be only one platform, one set of hardware, one screen resolution, etc. . .

  2. blissapp Says:

    I’m a fan of the palm stretching back to the USR pilot 5000, but I’ve not bought a pocket computer for a while and my current mobile is very much a phone only with the only fancy feature being Yahtzee! I love the idea of pocket computing, but my little 10″ wind based netbook (naughtily running osx) is the smallest near-pocket experience I seem able to tolerate. Maybe when it’s time to upgrade my phone I’ll reconsider, but for now, I’ll think I’ll simply avoid all of these kinds of devices.

  3. Ian D. Nock Says:

    The success or otherwise of the Pre is going to be down to just how swish and stable the software and its GUI are, as well as the cool developer support. Otherwise, it is just a standard smartphone as pointed out here http://bldwtech.com/2009/01/09/palm-pre-and-htc-touch-dual-separated-at-birth/

  4. pond Says:

    Palm will have an app-store set up at Sprint. Presumably they will share revenues from app sales; this means it's unlikely they would want or allow a developer to come up with a way for us to run PalmOS apps on the Pre.

    One weird thing about the app-store is that when Palm gets off the exclusive with Sprint, other providers will have their own app-stores. With the iPhone, there is one app-store, which is run by the hardware provider. With the Pre, a cool app you can get via the Sprint app-store might not be available via the ATT app-store. This is weird, and multiplies the approval process any developer must work through to get his app available to all the Pre owners out there.

    Also to be seen, is just how the automatic syncing to the cloud will work, and how much of a drain on the battery it might be.

    Everybody who writes about the Pre seems to be hot for it; it's surely the hottest announcement at CES. Good for Palm – I sure hope they can turn things around. Next year I want to see a WebOS-powered netbook, that would be cool.

  5. mountaintree Says:

    I’m sorry that Pre will not have a voice recorder. That is the only thing that seems to be lacking for my uses. In every other way it looks complete.

    I fell in love with my Palm Treo 90 a few years ago and bought a second one as a backup.. but it was never needed so far.

    My dedication to the Treo 90 has me looking forward to the Pre and its Web OS.

  6. linh Says:

    The Pre does have a voice recorder. The voice recording is part of the NOTES program. You just have to create a new note and go to the menu to activate the recording toolbar.

  7. DJ Says:

    Linh, on the voice recorder function, are you sure you’re not referring to the Pro and not the Pre? The Pre has “Memos” instead of “Notes” and there’s no voice recorder built in as far as I can see.

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