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Palm Pre Is Out, Time For Discussion

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the post-pre-is-later dept.

Handhelds 283

caffiend666 writes "Palm Pre is out, let's discuss the status and compare stories. The first day seems to have gone as well as expected, with many selling out before noon. I bought the second at the local Sprint store, and so far I like it. Much more one-hand friendly than the iPhone. I haven't gotten the main apps to sync with Linux, but the media portion functions much like a thumb-drive with my Fedora-8 Linux system. For the Pre-verts out there, here's some Palm Pre dismantling pictures."

cancel ×

283 comments

Anyone have words about the browsing (5, Interesting)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238633)

experience on this thing in comparison to previous Palm OS devices? In comparison to an iPhone?

The Holy Grail of mobile phones, for me, is the phone that can give a really good browsing experience and can thus replace (at least in some small way) the need to carry a laptop at all times.

Re:Anyone have words about the browsing (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238655)

Well, considering that the entire OS is HTML/XML based, I'd say that they have a pretty efficient/good rendering engine. What I'd like to see though, are plugins or at least /etc/hosts modification so I can block ad-servers to make browsing fast on cell networks.

Re:Anyone have words about the browsing (5, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238717)

Well, considering that the entire OS is HTML/XML based, I'd say that they have a pretty efficient/good rendering engine.

Just so people aren't confused, the Palm Pre runs a stripped down Linux distro and Webkit. All the applications and the GUI are running on Webkit and the OS's only real job is to handle the hardware and provide a nice platform for Webkit to run. The browser they implemented for the Web should perform similarly to the iPhone or Safari or Chrome or any of the other Webkit based browsers, with the browser GUI being the real make or break aspect of their implementation.

Re:Anyone have words about the browsing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28238803)

Just so people aren't confused, the Palm Pre runs a stripped down Linux distro and Webkit. All the applications and the GUI are running on Webkit and the OS's only real job is to handle the hardware and provide a nice platform for Webkit to run.

That's somewhat ironic, considering what a big stink there was when the announced "iPhone SDK" was, "write a Web app for Safari." Of course, Apple eventually came out with a real SDK (as Palm plans to as well), but it's kinda weird we've come full circle on this.

Re:Anyone have words about the browsing (5, Informative)

_merlin (160982) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238859)

That's somewhat ironic, considering what a big stink there was when the announced "iPhone SDK" was, "write a Web app for Safari." Of course, Apple eventually came out with a real SDK (as Palm plans to as well), but it's kinda weird we've come full circle on this.

It's not quite the same as the original iPhone situation. With the iPhone, you were supposed to write a "web 2.0" style application that ran off your web site in the browser. With the Pre, the applications are packaged and run from the handset's memory. That means they work without connectivity, and their use doesn't consume your data allowance. Palm also provides a comprehensive set of JavaScript APIs for building WebOS applications, while iPhone web applications had nothing over regular web applications. But the biggest difference is that with the Pre, you're on equal footing with Palm's developers - all of Palm's applications are written with the same HTML/CSS/JavaScript toolkit as third-party applications; with the iPhone, Apple applications were always built with Cocoa, so third-party developers were at a disadvantage.

Re:Anyone have words about the browsing (1, Redundant)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238879)

Disagree. iPhone apps are written in Objective-C. They do not run in the browser at all. They are standalone applications much like on a PC or Mac desktop.

Re:Anyone have words about the browsing (4, Insightful)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238931)

Take a closer look at that comment. They're talking about "the original iPhone situation", i.e. before the SDK existed for public use, when would-be developers were told that the way to extend the iPhone was to make a web site that could be accessed from the iPhone's browser.

Needless to say, no one was happy with that, and Apple eventually released a real SDK.

Re:Anyone have words about the browsing (3, Informative)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238977)

At the risk of causing yet more ire between you and I, Jane Q. Public, I have to say that you are completely wrong.

The original iPhone applications were web apps, and the App Store and third party application development was implemented after the release of the first generation iPhone. They originally said, "Hey look, you can use WEB APPLICATIONS!" But then came the jailbreaks, installer, cydia, and their many repositories of apps. And Apple responded to that and made web applications.

And that's what _merlin was referring to. The Palm Pre supports real application features through a special Javascript API that accesses built-in webkit and OS level features that wouldn't otherwise be available. The original iPhone was released and lacked even that.

Re:Anyone have words about the browsing (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238911)

That means they work without connectivity, and their use doesn't consume your data allowance.

And they seem to do this without forgetting that the Pre is first and foremost a telephone and personal communication device. If they can manage to fight off the telcos and keep WiFi connectivity up front, it will be a huge hit. People will demand them even as the telcos fight it.

Re:Anyone have words about the browsing (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239051)

What's battery life like? I currently have a Viewty (a cheaper iPhone competitor ... you might have heard of it) which lasts for about 12 hours. I miss my old phone, which lasted for a week. :(

It seems that the phones without browsers are just better phones.

Re:Anyone have words about the browsing (0, Offtopic)

mabinogi (74033) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239549)

The Viewty isn't an iPhone competitor - it's a touch screen phone, but it has different goals.
I have one myself, and before I got it, I thought I wanted an iPhone.

Then I discovered that most of what I like about my Viewty isn't possible on the iPhone. And sure, the interface has its quirkes, and the person who thought that querty keyboard should only be used for SMS and TextAreas should be shot, but I still wouldn't swap it for an iPhone, ever.

Re:Anyone have words about the browsing (4, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239275)

All the applications and the GUI are running on Webkit and the OS's only real job is to handle the hardware and provide a nice platform for Webkit to run

No, not really.

WebOS is Linux, with a Web-kit based UI instead of a X.org-based UI. That means it can render web pages easily, and applications can be written in HTML (like some others can be written in XUL). the "card" based applications are going to be largely javascript + SQLlite + a custom JSON-based means to access the hardware, using modified webkit for display. (There are lower-level hooks, but Palm is going to make those harder to get -- which is a good thing IMO.)

Geekiest thing? The copy of the GPL that comes as a PDF.

Re:Anyone have words about the browsing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28238663)

Well, he did say it was "much more one-hand friendly than the iPhone."

fap, fap, fap

Re:Anyone have words about the browsing (4, Informative)

caffiend666 (598633) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238697)

Basic browsing is similar to iPhone albeit on a smaller screen (same resolution). It's much better than previous Palm devices. Unlike when the Treo 650 was released, or the iPhone was released, Sprint had Pre's booted up and useable in the store (although they hadn't turned the alarm off before I reached for it). Tested the web-browsing before I bought one....

Re:Anyone have words about the browsing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28238823)

Palm Pre. What is it all about... is it good, or is it whack?

Re:Anyone have words about the browsing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28238797)

Does the word "nigger" offend you?

After 20 minutes of use... (4, Interesting)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238825)

I think I can say it's a notch better than the iPhone's web browser. I'm not quite sure what it is, but there's something about the way it's antialiasing the fonts and the way it's wrapping lines of text that makes non-mobile-targeted sites easier on the eyes on the Pre than on the iPhone, despite the iPhone even having a slightly larger display.

This was the one thing I was pretty sure the Pre wouldn't do as well as the iPhone, go figure.

Re:After 20 minutes of use... (2, Informative)

sbierwagen (1493705) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239325)

The Pre's screen is smaller in area, but has the same resolution as the iphone. (480x320)

Re:After 20 minutes of use... (4, Informative)

Flytrap (939609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239413)

That is an interesting observation, considering that Apple is the primary WebKit contributor... "WebKit began in 2002 when Apple Inc. created a fork of the KDE projectâ(TM)s HTML layout engine KHTML and KDE's JavaScript engine (KJS)" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebKit [wikipedia.org]

WebKit was released into open source by Apple in 2005 after the relationship with KHTML had irrevocably broken down (i.e. the Apple changes couldn't/wouldn't be integrated back into the KHTML project). Apple remains the biggest WebKit contributor because virtually all its software platforms rely on WebKit, not just Safari (almost like TWebBrowser in the Windows ecosystem).

To date, WebKit has been ported to a number of platforms and a number of organisations are pitching in, such as Palm, Google and even Symbian (aka Nokia). It is highly unlikely that any of these organisations will risk orphaning themselves with a further branch of WebKit that contains optimisations unique to their own proprietory platform. So it is a safe bet that whatever Palm has running on the Pre, came largely from Apple developers as well as the broader open source community who had already ported WebKit to the Linux platform.

Just my 2 cents worth...

Re:Anyone have words about the browsing (4, Informative)

ischorr (657205) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239199)

I'm interested as well. This is my biggest irritant about the iPhone. I love the interface and rendering of pages in Mobile Safari, it is top-notch. But there's something very broken about the page *loading* (network stack issues? Inefficiencies at paralleling requests and dealing with latency?). For most sites it's slow at best, and for some sites it's glacial. I can place a 400Mhz G4 running Safari and the iPhone next to each other, on the same network, and load a page, and the desktop typically completes in 1/10th the time (or less!)

Plus the limited memory on the iPhone and lack of multitasking means that it's very likely that if I load a page, then perform some other action (including opening a second page without leaving Safari), I'll have to reload the first page again when I go back to it. And that's another 1min delay.

This all means that I avoid Safari whenever possible. I'll use either a native app for the page (like Wikipedia or Slashdot, etc), or I'll try to find a mobile version of the site. Loading the full page is done only grudgingly. That sort of takes the "killer" part of of the "killer app" that Mobile Safari is supposed to be.

Anyway, looks like PreCentral has done a very good video overview of the browser, and shootout between the Pre, iPhone (2.1 I assume) and G1:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dewMwv4eQIk&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.precentral.net%2Fpalm-pre-browser-video-review-and-iphone-3g-g1-showdown&feature=player_embedded [youtube.com]

My takeaway is that overall the Pre browser seems as good as the iPhone's, and generally better in the areas that bother me. It's definitely still much slower than a desktop browser on even an anemic PC would be, but it seems:

- Interface is definitely different, but from what I see here I like it about equally to the iPhone interface. Navigation, panning, zooming, bookmarking, etc. is all about what I'd want from a mobile browser. I don't like lack of double-tap animation, though =)
- Time to load/render final page is significantly, but not dramatically, faster than iPhone
- Responsiveness of dragging around the page while it is still loading is much better. Mobile Safari tends to start having serious performance issues when it is loading/rendering a page.
- It's still only rendering a small part of the page at a time and you get the telltale "unrendered grid" if you scroll/zoom to an unrendered section of the page. Once you stop scrolling, it renders after a brief pause. Seems pretty much exactly like iPhone here.
- Tough to say from the video here, but my general impression is that pages generally stay loaded until closed...Or at least takes a lot more for the Pre browser to "flush" cache of a loaded page.
- At least some sites aren't recognizing the Pre at the moment. They're presenting full sites instead of a mobile site by default, which some will like (I won't, depending on the site). I'm sure that'll change.
- It seems to have occasional problems recognizing or reacting to orientation changes (landscape/portrait mode shifting). This is true for me about 10% of the time with the iPhone, though it's a little better than back in OS 1.0. And there's a couple of examples of the same with the Pre just in this 8min demo.
- We won't even talk about how much better they are than the G1 browser. Yikes.

Re:Anyone have words about the browsing (4, Informative)

Flytrap (939609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239561)

It is a common misconception that the iPhone does not have multitasking. This falsehood has been spread by tech columnists who do not know anything about technology. So, lets get the multitasking myth dealt with first: The iPhone sports a full multitasking operating system which and fully supports multitasking and running background applications - that is why your mail continues to download and your iPod continues to play music even after you "close" them and move on to using other applications. In that same vein, Safari on the iPhone will continue to download a web page in the background even after to open a new "tab" to go to another page/site or leave safari to use another application.

However, please note, the iPhone OS only accords certain privilaged applications and functions the right to run in the background after focus shifts to another foreground application or function. This privilage is not extended to third party applications, hence the myth that the iPhone does not support multitasking. The lack support for background third party applications definately limits the versitility of certain applications (and the phone itself, some might say).

The problems that you describe with Safari, however, are real. Not withstanding the fact that all mobile browsers are slower than their desktop counterparts, Safari on the iPhone can be glacial. The problem is not one of multitasking, as you have proffered, but is probably attributable to the prossessor and memory performance/speed/capacity. I cannot go into all the intracacies of mobile CPUs and the effects that optimising for low power consumtion has on performance, sufice to say that, mobile phone CPU's are designed to provide a balance of performance without requiring a battery change every 2 or 3 hours or a large cooling fan for that matter. The iPhone has a further handicap: only 128MB of RAM. After loading the OS into memory, there is very little left for applications and their data. Although the iPhone OS will start to kill background applications such as mail and Safari, should it start to run out of resources, quite often, by the time one gets to Safari, there is probably lots of swapping to "disk" going on.

My big gripe on the iPhone is that everything begins to slow down after using it for a few days. I get these really irritating pauses when I go to my calendar or mail. In fact, I'd dare to say that Safari is the best performing application on my phone... alway predictable - even if that means that it predictably stutters (as you have described) from time to time. Running Remote Desktop to access Windows servers always elicits a message informing me that my iPhone has run out of resources; the application continues to run, but only just; forcing me to switch off the phone and "reboot" which then allows me to load Remote Desktop without any warnings and runs it fast-er (definitely not something you want to do on the iPhone unless you have no other choice).

Know what time it really is? (-1, Troll)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238635)

It's time to FIRST POST.

Re:Know what time it really is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28239369)

Actually its half past fail.

Fedora 8? (4, Funny)

casualsax3 (875131) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238639)

Please let me know if it syncs with your Windows 95 PC as well. It's the one thing that's kept me from buying one on launch day.

Re:Fedora 8? (4, Funny)

caffiend666 (598633) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238739)

Given I drowned, dismantled, then pried apart all components of my last Windows 95 machine with a screw driver before hitting it over and over again with a hammer, it's save to say it wont sync (I hope).

Re:Fedora 8? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28239113)

i hope you were using a hammer made of pure silver

Pro-Tip (5, Funny)

Kotoku (1531373) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238643)

Pro-Tip: For mass market appeal, don't call your fans Pre-verts.

Re:Pro-Tip (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238671)

If we cared about "mass appeal", would we be comfortable being labeled "nerds"? Probably not.

Re:Pro-Tip (1)

Kotoku (1531373) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238907)

If we cared about "mass appeal", would we be comfortable being labeled "nerds"? Probably not.

And that is why Linux isn't on the desktop yet. ;)

Re:Pro-Tip (4, Funny)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238935)

I thought it was more to do with having distributions with names such as 'Karmic Koala'.

Re:Pro-Tip (2, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238927)

Right, if we cared about "mass appeal" then we'd be interested in buying phones that only run apps that are approved by the church ladies who vet them at the app store.

As opposed to... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239421)

Right, if we cared about "mass appeal" then we'd be interested in buying phones that only run apps that are approved by the church ladies who vet them at the app store.

So you find it superior that the church ladies decide who can even develop apps for the phone?

Re:Pro-Tip (0, Flamebait)

node 3 (115640) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239481)

Right, if we cared about "mass appeal" then we'd be interested in buying phones that only run apps that are approved by the church ladies who vet them at the app store.

It's statements like that that make me think you might not actually be the pope!

Re:Pro-Tip (1)

lenroc (632180) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239237)

Pro-Tip: For mass market appeal, don't call your fans Pre-verts.

That's right, they prefer to be called Pre-vects!

Hmm... Too obscure?

Re:Pro-Tip (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239285)

they prefer to be called Pre-vects!

It's just a myth.

Re:Pro-Tip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28239361)

Pro-Tip: For mass market appeal, don't call your fans Pre-verts.

Call them : preachers, preceptors, pretenders, predators, preppies? prepreposterous!

Really pretty sweet (3, Interesting)

oddman (204968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238709)

I had a chance to play with one a little bit, it was really nice. I was particular impressed by the quality of the screen and the fast response times in Google Maps.

Thats me! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28238735)

*begins to masturbate furiously to the pictures*

Did anyone go to a store... (4, Insightful)

sootman (158191) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238741)

... with a block of cheese? [gizmodo.com]

On a serious note, I'd like to hear from some really picky (but sane) people about how the browser compares to Safari. Does it support iPhone optimizations (viewport) and handle CSS/JS well? If you go to facebook or google do you automatically get the iPhone version? How is the speed?

Re:Did anyone go to a store... (4, Informative)

bsharitt (580506) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238775)

I don't know if they would automatically get the iPhone versions of pages(perhaps the web developers should target mobile webkit instead), but for sites where you can to the iPhone version via a special URL instead of just the UA(such as Facebook), other WebKit browsers such as Android and Nokia S60(especially the 5800) can usually display the iPhone sites quite well, so the Pre should be no exception.

Re:Did anyone go to a store... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28239301)

I don't know if they would automatically get the iPhone versions of pages

Well, this is the WWW, should be easy to figure out.

Simply figure out what would be the most retarded choice with as many flawed assumptions as possible. Expect that behavior.

Re:Did anyone go to a store... (1)

kybur (1002682) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238781)

That's really nice. I was so tired of reading the /palm version on my iphone. Thanks for the link.

Better Javascript support (4, Informative)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238849)

I went to a site that had managed to moderately flummox my iPod Touch (the MacUpdate promotion bundle [slashdot.org] ) and the performance was significantly better. On Mobile Safari, the expanding boxes (which are supposed to operate on mouseover) either wouldn't expand when touching them or would only respond after a few seconds, the background was shifted off-center, and zooming seemed to do something strange to the text.

On the Pre, the site rendered the backgrounds properly, and the boxes expanded after a much shorter wait (1/2-1 second). I was impressed.

Re:Better Javascript support (4, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238957)

I went to a site that had managed to moderately flummox my iPod Touch (the MacUpdate promotion bundle [slashdot.org]) and the performance was significantly better.

It'll be interesting to see what happens to this discussion when the fanboys get here. It's Saturday night, so they're all at the multiplex watching "Up" at the moment. Once they're done with their mating rituals to, which mainly consist of coloful displays to each other of their taste in consumer electronics, they'll come here and it will be on.

Re:Did anyone go to a store... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239197)

That review would've been a lot easier to take if halfway down the demonstration of the camera wasn't a picture of a desk with assorted Apple hardware piled all around...

Re:Did anyone go to a store... (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239307)

google saw and recognized my Pre as mobile. I got the same page I got wtih my TX.

the NY times showed me its default start page.

Both use Webkit, Pre slightly faster processor (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239435)

On a serious note, I'd like to hear from some really picky (but sane) people about how the browser compares to Safari.

I've only seen a video, but on a demo of the Pre browsing vs. the iPhone the Pre was faster - it's basically the same browser (and supports the same tapping techniques that makes the iPhone so usable browsing) so you'd expect it to be somewhat faster as the Pre itself has a faster processor, and also more memory than the current iPhone/Touch (meaning you can browse to more pages without the browser reloading).

The next iPhone will probably also have more memory and a faster processor, but it's a good thinking on Palm's part that it stays a forward thinking platform instead of going cheap with the resources.

No discussion! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28238757)

NO! It's time to STFU.

Dismantling Pictures (3, Insightful)

kitezh (1442937) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238761)

"For the Pre-verts out there, here's some Palm Pre dismantling pictures."

Yes, but does it blend?

First Impressions (5, Informative)

Finder83 (829130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238767)

I too bought the palm pre today...just as a note, I came from a motorolla q9h, not an iphone. Overall, I love the phone. I wish palm would release the sdk already so more apps would come out and so I could start customizing/contributing, but the apps that were there generally feel solid. There's about as much delay as one would expect on a smartphone, but the phone overall feels very responsive (which was my very first impression.) The webos's shortcuts are very intuitive, and between quick launch, synergy, etc, I can probably match my productivity on the Q9H that has windows mobile.

I don't care about syncing anything other than mp3's and emails over imap so I can't answer syncing questions. Ubuntu 9.04 detected it as a usb device just fine.

I think that tales of the keyboard being way too small are overrated, but it definitely will take getting used to...I think you will pretty much know instantly if you will be able to adjust to it or not.

Really the only thing that may make me regret buying it may end up being the battery life...but it's hard to tell considering I didn't really give it a decent first charge (I charged it for 4 hours then took it out exploring for 6 and it was dead by the time I got home with about an hour's worth of talk, constant browsing, and a little pandora streaming.) Even with that said, I think there will need to be a few more battery saving options...like maybe not being logged into AIM/etc. (you can just not enter aim information...but I don't want to disable it completely)

Another thing I wasn't expecting was a free (cheap?) sleeve that came with the phone. :) I feel much safer with it in my pocket in a nice sleeve.

The browser is nice...it can be hard to zoom in and click on certain links, maybe like the iphone? But it is nice having a fully functional browser with ajax. The only problem I had was with iGoogle not loading properly (I think due to the calendar widget), and I just had to use the mobile version.

So far though, I've loved the palm pre. I hope it returns the love.

Re:First Impressions (4, Insightful)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238913)

I wish palm would release the sdk already so more apps would come out and so I could start customizing/contributing

This is what's going to make or break this platform. The promised accessibility and potential integration of WebOS development is too good to pass up, but it's only going places if Palm gets it out there in time and in one piece, documents it well, and we actually start seeing some good, original apps.

Also: Apple has a one-year head start and tens of thousands of apps, but 90% of them are absolutely useless, cluttering up the store. If Palm can build a better meritocracy for the App Catalog and promote quality (and maybe even offer an option to filter any app with "fart" in the name), they'll have a good thing going.

Re:First Impressions (1)

Finder83 (829130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238981)

I agree entirely...I feel like the platform is there or almost there, but I really do want the extra functionality of useful apps. If they don't get the dev kit out soon I feel that people will lose interest and it will be a big bust. :-/ But I'll give them the benefit of the doubt...it is still day one.

Re:First Impressions (1, Insightful)

shmlco (594907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239041)

"....and we actually start seeing some good, original apps."

Non-native JavaScript-based apps running in a browser (WebKit)? Good luck with that.

Especially with games.

And I suspect that the HTML/JavaScript base will attract more "developers" of the kind that barely managed to get through the "HTML for Dummies" book. So much for "quality" applications.

"If Palm can build a better meritocracy for the App Catalog..."

So the idea is for Palm to be even MORE restrictive than Apple in managing the store?

Re:First Impressions (2, Interesting)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239331)

Non-native JavaScript-based apps running in a browser (WebKit)? Good luck with that.
Especially with games.

1: Your complaint is "non-compiled", not "non-native." Objective-C ain't machine code, you know.

2: Go look at a random sample of 100 iphone apps that were actually purchased. Find me 25 that aren't essentially web-applications anyway. (Find a local cab? A bird-watcher's aide? Seriously, am I the only one who saw those iPhone commercials and thought "wait, shouldn't that just be a web-site?")

3: A lower-level SDK is doubtless in teh works, but it won't be widely available. The Palm emulator was not made using Javascript, and neither will Documents to Go. (My personal suspicion is that the two companies created a new WebOS component, which then is pulled via WebKit.)

Offline is key in apps (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239455)

2: Go look at a random sample of 100 iphone apps that were actually purchased. Find me 25 that aren't essentially web-applications anyway. (Find a local cab? A bird-watcher's aide?

Yes, those make good apps. You want something you can use anytime, without having to rely on the cell network - that's the key to why apps work when web outs could seemingly be used just as easily.

Also native apps have more UI options and input possibilities, which makes them faster/easier to use.

That said the Palm apps are going to be more than just web apps too, because they use a combination of standard CSS/HTML along with custom native API calls via Javascript to access richer features of the phone.

Re:First Impressions (2, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239327)

This is what's going to make or break this platform.

I hate the idea that everything depends on purchasing apps. What about just making a damned good browser and letting me use it? Im sure 90% of the popular apps out there can be coded up as web apps, but instead Apple has created a market for buyable apps instead of promoting cross-platform free web apps. I just saw an iphone commercial about "there's an app to find apartments." Err, my beater Treo with WinMo5 does that. I just visit the apartment sites with my browser. No need to spend 10 dollars on another app.

Re:First Impressions (4, Informative)

Finder83 (829130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239013)

I was incorrect in giving AIM as an example to save battery...you CAN turn off AIM (it is a hidden green button in plain site on the messaging app) and was very likely a major cause in my battery draining so quickly

Re:First Impressions (1)

nhavar (115351) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239029)

AIM seems to be pointed to in a quite a few of the reviews as a huge consumer of battery life. Better to go without it until the AIM developers optimize the code -- or carry some spare batteries with you.

PalmOS emulation (1)

jerrydel (323941) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238769)

For me, the PalmOS emulation is going to sell it - or not. I'm not getting a smartphone until it can replace the most-used stuff on my T3. I hope this is it!

Re:PalmOS emulation (2, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238929)

For me, the PalmOS emulation is going to sell it - or not. I'm not getting a smartphone until it can replace the most-used stuff on my T3. I hope this is it!

The emulator's available - it's in the Pre store. I don't know how much it costs though.

The only downside is the Pre's touchscreen isn't as precise as the old Palms, being that you use a stylus on the old Palms, but you have to use your finger on the Pre (capacitive touchscreen, like the iPhone).

OTOH, Nokia n700, n800, and n810 users can use Garnet VM for free during the beta.

But yeah, I need something to replace my Palm. My T|c died, and I haven't found a good replacement for it. My T|x works, but the lack of keyboard is disappointing. Plus it's slower than my T|c was.

Re:PalmOS emulation (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239355)

It would be good if I could import data (contacts, calendar) from a palmos system to the pre. I haven't seen anything about that so far. It would be good to have for me.

Holding out for the underdog (4, Funny)

memphis.barbecue (1402253) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238773)

" seems to of"?

I'm not familiar with that phrase, O'Neill.

Seriously, though, I've been with AT&T and didn't want to switch to the iPhone (I root for underdogs), so it's a little disappointing that yet another sweet-looking smartphone is locked in to a single carrier. You have to go with T-Mobile to get an Android phone, and you have to go with Sprint to get the Palm Pre.

Re:Holding out for the underdog (1)

srwalter (39999) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239035)

I'm using an Android phone with Sprint. The Sprint Touch/HTC Vogue runs Android like a champ.

http://cs-alb-pc3.massey.ac.nz/vogue/ [massey.ac.nz]

Re:Holding out for the underdog (1)

dbcad7 (771464) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239251)

Hope you didn't spend a month and a half of hacking with yours to make your first call, as in the article..

With a GSM carrier, might not be such a big deal, as you could swap the sim into another phone and back to the phone your working on.. here in the US with CDMA, you would have to keep calling sprint to change handsets and that is not a pleasant experience from what I remember.

Holding out for the underdog? Microsoft? (1)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239037)

Microsoft is the real underdog in the cell phone world these days. Surely you're not holding out for a Windows Mobile device?

Re:Holding out for the underdog (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239223)

The Palm Pre is coming to other carriers though. I think Sprint has 6 month exclusivity, but Verizon announced that it's getting the Pre so I assume around December or January Verizon will get it. And I seem to recall something about AT&T getting the Pre too, but I might be wrong.

Re:Holding out for the underdog (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239341)

Sprint has more than 6 months. Verizon will be selling a "pre-like" device -- probably, the Palm Eos [palminfocenter.com] , if not a third as-yet announced WebOS device.

Re:Holding out for the underdog (2, Informative)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239349)

A quick google search seems to prove you wrong, although CEOs do have a tendency to bluff sometimes. http://gizmodo.com/5272022/verizon-ceo-were-getting-the-palm-pre-storm-2-within-6-months [gizmodo.com]

As a Sprint employee... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28238805)

I can safely say my store sold out of the Palm Pre by 5pm. We had 125 units, and despite being a store in Louisiana posted numbers that put us in the top fifteen of the company. I called places like Best Buy, and they were sold out of the few they had almost instantly. Our entire region sold of first party stores sold out by the end of the day. [800 or so phones for the state of Louisiana.] We had a few devices that had issues activating right out of the box, but that's pretty common when it is a new activation method or device. Palm even had a rep at our store the entire day to provide further information for customers.

So far, 4/5 stars (4, Informative)

rennerik (1256370) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238813)

I was lucky enough to pick up the last available one in Long Beach, and I have to say that so far I like it.

I came from the iPhone and AT&T, so it looks like I will be able to not only save almost $50/mo but also have a better device.

The good: The screen is much more crisp and vibrant than the iPhone. I'm really happy about that. The keyboard takes a bit of getting used to, but anything is better than the on-screen iPhone keyboard, plus I have smaller fingers so it doesn't affect me as much. The screen is smaller than the iPhone, but the lack of on-screen keyboard makes for efficient use of screen real-estate. So far I haven't noticed the lack of larger screen in regular use. Not much to say about battery life, but it seems to be on-par with the iPhone from my current experience, which is fine for me. I don't particularly care about having it last more than one day, since I plug it in nightly anyway. Running multiple applications is extremely helpful, and it seems to be implemented very well. I've not yet had a problem with it. Sprint Navigation is amazing too, by the way, and definitely is on-par with most GPS devices out there; on top of that, it re-routes according to traffic and road speeds, which, unless your GPS is network-connected, you'll be lacking it. So, I'd say it's *better* than most stand-alone GPS devices out there.

The bad: The UI response is a bit sluggish. I think that I may have been spoiled by the iPhone's extremely smooth UI, but I also recall that for a while after the release of iPhone OS 2.0, it was fairly laggy for quite a bit. They did release an update to webOS (1.0.2) that did increase the response time by about 50% (I'm really just ballparking that number, but it was significant enough to notice), so if you haven't ran the updater, do it. I hope that as more updates come out, they'll fix the response time and it will be as smooth as the iPhone. The other problem is more with Sprint than with the Pre -- EV-DO does not support data usage during voice calls. This sucks, as there are times when I'm on the phone and I need to look something up or send an email... however, I had so many problems with the 3G in the iPhone, that more than half the time I had to run with it off anyway, so I don't think I'll miss it too much. Currently, you are not able to send meeting requests using the calendar... I hope they add that functionality soon. That is what iPhone lacked as well, and it is available in the 3.0 update, so hopefully it will be added to webOS quickly, too. Lastly, (not really much bad to say about it... so far) what did end up annoying me a bit was that, while you can specify multiple IM accounts, you can't choose which one you are sending from when you send a message. This is unfortunate, though it is possible that I have no idea how to specify this.

So, all-in-all, I think that I will be very happy with the device. I hope they fix the response time issues quickly, however, as that is the biggest problem that I have encountered so far. It's not a deal-breaker, because the other features of the phone make up for this, but after a while it will become more and more annoying.

Oh yeah, I forgot about one thing. The thing I loved about the iPhone was in both contacts and music, you can jump to a specific alphabet letter by selecting one on the right side of the display. The Pre lacks this, and I have to start typing to find what I want. Not a big deal, but sometimes I don't want to open the keyboard.

Anyway, great work, Palm! 4/5 stars in my book! Fix that UI issue, and you've got yourself a 4.8. Fix everything else I mentioned, and you get yourself a 5 :)

Re:So far, 4/5 stars (1)

jeff.hawkins (1501271) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239107)

Does it have Flash?

Re:So far, 4/5 stars (1)

rennerik (1256370) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239191)

Unfortunately, it does not have Flash. Conceivably they will be adding it. Hopefully. At some point.

Re:So far, 4/5 stars (1)

rennerik (1256370) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239305)

> Does it have Flash

An addendum: According to Gizmodo (http://gizmodo.com/5154269/confirmed-palm-pre-to-support-flash), Flash support will "be expected to be released at the end of the year". So, we'll see.

Failure.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28238815)

This phone is going to flop if palm doesn't have a fix for the mail app that allows it to work properly with exchange active server. It's disappointing they have it working fine on EVERY OTHER PHONE they make, yet their new, top of the line, g-wiz, i-phone slayer completely dies on this basic app.

part of me wanted to turn around and go back to the store and demand my old plan and a refund, but it really is a VERY cool piece of technology, and I like EVERYTHING about it, except the fact it won't get my work stuff in like it's supposed to.

I can get by for a few days on just plain old web access, but come ON guys. Give me a break!

Submitter Quality Control (0, Offtopic)

VendettaMF (629699) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238833)

Might I suggest that when a story submitter is too dumb to comprehend the difference between "to of" and "to have" that they have proven themselves incapable of meaningful participation anywhere outside Facebook and Myspace?

It's not even a difficult piece of grammar. "To of" is quite simply never correct in any situation.

Re:Submitter Quality Control (2, Interesting)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238899)

I tend to feel the days of thinking it's okay to insult someone out of hand on the Internet are drawing to a close. People used to do it because they could. Now with user posting histories and login names, people are doing it less often. I'm hoping they are also not doing it as much because they are learning it's a big world and a "community" not a boxing ring.

The person may not have been a native English speaker, but I have doubts that calling him "dumb" is accurate.

Typed on iPhone.

Re:Submitter Quality Control (1)

VendettaMF (629699) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238975)

The "Could of"/"should of"/"to of" idiocy is a uniquely American thing. It's pretty darn certain the poster is an American Whiteboy, who has been ignoring his English Language studies (or had a teacher who is equally guilty).

"Dumb" = "Unable to speak". Seems particularly apt, though illiterate would be even more so.

Re:Submitter Quality Control (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239039)

Bullshit.

I've heard many native English speakers who have never set foot in America use "could of"

Re:Submitter Quality Control (2, Insightful)

babyrat (314371) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239097)

heard?

Could you have heard could've instead of could of? They pretty much sound exactly the same.

It's when people write things down that the real meaning (or non-meaning) of what they are saying (or think they are saying) becomes apparent.

Re:Submitter Quality Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28239219)

An argument over belly button lint, how sad for the lot of you.

Re:Submitter Quality Control (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238901)

Until somebody turns "of" into a verb. But then it will mean something different anyway. :o)

Re:Submitter Quality Control (1)

VendettaMF (629699) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239049)

Verbing weirds language.

Developers, Developers, Developers (2, Insightful)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238835)

Any bets on how Palm will screw over the developer community this time and finally ensure their belated demise?

Palm Pre is out!!! (0, Offtopic)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238863)

Time for a big front page ad!!

Get yours today! First 3,000 customers get this cheap plastic carrying case! Absolutely FREE!!!

Close the door, and the light stays on!
Two shelves where none are needed...

New! For your Palm (1)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | more than 5 years ago | (#28238883)

Trojans2Go

Abroad (1, Insightful)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239011)

This seems like the phone I have been waiting for. When will it be available in the Netherlands? How much will it cost?

Fedora? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28239053)

What is Fedora Linux?

I use a real Linux distro.

So the Pre 1.0 makes me appreciate my Treo 755p (5, Interesting)

jerryasher (151512) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239127)

Weird because while I love my Treo I hate my Treo, but using version 1.0 of web os makes me appreciate my Treo much more.

So yeah yeah yeah, Pre is great. But here is where I think it sucks compared to my Treo.

The calendar program is puny and worthless in comparison to the Treo + Agendus. It's very hard to visualize what is happening a month at a time on the Pre. On the Treo + Agendus, there are icons for birthday cakes, and icons for dentist appointments and all sorts of very useful 16x16 icons that help a great deal visualizing what's going on a month at a time.

The memos and tasks are truly worthless. Very hard to make detailed notes. No way to categorize or organize the notes. I have over 200 notes on the Treo and they are simple to find and all are searchable. None are searchable on the Pre and there is not even a way to categorize them.

Touchscreens are for noobs. All this time I've wondered what the iPhone crowd was crowing about with their touchscreens, but today, on the Pre, I really miss the fidelity and precision of a stylus and a 5 way navigation button the stylus lets me precisely hit exactly the point on the screen I am looking for and the nav button lets me precisely scroll up and down the number of items I desire. Exactly. Each time. Repeatedly.

The software is at a very simple and unsophisticated level. Websites constantly need to be zoomed and the browser doesn't remember that I've zoomed this website the last three times I've been to it, and so does not automatically zoom it the next time. Compare to Firefox.

And webos is slow. The whole thing feels slow compared, yes, to the PalmOS on the Treo 755p EVEN with it's white screens of death. It's frustrating and may go back to the store within the 30 day period while I wait for webos 2.0.

And I fear that contrary to what Palm has been saying, the problems will be firmware related and not an easy download. And frankly, the Treo experience is that Palm will release one new set of firmware, maybe two, and then consider the phone dead and push people to get the next one.

So we'll see. I think the hope of the phone is:
  * a firmware upgrade from palm
  * release of mojo sdk and native apps from long time palm developers

Ya know, just because the iPhone only has one button doesn't mean Apple was right to go that route. Apple loved their one button mouse for a decade when everyone else knew how stupid that was. 5 way nav buttons and a stylus isn't such a horrible klugey interface as much as forcing touchscreen for everything is.

The Pre PIM is Palm PIM 1995 (2, Insightful)

jerryasher (151512) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239189)

Basically Palm has punted on the PIM. One complaint about the Treo and later Palms was the PIM never advanced past what it was in 1997. But on the Pre they've dumbed it down even further and gotten rid of categories and search.

So while I might keep notes or web clippings in a memo (best restaurants, best bars, all npr stations in the nearby states, lan settings for home and work, ...) now such long collections of notes are horrible to browse through or find.

It is in some sense a Google/Facebook phone, but they haven't embraced all the Google Apps yet (no google tasks, no google voice, no google reader)...

Re:So the Pre 1.0 makes me appreciate my Treo 755p (1)

bitMonster (189384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239293)

Speak it, brother.

Re:So the Pre 1.0 makes me appreciate my Treo 755p (1, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239467)

>>Apple loved their one button mouse for a decade when everyone else knew how stupid that was.
Having a billion buttons on your mouse (or hell, even two) doesn't make it better. Apple's got only one button and it makes sense. Geeks who fail to THINK from other points of view and can't see a reason for something will generally miss good ideas.

Getting one can be pain... (a.k.a. Best Buy sucks) (3, Informative)

JakiChan (141719) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239151)

My friend went to Best Buy to get one this morning. Got there @ 9:30 and was 6th in line. Gets in the store and goes to mobile department to find out the 13 they had gotten in were already sold. Smelling a rat he asked where the people buying them were, since they obviously had to be in the store already. He ended up being 20th on the waiting list - so not only had the first 13 been filched already, but somehow another bunch of people had gotten on the list before launch day.

Way to go BB. You're as slimy as ever.

Re:Getting one can be pain... (a.k.a. Best Buy suc (2, Informative)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239399)

Go to a sprint store. Call 'em first thing tomorrow morning.

The huge majority of the stock went to sprint-branded retails stores -- not Radio shack, wal-mart, or best buy.

Six months. (0, Troll)

Renraku (518261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239265)

And in six months to a year, Palm's timer in these units will start to go off.

Telling the phone to start crashing a few times a day and disabling random applications until you reinstall them, and people's factory charger cord will be so loose it'll pull out under its own horizontal weight.

Don't remove battery? (1)

sbierwagen (1493705) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239317)

I had a Sprint employee warn me [bbot.org] never to remove the battery, or else it'd lose everything in memory. Which seems odd, since 1.) Palm hyped the removable battery over the iphone's soldered in one and 2.) Everything's on flash memory, which isn't volatile.

Exchange ActiveSync SSL issues (3, Interesting)

bherman (531936) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239463)

There seems to be many people having issues with s self signed SSL certificates on Exchange. The phone requires you to load the certificate and "trust" it before you can connect. It doesn't allow for you to "trust" it inline with the EAS setup (ala Windows Mobile and iPhone). If you get past that, and you are running a standard SBS sever which by default creates a self signed cert with CNs for the private AD host name, the public dns host name and some SBS specific websites (companyweb and others). The pre supports multiple CN certificates, but it seems from some early research I did with a friend who just picked one up, that it uses the 1st CN to create the SSL connection (or verify the root ca) instead of the server url the user entered in the setup. Since many small shops don't use their public domain name as their AD domain name there seem to be many people having an issue.

Also, the error message it provides is not very helpful and is generic "SSL certificate error. Is the date and time correct"

Thankfully my friend's company happened to own the domain they used for the internal AD as well and since he is the admin he just added in the DNS records for it. It then worked as designed.

One hand friendly, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28239533)

It's good to know one's priorities.

Got the bad one (4, Informative)

Lurking Grue (3963) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239537)

I liked the phone while I had it, but there were problems with the USB port. This would have been annoying if it were isolated to file transfers, but I couldn't get it to consistently charge either. That made the problem a deal-breaker. (The Sprint store had sold all 7 of their Touchstones before I got there.) Fortunately I was able to get a Sprint employee to witness the connectivity problem. But for some reason the manager wasn't convinced the phone was bad. I explained to him that a phone that charges sporadically wasn't useful to me. His employee even confirmed that the phone wouldn't charge when he tried it. But the manager countered by reminding me that one of his employees got it to charge for awhile. To be fair, the manager did try to get guidance from Sprint tech support, but the only suggestion they came up with was to reset the phone. That didn't solve the problem of a defective USB port.

The manager told me that he wouldn't be able to reserve a replacement Pre for me, because I can't just "cut in line." He said I'd have to keep checking with the store to see if they had any available. I disagreed about whether an exchange should be considered "cutting in line," but he was still convinced the Pre was working fine. Hard to reason with somebody in that frame of mind.

They offered to let me keep the Pre until new supplies arrived, but I explained that a phone that wouldn't reliably charge was useless. I gave everything back, and had them reactivate my Treo. The employee who witnessed the problem entered some notes in my account to ensure that I get the existing customer discount when I return. He also gave me his business card so that I can go straight to him for the purchase. I won't, however, be purchasing the $200 of accessories that I returned today. They lost that sale due to the way they handled my situation.

I really hope Sprint and Palm have a very successful year. I'm looking forward to getting a Pre, and I expect that the next one will be fine. But the store manager's attitude during this ordeal was disappointing. Once things have settled, I'll send a letter to Sprint Customer Relations explaining exactly what transpired. (There's quite a bit more than what I've posted here. I made 4 trips to the store during a 6 hour period to get this resolved.) I've been with Sprint for 11 years now, and the only time I have trouble is when I deal with their staff in the stores.

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