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Palm Pre Is Out, Time For Discussion 283

Posted by timothy
from the post-pre-is-later dept.
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."
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Palm Pre Is Out, Time For Discussion

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  • by aussersterne (212916) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @11:00PM (#28238633) Homepage

    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.

    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @11:04PM (#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.
      • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @11:16PM (#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.

        • 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.

    • by caffiend666 (598633) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @11:13PM (#28238697) Homepage
      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....
    • by StreetStealth (980200) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @11:34PM (#28238825) Journal

      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: (Score:2, Informative)

        by sbierwagen (1493705)
        The Pre's screen is smaller in area, but has the same resolution as the iphone. (480x320)
      • by Flytrap (939609) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @02:00AM (#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...
    • by ischorr (657205) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @01:01AM (#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.
      • by Flytrap (939609) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @02:37AM (#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).
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          So for all intents and purposes it doesn't support multitasking, because ultimately whether or not it's solely used for Apple's stuff or simply doesn't exist at all, ultimately as third party developers, we can't use it.
          Fat load of good that does us
  • by casualsax3 (875131) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @11:01PM (#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.
    • by caffiend666 (598633) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @11:18PM (#28238739) Homepage
      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).
    • by Mista2 (1093071)

      I think the trick now is to get as many platforms as possible to synch with google, then using Active sync to GMail and GCalander/Contscts you can get the whole PIM thing. I've managed to get Kontact to Read Only sync, but atleast my iphone can sync with Google. On Windows, I use Googles sync application with Ourlook and there is a similar app for iCal on Mac but havent got contacts yet, so I use that too. I finally have a synch between all my system for calander. I just hope there is something for contacts

    • by terjeber (856226)
      Does anyone use Windows 95 these days? Doesn't that require surgical brain removal first?
  • Pro-Tip (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kotoku (1531373) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @11:02PM (#28238643) Journal
    Pro-Tip: For mass market appeal, don't call your fans Pre-verts.
  • Really pretty sweet (Score:4, Interesting)

    by oddman (204968) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @11:15PM (#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.
  • by sootman (158191) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @11:19PM (#28238741) Homepage Journal

    ... 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?

    • by bsharitt (580506) <brandon@nOspAm.sharitt.com> on Saturday June 06, 2009 @11:26PM (#28238775) Homepage Journal

      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.

    • by StreetStealth (980200) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @11:40PM (#28238849) Journal

      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.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:01AM (#28238957) Homepage Journal

        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.

      • by tyrione (134248)
        Use your head. Pre is using a much newer WebKit release than iPhone OS 2.0. With iPhone OS 3.0 comes Safari 4 and the latest WebKit.
    • 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...

    • 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.

    • 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

      • The iphone already has a faster processor -- it's just underclocked to save on power consumption. I assume there are also heat dispersal considerations in effect there as well.

  • by kitezh (1442937) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @11:24PM (#28238761)

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

    Yes, but does it blend?

  • First Impressions (Score:5, Informative)

    by Finder83 (829130) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @11:25PM (#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.
    • by StreetStealth (980200) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @11:52PM (#28238913) Journal

      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: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by shmlco (594907)

        "....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: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Planesdragon (210349)

          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 u

          • 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

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gad_zuki! (70830)

        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 wit

        • Re:First Impressions (Score:4, Informative)

          by RudeIota (1131331) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @03:17AM (#28239689) Homepage

          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.

          When the iPhone was first released, Apple insisted web applications were the best thing since sliced bread. They kept this mentality for nearly a year. Needless to say, customers were unhappy because web apps require access to the Interwebs, many things can't be practically done (Ocarina, Shazaam, 3D games etc..) and functionality can be limited. So, a *real* SDK was released and now we have apps that can do or be almost anything.

          Maybe web apps work best for what YOU do with your phone -- and that's cool -- but don't write off the importance of real, non-web applications.

          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.

          .. And you can still do that on an iPhone. This is not an issue - Apple has just given you a second way of doing it. The Safari browser on the iPhone is honestly the best one available for a mobile phone and way better than that Internet Explorer crap that you use to look for apartments (eg. WM5's IE supports only a tiny subset of Javascript).

          Besides, there are plenty of free (and good) apps on the iTunes store. I think you just have that common case of iPhone dispositionitis that's going around... ;-)

    • Re:First Impressions (Score:4, Informative)

      by Finder83 (829130) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:14AM (#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
    • by nhavar (115351)

      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.

    • 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.)

      This is one thing that makes all smart phones still suck. Why should we expect any delay, in this day and age? We've seen all kinds of features get added to smart phones but not a whole lot of improvement in this basic aspect of usability.

  • by memphis.barbecue (1402253) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @11:25PM (#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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06, 2009 @11:30PM (#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 (Score:4, Informative)

    by rennerik (1256370) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @11:31PM (#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 (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jra (5600) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @08:31AM (#28240679)

      Cock-a-doodle-Jeezus, Slashdot's code sucks.

      Fourth posting attempt. Sorry; if this looks like shit, it's Neal's fault.

      Only the second real new electronic toy I've ... well, ever gotten -- I work the secondary market *hard*...

      It's on Sprint, which is the carrier I've been on anyway for the last 10 years... well, ok, Nextel, but what can you do. My initial impression?

      B-

      Here's why:

      • The ringer isn't loud enough, by 30db or more; I need that thing to be audible in a machine room with 39 servers going, or a car with no A/C. The ringtones that come with it are these piddly-ass little things that are probably ok in a boardroom, but aren't gonna make it in the real world - UPDATE: No, it's the hardware. I took uniphone.wav -- the Universal Studios default WECo300 phone ring (you heard it in the opening of The Rockford Files, among other places) -- and converted it to MP3 and dropped it in the phone (which isn't a phone while you're USB-Driving it; LAME) and set it to that. No louder. I've *heard* that speaker be louder; I don't know what the hell they're doing with it that it can't ring at a ring-y volume...
      • The browser needs a "right-click" menu on objects such as embedded images, click-and-hold on the navigation buttons to move more than one page at a time in the history, and an *easy* way to turn off all that nifty CSS rendering and get information on the screen in a size my 43 year old eyes can actually *see*. I'm happy for you that you can render pretty pages. On a phone, I'm not generally interested in pretty pages; I'm interested in *information*.
      • And the global font size doesn't seem adjustable either, which will also get it sent back
      • At least the audio is good... and my partner and I are both picky...
      • I come from a 5-column BlackBerry SureType hard-keyboard background--and Grafitti before that--and I'm pretty happy with the keyboard. It's got enough tack to it that, as shiny as it is (and I'm worried about that cause the keytops are convex and glossy, which causes glare problems), your fingers catch on the keys pretty decently. I just hope it's double-shot molded, so the labels don't wear off.
      • That said, it needs the auto-punctuation and abbreviation facilities of the BlackBerries.
      • On the other hand, in their rush to make it have as few buttons as possible -- you know, cause style trumps functionality -- they didn't put a hard-button on the side for the *camera shutter*... which means that not only is it difficult to frame pictures of yourself, it's impossible to *take* them, cause your hands won't bend around that far.
      • Oh, Christ Jeezus... it's not a Nextel phone: it roams. Like, at my office desk. No *wonder* I got an Alltel intercept message. That's fatal, right there. If it doesn't get a signal, in all the places I spend my time, it's going right on back.
      • The more I use it, the more I decide that it's just really not all that comfortable to hold and use. I'm not talking about the shape of the body; I mean that if you want to do anything besides hold it in one hand and gesture at it with the other, you're screwed: there are no edges to hook your fingers on; it's uncomfortable to try to drive one handed, and so much of the front is active that if you try to hold it in your off hand for, say, reading while lying on your back, you're going to *do* things you didn't intend; a problem neither my Blackberry 7100i nor my Nokia n800 presents me with
      • There is one gripe everyone else seems to have that I want to counter: until you can't get through a day with it, would you quit bitching about the battery life? Really...
      • More to follow here, as I screw around with it

      And, on another related note, I should say that I picked up a Plantronics Voyager Pro headset to go with it -- the newer, even geekier looking version of the Voyager 510 I used to use -- and I'm even happier with its fit and audio quality than I was with the 510. Recommended.

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

  • Abroad (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tsa (15680)

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by itsme1234 (199680)

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

      THIS is the phone you've been waiting for?! It doesn't work with your current provider (which is GSM for sure); actually it doesn't really work anywhere except USA and colonies (yes, I know there are some CDMA other providers even across Europe but the coverage is poor and sometimes even when they are technically compatible 100% there aren't roaming agreements in place).

      The existing GPS app

      • by cibyr (898667)

        I'm pretty sure he's referring to the GSM version, and hopefully there'll be navigation software for other countries. Even without the navigation, it's an iPhone with a real keyboard and you don't need iTunes to get music onto it - I'm sold!

  • by jerryasher (151512) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:44AM (#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.

    • 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

    • Speak it, brother.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by n1ffo (1140017)
      Classic [motionapps.com] will allow you to run Agendus on the Pre. If you can adjust to the hardware differences, it might be worth considering.
    • Any input requiring the stylus on my Treo 600 was annoying, removing the stylus was just another step slowing me down for most of the stuff I did. But I did like the 5-way nav button. It's so much faster for some things compared to a touchscreen (stylus or finger). However, I'm happy enough with my iPhone since Apple have made the touchscreen-only UI work so well (guess that makes me a noob). It's a pity the Pre has no 5-way, since it is going after the button pushing market compared to the iPhone. Perhaps

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Blakey Rat (99501)

      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.

      Did it ever occur to you that perhaps the Pre just has a really crappy touchscreen? I

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jerryasher (151512)

        "Did it ever occur to you that perhaps the Pre just has a really crappy touchscreen?"

        So actually I did. Next time I post at slashdot I'll write a ph.d length dissertation.

        I ruled out that the Pre has a crappy touchscreen because:
        a) all of the reviewers (wsj, nytimes, and many many more) all said the touchscreen was great even in comparison to the iPhone
        b) the palms and treos had touchscreens that needed calibration and the pre somehow doesn't need calibration (and maybe it does...)
        c)

  • by JakiChan (141719) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:49AM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Planesdragon (210349)

      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.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by JakiChan (141719)

        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.

        I suggested that, but he wants to do the rebate instantly, not have to mail it in (which we all know usually doesn't work).

  • by bherman (531936) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @02:15AM (#28239463) Homepage
    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.
  • Got the bad one (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lurking Grue (3963) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @02:29AM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07, 2009 @04:11AM (#28239835)

    1. Keep in mind that everyone has the exact same needs you do, so everyone by extension should own your device because you are happy with it.

    2. Point out that nobody would ever buy it because your current device does everything anyone could ever want in the world.

    3. When someone points out that not everyone owns your device, say they should and thus have no reason to have any interest in the new product which is just a ripoff of your device anyway.

    4. When someone points out that your device probably doesn't suit every user, say that only the stupid ones who don't know how to use it would be unhappy with it.

    5. If they persist, question the sexuality of the person and call them a fanboy of the competing brand. Checkmate.

  • by Wingsy (761354) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @06:21AM (#28240197)
    I don't understand why anyone would buy a Pre today. With the new iPhone just around the corner (~30 days or less) I would hold off and see just what the iPhone 3.0 has in store, make my comparisons and then decide. Unless of course I've already made up my mind that I'm buying a Palm-anything and it makes no difference what else is out there. And people making comparisons between the Pre and the current iPhone -- I'd think this is a close enough race that the fair comparison would be to the new iPhone. Oh well, in 30 days that will be the case.
  • by Amorpheus_MMS (653095) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `suehproma'> on Sunday June 07, 2009 @07:38AM (#28240455)

    No mention yet about Copy&Paste which the iPhone got a lot of comments about lacking, and was always brought up as a bonus for every other new phone.

    Here's how it works on the Pre: You can't copy text that you can't edit. No copying text from a website, or an SMS, or an email unless you reply and copy from there.
    http://forums.precentral.net/palm-pre/182854-copy-paste-you-kidding-me.html [precentral.net]

  • Got one (Score:4, Informative)

    by Junta (36770) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @08:53AM (#28240735)

    On the whole happy, but not without qualification:

    -The browser was good. Relatively fast load and rendering, good touchscreen interaction. The one site so far that I have some problems using is google reader. The scrollable viewport for the articles isn't accommodated well. There are enough alternative navigation options in reader that I can get by, but I have to get used to them. Other sites depending on users to scroll within subelements like this may have issues.
    -The multitasking worked well. I did manage to hit a few websites with huge images that ended up exhausting the memory and requiring me to close 'cards' and only have 4 or so open, but these were very rare websites.
    -The device showed up as a usable mass-storage device, could access my pictures and stuff trivially. Can not access their 'OS' files.
    -The physical keypad works ok. The only other keyboard I've tried much in this class has been blackberry. The blackberry I could use 'reasonably' without any experience. My proficiency with the Pre is growing, but it wasn't as trivial as Blackberry keypads.
    -I didn't think I'd care much about one-handed operation, but it was more comfortable than having my hands so close together for a longer time. This might not have been the case for a landscape keyboard, but certainly the ability to operate one-handed is there if one cares, has comfort issues, or use it in relation to 3.1" porn.
    -The battery was relatively short lived in my first day usage. I was hammering the thing a lot more (constant music playing and browsing) than I would normally. An extended battery option is very possible (battery is quite accessible) and I wager likely. If I settle down in usage, it might be reasonable. Only time will tell.
    -The microUSB cover was a royal pain. After a few opens and closes, it freed up some. Still, it's a lot more inconvenient than what I had done previously. It's almost as if they are exacerbating a problem to make the overpriced Touchstone more appealing.
    -As well known, there is no storage expansion supported. I am disappointed with this in principal, though I don't have that much content myself.
    -No tethering yet. The device does not preset a CDC ACM device via USB, I don't think it does DUN profile (never used it before). Sprint's CSO said tethering will be possible, but no evidence to date.
    -It refuses to download files from the web it does not explicitly have a handler for. For example, if you have Classic and want to try a prc you see on the internet, you can't download it and move it on the phone to the right location. You must use another system to retrieve it and manipulate the Pre via USB mass storage mode.
    -The SDK is not out and their selection of applications is rather slim at the moment. I've played with 'WebShell'/'AjaxTerm', but it's impossible to use with Pre's inabliity to see that I'm trying to type in the page instead of a search. Even when it does work somewhat, it's clear I need a real SSH client and other applications.

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson

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