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Handhelds Cellphones Communications Hardware

Palm Pre Is Out, Time For Discussion 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."
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Palm Pre Is Out, Time For Discussion

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  • 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 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.

  • First Impressions (Score:5, Informative)

    by __aalruu9610 ( 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 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 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 bsharitt ( 580506 ) <> 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 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 :)
  • 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 []) 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 _merlin ( 160982 ) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @11:42PM (#28238859) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by Anpheus ( 908711 ) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:05AM (#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:First Impressions (Score:4, Informative)

    by __aalruu9610 ( 829130 ) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @12:14AM (#28239013)
    I was incorrect in giving AIM as an example to save 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 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.

  • 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: []

    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 sbierwagen ( 1493705 ) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @01:37AM (#28239325)
    The Pre's screen is smaller in area, but has the same resolution as the iphone. (480x320)
  • by i.of.the.storm ( 907783 ) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @01:49AM (#28239349) Homepage
    A quick google search seems to prove you wrong, although CEOs do have a tendency to bluff sometimes. []
  • 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.

  • 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)" []

    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...
  • 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 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).
  • by n1ffo ( 1140017 ) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @03:15AM (#28239677)
    Classic [] will allow you to run Agendus on the Pre. If you can adjust to the hardware differences, it might be worth considering.
  • 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:Got the bad one (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07, 2009 @03:49AM (#28239779)
    Do you know if it was a Corporate Sprint store or a third party? At the store I work for [Corporate store] we would have exchanged the phone without a qualm. Third parties however are a far different story. The best way to handle your situation would be to find out first if it was a corporate store. After which, contact the District Manager [they tend to have ten or so stores assigned to them.] For your experience, you should stay within the report structure of the sales side, rather than going to customer service. The best way to impact the manager [to make him better] would be to talk with his boss. That would work well against a corporate store...Everything about corporate stores are about customer service at this time. The entire commission structure is based off of surveys that are done over the phone about a customer's experience. Literally 40% of their pay is tied to a composite score of every employee in the store in regards to getting '5's on a survey. However a third party is a completely different story.
  • 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.

  • by gmr2048 ( 176781 ) * on Sunday June 07, 2009 @09:54AM (#28240995) Homepage

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

    For the record (at least for the moment) the Pre requires a Sprint "Everything" plan, all of which include unlimited data.

  • by dfghjk ( 711126 ) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @10:34AM (#28241219)

    "As Steve Jobs was saying at the time when promising things like support for native applications, Apple was still working on their security model and other aspects of the platform to insure that applications could not compromise AT&T's services or other things."

    Jobs didn't say this. Jobs said that 3rd party apps couldn't be supported because of security concerns and never promised, or even suggested, that an SDK would be coming. Jobs lied about security to cover for his incomplete product just as he lied about 3G.

    "We see that they've finally added cut and paste, but not in response to earlier complaints, but according to a schedule of work they had to get through."

    How do you know that?

  • by Old97 ( 1341297 ) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @02:32PM (#28242945)

    Gee, somebody has been reading Wikipedia again. Apple officially announced their intention to deliver the iPhone SDK for native applications in October (see the link) 2007. They announced that they expected it to be available in February 2008. It was delayed so the formal announcement of it's release was March 2008. []

    Accurate information about the SDK was available by June 2007. See Gruber's stuff and Roughly Drafted from that time period. Considering that the device and OS weren't even functional in June 2006, it's not surprising that delivering an SDK and its' security and distribution models took a bit longer. As any early iPhone adopter knows, Apple was still working on getting the core features working as expected on AT&T's Edge network for months after they started shipping it.

Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.