The one device that I have not yet had a chance to see in person was the Palm Pre and all of that changed at the Mobile Focus event last night. Kevin Tofel and I were able to corner Matt Crowley, Palm product line manager for the Palm Pre, and he ran through some things on the Pre for us. I asked particularly about 3rd party applications because I haven't yet seen any in action. He showed us Fandango, NASCAR, and Amazon Music on the camera and then we also heard more about Pandora. Check out the video below to see these apps in action and then a walk through some of the other main features of the Palm Pre.
When talking about Fandango he pointed out how it uses the GPS automatically to search theaters in your vicinity. After you find a movie, you can then buy tickets through Fandango and an appointment will be added to your calendar. You can also use it to get directions to the theater in case you don't know where it is. I personally use Fandango all the time to find movie times and would honestly use this quick a bit. You gotta love the calendar integration with 3rd party apps here.
I enjoy watching NASCAR, particularly because we personally know the Kahne family from Enumclaw, and the application on the Pre looks fantastic. You can get news, stats, and tons of info in the app. The cool part that he couldn't show because there was no race on at the moment was the real time track map that appears on the display for tracking the race.
An Amazon Music application is onboard, similar to my T-Mobile G1, so you can browse through and buy tracks from the Amazon store.
We were also told that Pandora streams in the background and then when a track changes a control appears on the display to let you pause the music or move to another song in the playlist.
I was also able to type on the keyboard and have to say I am a bit disappointed here. I thought it was going to be more like the Palm Treo 800w or even the Palm Treo Pro, but it really is most like the Palm Centro. It is quite tight and compact. The keys are those same chicklet keys that are very sticky and rubberized. It doesn't come close to a BlackBerry Curve or Bold keyboard experience and may be an issue for some folks. I am pretty adaptable to keyboards so I could make it work.
The device overall is also smaller than I thought, but that's not really bad either. The functionality was extremely cool, but I am still not sure if I can add a 3rd carrier just for the device.