11 questions I want answered on the Palm Pre

11 questions I want answered on the Palm Pre

Summary: The Palm Pre launches tomorrow and I have been reading a ton of reviews of the device posted by mobile technology sites. I played with the Pre at CTIA, but do not yet have a review device and have been thinking about whether or not I should try to find one here in Hawaii (I am on a business trip) in the morning to at least try out during the Sprint trial period. Even though there are some extensive reviews, I haven't yet found answers to a few of my questions and imagine I can get them from readers who buy the Pre or maybe some other reviewers who have the device.

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The Palm Pre launches tomorrow and I have been reading a ton of reviews of the device posted by mobile technology sites. I played with the Pre at CTIA, but do not yet have a review device and have been thinking about whether or not I should try to find one here in Hawaii (I am on a business trip) in the morning to at least try out during the Sprint trial period. Even though there are some extensive reviews, I haven't yet found answers to a few of my questions and imagine I can get them from readers who buy the Pre or maybe some other reviewers who have the device.

Seeking answers to these questions about the Palm Pre

  1. Can you create custom shortcuts using the Pre keyboard to launch applications, browser shortcuts, etc.?
  2. How do you quickly change the phone profile (normal, silent, meeting, etc.)?
  3. How do notifications work? Are there indicator lights, pop-ups like on the G1 or iPhone, etc.?
  4. Can you tell me more about how well Exchange works and how extensive it is integrated? Can I schedule appointments through my Exchange server? Can I look up people through the Global Address List? Are Tasks and/or Notes synced?
  5. Can you show me a Twitter client running on the Pre?
  6. How does the Facebook client look and what functions does it support?
  7. Does it support Windows DRM so I can play Zune tunes like on my Windows Mobile or S60 devices?
  8. What happens when you are viewing the web in landscape and you want to enter a URL or a text field? Does the browser auto rotate to portrait so you can use the keyboard?
  9. Can you access the file system on the device so you can do things like send email attachments, unlike the iPhone?
  10. Is it easy to customize backgrounds? Can you setup custom ringtones using MP3 files? Can you customize these ringtones for different people?
  11. Does it come with a calculator and how does it look on the Pre?

    If any reviewers or readers get a chance to try out or have answers for any of these I would really appreciate knowing what they are. I may get one tomorrow morning myself and will make it a point to answer and post the answers here if I do get one.

    Topics: Windows, Mobility, Operating Systems, Security, Software

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    • Possible answers

      "Can you create custom shortcuts using the Pre keyboard to launch applications, browser shortcuts, etc.?"

      I'm guessing yes. PalmOS was very flexible about this kind of stuff.

      "How do you quickly change the phone profile (normal, silent, meeting, etc.)?"

      No idea, I wonder this as well.

      "How do notifications work? Are there indicator lights, pop-ups like on the G1 or iPhone, etc.?"

      I think they showed it in some videos. Might wanna do a search.

      "Can you tell me more about how well Exchange works and how extensive it is integrated? Can I schedule appointments through my Exchange server? Can I look up people through the Global Address List?"

      No idea about Exchange, but I'm gonna guess they're gonna have a way to sync directly with Outlook. Exchange is *expensive* if you don't have it at your business.

      I'm a student on a budget - and frankly I worry that too many people are depending on exchange servers at their work to store personal info.

      "Are Tasks and/or Notes synced?"

      I'd be very disappointed if it didn't. PalmOS synced tasks and notes.

      "Can you show me a Twitter client running on the Pre?"

      "How does the Facebook client look and what functions does it support?"

      Dunno, but it's an open platform, so somebody could definitely do it.

      It also has a browser based on webkit, so it should be as good as the iPhone at accessing them through their web pages.

      "Does it support Windows DRM so I can play Zune tunes like on my Windows Mobile or S60 devices?"

      Wow, you still on that DRM stuff? I recently finished moving some of the remaining songs in my iTunes library to their DRM free format. iTunes is DRM free now, you know.

      Umm - I'm gonna say no. But it will play my iTunes music :P.

      "What happens when you are viewing the web in landscape and you want to enter a URL or a text field? Does the browser auto rotate to portrait so you can use the keyboard?"

      Very likely. It does have built in accelerometers to detect switching between landscape and portrait.

      "Can you access the file system on the device so you can do things like send email attachments, unlike the iPhone?"

      Hard to say.

      "Is it easy to customize backgrounds? Can you setup custom ringtones using MP3 files? Can you customize these ringtones for different people?"

      I'm gonna say very likely, PalmOS was good with customization.

      "Does it come with a calculator and how does it look on the Pre?"

      Oh definitely, I don't see it not having a calculator. If somehow it doesn't, I'm sure somebody will create one. Or you can run one of the many calculators for the original Palm using the PalmOS emulator.
      CobraA1
    • RE: 11 questions I want answered on the Palm Pre

      1. Pretty sure, like a Palm Treo or Centro you can probably
      assign a letter to launch a certain application or call a
      number. As for the browser shortcut, that is something I'm
      not sure of. I do know the Treo doesn't have a shortcut for
      websites.

      2. Like the Treo & Centro there is a ring/vibrate switch at
      the top of the device.

      3. Shows up first on the notification bar I don't think that it
      will pop up. More convenient this way.

      4. With Exchange you will be able to sync contacts,
      calendar, email just like any other device. You will also be
      able to invite people for calendar events and my guess is
      global-contact search will be a feature.

      5. No.

      6. Twitter client hasn't been looked at yet.

      7. Facebook looks just like the Windows Mobile App.

      8. DRM music is protected so no. But you can
      purchase/look for free applications that can convert DRM
      music files to unprotected files and then import them into
      iTunes and sync your Pre (with iTunes) :)

      9. There is no on-screen keyboard...Thank God! Use the
      slide-out keyboard. It will auto-rotate to portrait mode.

      10. The user interface with the Pre is extremely user
      friendly, so yes.

      11. All phones have calculators. :)

      I hope this could help you out a bit.
      nick@...
      • omg he was talking about zune!

        why do so many people lose about 50-60 iq points when they talk about DRM

        Seeing as alot of phones and media players support wma drm it is a reasonable question and you gave a stupid answer.
        If he is using the zune market place then why the hell would he want to use itunes?
        jdbukis@...
        • Zune DRM is different . . .

          "why do so many people lose about 50-60 iq points when they talk about DRM"

          Nope. The ugly truth is that the Zune uses a different DRM than other players.

          "Seeing as alot of phones and media players support wma drm"

          Actually, they don't. They use the "Plays for Sure" kind, which is incompatible with the Zune's DRM.

          Frankly, though, most places have gone DRM free, including iTunes. It would be silly to have DRMed music. My advice is that he starts moving his music to a DRM free format so that he doesn't have these worries.

          DRM is dead for music. Despite all the predictions that it's "here to stay," it was successfully killed.
          CobraA1
          • actualy they do

            My Htc Touch HD and my Creative Zen use Wma Drm, as does the napster store which does not appear to be going anywhere. Interestinly nokia are making a big push withn there comes with music brand, which also uses wma drm and nokia's comes with music is supposed to be around.
            With the zune software being ported to windows mobile I realy doubt that drm is dead.
            And drm syncing issues can also be caused by devices not supporting mtp rather than the drm.
            I noticed some mp3 players that support Wma drm too.
            I would suggest he keeps using the zune market place if it suits him.
            Oh yeah systems like 4 on Demand use drm too and probably would not exist in its current form.

            I oike using napster as I have downloaded in a couple of months an amount of music that would take me quite a while to buy on itunes.
            jdbukis@...
            • re: DRM . . .

              "With the zune software being ported to windows
              mobile I realy doubt that drm is dead."

              Oh, it's dead. iTunes killed it.

              Microsoft is probably still in denial. Or tangled
              up with the music studios. Or both.
              CobraA1
    • Other questions too

      of course, they'll be more once we know for sure what the
      new iPhone hardware and new software will do, but here's
      a few...

      12) will the Pre take video and allow editing/uploading like
      the new iPhone is rumored to do?
      13) how many apps are available compared to the 40,000
      on the iPhone; and will developers even develop for the
      Pre?
      14) does it contain a compass and magnetometer like the
      new iPhone is rumored to have? i've seen samples of some
      amazing apps that use these features.
      15) since Palm is touting 'itunes syncing' what happens if
      it can't sync all items, or an Apple udate (which they have
      every right in the world to do) renders it useless. Will they
      allow refunds?
      ShazAmerica
      • Palm Should be More Worried about Android than Apple

        It's interesting you compare several
        items to the iPhone.

        12) Android already allows taking and
        uploading of video directly to youtube.
        14) Android has included apps for the
        compass and magnetometer since launch.

        Android also allows access to the file
        system (from the original post) so that
        people can access attachments for email.
        And it contains full cut and paste
        functionality.

        By the end of the year, Android will have
        up to 18 different phones on the market
        spread over all the major companies. It
        won't render the iPhone unimportant, but
        it is already on track to becoming the
        phone operating system to beat. If I
        were Palm I would worry a lot more about
        Android than Apple.
        Stoutner
      • Some answers.

        "12) will the Pre take video and allow editing/uploading like the new iPhone is rumored to do?"

        It's very unlikely this rumor is true. Unless you are a sucker for pain and have extreme levels of patience - there's no way you're editing video on an iPhone. Video editing is something you do on a quad core monster computer.

        "13) how many apps are available compared to the 40,000 on the iPhone; and will developers even develop for the Pre?"

        If you count all of the applications you can use on the PalmOS emulator - more than 50,000.

        Yes, Palm already has a SDK available.

        "14) does it contain a compass and magnetometer like the new iPhone is rumored to have?"

        Doubtful, but it *does* have GPS.

        "15) since Palm is touting 'itunes syncing' what happens if it can't sync all items, or an Apple udate (which they have every right in the world to do) renders it useless. Will they allow refunds?"

        No. As an iTunes user, I can tell you Apple does not refund their music.

        IMHO, though, Apple pretty much allowed this when they went DRM free. If for some reason Apple changes iTunes and the Pre can't sync directly through iTunes, Palm can always design it to go to the music folder and sync from there.
        CobraA1
        • some thoughts in addition to your answers...

          Yes, an SDK is available, but developers go where the money is...and
          currently, that's the iPhone. I've read that some developers that used
          to develop for other mobile OS's have gone exclusively iPhone. They
          know where their bread is going to be buttered.

          With the iPhone/iPod Touch juggernaut just getting started, I'll bet my
          money on Android, WebOS, and WinMo being bit players in a few
          years. I bet all my money on Apple stock when I bought the first iPod
          and knew it would dominate (my former MP3 player looked like it was
          made in Soviet Russia next to the iPod) eventually and we're going to
          see the same thing here on mobile devices. Some people will never
          buy an Apple product, due to their unnatural hatred for the company,
          so they'll buy a competing product even if it has less features, worse
          support, etc. so you won't see the end of Palm or RIM, but Apple will
          have the lions share...in spite of stupid Steve Balmer's idiotic
          prediction!

          The new iPhone will have voice navigated GPS, developers have already
          demonstrated it.

          I wouldn't expect Apple would refund money, they shouldn't have to;
          if a user buys a Pre because Palm tells them it would sync, Apple
          should cripple the Pre's syncin and the consumer should have every
          right to make Palm or Sprint refund their purchase price for false
          advertising. I believe that some things in iTunes, like rented movies
          and such, use DRM and the Pre won't have full compatibility. I could
          be wrong I'm curious if someone out there has the answer.

          Palm had no right to piggyback on iTunes. I agree that if a person
          owns DRM free music/videos the Pre has every right to scan for them
          and copy them to the Pre, but to use iTunes interface to choose
          playlists, etc, that's just flat out wrong.
          ShazAmerica
          • "flat out wrong"?

            "Yes, an SDK is available, but developers go where the money is...and currently, that's the iPhone."

            True, Apple has a lot of momentum right now. Palm has to keep on top of their game and not lag behind like they have been if they want to stay in the game.

            "if a user buys a Pre because Palm tells them it would sync, Apple should cripple the Pre's syncin and the consumer should have every
            right to make Palm or Sprint refund their purchase price for false advertising."

            Well, I wouldn't go around buying the Pre for its music abilities. I'd buy it as cell phone and PIM device first and foremost. I already have an iPod anyways, so it wouldn't be a big loss.

            But - it would still be nice to have all my stuff in one device rather than three.

            "Palm had no right to piggyback on iTunes. . . . but to use iTunes interface to choose
            playlists, etc, that's just flat out wrong. "

            "Flat out wrong?" Wow. May I ask why you say this?
            CobraA1
            • my thoughts on syncing with iTunes

              In my humble opinion, when you buy an iPod you're buying the whole,
              graceful widget; the hardware that syncs with iTunes; both Apple
              products.

              Now, granted, if you buy a song that's not hindered by DRM and it resides
              on your hard drive; you can do anything you want with it (this is why I
              prefer buying my tunes and owning them; unlike people that 'rent' their
              tunes and can see them disappear if they ever stop paying their extortion,
              I mean, subscription money)

              iTunes performs a service other than letting a person buy/rent movies,
              podcasts, music, etc. It also allows you to manage your content, so if your
              iPod/iPhone can't hold all the gigabytes of data you have, you can create
              playlists, pick and choose the media to carry with you, etc.

              The Pre has every right to scan your hard drive and copy non restricted
              material to itself. But since it only has 8gb of memory, it needs a way to
              know what content you want. But Palm didn't put any effort into making a
              syncing app; they just piggybacked on iTunes.

              That my be technically legal, and I won't argue that, I just think its wrong
              and underhanded of them. Unless they are telling their customers that
              Apple has every right to stop the syncing at any time, and could do so,
              Palm is doing a disservice to their customers.
              ShazAmerica
            • Well, it's been pretty open so far.

              "In my humble opinion, when you buy an iPod you're
              buying the whole, graceful widget; the hardware that
              syncs with iTunes; both Apple products. "

              iTunes is freely available from their website. You
              don't need an iPod to use it. It'll burn music and
              MP3 CDs. It'll convert its own format to MP3. It
              stores its playlists in an XML format, with no
              attempt to encode, encrypt, or obfuscate it.

              So, right off the bat, it seems Apple is actually
              open with its software. Its hardware may be locked
              down like crazy, but its software isn't.

              The only locking down Apple has really done is the
              whole DRM thing they [b]had[/b] to do to make their
              content available. Which IMHO they only did
              reluctantly.

              "iTunes performs a service other than letting a
              person buy/rent movies, podcasts, music, etc. It
              also allows you to manage your content, so if your
              iPod/iPhone can't hold all the gigabytes of data you
              have, you can create playlists, pick and choose the
              media to carry with you, etc."

              Indeed it does - at no cost and with no
              restrictions. Apple seems to be taking a pretty open
              approach on the software side.

              "But Palm didn't put any effort into making a
              syncing app; they just piggybacked on iTunes. "

              A person with a Pre will have to answer that
              definitively, but I'm pretty sure they sync with a
              lot more than iTunes, and I'm very sure they put a
              lot of effort into it. I seriously doubt they just
              latched onto an API and called it a day.

              "I just think its wrong and underhanded of them."

              How? I seriously doubt it's going to compete
              directly with the iPod. As you've said, it's only 8
              GB - the iPod touch tops out at 32 GB, and the iPod
              classic tops out at 120 GB.

              Apple has gone out of their way to push their
              iPod/iTunes experience to people who are using other
              things. They do, after all, make iTunes for the PC.
              IMHO, as long as the person is seeing an Apple logo
              *somewhere*, Apple is happy.

              I think that people are jumping the gun on this.
              Apple has a history of surprising us with their open
              approach on the software side of things. Why do you
              think they pushed the music industry so hard to get
              rid of DRM?

              For all intents and purposes, Apple [b]could[/b]
              have been satisfied with leaving DRM on their music,
              and they [b]could[/b] have done what everybody else
              did and continue to lock it down. After all, DRM is
              a nice way to lock everything down and force people
              to use iPods with iTunes.

              But they didn't. They pushed to have it DRM free,
              and now it is. Every song on iTunes is now DRM free
              and in a high quality format.

              So you tell me - if Apple really cared soo much
              about their music being pushed onto other devices,
              why did they go to all the trouble of making it DRM
              free?

              Frankly, I don't think Apple is going to care.

              It's the other companies Apple works with (music
              studios, AT&T, other content providers) that are so
              bent on closing up everything. Not Apple (at least
              on the software side - hardware is a different
              story).
              CobraA1