Many of the online mobile enthusiasts, myself included, said that Palm needed to make a big announcement at CES to stay relevant in the mobile space and thankfully they did. So while the Pre and Palm WebOS gets Palm back in the game for now, it is way too early to say they are back for good. Robert Scoble posted a rather rather limited view of the mobile space yesterday and stated that Nokia and Microsoft are out of the mobile game in the US. He wrongly assumed that each of the four major US carriers only select one mobile OS as their dominant smartphone platform. Michael Gartenberg posted a response that I think much more accurately portrays the US mobile market.
Smartphones and Cell Phones
It seems everyone in business has a smartphone today to keep connected to the office and enjoy their time away from the office. Matthew Miller provides you with news, commentary and in-depth reviews of the latest in mobile phones sporting iOS, Android, Wi
Matthew Miller started using a Pilot 1000 in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since.
There was quite a bit of news out of CES last week and one tidbit that slipped by me was the announcement of the Pharos Traveler 137 Windows Mobile Smartphone. I never thought much about picking up a Pharos Windows Mobile device before, but see their latest Traveler GPS devices look quite attractive and full featured. The 127 and 117 actually look very much like the Velocity Mobile products that should have been available last year. The major new feature of the Traveler 137 is the support for T-Mobile USA's 1700 MHz 3G wireless band. It doesn't have the 850 MHz band for AT&T's 3G network though.
I heard about the supposed leak of the HTC 2009 roadmap images this morning and now see that Ed Hardy has put together a very nice breakdown of the devices by type, category, and operating system. Some devices are no surprise, one or two may really please me, and one actually shocked me a bit. Keep in mind this info is some kind of roadmap info so these devices may or may not be what we actually see ship from HTC in 2009 and some may be ideas and prototypes. I like the looks of most of what I see, but also need to see the OS behind the devices before I start forking over more of my hard earned cash.
Regular readers know that I use devices from all the mobile operating systems and am pretty flexible on what I am using day-to-day. I keep falling back to Windows Mobile devices (mainly my Palm Treo Pro and HTC Fuze) because I find the Exchange experience to be superior to ANYTHING else on the market and I like having such a broad choice in form factor. As I wrote last Fall this expansive choice of devices may also be a weakness in today's market due to expectations people now have for their mobile device that is primarily a result of the iPhone's methods for upgradeability and ease of usability. At CES, a Microsoft representative stated that they plan to start limiting the number of devices running Windows Mobile in order to improve the value of the license.
I have now been using a T-Mobile G1 for about 3 months and still find it to be a rock solid device that is a blast to use. A coworker visited my desk today and said she picked up the G1 and loves it so far, but wondered how she could get her work email on the device. We just switched to Exchange about six months ago and also have IMAP support. She figured out all the needed IMAP settings, which was quite impressive because I couldn't get it right and it was very customized compared to a standard IMAP setup. Her question encouraged me to look again for any kind of Exchange client on the G1 and in the spirit of the football playoffs I scored a TouchDown!
The excitement surrounding the Palm Pre and WebOS announcements is still quite high and is definitely the talk of CES 2009. Today, Palm posted some details on the Mojo application framework that developers will be able to use to write applications for the new device and OS. The hardware of the Pre is nice, but others have outstanding hardware as well. The success of the Pre and Palm comes down to the user experience, services, and developer support.
As I keep thinking about the Palm Pre and Palm Web OS announcement and looking at the stunning image gallery I can't help but think about all of those millions of Palm OS fans and developers wondering about the future of the current Palm OS. Palm is definitely moving fully into the cloud with the Palm Pre as they focused on their Web OS and never showed any desktop syncing capability. This means we have pretty much seen the end of any non-phone mobile devices from Palm, and pretty much everyone else now as well. What about all the money people have sunk into Palm OS 5 applications? Does the Palm Pre and Web OS support legacy Palm applications?
Palm needed to blow us away with something today at CES 2009 and I think they did just that with the Palm Pre and Palm Web OS announcements. Palm just posted several device photos and screenshots that we have available for you to view in our image gallery.
With Microsoft's rather anemic keynote at CES 2009, the show was up in the air for another company to step up to the plate and garner all the attention from the press. Thus, Palm was in a perfect position to steal the show and after following the various live feeds (Scoble's live video kyte feed was the best) I would have to say that Palm did just that. Palm should have had a live feed themselves since most people's live coverage kept dying out. I was quite nervous for Palm and was hoping they weren't going to come out and show a different color Treo Pro. They really needed to show something big or I think we would see Palm fade away into the history books of PDAs. As I watched the coverage I would have to say that Palm did a nice job with their announcements.
Streaming internet radio is very popular today with mobile clients and desktop clients like Pandora and Last.fm. At CES today, two more services announced expanded coverage, improved features, and availability. Slacker, Inc. announced Slacker Mobile for the BlackBerry so you no longer need to have a dedicated Slacker player to enjoy music on the go. FlyCast announced a client for the Android/T-Mobile G1 and desktop players for Windows PCs and Mac.