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CES 2009: Liveblogging Palm's press conference [day 3]

Scroll down for newest info -- wireless is spotty!PALM IS ALIVE AND WELLHere's the whole press conference, from start to finish:1:36PM EST: I'm sitting in the second row of Palm's very crowded press conference in a large ballroom in The Venetian, and the word on the street (...
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Written by Andrew Nusca on

Scroll down for newest info -- wireless is spotty!

PALM IS ALIVE AND WELL

Here's the whole press conference, from start to finish:

1:36PM EST: I'm sitting in the second row of Palm's very crowded press conference in a large ballroom in The Venetian, and the word on the street (...carpet?) from press is that this is Palm's make-or-break moment. (Duh.) While in (the very long) line, I overheard a Palm rep talking about the greater importance of the "platform" versus the "product," but that's all I heard. One Palm rep told me that Palm may kill the Wi-Fi during the event, which is scheduled to begin at 2PM EST. (If so, stay right here and I'll post as soon as I get out of here.) Either way, here's hoping Palm's got something significant to show!

Jon Rubinstein, chairman, kicks it off with Vampire Weekend on the speakers.

2:03 PM EST -  "The next wave is mobile technology."

2:04 PM - "You need to have a great phone, and a lot of companies have forgotten that. It needs to be more than a bunch of applications [on a phone]."

2:05 PM - "You need to have the right phone and you need to have the right platform. One that's forward looking...powerfully flexible."

2:05PM - I can't think of any company better to do that than Palm.

Ed Colligan, Prez and CEO

2:06PM - "Fingers not buttons, pockets, not processors."

2:06PM - "How can we simplify people's lives on the go?" and "How can we make the technology invisible?"

2:07PM - "Mobile is in our DNA." Very Sony-sounding comment. "We don't do refrigerators, we do mobile, and that's all we do."

2:09PM - Colligan gives a little Palm history. Mentions the fight versus pen and paper -- the Pilot, Treo, etc. The imagery and speech keep beating the "too many devices" theme over our heads. Colligan calls it the "Batman" syndrome.

2:09PM - Mentions Outlook contacts, Gmail, Facebook as separate folders that don't interact. "A real modal way of accessing information. We don't really live our lives that way."

2:10PM - "People like keeping their stuff in different places."

2:11PM - "What if your Outlook contacts showed up with their pictures from Facebook...automatically?"

2:12PM - "We have to start with a new platform...and we've done that." Connecting with the cloud.

2:12PM - "Every application designed for the OS will use the Internet in some way."

2:12PM - It's called the PALM WEB OS.

2:13PM - The whole thing built with industry standard web tools. Built with developers in mind.

2:13PM - "You want to build the right phone." It's "critical."

Jon Rubenstein comes back.

2:14PM - "It is my pleasure to show you the new Palm Pre."

2:15PM - EvDO Rev A., 802.11 b/g WiFi, GPS w/ third party turn by turn nav, Built in Bluetooth Ver 2.1 and stereo support, 8GB storage, Fast (TI's latest OMAP 3434) processor. First phone to use this processor.

2:16 PM - 3.1 in display, half VGA display, 320x480. Touchscreen with multitouch, bottom is "gesture area", one center button, sensors: accelerometer, ambient, X? LED flash, 3.0 MP camera, removable battery (applause)

2:17PM - micro USB for charging, high speed USB 2.0 with /USB mass storage support, 3.5mm headphone jack, ringer switch, power button (tap once, sleep; hold, airplane mode or power off)

2:18PM - "Cheesy virtual keyboards just won't cut it." Slide out keyboard, curved on back, works as phone open or closed. (Size compare to other phones)

Matias Duarte (senior director of human interface and user exp)

2:20PM - UI: Icons at bottom, time and status info "melt away" at top. Start something, tap icon. Finger scroll thru contact list. Open with tap. No buttons in the way. "Our touch is special - it does beyond the screen. Press and screen lights up lightly (brightens in local area around finger).

2:22PM - "All basic navigation is just gestures...completely ambidextrous." Start something new, swipe up (like G1) for menu.

2:24 PM - Web OS -- no four app buttons like on Treo. Gesture drag up - bring up "quicklaunch wave" on release, it goes to app

2:25pm -- "instead of a desktop with stacked windows, we think of a deck of cards that you can shuffle with one hand. center button brings up "live card" view that can be organized, press and hold to pick up, release to drop. Clean up deck -- slide card up, off screen. But all changes saved automatically -- no save button. "Throw it off top."

2:27PM -- no close boxes, window panes, etc.

2:28PM -- not just how you access apps, but how they stay linked. Called "synergy." Login once. No duplicates in contact list -- "photo stack" in contacts list indicates mutiple services for one person.

2:29PM - Synergy in calendar too. Tap for mutiple calendars, select calendars like gCal. Indicates busy time with gray hashes, so no double booking. Accordion folds to shrink empty time.

2:31PM - Mutiple email account support, auto-search for contacts as you type thru all services/accounts.

2:34PM - Card thing feels a lot like Leopard and Vista's Alt-Tab switcher. Switch quickly from emailing someone to IMing someone. Pidgin/Trillian-style multiple IM support.

2:36PM - Keeps convos in line over multiple services -- IM to SMS, for example.

2:38PM - "Not everything can be solved by a flick or a gesture." Thus, keyboard. "More than typing." Can be used to navigate.

2:38PM - Start typing and launcher searches apps and contacts for certain things. Keep typing, and find drawer opens up and gives options to search Google or Maps or Wikipedia. Tap choice, search results come up as next screen.

2:39PM - See webpages as normal. Two finger zoom for webpages (applause). Renders web pages properly.

2:41PM -- Can open as many browser window cards as you want. Sites with a lot of text auto zoom and you can read horizontally by rotating (Vole Sex story....big laughs on SFGate) Flick to move around.

2:42PM -- Web browser cards "equal citizens" with other cards. Rotation trick works on card view too!

2:44PM - Interruption "ntifications" work anywhere, show up at bottom of screen without taking complete focus. Tap and act on it.

2:45PM -- Music player -- notification for music player. LIttle music dashboard in bottom -- completely open design so devs can write stocks or whatever (CSS, HTML and Javascript for apps).

2:47PM -- Outlook-style even notifications without stealing focus

Jon comes back on stage.

2:50PM -- One more thing to show us. Accessories: Touchstone. Put on desk and gives wireless charging using inductive technology. Little magnets to hold in right place. When phone rings on Touchstone, answer and speakerphone automatically goes on. "Integration of hardware and software."

Ed comes back on stage.

2:52PM -- Pre in marketplace -- not just for work, not just for play. "The one phone that you can use for your entire life (breadth, not length of time). PARTNERS: Exclusive launch partner: Sprint. Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO, shows up!

Hesse:

2:53PM -- "First [and exclusive] U.S. provider to offer Pre." "Pre will be comfortable for first-time users." Intuition. App: can be on speakerphone, check calendar for availability, send e-mail to group, all while still on call.

2:54PM -- Physical keyboard for power users. "The most dependable 3G network." Mentions Gizmodo's 3G Pepsi Challenge across the U.S.: "We were number one in download speeds." Four times size of AT&T's 3G network.

2:57PM -- Less than $100 a month "Simply Everything" plan, so you can "knock yourself out."

2:58PM - Last year (2007), the most returned electronic device was the smartphone.

3:00PM -- We're number one in service in Q4 2008. "We expect that Palm Prie is going to be an iconic and in-demand device." 67% of Palm Centro users used a Palm device before.

PRE-REGISTRATION BEING TAKEN FOR PRE

Colligan returns.

3:00PM PRE WILL BE AVAILABLE IN 1ST HALF OF 2009 ("As soon as possible"). Partners, lots.

3:01PM - Facebook's here -- Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, is here!

Sheryl takes the stage for a moment.

3:01PM - Facebook has 150 million users worldwide. Facebook Connect for Mobile coming in 2009.

Ed's back to sum it up.

3:07PM - "We're eatin' our own dog food here." with regard to apps in HTML, CSS and Javascript. Brings back Jon, thanks Palm team. --------------------

See photos from the press conference, including screens of the OS and device:

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