Sunday, February 22, 2009

MWC: Palm Pre Update

Now that Mobile World Congress (MWC) has wrapped up, here is where things stand in regard to Palm's upcoming webOS powered smartphone, the Pre.

Without much fanfare, Palm was showing off a GSM version of the Pre in Barcelona last week. While there was no press release for the GSM Pre last week, the UK Palm website now has a teaser page posted where customers can sign up to be notified by email when the phone is available. Further, clicking on the press release and details links, visitors are redirected to the US Palm website where they can read the press release from this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES). About the only difference that we can tell about at this point is that there is a GSM version of the Pre on the way for 2009. We also saw pictures of the GSM Pre sporting a Vodafone SIM card.














Engadget is also reporting that Palm will be shipping a new matte back plate for the Pre smartphone for use with the Palm Touchstone charging cradle accessory. This will come as great news for fans of the soft touch paint that Palm has been using on recent devices like the Treos 750 and 755p. The glossy back make look cool on the Pre, but I'd much rather have that soft touch backing that makes the phone so much easier to hang on to while using it.

Palm also announced that they will be working with Adobe on bring Flash applications to the webOS. To help achive this goal, Palm has joined Adobe's Open Screen Project. The Open Screen Project aims to build a common standard for building applications and web browsing "standalone applications and full web browsing across televisions, desktops and mobile devices taking advantage of Adobe Flash Platform capabilities." In other words, according to the Adobe press release, "[t]he work of the Open Screen Project will help deliver Adobe® Flash® Player for smartphones on the new Palm® webOS™ platform." Not to shabby.
"We’re excited that our customers will benefit from the creativity and broad range of Flash content and applications created by the millions of designers and developers using Adobe’s popular tools and technologies,” said Pam Deziel, vice president, software product management, Palm, Inc."

“As an industry innovator Palm will be an important contributor to the Open Screen Project,” said Michele Turner, vice president for Product Marketing, Flash Platform Business Unit at Adobe. “We’re aiming to bring a rich, Flash technology-enabled browsing experience to Palm’s impressive web browser.”

By building in support for Adobe's Flash Player into the operating system, there should be a surge of new applications and developers for the fledgling webOS platform.

Lastly, Engadget also reports that games are in development for the webOS platform, however, that for the time being, since "web-style app development will limit gaming options."

[Via Engadget Mobile...]

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