Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pre webOS 1.4.0 Battery Test: Part 2

My Palm Pre battery test continues. It's about 6:30pm and my Pre is reporting that the battery is now at 84% with little use since about 2:00pm today.

So far, I have been losing 4% charge an hour. I haven't made any phone calls or used the phone to play games or surf the web. The only thing that has been going on with the phone is scheduled sync check with my single Gmail account.

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Pre webOS 1.4.0 Battery Test

Improved battery life is one of the reported enhancements in Palm webOS 1.4.0. I've decided to put the battery improvements to the test.

It's just after 2:00pm and my Pre has 100% charge. Wi-Fi is off, as is Bluetooth. I have one Gmail account (email, calendar, and contacts) configured to sync items as they arrive. We'll see how things are going in a few hours.

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Palm webOS 1.4.0 Impressions

With webOS 1.4.0, Palm has introduced over 70 new feature enhancements and fixes to their customers. I installed the update on my Sprint edition Pre and have spent some time playing with it. What follows are my impressions of some of the new features you can look forward to in webOS 1.4.0.

YouTube Links in App Catalog

The new App Catalog now allows developers to embed a link to a YouTube video of their application in action as seen here for ETI Studios Dice Tower application. Just tap on the video link to the upper right of the screen an the video loads up in webOS' YouTube player application. That's a nice feature since I almost never go to a YouTube page to view a video of a webOS or iPhone application in action before I buy.

Device Info

With this release of webOS, Palm has given their customers more control about how data is destroyed on a Pre or Pixi. There are now three types of data deletion options to delete applications and their data, everything from the USB drive partition, and a secure full erase (which erases apps, data, and the USB drive).

I think these features are important with so much focus on privacy today. You will want to use these features when you send your phone in for repair (don't forget to back up first!), swap phones (for personal or corporate use), or give away or sell your phone when you get a new one. You won't believe how many times over the last 10 years I have been told about stories of people buying a used phone and it still having the previous owner's data still on it.

Blink Notifications

This is a feature I have been waiting for since June 6, 2009 - Not that I've been counting the days, hours, and minutes or anything like that!

Finally, finally, you can receive a visual notice that your Pre or Pix wants to get your attention when the screen is off! When there is a new message waiting for you, like an unread email, the Center button on my Sprint Pre now blinks twice, waits four seconds, and then blinks again.

Startup Card

This new "feature" drives me nuts. Before this feature was baked, or perhaps half-baked, into webOS, I never thought that app load times where longer then any other smartphone. Now I have a graphic that gets in my face every time I launch a new application that reminds me that I have to wait for my application to load. Ugh! I hate the start up card because I almost always flick cards away when I'm done using an app, so I start apps up all the time. Hopefully, we'll be given an option to turn this option off in a future release of webOS.

Improved Performance and Battery Life

I don't have a screen shot for this one. I just hope that Palm continues to work on these issues. There are times when I'm left wondering what the hell my Pre is doing as I wait there wondering if the phone accepted my touch or keyboard command. I would like to see Palm's software engineers to continue to improve the peppiness of webOS.

Battery life is my #1 gripe with the Pre and webOS, bar none. It is a serious problem in my book when a phone battery does dead in anything less than 48 hours. When I was using my Palm Treo 700p, Treo 755p, the BlackBerry Curve, and even now with my HTC Droid Eris, I can go a full two days without having to worry about charging my phone. With the Pre and webOS, I start to worry about the battery about happy hour. It's hard to use your phone for social networking when the battery is dead. But more importantly than that, if I forget to put the Pre on my Touchstone charging base, I shouldn't wake up in the morning to a dead phone. That is just the pits and I refuse to carry around another $50 battery to get the same run time as my older phones have right now.


In conclusion, there are a number of nice things included in this release of webOS. There are more features that I like than things I find annoying, and at the end of the day, I'll get over them. If you like to have the latest and greatest software on your phone, download this update now using the Updates application.

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Palm webOS 1.4.0 Update Arrives

The Palm webOS 1.4 update has finally showed up as being available for install on my Sprint Palm Pre this morning.

Palm's management had said that the update would be rolled out in February during their CES press event last month. The update weighs in at 39MB.

As of right now, the 1.4.0 update is only available for webOS Pre and Pixi phones from Sprint, O2 UK, O2 DE, O2 Ireland, and Movistar networks. If you have a Palm webOS phone on Verizon, Bell, or other carrier, you are going to have to wait a little longer for the certification testing to be completed.

The webOS 1.4.0 update does not include any new applications, however, it does include some 70+ documented updates to Palm's mobile operating system. This update includes the following fixes and enhancements:

  • You can customize calendar notification sounds in Preferences & Accounts. The options include Mute, System Sound, Ringtone, and Vibrate. The Ringtone option includes new notification sounds to give you more customization choices.

  • If you create an event and enters a phone number as the event name, location, or description, you can tap the phone number on the event details screen to dial it.

  • A new Sync Now application menu item gives you a second way to manually synchronize your calendar accounts (in addition to the Sync Now button in Preferences & Accounts).

  • This release improves Calendar synchronization performance in poor network coverage areas to optimize battery life. It also increases the default interval for synchronizing with online calendar accounts other than Exchange accounts.

  • This release contains improvements to the visual calendar display, including a clearer indicator of AM and PM and improved current time display.
  • You can record video whenever and wherever inspiration strikes with the new camcorder feature in Camera. After recording a video, you can edit the clip in Videos, upload the video directly to YouTube or Facebook, or send the video by email or multimedia message.
  • If you import a Mac Address Book contact, all contact fields display correctly in the Contacts application.

  • This release improves Contacts synchronization performance in poor network coverage areas to optimize battery life. It also increases the default interval for synchronizing with online contacts accounts other than Exchange accounts.
Device Info
  • You now have two partial erase options: Erase Apps & Data, which erases all installed applications and associated data, and Erase USB Drive, which erases files stored on the USB drive.

  • This release includes a new Secure Full Erase option. A secure full erase takes considerably longer than a regular full erase.
  • You can customize calendar notification sounds in Preferences & Accounts. The options include Mute, System Sound, Ringtone, and Vibrate. The Ringtone option includes new notification sounds to give you more customization choices.

  • If the message body contains a phone number and you tap and hold the number, a menu appears displaying options to Call, Text, or Add To Contacts (if the number is not already saved in a contact).

  • This release includes multiple performance improvements in Email, including improved handling of message replies and forwarded messages and quicker response times to gestures.
Location Services (GPS-enabled features)
  • If you turn off the Use GPS and Use Google Services options under the Locate Me Using application menu item, the Locate Me Using menu item remains available.
  • You can attach a video to an outgoing multimedia message.
  • You can tap the contact photo or icon in a call history entry to display options for that entry, including dialing an alternate number, sending a text message, opening a contact, or adding the number as a contact. The expanded display also includes call details such as call length and phone number type.
Screen & Lock
  • New blink notifications (a blinking light in the gesture area) alert you when email, text message, or other notifications arrive. You clear the blink notification by turning the screen on and off or unlocking the screen. The blink notification preference is on by default; you can turn it off in Screen & Lock > Blink Notifications.
Sounds & Ringtones
  • This release adds new user-selectable notification sounds under Ringtone.
System (overall enhancements to webOS)
  • This release offers better overall performance, including faster loading time for apps and increased battery life across a wider range of user scenarios.

  • If you are playing a game and a phone or calendar notification arrives, the game pauses while the notification is coming up.

  • You can quickly unlock the screen by dragging up from the gesture area across the onscreen lock icon.

  • This release improves the speed of downloading applications and files.
  • You can upload a recorded video to YouTube or Facebook on the web.

  • You can edit recorded video. You can also delete recorded video, video copied from a computer, or video received as an attachment to an email message.

  • If you tap the option to share an uploaded video, you have the option to send the link via email, text message, or Facebook.
  • A new Sleep Settings application menu item allows you to change a setting so that if Wi-Fi is on and the phone screen turns off, the Wi-Fi feature turns off. By default, if Wi-Fi is on and the screen turns off, the Wi-Fi feature stays on.

The full change log for the webOS 1.4.0 update can be found on the Palm webOS update website.

Installing the Update

Sprint customers can install the Palm webOS 1.4.0 update right now by using the Updates application on their phone. Customers can also wait for their Pre or Pixi to download the update in the background automatically and then install the update when the download is complete.

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Palm Updates Guidance

Earlier today, Plam issued a new guidance for Q3FY10, stating that the revenues for the smartphone maker will be below previous estimates.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Feb 25, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Palm, Inc. (NASDAQ:PALM) today indicated that it expects that revenues for the third quarter of fiscal year 2010 will be in the range of $285 million to $310 million on a GAAP basis and in the range of $300 million to $320 million on a non-GAAP basis.1 Revenues for the quarter and full year are being impacted by slower than expected consumer adoption of the company's products that has resulted in lower than expected order volumes from carriers and the deferral of orders to future periods. Accordingly, Palm expects fiscal year 2010 revenues to be well below its previously forecasted range of $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion. The company will provide more detail on its financial results during Palm's third-quarter financial results conference call currently scheduled for Thursday, March 18.
"Palm webOS is recognized as a groundbreaking platform that enables one of the best smartphone experiences available today, and our work to evolve the platform and bring industry-leading technology to market continues. However, driving broad consumer adoption of Palm products is taking longer than we anticipated," said Jon Rubinstein, chairman and chief executive officer. "Our carrier partners remain committed, and we are working closely with them to increase awareness and drive sales of our differentiated Palm products."

The Company expects to close its third fiscal quarter with a cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments balance in excess of $500 million.


This can't be good news for Palm, who has been struggling over the last two years to transform their business both from a technology standpoint and a revenue standpoint. Over the last three years, Palm completely changed their management team, infused the company with a number of tech company A-list talent, and completely revamped their smartphone and mobile operating system software.

However, many people where critical of what was pent up demand for the original Palm Pre smartphone which when on sale with exclusive launch partner, Sprint, back on June 6, 2009. Many customers on Verizon, which only recently began selling the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus, and AT&T simply had no way of getting new Palm hardware except to jump carriers which has become an extremely costly proposition for customers in today's depressed economy.

I personally believe that Palm took too long to bring the Pre to Verizon as the Pre Plus and that their six month exclusive agreement with Sprint went on too long. It didn't help that the second Palm webOS smartphone, the Pixi, also started out life on Sprint as an exclusive. Customers on AT&T and T-Mobile still don't have access to a branded Palm smartphone.

Lastly, Palm is fighting an uphill battle against white hot brands like the Apple iPhone 3G S, the Motorola Droid, and the BlackBerry Storm2. Palm is going to have to get more phones out to more carriers and into the hands of customers sooner rather than later. That means Palm should pick up the pack and get the distribution deal with AT&T in place and grow the regions around the world that have access to Palm's products.

It looks like FY2011 is going to continue to be difficult for Palm. Palm's stock closed the day at $6.53 with a number of investment firms changing their buy ratings to sell.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rumor: Flash Support Coming to webOS in February is reporting that having native Adobe Flash support on Palm webOS devices like the Pre could become a reality later this month.
"Palm and SFR held their French launch event last night and reports on the ground bring good news: Palm employees specifically said that Flash would be available in February. Previously we had been a little unsure of that, what we knew for sure was that webOS 1.4 would lay the underpinning for it, but the actual release (which is coming in the App Catalog) was less clear."

Sounds cool if it's true and would be a cool trick since the iPhone can't handle embedded Flash content in web pages.

You can read the full article over on

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Palm Pre Plus, Pixi Plus Go On Sale Today

The new Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus, introduced during this month's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vega goes on sale today for the Verizon Wireless cellular network.

Verizon Wireless, the company with the largest and most reliable wireless voice and 3G data network, announced today that Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus will be on store shelves and ready for purchase. The Palm Pre Plus will cost $149.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate, and the Palm Pixi Plus will cost $99.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate, each with a new two-year customer agreement. Buy a Palm Pre Plus or a Palm Pixi Plus and get a Palm Pixi Plus free after a mail-in rebate through Feb. 14.

Both Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus come travel-ready with a built-in 3G Mobile Hotspot – a Wi-Fi hotspot that can be shared among five Wi-Fi-capable devices. The 3G Mobile Hotspot is the perfect family vacation companion, and at $40 for 5 GB and 5 cents per megabyte overage, it provides an allowance big enough for sharing with the entire family for downloading games, Internet access and more.

Paired with Verizon Wireless’ new Nationwide Talk or Nationwide Talk & Text plans and a $29.99 monthly data plan, Palm Pre Plus is the perfect tool for the busy family manager, while Palm Pixi Plus is the perfect complement to a youngster as part of a Family SharePlan. Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plans begin at $39.99 monthly access and Nationwide Talk & Text Plans begin at $59.99 monthly access. Nationwide Unlimited Talk Plans and Nationwide Unlimited Talk & Text Plans are available at $69.99 and $89.99 monthly access, respectively. Nationwide Unlimited Talk Family SharePlans start at $119.99 monthly access for the first two lines, while the Nationwide Unlimited Talk & Text Family SharePlans are $149.99 monthly access for the first two lines of service.

In addition, Palm Pixi Plus customers have more options for personalizing their phones with the new color Pixi Touchstone Back Covers. The covers will be available in pink, blue, green, orange and black for only $29.99 each at and in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Palm webOS Tip: webOS Shortcuts Revealed

Over on the Palm company blog today, Calvin P has posted a list of Palm webOS shortcuts that use Universal Search to help you quickly get to applications on your phone.

Kudos for Palm for sharing their list with us! Double Kudos points for readers of Smartphone Fanatics because we posted our list of shortcuts first! (Here and Here.)

Palm webOS shortcut list:
  • store or cat: App Catalog
  • pic(ture): Photos
  • sms or text: Messaging
  • time: Date & Time and Clock
  • add(ress): Contacts
  • todo: Tasks
  • eve(nts): Calendar
  • note: Memos
  • net: Wi-Fi
In addition to those listed by Palm, you can also use:
  • peo(ple): Contacts
  • pref: Palm webOS preference applications

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Palm webOS Lands in Europe

Following a few short weeks after the introduction of Palm webOS 1.3.5 and here in the US, O2 Pre customers in Europe where treated today to the Palm webOS update.

By and large, Palm webOS and appear to be identical as there doesn't seem to be anything in the release notes that jumps out at you as being different.

Just like the US edition, Palm webOS includes the fix for the pesky Calendar and Exchange ActiveSync sync issue and effectively removes the application install limit that some customers who loaded their Pres up on App Catalog and homebrew apps ran into.

For the complete list of updates included in the European Palm webOS update, visit the Palm webOS European updates page.

The update is available now and can be installed on your Pre smartphone by running the Updates application.

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

CPR for the Palm Pre

I just had a problematic 30 minutes to deal with. My Pre, my every day cell phone, for whatever reason, stopped responding to input. The last two pieces of software I added to the phone was the Palm webOS update (to address the Calendar and Exchange ActiveSync issue) and the new 3D game, Monopoly by Electronic Arts mobile.

So what gives? The phone just stopped working. I wanted to shut the Pre down correctly so I held the Power button down for 2 seconds, but then I couldn't tap the on screen Power button to reboot the phone. So I pulled the battery out. Not exactly the graceful shutdown of webOS that I was hoping for.

I waited a few seconds, popped the battery in and the Pre seemed to just hang at the Palm logo screen. Ugh! Out comes the battery again.

I really didn't want to have to re-flash my phone to reload a fresh copy of Palm webOS and then have to reload my data from a back. (Make sure you are using the Backup application to back your data up to your Palm profile!!)

To resolve the issue, I pulled the battery out, let the phone sit for about 30 minutes, and then popped the battery back into the phone. I then waited another 5 minutes or so (it felt like 3 hours) for webOS to boot itself up and get itself going. Another 5 minutes later, everything was back to normal.

Talk about a wild ride. I'm not sure what I would have done all weekend without my cell phone. If the Pre had really died, I wouldn't have been able to swap it out until Monday afternoon with my BlackBerry Curve 8330. What a hassle that would have been! At this point, I'm glad I'm ok.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Palm CES Coverage

The 2010 Consumer Electronics Show is under way in Las Vegas this week and Palm has used the event to make a big splash with the media and their customers. Here's a run down of what Palm has been up to!

Palm 2010 CES Presentation Video and Highlights

PreCentral has posted Palm chairman and chief executive officer Jon Rubinstein's CES presentation for your viewing pleasure if you are like me and somehow managed to not make it out to Las Vegas this year. The highlights of the presentation include:
  • Palm makes the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus official, Verizon only, and with tethering
  • Pre coming to SFR in France
  • webOS 1.4 coming in February with built-in Flash 10.1, Video recording
  • Palm reveals open web distribution of webOS apps
To check the video, head over to the PreCentral website.

New Phones, Wireless Carriers Announced

Many people will be happy to hear that Palm and Verizon Wireless will finally be bringing Palm webOS phones to market. Starting on January 25, Big Red customers will have their choice of the newly reformulated Palm Pre and Pixi smartphones known as the Palm Pre Plus and the Palm Pixi Plus. Why "Plus?" The Plus refers to the refinements over the older versions of the Pre and Pixi smartphones already available on the Sprint network.

The Palm Pre Plus will sport 16GB of RAM and a more streamlined form factor. As far as I can tell at this point, that simply means that the center has been removed from the front fo the Palm Pre Plus. Rather than use the Center button to zoom in/out from card view, you can simply flick up from the gesture area to zoom out of a card and then tap on the card you want to zoom back into full screen. The removal of the Center button is just one less thing that can break on the Pre form factor body and I welcome the change. And unlike the Sprint edition, the Verizon Wireless Palm Pre Plus ditches the glossy back plate battery door for the slick matte finished Touchstone charging battery door. Even if you don't plan on getting the super cool Touchstone charging dock, in my opinion, the matte finish of the Touchstone battery door is much easier to hold than the slippery gloss finish door.

The new Palm Pixi Plus uses the same body form factor as the older Sprint edition, however, the Verizon Pixi Plus will include an 802.11b/g Wi-Fi radio. (Shame on you Sprint for not allowing Wi-Fi in your Pixi!)

Verizon customers will also have access to a new App Catalog application called Mobile Hotspot that will allow the Pre Plus or Pixi Plus to act as a cellular Wi-Fi router allowing other near by Wi-Fi enabled device, like a netbook, to gain access to the Internet over the Pre or Pixi's EVDO cellular connection. Up until now, this was a trick reserved for devices like the Verizon Mi-Fi card. Kudos for Verizon for allowing their customers to share their data connections this way.

Palm will also continue to grow their presence overseas in the second quarter of the year when they bring Palm webOS phones to France on the SFR wireless network.

The last remaining question for US customers is when will Palm webOS devices be launched on AT&T? For right now, there is no official word from Palm on when webOS phones will appear on AT&T, however, Engadget has posted an article stating that AT&T's President and CEO, Ralph de la Vega, has gone on the record claiming that by the middle of the year, they will be carrying two unnamed Palm webOS devices. You'll have to stay tuned for the next few months until more details emerge on the AT&T front.

For more details on Palm's newest smartphones, visit the Palm blog.

Here Come the 3D Games!

Today Palm also unveiled 7 3D games specifically written to take advantage of the special graphics processor, called a GPU, inside the Palm Pre and Pre Plus smartphones. Combining the GPU, the new software development kit, released in beta form, and the software under pinning that are in the recently released Palm webOS 3.5.1 update, Pre customers can now play games on their smartphones that look just and play just as good as the games on Apple's iPhone.

Starting today, and via the Palm App Catalog, you can purchase and download the following 3D games:
  • "Need for Speed Undercover" (EA Mobile)
  • "The Sims 3" (EA Mobile)
  • "MONOPOLY" (EA Mobile)
  • "Asphalt 5: Elite Racing" (Gameloft)
  • "Let's Golf!" (Gameloft)
  • "Glyder 2" (Glu Mobile)
  • "X-Plane" (Laminar Research)
I'm excited about Palm's enabling of the GPU found in the Palm Pre and Pre Plus as it means that Pre customers no longer have to feel like second class citizens in the world of mobile gaming. While I looking forward to playing some of these games (I already purchased a copy of Monopoly this evening), I am still looking forward to playing games like Bejeweled and all of the great card and board games from Astraware, the games division of Handmark.

To learn more about today's announcement of the new 3D games for the Palm Pre and Pre Plus smartphones, visit the Palm website.

Ready! Set! Develop!

Lastly, Palm announced that the Palm Developer Center is now out of beta status and open to any application developer who wishes to write applications for the Palm webOS platform. Palm also announced that developers will have a choice of selling their applications through the Palm App Catalog or promote their applications by themselves, yet, they can still leverage the Palm over the air (OTA) distribution and installation service.

This is great news for the legions of web developers out there who know how to write HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code because, as I'm told, those three languages make up the bulk of the application development foundation for webOS applications.

For developers who are looking to write games and other applications that take advantage of the 3D rendering hardware and software found in webOS devices, like the Pre and Pre Plus, Palm is making the Palm webOS Plug-In Development Kit (PDK) available for use with the standard webOS Software Development Kit (SDK). According to Palm's press release, "[w]ith the PDK, developers can seamlessly integrate C and C++ code into their webOS apps, enabling new functionality such as 3D games."

Developers who wish to further explore the possibilities of the Palm webOS platform should visit the Palm Developer Center website.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Palm webOS Update Released

Following just 7 days behind the webOS 1.3.5 update, Palm has released the Palm webOS update. This update, according to Palm, is attended to address a very specific bug in the Calendar application when data is synchronized with a Microsoft Exchange Server.

The release notes for the latest webOS update states:
"This release fixes an issue in which the Calendar app displayed no events for any account after a user synchronized Calendar with an Exchange account. With this update, Calendar events now appear correctly after an Exchange sync."

According to a KB article published by Palm on Jan. 3, the nature of the problem is "that the turn of the year [to] 2010 has surfaced an issue that affects customers who use Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) to synchronize their calendars. Data remains intact on the device; however, this issue prevents the data from being displayed correctly in the Calendar application. It impacts all versions of webOS."

The Palm webOS update is available for immediate download by using the Updates application on Sprint branded Palm Pre and Palm Pixi smartphones and will take about 10-15 minutes to install. Aside from resolving the issue with the Calendar application, there are no new changes between and Palm webOS 1.3.5 which was released on December 28, 2009.

You can read the Palm webOS release notes on the Palm webOS updates page. You can read the full Palm KB article on the Palm support website.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Palm Unleashes webOS 1.3.5 Update

Late in the day yesterday, Palm released the Palm webOS 1.3.5 update for Sprint branded Palm Pre and Pixi smartphones.

Late in the evening reports where coming in that it was slow going downloading the 13MB update. I for one found myself waiting quite a while for the update to be downloaded and processed on my Pre. Once the update was downloaded, my Pre took the usual 15 minutes to install the update.

This update is important for a number of reasons. The Palm App Catalog app received no less than 9 updates, one of which includes the ability to download apps in the background rather than forcing you to wait until the current app is downloaded. The Calendar app also received a performance update that allows you to swipe between days much faster than in previous releases of Palm webOS. This one is important to me since I use my Pre to help schedule my meetings and daily work. You can also now launch the Sprint Navigation application directly from a Contact record. (I haven't figured out how this feature works yet. When I tap on an address in Contacts, Google Maps is launched, just as it always has. I'll post an update later on reporting on whether or not I got this feature workings and what, if anything I had to do to make it work.)

Probably the biggest updates for Palm enthusiests in this release is the ability to use the Pre's and Pixi's USB storage space for applications, freeing many folks from the dreaded "too many applications installed" error that was popping up. Kudos to Palm for coming up with an elegant solution for addressing this problem. The Palm webOS 1.3.5 update also lays the ground work for some exciting possibilities for some new applications; games in particular. According to the folks over at WebOS Internals, Palm has delivered two package files that will make it possible for developers to access and use the Pre's and Pixi's Graphics Processing Unit, or GPU. This update should make it possible for high-quality games, the likes of which have been available on the iPhone for some time now, to be released for the Palm webOS platform. I'm really looking forward to seeing some of the Handmark/Astraware games to show up on webOS. I miss playing Bejeweled 2.

This update does not repair the iTunes Media Sync feature. At this time it is unclear as to whether or not Palm will attempt to reactivate this feature or if they can come to some kind of an agreement with Apple to allow the iTunes sync feature to work. If you want to sync iTunes content with your Palm webOS device, it is recommended that you use DoubleTwist.

Some of the highlights from the Palm webOS 1.3.5 update include:

  • App Catalog significantly improves the application download experience.

  • Users can now take advantage of the full storage capacity of the phone for downloading applications.

  • In Day view, switching between days happens more quickly.

  • A user can perform a full erase by pressing and holding Sym + the orange/Option key + power for 10 seconds.

  • A user can now edit forwarded text for all email account types.

  • When the user sets up more than one Yahoo! email account, the account names displayed in Account List view include the associated email address so that the user can distinguish them.

  • A user can launch Sprint Navigation from an address in an open contact entry in Contacts.

  • This update improves battery life in areas of poor wireless network coverage.
The complete list of software enhancements and bug fixes can be found on the Palm webOS software updates website. You can download the Palm webOS 1.3.5 update by launching the Updates application on your Sprint branded Palm Pre or Pixi.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

PC Magazine: Palm Pre Most Innovative New Platform of 2009

It must be that time of year again...where everyone feels compelled to pick Top 10 lists for everything. Following up on Time's declaration that the Motorola Droid is the top dog for their Top 10 Gadgets of 2009 list, PC Magazine has come up with their own list of top picks.

This year, PC Magazine has selected the Palm Pre as the Most Innovative New Platform of the year, writing:
"Palm has returned with the coolest handheld device we've seen in a long time. The Palm Pre has the same exhilarating sense of possibility as the iPhone—and it's even worth switching to Sprint for. The Pre is the start of something genuinely new: Palm's webOS, an innovative operating system that's benefited a lot by what the company has learned from Apple's smartphone successes."
The iPhone 3GS did take the top spot for Best Consumer Smartphone.

You can check out PC Magazine's top smartphone picks on the PC Magazine website.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Palm webOS Tip: Pref Shortcut

Over the weekend I stumbled across a new shortcut for Palm webOS. Using the Universal Search feature, you can type "pref" to see all of the preferences applications that Palm preinstalled on your Pre or Pixi smartphone.

This is especially handy if you have added a ton of the great Palm App Catalog or homebrew applications to your phone and don't feel like flipping through pages of application launcher pages.

Disclaimer: I'm using a Sprint branded Palm Pre running Palm webOS 1.3.1. I don't have access to any other versions of the Pre or the Sprint Palm Pixi. Mileage may vary.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Syncing Yahoo! Accounts With Palm Synergy

Over the weekend, Palm released the Palm webOS 1.3.1 update for the Palm Pre and also launched the Palm Pixi on Sprint's wireless network.

One of the new features of Palm webOS is the ability to sync your Yahoo! account with Synergy, Palm's wireless technology for collecting all of your contact, calendar, and email data and displaying it to you in a single, synchronized place that fits in your pocket.

I wanted to test out the new Yahoo! Synergy sync on my Palm Pre with webOS 1.3.1 installed. My first attempt didn't go so well because I was trying to log in to my Yahoo! account with the wrong password. My second attempt didn't work either, even after I confirmed that I had the correct password. I kept getting a message popping up on my Pre that my account password was incorrect. What gives?

Turns out that before you can use Synergy to sync with your Yahoo! account, you need to do two things first:

1. Upgrade your Palm Pre or Palm Pixi to webOS 1.3.1 if you don't already have it installed
2. Upgrade your Yahoo! calendar to their new beta Calendar

You can upgrade the operating system on your Pre or Pixi by using the Updates application on your smart(er)phone. To upgrade your Yahoo! Calendar, you need to access an upgrade page on the the Yahoo! website. (I was already logged into my Yahoo! account before I went to the Calendar switch website.)

After you have upgraded your Yahoo! Calendar, you should be all set to add your Yahoo! email account to the Pre or Pixi Email application. Once the Synergy connection has been established, webOS will begin to sync your Yahoo! email, contacts, and calendar. Additionally, afterSynergy has done its thing, you will be able to access your Yahoo! instant messaging account from Messaging application.

If you want to learn more about how Palm webOS Synergy works, you can read more on the Palm support website.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sprint, Bell Pre Customers Get Palm WebOS 1.3.1 Update

On Friday evening, Palm released the Palm webOS 1.3.1 update for Sprint and Bell Canada Pre customers. The update arrives a few days earlier than expected. How every cool! Yahoo! users will be happy to learn that webOS 1.3.1 brings Synergy support for Yahoo! calendar and email.

Palm webOS 1.3.1 has the follow nuggets of goodness baked in:

  • Backup now includes browser cookies

  • Backup no longer saves online account passwords
  • Yahoo! now appears as a Calendar synchronization account. Open Calendar > application menu > Preferences & Accounts > Add An Account > Yahoo!

  • All-day events that span more than one day now appear correctly in all Calendar views.

  • If you create a Google calendar event on the phone and the event location contains an apostrophe, the event now correctly synchronizes with Google online.
  • After taking a picture, if you tap the picture thumbnail in the lower-left corner of the camera screen, the picture now opens in full-screen view, not Thumbnails view. Making the back gesture returns you to the camera.
  • Yahoo! now appears as a Contacts synchronization account. You can download contacts from Yahoo! online to the phone by opening Contacts > application menu > Preferences & Accounts > Add An Account > Yahoo!

  • Automatic contact linking based on name matches occurs only if the first and last name fields are populated with the same names. If either field is blank, the Contacts app no longer links the contacts. In addition, the Contacts app no longer automatically links contacts with the same name but with different suffixes (such as Jr. and Sr.).

  • If you set up Contacts to synchronize with a Google account, the account synchronizes only entries in Google's My Contacts, not all contacts.
Device Info
  • If you copy a music file to the phone and then delete it, Device Info now shows the correct amount of available memory after the deletion.
  • Forwarded and replied-to messages include improved formatting, such as the original sender's email address in forwarded messages and correct inline image display in replies.

  • The list of mail types available in manual setup now includes Google Apps (Hosted Google Domains) and Yahoo! Small Business Domain email accounts. Selecting one of these types automatically enters the correct settings for these accounts.
  • Yahoo! IM is available as an instant messaging account.

  • You can select a unique ringtone for new message alerts: Open Messaging > application menu > Preferences & Accounts > Sound > Ringtone.

  • You can forward a text or multimedia message by tapping the message > Forward.

  • You can copy the text of a text or multimedia message by tapping the message > Copy Text.

  • If the you are on a call, calendar notifications no longer partially cover the End Call icon.

Screen & Lock
  • A new Secure Unlock preference allows you to set the time interval the phone is idle before the phone locks, requiring you to enter the PIN/password to unlock the phone. This can be the same as or different from the interval after which the screen turns off. To set the preference: Open Screen & Lock > Lock After.
  • Backup now includes browser cookies, so that after a restart, for example, if you stored your username and password on a web-based email site, you can continue to access the site without needing to log in.

  • If you tap to play a YouTube video embedded on a web page, the YouTube application launches and the video plays in the app.

There are some other interesting changes in the Palm webOS operating system. The first is that you can now press and hold the Orange key and tap an application icon to pull up information about the application. Pressing and holding down the Power button now gives you more control over what the device does: turn Airplane mode on or off or Restart or Shutdown/Swap Battery.

To read the complete list of feature updates included in Palm webOS 1.3.1, visit the Palm website. The 1.3.1 update is reported to become available for Europen GSM Pre customers by the end of November.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Palm webOS Tip: Restart to Correct Radio Issues

On a recent Friday morning, I noticed that one of my Google Calendars, the one that I use to sync my work schedule with, was not syncing with Synergy on my Palm Pre smartphone. My Google calendar was up to date because I was looking at. But when I glanced over to my Pre, the calendar hadn't updated.

The Calendar application in Palm webOS can be synchronized at any time, regardless of the schedule you have setup, by taping the "Sync Now" button. (Calendar > Preferences & Accounts > Sync Now) In most cases, the on demand sync will catch up any changes that have not yet been synchronized. I had tried the Sync Now command without much success.

Rather than continuing to tap Sync Now the for the rest of the day, I decided to restart my Pre. Unlike previous Palm smartphones and PDAs, there is a specific procedure for restarting your Palm webOS phone.

To restart your phone, launch the Device Info application. It is found on the last (right most) page of the Palm application launcher. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and tap the "Reset Options" button, and then tap the "Restart" button. When you restart your phone in this way, you are assured that the Linux operating system that Palm webOS is built on is restarted correctly and that there is no chance for file corruption to occur.

Thankfully, by the time I walked down the hall to the room where my first meeting was going to by, my Pre has rebooted and Synergy had updated my Calendar.

The restart option should be part of your troubleshooting steps. I've also used the Device Info Restart option to correct Wi-Fi and cellular communication issues. Restarting is a quick and easy way to get things working again on your smartphone.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Palm Pre Launch Event in Spain

You are kidding, right? I'm happy to hear that Palm fans in Spain can now get their hands on the Palm Pre smartphone, but, I don't know, I think the "Ladies in Black" is a bit over the top.

You can check out this, and other photos from the Palm Pre Spain launch event over at the Palm blog.

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PreCentral: It's Time To Fix Calendar

Derek Kessler, over at, has a good article posted about the improvements he would like to see Palm add to the webOS Calendar application.

The first issue that should be addressed, according to the article, should be the performance of the Calendar application. Mr. Kessler writes:

"What do I mean by too slow? When I swipe to a new day, it can take seconds for the gray loading overlay to disappear. That wouldn’t be so bad if I could still swipe to another day, but I have to wait for that day to load before I can move to the next. When I move to a day that has several events scheduled it takes even longer to load, which leads me to suspect that the calendar is checking for changes of for each event before letting me interact with or move on from that day."

Another issue that is tabled in the article is that the Palm webOS Calendar should have feature parity with Palm OS 5 that is still used today in millions of Palm handheld devices as well as in Treo and Centro smartphones. The Palm OS 5 Calendar application has features such as pop-up description windows when you tap an event in week view and the agenda view. Summerizing the missing features between the Calendar application in Palm OS 5 and webOS 1.2.1, Mr. Kessler writes: "There is little reason for the webOS calendar to lose functionality from the aged Palm OS calendar."

I agree. I was surprised that once I got home from my local Sprint store, after having waited in line for hours to be the first one to get a Pre, to learn that Palm's flagship smartphone, in certain applications, had less features than my Treo 755p! Now I'm a little bit more tolerant of the missing features since the Pre is running a version 1.x operating system. The good news is that Palm has been repsonsive, much more so than in the past, to correcting bugs and adding new features. Buy the time we get to webOS 1.5, and certainly by 2.0, I would expect that Palm would have added many of the PIM application refinements to webOS.

You can read the full article on


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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

NotifyLink Client for Palm webOS Released

Earlier this week, NotifyCorp released a Palm webOS client for their onsite and hosted NotifyLink wireless email server.
"Notify Technology is proud to announce support for the Palm PreTM using either the NotifyLink On-Premise or On-Demand solutions. Corporate IT wants an effective way to provide their increasingly mobile workforce secure wireless access and management of their email, calendar, contacts and tasks. Most organizations and businesses are seeking a mobility solution that will offer them support for their Palm Pre wireless device on cellular and voice data networks (at this time only on the Sprint and Bell Canada networks) and any 802.11x wireless network.

The NotifyLink On-Premise and On-Demand mobility solution provides secure, real-time synchronization of email, calendar, contacts and tasks to and from the Palm Pre wireless device. With NotifyLink, users have the ability to compose, reply, forward, or delete their email while mobile, as well as open a variety of email attachment formats. Support for accepting or declining meeting invitations and remote access to their Global Address Book is also provided."

NotifyLink is a perfect solution for small and medium sized businesses that want to bring wireless email support to their employees. I have been managing a 30 person onsite NotifyLink server for just about two years now and I have been really happy with NotifyLink. The software runs itself and NotifyLink has become a "set it and forget it" application.

If you are looking to add webOS support to your NotifyLink solution, be ready to upgrade to the latest release of the NotifyLink Enterprise Server as you will need to be on release 4.6 or later to be able to the Palm Pre into the mix.

For more details about the NotifyLink solution, visit the NotifyCorp website. NotifyCorp has also posted a NotfiyLink for Palm webOS datasheet on their site.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

MotionApps Classic 2.0 Released

MotionApps has released Classic 2.0 for Palm webOS. Classic is a webOS application that allows you to emulate Palm OS 5.x on devices like the Pre, and the Pixi later this year.

With version 2.0 of Classic, MotionApps has introduced the following new features:

  • HotSync support over network
  • Power consumption reduced considerably when device is idle
  • Correctly set time in Palm OS from Palm webOS
  • Palm OS storage heap memory moved to flash memory
  • Virtual storage card is named "VirtualCard"
  • Total and occupied size on storage card is correctly reported in Palm OS
  • Similarly, storage heap size is reported correctly, maximum reported size 128MB
  • Classic wakes up 45 seconds before Palm OS alarm time
  • Full screen mode
  • Quick keyboard mode switch
  • Improved reset functionality
In addition to the new features listed above, MotionApps has packaged a number of popular freeware and trial software which can be downloaded directly into Classic! To install the Palm OS application bundle, launch Classic on your Pre, pull down the Classic menu (top left of the screen) and and tap the Install Free Apps menu item. And don't forget that you can install your old Palm OS 5 applications on your Pre using the Import application in Classic.

Pricing and Availability

The Classic 2.0 upgrade is free to all previously registered users and customers can use the Palm webOS Updates application to download and install the new software. If you haven't purchased Classic, you can download a free 7-day trial by using the App Catalog application. If you choose to purchase a copy of Classic, be prepared to shell out $29.99 - which I still feel is a little bit on the steep side for an emulator.

For more information about the Classic 2.0 upgrade, visit the MotionApps website.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Apple Responds to Palm's Reenabling Meda Sync in webOS 1.2.1

I just saw that Jimmie posted this over on
After Palm's latest fix to re-enable Palm Pre syncing with iTunes, Apple has issued a statement regarding it.

"As we’ve said before, newer versions of Apple’s iTunes software may no longer provide syncing functionality with unsupported digital media players.” "Presumably, iTunes 9.0.2 will disable Palm’s latest fix."

Read the full All Things D article...


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Notes on Palm webOS Updates

Last week Palm spoiled their Palm Pre customers on the Sprint network with not one, but two Palm webOS updates.

Last Tuesday's webOS 1.2.0 update had more enhancements and fixes in it than you could shake a stick at. Saturday's update to webOS 1.2.1 was also welcomed because it not only addressed an annoying sync issues with Microsoft Exchange email servers, but also re-re-enabled native sync support with Apple's iTunes 9 jukebox software.

What I was really looking forward to was the updates to the Bluetooth stack and enhanced compatibility with factory installed Bluetooth car kits. A number of customers, myself included, had reported Bluetooth pairing and connection issues with previous editions of Palm webOS.

The good news is that Palm webOS 1.2.0 (and by extension, 1.2.1) address Bluetooth pairing and usability issues with factory installed car kits. In short, I can now more safely use my Pre while I'm driving in my car. (I'm still looking for a voice dialing solution for webOS.) I've also noticed that after applying the updates, I can now send contacts to my Bluetooth car kit (very nice!), a MMS message, or to an email message.

The one thing that I was hoping would be fixed in either Palm webOS 1.2.0 or 1.2.1 was the static in a Bluetooth audio stream from the Pre to the car's stereo system. While I can make clear phone calls, when I stream music to my car's radio, over Bluetooth, there is still static and pops in the stream. It isn't a big deal, but on those days when I leave my iPod at home, my ride to and from work will be filled with lots of snaps, crackles, and pops.

All-in-all, I like the enhancements and fixes that Palm has provided in last week's updates to Sprint customers. Bell Canada customers, I'm sure, are anxious to get these updates also. (There are carrier testing and certification issues that need to be coordinated for each carrier before a handset vendor like Palm can release a new OS to their customers.) The next big hurtle for Palm's Pre and soon to be Pixi customers, is to get their on-device software store, the Palm App Catalog, out of beta.

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Palm Releases webOS 1.2.1 Update

On Friday afternoon, Palm released the Palm webOS 1.2.1 update for the Sprint edition Palm Pre. The following is the list of fixes that 1.2.1 brings. Note that there are no new applications installed by the 1.2.1 updater.

Feature changes to existing applications


Resolved an issue where after installing the 1.2.0 webOS update some customers running Exchange 2007 could no longer synchronize with their Exchange account for Email, Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks.

  • Resolves an issue preventing media sync from working with latest version of iTunes (9.0.1).
  • Media sync now synchronizes photo albums, maintaining the album structure in the Photos app.
  • Media sync now allows for synchronizing photos without requiring the full-resolution originals. This provides faster display of high-quality full-screen images and enables users to store more photos on the phone.


Resolved an issue where if a user tried to play streaming music or video, the media stream might drop out or have a long delay before starting.


Addresses a security issue encountered by webkit developers. This issue did not impact end users.

You can learn more about the Palm webOS 1.2.1 update on the Palm website.

As a fan of both Palm and Apple, I'm glad to see that Palm has once again given their customers a way to sync naively with Apple's iTunes jukebox software.

The webOS 1.2.1 update is about half the size of the webOS 1.2 update (38MB vs. 79MB) that was released earlier in the week. My upgrade took about 6 minutes to install after downloading and validating the update file.

All-in-all, a nice surprise for a rainy Saturday afternoon! Now I have an excuse to take a spin in my car to make sure the Bluetooth features are working. ;)

I just tested the Media Sync feature with Apple iTunes 9.0.1 (9) and everything appears to be working normally again!

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Palm webOS Update 1.2.0 Released

Earlier this afternoon Palm released the Palm webOS 1.2.0 update for Sprint branded Pre smartphones. webOS 1.2.0 is an 80MB update that delivers 69 software enhancements or fixes.

The following are just some of the updates that Palm webOS 1.2.0 delivers to Sprint customers:

App Catalog
  • In preparation for e-commerce in the App Catalog, to purchase apps, you can enter credit card information by selecting Preferences & Accounts from the application menu in App Catalog. Credit card information is stored with the Palm profile, not on the phone. You can choose whether you need to enter their Palm profile password each time you make a purchase, or for the first purchase in any four-hour window.

  • If you want to reinstall a purchased application you previously deleted, you can open App Catalog, search for the application, tap the app name, and tap Download again for free. You do not need to pay for the application again.

  • A new Share button enables you to send a link to the app page in an email or text message.You can select whether to enter comments anonymously, using your first and last name, or using your first initial and last name.
  • Web browser bookmarks are now backed up to your Palm profile. After a restart or partial/full erase, the bookmark is restored in Web when you go to the web page.
  • The types of car kits to which contacts can be transferred has been increased. You can transfer contacts to Toyota and Lexus car kits.
  • On a contact details screen, a Send Contact option is available on the application menu, with options to send the contact to a car kit or send it as a vCard attachment to an email or multimedia message.

  • LinkedIn is now available as an online account in Contacts. As with Facebook, a LinkedIn account set up on the phone enables you to download contacts from that account. LinkedIn contacts cannot be created or edited in Contacts.

  • If a contact contains an instant messaging (IM) address, the contact is linked to the IM account buddy entry
  • You can search for messages in any email folder simply by opening the folder and typing. Search returns any matches found in the subject, From, To, or CC field.
  • You can now turn carrier data services on or off in the Phone application by opening the application menu > Preferences > Data Usage > tap on/off.

  • Default ringtone volume has been increased.

  • Adjusting the volume of a call now works even if the screen is off. Reducing the volume level to zero sets the call volume to zero.

  • Contact entries in the call log now show both the phone number and type.

The full list of enhancements and fixed, 69 in all, provided with the Palm webOS 1.2.0 update can be found on the Palm Pre support website. The Palm webOS 1.2.0 update can be installed on Sprint edition Palm Pre smartphones by using the Update application found on the "utilities" launcher page.

While I did have trouble downloading webOS 1.2.0 late in the afternoon, I was finally able to download and install the update at around 6:30pm (Eastern time) and the upgrade process to about 10 minutes to install.

iTunes and Media Sync

For some folks the Media Sync option is a burning question with iTunes 9.0. After applying the Palm webOS 1.2.0 update and then trying to sync with iTunes 9, I noticed that the Pre did not mount in the iTunes source list. When I attempted to use the Media Sync feature a second time, the option was removed from the list of USB options. (See screen capture.)

At this point, Pre owners, we have a few options. We can use DoubleTwist (free) or use Mark/Space The Missing Sync for Palm Pre ($39.99). Or just not upgrade past iTunes 8.2.1, which should still work - however, that is a really hard pill to swallow as I am almost as big a fan of Apple's products as I am of Palm's. Almost. The bottom line, for me anyway, is that I would rather have the new features of iTunes on my Mac, iPod touch, and Apple TV, so it was a no brainer to upgrade to iTunes 9 for me. I'll be copying my media over to the Pre manually if Media Sync does not return in a later Palm webOS update.

Bluetooth Hands Free Car Kit Support

Since I installed the webOS 1.2.0 update so late in the day, I haven't had a chance to test out whether or not Palm has addressed the Bluetooth issues with recent Acura model vehicles. Actually, Bluetooth support with factory installed car kits go well beyond Honda and Acura car kits. We'll have to keep an eye on how well Palm webOS 1.2.0 works with hands free Bluetooth car kits over the next few weeks as more people apply the update to their phones.

Have you installed the update yet? Let us know how the update is working for you by clicking the Comments link below.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Yes. No. Maybe. VZW Says The Pre is Coming in Early 2010

Remember back when the Pre was launched on Sprint back in June? There was a war of words between Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon about who would be getting the Pre and when. Then, broke a story stating that they heard a rumor that Verzion was going to pass up on the new Palm Pre all together. Fear not Palm fans, a Verizon official has stated that the Palm Pre is coming to Verizon in January.

E-Commerce News seems to have a new angle on the story.
"Verizon denied rumors that it had decided not to carry the Pre. Jim Gerace, executive director of media relations at Verizon, told the E-Commerce Times that the wireless provider will offer the smartphone in January as planned."

Palm did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Negotiations between carriers and device makers often hinge on how much the carrier should subsidize a handset and what it can expect in return.

The two may be locking horns over app stores, Allen Nogee, a principal analyst at In-Stat, told the E-Commerce Times. "Verizon has been talking about its VCast Store, and Palm is setting up its own app store, so that could be the problem," he said. "It's possible that Verizon wants to keep the number of app stores available to subscribers to a minimum."

I would like to see Palm and Verizon whatever issues they have on the table ironed out and dealt with. The Pre, or any other webOS that may be on the way, would be a win-win for Palm, Verizon, and their customers.

Read the full E-Commerce News article...

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Palm Pre Coming To Europe 10/16/09 on O2

Get ready Europe! The Palm Pre is headed your way on October 16th from O2!

O2 today confirms that the Palm Pre phone will be available in the UK on 16 October exclusively on the O2 network. Customers can purchase the new device directly from O2, the Carphone Warehouse, Phones4U and Business partners who are part of O2’s specific partner programme. It will also be available for purchase online from the O2 shop at:
Ronan Dunne, CEO of Telefonica O2 UK said “Today’s announcement reinforces O2’s position as the home of the smartphone. With the addition of the excellent Palm Pre to our already extensive portfolio, we will continue to offer our customers the widest range of the very best devices on the market today.”

“There’s a lot of excitement about Palm Pre in Europe as we continue to expand Palm webOS products across new carriers and countries,” said Jon Rubinstein chairman and chief executive officer, Palm, Inc. “We look forward to launching Palm Pre with O2 so people in the UK can see firsthand how Palm webOS offers a new and better smartphone experience.”

For more details about the GSM Palm Pre on 02, including pricing plans, visit the O2 website.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Pre Tip: Turn Off Location Services

We all know that we should do it, but we don't - turning off unused services on our smartphones. On the upside, we gain quick access to all the nifty features of our phones like location services, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.

But there is a price to be paid for having every last feature turned on and that is greatly diminished battery life!

This morning before leaving the house, I did a simple little test to see the impact on battery life turning off Location Services, the GPS feature on the Pre, would have. The results where shocking! Usually by this time of day, my battery is running in the mid-20's after starting the day at 6am on a full 100% charge. As I compose this post, my stock Palm Pre battery is at 45%; for me, that is a savings of at least 20%!

Let's put this battery savings into dollars and cents. There have been more than a few times where I have been out with my Pre where I have gotten the 10% battery life warning. If I'm working late at the office it isn't the end of the world; I can easily begin charging my phone. But it is more of an inconvenience when I'm traveling. Over this past weekend, I was contemplating purchasing either a second stock Palm Pre battery ($49.99) or a Seidio Innocell 1350mAh extended life battery ($45.95). After today's test, I have learned that cost savings in battery life of turning off the Pre's location services is between $40-50. Not too bad considering today's economy.

I also keep the Pre's Wi-Fi radio turned off unless I need it and I keep the Bluetooth radio on all the time. Individual mileage will vary, no doubt, however I encourage you to do some experimentation of your own before you go and race out to purchase a second battery for your Pre.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

webOS Tip: Use Universal Search

After having used Palm OS 5 day in and day out for many year, the arrival of the Palm Pre and webOS was like a breath of fresh air. For the most part, all of the Pre owners that I have talked to have had an easy transition to the new operating system. Want to take your game to the next level? Master using the Universal Search feature.

Universal Search is an easy way to find a contact or application on your Pre. To use Universal Search, simply switch to Card View mode (press the Center button to reveal your open cards) and then start typing your search string. Palm webOS will begin searching your Contacts database and the names of the installed applications for a match. Search results are shown in real-time and the results set narrows as you continue to type more specific information. When you see the contact or application you want to use all you need to do is tap the object on the screen.

When you are searching for a piece of information that is in a contact record, when that page appears, you can tap on a phone number to initiate a phone call; tap the SMS balloon icon to initiate an instant message; or an email address to start an email.

But what happens when what I'm looking for isn't available on your device? If Universal Search can't find what you are looking for on the Pre, it offers to search online resources. So for example, if I type in "Sh" on my Pre, I will see all of the contact records for all of the people whose name starts with the letters "Sh" and the homebrew application "Shopping List". When I change my search term to "apple pie" (it is September after all) Universal Search offers to search for "apple pie" on Google, Google Maps, Wikipedia, and Twitter.

If I happen to be in an application, let's say Memos for example, if I started typing "apple pie" while in the list view (cork board and sticky notes view) and I just happened to have a memo called "Apple Pie Recipe", Universal Search will filter the list and show my just that memo.

Universal Search could stand some improvements. For example, it can't search my calendar or email messages meaning that there is no quick way to use the search term "sales meeting" to find out when the next meeting is being held or the email that had the Excel spreadsheet attachment that I might need to review before going to the meeting. As time goes by, Palm will no doubt refine and enhance the Universal Search engine in webOS, knowing today's limitations will prevent hours of aggravation later on.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Apple iTunes 9.0 vs. Palm webOS Media Sync

Yesterday, the world got it first look at Apple's new jukebox software, iTunes 9.0. Yesterday Pre owners also learned that the Apple/Palm cat and mouse game with iTunes and Media Sync is still very much alive and well.

So, Pre owners, what are you going to do? Are you going to stick with iTunes 8.2.1 and Media Sync or are you going to make the jump to iTunes 9.0?

After watching Apple's keynote presentation last night, and yes, Steve Jobs did take the stage, I've decided to make the jump to iTunes 9.0 and iPhone OS 3.1 for iPod touch. In my opinion, there where just too many cool new features in Apple's new software that I wasn't going to hold back.

Take for example, the new sync features for iPod touch and iPhone. I welcome the expanded sync controls over what content lives on my Mac and on my iPod. It becomes super easy to make sure that I have some of my favorite movies (Iron Man) and TV shows (Looney Tunes, Mythbusters, Law & Order) always with me without having to keep marking them as new.

I also like the new control of your applications for the iPod touch. I have some 60-70 apps on my touch and the newly redesigned applications tab will greatly help my quickly add new apps and reorganize the ones I already have.

And let's not forget the new Home Sharing feature in iTunes 9.0. If you have more than one computer in your home, this is going to be a great feature to have. I'll be able to quickly keep my MacBook and Mac Pro iTunes libraries in sync so I always have all of my music with me when I'm at home or traveling for work and play.

With brings me back to my Palm Pre and the Media Sync feature. I was really surprised when Palm announced the Media Sync feature and I quickly started syncing content to my Pre from iTunes. With iTunes 9.0, Apple has chosen to close the door to the webOS Media Sync feature. I'm sure Palm or someone from the webOS homebrew app community will figure out a way to re-enable native syncing with iTunes. The bottom line for me is that my iPod touch, combined with iTunes, still represents the best over all user experience for purchasing content, loading it on my device, and interacting with it on the go.

So for now, the iPod wins, and iTunes 9.0 is on my MacBook. The good news is that I can still sync the Pre with my Mac Pro which I've left back at iTunes 8.2.1. Sure, I can't use the Home Sharing feature, but at least I can get my iTunes Plus tracks synced down to my Pre easily.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Spring Jumps the Gun on Palm webOS 1.2 Release Notes

If there was any doubt that Palm is on the cusp of releasing webOS 1.2 for the Sprint Pre, has posted Sprint's release notes for webOS 1.2.

Based on the full release notes that has on their website, if correct, Palm webOS 1.2 is shaping up to be a very feature rich update to further refine webOS and to fix some really annoying issues, like the Bluetooth car kit support.

At the time of this writing, the webOS 1.2 update is still not available via the Pre's Updates application.

Check out the full list of features, fixes, and enhancements on


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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Rumor: Palm Pre Going On Sale for $149

The Palm Pre Labor Day, or should I say "Leak Day", weekend continues. This time, is reporting that they have received word that Palm will be cutting the price of the Pre from $199 to $149 for qualifying buys when you purchase a Pre from an indirect Sprint retailer.
"From September 8 to October 31, 2009, "indirect partners" will be able to sell the Pre for $149.99 after mail-in rebate. This information applies only to these indirect Sprint retail channels, though it seems reasonable that identical price cuts will take place via Sprint’s own channels (retail stores, telesales, and And as usual, the price of admission comes with an Everything Data or Simply Everything plan attached."

At this point in time we can only speculate that this price cut is partly in response to the Android-powered HTC Hero coming to Sprint on October 11, 2009.


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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Palm webOS 1.2 Video Surfaces

Not wanting to give up on all of the as-yet-released-Palm-webOS-1.2 update fun, a video of webOS 1.2 has been uploaded to YouTube.

The only question that I have at this point is when is Palm going to release the 1.2 update for webOS?


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More Info Revealed About webOS 1.2

The folks at have done some more sleuthing around the recently leaked Palm webOS 1.2 update for the Palm Pre. is reporting the discovery of two new features: blinking notifications and remote application removal.

"Good news first: LED notifications are on the way! The much-requested feature has been discovered within the "securityconfig-scene.html" file, which contains the following info-text: The gesture area blinks when new notifications arrive."

"And now the other, not-so-good thing: apparently webOS 1.2 will give Palm the ability to remotely remove apps from your device, and you won't have much of a say in the matter. In the file "usr\lib\luna\system\luna-systemui\app\controllers\apprevokedalert_scene.html", we can see this info-text: 'Palm had to delete this application from the App Catalog and your device. If you paid for this app, your money will be refunded.'"
I'm not so sure that the app removal function is completely a bad thing. Apple has implemented it. Palm appears to be ready to implement it. I'm sure Microsoft, Google, and Research In Motion have the feature in their phones as well. And with the recent George Orwell 1984 Amazon Kindle disaster, people are more than little bit sensitive over the issue. It is kind of ironic that Amazon deleted the digital version of 1984 from people's Kindles.

There are some benefits to having the app removal feature on the Pre. Consider what would happen if a really poorly functioning application gets into the App Catalog and starts causing Pre's to crash to the point of not being able to be used. It would be kind of hard to use the Pre as a "business tool" if the phone can't connect to a corporate Microsoft Exchange server. What happens if a virus or other web-bases malware gets injected into webOS. Not good.

If the app removal feature is used for the greater good, not to the benefit of Palm or one of their carrier partners, it can be a good thing. The same is true for Apple and Amazon.


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Friday, September 4, 2009

Palm webOS 1.2 Leaks Out to Pre Smartphones is reporting that at least two people managed to download and install the Palm webOS 1.2 update on their Pre smartphones.

The leak apparently came by way of the last resort reset option for a Pre that is not working correctly, called the "webOS Doctor". When the customer ran the Palm utility that reloads the OS on the phone, surprise surprise, Palm webOS 1.2 was loaded!

Looks like some webOS 1.2 goodness is on it's way to us soon. Let's just hope that Palm has taken the time to address the numerous Bluetooth issues with hands free links in many popular vehicles.

Check out some screen shots over on

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