Posts Tagged ‘Palm Pre’

BlackBerry address book integrates Facebook, apes Palm Pre's "Synergy" and INQ1

blackberry-facebookA new version of the Facebook for BlackBerry application has been released that offers better integration with the social networking site. Two standout features: a user’s friends list is kept in sync with the handset’s built-in address book – Facebook avatars show up as called ID, for example – and notifications from the social networking site are “pushed” to the phone’s home screen. Other features offered, not all of which are new, include:

  • Send/receive message or wall posts, pokes and friend requests.
  • Update your status, view and comment on your friends’ status.
  • Share photos from your BlackBerry smartphone with tags/comments and post to Facebook with just one click.

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Fandango and Pandora apps show off Palm Pre's Mojo [video]

At the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco this week, Palm announced that third-party developers can now apply for access to the company’s “Mojo” Software Development Kit (SDK) for the upcoming Palm Pre and webOS. Not all developers will be let in at first however – word on the street is that priority will be given to apps that take advantage of the hooks provided by webOS into the Pre’s address book, GPS and calendar – but as the SDK becomes more robust and Palm is able to scale support, access will be made more widely available.

Meanwhile, five hundred odd miles away in Las Vegas at CTIA 2009, Palm was busy demoing a number of third-party apps from developers who’ve been given extra early access, including Fandango, Pandora, Nascar and Sprint. The Fandango and Pandora apps are particularly impressive (see video below courtesy of CrunchGear), and are a good example of how Palm hopes to compete with the likes of iPhone, BlackBerry, Nokia and Android.

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Video: 26 minutes of Palm Pre goodness

It’s a quiet day today on the news front after the flurry of announcements that came out of Mobile World Congress (MWC). And although I already highlighted five new handsets that caught my eye, none captured my imagination quite as much as the Palm Pre and accompanying webOS that was unveiled last month.

Sadly, we didn’t learn much new about the Pre at MWC, such as an exact release date (either in the States or here in the UK), but the good folks over at did capture an extended demo – all 26 minutes – of Palm’s comeback device. Once again it looks like bloggers and the wider press could look but not touch, nonetheless things are a lot less rushed this time and even in the space of a month the Pre’s software appears much more complete, making the wait that bit harder. Full video after the jump…

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What if Apple sued Palm, would Microsoft come to the rescue?

When the iPhone first launched at Macworld in 2007, I distinctly remember Apple CEO Steve Jobs boasting that the company had over 200 patents on this thing. At the time, that boast stuck out like a sore thumb as I couldn’t recall Apple making such a fuss over patents before.

Attempting to ‘protect’ one’s intellectual property through patent applications is something that large tech companies do every day. But the fact that Jobs felt the need to highlight this in relation to the iPhone told its own story: Apple was onto something big and it fully expected others to copy many of the iPhone’s ‘innovations’, such as the device’s multi-touch User Interface and related gestures to manipulate content.

Two years on and although we’ve seen many so-called iPhone “killers” from the likes of Google, Nokia, Samsung, HTC and RIM, none of them have dared to go as far as implementing a multi-touch UI.

Until just over a week ago, that is, when Palm unveiled its new Pre smartphone and accompanying webOS, which includes a capacative multi-touch display and relies heavily on gestures for navigation. None of which has gone unnoticed by Apple.

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Who has the most to fear from Palm's "New-ness"?

Pandora CTO Tom Conrad put it best: “I can’t think of much that’s harder in the world than building a modern, mobile operating system and integrating it with a fantastic piece of hardware”, he tells Palm Info Center.

We see companies take a swing and miss at this time after time – I really think Palm has hit a home run on this one.”

And Conrad should know.

Not only has his company ported its music streaming and discovery service to over 40 different handsets, “everything from J2ME and Windows Mobile to the iPhone”, but Pandora was also chosen by Palm to get an early hands-on peak at the webOS and Pre and begin bringing their app over to the company’s new platform.

At the same time, Conrad rightfully reminds us that Palm is still very much the underdog. Of course, underdogs should rarely be underestimated.

On that note, who should have the most to fear from Palm’s “New-ness”?

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Video: Palm Pre and webOS in action

I didn’t get around to posting yesterday because, in all honesty, I spent most of the day scouring YouTube and various blogs for video coverage of the Consumer Electronics Show. In particular, I was keen to take in as many hands-on demos of the new Palm Pre and the accompanying webOS.

See also: Have we just witnessed the second coming of Palm?

After many hours of viewing, I’m glad to report that my initial enthusiasm for Palm’s new offering hasn’t waned. In fact, despite my natural cynicism towards the company’s bizarre decision not to allow bloggers at CES to actually hold the device — they could still touch it — I’m even more convinced that Palm has taken the mobile experience up a level, building nicely on top of what Apple and the iPhone delivers in terms of user experience and the mobile web. If I had to sum up the difference between Palm’s and Apple’s approach, the iPhone often feels like it wants me to do things Apple’s way — no multitasking, iTunes, MobileMe etc. — while the Pre and webOS appears to fit around the way I already manage my digital life. That’s my key takeway from the various demos and early coverage but of course, until I actually get my hands on the device, I’m reserving my final judgment.

Check out IntoMobile’s “hands-on” video after the jump (note: it’s a little grumpy and rushed on Palm’s part)… and you can also watch the complete Palm press event here.

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Have we just witnessed the second coming of Palm?

Ex-Engadget editor Ryan Block put it best when he said that Palm’s much anticipated CES announcement “will either mark the beginning of the company’s second coming — or the beginning of the end.” Thankfully, for those like me who were rooting for Palm, it looks very much like the former.

Today the company unveiled its brand new Palm operating system (dubbed the webOS) running on a new smartphone called the “Palm Pre” that features a 3.1-inch multi-touch screen and slide out portrait keyboard.

My initial impressions via both Engadget’s and Block’s live blogging coverage is that Palm has successfully gone back to its ‘organizer’ roots — simple data management and syncing — and updated it for an ‘always on’ Internet age. A mobile device shouldn’t care what services I use or where my data comes from — contacts, social network, IM, calender, media etc. — and should help me stay on top of all that information and communication without having to change the way I do things in order to suit the device. That appears to be Palm’s main aim here and the early signs are that the company has delivered…

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