Posts Tagged ‘Palm’

Review: Palm Pixi Plus – It's all about webOS and that form-factor

As regular readers will know, I’m a big admirer of Palm’s webOS (see Palm Pre review) and a fan of the BlackBerry-esque portrait QWERTY form-factor as found on Nokia’s E72 – my current primary smartphone.

It’s therefore not a stretch to presume that Palm’s second device running webOS, the Palm Pixi (or to be precise, the Palm Pixi Plus, the GSM variant that adds WiFi), would be right up my street with its portrait physical QWERTY keyboard and multi-touch screen. And for the most part it is, with the exception of an underpowered processor and eye-squinting web browser. Read on for my hands-on review.

Continue reading »

Palm is dead. Long live Palm.

BREAKING: HP is to acquire Palm for $1.2 billion or $5.70 per share.

It’s perhaps no surprise that Palm’s been bought – a sale has been on the cards – but nobody that I know of, me included, had considered HP to be in the mix. That said, upon reflection it seems quite a good fit.

First up, the companies’ cultures (and brand) have a good chance of being compatible. Both are US-based, have their roots in Silicon Valley, and are strong brands in North America. HP obviously has much leverage globally too.

Best of all, HP clearly values Palm’s relatively new webOS and unlike other potential buyers isn’t soaking up Palm purely for its patent portfolio. Engadget reports that HP is “doubling down” on webOS and has mentioned Internet tablets and other mobile devices along with smartphones. This is excellent news as it’s webOS that most excites me about Palm’s future…

Continue reading »

I've published my full UK Palm Pre review over at Mobile Industry Review

tweed_2009-23-10_161744I’ve posted part two of my Palm Pre UK (GSM) review over at Mobile Industry Review. Here’s the intro:

It’s been just over a week since I took loan of a Palm Pre, a device that bears the weight of Palm’s future success on its shoulders. Or so the story goes.

And it’s far too good a story for most pundits not to have written, me included. The truth, of course, is a little less dramatic but significant nonetheless.

While the Palm Pre is undoubtedly the company’s comeback device, the big bet is the accompanying webOS that powers the Pre along with the subsequently released Palm Pixi. In fact since the second device running webOS was unveiled, Palm have announced that, moving forward, they’re dumping Windows Mobile to pursue a single OS strategy. Thanks Redmond for easing the transition away from the dying PalmOS to the newly born webOS. But make no mistake, that’s all you were good for.

It’s in this context that when reviewing the Palm Pre it’s more tempting than usual to consider the phone’s hardware as separate from the operating system it runs on. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

(Spoiler: The hardware is OK but webOS is where things get really exciting.)

Click over to Mobile Industry Review to read the full post, and if you have any further questions, leave a comment here or on MIR and I’ll try to answer them before I return the device.

Gadgets and canapés: PR, Paranoia and the Palm Pre [review]

steve-palm-preI finally have a Palm Pre in my hands. Well not literally as it would be kind of difficult to type this post, unless I did it on the phone of course, which I’m not. Have you tried the keyboard? It’s pretty good but it’s not that good.

But a working UK GSM version of the Pre is sat next to me and I have the device on loan for the next 10 days or so. Remember, I’ve been chasing down the Pre for almost nine months, ever since it was first announced at January’s CES. So this feels like a big deal (the device went on sale today here in the UK, exclusively on O2).

And, frankly, I’m not used to waiting this side of the pond while my US brethren get to fondle a phone first.

It sucks.

Anyway, back to the Pre. I’ve written up my Day One impressions of the UK version of the Palm Pre, along with a tongue-in-cheek description of the PR back-story, in my debut column — working title: Gadgets and canapés — for Ewan MacLeod’s Mobile Industry Review (MIR). I hope to make a regular contribution to MIR and I’ll definitely be revisiting the Pre after a full week in.

Here’s a quote from the piece where I talk about the Pre’s Google and Facebook integration.

[Yes, I am quoting myself. Oh and it is #FollowFriday on Twitter. Just sayin’.]

After entering my Google credentials into the Pre, the phone’s email client sprang to life, as did calendar and contacts. In some ways the webOS-powered Pre is the Google phone I was always hoped Android would be. Google integration is on a par with stock Android but has a far superior UI. The Pre’s calendar is one example, with multi-calendar support and a nifty accordion metaphor to utilise screen real estate when part of the day is empty.

Importing Facebook contacts, avatars included, also worked as expected, and merging any duplicate contacts between Google and Facebook, for the most part, happened automatically. Manually linking contacts that Synergy had missed was also trivial.

Head over to MIR to read the full post ‘First impressions of the UK Palm Pre: We like it!

Palm to developers: "We love you man"

Setting webOS apps free.

Despite the scarcity of third-party offerings available in Palm’s webOS app store so far, I’m remain bullish regarding the smartphone maker’s ability to attract developers to its platform. Although I’ve said right from the start that doing so will play a major part in making or breaking the company’s second coming.

Today, Palm made a number of announcements after listening to feedback from the community, the biggest of which is that developers will be able to ‘self-sign’ their apps and distribute them via the Web, and in doing so, bypass any formal approval process. It’s not a complete free-for-all unlike what is possible on the Google-led Android as Palm will still own and issue the URL used for web distribution but the lack of an approval process, if developers choose to go this way, will enable more traditional online marketing techniques for third-party apps and speed up beta testing, something that is the bane of iPhone developers.

Continue reading »

Adobe Flash seen running on Palm Pre – Netbooks, MIDs, and other smartphones also set to win (iPhone aside)

Adobe has long talked up its ambition to have Flash running on all manner of screens, not just the humble PC, and today the company got a lot closer to walking the walk not just talking.

Through the Open Screen Project, Adobe was already known to be working with smartphone platforms from Palm (WebOS), Nokia (Symbian) and Microsoft (Windows Mobile), along with a raft of content providers, chip makers and consumer electronics companies. Today, the company added Google and Research In Motion to the list, with relation to Android and Blackberry-powered smartphones respectively, leaving Apple’s iPhone as the odd one out regarding planned support for full Flash (or any Flash support at all).

Continue reading »

Palm Pre UK release date confirmed, prices on par with older iPhone 3G

We knew the carrier: Telfonica-owned O2. We knew the time frame: before Christmas. Now we have the actual date and pricing for the UK release of Palm’s Pre smartphone, the company’s comeback device.

Set to go on sale on the 16th of October, the Pre will be “free” to customers signing up to a £34.26 per month, 24 month contract, or for those willing to move to the higher tariff of £44.05 or more on an 18 month contract. Otherwise the device will have an additional up front cost of £96.89. All of the tariffs feature varying inclusive minutes and texts, along with ‘unlimited’ data and WiFi hotspot access through The Cloud and BT Openzone.

Continue reading »

PlayBite: Hands-on with the UK/GSM Palm Pre

I’ve just got back from PlayBite in London, a press event organized by PR agency Bite. The mini press-only expo showcased products from a number of consumer tech brands, including Palm. In fact, the event was in part billed as the first chance for UK journalists to get a hands-on with the Palm Pre, and I got to do just that. 

Continue reading »

Palm invites developers to begin submitting their paid-for WebOS apps

I’m finding it increasingly hard to comment on the Palm Pre and supporting WebOS, since I’ve yet to get my hands on the company’s ‘second coming‘ smartphone. The device is due to launch here in the UK exclusively on carrier 02 (strangely sharing the limelight with Apple’s iPhone) sometime in Q4.

Nonetheless, news comes today that Palm is to begin accepting applications from developers who want to charge for their Palm Pre WebOS apps, with the pending launch of the company’s Palm App Catalog e-commerce beta program in mid-September. Attracting developers to Palm’s new platform will be key to the Pre’s success and future handsets released by the company running on its shiny new WebOS.

On that note, on par with Apple and Google (Android), developers who charge for their apps will get the better part of a 70/30 split with Palm. More information about the developer program can be found here.

Palm Pre to launch on O2 in the UK, just don't mention the competition

It’s now official: The Palm Pre will launch exclusively on Telefonica-owned O2 here in the UK.


“In time for the holidays”, say Palm and O2, with no word yet on pricing. My guess is that we’re talking early October, enough time to ramp up for Christmas spending.

Either way, it’s a pretty long time to wait, especially since O2 will have been busy pimping its other flagship exclusive. Apple’s newly launched iPhone 3GS.

And then there’s the rest of the competition.

Continue reading »