Palm Pre first real Android competition

At CES last week, Palm announced the new Pre smartphone and the Web OS. For Google Android developers, the announcement might not seem too major. After all, the G1 is a popular phone and more devices that use Android are in the works. However, Palm enjoys a substantial developer base, and porting the code to Pre might not be too difficult (no one knows for sure yet). Since Apple already has a vast number of apps for the iPhone, then the Pre is competition as another upstart challenger. The Pre interface is a mixture of slick usability and Web integration. Contacts will be listed once with all of their various phone numbers from different points of contact, such as Facebook and Gmail. A universal search feature on the device gives you one box (sound familiar?) to search the device. The card interface is a stark departure from what Palm has done in the past. Basically, anything you do on the phone -- including photo browsing, Web travels, and sending an e-mail -- will be put onto a card. You can click a card with your finger and flip through them, which is a good mobile paradigm. It's like flipping through a deck of cards. There's also a gesture pad below the screen that lets you perform actions -- such as swipes to browse through a slideshow -- and you can invoke a ribbon menu of icons. Think about it this way: if you are a developer, you have a choice to make: Google Android as a possible mobile OS option, or Palm which already has a massive user base. The phone is not expected to ship until late spring. I guess that gives developers some time to decide what to do.


Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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