Mobility

Palm Pre Plus shines with productivity apps, mobile Wi-Fi

The Palm Pre has gotten an update and landed on Verizon. See the two features that make it stand out for business users, and learn the drawbacks.

Now that I've tested the Palm Pre Plus it's time to share my thoughts about it from a business and IT perspective. As usual, we'll talk about the pros and cons of the device and where it fits in for business.

You can watch the video or read the full text of this episode below the video window.

The original Palm Pre was one of the most widely-anticipated technology products of 2009. Palm had spent almost two years redesigning its mobile operating system, the webOS, as well as the new hardware for the Pre.

However, after making a big splash at CES 2009, the Palm Pre launch six months later in June was only a moderate success. Part of the problem was the quality of the new Palm hardware and part of it was that the

Pre was limited to the Sprint network.

Palm is now trying to up its game with the Palm Pre Plus on Verizon. Of course, there's a lot of competition in the smartphone market with the iPhone, Android phones, and BlackBerry.

So, let's take a quick look at the best features as well as the drawbacks of the Palm Pre Plus and see how it measures up from a business perspective.

The positives

  1. Productivity apps: The one place where the Palm webOS really outshines iPhone and Android is in productivity apps. Email is easy to read, navigate, and customize. The Calendar app is more full-featured. And, unlike iPhone and Android, webOS actually syncs Tasks from Exchange.
  2. Mobile Hotspot: The one big feature that the Palm Pre Plus has over other smartphone is its Mobile Hotspot app. This basically turns the Pre into a MiFi, allowing you to share its Internet connection with up to five other devices via Wi-Fi.
  3. The Verizon network: Now that it's on Verizon, the Pre has access to the most widespread and reliable 3G broadband in the U.S.
  4. Intuitive interface: The Palm Pre has a little bit more of a learning curve than Android or iPhone, but it's still very easy to use - much easier than BlackBerry or Windows Mobile.

The drawbacks

  1. Hardware design: For a high-end smartphone, the Palm Pre feels cheap and not very durable. The screen is too small and the slide-out keyboard is functional but not very comfortable to use. The hardware on the Google Nexus One, the iPhone 3GS, and even the BlackBerry Tour blow the Palm Pre Plus away.
  2. Needs more applications: While the iPhone and Android have tens of thousands of mobile apps, the Palm webOS has a few hundred. It needs to ramp up mobile app development and quick.
  3. It's a little sluggish: The Palm Pre Plus is not nearly as snappy at opening applications and executing quick tasks as the Nexus One or the iPhone 3GS. While it's more responsive than the original Pre, the performance of the Pre Plus is still a little bit laggy at times.

Summary

If you're looking for a smartphone to primarily run productivity apps connected to Microsoft Exchange, the Palm Pre Plus can be a really nice choice. The Mobile Hotspot feature is also a great feature, and it's unique to the Pre Plus at this point. However, if you want a full-featured smartphone to do more heavy lifting and run lots of different apps then you should probably look at an Android phone or an iPhone.

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

37 comments
fname
fname

Over 1500 at last count, and in some categories the available apps are FAR superior to Android. Pre games crush Android games. Pre GPS/Twitter/Podcast apps crush iPhone apps (since they can run in the background). And so on. iPhone is the clear leader overall, but as far as useful apps go, the race is much tighter. Really, the obsession with the number of apps is silly-- how many apps are available for Unix or Windows vs. Snow Leopard? Just because Apple & Company make it easy to count the number of apps, that doesn't mean it's suddenly an important metric.

robartm
robartm

Ok, I like the "idea" of a comparison. How about something with numerical values rather than "comments" at 50,000+ feet which I could write in less than say two minutes, which are just that, comments...no comparison. Even a "compare these" on a carrier site has more substance than the "comparison stated" here.

DocCzar
DocCzar

Simply the worst... I spent several hours recently in a Verizon store evaluating mobile devices for my employer. The Palm products were simply the worst in my opinion. I found them difficult to use and unintuitive. They were the last devices I encountered that day. So maybe I was in a sensory overload situation. But I found just about every other device offered by Verizon much easier to use. The only exception would be the Blackberry Storm 2. It's just slightly better than either the Pre Plus or the Pixi.

bill
bill

I have been a Palm Pre Owner from day one, and it replacced my Sprint Instinct, which was a disaster The Pre is Lightyears ahead of the Instinct but it is a mediocre poduct. The apps are pathetic and I will be switching to iPhone product this year. I have never been an Apple fan having used their computers in business. I have been a Palm Kyocera, Treo 700, 700W, Motorola and Samsung user. Palm and Windows'phoines are doomed, it's just a matter of time. Android has a chance but it will be a struggle.

agarillon
agarillon

There's a good reason that Palm redeveloped the OS. It's optimized for handheld use. I'm not sure how you can say that 'heavy lifting' isn't productivity apps. or a true multitasking OS such as WEB OS, ( just being able to have many pages loading abuses the iphone and android in true productivity). Let alone doing other things while navigating updates...tweets coming in. Also, forgetting to mention ATT already agree to carry the phone (along with Verizon) over six months ago. There's plenty more...but sounds too fanboyish. (from an i(jailed)phone to WEB OS freedom) Oh...and the open source nature, allows all the heavy utilities such as file browsers, special utilities, that the other phones will never see.

mrwebguy
mrwebguy

A few hundred? As of this second: Official Palm App Catalog: 1436 Palm Web: 99 Palm Beta: 34 When was this written? August? Homework makes for good articles. Let's not also forget that updates to the platform have been steadily coming out of Palm as opposed to the iPhone product. They have also been fairly responsive to user input. Developers seem happier as well. My .02

knoxbury
knoxbury

You know your video title says this video is about WAN acceleration.

major.malfunction
major.malfunction

First off, I still don't know what the knock is on Sprint. They all pretty much the same towers and if you are anywhere near any city in the US, you are going to get 3G. Plus Sprint is WAAAAAY cheaper than Verizon or AT&T when it comes to data packages. I still can't believe in the year 2010 that people are fearing not getting a signal or dropped calls. ITS YOUR PHONE, NOT THE CARRIER in 99% of the cases! Enough about the carrier aspect, the Pre is a great phone. I've used WinMo and Blackberries before this. The BB is good for email and literally nothing else, yet people somehow think its a must for email. Just about any phone can do EAS and/or POP3 for FREE now, so why overpay for a BB and the BB services? The Pre ceratianly could have used some denser plastic or even some metal on it to give it a more perceived "quality" feeling. But itself, it rocks with business email (Exchange) and the App catalog is really taking off with about 10 new apps a day in it! The best feature is that the WebOS is user configurable and ANYONE can easily modify it. you aren't tethered to the Apple store or whatever crappy canned experience you get the the BB. The WebOS is easily modified to unlock features and to customize it with just a few finger swipes. What other phones can do that? In the end, most consumers are just going to look at the sizzle they see in commercials on TV and then be guided like sheep once they get into the store. Sadly, if Palm had better marketing, no doubt the same phone would be reviewed with a better opinion.

seamusobr
seamusobr

The mobile hotspot is not unique to the Palm pre this feature is also available on the HTC hd2. I have used it as well

norm52
norm52

I've not seen the Pre Plus, but am fmailar with the the Palm Pre and I wasn't impressed with that at all. I doubt this new model will change my opinion. It appears to me about the only good thing it has going for it is its WiFi capabilities, but even that when coupled with its other shortcomings does not make it stand out much.

alec.wood
alec.wood

I was going to buy one recently, but it just feels so cheap and nasty, like a toy from a Christmas cracker. The edge of the case when you slide out the keyboard is sharp and the whole thing flexes awfully. I haven't seen anything this cheap feeling since the Nokia 6111

alistairws
alistairws

where can find and download the mobile hotspot app???

baltovet
baltovet

You obviously spent very little time with the Pre. Once you get to know the Web OS, I can't imaging you would find anything else more user friendly. The ability to keep multiple apps open at once and easily switch back and forth is what makes this phone shine. I've used almost everything else out there, and I wouldn't have anything but the pre after owning one for only 2 weeks.

glenmy
glenmy

The interface does have a few quirks, but I bought one (from VZN) and have used it for a couple of weeks. I found that spending 10 minutes reading the User Manual told me everything I needed to know about how to navigate the phone. Now it is a joy to use! I even found an app that lets me emulate my old Treo! On another note, all this talk about the number of apps is silly. I have this device to talk, text & email. I also depend on it for the address book. If it also lets me play some games and check subway maps, that's a plus, but I do not see why anyone in their right mind would WANT to have 100,000 apps to decide among!!

mwpamela
mwpamela

I have been waiting for this phone, as I want to retire my Palm handheld and merge into a smartphone. I am already familiar with Palm apps, and so far, they have more of the type I need than BB or Windows based (medical). So I was somewhat disappointed when I saw this phone. It does feel flimsy, and the keyboard is TINY. That alone can be a deal breaker. I am still going back and forth between that and a Droid. I guess I should look and see if the apps for my profession have caught up with a platform other than Palm.

KC Steve
KC Steve

I totally agree, both Palm and Sprint both failed in the marketing. What are the benefits? The new(today) Versizon ad is more on target. I have to believe the money spent by Palm on the initial commercail was eye candy..but who saw or remembered the message. At least that is my opinion.

Grantmasterflash
Grantmasterflash

I was excited when WebOS came out and have been waiting for Palm to actually make a phone that uses it. Palm Pre is not a phone, it's a toy with a tiny screen and a keyboard. If Palm were serious about staying alive they'd put out a Nexus One or Droid type of phone using WebOS. Crap, just port the OS to one of HTC or Motorolla's phones and be done with it. And only a few apps after a year of being on the market?

baltovet
baltovet

More Cons than Pros??? I was due my new every 2 upgrade with Verizon as of 1/4/10, and was looking at the Droid, Blackberries, and others, but wanted to wait until the Pre came out to make a decision. After using it for a very short time, it was a no-brainer to me. The OS is the slickest of all of them, and it is a snap to learn. The only SIGNIFICANT shortcoming on the phone is the keyboard. If this phone had the same keyboard as my Treo 755P, it would be almost perfect. A hopefully soon to come on-screen keyboard will be a big help. It does not feel at all cheap to me, and so far, I like it more than any other phone I've owned. This phone on Verizon is going to make the web OS platform a big winner.

dclassen
dclassen

I too was very excited about the MIFI mobile hotspot. Bought the Palm Pre Plus with Verizon for my wife, and I when I found out about MIFI I wondered why doesn't my highly-praised Motorola Droid have it!? I checked with Verizon though, and yes the phone can do it, but it will cost you. Actually, the first rep. I spoke to told me it was included in the $30/mo. smartphone data plan that is required to use the phone. When I set up the MIFI connection and connected my laptop to it, it took me to a special page by Verizon, where they break the news to you... you have to add on the $40 tethering fee. This also has a 5gb/mo. limit, with $.05/mb for overages. I tried browsing to other sites, and it always redirects back to this page. The app is free to download, but you must pay extra to use it. So actually, the way I understood it from the 2nd verizon rep I spoke to, was that it works the same as tethering with any other phone, as far as the cost/data/plan. The one advantage (and yes a nice advantage), is that if you are going to pay that extra per month, you can connect up to 5 devices via wifi instead of one device via usb cable.

elderjlward
elderjlward

Hi Jason: I noticed that your article begins with the Palm Pre Plus being compared to both the Iphone and Android phones. Though these devices have made and are still making a notable impact on the mobile market, we must acknowledge that there are other players in the Mobile ARena: Windows Mobile being one. With that said Windows Mobile has had Walking Hospot(one time fee of $24.99 http://www.walkinghotspot.com http://www.walkinghotspot.com/), and Windows WIFI Router(One Time Fee of 19.99 https://my.wmwifirouter.com/buy/)since at least 2008, programs that turn ones mobile device into a Wifi Router for up to 5 devices. Also HTC Wifi Router (free http://wmpoweruser.com/?p=5889) has been available since at least July of 2009. The application for the Palm Pre Plus is therefore not a unique application. Additionally the Windows Mobile Applications are simply a ONE TIME FEE and there are no additional service costs or plans required. In comparison the Palm Pre Plus plan requires I believe a $40 tethering plan. About Windows Mobile I do recognize that Windows Mobile(Now to be known as Windows Mobile Classic with the advent of Windows Mobile 7 Series) has taken quite a hit in the mobile arena primarily due to its less than flashy and less finger friendly User Interface in comparison to the intuitive and finger friendly UI of the Iphone. I must note that though many individuals across the internet are decrying the horrors of the Windows Mobile Operating System, it seems that much of their dialouge when they begin expressing their dissatisfaction with the operation system is ACTUALLY a dissatisfaction with the User Interface. This is a distinction worthy to acknowledge for the Windows Mobile Operating system from a technical perspective is one of the most powerful and customizable of the mobile platforms. Some aspects: Third Party Apps can be saved directly to the memory Card-Unlike Android or iphone. Third Party applications are available from centralized locations across the Internet: www.freewarepocketpc.net, www.1800pocketpc.com, www.Handango.com(which aslo has an app that can be loaded on a windows phone), www.Pocketgear.com There is also an app called opnMarket which is a market provide access to over 500 free windows Mobile apps. Additionally as MANY windows users know, the xda-developers community makes available a tremendous amount of apps and ROMs, often found on other devices that can be loaded to your particular device. Many buyers of windows phones have this in mind when purchasing a windows phoe knowing tat what is in the box is simply the beginning of what the device will later be after a few tweaks. Files can be downloaded directly from mobile browsers Such as Opera 9.5,10, IE, Iris, UC, and Skyfire. The Skyfire Mobile Browser has Flash Support and on a Windows Mobile Device a user can see website exactly as they are on a desktop including the ability to watch online flash videos as found on the abcnews, youtube, bbcnews etc. Windows Mobile has real Multitasking Copy and Paste has been a feature of Windows Mobile for as long as I can remember. Windows mobile allows for a seamless transition from a PC workspace to a mobile workspace due to the native Mobile Office Suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, One Note, and with the newest version free beta downlaod of Office Mobile 2010 from the Market place -Sharepoint is also available). Word, and Excel documents can be created and edited on a windows device, and attached/detached to/from email directly on a windows device such as my Touch Pro 2(ATT Tilt 2), which has a slide out keyboard and very large and nicely spaced keys and a tilting screen(laptop form factor);typing and editing on a this handheld device is probably one of the best experiences to be had on a mobile phone. It is worth noting that the IPHONE now ,through Data Viz, has one of the best experiences it can have on its particular platform in an attempt to form a seamless collaboration between the Office Environment to be had on a desktop/laptop, and though the experience I am sure is good it is not comparable to the more fluid flow a windows mobile device provides between a desktop Office suite expereince and a mobile Office suite expereince. For one with the Iphone Data Viz applications aediting, creation, all viewing of documents takes place WITHIN the dataviz Documents to Go Aplication. Because the IPHONE was designed more as a platform from which to launch applications:an aplication launcer (as clearly made evident in its homecscreen; it seems little effort is made to display on the home screen pertinant information(upcoming events, time, weather, email, missed calls, etc) as found on a Windows mobile device; the screens design is designed to display applications for launcing)it was not designed with access to the file system for file browsing and manipulation as on a PC(and windows mobile), no real Multitasking as on a PC(and windows mobile), no Task Manager as on a PC(and windows mobile). Thus manipulation of documents on an IPHONE though documents to go can ONLY occur through the Documents To Go(DTG) app, viewing of the files on an IPhone can ONLY be done through the DTG app, even veiwing the attachment of documents and downloading them can only occur via the documents to go app. Dataviz had to incorporate email client into Documents to Go that connects to the IPHONE users Exchange Server to allow for Exchange Access. This is unlike the PC experience we are all familiar with. A file can be searched for DIRECTLY on a PC, placed WHEREVER a user chooses(even on the desktop), opened DIRECTLY from the FILE(not through an application), and a file can be downloaded DIRECTLY from the users email without utilizing another application to download and THEN view it. This familiarity is woven quite well into Windows mobile. Through file explorer on Windows Mobile(just like explorer on a PC) the file can be moved or copied wherever the user desires, the file can be opened Directly from the file itself(clicking on it from whever its located including as an icon directly on the desktop of SPB Mobile Shell reminiscent of a document icon on a PC - seamless). In Windows Mobile an attached file can be downloaded DIRECTLY from the email itself, just like we are used to when working on our desktops , without opening another application first to do so. Additionally when using my Windows Mobile Device(Touch Pro 2(ATT Tilt 2) when finished creating or editiing a document I can simply hit Menu-File-send Via Email directly fromthe document and I am presented with te option to send from ANY of my Email accounts - that I have have set up on my device(even MMS). And of course email can be arranged by size or when received, from who, or the type. So if I want to see all emails with attachments in my email I select type if I hit it once all the emails with attached files can appear at the top, if I hit it again they will appear at the bottom after the emails wit out attachment. Same thing with arranging by size, largest files first, or last and so on with from who and when received. With a windows mobile device I can work with a document, go to the web without closing it copy info and paste it into the document, like on a PC. The Iphone inherently does not have the functionality of a windows phone when it comes to replicationg the Office expereincing because its platform was not designed fundamentally to replicate a PCs structure. Windows mobile was in many regards.And though many individuals decry the what they feel are negative aspects of this fundamental Windows Mobile design, other platform (IPHONE, PALM) know the value of having a solid working Office experinceg on a Mobile device seeing that 90% of desktop users(home-Businesses) use office and many of these same people would like to access it on the go. Windows mobile has the BEST design upon which to implement this functionality. Because PCs and the Microsoft environment occupy I believe over 90% of the Home and Business markets a windows mobile device (such as my Touch Pro 2(ATT Tilt 2) make for a seamless transition from work at a PC to continued work on the go. A windows phone such as my touch pro 2 can also function as storage device for files(docs, music, pics, cab files, etc) precluding the need for carrying a separate flash drive. I have a flash drive shaped card reader into which I can place my 8gig microSD card(from my mobile device) when I am at a computer at a remote location. I can then place this card reader which now functions as a flash drive into the USB port of the remote computer and copy and move files between the PC?s hard drive and my MicroSD card which I will place back into my phone when I am done. Files can be transferred via various methods such as: Microsoft myphone which places data like: Documents, Contacts, Pictures, Music, text messages, tasks, calander,Browser favorites, and videos - updating any changes made to any synced data- into the cloud. Also active Sync via a Physical USB cable to a PC/Laptop, Bluetooth connection via Active Sync,(the device appears as another drive on the PC allowing for easy manipulation or transfer of files) Email attachments or even utilizing a Flash drive Shape Card reader where I simply remove my 8gig micoSd card, place it into the Card reader then plug it into a computers USB drive, effectively creating an 8gig flash drive, onto which I can copy files(docs, music, pics, etc,) which can then be accessed when I place the card back into my device. Files can also be transferred via bluetooth between devices utilizing Window Mobile Operating System. As PC users I am confident that we are all familiar with file explorer. Windows mobile utilizes that very familiar File Fxplorer tool that allows for the creation, modifying, moving, deleting of folders so that the user can organize the content on their mobile device. Just as on a PC documents, pictures, music, games can all be arranged to the users tastes allowing for ultimate organization. All utilities can go into one folder, all pics from a particular event can go into a folder, all documents for a particular project can be arranged by association etc. My Touchpro 2, and I believe most current Windows phones also have a native copy of Microsoft Voice Command which can either be activated and utilized via a Blue Tooth by simply pressing the bluetooth button on your ear or utilizing a hardware button on the phone. Voice command allows for very intuitive voice commands that garner a response in a female voice from the phone, either through your Bluetooth or Phone speakers depending on how the user has chosen to set it up some examples are: "What time is it?" "What are my next appoinments?"(VC will check your calender and tell you) "What is my battery level?" "What is my signal strength?" "Play -Artists Name-"(Voice command will begin to play all music by a particular artist in your Windows Media Player. "What Song is this?" "Play previous track." "Play next track." "Play -CD TITLE-"(VC will play CD of a particular title.) Start(or open) a particualar program. VC will open any program on the start menu. With the File Explorer tool a user can also copy his/her browser Favorites folder to the start menu and command VC to open a particular webpage and the browser will initiate and go directly to that particular page. The user can of course also say "Call -persons name-" for anyone in his/her contact list and voice command will call the person. Or if the user is just looking for data on that person he/she can simply say "Show -persons name-" and the contact information for that person will be displayed, ie - name, numbers, emails address etc. Because there is a nickname field in the windows mobile contact file for each contact, if a user puts a nickname in that field, even if First and Last name are in their respective fields, VC will also respond to a command to call a person is you instruct it to do so using the persons nickname. For example if you have a contact named John Smith, and his Nickname field shows Johnny Boy?You can tell VC to ?Call Johnny Boy? and Voice command will call your contact John Smith. You can also tell VC to dial a particular number, :?Dial 1-800-000-0000? If you were busy and missed a called you can say, ?What call did I miss?? VC will respond. You can also say ?Callback? and VC will call the last number that called you. If you called a number and the person didn?t answer and you decided to give them a few minutes, when ready to call again you can say ?redial? and Voice Command will redial. VC will also read the users incoming text messages directly via the Bluetooth. The benefits of hearing text message read via bluetooth while driving, or in a meeting are tremoundous. Or if one prefers texts can be read via the phone speakers; that is also an option in the VC setup page. VC command will also announce the name of an incoming call or if the call is coming from someone who is not in you contact list it will read speak the incoming number. You can also say "help" and voice command will instruct you on what commands are available to you. This is a great tool found on Windows Mobile and preceded and actually outperforms, via a wider array of features, the iphones voice program. Windows mobile allows for Bluetooth connectivity to other devices including A2DP connectivity so that system sounds and music can be heard via bluetooth. Window mobile also allows for other UI interfaces,it's greatest intrinsic weakness being a less than flashy, non finger freindly UI. However with SPB Mobile Shell 3.5(and soon 5.0) the UI challenge is greatly overcome. Utilizing a paged based, widget and icon based system Windows Mobile with the SPB shell gains what it lacked - a great UI. That in combination with a powerful OS make windows mobile (particularly for me a Touch Pro 2) even more of a joy to use. Mobile shell allows for a maximum of 2 Homescreens with a max a 5 pages each - Professional and Lifestyle. By sweeping a finger across the screen one can cycle through the totally customizable pages which can be littered with widgets and programs icons to the users liking. A vertical swipe brings one either to the Lifestyle Homescreen which can be customized with your choice of a number of colorful or aesthetic backgrounds(like on a PC) or a vertical swipe can bring you to the sleek black background of the Professional home screen. Again each home screen allow for horizontal swipe that bring the user to a maximum of five fully cutomizble pages. SPB mobile shell has a great picture viewer a 3D carasel as another means of cycling through pages, a weather application that shows the days weather as well as a mutiple day forecast, a calender that syncs with window calender and tasks, anumber of widgets - Facebook, twitter, weather, bitrthday, clocks, calender, picture frame, media player, wifi, etc. SPB Mobile shell on a Windows Mobile Platform with WM Multitasking feels like a desktop experience in some regards. For example the Media Player Widget of SPB Mobile Shell can be placed right on my Touch Pro 2's desktop(which has a 3.6-inch TFT-LCD touch-sensitive screen with 480 X 800 WVGA resolution.) The widget of course is interactive and allows the user to stop/play, forward, reverse the music as well as go to the media library. So while using that live widget while listen to music I can also initiate my stop watch app while I?m in the gym to time my breaks between sets, I can switch from the stop watch leaving it running while I check my calendar widget for any appointments(or use VC to ask of course J), which is right on the screen which I can have located on the same page as the, media player widget. I can add a new item to my calendar if I want to remind myself to do something after I leave the gym(still listening to music, and stopwatch still running), I can also utilize the SPB Mobile shell Face Book widget(right there on the desktop) to update my status, and if I get a pain in one of my muscles while in the gym I can use the internet widget, typing my query directly into a small window on my desktop without having to open another program first ? I can do ALL of this without closing a program ? just like on a desktop. Windows Mobile is a very powerful OS and implemented on the Touchpro 2 it is like having a palm sized laptop always accessible. The keyboard is great for writing, even long documents, emails, or texts. (The onscreen keyboard is though it pales in my opinion in comparison to the hardware keyboard nice with decent sizable keys and the optionfor predictive T9 text) The office suite is consistent with the desktop versions allowing for creation and editing of documents (documents to go which I had for my ancient windows 5.0 ATT 2125, and which the Iphone has, was a nice suite but does not have as much of the functionality of the actual office suite.) The ability to customize the UI either with SPB mobile Shell or via a small app called Touch Flow Detacher, switch between SPB Mobile Shell or the Native Touch Flow 3D by HTC is a great option to have. Touch Flow 3D interface is great and the music player which has a setupup reminiscent of the ipod is more user friendly than than Microsoft media player. Both Touch Flow 3d and SPB Mobile Shell allow me to download the profile Pics of Facebaook friend to my contact list. SPB mobile sheel goes so far as to allow for the sownlaod of the current profile picture of a friend as well as the ability to choose from ALL of their profile pictures. Touch Flow 3d, like the FB widget of SPB Mobile Shell allows me to update my facebook status. One awesome aspect of touchflo 3D is that it centralizes all communication of my conatacts, emails, text messages, phone history, FB status can all be found in one place. In addition to this FB status update of my contacts are also displayed by the persons name in the general contact list. This is a nice fearture. Also though capacitive screens seem to be the direction the mobile technology is going due in part to multi-touch capabilities( a feature that I think is awesome) a resistive touch screen does have its benefits. Because it doesn?t require a disruption of electron fields as a capacitive screen which is achieved either by a bare finger or a conducive device being held by a bare finger resistive screens can be manipulated with a fingetnail, a gloved hand in cold weather, or a stylus. Stylus interaction allows for another Windows Mobile feature, handwriting recognition. In addition to several keyboard options for data input, my touch pro 2 and other Windows Mobile devices allow the user to input data by writing letters/words directly on the screen in either print or cursive which the OS interprets and converts to text. There are also set gestures that allow for keyboard functions such backspace, space etc. While on a call the removal of the stylus initiates a note app onto which one can write a phone, notes to a call etc while still talking via bluetooth, or speaker or asking the person to whom you are speaking to hold a moment if you are not utilizing either BT or speaker as you make a note. The stylus aspect also allows for Art Applications where artists can actually sketch or draw using a tool much like the pencils or pens they are accustomed to. The touchpro 2 also has a dual microphone and dual speaker system, if while on a call you want to initiate the speaker phone one simply has to place the phone facedown on the table/desk and the speaker automatically initiates. A green light on the back shows that the micrpone is one, pressing that button mutes the microphone turning it red so that there can be discussion with individuals in the room without the party on the other end hearing. Windows Mobile OS is a great OS, however due to the UI bar being raised so high by apple with such admittedly flashy eye candy and an intuitive interface along with a marketing paln that was affective at placing the aspects of that interface in the face of the average consumer, the average person has now expects and maybe even demands a "shiny" User Interface though the OS may be less capable than an OS with a less than asthetically appealing UI -Such as Windows Mobile Classic. This in combination with Windows Mobile historical niche, business users due to Windows Strong Exchange capabilities and Calender functions which integrate well(and outperform the Iphones, Microsoft had not really been making grand efforts to grab the average joe. Thus the marketing of an awesome OS to the average person was not on the agenda thus the average joe is unaware, for the most partof the merits of windows mobile. Apple for instance made it their business to tell the consumers via well done commercials that the iphone can now copy and paste. This has been a basic feature of windows mobile for years. However Apples OS didn't have that ability, so when it gained it, it made the announcement with a tone to many that makes it seem like a unique feature on a mobile device. Apple did the same thing with its music id app. Windows had the ability prior to Apple but was not as vocal as apple so when apple made it known that the IPHONE had a music id app, a voice command program, it seemed like a feature -to the masses- that is unique to the iphone. Window Mobile OS had already beaten Apple to the punch - but hadn't told the masses. It seems to me that Microsoft was content with its business cunstomers who understood the merits of its OS, and the techies and other windows mobiles fans-but overlooked the average joe who didn't know of its merits and then apple swooped in with a pretty and shiny tool, with in many regards an inferior OS, yet a superior UI, and sleek hardware design, and has made preexisting features found on Windows Devices sound like innovative features unique to apple. Great Marketing. This has disrupted Microsofts hold in the market, and helped to fuel a rising tide of a "anti-windows mobile" movement. Many people hating or disliking the UI and not realizing the strengths of the OS. Finally Windows Mobile is highly customizable allowing for the implementation of utlities such as open with, inbox extender, clean Ram, clear temp, walking hotspot, and man many others. SPB mobile shell(which also has some appealing animations) and Touch Flo 3d which can be used interchangebly with a a free app called touch flo detacher make the UI very adaptable. The Touch Pro 2 in regards to Hardware desgin has a large 3.6 480x800 WVGA resistive screen(higher resolution than an iphone. Windows 6.5(ATT Tilt came loaded with other carriers upgradedble from 6.1) A 528 MGz chip,512 ROM, 288 RAM, Micro SD card slot up to 32 Gig(currenlty using 8gig). And the huge spacious keyboard, especially for a writer, is simply awesome and without comparison to my knowledge in the mobile arena. The spacious keyboard and large tilting screen in conjunction with the free app cellspin, which allows for articles/videos to be uplaoded directly to multiple sites like Wordpress, Blogger, YouTube, Facebook etc, in addition to a seamless transition between PC office and Mobile Office make the touch pro 2 in my estimation one of the best laptop replacement devices on the market. Even in regard to fun and media, the device with it's tilting screen can be palced on a tabletop(or window sill while doing dishes) and one can watch youtube videos, a movie that has been copied to the memory card, listen to music via its awesome speakers. My Touch pro 2 also has a resident remote desktop application as well as a TV out app. By plugging my Audio Video cable into the USB port then into either a projector or Telvision I can either do a Powerpoint Presentation, watch video from my device on a largr screen or projection, what a slideshow of pics, etc. The Touch Pro 2 with the Powerful Windows Mobile OS out does many mobile platforms on the market. To bad Microsoft has been so silent for so long regarding a great OS, maybe if they were more vocal OS's which are inferior in many regards would not have begun beating them at their own game. Hopefully windows mobile 7 is not stripped down to to be made "shiny" for the masses and less effective for the poweruser. Note: I was able to acquire my touchpro 2(ATT Tilt 2) brand new from LetsTalk.com. Because they sont have as much overhead as the carriers I was able to purchase it at a tremoundously discounted price of $99 in comparison to over $300 out the door at an ATT store. In addition I also got a $30 discount for a coupon code I was able to apply. So when all was said and done I got the phone for about 74 dollars. Additions to the phone such as about $27 for SPB mobile Shell to enhance the UI, a blutooth headset, AV cable, Tranparent phone Guard still kept, mobipocket a free ebook reader, it below the cost of buying through a carrier. Here is a link to an article written in August 2009, I concede that some of the information may have since changed: 30 Basic Things iPhone can?t do but Windows Mobile can http://www.knowliz.com/2009/08/27-basic-things-iphone-cant-do-but.html 10 things Windows Mobile and the iPhone OS could learn from each other http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/10things/?p=1369 8 Little Things We Still Can?t Stand About the iPhone http://www.mobilecrunch.com/2009/02/27/8-little-things-we-still-cant-stand-about-the-iphone/ Some Reviews Of Iphones Documents to Go Customer Reviews http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=317107309&mt=8 Promising, but Disappointing by b8g1 This product should easily be a 5-star app, given the experience of DataViz developing for mobile platforms. Unfortunately I've found it almost entirely unusable for my needs. I'm disppointed that there's no easier way to get documents into the app other than by installing the desktop software. I'd like to see, at minimum, an HTTP interface to import/export files, and ideally support for WebDAV. Neither should be difficult to implement (e.g. see Air Sharing Pro) but not having these ways to get files in and out of DTG limits its appeal to business customers. I'm also disappointed that DTG "Premium" only shows me messages in my Exchange mail that contain attachments. I expected to be able to see all messages, since I frequently need to reply (with an attached spreadsheet or Word file) to messages received without an attachment. Since I can't even see these messages in DTG I obviously can't use the app to reply to them. As a final gripe - pointed out in several other reviews - DataViz support is nonexistent, unless the issue is already addressed on thir website. No message boards, no email support, nothing. This gives the impression that DataViz doesn't care about their customers' satisfaction, despite the claim on their website that "DataViz prides itself on customer service." DataViz Does Unable to Transfer Files by Dissappointed DTG Customer I am a long time DTG customer and I am very familiar with the capabilities from my Palm Days. I recently switched to an iPhone, and one of the first apps I purchased was DTG. Only after I bought the app and spent many hours trying to get it to work, did I finally discover that DTG doesn't work if your company blocks Bonjour. I understand the limitations of the iPhone when it comes to sharing files, but I now have several other apps that work fine transferring data via WiFi with no problem. It seems like DataViz built a very limited version of DTG for iPhone instead of a robust version, and then went out of their way to hide the problem from their loyal customers they knew would buy this app. I went back and checked all of the info on the iTunes store, and it makes no mention of the extreme DTG limitations nor the problems Enterprise users can expect trying to use the app at work. In fact, it just tells a string of lies about how well it works transferring files without any caveats!! I am extremely dissappointed!!! I only wish there was a way to get a refund on an expensive app that has no practical use for business users!!! Wow. PowerPoint editing couldn't be worse. by Punk_Rokr I purchased (In other words, spent fifteen dollars!) this app because it allows you to create and edit PowerPoint files. This is easily the falsest claim of any app in the App Store. Period. I don't think I have EVER felt like throwing my iPhone across the room until now. All you can do... Literally, all you can do is create bullets and edit text. Considering I purchased this for PowerPoint creation/editing, this is my most hated purchase on the app store, ever. Get QuickOffice. All you can do in regards to PowerPoint is view .ppt files, but Christ, that's more pleasurable than making/creating them with this app. QuickOffice ($9.99) has a better UI overall, and a very similar featureset. Maybe QuickOffice will have real PowerPoint editing in an update sometime, who knows. Or maybe Dataviz will redeem their pathetic butts and update this app for decent PowerPoint creation/editing. But if you realllllly don't want QuickOffice, you can get the basic version of Documents To Go for $5 cheaper than this premium version. It lacks the pathetic PowerPoint editing though... Which is a good thing. Customer Reviews Poor even as a synchronization application by bookrats I understand the restrictions of this initial version of Documents to Go: it's a document synchronizer with the ability to edit Word documents on the iPhone. OK -- I'll buy it for $4.99, with the understanding that Excel editting capabilities will be added as time goes on. Good deal. I've used the Documents to Go Desktop app for years on the Mac, and have been quite happy with it. However, the Documents to Go for the iPhone Desktop app is extremely minimal in its organizational features: - No categories, so all the files are jumbled together. I've tried ways to emulate categories, by trying to synchronize individual folders that correspond to categories. However, I then have to re-arrange all the Document files and/or folders on my Mac, as the Desktop App won't allow one of their folders to contain another. - No ability to launch the document in question from the Desktop App. It does transfer and sync files very well, and appears to be a solid product from what I can see. But in the end, I have to ask myself if this is worth switching to from AirSharing; and for now, the answer is No. No email support? by larrybeo Where is the email button within the program? Why must you have an Exchange Account for this to work? Why will it not work with my native gmail application that is already in my iPhone? Why can we not print directly from the device? HP offers an app to print pictures wirelessly from iPhone, Dataviz couldn't figure it out? Also, being able to upload files from this docs2go folder from another application like Safari is a neccesity. The way this app is now it is rather worthless, and does not function as a stand alone app at all- all files must be synced to your PC before you can do anything with them. At first I was excited this was only $5, but now I see why. It's not worth a penny more. At least incorporate email for non- Microsoft Exchange users? Waited so long and I am very dissapointed by Black Jetta Please dataviz developers take note of this bugs... I tryed finding a way to send this issues directly to you, but to my surpirse ... YOU DONT RECEIVE EMAILS. 1) Power Point: Smart Art figures cannot be seen in iphone, my presentations are useless. 2) Power Point: Tryed to open a 611 KB file, it crashed and took me out of the app. 3) Excel: very slow to change from one page to another. 4) E-mail support only with exchange, not very usefull with other paltforms. 5) POOR SUPPORT, this issues are not listed in your FAQs, but you don't accept e-mail. How can we HELP YOU HELP US? http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id317117961?mt=8

HighTech1
HighTech1

While the multi-tasking ability is nice, the desirability stops there. The email capabilities fall far short compared to the Blackberry or iPhone. In fact getting email just to update can take hours from my Exchange server even when manually forcing the update. Using the tiny keys on the keyboard is a pain, another place where the iPhone really shines. Add to that the phone reception is poor - it constantly drops calls - must be a badly designed internal antenna. The screen scratches far too easily if you set it down on any surface as it is convex. On the cheap side, it does not come with a belt case like other smartphones phones do - you must purchase this separately - not good for a phone at this price. Thus the Blackberry Curve & the iPhone 3GS don't have much competition from the Pre for now.

mlouie
mlouie

I've had a Palm Pre since last August (replaced my failing Windows Mobile phone) and I love, love, love it. It has a better, more full-featured interface than the iPhone. I just got an iPod Touch (essentially an iPhone without the phone), to replace my ailing iPod and I feel constrained on it as it doesn't have all the functionality of the Palm Pre as far as multi-tasking, gestures and moving among different applications (I could use the Pre as an "iPod" but prefer to do my entertainment on a separate device from my smartphone and not run down my phone battery). I have found my Palm Pre to be very sturdy--it may seem flimsy to people but it is not. And I really like the feel and size of it. The screen is very bright and sharp, plus you can zoom in easily, so the size is not an issue. I find the interface very intuitive. It took me a while to get used to how to do things on it because I am so used to the hard way of doing things (Windows Mobile). Sometimes it's too intuitive for me, like just swiping an e-mail off the screen to delete it, instead of using a menu. Although the Pre doesn't have a slot for a memory card, I have come nowhere close to using up the internal memory so that's no big deal. It does take a long time to boot up but I rarely have to reboot it (unlike my Windows Mobile phone which had to be rebooted daily or more often). I have had no issues with the Sprint network or customer service (used to be on Verizon) and I like their pricing and the fact that they don't cripple anything on their smartphones, unlike Verizon. I don't know if Verizon charges for the GPS (probably do) but it's free with my data plan on Sprint. GPS does run down the battery but I can carry a spare battery when I need to use it (unlike iPhone or iPods where only Apple can replace battery). I must confess I am not thrilled with the keyboard on the Pre, am not good at typing on it, however, I do like that it's vertical. I had a horizontal one on my Windows Mobile phone and hated having to flip my phone sideways to use it. I compared the e-mail handling to my boss' iPhone and the Pre has more functionality as far as handling e-mail, for instance being able to mark specific folders to show at the top of the list. The only drawback I see for a business user is that there is not a way to do a repeating notification for missed text messages or voicemails. This could be a problem if you are an IT person on-call and you don't hear the first notification. I had a third party program to do this on Windows Mobile but have not yet found an app to do this on the Pre.

RichardA
RichardA

My son has a Pre, and he was just in a bad motorcycle accident He was bounced from one car into another and then into a concrete wall.. He has two broken legs, broken foot, and broken hand. (Good thing he's 26, and healing quickly.) The Pre that was attached to his waist is just fine. I was amazed.

Roc Riz
Roc Riz

I heard that there is emulation software for the Pre, so that you can run some old Palm OS apps. If it runs half of them, it has a huge library of apps. Anyone with experience with this? Inquiring minds want to know!

.Martin.
.Martin.

look good, but it won't come out down under for months...

jmarkovic32
jmarkovic32

My perspective is from someone coming from a Centro which is a crappy phone for anything but calling and texting. Seriously the Pre Plus is awesome. Right now I'm posting this from the Pre Plus while listening to Pandora as well. EAS is awsome and the interface may only be topped by Win 7 phone. Drawbacks are the shit-small keyboard, the flimsy feel, and kb sensitivity. Multiple key presses are a huge problem.

rcumming50
rcumming50

I bought a Palm Pre (with Sprint) last fall, after reading all the hype about it. This was my first Smart phone and since I hadn't used a smartphone prior to this purchase, I had nothing to compare. I looked at several phones, including a blackberry, but decided that the Pre would suit my needs. The available applications have met my needs for the most part, although I wish "I Heart Radio" was available for this phone. A couple of issues (that may have been corrected with the Plus). The screen size is a bit of an issue, although the touch screen zoom feature helps to view websites and emails without too much difficulty. The slide out keyboard has *very* small keys, so those of us with fat thumbs will probably have more typos than people using other types of keyboards on phones. I did like the fact that the keyboard was protected (on a slide out) instead of being "out there." The phone itself is a decent size; I thought the Blackberry was too wide to feel comfortable (I suppose I would have gotten used to it). My Biggest complaint is with an accessory, not the phone itself. Palm makes a Touchstone device where the battery recharges via induction rather than plugging a small jack into the side of the phone - in theory, much more user convenient -just set it on the stone and remove when finished charging. However there are problems with the Touchstone staying connected as the battery gets above 90% charged, in that it electrically disconnects from the charger, then reconnects (with a "ding" and screen lightup that you can't disable without disabling the ability to ring when you do get calls, IM's, etc). Palm's website has a forum where this issue is discussed in great detail and (last time I checked) the only way to cure this wss trial and error: buy a Touchstone, try it, if it doesn't work right, take it back and get another one; you might get lucky and get one that works right.

pjboyles
pjboyles

It looks and feels like a consumer targeted device. There is no SD card slot, and no local backup. As to other usability, it is a very nice concept. Now if Palm would bring it out with a larger screen design and maybe something like the Treo form factor. And yes the form factor of the Treo is a sweet spot no matter how many times reviewers complain the design is "dated" and not "hip."

artlife
artlife

I have a Palm Pre and am very pleased with it. Having been a former Verizon customer for my area their coverage is no better than Sprint and their expense and lousy customer service are not selling points. To get back to the Pre- it's ability to multitask is phenomenal. While some apps may take a sec or two to open, the fact that I can run email, web, navigation, read a book, use my pre as a remote control for windows media center, listen to radio streams, etc etc concurrently is wonderful. Since the pre is not a square block some may think it feels cheap but it's actually durable and it's shape makes it much better for putting in your pocket than any other phone I've owned.

mrwebguy
mrwebguy

I'm not sure specifically what app you're using for the medical field on your palm handheld device but I have seen several medical related items hit the app store in the last 6 months. You can always get the hone for 30 days and try it out and if you hate it, take it back -- at least Sprint allows that... I'm not sure about VZN. Don't let the small-ish keyboard deter you that much. I am a heavy email and txt user user and after about a week I was as fast if not faster than on my previous Windows Mobile devices. As for the screen, yes, it's a little small but the multi-touch zoom capabilities in most applications that allow you to zoom in and out similar to the iPhone make up for this. You also save a tremendous amount of time with the touchscreen which is pretty responsive sliding back and for or around a page to see what you need. Like I said, the device is great and if you have Sprint you ge 30 days to decide if you hate it or not! :) Joe Jenkins

KC Steve
KC Steve

I'm always amazed at the continured Sprint negativity. I travel the US and have always had a very positive experience with Sprint network, both phone and datacard. sure they will always be some bad areas, but sure have seen my ATT and Verizon peers looking for service too. And I pay less! and if you need to access a DTMF device, forget ATT. I've also had the pre since it came out and it does what I need it to do for business.. not games, etc., but email, calendar, tasks and is small, not bulky. The longer I have the pre the more I like it. And it actually has over 13-1400 apps now.

jperlin
jperlin

There are now thousands of apps available for WebOS, including EA games. Go to CNET and watch their head-to-head for Palm Pre (orig) versus iPhone. Other than the boot up time the Palm Pre wins every speed competition, and blows away the iPhone with web page load times. I've owned mine for 4 months now and it still looks and feels like it did the day I bought it. It doesn't destroy my private area when I sit because it isn't bulky like the iPhone. It's less dorky, can do just about everything the iPhone can and some things it can't, and is a very under-rated phone. The longer I've owned it the more I like it. It sounds like people with a pre-existing bias are making most of the comments here.

Snuffy.
Snuffy.

That was one of the things that griped me when I was a Verizon customer. They would purposely disable cool features of the smartphone, and then offer to re-enable them for a monthly charge. I moved to Sprint when I gave up my Treo 650 for a Centro and it was amazing! I had access to all the cool features and I wasn't being asked to pay more every time I turned around. And as far as tethering fees go, check out www.junefabrics.com and they'll never be a problem again.

baltovet
baltovet

The software title is called "Classic" and it's by a company called Motion Apps. I have owned it for about a week and I'm happy with it. I can't stand the Memo application on the Pre, because they all look like little sticky notes. Cute, but would much rather have a list. Perhaps the best part of using the Palm OS emulation is the ability to separately list a given memo or contact as private, unlike with Web OS. I imported several of my Palm OS applications, and so far they all work well on the Pre. The only fallback is that it's difficult sometimes to accurately tap or scroll without enlarging onscreen. Too bad the pens don't work on the Pre screen.

agarillon
agarillon

The form factor works. It's a phone sized device. Not huge like the iphone or android phones. It's true nature: multi-tasking, heavy lifting os, in a powerfully sized package, open-source, and heavy developers are on-board. How Palm is doing businesswise: Deutsche Bank, Kaufman Brothers: Palm's Outlook is Looking Good. http://www.precentral.net/deutsche-bank-kaufman-brothers-palms-outlook-looking-good Just saying. In a nutshell, from almost dead to a STRONG BUY (50% of target price and rising).

dclassen
dclassen

Yes Verizon allows 30 day return time - they call it "30-day Worry Free Guarantee". You can return the device to exchange for another device, one time within the 30 days. In other words, you can't keep trying devices for a month to see what you like. You get one exchange, so choose wisely.