We are currently in line for the event and waiting for registration to begin…
Vampire Weekend plays as PALM displays on the backdrop. Cheers erupt. John Rubenstein, Palm’s executive chairman, came out and talked about how he had been recruited from living in Mexico to help revive Palm.
“The next wave is clearly mobile devices…” “Palm is positioned to lead the industry.”
Introduced Ed Colligan, Palm’s CEO, who said that the key is fingers, not buttons.
“How can we make the technology invisible?”
“Mobile is in our DNA; we do mobile, that’s all we do.”
Timeline of how Palm came to be, the reasons for the original Palm Pilot – to keep people organized when on the go. New problem of how to manage all the new devices that people carry – MP3 player, phone, PDA. New problem is that smartphones let you browse all your information – like a file cabinet, you browse info then put it back. Palm sees this as an opportunity to bring everything together, but keep things like work / home / hobboies separate when you want them to be.
“Information is everywhere, but wouldn’t it be nice if we could bring all that information together to your pocket, so that it is seamlessly integrated. Integrating outlook contacts with facebook profile photos. ”
“Start with a new platform, from the ground up – and we have done that.” The default thinking of this platform is not to hook up to a desktop – it is to connect to the cloud, and do things that a desktop can’t even do.
Palm Web OS was built with developers in mind; if you know basic code, you can develop for this new platform. No new languages to learn, period.
John came back on stage to introduce the new Palm pre – which is supposed to “help you live your life effectively”
Design was inspired by nature.
EvDO, 802.11g, BT 2.0, A2DP, 8GB storage, 3mp camera with LED flash and extended deepth of field, removable & replaceable battery, Texas Instrument’s OMAP 3430. 3.1″ display – half VGA, touchscreen, extends down to the center button. micro USB connector, 3.5mm headset jack, traditional palm ringer on & off switch, slide out QWERTY keyboard, ergonomically curved – works as a phone either open or closed, smaller than other popular smartphones, 4.8ounces, single handed use or thumbs on both hands,
Introduced Matias Duarte, Sr. Director of software interface & user experience came on stage to demonstrate the UI.
It takes one button to create a new contact – use flicks and taps to navigate.
All basic navigation is all just gestures. no buttons cluttering screen for basic navigation. completely ambidextrous.
Start something new by starting at bottom and swiping up – launcher appears.
Web OS allows you to bring up a quick launch wave, which shows old favorite hard buttons as one touch launch icons.
[It looks freaking amazing!]
“Instead of a desktop, where you pile up windows like a pile of papers, imagine a card desk, which shuffles to allow you to view the various live cards. much more powerful than favorite icons could ever be. workspace, so it can be completely organized.”
You clean up the deck of cards by swiping up – and throwing the card away. “There is no “save” button in this UI – all is saved. It is so simple and direct there is almost no need for UI. You have cards you shuffle and sort, and when done, you just throw away.”
Synergy – no duplicate entries – all information on entries is combined and brought together.
New calendar looks well organized – it allows you to see everything together or by categories. Crosshatched time blocks show you when you are busy in another category when you are in a single (not showing all) view, so you don’t doublebook yourself. The calendar shows an accordion when you have free time, so you can see upcoming events.
Synergy in email: allows you to combine ALL inboxes or drill down to single boxes. with synergy, all your email accounts are brought to your fingerprints, and made available. will also search your corporate exchange for contacts.
Synergy in messaging – all instant messaging accounts in one list (like Adium on Mac)
Threaded SMS is combined with instant messaging.
You can continue a conversation that started in IM through text messaging – all in the same thread.
The keyboard can be used for quick entries to find applications, people, all of the appropriate options. If no matches are found on the device, it will search offline for you, though Google, etc.
Browser looks REALLY good. Uses pinching, and “cards” for various websites.
When you are holding the Pre on its side, during reading, you can do gesture flicks to advance the page up or down.
The Pre has an accelerometer, so it knows which way you are holding the device for reading or surfing.
Dark side of Web OS – the more connected you are, the easier you are to find. To help with this, notifications go down to the gesture area, and allow Web OS to get your attention anytime they are needed. or you can slide them to the right to dismiss.
Notifications show in the gesture area when background processes are occuring, like music playing,
Massive cheering as he invites John back on stage…
The Pre has an inductive charger!!!!!
Ed: “How does Pre fit into marketplace? It’s not just for work, not just for play, it is the one phone that you can use through your entire life and really enjoy using it.”
Partners: Sprint is the exclusive launch partner; no surprise there. Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint came on and basically gloated (as well he should) that they have it. “Pre is the right product on the right network.”
Had to listen to a rundown of Sprint plans with data, and how much they would save us over ATT.
Sprint will train their staff to show new buyers how to set up and use the Pre.
You can go to sprint.com to pre-register for the pre release.
Pre will be available in 1st half 2009. still needs to pass certification and make platform totally tight. Host of partners who are either in the device or third party add ons. We saw the basic PIMs demo’d as well as the IM/SMS application, but no other real optimized third party applications – just a list of partners. No demo of YouTube, btw…
Cheryl Sanburg, the COO of Facebook. brought out to talk about eveolution of facebook and mention Facebook Connect for Mobile, coming out in the upcoming year.
facebook + palm = love 4/ever.
Palm has a human centered design philosophy, designed to make your life easier and more integrated.
“This platform will be the basis for palm for the next 10 years.”
My thoughts: At first glance, it looks like Palm has taken the very best of Windows Mobile, Android and the Apple iPhone OSs, and added in some happy surprises. The hardware looks very good – although I would love to see a slightly larger screen.
Will it be enough to make people lay down their iPhones and pick up a Pre? I don’t know. What we saw on stage was a demo of the basic Personal Information Management programs, and their general user interface. What I saw looked amazing, and was most importantly, somewhat intuitive and blazingly fast.
The browser we were shown looked very iPhone-esque, which in this case is a compliment. I guess the true test will be #1 – if Palm gets it out in the promised time frame, and #2 – if it allows people to use all the social applications that are important to them; after all, this seemed to be one of the biggest talking points at the beginning of the conference.