Yesterday, we learned that HP is discontinuing support for Web OS devices, which means no more WebOS phones and TouchPad tablets. (Note: HP bought Palm last year and ditched the Palm name on the Pre, Pixi, and WebOS) First, if you currently have a WebOS device this news doesnt mean anything is going to happen to those existing products. It simply means your next smartphone is probably not going to be a Pre, Pixi, or Veer.
Much of the reporting on the demise of the HP WebOS devices focuses on what it means for the industry going forward and speculates on just how many smartphone OS the market can handle. Id rather take a look back at just what Palm devices did for the mobile industry and how we have a lot of the usability we have today is thanks to a little product called the Palm Pilot.
It started with a little PDA
Back in 1996, Palm (at the time a division of US Robotics) came out with its first PDA, the Palm Pilot. It was definitely different than the other digital organizers currently available. Its pocket-friendly size, four main buttons for navigation (sound familiar?), and a unique handwriting-based input method called Graffiti set it apart. At that time, people were carrying around fairly large devices with full QWERTY keyboards made by companies like Casio. In fact, the only real competition the Pilot had was another device called the Psion Series III Organizer. In case you dont remember what happened to that product, you can still find remnants of it in the Symbian smartphone OS. There was also another product trying to find a place in consumers lives, Apples Newton. (For more information on the Newton, read this story on Gizmodo its a great summary.)
In time, those products disappeared from the market, but not the Palm Pilot. That device continued to evolve. We didnt know it in the late 90s, but the Palm Pilot gave us a glimpse at the type of products we use today. This is probably a result of how it was created. I remember attending a press event for Handspring (the first company to license the Palm OS and was later acquired by PalmOne) where Jeff Hawkins told the story of how he carried a block of wood around in his pocket while developing the Palm Pilot. As he walked around, he would think about what he wanted that piece of wood to do. That speaks to UI on many levels. For example, the first Palm Pilot measured 4.7 x 3.2 x 0.7 inches and weighed 5.7 ounces. That kind of set the standard for the acceptable size of a mobile device. Today, we have tons of smartphones with 4.3-inch touchscreen displays touting a similar size and weight. Take the HTC EVO 3D (Read more)
|Topics:||Somethin' To Talk About||Palm||Smart phones||Android|
In this week's episode learn more about Google's intent to purchase Motorola, HP's decision to stop support of WebOS devices, and new BlackBerry Bold's coming to Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile. Also, find out how to get the Android 2.3.4 update on T-Mobile's HTC Sensation 4G.
In this edition, we cover new features coming to Apple's iOS 5, Sprint's Motorola XPRT and Motorola PHOTON 4G phones, the Motorola TRIUMPH for Virgin Mobile, and tablet news about the HP TouchPad and Toshiba Thrive. Watch the video below to get the full scoop.
Last week, HP announced its new webOS line-up and although the Pre 3 and HP Veer won't be available for a while Verizon will be offering a new Pre, the Pre 2. The new phone running webOS 2.0 looks a lot like its predecessor, the Pre Plus, and will be available this month. The Pre 2 will feature a 3.1-inch glass multi-touch screen, 1GHz processor, 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, WiFi (the connection can be used as mobile HotSpot for up to 5 WiFi-enabled devices), Bluetooth, and 16GB of onboard storage for saving music, movies, e-mail, pictures, and more. The cell phone will also support full HTML web browsing with Adobe Flash Player 10.1 and Skype mobile.
|Topics:||In The Know||Verizon Wireless||Palm||Smart phones|
After much speculation about what HP would do with Palm, we saw today that the company has been busy as it unveiled two new webOS phones and the webOS TouchPad tablet. Perhaps the most innovative feature shown at the press conference today was the new level of synching and sharing demo'd between the TouchPad and the webOS smartphone. But first, here's a run down of the products announced:
First up is the Pre 3. It's similar in style to the Palm Pre, but is a bit more robust. The Pre 3 sports a 5-megapixel camera with flash and the ability to record 720p HD video and a front facing VGA camera for video calls, it also has a bright 24-bit display, a Qualcomm 1.4GHz processor, improved web surfing experience with HTML5 features and Adobe Flash Player 10.1 support, and even supports industry standard VPN to connect to corporate networks. There's no word on if it will be for CDMA or GSM networks. Like its predecessor it also maintains many noteworthy features such as Mobile HotSpot (share the data connection with up to 5 WiFi-enabled devices), and the phone will be available in 8GB or 16GB configurations.
Next, is the HP Veer the smallest Palm WebOS smartphone to date: it's about the size of a credit card, which makes it extremely pocket friendly. It measures 54.5 mm x 84.0 mm x 15.1 mm and weighs 103 grams. The smartphone sports a Snapdragon 800Mhz processor, 5-megapixel camera, 8GB of onboard storage, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and a 2.57-inch glass display. Like the Pre 3, it has an improved web surfing experience with HTML5 and Adobe Flash Player 10.1 support, and you can share the data connection with up to 5 other WiFi-enabled devices via the Mobile HotSpot feature. It's a quadband GSM phone. Finally, the HP Veer supports HP Synergy, a way to bring together information from multiple sources across the web automatically, so the information you need is in one place.
Finally, we have the TouchPad, the webOS tablet. It's a pretty slick looking device with a nice bit of innovation included. It sports a 9.7-inch capacitive multitouch display, virtual keyboard, instant-on access, support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Snapdragon 1.2GHz dual-core processor, front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video calling, and it will be available in 16GB or 32GB configurations. Now for the smart part: Whenever you launch new activities the webOS will automatically group related cards - this makes for an extremely organized desktop. Additionally, with the Touchstone you can easily share data between the webOS phone and the TouchPad. For example, you can share a URL with the Pre3 simply by tapping the two devices together (almost like magic) or you can start reading a website or blog on a TouchPad and then tap your smartphone to take it to go.
|Topics:||In The Know||Palm||Camera||Smart phones|
Earlier this year HP acquired Palm and now we get a peak at what to expect in terms of phones and the webOS. The next Palm webOS phone will be called Palm Pre 2 and from the looks of things it doesn't look a lot different than the original Palm Pre, but it will have a faster processor, brighter display, 5-megapixel camera, and of course WiFi with the ability to share the connection with up to 5 other WiFi enabled devices via the mobile hotspot. The Palm Pre 2 will first be available in France and then will arrive in a few months for Verizon users in the U.S.
Now for webOS 2.0: Overall it looks similar, but yet slicker and has quite a few interesting new features as seen in this thorough Engadget post. The most noticeable feature enhancement is the use of Stacks as in you can now stack cards, which will help you better organize the cards you have open on the phone. There's also better control of what information you bring into the phone via HP Synergy so you can choose what you want you want synched such as contacts and calendars. Then there is Text Assist, which lets you create your own dictionary of learned words and create macros for frequently typed words or phrases (essentially create your own shortcuts). For all those who use Skype, the Verizon Palm webOS phones will have access to that feature as well in webOS 2.0.
|Topics:||In The Know||Verizon Wireless||Palm||Camera|
Verizon Wireless is offering prepaid data plans for many of the 3G smartphones and 3G multimedia phones that the company offers. Although the prices don't differ for prepaid and contract plans it's still a good offering for prepaid customers that will help them get the most out of data-centric cell phones. Smartphone users can add $30 a month for unlimited data, while 3G multimedia costs 10 dollars a month for 25MB ($.20/MB overage).
· BlackBerry® Curve 8330
· BlackBerry® Storm 9530
· BlackBerry® Tour 9630
· DROID Eris by HTC
· LG Ally
3G Multimedia phones
· LG enV® TOUCH
· LG enV®3
· LG VX8360
· Samsung Renown
· Casio® EXILIM
Now that data plans are available for prepaid Verizon smartphone and multimedia phones, which do you prefer to have a prepaid or contract plan? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
|Topics:||In The Know||Nokia||Motorola||Verizon Wireless|
|Cell phone plans||Samsung||BlackBerry||Palm|
|Smart phones||LG||Business Use||Android|
The Palm Pixi Plus joins it's older sibling the Palm Pre Plus on AT&T's network. The Palm Pixi Plus has many of the features found on the Verizon version including a 2-megapixel camera, though it lacks the ability to turn the cell phone into a Mobile HotSpot. That said, it does support WiFi so you can always roam onto a WiFi network for faster web surfing. Are you going to get a Palm Pixi Plus with AT&T service?
|Topics:||In The Know||AT&T Wireless||Palm||Smart phones|
The Palm Pre Plus has finally arrived for AT&T. It also happens to be the first Palm Web OS smartphones to work with GSM networks. On board, you'll find many of the features found on the Palm Pre Plus for Verizon such as a 16GB internal hard drive, 3-megapixel camera, and WiFi. It also happens to be a world phone, so you'll be able to use this Palm Pre Plus in some spots around the globe. Since it's an AT&T smartphone, you'll find many of AT&T's features as well including access to AT&T Navigator and AT&T Hotspots.
|Topics:||In The Know||AT&T Wireless||Cell phone plans||Palm|
Undoubtedly one of the coolest features on the Palm Pre Plus and the Palm Pixi Plus is the inclusion of the Mobile HotSpot feature. This feature lets users turn the Palm cell phones into a HotSpot that can share the connection with up to 5 other WiFi-enabled devices. When the feature was first announced, Verizon was charging an additional $40 a month for it and that's on top of the data plan that's already required with the device. Good news: starting April 1st using the Mobile HotSpot feature isn't going to cost extra, however, this doesn't mean it's unlimited data for every device using the Mobile HotSpot since the Palm Pixi Plus and Palm Pre Plus use the 5GB data plan with this feature. Once you use the 5GBs of data either surfing the web or sharing your data connection via the Mobile HotSpot feature, you'll be paying 5 cents for each additional MB of data you use until your next billing cycle starts. That said, it really will take quite a bit of usage to burn through 5GBs of data in a month. There's no word on how long this promotion will last, but if you purchase one of these Palm cell phones now with a two-year contract or upgrade to a two-year contact you can get this feature. See how the feature works by watching the video below:
|Topics:||In The Know||Verizon Wireless||Sprint||Cell phone plans|
|Palm||Smart phones||Business Use||WiFi|
The two new Palm smartphones for Verizon Wireless, the Palm Pre Plus and the Palm Pixi Plus sport similar features. There are only a few things that set them apart. But is it enough to help you choose which one is right for you? Watch the video below to help you decide.
|Topics:||Phone Smarts||Verizon Wireless||Cell phone plans||Palm|