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  1. jlamb0's Avatar
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       #1  
    Every once in a while, I feel nostalgic for 2011, and I pull out my Pre 3 from the gadget drawer and boot it up.

    This time, the nostalgia was hitting me hard enough to put my SIM in the phone and try to make it my daily driver again.

    Things I need my smartphone to be? Phone (calls, texting), media player (podcasts, audiobooks, music, videos, etc.), Camera, Email/Facebook/Twitter, Light productivity use (Dropbox, MS Office document editing), and finally GPS Navigation.

    Phone
    There is something so satisfying about using the Pre 3 to make phone calls. It probably has a lot to do with being able to snap the keyboard shut to hang up a call. I was also pleasantly surprised that my T-Mobile service is actually pretty good where I live, even with a device that was meant for AT&T. I generally got a few bars of 3G service wherever I was, and I only noticed it drop down to Edge in a few places.
    Although texting works fine, I've discovered that MMS functionality is broken. I couldn't send or receive pictures. I'm pretty sure I used to be able to on AT&T, so I think this must be due to my move to T-Mobile. I tried fiddling with the APN settings, but didn't have much luck. I haven't decided yet if this is a deal breaker, but it was a particular inconvenience over the weekend.
    Now, I'm also a Google Voice user, and my GV number is my primary phone number. Receiving GV calls was no problem, of course, and although I didn't try it, I imagine I could still use the "call me" function to initiate a GV call from my web browser using my computer. But I basically had to be okay with making calls from my regular phone number when I was using the Pre 3. Google Voice SMS/MMS was another issue. I've migrated to receiving GV texts in Google Hangouts, and there is no way to use Hangouts on webOS, but I discovered that the mobile browser version of Google Voice also seems to be broken on webOS, so this wasn't an option either. I was concerned about missing texts when I was away from my computer. As a workaround, I set my Google Voice account to forward all SMS to my Gmail inbox just like it does with voicemail. This way, even if I couldn't reply right away, at least I would see that I had a message.

    Thanks to the C+Dav synergy plugin, I'm able to get my contacts and calendars onto the phone again. I'm using the "no-upsync" version, which actually works out really well for me, because I've become accustomed to high resolution contact photos, and the ones downloaded from Google through carddav are terribly pixelated. I was able to replace the contact photos on-device for my most frequently called contacts, and I didn't have to worry about those changes altering my contacts on the server.

    Media Player
    I'm a heavy podcast listener, and GuttenPodder fills that need quite nicely. Music listening is likewise handled well by the Pre, and I can watch videos I've loaded via USB. I missed being able to listen to my Audible audiobooks, but it wasn't a big deal. The experience of watching Youtube has noticeably degraded. I found that the video and audio would often go out of sync. Your mileage may vary, and that was the only online video source I tested.

    Camera
    I've been too spoiled by modern smartphone cameras. I have a 10 month old son, and I didn't even try to use the Pre 3 as my camera. I just reached for my 2014 Moto X or my Sony point-and-shoot.

    Email/Social Web
    Email is fine. I'm wrestling with security certificates on my Gmail accounts, and sometimes I end up sending duplicate messages, but most of the time I'm able to send and receive mail without a problem. I'm using Project Macaw for Twitter, and it's still my favorite twitter client. Facebook was tricky, but it mostly works from the browser. My friends have taken to using Facebook messenger as our default method for group chat, and I was surprised to find that even without a Facebook app, I wasn't left entirely out of the conversation. But I had to manually check our chats in the browser, as I obviously wasn't getting any notifications.

    Productivity
    I occasionally need to manage my files on Dropbox and edit a word or excel document. I can still use the "Explorer for Dropbox" app, but editing documents aside from plain text is a no-go.

    GPS Navigation
    Just forget it. I think something might be wrong with the GPS hardware, because with GPS only selected under Location Services, neither Bing Maps, nor Google Maps can lock in on my location. But even if it the GPS were functioning, Navit just can't hold a candle to Google Maps Navigation. I ended up using my SIM-less Moto X for Navigation. I imagine if I got into a situation where I needed online navigation, I could tether to the Pre 3, but in that case I might as well transfer the SIM back to the Moto X, since my LTE signal is so much stronger than my Pre's 3G signal (aside from also being faster).

    So tl;dr?
    Since last Friday, I tried to make my Pre 3 my daily driver, and in a pinch, as a backup phone I totally could have made it work. But my SIM is back in my Moto X. I found myself reaching for my Moto X over the past few days whenever I wanted to take a picture or listen to an audio book, and I needed to use the Moto X if I wanted to send or receive any picture messages.

    In the short-term, my Pre 3 would work as an emergency backup, but I would use it only as a stop-gap to tide me over until my primary phone were replaced or repaired. It's a shame. I truly miss the elegance of webOS and the ergonomics of the Pre 3.
    Last edited by jlamb0; 06/01/2016 at 03:46 PM. Reason: fixed a word
    CentroGeek likes this.
  2. #2  
    There's a actually a problem with the location services API right now.. I think your GPS hardware is probably fine. I suspect the backend may be gone. Someone was looking into it, but has been very busy with work.

    Also, I did have success with MMS on T-Mobile, though I know some didn't , but I'll find the settings I used, that may work for you.
  3. jlamb0's Avatar
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       #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by Grabber5.0 View Post
    There's a actually a problem with the location services API right now.. I think your GPS hardware is probably fine. I suspect the backend may be gone. Someone was looking into it, but has been very busy with work.

    Also, I did have success with MMS on T-Mobile, though I know some didn't , but I'll find the settings I used, that may work for you.
    I totally understand people being busy. I had unchecked the Google Location setting in the Location Services app menu, because I figured that API was probably obsolete, but I still had the problem with just GPS active. Is there another API that might be obsolete even when just using GPS?

    I'd be very grateful if you have a solution for MMS on T-mobile. I started messing with APN settings, but I somehow obliterated the manual mobile data APN settings, so I don't get data if I switch on the "manual settings" toggle anymore. Let me know if you find the settings that worked for you!
    mythsjohn likes this.
  4. #4  
    A side question about using the Pre3 as a backup phone -

    Is it possible to make phone calls strictly with WIFI, without signing up for monthly cell service?
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by hanksimon View Post
    A side question about using the Pre3 as a backup phone -

    Is it possible to make phone calls strictly with WIFI, without signing up for monthly cell service?
    Skype? I think Skype still works.
  6. jlamb0's Avatar
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       #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by Preemptive View Post
    Skype? I think Skype still works.
    I don't have Skype installed. Does anybody know where I might be able to find the IPK to test it out?

    -- Sent from my Palm Pre3 using Forums
  7. #7  
    Go to pivotce.com and do a search for 6000. You'll find an article with a link to a file share. It has skype in it.

    Sent from my Passport using Tapatalk
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  8. jlamb0's Avatar
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       #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Morford View Post
    Go to pivotce.com and do a search for 6000. You'll find an article with a link to a file share. It has skype in it.

    Sent from my Passport using Tapatalk
    Found it. Thanks for the tip! I'll report back once I get a chance to install it.

    -- Sent from my Palm Pre3 using Forums
  9. #9  
    Good luck getting mms over t-mo with a phone brought from ATT.

    If anyone has a solution I'd love to try it!

    (But that's not our phone's fault, that's our choice of carrier, right? )
    Sporting my 13th Pre device, a NOS unlocked ROW Pre3!
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by jlamb0 View Post
    Every once in a while, I feel nostalgic for 2011, and I pull out my Pre 3 from the gadget drawer and boot it up.
    Your gadgets fit in a drawer? My phone crap alone fills a large storage box. Don't even get me started on all the computer crap!
  11. jlamb0's Avatar
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       #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by petbull View Post
    Your gadgets fit in a drawer? My phone crap alone fills a large storage box. Don't even get me started on all the computer crap!
    Well, to be honest, it's more of a cabinet...

    -- Sent from my Palm Pre3 using Forums
    Grabber5.0 likes this.
  12. #12  
    remember to load Lunetube , to watch youtube videos. it works pretty well
  13. jlamb0's Avatar
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       #13  
    Hey, so my skype account is my microsoft account, and it wouldn't let me log in.

    I thought I was sunk, but it let me create a new Skype account, no problem. Looks like it still works for messaging, contacts, and calls. I then went to Skype's website and spent $2.99 on a monthly unlimited calling plan. It will let me call regular phone numbers in the U.S. for a month.

    And you know what? I was able to make a call from my Pre3 without a SIM card. It pulls up a dialog asking you which account you want to use to place the call, I tapped "Skype", and the call connected.

    A major caveat: This will only allow outgoing calls. The recipient sees "Unknown Caller" and cannot call you back.

    I just looked into getting a "Skype Number" and it looks like I could get one for $20 for a 3 month subscription or $40 for a year. So I would be looking at roughly $6-$7 per month for wi-fi phone service if I buy a year in advance. Not bad, but since Google Voice is a very similar service for free (and includes SMS capabilities), I don't think it's an option I would go with.

    BUT, if you want to spend ~$80 up front, you CAN use a Pre3 and Skype to make/receive calls over Wi-Fi.
  14. jlamb0's Avatar
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       #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by mazzinia View Post
    remember to load Lunetube , to watch youtube videos. it works pretty well
    Do you use LuneTube on a Pre3? I tried it, but everything is really tiny, as if I'm trying to run a Touchpad app. I didn't find it particularly useable on a phone...
    Rnp likes this.
  15. #15  
    Thanks for the Skype info. For mobility, this means you need to find free WIFI hotspots.

    Although Not WebOS, I think a burner phone might be a better value(?), but it was worth asking.
  16. jlamb0's Avatar
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       #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by hanksimon View Post
    Thanks for the Skype info. For mobility, this means you need to find free WIFI hotspots.

    Although Not WebOS, I think a burner phone might be a better value(?), but it was worth asking.
    Yeah, I'd unlock the Pre and use it with a prepaid SIM.
  17. #17  
    I also tried to return to webOS with my "old" Pre 3. I gave up after 48 hours, after remembering why I decommissioned it in the first place.

    The USB socket has a loose contact. It is really difficult to charge the battery. The socket has worn out after charging with the Touchstone stopped working. The battery also lasts only half a day (with 80% health). I could live with all that, really (I did for months), but there's something I can't live with. The screen of my Pre3 goes black/blank/dark after each and every voice call (backlight is permanently off). I need to reset the device to make it recover from that, and it takes ages to boot a webOS phone. I didn't remember that when I started my "Pre3 in 2016" experiment.

    What I loved in those 48 hours was the enormous productivity, even considering the always laggy UI. Everything was just some swipes away. I configured an EAS account and was up and running in no time (contacts, calendar, email). And this incredible community delivered all essential tweaks to keep it running in 2016 (like CA certificate updates). The calendar is simply great. The browser lacks a lot of modern features, though, and many sites have become (almost) inaccessible.

    I guess I would return to webOS on a Pre3 that allows charging via Touchstone and that would not need reboots to "recover" from voice calls. I'd tether a tablet for a modern browser, but otherwise it's still complete and really nice to use.
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by SebastianM View Post
    I also tried to return to webOS with my "old" Pre 3. I gave up after 48 hours, after remembering why I decommissioned it in the first place.

    The USB socket has a loose contact. It is really difficult to charge the battery. The socket has worn out after charging with the Touchstone stopped working. The battery also lasts only half a day (with 80% health). I could live with all that, really (I did for months), but there's something I can't live with. The screen of my Pre3 goes black/blank/dark after each and every voice call (backlight is permanently off). I need to reset the device to make it recover from that, and it takes ages to boot a webOS phone. I didn't remember that when I started my "Pre3 in 2016" experiment.

    What I loved in those 48 hours was the enormous productivity, even considering the always laggy UI. Everything was just some swipes away. I configured an EAS account and was up and running in no time (contacts, calendar, email). And this incredible community delivered all essential tweaks to keep it running in 2016 (like CA certificate updates). The calendar is simply great. The browser lacks a lot of modern features, though, and many sites have become (almost) inaccessible.

    I guess I would return to webOS on a Pre3 that allows charging via Touchstone and that would not need reboots to "recover" from voice calls. I'd tether a tablet for a modern browser, but otherwise it's still complete and really nice to use.
    I've got several pre3s. In fact 4 GSM unlocked. These are 8gb models. 3 are preproduction and for sale. PM me if interested. My driver pre3 doesn't suffer from the wear of yours. You should get a new one (not because I have some available) because a less used one will solve a lot of the problems you mentioned.

    Sent from my YD201 using Tapatalk
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  19. #19  
    ditto. A working usb = the ability to doctor = solution to your sw issues

    btw, the touchstone not charging feels like the back not closing well. Someone solved it ( in a Go ) by adding some small conductive extension over the contacts, if I remember right.

    PS,
    there are microusb to magnetic connector converters, that you plug in and transform your charger in a magnetic charger. Some allow even data transfer.
  20. jim1eye's Avatar
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    #20  
    I turned on the TV yesterday and there was an old episode of Castle on. Becket was using a Pre. I dug out my Verizon Pre 3, hunted down the charger and set it up. Can't wait to get home & see what it can still do,
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