Just so it would be closer to the beginning of this Thread:
Originally Posted by RizP
I didn't want to start a separate thread and divide the attention, so I thought I'd throw in my $.02 here from the unveiling.
First off, Thanks so much to Jon Zilber from Palm for taking me around!
So the experience:
The Palm launching event was very cool. It was dark with a lot of indirect lighting around a gigantic video display that was accented with bamboo. I was seated in the last row, so my photos weren't spectacular (and I'm using pdanet to get onto the internet from here, so I won't be posting pics as of yet. However, I don't have any pics that are better than what was posted from here on TC, or on any of the other mainstream blogs.)
Since there's so much professional coverage on this device, I'll try to comment on some minor things I didn't see listed anywhere else.
As you could see from the enormous size comparo, its no brick. it feels light and great in the hands thanks to the curve. when you look at the back of the device with the keyboard extended, there's an exposed mirrored gunmetal surface with 'Sprint' laser etched onto it. There're no ugly track/internals visible on the back when the keyboard is extended. The usb connector port is covered by a door. I didn't notice any roughness in the sliding mechanism (but I only got a few moments with one of the lead hardware designers to physically hold it)
The keys themselves are larger, more widely spaced, and firmer than the centro. There's just a hair of elasiticity to them which feels very pleasant (I tend to type with my thumbnails). I did a shred of typing and can see myself becoming every bit as fast as I am on my 700p on this.
The gesture area has 2 small, round, white lights underneath it, one in the middle of either side of that small home button that light when you touch there.
There will be a GSM verson for abroad, but in the US it will run on EDGE, not HSDPA (it seems this is in contrast to what is being reported at other sources, but one of the other people at my stand asked about other formats would become available, to which my presenter noted european availability was planned under UDM(?). The questioner noted that the equivalent here was "Not HSDPA, but only Edge, right? So it won't run HSDPA here?" To which my presenter said "No"
(I know this is a major issue, so if all the heavy hitter blogs are reporting otherwise, who am I to argue ; maybe I misheard the exchange)
The Touchstone requires the use of a different, magnetic backplate than that which comes with the phone (though visually they appear identical as far as I can tell)
The base of the touchstone does not have a traditional adhesive surface. Rather, you can rub it against a furry/wooly surface to empart a static charge to it then "stick" it to your desk. The demonstrator I was with (more on him in a moment) stuck the Touchstone to a wall then mounted his pre to it.
If you're phone is resting on the touchstone and it rings, picking it up from the touchstone automatically answers the phone. You can also activate the speakerphone leaving the device on the touchstone. (take THAT magnetic-stylus-opens-notepad-when-on-phone HTC!)
A lot of this has been covered in extensive depth, so forgive any redundancy on my part. Again, I'll just cover tidbits that I hadn't seen posted elsewhere.
It's FAST, and very smooth. no choppiness. seemed very responsive. The cards system seems revolutionary to me. The notion is to imagine each app running like a stack of cards in a deck. You can rearrange them or remove them as easily as doing so with playing cards. It's intuitive to navigate. simple drag gestures. You can arrange cards any way you want them and they'll stay that way. Everything auto-saves, everything auto-updates. This includes cards that are webpages. (i.e. if the TC frontpage is one of your cards, and there's a new post, your card will update to reflect the new frontpage.) Want to get rid of a card, just drag it off the top of the screen.
The seamless integration of data across multiple areas of the web is nothing short of ASTOUNDING. If your outlook contacts have facebook pages, their facebook profile pic will show up next to them in the contacts app. If they change their Facebook profile pic, your contact pic of them on the pre changes. you don't have to do anything. If you're looking at a contact on your pre, and they sign into google/gchat, a green dot shows up next to their name in contacts to show they're available, and with one touch you can go to an IM window. If they sign off of IM and you want to send them another message, that IM window can become a threaded SMS window. seamless. I can't tell you how many times my jaw hit the ground during the presentation.
notifications are unintrusive. IMs & email notifications show up on the bottom 8th or 10th of the screen like some kind of vertically scrolling ticker. The focus stays on whatever you're working on. You don't have to dismiss anything to keep working. Alarms take up a larger section of the screen, but they also don't stop the action. the focus still stays on what you're working on (e-mail, notepad, whatever)
The audio player (just like everything else) can be reduced to a card, or can be adjusted by a small navbar than can be brought up from the bottom of the screen if the player is playing. (sorta like very clean "docked mode" of windows media player that only comes up if you call it. it's again only as tall as ~1/10 of the screen and contains Pause, Rewind, FF, etc.) the nav bar disappears just subtly.
All the cards adjust to landscape if you turn the device.
A drag up from the gesture area to the rest of the screen brings up the wavebar. It's meant to replace "All the familiar buttons" on our Treo/Centros. I.E. Phone, Datebook, E-Mail etc.) (I'm sure that's been covered to death)
Email looks just like Chatter but prettier. The same common-inbox, the same ability to select account to reply with. Really, it looked like Next Generation Chatter, which is a great thing. I can only guess that M.B. of the original Chatter is to be thanked (whole-heartedly!) I didn't see anything about flag synchronization though, to be honest.
The Calendar can populate from multiple separate calendars (EAC, GCAL) and you can view them all or just individual ones. If you can edit the calendar on your computer, you can edit it on the Pre. When looking at the hourly day view of your calendar, large chunks of free time are collapsed to look like paper that has been accordion folded with "X hours free" written over it. tap on a folded section and it expands so you can enter appointments there. This allows you to see a whole day of appointments on one screen rather than scrolling over large empty blocks of free time to see what's at the bottom.
Data is cached on the device, so you can keep on doing what you're doing on an airplane or in the boonies. The device will refresh when you go back online. Again, automatically. Hot-Sync is GONE.
I observed the in-depth demo w the director of hardware design. He was passionate about the device, and very personable. He commented about the level of secrecy surrounding the pre. He said he could speak at length about it because he was in charge of it :-)
Essentially, he said that the way they (he) were able to keep things under wraps was to ensure that not a SINGLE picture of the device was given to anyone. "If an executive wanted to see the device, we FLEW an intern out to show it to them and bring it back."
I spoke with another palm employee who was "cringing" when the roteo story broke last month. Everyone at Palm that I spoke to were dying to show what they'd been working so hard on :-)
That person said they set the iPhone as "the thing to beat." He also noted that he himself had an iPhone which broke a few months ago, and that he had been using the pre as his only phone since then.
He also said that this was "just scratching the surface, we've got a lot more up our sleeves."
Things my presenter wouldn't comment on:
- Battery life or battery size
- Flash or web-video compatibility
- Release Date
- SDK availability
I got to spend quite a bit of time in the Lounge (and will probably go back again tomorrow for another look at the Pre) and it was beautiful. Fantastic food and drinks, and every person at Palm was SO nice. I got to talk with Ed Colligan for a minute, and he was SUCH a pleasant guy. Really down to earth. And the Palm employees genuinely love him, which is cool to see. After the press event was a Palm-only afterparty that I got to hang out with for a minute, and lots of folks were laughing and cheering. The energy in the place was wonderful to be a part of. Also, everyone was really excited when they learned that I was the contest winner. I heard a few times, "OH! So YOU got the GOLDEN TICKET!"
This has been such an incredible experience for me, and I'm so excited to share what I saw with everyone here. We've all been waiting for something like this for a LONG long time, and I can honestly say there was some serious wish-fulfillment happening here in Las Vegas today.
Last edited by berdinkerdickle; 01/09/2009 at 12:01 AM.
Thank you Dieter for the great live blog. I was laughing and clapping in excitement that Palm is back, that they did something incredible. They made me more excited than the iPhone. The way webOS just handles everything. Incredible! Can't wait to read more of your impressions and hear your thoughts on the podcast