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A few questions about the German Palm Pre
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Old 10/13/2009, 05:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey Guys!

Here in Australia, we are completely in the dark as to when we will see the Palm Pre in GSM form ... if at all

Given that the German Pre is both GSM and sold as an unlocked device, I was considering putting money down to get one of these units. I understand that the biggest problem will be the QWERTZ layout. However, was wondering, would it be possible to simply remap the hardware keyboard so that when I press the Z button it will display a Y and the Y displays a Z? From what I can see, these are the only two differences between the QWERTY and QWERTZ layouts.

Does anyone know of any other drawbacks to me buying a German Pre for use in Oz?

Also, how would updates to WebOS work? I understand that updates are delivered over the air in USA... are they also available for download via a desktop?

Or do you think I should wait for an unlocked UK version? (I'd imagine it's not toooo far off)

Thanks heaps..



Updated 19/10/09 - The Theory Surrounding Carrier Setting Database File

Just thought I'd carry forward this info onto the first page for the sake of user friendliness

My cousin (Loweymonster) and I have a theory .. we reckon that in reference to the list … where there are entries "hs_null" in the username / password of the APN settings, the phone won't connect properly.

I think either the settings were botched when entered / have become corrupted, or Palm is trying to control rollout of GSM (a simplistic form of network locking). I just fail to believe that “hs_null” could be interpeted by an APN as being a valid username / password, given that “hs_null” is generally a system error response that is returned. If there is no username or password, “null” or a blank is usually acceptable. I reckon if you try to connect using “hs_null”, the APN will block you.


Some supporting info!
If u have a look in the "carriers_113.xls" list in the abovementioned thread, a telco that users reported issues with was "Telia". It's in the list, but has "hs_null" in username / password of the important .. internet APN settings. I suspect that the phone sees it as invalid, freaks out and doesn’t try to connect.. either that or the APN rejects it (as stated above).

The true test of this theory is to ask users who currently have the German Pre, and are not with O2, to provide feedback on whether they have full functionality.

SO based on this theory, we can deduce that the following Aus carriers should work with the Pre out of the box:

* Virgin Mobile
* Vodafone (only internet access, no MMS)
* Hutchison (limited to internet access)


Please read on for discussions by other users..

Last edited by dr3wster; 10/18/2009 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 10/13/2009, 05:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The updates ARE available as download through the computer, in the form of the WebOS doctor. It would obviously wipe the phone each time, but it would update. I would imagine that the OTA update just requires data to be working or wifi.

The difficult part would be the remapping. It should be possible, but I wouldn't know the first thing about getting it done on the Pre.
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Old 10/13/2009, 05:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm wondering how you would provision the phone. Part of the initial setup requires you set up a profile with Palm. That's done (I think) through the provider. How would this work?
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Old 10/13/2009, 05:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Wait.
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Old 10/13/2009, 05:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would atleast give a few days so we might get answers on the App Store and if its somehow locked to the German version or not.
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Old 10/13/2009, 05:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree....I think the best way to have a trouble free experience with the Pre would be to wait for availability on a local carrier. It will come.
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Old 10/13/2009, 05:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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altought I am very jelaous of you Aussies having summer while I had to face a Hail storm today i will try to help you out.

The German pre is SIM free. For 20 Euro per month for 2 years or 481 Euros at once it can be useed with SIM cards of all major German providers. However, currently the German Pre has no option to manually enter the internet settings of your provider. This will probably be fixed by the End of November.

The menus can be switched to english, the QWERTZ keyboard is a chellenge. Please keep in mind, that German und english keyboards often differ in the layout of special keys like ?-, etc. Also, you will probably have no need for the Euro Key

The initial setup creates a profile with Palm, I don´t think it makes any difference if a o2 Germany, vodafone Germany, t-mobile Germany SIM-card or your australian SIM-card starts the internet conncetion for connecting to Palm´s servers. The firmware update can be done using a Wireless LAN too.
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Old 10/13/2009, 06:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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From what I can see, these are the only two differences between the QWERTY and QWERTZ layouts.

I have got my (German) Pre today. The SYM menu includes special German characters (Ü,Ä,Ö, ß). But that shouldn't be a problem. The device includes a USB cable which can be attached to the (German 220 Volt) power adapter. I have no idea if you can use that adapter. Otherwise you would have to connect the Pre to your computer and charge it via USB.

I think the biggest problem might by to buy that device. As far as I can see in any case you have to conduct a contract with O2 Germany:

Option 1: A telephone service contract which can include the purchase of a sponsored phone. Makes no sense for you.
Option 2: They sell phones without that service contract but you have to close an "O2 My Handy" contract for 2 years which includes payment in 24 installments (20 € / month). There is no mobile phone shop in Germany where you just can buy the Pre. That is the disadvantage of that exclusive distribution deal.
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Old 10/13/2009, 08:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi! Thanks to everyone for their replies ... really appreciate it Unfortunately, it looks very unlikely that the Palm Pre would be coming to Australia. There is no word on it at all here in Oz

Two questions for you guys:
1) Would the Palm Pre automatically detect internet settings like the newer WIndows Mobile Devices do? (thereby getting past the lack of ability to manually configure internet settings)

2) Flashing with WebOS Doctor... if you download this from the US or UK Palm Site rather than the German one, would this put the QWERTY firmware on? Or is there some internal identifier that's going to force QWERTZ to be used. Anyone want to Guinea pig?

Thanks again!!
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Old 10/13/2009, 09:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I already have a CDMA Pre in Australia (doesn't work as a phone of course), and will be importing a German GSM Pre too.

Watch my blog at rwhitby.net : The Internet Presence of Rod Whitby for my experiences.

-- Rod
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Thanked By: dr3wster
Old 10/14/2009, 12:13 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Wow! The founder of WebOS Internals is actually a fellow Aussie?! Sweeet!

Mate first of all brilliant work to date... I've kinda been following Preware since it first came out! Ur a legend! Thanks for stopping by for a post!

I'm thinking, switching to qwerty won't be too much of a challenge for u.. Maybe u cud use ur cdma pre as a guinea pig :-p

I reckon theres three ways to do the switch..

1. Simple change of keyboard layout settings in webos.. Like in windows xp...
2. Dig thru source code for keyboard mapping settings...
3. Create background service that auto-corrects a z for y and y for z.


But I don't really wanna tell you how to do your job! You're the guru ... just thought I'd help with a bit of brainstorming..

I don't think I can wait for the Pre to come out in Aus, because it'll likely be mid-next year at the earliest... if at all :S We haven't heard much about it here.. apart from the odd magazine review saying that the iPhone is better

Good luck.. we're counting on you and your team Rod!!!
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Old 10/14/2009, 12:42 AM   #12 (permalink)
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dr3wster, I'm importing a German Pre here to Oz as well. Once I get it (hopefully within the next couple of weeks), I'll be documenting my experiences with it for the rest of us diggers. But MMS/Internet configuration settings for Oz carriers were found in the firmware, so I don't think that'll prove to be a problem.

As for keymapping - heck, if someone at WebOS-Internals doesn't hack it I'll do the research and do it myself.
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Old 10/14/2009, 07:02 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Two more quick questions -

(1) anyone know if the App Store would still work in Australia? Or will it be like iTunes and Region Specific?

(2) when a firmware update / WebOS Doctor comes out for Australia / Asia-Pacific Region, would I be able to flash a German Pre with this version? Or does it have to use the German version?

Thanks!
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Old 10/14/2009, 07:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwhitby View Post
I already have a CDMA Pre in Australia (doesn't work as a phone of course), and will be importing a German GSM Pre too.

Watch my blog at rwhitby.net : The Internet Presence of Rod Whitby for my experiences.

-- Rod
This might help in your endeavors to transplant keyboards:

Palm Pre Teardown - iFixit
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Old 10/14/2009, 07:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr3wster View Post
Two more quick questions -

(1) anyone know if the App Store would still work in Australia? Or will it be like iTunes and Region Specific?

(2) when a firmware update / WebOS Doctor comes out for Australia / Asia-Pacific Region, would I be able to flash a German Pre with this version? Or does it have to use the German version?

Thanks!
1) It already does for my CDMA Pre over wifi.

2) No idea. I can flash BellMo firmware on a Sprint device, but I have no way of checking what effect this has on the radio part - the rest of it works fine.

-- Rod
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Old 10/14/2009, 08:07 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr3wster View Post
Two more quick questions -

(1) anyone know if the App Store would still work in Australia? Or will it be like iTunes and Region Specific?

(2) when a firmware update / WebOS Doctor comes out for Australia / Asia-Pacific Region, would I be able to flash a German Pre with this version? Or does it have to use the German version?

Thanks!
1) currently I can download and install both spanish and US only apps. There seems to be no limit. But the Apps Catalog is still labeled beta, so who knows???

2) A friend of mine flashed the current sprint firmware onto his German Pre. Now he can use nice gadets like the virutal keyboard. I do not think the update to 1.3 will block that.
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Old 10/14/2009, 08:08 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dirk_Palm View Post
From what I can see, these are the only two differences between the QWERTY and QWERTZ layouts.

I have got my (German) Pre today. The SYM menu includes special German characters (Ü,Ä,Ö, ß). But that shouldn't be a problem. The device includes a USB cable which can be attached to the (German 220 Volt) power adapter. I have no idea if you can use that adapter. Otherwise you would have to connect the Pre to your computer and charge it via USB.

I think the biggest problem might by to buy that device. As far as I can see in any case you have to conduct a contract with O2 Germany:

Option 1: A telephone service contract which can include the purchase of a sponsored phone. Makes no sense for you.
Option 2: They sell phones without that service contract but you have to close an "O2 My Handy" contract for 2 years which includes payment in 24 installments (20 € / month). There is no mobile phone shop in Germany where you just can buy the Pre. That is the disadvantage of that exclusive distribution deal.
Option 3: Pay 481 Euro at once and pray you never have to claim warranty.
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Old 10/14/2009, 08:18 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dr3wster View Post
Hi! Thanks to everyone for their replies ... really appreciate it Unfortunately, it looks very unlikely that the Palm Pre would be coming to Australia. There is no word on it at all here in Oz

Two questions for you guys:
1) Would the Palm Pre automatically detect internet settings like the newer WIndows Mobile Devices do? (thereby getting past the lack of ability to manually configure internet settings)

2) Flashing with WebOS Doctor... if you download this from the US or UK Palm Site rather than the German one, would this put the QWERTY firmware on? Or is there some internal identifier that's going to force QWERTZ to be used. Anyone want to Guinea pig?

Thanks again!!
1) The German pre has the internet settings of the major German providers stored somewhere in the device. There is no automatic detection, and if your provider is not supported you either have to wait until 1.3 (which is supposed to offer manual settings) or have a provider, where the network can provide the settings. o2 Germany calls this concept APN override. A device that wants to use internet but has not gotten the correct settings, will get correct settings by the network.

2) I can give you that answer in a few hours.
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Old 10/14/2009, 08:21 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by irifan View Post
1) currently I can download and install both spanish and US only apps. There seems to be no limit. But the Apps Catalog is still labeled beta, so who knows???

2) A friend of mine flashed the current sprint firmware onto his German Pre. Now he can use nice gadets like the virutal keyboard. I do not think the update to 1.3 will block that.
I just flashed the German 1.1.3 firmware onto a Sprint device.

Interestingly, the German Doctor detected and reflashed the CDMA modem correctly.

Nicely done, Palm.

-- Rod
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Old 10/14/2009, 10:53 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Thanks for your replies everybody!

1) Wow, so that in theory means, if we flash a German Pre with the Sprint ROM / US Rom, we could basically override the QWERTZ keyboard layout?!

2) What about a fix for the GPS?

3) And is there a way of knowing if 3 Hutchison Australia's settings are in the known providers? Or is that wishful thinking?
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