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  1. mmarcus's Avatar
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       #1  
    Now that I've had my Pre for a month and have integrated it into my daily life I wanted to post some thoughts from a casual user perspective.

    First off, allow me to define my interpretation of a casual user. I don't hack my phone. I don't patch my phone. I use the capabilities that are built into the phone and accessible. I understand that there are workarounds for many of the problems I experience, but quite frankly...I don't want to find workarounds, root my phone, hack a tool that I use to organize my life. I expect it to work. When an OTA update is available I download it. When an app seems worth the price/download, I download it.

    Main thought: Coming from several years of Windows Mobile phones, the Pre user experience is fantastic. From the speed of the OS to the google integration, the phone is far more pleasant and efficient for me to use on a day-to-day level. Moreover, the features just seem to jive with my lifestyle. I'm a regular PIM user not looking for advanced features. I use gmail for my primary email, google calendar as my primary calendar, and facebook for my online presence.

    Primary Complaints: Palm had a lot of time to get the OS right and, to be honest, several important...possibly even critical features...are missing.

    1. Wireless file transfer. It's like Palm is a car company that forgot to build a way to access the gas tank on their top-of-the-line sports car. The Pre is a media-capable phone. 8gb hard drive. Can sync with itunes. It has two built-in wireless radios. It has a flimsy usb door that I think is going to break every time I open it. They seemed to recognize this with Touchstone. I don't need to risk breaking my expensive phone to charge it...but I do if I want to transfer files. And so I don't...I've transferred files via usb once since I bought it. It's too much of a hassle. And I lose functionality. The only solution I've found to this is The Missing Sync and a forum search indicates many people are having issues with this $40 piece of software.

    2. This leads to a second point. The Pre has built-in wi-fi and bluetooth. What can I do with these technologies? I can use bluetooth audio accessories and I can use wi-fi for internet browsing that I could already do with my data plan. What's the point of wireless if I don't get any real functionality out of it? Yes, I know, people will answer with tethering hacks and the like. But that's out of the scope of my approach here. Out of the box wireless file transfer, data backup, and tethering (yes I know it's on Sprint) should have been day one features.

    3. Visual Voicemail. This doesn't seem to get talked about very much any more, but this is a top-shelf feature that, frankly, I expect when I'm paying a price premium (for both service and product). We know it's possible, both software side (Instinct and possibly Android) and we know it's possible server-side (Instinct). So whoever didn't want to put the effort into integrating it kind of dropped the ball, be it Palm or Sprint. For a media-rich, cloud-based phone, with advanced features, why doesn't my sports car (see earlier analogy) have power steering? Again, I understand that there are possible workarounds with google voice, but considering Sprint's fees for forwarding calls, this is not a reasonable solution. To be honest, makes the Pre feel like a second-class phone.

    4. Real cut/paste. Maybe this is just an expectation I had coming from Windows Mobile, but legit cut and paste, for any text in an email, web page, text message, etc, should be a day one feature. Improvements have been made, but it still feels "beta" to me.

    5. Inter-application sharing. Someone texts or emails me a phone number or I come across one on a website, and it's 50-50 that I can dial it directly or save it to contacts. Also contributes to the general "beta" feeling of the integrated applications. Do you know how many times I've used the Sprint Navigation application? Never. Because to enter an address from another application I have to type it in manually. What sense does it make to have an integrated device that acts like two separate devices? And so, again, I lose functionality.

    There's obviously a bunch of small complaints and things I could go on about, task syncing, weak calendar, lack of facebook application, but the things I listed above are, I believe, fundamental problems with the Pre that seriously detract from a casual user's experience with the phone. It looks great, it feels great, but the lack of a few basic features leave the operating system feeling like it's still in beta and not ready for prime-time. Yes, the obvious answer is "look how long the iphone took to get things right". But the Pre is not the iphone...it's not creating a market, it's trying to compete in one. I love Palm. And I love rooting for the underdog. But I'll need to see some serious effort on their part to get the WebOS on track before I decide to stick with either the company or the phone.
  2. #2  
    I understand your complaints because I had the same feeling. All of your complaints have been discussed in previous post except for the file transfer. That was one my biggest pet peeves for not liking the pre expecially when it is available on the palm centro. Since you had a winmo phone you are for the most part a power user. So making the switch to the pre might throw you off a bit.

    Unfortunately to get the most out of the pre you should try preware until Palm decides to deliver more updates. Its not rooting or anything like that. Its actually very simple. You will first need to install webos quick install to your desktop pc. From there you download preware and sync it to the pre using the usb cable. Preware for the most part looks like the app catalog. You select the patch / app /theme you want and viola its there. Right now I have 23 patches and several apps including a mac os theme. Top homebrew app for me is checkbook. Its just like pocket quicken for winmo. The patches may allay some of your concerns about basic functions. Here are some of the patches I installed:
    * slide close keyboard to end call
    * LED notifications
    * text forwarding
    * date and battery icon/percent at top bar
    * video / audio attachments in SMS
    * add pages to launcher
    * empty trash in emails
    * landscape mode in email / sms
    * snoose duration selection
    * enable dialpad vibrate instead of sound
  3. #3  
    forgot to add call duration log
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by mmarcus View Post
    ...SNIP..........

    It looks great, it feels great, but the lack of a few basic features leave the operating system feeling like it's still in beta and not ready for prime-time. Yes, the obvious answer is "look how long the iphone took to get things right". But the Pre is not the iphone...it's not creating a market, it's trying to compete in one. I love Palm. And I love rooting for the underdog. But I'll need to see some serious effort on their part to get the WebOS on track before I decide to stick with either the company or the phone.

    I was with you in 100% agreement until those points.

    Palm IS creating a market. Palm created THIS market, the iPhone capitalized on it. Palm is RECREATING the market by creating a device BUILT for a mobile experience, revolving it around modern web use, and making it multitask seamlessly. They have taken the market they created (PIM organized smart phones) and thrown it into a whole new ball game. Yes its beta. Yes Palm worked on this for YEARS, ran out of money, and the new team had to toss it together and get it out the door for more money to continue development. Bad situation for end users, but one a lot of us accepted as necessary in order to see this market move forward in a new direction (and BOY what a direction palm has started). Most, if not all, agree with you about the Beta feel and the lack of features. We are all growing tired of it. For a lot of us though, the pro's outweigh the con's, and we accepted the fact that we are in fact beta testing the OS, and part of the R&D process. As early adapters to an OS that was forced out before it was ready, WE get to help create the OS in a sense. Don't think Palm isn't listening and creating a "wish list."

    Don't get me wrong here bud, I am not necessarily trying to excuse Palm and throw them a get out of jail free card. They have a lot of work to do, and the OS is FAR from perfect. But, think of the underlying OS. Think of the languages apps are built on, and the hardware put into the phone. Think about the open source mentality of the team working on the operating system, and the long term/overall company goals for this system. Heck, stop for a minute and really think about what the phone is actually doing, how it handles things, and the limited SDK that is out right now. It really is incredible, and if you really think from a developers point of view, the potential for this OS, Palm really has a chance at opening a whole new universe of mobile experience here... IF they work hard and get things done. Palm has done an EXCELLENT job getting the OS tweaked and sending updates to both developers and end users. It does seem like they are laying off the gas peddle a little bit, but I am hoping they are digging deeper into the OS for heavy tweaks/integrated features.. meaning it will take much more development and testing time between updates.

    I am not putting all my faith into Palm, and there is a very real possibility palm will drop the ball here. I have had Palm phones and devices ever since I can remember, as well as all the other major smart phone platforms. I was very outspoken against the Pre before it came out, over the same things you are complaining about and many more. I remember Palm of the past, and all of the poor decisions they have made. But, I for one am looking at the new team in the company, the company goals, the core of WebOS, the possibilities, and what the team has done so far, and am trying to be optimistic. I hate Apple, but if they were the ones with WebOS, I would be in their camp saying the same thing, as well as if it were Microsoft/Google/Blackberry etc. After the 700P, I took off my Palm "******" hat, and started looking at things realistically. Palm has an incredible opportunity here. They have done some amazing things in a extremely short amount of time, and the possibilities are beyond exciting. I just hope Palm remembers the long term goals, and what they did to get here, rather than just being satisfied with where they are and lay off for a bit.
  5. #5  
    I love the PrPrPr&#$275$; $and$ $very$ $much$ $want$ $to$ $keep$ $using$ $this$ $phone$. $I$ $love$ $WebOS$ $despite$ $the$ $phone$'$s$ $crappy$ $build$ $quality$. $I$'$m$ $confident$ $that$ $Palm$ $will$ $continue$ $making$ $major$ $improvements$ $and$ $the$ $apps$ $coming$ $in$ $almost$ $daily$ $now$ $are$ $starting$ $to$ $look$ $more$ $promising$.

    BUT...

    In a few short months, I fear that we'll be holding a phone that still doesn't really do anything that other phones can't. In fact, we could be holding phones that still lack features that even basic phones possess.

    I'm not certain when that day will be here, but once it arrives ... It'll be bad news for Palm. Android is starting to mature and iPhone will possibly be on multiple networks soon.

    Once WinMo 7 is released, a ton of former WinMo users who've grown bored of a tired OS will return to it.

    Where does this leave Palm? Hopefully good things are coming. Flash is great, but I'd love to have a camcorder first. What about text forwarding? Why does the calendar suck so bad? Phone app lag, memory leaks, text to landline mess, etc.

    Do I get annoyed when somebody with an Instinct, which is really a feature phone, can do something that the PrPrPr&#$275$; $can$'$t$? $You$ $bet$. $I$ $have$ $an$ $advanced$ $smartphone$ $and$ $the$ $Instinct$ $has$ $features$ $that$ $my$ $phone$ $doesn$'$t$? $Are$ $you$ $kidding$?

    But I'm still here because I believe in Palm. I just know things are going to happen. I just hope Palm gets its act together before that day comes when I'm at the Sprint store looking at another phone and decide it's time to move on.
  6. Le THieN's Avatar
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    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by mmarcus View Post
    1. Wireless file transfer. It's like Palm is a car company that forgot to build a way to access the gas tank on their top-of-the-line sports car. The Pre is a media-capable phone. 8gb hard drive. Can sync with itunes. It has two built-in wireless radios. It has a flimsy usb door that I think is going to break every time I open it. They seemed to recognize this with Touchstone. I don't need to risk breaking my expensive phone to charge it...but I do if I want to transfer files. And so I don't...I've transferred files via usb once since I bought it. It's too much of a hassle. And I lose functionality. The only solution I've found to this is The Missing Sync and a forum search indicates many people are having issues with this $40 piece of software.
    Incidentally, I finally committed to purchase my Pre on September 21st, so it's been a month since I've had it as well. My main qualm with the architecture of the phone also happens to involve the mini-USB cover, more specifically the small strip of plastic that runs underneath the cover. I don't have the cash to invest in a Touchstone at the moment, so I've been heavily depending on the micro-USB connection to charge my phone as well as transfer files from my PC. I didn't even really notice that this strip of plastic was there until it broke two days ago.

    Also, I really hate that I feel like I'm wearing out the micro-USB port every time I plug and unplug the cord.

    Other than that, I'm pretty thrilled with the experience so far.

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