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  1.    #1  
    I am a HUGE Palm Pre fan. I followed news of the phone from its initial announcement in January 2009, checking daily on no fewer than 4 Palm Pre websites (PreCentral is the best!) to learn about the device. I attended a Palm Pre launch party on June 5 and got my phone and immediately fell in love with it. I was - and still am - a huge evangelist of the phone. Everyone that knows me knows that I can't stop talking about how the Palm Pre is the best and every other smartphone pales in comparison.

    Recently, I came up with an idea for an app for my company that involves using a phone's camera to read a barcdoe (preferably through video capture). Unfortunately, that API is not yet available on the Palm Pre, but it is available on the iPhone. Wanting to develop my app, I had no choice but to cave in to the powers that be, and purchase an iPhone 3GS.

    I am still an avid PreCentral consumer, checking PreCentral.net probably 10 times per day, almost more than any other website. I just thought some of you might find interesting the thoughts of a Palm Pre fanatic who became an actual iPhone 3GS user.

    Let me first clarify that I purchased my iPhone off-contract, since I already have the Palm Pre as a phone. So, I can't comment on the bad reception, dropped calls, pain of being interrupted by a call since no multi-tasking, etc, that plague the iPhone.

    Here's what I can say. Overall, I still prefer my Palm Pre. It's probably more of an emotional attachment than an objective one. I like the idea of supporting the underdog. I vote in favor of letting people do what they want and freeing up a phone over being over-controlling of a user's experience. I see myself as cutting-edge, technologically, and I view the iPhone to be very much the AOL of smartphones. Easy enough for grandma to use, dummy-proof, but a walled garden. Smarter people, those in the know, would certainly know of a product that is rougher around the edges (or smoother in the case of the pebble-shaped Palm Pre), but of far greater value.

    I say that my preference is emotional, because I can also tell you that objectively there is a lot (maybe even more) to like about the iPhone, compared to the Palm Pre. That is mostly because the iPhone is more responsive. There is virtually no lag on the device. I used to think the Palm Pre lag was certainly noticeable, but probably not that horrible compared to the iPhone. After all, after purchasing my Palm Pre, I compared web browsing speed with an iPhone 3GS, and the Palm Pre won. But now that I check my email on the iPhone and do mass deletes of emails, along with other day-to-day functions on the iPhone, there is no question the iPhone does these things faster. As an iPhone app developer now, I can see that Apple takes memory consumption (and memory leaks) very very seriously, providing zillions of tools to make sure that apps stay within their bounds. Result? Even with single-tasking, the iPhone is probably overall a faster, more productive device than the Palm Pre. Hurts to say it, but the lag is the Palm Pre killer.

    The other big advantage that I feel iPhone has is the bigger (and seemingly flatter) screen. The Palm Pre feels better as a phone, but the millimeters of difference between the phones makes a difference in web browsing, games, and elsewhere.

    What I love about the Palm Pre is the swiping off of applications (very satisfying), and the motions to switch apps. I always thought the back gesture was cool, but every now and then a back gesture is not logged, whereas on the iPhone, the context-sensitive back button probably works more reliably and just as quickly.

    Also, I prefer the hardware keyboard of the Pre. The iPhone keyboard is fine enough in landscape and with auto-correction, but it just feels too virtual. I am more accurate with the Palm Pre, and it feels more natural.

    On a semi-unrelated note, I find TweeFree on the Palm Pre to be way better than anything else on the iPhone. I actually suspect that has something to do with the Pre's multi-tasking. With the Pre, opening up a browser window is no big deal, since one can fly between the apps. On the iPhone, opening the browser window means a whole bunch of "home button" presses before I can get back to where I want to be. Else: seeing the browser in-app, which just doesn't feel right or flow correctly (and oftentimes can't be rotated to landscape).

    The disparity in apps is not that big an issue as a user. As a developer, you can see that I am developing for the iPhone since I don't have the option to do it yet on the Palm Pre. I'm pretty stingy as an app consumer (in case you're wondering, the iPhone app I'm developing is free), so I'm not likely to go for many of the iPhone apps requiring payment. I also find that when I download a game to a mobile device, I am immersed for 2 days and then it's hard to ever return to the game. So, that discourages me from diving into the iPhone app store.

    I will say that when I first got the iPhone, I used it nonstop for 2 weeks (I've now had it about a month). My Palm Pre sat around the house sadly and untouched. My wife commented that I had betrayed the brand (I bought her a Palm Pre too). But magically, after 2 weeks, I returned to the Palm Pre, swiping and gesturing with glee. Yes, the lag is there, but 1.4.1.1 fixed the horrible shutter lag and seemed to speed the rest up a tiny bit.

    In the end, it's about being true to your values, and Palm's journey resonates more with me than AOL's, I mean Apple's iPhone. I hear that on Jan 22, iPhone gets a hardware and software update to iPhone HD. And I hate to admit it, but on Saturday, I'm picking up the iPad to keep abreast of the technologies affecting my industry. But I am a Palm Pre true believer. I wish Palm would develop a tablet device and issue out 5 to 10 handsets, even though that will definitely not happen. I wish they came out on Verizon instead of Sprint, stealing the thunder that Droid capitalized on. I wish the ethereal lady was replaced with blunt commercials emphasizing the UI differences. I wish I didn't lose a boatload of cash on Palm stock recently as well. Too bad. It's the price you pay for being an unabashed fan boy of a brand. Peace.
  2. #2  
    Nice post - I think many wonder about the Pre compared to other devices - You described it accurately and put it in a good perspective.

    -Tom
  3. #3  
    very nice, have you ran the 800mhz kernel at all? If so what do you think about it? Loce the post!
  4. #4  
    well said
  5. #5  
    Thanks for the comparison, and I'll say this: it's why I can't wait to see what Palm has up its sleeve. If they can hang around long enough to make a device with, e.g., a 1GHz OMAP4 and at least 512MB RAM, and enable GPU acceleration of the GUI, then imagine how incredible webOS will be.

    And think about that: it's just a matter of them being able to hang in long enough. Because they are working to implement WebGL, CSS transforms, and other technologies to utilize the GPU for the GUI. That's a given, and once it's accomplished I think we'd be amazed at the performance even on the current generation of devices. Then, we also know they're developing new hardware, and that will necessarily utilize later generation hardware.
    Treo 600 > Treo 650 > HTC Mogul (*****!) > HTC Touch Pro (***** squared!) > PRE! > Epic
  6. #6  
    The Pre came out Saturday June 6th. An no I didn't read this long post
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by OneDeep View Post
    The Pre came out Saturday June 6th. An no I didn't read this long post
    There were a number of launch parties on the 5th where some folks bought their Pre. And you should take a few minutes to read the post, it's worth it.
    Treo 600 > Treo 650 > HTC Mogul (*****!) > HTC Touch Pro (***** squared!) > PRE! > Epic
  8.    #8  
    Ha ha. Yes, that was a crazy long post. Thanks for wading through it. I attended/crashed the Palm Pre launch party in Los Angeles on June 5. I remember the date well because the next day was my birthday.

    I haven't tried the overclocking kernel, although I've seen the video of what it can do.

    Future hardware improvements will definitely help make webOS an even more enjoyable experience. My personal view is that Palm is here to stay, although it will dwell in the 5% market share range for some time, maybe a year+, before coming out with a breakthrough product. For Palm to be successful, they need to keep improving webOS and work on that killer product. It will come down to form factor and OVER-THE-TOP advertising.

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