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  1.    #1  
    Being just shy of two weeks from one year away from when I bought my pre I thought I would post a thread about my thoughts on owning a pre and also how it relates to my purchase choice of a smartphone. First the back ground and then stuff about just the pre so if you want to skip the background I'll but bold headers. I hope those of you who take the time to read it find the time well spent. I almost never make posts nearly this long.

    Background

    I originally started out with palm m150 PDA as I needed a good way to keep my life organized while at home and on the go. The m150 was my choice at the time because I didn't want any microsoft products. I won't go into details other than to say I'm not anti miscrosoft only don't like certain aspects of their business practices and certain product designs. As I continued to use the m150 I sort of out grew it's hardware and upgraded to the T|E, in turn out grew it's hardware and got the T|T5. It was at this point I realized despite previous reservations of combining my cell phone with my PDA for concerns of battery life I looked into moving to a smartphone.

    I grew to need to be able to access the internet on the go when traditional means were not available. Which meant accessing it with a browser on my mobile phone because paying for a mobile network access plan was silly for the limited amount I would use it. I looked at the current smartphones at the time and felt most of then the OS parts were outdated or just didn't provide me with a good user experience. Sort of like trying to adapt OS technology not designed for smartphones to the platform. So I held out for nearly 5 years after buying the T|T5 the longest I had ever gone without upgrading any piece of technology I owned.

    At that point I decided i could not wait any longer to see if palm would make a smartphone that just worked for me. So I looked again at the market. I still didn't want a microsoft smartphone but this time it was because I had friends who had them who all had bad user experiences with them. I queried about certain user experience aspects important to me and realized they weren't a match. This left me with blackberry. At the time either android was not out yet and may not have been a publicly known thing or I was not aware of it from researching blackberry.

    Anyways I decided at that time it was best to wait for the 8330 model rather than go with a current model on sprint or leave my long standing good experience and relationship with sprint for another carrier and pay more and hope the experience and relationship would be just as good. In the mean time I saw no reason to continue to look at the smartphone market because I had found the device that would work for me I just had to wait for it. I had decided that blackberry had the best smartphone platform for users like me and my friends. And they tended to agree.

    After owning the blackberry 8330 for just over a year there were shortcoming to meeting my needs and wants perfectly but I still felt it was a great platform that if those shortcoming were addressed would be something I stuck with long term like I did with palmOS based devices. Those short comings were as follows. Clunky web browsing experience even with 3rd party browsers. The main short coming was due to having to use the trackball to scroll around horizontal and vertical the pages and I didn't have free zoom scaling and was locked into either too big or too little. The trackball experience in general just rubbed on me like a cheese grater after long term use. It was not as efficient as a mouse on a pc and made me feel like it took forever to get certain things done. It just wasn't efficient to me in general. I also realized how much screen size meant to me from my older palmOS devices which I thought wouldn't be a big deal until I had used the 8330 for a whole year. Plus touchscreen just made more sense to me after not having it I realized what it meant to me. The big plus at the end of the year for me was the hardware KB it was much better to me than virtual KB and handwriting recognition on the palmOS devices.

    At this point I was considering where I could go to get the best stuff out of my experience with the 8330 while getting rid of the bad stuff. The hardware KB being a big and easy deciding factor I began looking but before I really even got to looking at android devices along comes the news of the palm pre. I checked out all of the videos and new and such and realized it address all of the shortcoming I had with the 8330 and unlike all of the other hardware KB phones I had seen had a vertical instead of horizontal KB which made more sense to me. In hind sight I think I would be comfortable with either if push came to shove and I had to choose between the two KB styles with other deciding factors weighing in more than the way the KB slides out. I saw no need to look into android as I felt the pre was perfect.

    A look back of one year of using the pre

    I'm still not sure if I would like a virtual KB I am just so far as typing on a hardware KB that I think I would need the tactile feel of physical keys to type as fast as I do. At the very beginning of using my pre I had thoughts of this would be better if such was like this or that but was not so bad that it made me regret my purchase. It overcoming all of the short comings I loathed from the 8330 outweighed those wishes.

    But what really drove my love of the pre or more really webOS was the community combined with the extreme openness of the platform. This allowed everyone even the rookie and no coding experienced desire to be developers to jump in and modify the platform to their liking. Nearly every day at least one of those I wish such was like this or that was made true by someone in the community making it happen instead of relying on platform maker to eventually make it happen. When I had free time during my studies for completing my degree for computer programming I got involved in developing for and modifying webOS as well. I saw requests others wanted and got involved in either coding or testing ends to help make it happen.

    The bottom line is because of the almost symbiotic relationship of the community and palm, (soon to be a part of HP but will continue to operate without worry of interference if you will) this one year later and I have no significant short comings that drive me to want to seek another platform. Sometimes even before I think such would be better if this or that a patch or app comes out and as a result I think wow I didn't even know I would want that and am happy to have it.

    Some may think I'm only a fan of palm and all others are junk at this point but I'm not really. It is my favorite platform to date though. I think android comes in a very close second the main thing that has turned me away from those devices has been the hardware. Had palm not come out with webOS I would be using android devices. Blackberry isn't all that bad either and probably is 3rd best in my book. iPhone probably 4th with it's popularity it brings tons of apps from completely useless to useful so it is a good fit for the use type it targets. 5th would be everyone else windows etc platforms that have struggled for probably a decade or more now to get a hold in the mobile market. I'm actually considering owning an android as a side device for multi-platform development later on when I get into developing for money. As long as palm and hp continue to make webOS the best platform I will continue to use it as my primary device.

    Thank you palm, the staff and devs behind the scenes, the community and their devs, precentral, webos-internals, all the homebrewers too many to mention, kernel devs, patch makers, etc that have made the platform what it is today. I'm glad to be a part of such a great group of people.
    As requested: for my works on webOS patches and apps. Twitter: @larryboytw Patches: Small icons browser start page, 5x5 launcher. I have an AAS CIS Programming degree. I enjoy working on open source projects and alpha and beta testing.
    http://install.preware.org/ for easy to get up and running for patches and apps.
  2. #2  
    Really.......nobody responded to this? Shame..........

    I pretty much followed your path, except I did take a couple of WinMo detours. I didn't go with BB, either, I already knew from experience that those phones wouldn't do it for me. In-between Palm PDA's, I got a Toshiba Windows Mobile 2002 (I think) piece, and I actually liked it quite a bit. Not perfect, by any means, but it did have more than enough good for me to keep it for a good while. I also got it for a steal, too, that was part of the reason for buying it in the first place. I needed a more powerful PDA, and I had a tight budget to work with. I did go back to Palm after a year and a half, give or take. Same with my Treos. I've had several, and really loved my 650, but I'd reached the point where the hardware was lacking. Sprint had 3G coverage by then, the 650 couldn't use it, and as much as I liked my software stash, I needed something more powerful. Being limited to Sprint for various reasons (not the least of which was Verizon's outrageous $1000 deposit they wanted from me), I jumped on the 800W. Not a huge mistake, but I rather wish I'd waited a bit longer, it went discontinued the day I got it in the mail, and the Treo Pro hit. Sprint was kind enough to give me the rebate offered by then, so I did get a good deal on it, the hardware itself was (and still is) nice, the only physical problem I had with it was the terrible battery life. Blame WinMo 6.1 Pro for that, it's a horrible battery sucker, even with everything stripped to the minimum, which leaves it more or less useless. Now, I have my Pre, and I do like it a lot.

    Sure, there's things I don't like, out of the box, but there's your point about the community, and the relationship between Palm and the developers that really doesn't exist anywhere else. I came here, learned about Preware, patches, everything I needed to know, and was able to fix those shortcomings easily. I'm still not crazy about the slider formfactor, I just have issues with those. Too much delicate hardware for something that's meant to be a heavy-use phone.

    I'll just add my thanks to the community, and developers like you who take the time to make something really as silly as a cell phone something to enjoy for all of us.
  3. #3  
    great piece, you should become a jurnalist, (hope I spelled/spelt that right)
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by abegee View Post
    great piece, you should become a jurnalist, (hope I spelled/spelt that right)
    Journalist. A+ for effort, though.
  5. #5  
    Thank you for such a well-balanced piece. This is my first smartphone, so it's very interesting to hear a long-term PDA/Smartphone user's perspective. This really is an amazing community, isn't it?
    Blaize, Mistress of Verbosity



    Be nice until it's time to not be nice.--Dalton, "Roadhouse"

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