Monday, January 26, 2009

Passing on the Pre

After the initial euphoria of the Palm Pre wore off, I started giving some serious thought to the device and whether it was something I could see moving to. I've been using my HTC Fuze for well over 2 months now and have been exceedingly happy with it. Not the "I'll make do" kind of happiness that I felt with the HP 910 but a real, sincere happiness with my phone of choice. Looking at the Palm Pre, there were a couple of things that looked interesting, but when I took a closer look at my Fuze, I realized I already had them. I present to you, top 10 reasons I'll be passing on the Pre:

1. Cards

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The new WebOS touts 'cards' as a way to switch between open apps. Well, I counter with TaskFacade, a fantastic graphical task manager that not only lets you see a snapshot of all open apps, but even lets you configure if you'd like to exclude certain applications from the view (like the phone, activesync, etc). And you know what? I can see all my 'cards' at the same time.

2. Hardware/Software seamless transition

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If you change your theme to a flat black one on the Fuze/Touch Pro, you achieve the same result. The black blends right into the hardware.

3. Keyboard
I initially liked the idea of a vertical slider but a closer look at the keyboard gave me pause. I've been used to giving forward-facing QWERTYs a break for the size of their keyboards, understanding that the tradeoff is the convenience. However, I can't forgive the Pre for having both a slider and a tiny keyboard. If I have to perform another step before typing (and remember, the Pre has no onscreen keyboard so you'll have to do this for every single letter you want to type) then I'd better be getting a luxurious typing tool.

4. Open-ness to develop
Probably the only application that I am seriously jonesing for is a proper Facebook one. And I have faith in the WM developers that it will soon be made. I don't want to move to another platform and have to wait for my most used apps to be re-created in between the development for the iPhone and Android. I couldn't do without SPB Finance, ListPro, MobiPocket, eWallet where I've invested a lot of time getting my information into them.

5. Automatic Saving
This is one of the most annoying features I think I've heard of. You open a task, start to write something, then change your mind. According to what WebOS, this gets automatically saved. Thanks, but I'd rather decide what I want and when.

6. Notifications
I love the notification icons in WM. And I love that I can comfortably hand my phone to my boss without worrying that a naughty text from my husband will pop up and create an awkward situation. If I want to know that the message is about, I only have to tap the icon.

7. Video recording
Erm... I need that.

8. Synergy
This sounded like a great idea when I first heard it, and to be honest for most people it probably is. But for someone like me, who keeps each facet of my life separate, I don't want anything that pulls it all together. I just don't.

9. Battery Life
Sometimes not saying anything is more telling than words. I don't know what type of battery the Pre will be packing but its safe to say if it was fantastically long battery life, Palm would have been shouting it from the mountaintops.

10. Removable Memory
I'm not saying 8GB isn't enough memory for me, but one of the things I like being able to do is pop the microSD from my videocamera and immediately upload content to our family site right from the park, or vacation. My entire family lives overseas, and our family photoblog is where w all get to connect. Considering that the Pre does not (yet) support video recording, not being able to swap cards is an issue.

So Pre, well done, but I'll be passing on you for now. But just like the iPhone, Xperia, and G1 spurred applications to enhance the WM experience, I'm sure the Palm Pre will only help make WM even better.

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