Palm Pre Feature Roundup | webOS Nation

Palm Pre Feature Roundup 86

by Jonathan Downer Tue, 17 Feb 2009 6:02 pm EST

With so much Pre news floating around all over the place lately, it can be hard to keep up. New features are being announced, and questions are being answered on a near daily basis. To help alleviate this problem, we’ve compiled a list of Known Pre Features, Missing Pre Features, and things we just don’t know about yet. When perusing the list (after the break), if you find anything to be missing or inaccurate, please let us know in the comments so we can keep this article as up to date as possible! 

 (Apologies for my bad pictures folks, hope to have my new copy of Photoshop this week!)

  Updated as of 2/17/09 @ 5:00pm (Thanks for the comments all!)


Updates in italics

Known Pre Features:
-CDMA EVDO Rev A / GSM 3G (European model only)

- WiFi enabled with 802.11 b/g (no n, sadly)

- Bluetooth with A2DP stereo Bluetooth support as well

- ARM Cortex A8 processor (PowerVR SGX 530 GPU + 430MHz C64x+ DSP + ISP)

- 8gb of internal flash memory (Actually usable likely to be in the 7.4 gb range)

- 3.1 in capacitive touch screen, with 320x480 HVGA resolution

- Hardware keyboard, with buttons something along the lines of the Treo Pro

- microUSB connection slot (so it can be connected to your computer and used in Mass Storage Mode; also used for charging)

- 3.5mm headset jack (Woot!)

- 3 megapixel camera, LED Flash, no zoom but extended depth of field

- Accelerometer, Ambient light and proximity sensors

- Audio Support for MP3, AAC, AAC+, AMR, QCELP, and WAV

-Video Support for MPEG-4, H.263, H.264 (will also support standard image formats like GIF, JPEG, PNG, and BMP)

- GPS (Navigation likely to be limited based on Sprint coverage, at least initially due to TeleNav based Sprint Navigation app. However, as far as we know the GPS chip will not be locked down, so third party solutions should be available)

- MMS support (along with SMS and IM, all threaded together, though we do not know for sure what the supported IM clients will be, AIM and GTalk are confirmed)

- Flash Support (not at launch, but within the year)

- Synergy (Push support)

- Google, Facebook, Exchange, and LinkedIn at launch, but you can still connect to your Yahoo, Hotmail, etc, but it’ll likely have to be setup to check for new messages ever hour or something of the like

- Standard array of apps such as Calendar (a really awesome one though), Contacts, Messages, Notes, etc.

- Copy and Paste (take THAT iPhone)

- Tethering support (Bluetooth or USB 2.0)

- Universal Search capability (not sure how deep it actually goes though, such as the ability to locate keywords in memos or saved messages

- Optional Touchstone inductive charger (special battery cover needed)


What’s Missing (at least at launch):
- No Alarm application (to clarify, you will be able to set alarms for calendar appointments, but there is no stand-alone Alarm application).

- No Bluetooth Keyboard support

- microSD card slot

- No PalmOS emulation or backward compatability, so all the old Palm apps won’t work on the Pre

- Software Keyboard (sorry folks, you’re stuck with the hardware one for now)

- No IR support (it’s finally died…)

- Today screen (There is a pseduo-today screen, where you can see your upcoming appointments and notifications. Mark in the comments put it best: There is something sort of like this in the dash board. When you tap on the dash board to expand it the calendar shows the next appointment, email/messaging show unread messages, etc.)

-No Video out connection (bummer)

-No indicator light (that we’ve seen, though one of those lights in the gesture area might do this, but I wouldn’t count on it)

-No Audio or Video Recording (though this reported to be added post launch)

Unknown Features (we haven’t heard much, if anything about these things)
- Docs to Go support (though document VIEWING is supposed to be present at launch

- PEAP authentication support for WiFi 

- SDK Availability, while this isn’t Pre specific, we still have no ETA on when this will be released, but we do know it will most likely be AFTER the device launches.

- RAM specifications

- Processor speed

- Battery life (we’ve heard a lot of rumors here, and we know it’s the Centro’s 1150 mAh battery, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say with heavy use, you’ll be charging this puppy nightly)

- YouTube support (I suspect a 3rd party solution will be available eventually)

- Visual Voicemail (not likely at launch, expect a 3rd party solution for this one too)

- Security Options are unknown at this point

- Voice dialing or recognition is unknown, but not likely

- Simultaneous voice and data usage (Increasingly unlikely on Sprint CDMA Pre, still guaranteed on European GSM version).




the usable storage is 7.4 GB I think

The processor is known. The processing platform is a Texas Instruments OMAP3430

600 MHz ARM Cortex A8 + PowerVR SGX 530 GPU + 430MHz C64x+ DSP + ISP (Image Signal Processor)

Not exactly a feature of the phone, but the Touchstone should be added as a 'Known Pre Feature'. Or inductive charging.

I can comfirm there most certainly is an the Clock App.

Is there really no alarm application? I find it hard to believe Palm forgot to include this. I don't miss any of the other "missing" features.

We don't actually know the clockspeed that the Cortex A8 will be set to, as far as I know.


You're right, it hasn't been announced, but we know about the processing platform, the clock speed is irrelevant unless compared to other Cortex A8s anyhow. 600 MHz is the maximum clock as far as I know, I'm guessing we'll see it in the 500-600 MHz range.

I have read that the clock speed can go up to 1ghz,

Also I would like to know if I can use my mp3 ringtones for the pre.


Application profile, VFP, NEON, Jazelle RCT, Thumb-2, 13-stage superscalar pipeline

variable (L1+L2), MMU+TrustZone

up to 2000 (2.0 DMIPS/MHz in speed from 600 MHz to greater than 1 GHz)

Texas Instruments OMAP3430, SBM7000, Oregon State University OSWALD, Gumstix Overo Earth, Pandora, Archos 5, FreeScale i.MX51-SOC, BeagleBoard, Palm Pre

This information was Lifted directly from specifically associated with the Cortex-A8. Here is the actual address

What this means, i dont know, that for someone more knowledgable them myself to answer. coming from, this information may not be 100% percent accurate. hope this helps.

They said with the alarm app that there will be ones available to download. Since Palm also said that the App store will be available during launch, you can pretty much assume an alarm clock app will be available right away!

No video recording (according to o

during one of the CES demos, the guy said they were looking into adding video recording in one of the first post-launch ROM update

I'm dying to know which IM networks (AIM/Yahoo/GTalk/MSN) will be supported natively.

I believe they've said it's only AIM and GTalk support currently though they're looking at adding more before launch

i hope yahoo more den aim cuz most people use yahoo that i know of

I hope it

I think IMAP4 support is not known yet, though I would love to get it confirmed.

(and I hope video recording will be added soon. imo it's a mandatory feature)

Additionally, is 'No Bluetooth keyboard support' confirmed? Are the supported BT profiles known?

Unfortunately Palm specifically said at MWC today that deeper layer API for stuff like the bluetooth stack won't be available until a while after the Pre's release.

In fact, the base SDK itself isn't due until shortly after the Pre is released.

Dieter was able to get IMAP4 information today at MWC, and it looks like those 4 are the short list of support formats as of now.

I heard earlier about a 16GB model. Will there be two models to choose from and 8 and 16?

Nanette, a 16GB version is speculated and highly likely at some point, but only 8 gig versions will be available at initial launch. I'd look toward Q3 or Q4 for a 16GB version to be released, but thats pure speculation at this point.

>>>- No Alarm application

What exactly do you/they mean by that? Someone in Comments said Alarm Clock. I was wondering if you earlier meant there's no way to assign, say, MP3s to different Calendar events for custom alarm sounds. That's been a PITA in classic PalmOS!

>>>- No Bluetooth Keyboard support

That is officially Teh Suck. I hope an update will add that.

I'm not sure its been confirmed, but I'm sure the Calendar will allow you to assign MP3s as notifiers (I sure hope so anyway). There will not be an actual Alarm Clock application however, which Dieter sadly confirmed today with the Pre folks at MWC. They're looking to 3rd party developers to come through with some rockin alarm apps.

Re: Visual Voicemail

Actually, VVM has to be supported by and developed with the carrier as I understand it. And it's already been pointed out that Sprint does have visual voicemail on other new devices and that there's a little cassette tape icon in the phone interface that resembles their VVM icon.

It's likely this will be one of the things ironed out during Sprint QA. It'd end up being one of the last things they'd announce before launch. So, fingers crossed...

Re: Re: Visual Voicemail

Actually VVM is not developed by any carrier, Klausner Technologies developed the VVM for Sprint, Sprint pays licensing fees for VVM on the Instinct, which are not cheap when you factor in the number of Instinct devices out there. As for support, I am sure an application can be written for the Pre, the question is whether Sprint is willing to spend more money in licensing fees.

Of course. We're all hopefully clear on licensing issues after Apple's last few bouts in court.

But again, as I understand it, depending on the depth of the VVM there also needs to be some tower-side support for the feature. Perhaps I'm mistaken on that.

Regardless, this is something Sprint would have to chime in on due to these licensing and hardware/software requirements. So any way you slice it, it would likely not show up until the last minute (if they decide to go for it). That's the only point I was making. I'm a bit perplexed that people take the lack of announcement as a sign it won't exist. Though if it's something that can be app'd, that's also good news.

there is a program now that works on the Sprint Centro that allows for VVM. however, sprint charges 20 cents per minute for call forwarding, and that's how it works (forwards the caller to the VMbox of the VVM program. so with Sprint, even if you get the software, it's not gonna be cheap to enjoy that service.

In addition to "no video recording," add "no audio recording" either.

I don't think the GPS itself is limited by Sprint coverage, just the Sprint Navigation app which gets its maps over the data connection. A 3rd-party GPS app could keep it's maps onboard. The GPS will use cell towers in addition to satellites to speed lock-in, but will work on satellites alone.

On Alarms:
No built-in alarm clock app, but the calendar will definitely have alarms. You could use recurring appointments for alarms and put them in a hidden category so they don't show up on your schedule.

On What's Missing:
No voice memo recording built-in. Probably will be a 3rd-party app though.

On the Today screen:
There is something sort of like this in the dash board. When you tap on the dash board to expand it the calendar shows the next appointment, email/messaging show unread messages, etc.

"Simultaneous voice and data usage (not 100% confirmed, but highly likely)"

should be moved to the 'does not have' section. (At least for the CDMA version) It is not possible with Sprints current network.

It will obviously be available in the HSDPA version, or when there is an active WIFI connection on either phone.

Hey Bryan, CDMA tech has advanced to the point that simultaneous voice and data is now possible, depending on the device. The Treo Pro was supposed to be the first to allow this, but since its technically not been released yet, its still unknown if it works. At least thats what we've been told...

Its only theoretically possible on an EVDO RevA device if there's been a ton of work done on Sprint's backend to allow handling calls as VOIP, passing calls off to VOIP, etc. Taking a guess just based on Sprint's financial situation, I doubt they've undergone that huge undertaking.

Because of that, I'd be with 99% certainty that there won't be simultaneous voice and data.

Here's where the information I have is from:

I'll move this one into the "Unknown" category.


"Its only theoretically possible on an EVDO RevA device if there's been a ton of work done on Sprint's backend to allow handling calls as VOIP"

That's partly correct, however, Sprint is passed the theoretical part. Sprint enhanced their Rev-A network to get ready for Rev-B, which will launch later this year to early next year, an enhancement was all that was needed to allow VOIP through EVDO Rev-A. VOIP will go over data as voice using the same circuit switch as EVDO. Voice calls typically use a radio access network (RAN).

VOIP using EVDO was successfully tested back in 2006:

Here is additional info on EVDO:

Come to think of it, Sprints QChat (Push to Talk) uses VOIP by way of EVDO Rev-A. So the ability/capability is there for voice calls.


To my understanding it is possible, it has to be at least EVDO Rev-A, the question is, will Sprint enable it? :)

AFAIK that was an unfounded rumor that was quickly disproved by those people who did buy the Treo Pro from Best Buy when it was available.

As stated upthread if voice traffic over the CDMA network were being carried as VOIP then it could coexist with data. I dont know of any CDMA carrier planning to actually do this though.

On MicroUSB connector:
Also allows charging.

Great feedback all, keep it up!

So there's still no push email? Really sucks.

Not sure where you got that idea. The Pre does have push email.

I am REALLY interested in the Pre. Nothing at MWC has interested me more, mainly because everything is far too big, well like slab of slate anyway, a 4" screen on a MOBILE phone?.
Anyway I want to know more about the camera in the pre, I read somewhere it has software autofocus, is that true?
Also there is no zoom? Not that I'm fussed as on most phones the digital zoom is only good for 2 or 4 times anyway but it would be a nice feature to have so is it definitely not going to be a feature of the Pre?
Another thing I want to know is if there is any chance that someone will launch a GPS app for it so you can use the Pre as car Sat Nav? I currently use Tom Tom on my Sony Ericsson UIQ3 phone, Does anyone know the chance of a similar app on Web OS?
I also have a tiny GPS receiver I use via Blue Tooth which I would like to continue to use, mainly cause it's reception is simply amazing. Can you sync normal Blue Tooth devices like that with the pre? I am concerned as the iPhones Blue Tooth is so restrictive.

Sorry for all the questions.

Hey Mark, I'll try to answer to best of my ability:

1) The Camera - From everything we've been told, there is no digital zoom but it does have Extended Depth of Field capability, so its going to be better than say, the iPhones camera, but not as good as other mobile ones (I'm thinking Omnia here).

2) Its hard to answer the GPS question yet, as we don't know how deep the SDK will allow developers to go. I doubt we will see anything right at launch, but until we see the SDK, its hard to know.

3) You *should* be able to, but I can't confirm that yet.

As for GPS, telenav, was one of the initial launch partners announced at CES, so it's pretty safe to assume it will dome with GPS built in. Don't know about using your own sat receiver with bluetooth though.

The first chapter of the webOS development book released today says that location data is one of the services available to developers, so 3rd-party navigation apps are definitely possible.

I think Telenav was mentioned as a launch partner because they provide the Sprint Navigation app that will be available on the Sprint Pre. I haven't heard any nav apps mentioned yet for the GSM Pre, but I'm sure there will be some.

Thanks for all the reply's guy's. I shall look forward to the information as it comes out, still interested in the camera as reading the forums here it has the same software as Canon use so will await reviews of it with anticipation.

Hmm, I just read through the forum. It seems most people want to know the same things, but we will have to wait and see. I have to say the Palm pre is the perfect size, the hardware is great, WebOS looks as fresh and intuitive as the iPhone did at launch. Fantastic product. Just hope it comes on sim free in the UK.

The Flash press release mentioned something about being available for the Pre by end of the year. This may or may not directly mean that Pre owners would get it right away. Could it mean that Palm has to tweak it to integrate into webOS (which may take more time)?? I hope not. I hope that Pre owners will get the final product by end of this year (at the latest).

About Adobe Flash. The target date for Adobe to hand over its Flash Player 10 to Palm is by year-end. Palm implementing the Flash into the WebOS is a completely seperate step.

Any news from Palm when other carriers like Verizon which unfortunately I stuck with may have a WebOS version palm phone if not the PRE

About other US carriers. zero news of another US carrier having access to either the Pre or another WebOS device. all humms the word.

Based on little hints dropped by Palm, I suspect we might see the Pre on other carriers either late this year, or early 2010. This is all purely speculation however, as we don't know how long the exlusivity contract with Sprint is.

Ed Colligan's words to investors:

"Speaking of that exclusivity, Palm hopes that a strong launch with Sprint will attract other US carriers. He specifically mentioned that Palm would be looking at releasing on other carriers in the 2010 timeframe."

How about a possible launch date for US? Something more then march-june

Unfortunately we don't have anything but rumors and speculation at this point. The two most recent dates I've seen thrown around are 3/01 and 3/15, but again, thats not confirmed by Palm in anyway.

Another missing feature is audio support for FLAC...
Really a pity, a 3rd party solution should be available eventually.

What does "GPS (limited based on Sprint coverage)" mean? 'Real' GPS doesn't depend on a phone network. Is the Pre saddled with 'fake' tower-based GPS and not a real GPS chip?

I do need to clarify that a bit more, but as far as we know, the Pre will only support Sprint Navigation at release (TelNav based), so its going to be limited to where Sprint service is available. The GPS chip itself should work everywhere (I hope).

Curious. So, does "only support Sprint Nav (TeleNav)" mean that the GPS chip is disabled? Or that you can't use the GPS chip with TeleNav? Or that you HAVE to use TeleNav with the GPS chip? :) Still kinda murky.


It means at the present time other GPS applications have not been written for the Pre yet. Telenav will be the only GPS app available at launch. I am sure Garmin, TomTom, etc, will have applications for the Pre at a later date. I doubt Sprint will disable the GPS chip, Verizon does that.

I do have one concern. Although i don't listen to a lot of music, i do listen to podcasts and audio books quite often. The Pre music player does not seem to support these. Do you think there will be an app that will handle this. This is my only hesitation regarding this device. Otherwise Pre looks absolutely amazing!

I think I remember a Palm employee saying in a CES demo that the music player CAN play podcasts. No word on audiobooks though...

I actually would of liked to have a nice alarm built-in but like Palm said (based on article link below), people are very picky with alarms and I agree. I hate(d) the standard alarms that came on the PalmOS and the BlackBerry. On top of that when you find a 3rd party alarm that you like, you have to keep both of them on your phone because you can't erase the one that came buit-in.

So by having a simple standard alarm available in the App Store for free from Palm upon launch would be the way to do it. Then when somebody releases a nice alarm app you can get that one and erase the free version and just have one alarm app on hand.


but does not this count for every application? if this is the argument, then the question arises, why is there an email program integrated. I am sure people are also very picky about email clients.

I see the absence of the alarm clock as a strategic move. 1) I dont know anyone who dosn't need an alarm, and 2) That need will drive much desired traffic to Palm's App Store.

maybe palm should deliver this phone without an phone application. 1) I dont know anyone who dosn't need an phone application in a phone, and 2) That need will drive much desired traffic to Palm's App Store.

Question: Will the Pre on launch support *external* microUSB storage? That is, can someone plug in a MicroUSB flash drive (or a USB flash drive with a MicroUSB adapter) and read from/write to it on the Pre?

I don't believe the Pre has microUSB host capabilities

i think for all when i say this when is this thing dropping???? we cant wait until june shoot we cant even wait until april thats tooo long..march sounds just about right...

also a very important question apples iphone were getting hacked into i guess because of no firewall or sumthin will pre be able to be hacked also? because i dont want some one being able to hack my phone????


"Simultaneous voice and data usage (not 100% confirmed, but possible on CDMA version, guaranteed on European GSM version)."

This has been announced by Palm's VP to be working for the UTMS (European) version, but impossible on the CDMA (US) version.


I am not sure if you read through the postings/comments or not, to say it is "impossible" is not true. I posted info which said it is possible, it can be done over Sprints VOIP network, which is currently being used by QChat (Sprints push to talk) which runs on EVDO Rev-A. Also, here is a link which proves it is possible:

Sprint does have the network for simultaneous voice/data, will they enable it is the question!

Although pcmag is well known, this is one of those cases where the person who wrote that article did not do their research. Unfortunately, this is becoming common practice with many writers.

I can't help but want to wait for this thing. My StarTac phone is barely hanging on by a thread.

Since I've seen at least one other person besides me ask about this, I'll bring up that there does not seem to be any Asian character support (according to the threads mentioned in the "Palmer Plays With A Pre" article here). Unfortunate since the iPod/iPhone handles Asian characters just fine... In the category of unknown features, this also makes me wonder what other languages are/aren't supported.

I honestly believe there will be Asian character support. I'm willing to bet Palm had a prototype, which would probably be english-only. Once the Pre's OS gets the finishes touches and multi-language support, I'm confident we'll see Asian character support pop up

what's missing:

- synchronization with a local computer in addition to the "cloud"

Adobe is developing flash for the WebOS so the browser will support flash

Oh my god awesome feature i am ready to ditch my iPhone..give me Pre


This is a crippled piece of shit.

Finally a linux based phone that does everything I need. I'm currently crippled by my blackberries in the fact that I run 99% linux in my business and at home (I tired of the financial burden that Microsoft imposes years ago and have been Linux ever since). With no linux support for Blackberry I can't wait to use a true linux based phone. WebOS is a great platform and soon enough the apps will just start rolling in. I live everyday in the open source world and this phone will greatly help my day along. Can't wait. I have heard rumors that Verizon will carry the phone 90 days after the sprint release. Either way if they don't the switch to sprint will be worth it.

Just in case anyone was wondering, I have two pearls, four curves, and one storm between business and personal. I'll switch them all. I love the apps already showing up for the pre.

All very very hopeful and optimistic aren't we?

I expect lot's and lot's of real world disappointment.

will at third party app or an update be avaible for all missing features?


I am sure of this, and I'm surprised no one has picked it up yet -the OMAP 3430 processor is capable of decoding and encoding HD video (720p easily). Combined with that, the Pre camera's DxO image processor has the *capability* to capture HD 720p video.

So video recording may not have been announced but is sure to become a USP of the device if Palm can make the Pre record HD 720p video - it looks theoretically possible!


My palm was having some issues and shutting down by itself. At one point when i tried to turn it back on, it showed a black and white picture of a plug and a question mark. Does anyone know what this means? I've heard that it could be a sign of hibernation but I have let my phone sit unused before and this has never appeared.