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10 years ago

WebOS WebCast Online, Unofficial Tutorials Arise

WebOS WebCast Online, Unofficial Tutorials Arise

by Jason Robitaille Sat, 28 Feb 2009 11:12 pm EST

Missed the O'Reilly webOS webcast or just want to watch it again? You're in luck!  The whopping webcast, over 56min long, has been uploaded (youtube here).  PreCentral covered the event and while most of the presentation was known information, the Q&A session afterwards revealed some interesting details.

WebOSHelp also covered the event and in the first part of their coverage they've highlighted some of more interesting and base information for the WebOS.  They've also created a quick-list of what was said during the Q&A session (handy if you don't want to sit through an hour-long video):

  • They would not comment on the release date for the SDK or the Pre.
  • They expect to see a fair amount of games on the platform. Right now, web-based games will be most suitable; other games (that need deeper access to the hardware) will come later.
  • When asked if "connected" apps will run when no connection is available, they should. Apps are designed with storage functions so even web apps will have storage functions and be able to cache and load data, rather than just displaying a blank page.
  • Headless apps are not limited other than the fact that they have no associated card. They operate in the dashboard panel, and technically can be as functional as a card app.
  • The app catalog was mostly under wraps, but will be the primary way to get apps at launch.
  • The ability to build apps will not be operating-system specific. The tools in the Mojo SDK will be supported on Mac, Linux and Windows.
  • Performance is of primary concern, and once the device has been released, perfomance should be just as good as the pre-release demos from CES and the MWC.
  • They are not commenting on how fullscreen will be implemented in 3rd party apps (currently the pic viewer and video player will support this feature), but they stated it was important, and will be looked into. They noted that window sizing will be handled at the system level.

WebOSHelp has gone a step farther and based on existing information, combined with new information from this webcast, they've pulled together some links to informative HTML/CSS/JS tutorials, ordered by difficulty: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.  There's even a special tutorial designed for HTML5 data storage and a page devoted to Prototype resources. For those unaware, Prototype is a javascript framework that Palm will be bundling with their upcoming developer tools and was used to help create many of the built-in application on the Pre.

Now we just need the SDK.  Palm, you're such a tease.

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10 years ago

Palm Pre World Tour

Palm Pre World Tour

by Brian Hart Thu, 26 Feb 2009 1:18 pm EST

Over the last several days (weeks?), the Palm Pre has been popping up on several of Palm's international web sites, and as seen at MWC 09, we know that a GSM version is forthcoming. Although we can't report specific carriers, we can at least provide a list of the expected international availability of the much-anticipated goodness of the Palm Pre.

 

Europe

North America

Latin America

Asia Pacific

That's a lot of ground for Palm to cover, and hopefully it will be covered soon! Rock stars like the Palm Pre SHOULD go on world tour, don't you think?

[palmwebosblog]

 

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10 years ago

Dan Hesse on the Pre release date (Hint: He doesn't tell us)

Dan Hesse on the Pre release date (Hint: He doesn't tell us)

by Jonathan Downer Wed, 25 Feb 2009 9:41 pm EST

RCR Wireless News has recently sat down with Sprint/Nextel CEO Dan Hesse for an extensive Q&A session. The majority of the questions are focused on Hesse's plans to bring Sprint around and improve its position in the mobile world, but they managed to slip in a couple of Pre questions for us as well:

RCR: Speaking of handset selection, let’s talk about the Palm Pre. How long will Sprint Nextel have exclusivity on the new device?

Hesse: We haven’t commented on how long the exclusivity period lasts. Palm and Sprint have agreed that we won’t comment on that.

RCR: Is there a scheduled release date?

Hesse: We haven’t announced that. The plan of both companies is to have it on the market in the first half of the year. Obviously when you’re bringing out a new device with this level of sophistication and functionality there’s a lot of work required. The guys at Palm are working 24/7 and we’re working 24/7 to bring it out as soon as we can, but we’re not going to bring it out until we’re really confident that the launch is going to be really successful in terms of how it operates. Of course to be able to produce the devices we want to make sure that there’s enough. Clearly it’s going to be a device that’s going to be in high demand and it is going to be in shortage no matter when we launch it, but we don’t want it to be too early where there’s only a handful of Pres in the whole country. We want to make sure that we can also have production ramped up at a reasonable level before we launch the product. There are a lot of variables that go into when we’re going to launch it. But both Sprint and Palm are very focused on launching as soon as we can and our target is to launch in the first half. There are also no price details yet."

Based on Hesse's remarks, it sounds like the big hold up at this stage could be production related, of course that could also just be me reading into it (I'm a confessed conspiracy theorist...). Either way, Sprint and Palm are still mum when it comes to defining a release date, and if you ask us, the longer they wait, the more impatient people are going to become (and the more attractive those iPhones and Blackberry Storms begin to look). Hopefully they'll be able to give us some information pretty soon, but until then, our guess is as good as yours.

So what do y'all think? Crafty question dodging, or hidden answers? Let us know!

(Thanks to forum member TreoKing for the tip!) 

 

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10 years ago

webOS: Source Code Security, Background Apps, and Javascript Libraries

webOS: Source Code Security, Background Apps, and Javascript Libraries

by Dieter Bohn Wed, 25 Feb 2009 4:51 pm EST

 

Earlier today I finished listening to the webcast about developing for the webOS.  It was, as you might have expected, mostly a recapitulation of the sort of information already released in Chapter 1 of that O'Reilly webOS development book.  Still -- it was interesting and exciting to see two things.  First, just how easy it is to develop for the webOS (even yours truly is on the cusp of being able to do it despite having never understood javascript) and second, just how much you can get from the OS.  For example, it takes just a few lines of code (practically human readable) to get the webOS to give you your exact longitude and latitude.

There were a few interesting tidbits, however, that came out during the Q&A session.  The first is essentially a clarification.  Yes, the webOS does full multitasking and allows for background operations, but there is a caveat.  At least for the initial release, an app needs to either be running as an open card or sitting within the notifications dashboard in order to run from the background.  This isn't actually all that serious of a limitation as you can create an app that lives just inside that dashboard so your users won't accidentally close a card and kill your app -- but it might be worth knowing.

The second tidbit relates to the security of your source code.  See, development for the webOS happens entirely in HTML, AJAX, and Javascript.  If you've ever hit "view source" on your browser, then you'll know that the source code for that technology is very easy to grab (and copy).  This is not the case with "true native" apps, which are written and then compiled into binary, meaning that you can't get access to the sourcecode.  While many developers are happy to have their source code read and, yes, copied, many more are understandably wary of an OS that might leave their source code out flapping in the proverbial breeze.  When this came up during the presentation, Palm's Mitch Allen had this to say:

Well, we're pretty concerned about it, we're still looking at it.  I don't think we've got any concrete advice to offer yet.  I think when the time the SDK comes out we'll be advising developers around that.  I think, quite honestly, the community is a bit split.  Web content has been fairly exposed [...] some of the people who are providing web content and web services have found ways to protect their applications on the server side.  Now, for embedded developers and people who are really purely on the client, that's a lot more of a challenge.  I'm not really able to here today say "do this or do that" but we'll have some guidance for people as we come out with the SDK.

It is a big concern of ours and we want to do the best thing for the developer and for the user.  

So there you go - Palm's aware that it's a concern and definitely wants to offer tools to developers for dealing with it, just don't expect a lot of information until the SDK is officially released. 

Lastly, yes, you will be able to include and use whatever javascript library you like, but Palm isn't about to test every single one of them to guarantee that it will work seamlessly on the Pre or the webOS generally.  Performance-wise, Palm is very confident that 3rd party apps will be able to reach the same speeds and power that their already presented apps do.  If you didn't remember -- Palm's own apps are written with the same tools they'll be offering developers.

As for when all this will be available, no word yet.  In the meantime bone up on your javascript and starting thinking about whether you're a text editor/browser developer or an Eclipse/dev environment user.

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10 years ago

Momail announces support for Palm Pre

Momail announces support for Palm Pre

by Jennifer Chappell Wed, 25 Feb 2009 12:28 pm EST

Momail, the mobile email that works with your existing email addresses such as Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and more is again first to enable mobile email support for the latest mobile devices.

As soon as handset specs were officially released after the related press announcements at Mobile World Conference 2009, Momail verified its ability to support all of the new models, including models from Palm, INQ, HTC, Huawei, LG, Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and ZTE.

Of course the smartphone that WE are most excited to hear about is the Palm Pre, and it was specifically named in the press release, along with the Touch Diamond2 and the Touch Pro.  I'm happy to hear about another app that will be available for the Pre.

Momail is the world's smallest and fastest, reducing the data in your emails with up to 99.9%. This gives lower data charges and quicker delivery to the mobile. Plus Momail includes world class protection against mobile spam and virus protection.

From the press release:

"The handsets announced in Barcelona will begin shipping to consumers soon. We have reviewed all of the new device specifications and can announce support for all of them. Momail is already the market leader in supported devices, available on more than 90 percent of the latest mobiles available. We strongly believe using mobile email the Momail way is the easiest, smartest and most cost-effective consumer mobile email available today", says Kenneth Lundin, CEO of Momail.

That first sentence from the quote caught my eye: The handsets announced in Barcelona will begin shipping to consumers soon. Needless to say, we're all drooling about the Pre and wishing it would be released soon. But... we still don't know the exact "when".

Momail sounds great, but it's not available to the U.S. yet. You can sign up to become a Momail Beta-user here though.

10 years ago

Deutsche Bank Upgrades PALM Stock to Buy with $10 Target Price

Deutsche Bank Upgrades PALM Stock to Buy with $10 Target Price

by Annie Latham Wed, 25 Feb 2009 2:06 am EST

Originally posted at TreoCentral

For the second time this calendar year, Deutsche Bank analyst Jonathan Goldberg, raised his rating on PALM.   Just after CES and the Palm Pre announcement in early January, he upgraded PALM to Hold from Sell. Today, he bumped it up to a Buy and also increased his target on the stock to $10, from $6.

A story by Eric Savitz at Barrons.com included quotes from Goldberg's research note:

“We see clear signs that [Palm is] capable of executing to plan and shipping the Pre at least on time…”

At the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, “we found a lot of carrier interest in the device as well.”

“Palm has been beaten down for so long that even a modest success could generate significant earnings leverage.”

Scott Moritz of TheStreet.com noted in his story that "earlier this month, Credit Suisse put an $11 price target on the stock, predicting the [PRE] phone will further juice the stock price."

PALM closed at $7.55 today with a flurry of activity at the end of the trading day.  It is up in after hours trading.

 

 

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10 years ago

The Pre's Combined Messaging: Patent Pending

The Pre's Combined Messaging: Patent Pending

by Dieter Bohn Tue, 24 Feb 2009 1:03 pm EST

Something missing from Palm's CES presentation of the Palm Pre: jaunty claims that they've patented their innovations up the wazoo.  Maybe it's because they have a massive cache of smartphone patents in their portfolio already and didn't want to toot their horn.  Maybe they were just being coy.  Maybe, though, they were just waiting for their various patent applications to get approved before they brought it up.

One such feature: the webOS's excellent combined messaging client, which gives you IM and SMS in a single, threaded view so you can focus on your conversation with a person instead of trying to remember which app is the best way to get in touch with somebody and which app you last used.  It's really a clever idea and as you might have guessed, Palm's applied for the patent.  You can read through the (mis-titled?) application yourself, but beware you're in store for language like

Various embodiments for providing enhanced mobile messaging services are described. In one or more embodiments, a mobile computing device may send and receive messages of different types. The wireless computing device may comprise a threading engine to determine a sender of a received message and/or a recipient of a sent message. The threading engine may be arranged to correlate received messages of different message types with a particular sender and sent messages of different types with a particular recipient. The wireless device may display a messaging thread comprising correlated messages of different message types in a messaging user interface supported by a messaging application. The different message types correlated within the message thread are not limited to a message type associated with the messaging application. Other embodiments are described and claimed.

Bottom line is that Palm appears to have developed a "Threading Engine" that sits behind the databases that drive the IM, SMS apps and might also include email and telephone as well.  We're fairly sure that at the 1.0 release, the webOS won't be threading missed calls and email into their combined messaging app, but this patent clearly shows they've been thinking about it and it may be a feature we can expect in the future.  

A couple more images from the patent (which goes to Palm but was filed on behalf of the inventors, one of whom was the just-mentioned software engineer Sachin Kansal) after the break.  If you look closely, the patent application also describes a single unified message listing screen that will show you all your messages, no matter what kind they are, in a single list.

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10 years ago

Video Interview With Palm Pre Software Product Manager

Video Interview With Palm Pre Software Product Manager

by Jennifer Chappell Mon, 23 Feb 2009 5:45 pm EST

Ben Smith from Mobile Industry Review got a chance to talk with Sachin Kansal, the Palm Pre Software Product Manager to find out more about the Pre before he got the hands-on demonstration at MWC.

Sachin has been with Palm for seven years as part of the product management team and has been responsible for the product management side of the apps that ship on the Pre.

Ben asked about what inspired the move away from the Palm OS and Windows OS?

Sachin replied that Palm had realized over time that control over the definition of the software is very important. Both technically and from a user experience perspective, Palm feels that without control over the software, and the integration of the software and the hardware, they wouldn't have been able to achieve the goal that they have, which is to redefine how people use their smartphones overall.

Sachin says that given the demand of current users, the Web is really important for Palm, and they felt that they needed to completely redefine the mobile operating system in order to take advantage of the Web. And that's what they did with the Pre using WebOS.

Ben asked what really innovative features (regarding software) of the Pre would change the way that people use their smartphones. Sachin replied that there are about three things that he thinks are high level items that will redefine the user experience:

  1. Synergy
  2. Ability to handle multiple simultaneous applications (Card View)
  3. The way Palm handles interruptions and notifications on the Pre

I was glad to hear that according to Sachin, Palm feels that quality is paramount, and they will not ship their device until they're happy with how it works, how stable it is, and whether or not there are a very high level of bugs. 

According to Sachin, the WebOS is going to be Palm's platform for the next decade. As Palm is designing the WebOS, they are making it very flexible so they can do various kinds of hardware devices. And there will be certain common aspects across all those hardware devices. Palm's goal is to have a broad portfolio of products based on the WebOS. I can't wait to start hearing about all those other devices after the Pre is released!

No word on when the Pre or other devices will be released but the interview was very interesing. Ben Smith asked some great questions. You can watch the full video interview here.

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10 years ago

Palm Pre Release Date: May Not Be Until June?

Palm Pre Release Date: May Not Be Until June?

by Dieter Bohn Mon, 23 Feb 2009 2:34 pm EST

 

While we knew all along (despite crazy hopes) that the February 15th release date was just a pipe dream, we were hoping the persistent rumors (now circulating on the Ides of March) meant that the "First half of 2009" target would mean something sooner than June.  Well, we're a little less hopeful today.  First up an anonymous report which we're not putting much stock in (yet) claims that testing is taking longer than expected due to some security issues.  More interestingly, in our forums we read that the Pre has two more rounds to testing to come, the first of these not slated to begin until April 1st. 

The upshot is that testing is still going on and despite how eager Sprint and Palm are to get the device out the door, they still need to do their due diligence and get it fully tested.  Both sources are suggesting that June might actually be the most realistic (though definitely not the most optimistic) target date.  Sadly, given Palm's history of shipping devices, the latter half of their "first half" estimate is the safe bet.

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10 years ago

Celebrities Handle the Pre (Update: with help from Palm)

Celebrities Handle the Pre (Update: with help from Palm)

by Dieter Bohn Mon, 23 Feb 2009 2:22 pm EST

 

Engadget has a photo taken from the coverage of the Independent Spirit Awards last week (sidenote, this NSFW acceptance speech from Mickey Rourke is good catharsis for those who thought he should have won the Oscar).  That photo shows that, as rumored, certain celebrities received Palm Pres (or the promise of future Palm Pres) in their swag bags.  Unlike Palm's attitude at both CES and MWC, these beautiful people actually got to handle and play around with the little wonders.  Us, we got to gaze lovingly.  Which we're doing again, now.  

Also, and this is just a little thing, we're very slightly relieved to see the backlit keyboard.  We, you know, assumed that it would be backlit, but over the weekend a tipster at Sprint told us that an early production unit he handled was not backlit, making us slightly nervous.

Now Palm, we know we're not celebrities or anything, but it wouldn't hurt if you could pretend for a little while -- just long enough to send us one of those swag bags.

Thanks to William for the tip!

Update: Jason links us to a couple more photos from twitpic, after the break.  One interesting detail: Sandra Oh is standing right next to the kind of celebrity we usually follow here, Palm's own Phil McClendon (Hi Phil!).  In other words, those famous folk weren't just given the pre willy-nilly, there were Palm people on hand to babysit the Pres.

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