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10 years ago

Around SPE for 22 Feb, 2009

Around SPE for 22 Feb, 2009

by Dieter Bohn Sun, 22 Feb 2009 6:36 pm EST

It's been quite a week for SPE, we wrapped up a bootload of live coverage of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. With details on Windows Mobile 6.5, the new HTC Magic Android phone, the new Ovi Application Store at Nokia Experts, and even a sneak preview of a GPS App for the iPhone, we were chock full of breaking mobile news.

This week we'll be bringing you more of the same, of course. Be sure you are paying special attention to CrackBerry.com, as this will be a HUGE week for CrackBerry Nation. This coming Thursday, February 26th, the site officially turns 2 years old!! And when CrackBerry.com turns another year older, it doesn't mean a day of celebrating, it means a week birthday festivities! Whether you're a BlackBerry owner or not you'll want to stay glued to the site for great contests, deals and giveaways each and every day. If you're not a daily visitor but want to follow the action, you can always subscribe to the CrackBerry RSS feeds or follow the site on Twitter at @crackberry.

Speaking of giveaways, time is running out for your chances to win a Nokia N85 or E71 at Nokia Experts, so be sure to head over and learn how to enter this week.

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10 years ago

WebOS Development Webcast Registration Open (and Free)

WebOS Development Webcast Registration Open (and Free)

by Jason Robitaille Sun, 22 Feb 2009 4:43 am EST

Attention developers: have you signed up for the Developing Applications for webOS: A Preview webcast yet?  If you haven't, why not?  Over 1000 developers have signed up so far and you don't want to be last to the party. Plus of course it's free, and being led by a familiar face to the Palm community, Mitch Allen.

Date and time: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 1:00 pm EST

In this live, online event, Mitch Allen, Palm's Software CTO and a member of the Palm webOS™ design team, will recap the material included in the introductory chapter of "Palm webOS: Developing Applications in JavaScript Using the Palm Mojo™ Framework," a joint collaboration announced this week by Palm and O'Reilly, and will give you a preview into application development with the Mojo SDK. This is a great opportunity to hear an insider's perspective on webOS development and get a glimpse into the development environment and toolset for this breakthrough mobile web platform.

Q & A
All phone lines except for the presenter's and host's are muted to decrease background noise, but you may still share comments and questions with the rest of the group. Please submit your questions and comments directly to the presenter and host using the Chat feature in the lower right hand corner of your window. The host will then repost your comments for the entire group to see. We will allow plenty of time for questions and answers.

Event Recording
If you have to leave early or have a less-than-perfect connection, you can still catch the entire webcast after the fact. We're recording this webcast and will make it available within a week or so after this presentation. We'll send an email to everyone who has registered to let you know when you can view the recording.

Over 1000 developers signed up is certainly a good start for a brand new OS.  This combined with all the interest for preDevCamp makes one hopeful of the third party software that will be available for the Pre.  Now all we need is that elusive SDK...

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10 years ago

New Centro on WebOS?

New Centro on WebOS?

by Jason Robitaille Sat, 21 Feb 2009 9:21 am EST

The Centro was (and still is) a rather popular smartphone for the masses.  Its low price, small form factor, and simplistic PalmOS makes it a prime candidate for those curious about the whole smartphone buzz.  Naturally it was only a matter of time before we heard rumours of a Centro-style webOS device.

Today we got word that TamsPalm has posted some rather interesting photos of what what appears to be a Centro loaded with webOS.  Well, actually, TamsPalm has 2 theories: that it's new version of the Centro with webOS, or that it's the old PalmOS Centro with a new webOS skin.

Personally, I just don't buy it.  These images show the old PalmOS style icons and the old PalmOS calculator.  Why would Palm create a whole new OS with all the UI bells and whistles only to reuse those old icons and calculator application?  It just doesn't make sense that it would be the Palm webOS.

And the theory of it being a webOS skin for the PalmOS doesn't quite seem right either.  Why would Palm extend so much work to implement the multitasking and visual effects shown for an OS that Palm has stated they wouldn't be producing new devices on? Again, it just doesn't make sense.

Now, that's not to say I don't expect a Centro-style webOS device it the future. We reported not too long ago about how both PalmInfocenter and PCMagazine had received tips of a webOS Centro successor.  A low-cost webOS device to be alongside the Pre is something that just makes financial sense for Palm.

What do you think?  Are these pictures legit or are there fake? Feel free to comment.
 

Update: Engadget has picked up the story, and they too don't believe what we're looking at is a webOS Centro.

Update 2: It appears to be a new application for the PalmOS called TealOS

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10 years ago

Pre Pops Up on Palm's UK Site

Pre Pops Up on Palm's UK Site

by Brian Hart Fri, 20 Feb 2009 5:57 pm EST

 

If you are in the UK, it's time to ratchet up the excitement about the coming Palm Pre, given that the Pre has just popped up on Palm's UK website. Even though the picture is the CDMA model, the fact it's made an appearance on the UK site is a very good sign that a GSM model is on the way soon. Those of you anxiously awaiting the new Palm Pre with its slick webOS interface, are you excited yet? Does the appearance of the Pre on Palm's UK website mean that a GSM Pre is coming very, very soon?

[engadgetmobile via phoneArena]  

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10 years ago

Do Best Buy Stores Have Dummy Pre Phones and Advertising Materials?

Do Best Buy Stores Have Dummy Pre Phones and Advertising Materials?

by Jennifer Chappell Thu, 19 Feb 2009 6:58 pm EST

Dieter reported back in January that the Palm Pre was going to be a Best Buy exclusive. HU'S_NEXT, one of our forum members,  is saying that he was in a Minnesota Best Buy store today and asked about the Pre and was told March 1st for a release date and Best Buy exclusivity.  Plus:

He also told me that they have a dummy display Pre and brochures on it but aren't supposed to display them yet.I did make sure he was talking about the "PRE" and not the "PRO" .They already had a Pro dummy phone on display. No I didn't see the dummy phone nor the brochures so we can chalk it up as another hopeful sign.

I've been watching the thread closely today to see if anyone else posted that they'd called a Best Buy store and heard the same thing.  Forum member hotis300boy says that he called his store in Orlando, and the girl he spoke with was scared to say but did admit they had brochures as well as dummy phone.

And forum member lastdetailwd claims to have also called a Best Buy store and got confirmation that they have a 'dummy' phone also.

So, could it be true?  Do these Best Buy stores actually have Palm Pre dummy phones?  If you call or go by your local Best Buy store, how about letting us know if you find out anything? ;-)  I hope it's true, and I'd love for the March 1st release date to be for real, but we've been down that rumor road enough lately to have made several potholes.

 

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10 years ago

Tethering Gone From Sprint Pre Specs

Tethering Gone From Sprint Pre Specs

by Jason Robitaille Thu, 19 Feb 2009 6:25 pm EST

It would appear our beloved "Phone as modem" feature has vanished! Engadget has just brought to our attention that a new "Connector" field has taken the spot of the lovely tethering.

What does this mean?  Well, it could mean nothing.  It's possible Sprint just didn't want to advertise tethering anymore or that they wanted to add more information about the actual device rather than a service plan feature.  Interestingly, it also appears from the old screenshot that the "Connector" information has mistakenly been jumbled into the "Phone as modem" part, suggesting that Sprint may have just decided the quickest way to fix that would be to remove the tethering information rather than having to go deeper in their web code and add a new row.

However, it could be that Sprint has removed tethering support all-together. That would make sense given Sprint's new Simply Everything + Mobile Broadband doesn't cover tethering, only data transferred via their USB adaptor. Doesn't really seem like a very smart decision however, as Sprint is banking on this device being their saviour and really needs a home-run device.

This website change could be nothing, or it could be a subtle hint of what's to come.

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10 years ago

Sprint has Pre Exclusive thru 2009

Sprint has Pre Exclusive thru 2009

by Annie Latham Thu, 19 Feb 2009 4:56 pm EST

Reuters is reporting that Sprint Nextel has the exclusive U.S. rights to sell the Palm Pre through the end of 2009. Their source is “a person familiar with the matter,” so you can take it with a grain of salt. This person, who asked not to be named, did not offer any insight beyond this year.

SeekingAlpha has posted a story (Why Sprint Needs the Palm Pre to Succeed) that has some more meat.

“It is clear that Sprint needs something to make customers stick around, and they believe that they have that silver bullet with their exclusive deal with Palm (PALM) to provide the new Pre handset.”

...One 'must-have' handset can be a huge boon to a carrier, and with Sprint’s high churn rate it needs to give consumers something to get excited about."

For sure, Sprint needs all the good news it can get.  More on Sprint's earnings can be found here.

 

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10 years ago

More Pre Impressions… Google Maps Does the Palm Pre

More Pre Impressions… Google Maps Does the Palm Pre

by Annie Latham Thu, 19 Feb 2009 3:35 pm EST

It seems like no matter how hard the iPhone and Google Android devices try to dominate the news cycle, the scrappy Palm Pre keeps nipping at their heels. Case in point, check out this story from TechSpot.com, which is typical of what’s being found around the blogoshpere today.

The write-ups mentioning the demonstration that Google's VP of engineering, Vic Gundotra did showing a mobile version of Gmail (using the new HTML5 standards) running on both the iPhone and Google Android (the new HTC Magic) platforms all seem to smoothly segue into a discussion of the quick demo he did of Google Maps ---running as a web app on the Palm Pre.

Gundotra was quoted saying that the Pre is "arguably one of my favorite devices."

[No doubt that has the folks in Sunnyvale doing back flips]

Over at Engadget, Nilay Patel noted the significance of this demo, stating:

“… what's interesting there is that the Pre's HTML-based SDK means that web apps can act like first class citizens on the device -- which is probably why Vic called the Pre "arguably one of my favorite devices." Hopefully that means we're going to see a lot more Pre devs really blur the line between local and cloud-based applications…”

And Seth H. Weintraub, in his Google Ink column (“Palm Pre runs Google Maps as a web app with ease”) at ComputerWorld.com, provided his take on the demo:

“It acted exactly like you would expect a stand-alone app to act including multi-touch functionality like pinching, panning and zooming.”

He also noted that the Google Maps webapp is relying on the AppCache, GeoLocation and Database standards of HTML5 to keep the offline app running when there is no Internet connection, such as when traveling in an airplane or out of cellular range.

Clearly, the Pre is making good impressions in all the right places. That means that once again, Palm has managed to claw its way back to relevancy... and that is a beautiful thing.

###

You can see the demo, care of PreCommunity, here.
 

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10 years ago

Sprint posts 4th Quarter results, another 1.3 million subscribers gone

Sprint posts 4th Quarter results, another 1.3 million subscribers gone

by Jonathan Downer Thu, 19 Feb 2009 2:29 pm EST

 

Well, it couldn’t all be good news in these turbulent times. Sprint/Nextel has posted their fourth quarter earnings, and the news isn’t fantastic. They’ve lost another 1.3 million subscribers and a net loss of $1.6 billion for the quarter. There is a silver lining to all this though; these numbers are actually better than what investors were expecting, and Sprint’s stock rose 24 percent to $3.45 a share (as of this writing). There is also a fair amount of optimism regarding the upcoming Pre release, and that it may be the EpiPen to Sprint’s customer allergy.

The big thing here, is that Sprint needs to narrow down WHY they’re losing so many customers. Is it lack of phones? Bad customer service? Bad network? All of the above? What do you all think? Any Sprint users out there, what are your experiences recently? As a Sprint user myself, I can say that the service has had its ups and downs, but lately things seem to have been improving  with quality of service and customer focus.

 

10 years ago

Palm Pre Keyboard

Palm Pre Keyboard

by Jennifer Chappell Wed, 18 Feb 2009 8:54 pm EST

We've seen the demo videos and the glossy photos of the Palm Pre's keyboard. And Dieter has actually seen the Pre in person twice. Lucky guy! I haven't seen it in person yet, but I think that the Pre and its keyboard look awesome!

I've mentioned many times in Round Robin articles at TreoCentral how much I love slider keyboards. Like I said, I just think it's neat having a keyboard hidden away. To me, there's just a coolness factor about it. And besides, with the upcoming Palm Pre, having the keyboard hidden away means that the screen gets all that big real estate on front of the device. I'd much rather have a larger screen than have a physical keyboard at the bottom, under the screen.

I've never had the pleasure of using a vertical slider, but I would imagine that I would like it even better than a horizontal slider. My only concern with the vertical vs. a horizontal slider would be when viewing the Pre in landscape mode and needing to type something while there. I've seen videos demoed on the Pre in landscape mode and remember someone at the Palm keynote showing a web page in landscape mode. But you'd have to have an onscreen keyboard in order to type in landscape mode. And we know that the Pre doesn't ship with such software, though there will probably be 3rd party apps for that. I hope anyway. I tend to read web pages in portrait mode on my iPhone though so I have no problem with viewing stuff on the Pre in the same mode. And I think that even if there were to be a 3rd party app for an onscreen keyboard in the future, I'd still stick to using the Pre in portrait mode with my keyboard slid out. One reason is because I still can't type very well on the iPhone's keyboard without making mistakes. I know that I'd make fewer mistakes by typing on the Pre's hardware keyboard. And wouldn't an onscreen keyboard take up part of the screen? I want to be able to see the entire gorgeous screen and type, and surf the web at the same time.

The Pre's slider is a banana slider so that means that it will curve the microphone towards your face.  Oops! Actually, the microphone is on the front of the Pre so it wouldn't move closer to your face.  Thanks Mark for pointing that out! 

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