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9 years ago

Amazon Whispersync app for the Pre?

Amazon Whispersync app for the Pre?

by Jennifer Chappell Tue, 10 Feb 2009 5:38 pm EST

Whether or not you read ebooks, you've probably heard of the Kindle device from Amazon. Well, a Kindle 2 has just been unveiled, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos talked about it at a press conference yesterday.

The interesting detail that caught our eyes and that of Silicon Alley Insider is a new syncing service called Whispersync. Amazon mentioned the Whispersync technology in their press release, saying that it automatically syncs Kindle 2 and the original Kindle, making transitioning to the new Kindle 2 or using both devices easy for customers. "Kindle 2 will also synce with a range of mobile devices in the future."

According to Silicon Alley Insider:

Whispersync "Syncs up your place in an e-book across multiple devices, including the original Kindle, the new Kindle 2, and other devices in the future, such as mobile phones."

"The way we see this working: Start reading a book on your Kindle, read the next chapter on an iPhone, maybe skim a bit at work on your PC, and then read more on the Kindle on the train ride home."

Now that sounds really cool! I read a lot of ebooks on my Palm smartphones, PDAs, and iPhone. Sometimes I have the same ebook on my Treo 680, Centro, Palm TX, and iPhone. That way, no matter which device I happen to be carrying, I can continue reading in that particular ebook. Of course I have to find the last page I was on whenever I switch devices. But it sounds like with Whispersync, you'll automatically be taken to that last page on all your devices. Sweet!

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9 years ago

Palm Pre Profiles: Adam Kaufman, Accessory Product Manager

Palm Pre Profiles: Adam Kaufman, Accessory Product Manager

by Dieter Bohn Tue, 10 Feb 2009 4:14 pm EST

Palm has posted up another of their Pre Profiles -- this time it's of Adam Kaufman, Product Manager at Palm in charge of Accessories.  In other words, he's the man responsible for bringing Touchstone to us.  The inspiration for the wireless-charging-via-magnetic-induction wonder?  The lowly electric toothbrush, which uses the same method. 

As with the last profile, Kaufman will be answering questions on Palm's Facebook board.  It's something to keep an eye on, as last time we got a pretty full answer on the whole "expansion card" debate.  Palm recommends asking him about Tequila, the universal accessory.  We recommend you don't partake of that particular accessory before you submit your question.  Friends don't let friends anticipate the run-up to the Pre drunk.

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9 years ago

What is the Pre's Target Market?

What is the Pre's Target Market?

by Derek Meyer Tue, 10 Feb 2009 10:09 am EST

Michael Mace is a former Palm employee, in more recent years he's established a well-deserved reputation as one of the smartest voices in the mobile space.  So we'd be remiss if we didn't point to his comments on the Pre fromhis blog, Mobile Opportunity.

He starts with a point that has come up before--the difference between the Pre and Palm's previous devices--and makes it more bluntly than most, almost alluding to the Greek myth of the phoenix:

Palm died. Palm OS died. Get over it.

Now let's talk about this new company, and product, that happens to be named Palm. I don't know if they'll survive or not, but they have a chance, and they're definitely interesting.

While he likes the hardware and software of the Pre, his top concern about the device and what it means for Palm is that the Pre's target market is unclear:

Mobile devices that sell well usually have a well-defined market of people who look at them and say, "that one's perfect for me."... [The Pre is] apparently perfect for people who want a compromise between a Blackberry and an iPhone, but don't need the best of either. Who are those people? And are there enough of them to make a business for Palm? I honestly don't know.

Mace does seem to describe the market that Palm claims to be aiming for pretty accurately.  Palm and Elevation Partners have said that they're planning to be successful with both Apple and RIM still in the game. The question, then, is whether Palm is right that there are plenty of people who do fit in that segment and -- more importantly -- whether or not RIM and Apple will be able to expand their markets into that "fat middle" before the Pre can establish a place there.

Well, one more question: can the Pre actually eat into the customer base for either BlackBerry or the iPhone, or are those market segments solidified?  Any switchers out there care to comment -- why does the Pre appeal to you as a BlackBerry or iPhone owner?

 

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9 years ago

Webcast Wednesday: Colligan to Present at TWP Conference

Webcast Wednesday: Colligan to Present at TWP Conference

by Annie Latham Mon, 09 Feb 2009 4:34 pm EST

Palm's CEO Ed Colligan is scheduled to present at the Thomas Weisel Partners Technology, Telecom & Internet Conference 2009 on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009 at 9:10 a.m. Pacific Time. Palm is inviting investors to listen to the live webcast at http://investor.palm.com/events.cfm.

Thomas Weisel Partners is a global growth-focused investment bank. Their Annual Technology & Telecom Conference, which is being held at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, runs from Monday, February 9 to Wednesday, February 11. Institutional investors and company management are gathering for this three-day conference, which will focus on opportunities and challenges in the technology and telecom sectors for 2009 and beyond.

There are over 225 companies being showcased at the conference, representing applied technologies, communications equipment, computer systems and storage, electronic supply chain, information and financial technology services, semiconductors, software and telecom services. Of that list, Virgin Mobile is the one obvious telecom participant. Intel and Microsoft are also slated to present.

This can be considered a friendly environment for Palm. Matthew Sheerin, who usually covers the electronic supply chain arena, has been keeping a watchful eye on Palm. After the CES announcement about the Pre, Sheerin issued a note to clients saying, “It gets Palm back on the playing field with its smart phone rivals. Yet we believe there will still be major hurdles to overcome in the next few quarters."

He followed that up with another note to investors last Tuesday where he raised his estimates for 2009, to a profit of $1.75 per share from $1.63.  Per an AP story posted at CNBC, Sheerin said the "'wow' factor of the Pre (and the WebOS operating system), positive press acceptance — essentially the opposite of RIM's Storm — and an upcoming massive marketing campaign should set Palm up for a strong second half to 2009.

Details on the Thomas Weisel Partners Technology, Telecom & Internet Conference 2009 can be found here.

For Palm’s announcement and information on how to participate in the live webcast of the presentation, check here.  Note: They have a “remind me” feature you can access here.

It will be interesting to hear if Colligan offers any further clues on the availability of the Pre and pricing.

 

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9 years ago

The "No MicroSD" Debate

The "No MicroSD" Debate

by Jennifer Chappell Mon, 09 Feb 2009 11:19 am EST

It didn't take long after the Palm Pre was announced at CES for folks to realize what a big hit that Palm has on their hands. Also soon realized was that the Pre doesn't have a microSD card slot. I believe there might have been a little confusion at first when some folks thought that someone mentioned an SD card slot during one of the Pre demonstrations. But as soon as the truth was realized, our forum members began to talk about the lack of the microSD card slot.

Some people think that Palm made a mistake by not including a microSD card slot, and some people don't think it's a big deal.
So, we have some back and forth, a sort of debate, going on in the Pre forums where there are some great opinions coming out of both corners.

Let's look at some of the debating in the forums. We'll start with the thread "Has WIRELESS charging and Micro SD/USB ports". This thread was started on the day that Palm first announced the Pre. And so begins the great "No microSD in the Pre" debate. The main two reasons for people wanting a microSD card slot in the Pre according to this and most of the other pertaining threads is so that a user can "backup their stuff" on an external card and so that the user will have "extra room for media".

The folks who don't think the lack of SD storage is a deal breaker figure that the Pre's 8GB on board will be sufficient. Some say that the Pre will sync with the Cloud and will backup what is needed. Forum member Rhody notes that "a PC application could backup/restore the contents of the Pre to your computer."

Forum member letsogflyers81 responds:

"Yes but not when you're away from home and not near a computer. That's what's great about memory cards and programs that can backup to, and restore from them."

Forum member ivhs72 says that he's concerned about the lack of any expansion card functionality as he had an 8GB iPhone that was okay but filled up rather quickly once he started putting GPS data, maps, documents and apps on it. He also says that the ability to back up to an external card is an essential feature.

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9 years ago

Palm Pre Gets Spotted at TED

Palm Pre Gets Spotted at TED

by Dieter Bohn Mon, 09 Feb 2009 10:51 am EST

If you've never heard of TED, prepare to lose an afternoon or five to watching some of the most incredible lectures, talks, and tech demos you've ever seen. Examples: Malcom Gladwell at the peak of his game, Ze Frank at the cusp of his internet stardom, Multitouch's coming-out party, and learning why what you think will make you happy is, well, not (if you only hit one of these links, hit that last one).  TED is an invite-only conference for innovative thinkers and other interesting and imporant people.  Heck, it's going on now and Bill Gates spoke last week about Malaria -- he released freaking (uninfected) mosquitos into the crowd to show just how serious the problem is.

Anyway, bottom line is that exciting stuff happens at TED and this year is no exception.  PrePoint caught the Tweets from folks at the show claiming they they got some eyes-on time with the Palm Pre from Roger McNamee (aka our hero).  No details, sadly (they asked for no video), but the little guy is making the rounds and getting shown to the beautiful nerdy intelligent people.  Now if it would only get released for us little people.

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9 years ago

Around SPE for 9 February, 2009

Around SPE for 9 February, 2009

by Dieter Bohn Sun, 08 Feb 2009 7:11 pm EST

After the completion of the hectic Smartphone Round Robin, your faithful bloggers at Smartphone Experts decided to keep things moving along at a heady clip. In the past week we have published somewhere in the neighborhood of 175 stories, from accessory and software reviews to news to the latest rumors. That's a lot to keep track of, so we're bringing back our regular "Around SPE" feature to give you a quick summary of what you may have missed in a format that's more helpful than just a list of links.

In that vein, our biggest recent news is that our newest sister site, Nokia Experts is starting strong with a launch contest. If you would like to earn some chances at winning a Nokia E71 or Nokia N85, make sure to enter the contest each week. There are two weeks left to go, so check back as each week we're changing up how you can enter to win!

There's plenty more smartphone news you may have missed, so read on!

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9 years ago

In Addition to Pre, How is Sprint Righting the Ship?

In Addition to Pre, How is Sprint Righting the Ship?

by Brian Hart Fri, 06 Feb 2009 4:11 pm EST

 

Dan Hesse, the captain and CEO of the Sprint Nextel ship, has taken the helm amidst a troubled economic sea, but just as Sprint has bled away another 1.3 million customers last quarter, Mr. Hesse bleeds optimism about his company's future. Ryan Kim of SFGate.com had an opportunity to interview with Mr. Hesse and get some insight as to how Sprint will recover in troubled times.

In efforts to make Sprint more seaworthy, Mr. Hesse describes their focus on customer service and matching "action with our rhetoric." Retail employees are incentivized to assist customers with their concerns in the store, whether it's about finding the right phone or fixing a problem with their bill. He has made headway in making sure that stores have the tools and systems they need to create a better customer experience, focusing on "measuring customer satisfaction in the store experience" versus a focus on sales only.

It's just about impossible, though, to talk about Sprint Nextel improving their service and sales and ignore the 800 pound gorilla in the room - Sprint's retail exclusivity on the Palm Pre. When asked about the importance of the Pre to Sprint and the competitive edge it may give Sprint in the smartphone market, Mr. Hesse replied:

In today's market, iconic devices, no question, they move the needle, they grab attention. And we're very excited about the Palm Pre. I will give (BlackBerry manufacturer) Research In Motion credit for creating a great business phone and the iPhone, I give it credit for being a great consumer device. This is the first one I belive that really crosses both. It's an outstanding business device and it's also a whole life consumer device. It's a combination of a superb touch screen with a physical keypad, which is, for a heavy e-mailer and texter, a must. We think it's going to be a very successful device.

We also believe that the Palm Pre is going to make huge waves for Sprint, and hopefully for them, those waves will be just what they need, along with their improved customer experience, to move their ship full steam ahead. For all you Sprint customers out there, do you agree with an improved customer experience? How successful do you think the Pre will be for Sprint?

[sfgate.com]

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9 years ago

The Straight Story About That Mysterious Mojo.js File

The Straight Story About That Mysterious Mojo.js File

by Jason Robitaille Fri, 06 Feb 2009 10:11 am EST

By now most everyone addicted to Pre news knows about a file found on Palm's website called Mojo.js.  It didn't take long for blogs and news sites to dive deeper. There was speculation that a company called Blast Radius was involved in webOS's upcoming Mojo SDK.  There was also much speculation that Mojo is a mobile version of the DojoToolkit, based off the various Dojo references within that file.

Those speculations were pushed forward when DojoToolkit's twitter page started mentioning Palm and the Pre. A blog post from new Blast Radius employee seemingly connected the dots between Mojo, Dojo and Blast Radius.  It all fits together so well doesn't it?  How could it not be true?

This post was originally going to be a summary of the situation (well look at that, it's already happened!). But in the process of researching the situation I fired off a quick email to Brian Mitchinson, the VP of Marketing at Blast Radius.  In a refreshing change from all of the mystery surrounding the Pre, I got a rather prompt reply full of -- get this -- straightfoward facts:

- Last year, Palm’s corporate marketing team hired Blast Radius to overhaul Palm’s website, which launched simultaneously with the announcement of Palm Pre and Palm webOS at CES.

- Palm called their framework Mojo, which just happened to be the same name as Blast Radius’ Mojo – which refers to a proprietary front-end framework we have created using Dojo, which we use on client engagements.

- Palm will be releasing more details on what exactly Palm Mojo is in the next few weeks, but they can safely say right now that it is NOT what you saw in mojo.js on Palm.com.

Palm will be reaching out to the folks who have been writing about this to clarify directly with them.

So there you have it.  The whole thing is just series of coincidences.  Palm's Mojo SDK for the webOS still looks to be primarily their creation until we hear otherwise.

Special thanks to Brian Mitchinson and Blast Radius for clearing things up!

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9 years ago

Ask PreCentral.net: How Will I Sync to a Mac?

Ask PreCentral.net: How Will I Sync to a Mac?

by Dieter Bohn Thu, 05 Feb 2009 2:19 pm EST

You have Pre questions.  We have plenty of Pre answers.  Ask us here!  That's what William did, he writes in with an excellent question for us:

I have an iPhone -- and love how contacts and calendar syncs wireless vis my mac to iphone and vice versa. Will the Pre have a similar way to sync that info?

The long and short of it is this: yes, but probably not via Mobile Me.  The webOS has this incredibly cool feature called Synergy that automatically syncs all of your data from multiple sources in the 'cloud' of the internet on down to your Pre.  Some of that stuff will probably sync via 'Push' technology -- aka it will happen near-instantaneously just like it does with MobileMe.  So far we're only expecting 'Push" to work with Exchange servers.  The rest will likely be interval-based, i.e. it will update once an hour or however often you like.

All of which is just some necessary background information before we hit the answer, which comes after the break!

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