Palm Pre looks doggish

I am a technology and gadget fanatic. I’m the kind of guy who sat in line when the iPhone 3G came out for five hours, and settled for opening a new phone account and taking a new phone number when Apple’s servers failed to recognize that my 1st generation iPhone account was eligible for upgrade. So when Palm announced the Pre I was eager to read as much about it and watch as many videos showing it off as I could. A lot of the things they are doing are pretty smart. For instance, using your existing accounts with google, facebook, and others(?) to sync to your device in real-time, so a friend’s address change on facebook would automatically update your phone as well. Although, those kinds of things can be brought into the fold of any software used to manage contacts, it’s just a matter of time before other phone OSes can/will do the same thing.
While I was watching some videos of the Palm Pre being demoed though, it struck me as odd at how long it took for applications to open. This phone is supposed to be using the new OMAP4 processor, which is the successor to the OMAP3, both from Texas instruments, but when I launched a similar application using my iPhone 3G it easily opened every single application demoed on the video at least three times faster. As an example, in this video: Palm Pre Demo the woman demoing the photos app pressed the Photos icon just after the video starts. On the iPhone pressing the Photos application at the same time got me in the app and ready to select a category in 3 seconds, but the Pre took 14-15 seconds to fully load the Photo app!! I know that the software was probably a demo, and they will presumably speed things up, but even if they triple the load speed you’re still waiting about 5 seconds. There are times I can’t tolerate waiting for an iPhone app to load up, I can’t imagine how frustrating it would be to use the Pre if things keep going this way.
Another thing which is really more a matter of preference is the fact that the Pre simply shows up as a storage device when connected to a computer. In certain ways, this is cool. You can use whatever software you want to manage your media, and you can easily drag and drop music, videos, and photos from your computer to the phone. However, I am pretty tied into iTunes since I have been using it for 4-5 years now, and the convenience of creating playlists based on rules like (include only songs that are rated between 4-5 stars and haven’t been played in more than 30 days) is not to be overlooked. Now, there are third party applications which let you take those playlists from iTunes and sync them to the storage device of your choosing, but it isn’t as clean or easy as connecting the iPhone to your computer and letting it do it’s thing while you do something else. I really like the ability to set things up with rules, and then never have to worry about it again. I haven’t had to tweak the way I sync media to my phone in 6 months. I simply connect, and get all the latest podcasts, videos, and music I want onto my phone without any fuss. I’m sure there must be other ways to accomplish this, but I haven’t seen anything yet which is as convenient as iTunes/iPhone for this, but I’m open to new ideas.
I hope Palm is able to make things really great on the Pre, as it looks like a really great phone, but if you have to wait more than 5 seconds for anything to load, or in the double-digits, I have a feeling a lot of people will be returning them for less impressive phones that can do the same stuff without the pretty interface or slow load times.

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Author: jayholler

A technology lover living in California with my wife and two children.

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