Palm Pre & webOS First Impressions
Palm Pre Smartphone & Next-Generation webOS Finally Deliver Not Only Revolutionary Innovation But Also A Work Of Passion & Love
It’s amazing what a difference 24 hours can make in your life… In my case, as many will have noticed over the last couple of weeks, I had reached an all time low where my passion and excitement for all things Palm had been almost completely depleted with thoughts of leaving to another device such as the iPhone or BlackBerry crossing my mind daily (even though I surprisingly actually rather love my Treo Pro).
The fact is that from its inception this blog was above all a dedicated work of passion – one so strong that it captured the imagination of millions and along with other equally dedicated sites helped vault the Treo smartphone to the top of its league.
Although I remained unflinchingly loyal to this community, Palm and our Treo throughout the good and bad years there is no doubt that in recent times I nonetheless found it increasingly more difficult to bring my dedication and energy to work every day.
Those who have followed me over the years will know that I have a complete aversion to BS and spend virtually all of my time looking for the needles in the haystack that will ignite both my passion and imagination on a daily basis – I basically find it nearly impossible to write about anything that doesn’t in one way or another get me excited.
I mention all of this because as you will read below in my first impressions of the next-generation Palm webOS and Pre smartphone I personally feel that aside from all the innovation or bells and whistles that the new software and hardware may bring to the table it ultimately pales in comparison to the importance of Palm’s ability to reignite our passion and imagination.
After reaching a seemingly insurmountable low, I am slowly but surely beginning to recharge my batteries and feel that Palm’s webOS and Pre smartphone mark the start of the company’s turnaround – few if any will dispute the fact that this new combination of hardware and software is the most significant development in the mobile space since the release of the iPhone and I am naturally extremely excited by all the potential that this opens.
Palm webOS First Impressions
The ultimate virtues and limitations of using an OS are always extremely hard to assess without the benefit of actually holding a device in your hands and playing around with it for a while. Having said this, during the various demonstrations that I was given at CES the Palm webOS with its many “Synergy” components clearly showed how well it manages to “mesh” and “mash” multiple functionalities and data streams in a completely new and unique manner.
In my opinion the meshing and mashing that the Palm Synergy offers is by far the greatest strength of the new webOS as it takes the whole idea of “multitasking” and integrating disparate data sources (such as Google Calendar and Facebook among others) to a completely new level.
Having said this, the fact that your smartphone can multitask is ultimately not as important as having a smartphone that allows YOU to multitask and this is undoubtedly one of the areas where the Palm webOS shines.
Where competing operating systems still use a rather “linear” approach to performing a task, the Palm webOS on the other hand immediately gives you the ability to quickly work on five or ten things simultaneously – all within an environment that closely resembles the one you currently use on your PC but which has been fully adapted for a mobile device.
This alone makes me feel that the webOS is not only taking the whole idea of “mobile computing” to a completely new level but is also the first mobile OS that truly integrates and extends the power of the web within your smartphone and not just your mobile browser.
Palm Pre Smartphone First Impressions
Like me, many people may look at the images of the Pre smartphone (particularly when closed) and not quite get the immediate sense of satisfaction that comes from looking at a beautiful object – the Pre is certainly not ugly but it also, at first sight, does not appear to have an “iconic” design.
As I nonetheless quickly discovered, the fact is that the Pre smartphone reveals its true beauty when you hold it in your hands – it is one of the most “organic” devices that I have come across in a very long time. The combination of size, texture and rounded contours of the Pre make you want to gently caress it like a pebble with your hand and fingers while it rests comfortably in your palm – you simply don’t want to let go of it.
Additionally, the real benefit of the Pre smartphone comes from the combination of a full portrait (320 x 480 pixels) multitouch screen with a vertical sliding full QWERTY keyboard. Not only does this combination offer you the very best of both worlds but I personally also feel that the Pre simply looks stunning with its keyboard extended.
It’s hard to explain but after holding the Pre in my hands I came away with the sense that most smartphones on the market today feel like “machines designed by machines” while the Pre is the first in my opinion that delivers a high-tech tool that has been crafted by artists with a love and passion that no Palm smartphone has had since the release of the Treo 600 some five years ago.
Gone are the days that narrow-minded accountants and engineers seemed to set the design and specification for Palm smartphones. It’s now quickly evident that from a design perspective alone the Pre smartphone clearly illustrates how Palm has finally been able to regain its “mojo” and I hope that with it the company will once again be on the path to deliver truly revolutionary devices.
As someone mentioned elsewhere, compared to the Pre most competing smartphones “feel as if they’re still in Beta” and I have to admit that after letting it go from my hands at CES I have experienced some very serious withdrawal symptoms – I don’t think that I have so absolutely and categorically wanted to own something in years and I am trying to figure out how I can possibly convince Palm to send me an evaluation unit well ahead of its estimated release date between March and May this year.
While I will naturally delve into much greater detail over the Palm webOS and Pre smartphone in the coming days and weeks the single most important point that supercedes all matters of features, functionalities and specifications at this stage is simply the fact that for me at least Palm has finally again been able to capture my heart and mind in a way that I have not felt in many years.
This ability to rekindle both my passion and imagination and that of millions of devoted Palm fans is without a doubt the single greatest achievement that has come out of the company’s new webOS and Pre smartphone announcements last week. The goodwill that was almost completely depleted will not be filled back overnight but I feel that at long last the “Zen of Palm” has returned and I am confident that we will all finally be able to rejoice again having truly stunning and beloved devices in the palm of our hands.
In the meantime, if you haven’t already done so, please take a moment to share your opinion about both the webOS and Pre smartphone with your fellow Treonauts below:
Treonauts are always full of passion…