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Palm Pre Accessories Top 10 List

Current Most Popular Accessories for Palm Pre Includes Touchstone, Extended Battery, Skin, Charger, Holster & Screen Protector


I have been doing some research regarding the most popular Palm Pre Accessories that are available today and I have to admit that some of the findings are pretty interesting.

Top 10 Palm Pre Accessories

Palm Touchstone1. Palm Touchstone Charging Kit (Dock+Back Cover) for Pre

The Palm Pre is certainly not without its faults but the Touchstone is an absolutely unique accessory that currently only Preonauts can enjoy.  The overwhelming popularity of the Touchstone is a testament to the ingenuity and renewed market savvy of Palm engineers and designers – a very cool little gadget.

Extended Battery for Palm Pre2. Seidio Innocell 1350mAh Extended Battery for Palm Pre

The matter of relatively poor Palm Pre battery life is probably the one that most concerns Preonauts.  Seidio’s 1350mAh may only deliver a little over 10% more power than the standard Palm Pre battery but this certainly hasn’t stopped Preonauts from rushing to buy one – it appears that every little ounce of juice counts a lot… 

Palm Touchstone Dock3. Palm Touchstone Charging Dock (Dock Only) for Pre

For those completely infatuated with the Touchstone it’s clear that having “only” one is simply not enought.  A great number of Preonauts are choosing to buy a second Touchstone dock to, for example, keep at the office.

Skin for Palm Pre4. BodyGuardz Protective Skin for Palm Pre

This ultrathin yet ultrastrong protective “invisible body skin” is made from the same material used to protect military helicopter blades and ensure that you can keep your Pre fully protected from accidental scratches that may occur during daily use.  As an aside I happen to really like the tecture of the film – particularly when you use your fingers on the touchscreen.

Car charger for Palm Pre5. Palm Vehicle Power Charger for Palm Pre

A lot of people appear to favour this original Palm car charger but to be honest I personally found the Motorola microUSB Car Charger to be considerably better – not only because it’s cheaper but also because I love the overall design of the product.

Charger for Palm Pre6. Seidio High Output Folding Travel Charger

As I recently found out, not all microUSB wall chargers work with the Pre and at present the cheapest option is this Seidio wall charger but another better one should be available from Smartphone Experts soon.

Screen Protector for Palm Pre7. Smartphone Experts Screen Protectors

These screen protectors are not the best that I’ve ever come across but they do get the job done – something that seems to be more than enough for most people.

Holster for Palm Pre8. Seidio Holster for Palm Pre

This is the first holster available for the Palm Pre and it’s surprisingly good – one of the most ideal solutions to quickly answer calls by your side.  Having said this, just this past week Seidio released another Palm Pre holster which now also offers audio port access.

Sync & Charge Cable for Palm Pre9. Smartphone Experts Micro USB Retractable Sync & Charge Cable

Perhaps one of the most basic accessories in any smartphone arsenal, this retractable sync & charge cable is small and light – measuring only 4.5 inches when closed but a full 2 feet when open.  Always highly recommended.

Palm Micro USB Travel Cable10. Palm Micro USB Travel Cable

This travel cable from Palm is designed to be lighter and shorter (76cm) than the standard microUSB cable – ideal when you want to pack less when on the go.

Over the coming weeks I will also be taking a closer look at these bestselling accessories and review each individually.

Preonauts are always fully kitted

Posted by Andrew on July 16, 2009 at 03:47 PM

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Top 20 Palm Pre Feature Requests

Preonauts Share Ideas, Feature Requests To Improve The Palm Pre

Palm-Pre-Feature-RequestsAlthough I’ve had my share of issues (nothing really major) with the Palm Pre I have to admit that I have been very (pleasantly) surprised to see just how overwhelmingly positive the general feedback has been to date – it appears that the vast majority of Preonauts are either extremely or very satisfied with their purchase.

The Palm Pre webOS is still far from perfect in its v1.0.4 iteration but it does nonetheless seem to offer a veritable wealth of possibilities – something that until now only the iPhone appeared to provide.

The overall excitement surrounding the Palm Pre has naturally awakened the passion of many to get involved and help make this smartphone even better.  Below is a list of the Top 20 Palm Pre Feature Requests as voted by Preonauts:

1. Blinking center button for notifications [698 Votes]
Enable the option for center button LED to blink or stay lit (based on user preference) as a visual notification indicator when screen is off.

I had not really thought about this but I guess that the idea is for it to function just as it already does on the Palm Treo Pro. [The functionality is apparently in the Palm Pre ROM but not yet enabled.]

2. Improve battery life [588 Votes]

As I had already outlined in my Palm Pre Battery Life Tips post, there are many ways that you can improve battery life with some simple tweaks.  Having said this, what Preonauts evidently _really_ want is for Palm to figure out a way to either build a higher capacity battery for the Pre and/or to figure out ways to further optimize the OS to deliver longer battery life.

3. Customization of system sounds [475 Votes]
Enable the ability to customize control over all system sounds and events, i.e. separate sounds for New SMS, New Email, New Voicemail, etc.

Clearly, the matter of “personalization” via unique systems sounds is something that would be absolutely great to have…

4. Improve copy/paste functionality [362 Votes]
Extend copy/paste functionality to non-editable text, images (i.e. webpages)

Although the Palm Pre does have a copy/paste functionality the fact is that it’s “messy” and needs much improvement still.  As this feature request also notes, there is currently no way to copy text from webpages, SMS messages and other places…

5. Visual Voicemail [310 Votes]
Enable visual voicemail feature, with a position slider to move back and forth within the voicemail.

I have a feeling that the lack of visual voicemail has less to do with Palm than it has to do with Sprint but hopefully they’ll both eventually figure this out since dialling into my voicemail is becoming rather old-fashioned…

6. Video Recording App [251 Votes]
I have to assume that Palm did not add video recording simply because it did not have the time to complete this function in time for launch but that it will become available soon.

7. SDK (Software Development Kit) [250 Votes]
The release of the Palm Pre SDK (Software Development Kit) is probably inevitable, but vote this one up if it's of interest for YOU.

The main benefit to you of the webOS SDK release is simply that this means that there will be a lot more apps available so evidently this is a rather important major request…

8. On-screen keyboard [234 Votes]
Allow the optional ability to toggle an onscreen keyboard, which would be especially useful in landscape mode.

I absolutely love the physical keyboard on the Pre but it’s also true that sometimes I wish that I didn’t have to slide the keyboard out and could simply type on the screen.  The main implementation limitation is likely going to be that the screen is too small to fit a virtual keyboard in portrait mode but a landscape mode should be feasible.

9. Improve signal strength [187 Votes]
My coworkers with their Blackberry's and their Palm Treo's have no problem getting good signal strength in my area. Why should those of us who have adopted the Palm Pre suffer with poor signal reception?

I have personally had the opportunity to test a Sprint Palm Pre and a Sprint Treo Pro to determine their relative signal strength and the fact is that they both performed _exactly_ the same so not sure what this issue is about…

10. Optional "Today" screen as home screen [145 Votes]
Allow customizable "Today" screen as optional homepage replacement, which could include the latest two emails or text messages, the next two calendar events, etc.

This definitely gets my vote – I would love to have a Today screen with modules from apps such as weather, email, calendar, messaging and more all integrated in one view (much like on my Treo Pro).

11. Data tethering (Phone as Modem) [139 Votes]
Allow the use of the phone as an internet connection via USB or Bluetooth.

Considering how much you’re paying for the phone, voice and data plan it’s kind of ridiculous that the Pre does not offer tethering.  Please note that this is _entirely_ an issue related to Sprint and not Palm though.

12. Add a good spell checker and autocorrect. [134 Votes]

I hate making “speling miztaques” when writing on my Pre… ;-)  Would be nice if it could help me avoid the embarrassment…

13. Make it so you can filter Gmail and Facebook contacts. [92 Votes]

My understanding is that most of the filtering issues are caused by the Google and Facebook API’s but it would certainly be nice if “someone” could fix them…

14. Turn off backlight for touchstone (option) [91 Votes]
Need the option to disable the backlight when using the Touchstone charger. For both conservation of LEDs and excess ambient light at night.

I found this issue particularly annoying since I like to sleep with the Pre next to my bed overnight resting on its Touchstone.  The problem is that the backlight is so strong that I kept waking up to it…

15. Slide-out keyboard answers and hangs up calls [84 Votes]
Allow the user to set a preference to slide out the keyboard to answer a call, and slide in the keyboard to hang up a call.

There are some usability difficulties in enabling this but as long as it’s set as a user preference I really don’t see why Palm could not implement…

16. Email Search [76 Votes]
I never knew how much I depended on this feature! I get tons of emails every day, and the ability to search the inbox is greatly needed.

Considering how much effort has gone into the Pre “Universal Search” functionality it is indeed more than annoying that you can’t search/filter your emails…

17. Voice control [76 Votes]
Add the ability to dial contacts and control music settings with spoken commands.

If Palm can’t do this themselves I very much hope that they will allow existing voice command solutions to be installed via 3rd party apps in the future…

18. Stronger Vibrate [63 Votes]

I would add not only stronger vibrate but also louder speaker since I regularly cannot hear my phone ringing…

19. Touchstone car charger [47 Votes]
A Touchstone charger for the car would be mighty handy, especially for extended trips that require the Pre's excellent GPS Navigation App!

As I pointed out in my Palm Touchstone For Pre In Your Car post, you can install it to power your Pre but it would indeed be ideal if Palm could provide a Touchstone _specifically_ designed for in-car use…

20. Open PDF’s in web browser [36 Votes]

Although you can view PDF’s already saved within your internal Pre memory there is (quite annoyingly) no way to view PDF’s from within your browser as you get an error message stating “Cannot find an application which can open this file”…  Another thing is that there is also no option to “Save target as…” within the browser either…

Overall, aside from the above Top 20 Feature Requests, I have to say that my own top request is: Please find a way for me to sync multiple Outlook Contact folders with my Pre.  [I’m told that a couple of developers are actively working to make this happen but for now at least I’ve only been able to transfer 100 of my 3,000 contacts…]

Make A Difference.  Get Involved.

The starting point for any future improvements on the Palm Pre is YOU.  If you have ideas about how you would improve the overall Pre experience then I suggest that you get involved by visiting this Palm Pre Feature Requests feedback forum and either create a new idea or vote for one or more of the existing ideas that you would most like to see implemented.  As they say, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem…”

Preonauts always get involved

Posted by Andrew on July 9, 2009 at 01:28 PM

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Palm Touchstone For Pre In Your Car

Options To Charge Your Pre With The Palm Touchstone Charging Dock In Your Car


There’s no doubt that one of the very coolest accessories for any smartphone in the world today is the Palm Touchstone Charging Dock pictured above – a small base and battery cover that allows you to charge your new Palm Pre wirelessly (without the need to have a physical cable directly plugged into your device) and which even iPhoniacs crave.

Strong magnets on the Touchstone Dock combined with small metal plates built into the Palm Touchstone Back Cover (included as part of the kit) ensure that your Pre is securely attached to the base at all times (you can turn your Touchstone upside down and the Pre will still hold on).

As I found out to my delight, the Touchstone Dock is also an ideal solution to hold and charge your Palm Pre in the car (I tested with both the Palm Vehicle Power Charger and Motorola MicroUSB Car Charger).  As some Preonauts have discovered however, the Touchstone will unfortunately not work in all car models – some 12–Volt car adapters such as the one found in my Infinity FX35 and many BMW’s work fine but others simply don’t appear to deliver enough power…

I haven’t decided exactly where I’ll position the Touchstone in my car yet but it will be either on the dashboard (using velcro or industrial strength double sided tape) or somewhere in my center console (where my 12–Volt adapter is actually located).  Ideally though, I would like to see Palm come out with a specially designed Touchstone for the car at some point in the future.


Another determined Preonaut actually wanted an even “cleaner” in-car Pre charging solution – one that would show no wires and that would fit seamlessly in his center console so he mounted a Touchstone on the center console of his BMW (2008 335 convertible pictured above) and ran a Sprint car charger with a mini-USB connector from the Touchstone to the car's electrical system.

The above setup will clearly not work well if you’re planning to rely on the built-in GPS navigation capabilities of your Palm Pre (where you need to have the device in front of you) but if all you want to is to have an elegant and discrete solution to simply charge your smartphone without having to regularly plug and unplug wires then I can’t think of a better option.

Separately, please note that the Palm Touchstone kit will be available in four flavours:

  1. The first one provides you with one Charging Dock + one Back Cover but no wall charger (MSRP $69.99)
  2. The second provides you with one Charging Dock only with no Back Cover to use as a secondary unit in your car or at the office (MSRP $49.99)
  3. The third provides you with one Charging Dock + one International Wall Charger (MSRP $79.99)
  4. The fourth provides you two Charging Docks + one Back Cover + one International Wall Charger (MSRP $139.99)

Also, if you have already tested the Touchstone in your car and it works please let your fellow Preonauts know what car and model you have via the comments link below.

[BMW Touchstone image via ismashphone]

Preonauts are always fully charged

Posted by Andrew on June 19, 2009 at 12:59 PM

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Palm Pre Battery Life Tips

Battery for Palm Pre – Optimization Tips & Accessories To Keep Your Palm Pre Battery At Maximum Power


Now that over 100,000 Preonauts already have a Palm Pre in their hands it’s clear that one of the first things on their minds is ensuring not only that they learn as much as possible about their new smartphone but also that they get as much as they can out of it.  One particular area – maximizing Palm Pre battery life and performance – appears to have grown to be that of most concern. 

Although the Palm Pre delivers a healthy 5 hours of Talk Time under normal conditions, it appears that in some circumstances – particularly for 1) Power Users who want all functionality and features to be ON all the time and 2) people who are within an area that has poor Sprint wireless coverage (one or two bars) – the Palm Pre battery can drain more quickly (within half a day). 

There are undoubtedly things that Palm can and will do to further enhance the Pre battery performance but the fact is nonetheless that, as with many other devices, overall battery life ultimately depends on how you use your phone.  In this respect, you can maximize the life of your battery by following a few easy guidelines and/or buy a variety of power accessories such as the great Touchstone charger or simply a spare battery outlined below.

Maximize Your Palm Pre Battery Life – Software Settings Tips

  • Screen Auto-Off & Screen Brightness [Screen & Lock App]
    1. Set your screen to turn off automatically after a shorter period of inactivity (ideally 30 seconds)
    2. Lower the screen brightness (set it at around 40%)
  • Email Fetch Interval [Email App > Preferences > Accounts]
    If you set up an email account in the Email application, set the interval to automatically download email to every two hours or less frequently.
  • IM [Messaging App > Buddies]
    Avoid excessive use of instant messaging (IM). Frequent use of IM can significantly reduce battery life.

Maximize Your Palm Pre Battery Life – General Tips

  • WiFi, Bluetooth & GPS (Location Services)
    Turn off the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS features when you are not using them.
  • Wireless Coverage
    As with any mobile phone, if you are in an area with no wireless coverage, your phone continues to search for a signal, which consumes power. Turn off your phone if you are outside a coverage area.
  • Heat & Sunlight
    Keep your battery away from direct sunlight and other sources of heat. Temperatures over 50 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit) can permanently reduce the capacity and life span of any lithium-ion battery.

Please Note:
Overall I have found that one of the single greatest drains on battery life on the Pre is poor wireless coverage (one or two bars).  As outlined above, the issue is that the lower the wireless coverage the greater the power requirements on your Pre is and therefore the faster the battery will get drained.

WiFi Tip
If you are in an area with poor wireless coverage but within reach of a WiFi network then turn on the WiFi on your Palm Pre as this greatly reduces the overall power drain.  This happens because once connected to WiFi your smartphone will stop using Sprint’s wireless data network and instead use your local WiFi – something which proves to be much more efficient from a power usage perspective in poor wireless coverage areas.

Some Battery Life Improvement Ideas For Palm

To be honest with you, I find most of the manual battery optimization tips above to be extremely tedious and overall one of the things that keeps annoying me with increasing frequency about our “Digital Lifestyle” is that so few companies actually enable proactive “smart” software solutions for their customers – solutions that could automatically help aleviate the burden of having to do something manually and/or repetitively.

In the case of the Palm Pre battery optimization, I would envisage that it would be fairly easy to create an application that automatically adjusts all the necessary settings on your smartphone to provide you with maximum battery life.  For example, you could have a setting that automatically sets your phone to Airplane Mode if no wireless coverage is detected within a specific time frame (eg. 10 minutes) – something that would be ideal if you forget to turn off your phone on a plane, have long underground train journeys or happen to be in an area of no coverage for long periods.

Additionally, one of the most frustrating things for me is to suddenly find that my phone is _completely_ dead.  Here Palm could implement an automated setting that again turns off your phone when battery levels reach a certain percentage (eg. 10%) so that you could always have just enough power left should you for example need to make an emergency call – having even 5% of battery power left is a hell of a lot better than 0% and makes a huge difference.

I’m sure that with a little imagination the engineers at Palm could expand on these ideas and deliver even more options to ensure that 1) battery life optimization burdens are kept to a minimum and 2) that you always have just enough power left to make a couple of urgent calls.

Maximize Your Palm Pre Battery Life – Accessories Solutions

Leaving aside any software settings the fact is that, for me at least, the best option to improve, enhance and maximize battery power while on the go is simply to have the right accessories kit.  Thankfully there are more than a few available solutions here:

Charge your phone whenever & wherever you can

  • HOME: Charge your Pre overnight using either a wall charger or the great and currently unique Touchstone charging base so that you can have 100% power first thing in the morning.
  • HOME & OFFICE: Keep your Pre resting on the Touchstone or plugged into a wall charger when not in use throughout the day (sadly the Touchstone cannot charge from a USB port on your PC).
  • CAR: Keep your Pre plugged into its car charger whenever you are driving.

 Palm-Touchstone-For-Pre Palm-Pre-Charger

Power Accessories Solutions:

  1. Palm Touchstone $49.95 (inc. Dock + Back Cover)
  2. Palm Touchstone $39.95 (Dock Only): If you already have a Touchstone at home for example then you can simply get a second for the office.
  3. Palm Pre Battery $39.95
  4. Palm Travel Charger $29.95
  5. Palm Car Charger $19.95
  6. Palm USB Travel Cable $14.95 – use it to charge your Pre from your PC
  7. Palm Pre Wall Chargers
  8. Palm Pre Car Chargers
  9. Palm Pre Cables

Spare Battery & Battery Charger

 Palm-Pre-Battery Palm-Pre-Battery-Charger

One of the great advantages of the Pre is that it has a removable battery.  By buying an extra spare battery you’ll be able to quickly and simply double your power while on the go – for example for long plane trips or periods of heavy use.

Additionally, Palm has also just made available a Spare Battery Charger (pictured above right) to make it that much easier to keep your extra battery charging (works with both wall and car chargers) either overnight or while you’re using your primary one.

Note: Your Palm Pre battery has a much longer useful life when it is topped off frequently than when it is charged after it is fully drained.  The Palm Touchstone is therefore a great accessory to have at your desk for example so that you can always keep you Pre docked and charging within reach when not in use.

Preonauts are always full of power

Posted by Andrew on June 15, 2009 at 03:10 PM

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Palm Pre Sync Solutions

Select The Right Mac or Windows Sync Software Solution For Your Palm Pre Using Google, Facebook, Microsoft Exchange, Outlook, PocketMirror, CompanionLink, Missing Sync, gSyncit, iCal or Address Book


Getting your contacts, calendar events, and tasks onto your Palm Pre is perhaps the first and single most important step to begin exploiting the capabilities of your new smartphone.  In my case, since I have over 3,500 contacts neatly stored in a multitude of Outlook folders with hundreds of categories and sub-categories the whole sync issue has been particularly important to figure out properly.

If more and more of the data you use to keep in touch with people and organize your life is stored on web services such as Facebook and Google then your new Palm Pre, with its unique Palm Synergy feature, is designed to give you access to this personal information when you’re on the go.

You can take advantage of Synergy to get your personal information from these web services and onto your Pre so that you can enjoy an unparalleled mobile experience. Synergy not only brings together your information from Google, Facebook, and Microsoft Exchange, it also displays the information in one simple, integrated view.

Overall, there are currently five options that you can choose to sync PIM (Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, Notes) to your Palm Pre:

Option 1:  I’m already using Google, Facebook, or Microsoft Exchange as my primary PIM solution

If you’re already using Google, Facebook, or Exchange to manage your data you’re pretty much all set as Palm’s Synergy works with all three.

Here’s what you do:
On your Pre, open the Contacts application then select Preferences & Accounts at the top left of your screen and enter your account credentials (username and password) for your Google, Facebook or Exchange account.  (You won’t need to go to Calendar to set up your account there—that’s done automatically using the credentials you entered in Contacts.)

My Experience
Although I have both Google and Facebook accounts I don’t use these to manage my contacts or Calendar.  At the same time, although I have considered setting up a Microsoft Exchange account I don’t have one for now so overall this option really does not apply to me.  Having said this, as Palm states, if you do use Google, Facebook or Exchange for your PIM then it is _extremely_ easy to sync with them.

Option 2:  I want to access the contacts, calendar events, and tasks in my current desktop app (iCal & Address Book for Mac + Outlook & Palm Desktop for Windows) using Synergy (via Google)

Use a third-party app to sync your desktop application to Google, and Synergy takes it from there.

Apps are available to sync:

  • Mac: iCal and Address Book
  • Windows: Outlook and Palm Desktop by ACCESS

Here’s what you do:

  1. On your computer, set up an a Google Mail (Gmail) account if you don’t already have one.
  2. On your Pre, open the Contacts application then select Preferences & Accounts at the top left of your screen and enter your account credentials (username and password) for your Gmail account. (You won’t need to go to Calendar to set up your account there—that’s done automatically using the credentials you entered in Contacts.)
  3. Install a third-party application on your computer that enables you to sync with Google. Here are some applications that are currently available:
    • Windows XP and Vista
      • Google Sync (Free)
        Google Sync keeps your Outlook calendar in sync with Google Calendar.
      • CompanionLink® for Google (Sold Separately)
        For a variety of PC data sources, including Palm Desktop by ACCESS and Outlook, CompanionLink keeps contacts and calendar events in sync with Google Calendar and Gmail Contacts. Tasks also sync but as calendar entries. 
    • Mac OS
      • Google Sync (Free)
        Google Sync keeps iCal in sync with Google Calendar. There is also a solution for synchronizing with Address Book.  
      • Sync’Em (Sold Separately)
        Sync’Em automatically keeps Mac Address Book in sync with Gmail Contacts. 
  4. Follow the instructions of the third-party app to sync the data in your desktop app with Google. The next time Google syncs with your Pre, your data appears on your phone.

My Experience
I use Outlook on Windows and therefore tried CompanionLink (CL) to sync to Google and from there to my Pre but so far with very mixed results.  Although CL managed to properly connect my Outlook with Google and get the data to show up on my Pre, for some bizarre reason which I was unable to resolve, it would only sync some 600 of my 3,500 contacts…  I hope that there will be an update that fixes this issue for me but if you have under 500 contacts then CL seems to be an ideal and very simple solution.

Option 3:  I’d rather just sync directly with my computer (Windows Only)

Would you rather sync your Pre directly to your Windows computer over WiFi without going through the web? For this there’s PocketMirror.

Chapura PocketMirror for Outlook syncs contacts and calendar events between Outlook and your Pre. PocketMirror can sync your Outlook data whether you use Outlook as a standalone application or in conjunction with Microsoft Exchange Server. It works with Outlook 2003 and 2007.

Here’s what you do:

  1. On your Pre, open App Catalog and download PocketMirror.
  2. On your computer, download PocketMirror software for Outlook on Windows.
  3. On your computer, launch the PocketMirror installer and follow the instructions to complete setup.

My Experience
It’s a shame that PocketMirror only works on Windows and that it (currently) only syncs one primary Outlook Contacts folder because this truly is a superb and extremely simple solution.  As long as your Pre and PC are connected to the same WiFi network you can wirelessly sync all of your contacts and calendar items wirelessly – very cool.

One major hassle though is the fact that Chapura provides no telephone support whatsoever (only via email) and you may therefore have to wait quite a while to fix any issues that you may encounter.  Additionally, I really hope that Chapura will soon provide a Premium version of PockeMirror that can sync multiple Outlook Contact folders + that Palm will support Categories in the Contacts app (something that I consider to be quite urgent).

Option 4:  How do I get PIM data from my old phone?

Do you need to get data out of an old phone? Most service providers can transfer contacts from your old phone. An agent in one of your service provider’s stores can help you.

Here’s what you do:

  1. On your computer, set up an a Google Mail (Gmail) account if you don’t already have one.
  2. On your Pre, open the Contacts application then select Preferences & Accounts at the top left of your screen and enter your account credentials (username and password) for your Gmail account. (You won’t need to go to Calendar to set up your account there—that’s done automatically using the credentials you entered in Contacts.)
  3. To transfer data from an old phone to your new Pre, go to one of the stores of your service provider and ask a support agent for help in transferring data from your old phone. When you’re ready to transfer data from your old
    phone, be sure to tell the carrier agent which account to transfer the data to. 

Option 5: How do I get PIM data off my computer using the Palm Data Transfer Assistant (DTA)? (Windows & Mac)

Do you want to sync your personal information between your Pre and Google or Exchange, but first need to get the data out of a desktop app (such as Palm Desktop or Outlook) that you want to stop using? You can do a one-time, one-way transfer of data to your Pre, and then if you choose to, use Synergy to sync the data to Google or Exchange.

To transfer data from a desktop app that you want to stop using, go here for more information about the Data Transfer Assistant (DTA) – it’s a free download. The DTA transfers data from selected desktop apps to your phone through the USB cable included with your phone. You can sync this data with Google or Exchange, or back it up to your Palm profile.

The Palm Data Transfer Assistant (DTA) provides a one-time, one-way transfer of data from your computer to your phone. The DTA transfers contacts, calendar events, tasks, and memos from Outlook and Palm Desktop by ACCESS on Windows, and contacts and calendar events from iCal and Address Book on Mac.

  1. Getting ready.
    When you transfer data to your Pre phone, you must assign the data to an account on your phone. You can assign it to one of your online accounts that sync (Google Gmail or Microsoft Exchange), or you can assign it to your Palm profile (this means your data is backed up to a server but can be accessed by you only on your phone).

    If you want to sync your data to Gmail or Microsoft Exchange, you might want to set up one of these accounts on your Pre before you use the DTA. Otherwise, you can set up the account from your Pre when you’re asked where you want to store your data (see section 3 for more information).

    Note: If you’ve previously been syncing data from another phone, you may want to sync data one more time to make sure that your desktop data is up-to-date before you transfer it over.
  2. Running the Data Transfer Assistant.
    If you haven’t done so already, put the DTA application on your computer. Use Data_Transfer_Assistant.exe for Windows or DTA.dmg for Mac. Then, launch the DTA.

    Follow the onscreen instructions to select your data source and to connect your phone to your computer, using the USB cable that came with your Pre. The DTA transfers your data to your phone.

    Windows users: If the DTA finds a valid version of both Palm Desktop and Outlook on your computer, you'll be able to select the one you want to transfer data from. For Palm Desktop, if the DTA finds more than one profile in Palm Desktop, select the profile that is associated with the data you want to transfer. Your profile is in the upper-right corner of Palm Desktop ("User").
  3. Syncing your data or backing it up to your Palm profile.
    After the data is transferred to your Pre, you’ll be instructed to disconnect your phone from your computer. On your Pre, you will see a screen that asks you where you want to store your data. You can select a Google or Exchange account or back the data up to your Palm profile.

    After you assign the data to an account on your phone, the transfer begins immediately.

    Note: It may take a little while for the data transfer to complete. If you’re syncing with an online account for the first time, it may take additional time.
  4. What happens to my data after the transfer is complete?
    If you transfer data to an online account, changes you make to the data on your phone are synchronized with the online account.

    If you back up data to your Palm profile account, the data is stored on your phone and backed up to your Palm profile. This data is not available through any online account.

More about the Data Transfer Assistant
These are the PIM apps that the DTA works with, and what data the DTA transfers to your phone:

Windows XP or Vista®
– Outlook 2003 or 2007 (syncs Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, Memos/Notes)
– Palm Desktop v6.2 (syncs Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, Memos/Notes)
Mac OS 10.5
– Address Book (syncs Contacts)
– iCal (syncs Calendar)

My Experience
I downloaded and installed the Data Transfer Assistant application to my PC and from there was able to very quickly and simply transfer all the data to my Pre.  From there I selected to sync this data to my Gmail account.  As Palm notes in the above instructions though, the full data transfer over-the-air may take quite a while to complete – particularly if you have a large PIM database like mine.

Also, I have to admit that I found it mildly annoying that there is no “Progress Notification” on your Pre to determine how much of your data remains to be transferred nor how long this may take.  In my case, after one hour I still did not have the data properly synched to Google…


Overall I have not yet found the “ideal” solution for my (arguably somewhat unique) PIM needs – which requires synching to multiple Outlook folders with hundreds of Categories/Sub-Categories and literally thousands of contacts – but I have still managed to put the basic PIM information that I need on my Pre.

I very much hope that Palm, Chapura, CompanionLink or another third-party solution will eventually come out to meet my needs.  In the meantime, I believe that if you have under 500 contacts in your address book then any one of the five options outlined above will prove to be more than adequate.

If like me you’re on Windows and prefer to sync via your desktop, then I think that you’ll find Chapura’s PocketMirror an excellent solution.  CompanionLink follows closely behind as my second choice but this requires that you keep your data in the “cloud” via Google – something that I don’t personally mind but that others may not be too convinced about. 

Lastly, if you do choose to sync between your Pre and Google as your preferred solution then Palm’s Data Transfer Assistant will at least ensure that you don’t have to manually re-enter all of your data there – it does however mean that both your Pre and Google become the only places to manage all your PIM data. 

Update 1
It appears that mark/space is getting ready to release The Missing Sync for Palm Pre which will allow you to sync directly with your computer to manage contacts, music, photos, ringtones, docs & files, calendars, video & home movies, safari bookmarks as well as podcasts.  The great news is also that the Missing Sync for Palm Pre will be available in two separate versions for both the Mac and Windows.

The Missing Sync for Mac works with applications you already know and use — Address Book, iTunes, iCal, Entourage, Safari and iPhoto — to let you transfer and sync information and files between your Mac and Pre.

Update 2
There is apparently another solution [thanks Palmdoc] to sync between Outlook and your Pre via Google called gSyncit – a Microsoft Outlook add-in that allows for synchronization of calendars and contacts between Google and Outlook.  I haven’t tried it yet but it looks very promising.

Update 3 – Media Sync for Palm Pre
As you may already know, your Palm Pre can actually work with Apple’s iTunes to sync your music and photos (it treats your Pre as if it were an iPod).  Another very good solution for media sync is also offered by a company called doubleTwist.

Preonauts are always in sync

Posted by Andrew on June 6, 2009 at 02:14 PM

in Palm Pre

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