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Tuesday, 13 January 2009

New Palm Pre Set

New Palm Pre SetMake a BIG splash in the world of mobile phones, Remember all the furore over the iPhone, when it was launched? And you know how iPhone owners say that nothing, not even the wealth of touchscreen mobile phones launched since then (the HTC Touch HD springs immediately to mind), can touch it for user interface? Well, iPhone owners may soon have to eat their words, thanks to a new mobile phone from one of the biggest manufacturers you’ve not heard of for a while: Palm.

Called the Palm Pre, their new mobile phone is so completely removed from anything they’ve done in the past, that it almost feels like it was made on Mars (Martians reputedly make the best mobile phones in the universe, or so I’m told…)

But why is it so groundbreaking? What ‘new-ness’, as Palm puts it, does it bring to the party? Well apart from the Palm Pre’s rather stunningly gorgeous body, and slide mechanism that’s distinctly reminiscent of the X1 Xperia (with that whole arc-slide thing going on), and apart from the fact it’s got a super fast processor, and apart from the other fact that it has a great little QWERTY keyboard, the real beauty of it lies in the Palm Pre’s operating system, a completely new and never-before-seen beastie called WebOS.

Think iPhone, but flashier.

But, it’s even cleverer than just having a whizzy, shiny interface. You see, you’ve got smart aspects to the interface in the Palm Pre, things like just typing what you’re interested in on the keypad, just from the home. It’ll search your contacts, it’ll search your applications, and you can even search the web, just by typing on the home screen. Or you’ve got things like never having to press SAVE to save your data, since it does all that automatically for you. Or the Palm Pre pulling all your contacts from Googlemail, or Outlook, or Facebook, and intelligently listing them on the phone with one person’s entry showing their contact details from different places, without you having to lift (or should that be swipe) a finger.

And then, to seal the deal, the Palm Pre is a very, very simple mobile phone to create apps for. Palm themselves say that if you can code HTML, CSS or Javascript, so if you can develop stuff for the web, you can code apps for the Palm Pre, making it possibly the easiest phone in history to make apps for.

As if you couldn’t guess, I really rather like the look of the Palm Pre. It’s a gorgeous-looking mobile phone, and the operating system is, and I may get lynched for saying this, superior even to the iPhone (and yes, before iPhone owners ask, you can do the pinchy motion on the Palm Pre). Hardly surprising, really, when the head of handset development at Palm used to work at a certain company called Apple.

Now word yet on pricing or release dates, but Palm have confirmed one thing that makes me smile like an idiot: they’ve confirmed there will be a European-spec version (as opposed to the one they had at the launch, destined only for America) of the Palm Pre.

Let’s see if the Pre can take them from cash-strapped also-rans to world beaters. On the evidence no display so far, that actually seems likely. Oh, and you can even charge it wirelessly. Think about that, you don’t have to plug a cable in to charge it, just put it on a charging pad that looks like a hockey puck. And you wondered why I said it feels like it came from Mars!

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