Daily Giz Wiz 862: Palm Pre

Episode 862 of the podcast

Palm Pre
Subject: Review of Palm Pre
Released:Tuesday 30 June 2009
Length:about 28 minutes
Download file:dgw0862.mp3 (12.7 MB)

Listen to the episode

Short info

Palm is back baby, with the Palm Pre smartphone.

Detailed information

Palm Pre
Touch-screen Smartphone
Link: Palm

Leo comes up at the last minute with this gadget, a 7-day review unit of the Palm Pre.  The latest smartphone from Palm, revealed at CES 2009, is a touchscreen phone using what Palm calls the WebOS.  It has rounded edges and feels good in the hand.  The Pre is smaller than the iPhone (shorter in height but thicker), and the screen is slightly smaller than the iPhone's, with the same resolution.  The keyboard is a qwerty keyboard, rather like the one on the Centro, but the auto-correction is, for Leo, not as good as the predictive typing on the iPhone.  The Pre has a decent media player, and syncs with your iTunes library.  It can also sync with your Windows or Mac contacts, Google contacts (including contact pictures) and calendar, and even your Facebook contacts.
Applications take a little while to load, but what distinguishes the Palm Pre from the iPhone is multi-tasking.  Open applications are treated as "cards", which you can slide along and swoop out; and you get instant notifications from open applications for new emails and IM messages.  The new iPhone 3GS and iPhone software 3.0 have caught up with some of features of the Pre (and many other phones), such as MMS, 3.2MP camera, and cut and paste.  The iPhone will also have video capabilities including simple editing, which the Pre does not yet have.  Leo was originally going to get a Palm Pre himself, but has decided to get the iPhone 3GS instead, which by the time the show is aired, should have arrived, on Friday 19 June.  But if you're on Sprint, Leo can recommend the Pre as it has a future, and Leo is glad that the Palm Pre is around to keep Apple and Blackberry honest.
There are optional accessories for the Pre, including the Touchstone Charging Kit (pictured in the centre in the photo above), which attaches the Pre to itself magnetically, without cables.
Palm Pre UnboxingAfter the Palm Pre review unit arrived, Leo did an unboxing session on TWiTlive, during which Leo tried out the Palm Pre and gave his first impressions.  The video is available at odtv, which is quite a long session.  I've taken extracts from the video, edited into 2 parts, which you can watch here.
Leo's First Impressions of the Palm Pre Part 1
[play video]

Leo's First Impressions of the Palm Pre Part 2
[play video]

Palm-Apple on Wolfram-Alpha

Leo got the size of Palm's staff wrong, double-checks it on Wolfram-Alpha, and is amazed to learn that the revenue generated per employee of Palm and Apple is so much higher than TWiT.  Someone at TWiT is not pulling his weight, and that's Leo.

Getting Around in ChinaLeo is leaving for his China tour in a couple of days, and has some travel tips for foreign tourists.  The Chinese apparently don't speak Chinese at all.  Just say everything in English and put an "a" at the end.  If they appear not to understand it, just turn up the volume.  "I WANT-A SOME FOOD-A.  NO NOODLE-A.  GIVE ME A BIG-A MAC-A," Leo demonstrates.
Solar EclipseDave Kodama, a Caltech alumnus, is a DGW fan.  He and his wife have been subscribing to MAD since 1980 and he even had a shot of himself reading MAD with a friend, in a 1969 issue.  Dave notes that Leo is coming back home from China a few days too early, and will miss the longest solar eclipse in this century.  Dave himself will be near Shanghai for the event.  He and his wife have been early testers of electric cars, since 1996, including the GM EV1; and they will be trying out the Mini-E in (Episode 811) soon.  You can see Dave's astrophotography and his EV1 experience on his personal website.
Between the China land tour and the solar eclipse, Leo has chosen the tour.  Leo has seen an eclipse before and this time, he'll just draw the blinds and close his eyes. 

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