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Light at the End of the Tunnel: 7 Things We Need From Nova

Palm OS NovaIt's been a long hard slog for Palm OS fans, these past five years. Since 2004's grand unveiling of the stillborn Cobalt, Palm OS has been lost in a nightmarish software limbo, with the "latest" iteration, Garnet, caught between the dated design paradigms of the past and the increasingly punishing demands of the future. With PDAs having fallen by the wayside and the always-connected cell phone taking their place as the de facto mobile computer years ago, Palm has been in desperate need of a capable, home-grown platform on which to build their next generation of devices. Following a disappointing false start with the Linux-powered Foleo and with the siren song of flashy new devices from Apple and RIM beckoning users to foreign shores, many were ready to give up on Palm altogether.

Now – finally – the end is in sight. In early December Palm sent out press invitations for an event to be held during the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, pledging to unveil some "New-ness". Without a doubt, we're going to get our first look at the top-secret OS known only as ‘Nova'. With Ed Colligan's promises of "game-changing hardware" and a "new era for Palm", the expectations for Nova are great indeed and anything less than a spectacular debut could well be the nail in the coffin for the company's dwindling fortunes. So keeping all of this in mind, here's a list of seven items we consider to be must-haves for Palm's new baby.

(1) ENOUGH with the candy-bars, already

or, variety is the spice of life

Palm CandyBar Phones
Spot the difference. If you can.

Long ago, a little company called Handspring – itself nearly a spinoff from the original Palm – invented the Treo, an absolutely smashing unit that sensibly combined a Palm OS PDA with a cell phone. Handspring eventually re-boarded the Palm corporate mothership, bringing the Treo 600 along with them: a brilliant design that Palm has foolishly allowed to stagnate by virtue of a curiously stubborn refusal to vary the basic candy-bar chassis.

Sure, we've seen it slowly become smaller and thinner, but where's the large-screen version? The tiny flip-phone with a standard keypad? The larger mobile computer with a slide-out keyboard? By sticking to the QWERTY candy-bar for so long, Palm has acquired a reputation for playing it safe and become tired and stale in the eyes of the tech world. In this fast-moving industry, being boring is a cardinal sin.

Personally, I love the QWERTY design. It's fabulously functional and makes messaging a breeze. But if there's one thing to take away from the massive success of the iPhone, it's that the market is more than ready for variety in their smartphones. So by all means, Palm, keep pumping out the candy-bars, but give us other options too. Make the best-looking one your flagship. You won't get anywhere without taking some risks.

(2) Mission: Media

Treo Pro PicturesIt's the new killer app, don'cha know

So, Nova will be targeting the "prosumer" market, eh Palm? In order to hit that mark, you're going to have do much better on the media front. Once upon a time, information management was the killer app for a mobile computer. But that was long ago, and now it's not what consumers are looking for first and foremost.

No, what people are looking for – what they need – is a way to easily manage the myriad forms of media available to them. Music, movies, photos, streaming: getting media right is crucial to success in the mass-market. Currently, one has to turn to third-parties for optimal solutions on Palm OS: PocketTunes, Kinoma, Coreplayer... No longer, Palm. Give us an integrated media solution that combines the all-you-can-eat format support of the aforementioned apps with the visual pizzazz of an iPhone and the simple, intuitive navigation that is your trademark.

And for the love of God, please don't force us to sync with iTunes. Which leads us to our next item...

(3) Superior Sync

Palm Desktop and Hotsync: these were once great answers to the age-old problem of personal information management. But just like the classic Treo form factor, they're looking more than a bit long in the tooth come the 21st century. It's time for a revolution in sync and Palm, with their history of great PIM solutions, are uniquely positioned to do something about it. Palm Desktop and Hotsync need either a total makeover, or to be completely junked. A modern solution should give us:

  • Choice in how, and with what, we sync: by cable? By Bluetooth? By Wi-Fi? Do you want to manage your media with iTunes, with Winamp, or with WMP? Your information with Outlook, Lotus or maybe Google? Or do you want it all in one neat, simple package? Whichever way you go, your particular needs should be catered for.
  • Application management: The current method of managing your installed apps on Palm OS is an ungodly mess which can at times be confusing to even the most hardcore techies. Installation and especially deletion is far more complicated than it should be, with many apps often leaving behind unrelated files that force you to navigate the unfriendly Delete menu. Ideally, you should be able to manage everything on your device from your desktop with just a few mouse clicks. A built-in one-stop shop for applications similar to Apple's App Store would not hurt either.
  • Multimedia: Palm Desktop handles photos fairly respectably, but there's still room for improvement. And with no support whatsoever for music and very little for videos, this is an issue that needed to be addressed years ago.

(4) Banish Blazer

it's so very tired

Blazer Palm WebThis one doesn't take much explaining. We need a new browser. We need one of near-desktop quality, just like mobile Safari on the iPhone. It needs to render pages far more quickly than Blazer and should be able to intelligently switch between cellular and Wi-Fi connections. It's a no-brainer.

(5) Spectacular Specs

or, It's no use putting a lawnmower engine in a Ferrari

How long has Palm been skimping on their hardware? Far too bloody long. Pathetically pitiful amounts of on-board storage combined with anaemic CPUs have been Palm's hardware trademark for years and enough is enough. The requirements of mobile operating systems, the modern Internet and highly compressed media formats now demand something faster than a 312mhz ARM. And while external storage certainly has its uses – I'd hate to see Palm drop the Mini/Micro-SD card slot – it needs to be supplemented by a generous amount of on-device space. That means gigabytes, Palm – let's say 4GB at an absolute minimum.

You made great strides with the Treo Pro, finally including Wi-Fi, GPS, a 3.5mm audio jack and a flush screen. Keep up the pace!

(6) Love the Developers

even if they do smell a bit funny

If there's a common complaint you hear from iPhone developers, it's that Apple places strict limitations on what they can and can't do with the hardware, with undocumented APIs that remain Apple's exclusive domain. Another sore point relates to the "extremely convoluted and strange" development process and what it takes to get yourself accepted into Apple's program. And we all know how hellish Palm OS development became over the last few years, which each minor hardware refresh often requiring apps to be re-written.

The challenge for Palm, then, is to make development for Nova a relatively painless experience. That means things like well-documented internals, a fast & simple certification process and most importantly, a unified platform: where you can create an app for any one Nova device and be assured it will run on others with a minimum of effort. First-class Java support wouldn't hurt either.

Limitations imposed by the wireless carriers will undoubtedly make this difficult, but that doesn't mean all efforts shouldn't be made to make Nova as developer-friendly as it can possibly be. The advantage is obvious: the more developers you have on board, the more likely it is they'll come up with that one killer app that the buyers of your device can't live without.

Get ‘em hooked and they'll keep coming back for more. Which makes for a nice segue into Wish Number Seven:

(7) Leverage the Heritage

Palm V PlatformDon't forget what made you great!

Why do so many users – and there's still millions of them – stick with Palm OS? It's obviously not the amazing graphical experience. No, people stick with Palm OS for two reasons:

It's simple, intuitive, and user-friendly: despite their competitors having had years to catch up, there's still none that do PIM as well as Palm. The core PIM software is still wondrously easy to pick up and once you become accustomed to the Palm way of doing these things, it's very hard to go back. Not to mention the one-handed navigation pioneered on the Treo 650, which remains a powerful deal-breaker for Yours Truly.

The huge selection of third-party apps: everyone has their favourites and for many there's one or two that they simply couldn't do without. To this end, Palm would be foolish not to include some form of backwards-compatibility with the classic Palm OS – and entice those developers like DataViz, Normsoft, Resco, Tealpoint and SplashData to develop new versions of their popular apps for Nova.

PIM may no longer be The One True Killer App, but it's still a massively important part of the experience. We all crave "new-ness" from Nova, but Palm should not run away from what made them successful in the first place. Keep it simple – and that doesn't mean cutting out stuff like copy-and-paste. (glares at Apple)

Failure Is Not An Option

It's make-or-break time for Palm. With the success of the cheap Centro, devices powered by the original Palm OS have become a commodity item and the Windows Mobile market remains crowded territory where it's difficult to maintain a foothold – as softer-than-expected sales of the Treo Pro have demonstrated. Combine these factors with an extraordinarily tough economic climate and you have plenty of potential for a big-time bust. With a capital B.

Thanks in part to their obsessive secrecy regarding the upcoming Nova devices and the long development process, Palm have led many of their fans, the tech press and the financial community to write them off as serious contenders in the smartphone market. This is it. Their last shot at showing the world they're not dead yet.

Can they do it?

We'll find out come Thursday.

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Yes, yes, and yes

craigf @ 1/4/2009 8:44:59 PM # Q
All good points. This really is do-or-die time...I hope they do, not die.
RE: Yes, yes, and yes
NuShrike @ 1/5/2009 1:11:00 AM # Q
The Treo 800w actually has a more powerful CPU than the Treo Pro. In many benchmarks, the TI Omap crushes a Qualcomm cpu simply due to the better DSP hardware in it (same as the graphics king N95) versus the QCPU, and Q's badly written multimedia drivers.

It's just too bad Palm went with the 3D/gpu-less TI OMAP cpu for the 800w, and hasn't really developed a good WM polish to go with it.

Palm III -> Sony NR610C -> Sony NR70 -> Sony NX80 -> Palm T|X -> HTC Kaiser -> HTC Fuze

RE: Yes, yes, and yes
sgingras @ 1/5/2009 3:25:32 PM # Q
Could not agree more...and while it may be the 59th minute of the 11th hour right now, mid-2009 (*projected* handset release date) is most likely too late. By then, we will have significantly more Android-based handsets from which to choose.

Currently, the iPhone has much of the consumer crowd enthusiasm, RIM has the business crowd, and Android momentum is building...in both the geek AND consumer crowd.

Palm may think that there is a fat middle...and I hope that there is because competition is good...but I for one am very unlikely to wait for mid/late 2009/2010 for Palm to get a new handset on the streets. Android looks awesome and I am just waiting for more handset choice.

Reply to this comment

Sheesh

abosco @ 1/5/2009 12:04:09 AM # Q
You mention "Apple" or "iPhone" in all but one of your points. Even if they follow your advice on the nose, that will still barely bring them up to par with Apple. That's not good enough to do anything. Do you really think that someone is going to say, "Oh, that Treo has such a big HVGA screen! I've never seen that before! I MUST BUY IT!!" No, you need something radically enticing. Something different.

They're going to need a lot more than your list to do anything in the smartphone market.

-Bosco
m105 -> NX70v -> NX80v -> iPhone -> iPhone 3G

RE: Sheesh
freakout @ 1/5/2009 1:11:22 AM # Q
These are just things I'd consider to be "must-haves" for Nova to be taken seriously.

What would you suggest they do to take it to the next level?

RE: Sheesh
Caspian @ 1/5/2009 9:29:03 AM # Q
There are two crowds to please here. You're right that it will take more than a nice screen to get new Palm users. But, the article does a nice job discussing what it will take to keep long time users from finally giving up on Palm and moving on. I like the iPhone, but can't switch carriers to get it. Something like the iPhone running the Palm OS on Verizon would go a long way toward keeping me in the the Palm camp. The fact that it has a nice screen along with WiFi, GPS, integrated music player, a good browser, and compatibility with my current Palm apps would help to seal the deal.



David
Palm III> Palm IIIx> Palm IIIc> Sony T615> Sony T665> Sony TH55> Palm TX

RE: Sheesh
nastebu @ 1/5/2009 9:31:00 AM # Q
well, one "take it to the next level" idea is price, but it's difficult to imagine how Palm could undersell Apple, RIM, and others. Just imagining the economies of scale-we're into tens of millions of iPhones soon. If anything, Palm is at a terrible disadvantage because they have no cash reserves and need to become profitable right away.

RE: Sheesh
DarthRepublican @ 1/5/2009 12:39:34 PM # Q
How about promiscuity? Maybe Nova phones should come with a little Bluetooth dongle and software which can browse and control your iPod while listening to through Bluetooth headphones, streaming music and video to the Treo? It would allow users to leverage their existing gadgets stop them from automatically switching to an iPhone when their iPod gets old. While I've seen products that do this already, they all seem expensive and clunky to me.

Screw convergence
Palm III->Visor Deluxe->Visor Platinum->Visor Prism->Tungsten E->Palm LifeDrive->Palm TX
Visor Pro+VisorPhone->Treo 180g->Treo 270->Treo 600->Treo 680->T-Mobile G1
http://mind-grapes.blogspot.com/
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sync and timeline

nastebu @ 1/5/2009 1:35:38 AM # Q
On syncing, it seems to me that the next big thing in syncing is not having to sync. Except to move video and music files I don't sync my iPhone. The PIM syncs over mobileme and I install applications direct to the phone. The one exception is my todo list manager, which syncs by wifi.

Isn't Google going in a syncless direction with Android? I think the PIM apps just sync to gCal? Options are good, but being able to just ignore syncing and have your data kept up to date is damn priceless.

On the timeline, Tim it's not only that Palm has to get all of these line items done, they also have very little time to do it. They're burning cash and next year is going to be brutal on consumer electronics. They could get it all right but be too late to market. What do you reckon is the deadline to get your list checked off?

RE: sync and timeline
freakout @ 1/5/2009 1:47:20 AM # Q
I only sync my Centro every other week, but I still think it's a very important part of the package - especially in the consumer (sorry, "prosumer" - what the heck does that word mean, anyway?) market Palm says they're targeting, where you might have folks downloading fresh media every other day. Plus, it's damn handy being able to move all your contacts etc. from your old device to your new one when you decide to upgrade.

Also, if Palm are going to give the Foleo "mobile companion" concept another shot, they'll definitely need some intelligent syncing software.

As for a timeline - the sooner the better. Like bosco says, it's really only stuff that will put them on a par with where their competitors are today. I'd say Colligan's "devices by mid-2009" promise seems about right. Although who knows what Google, Apple, RIM, Microsoft et al. are going to come out with in the meantime...

RE: sync and timeline
DarthRepublican @ 1/5/2009 12:50:08 PM # Q
My Android phone also syncs to GMail and takes its contacts list from GMail's address book. It's all about the cloud for Google. Palm could certainly do worse than to emulate Google's sync scheme. It would wipe away all of the support headaches that come from having to write separate software to sync to Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Screw convergence
Palm III->Visor Deluxe->Visor Platinum->Visor Prism->Tungsten E->Palm LifeDrive->Palm TX
Visor Pro+VisorPhone->Treo 180g->Treo 270->Treo 600->Treo 680->T-Mobile G1
http://mind-grapes.blogspot.com/
Reply to this comment

Syncing to Palms servers

Nycran @ 1/5/2009 4:31:32 AM # Q
I think the notion of syncing to a desktop pc is now dead. Instead, data will now be synced to an Internet data center, just like my bookmarks in Firefox. There's three no four key benefits to this!

First, telco's will love it since it's going to be sending lots of tasty data of their expensive 3/4G pipes.

Secondly, this completely does away with having to support windows (2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7), Mac and a billion distros of linux. What you use on your desktop is your business and Palm wont care.

Thirdly, your data will always be backed up and always be safe, unlike on your home PC where the death of a hard drive, a thief, a fire, etc can mean that you lose everything.

Lastly, Palm can make some subscription revenue from this which will be gold from their point of view.

RE: Syncing to Palms servers
SeldomVisitor @ 1/5/2009 4:45:06 AM # Q
Palm has, in the deep past, talked about "ongoing revenue streams" like servers (and, of course, Mr. (Dr.?) Web-Services Coleman has been on the BoD like forever...). It'll be interesting see if the idea is an easy sell.

RE: Syncing to Palms servers
mikecane @ 1/5/2009 6:27:34 AM # Q
>>>I think the notion of syncing to a desktop pc is now dead. Instead, data will now be synced to an Internet data center, just like my bookmarks in Firefox.

Yeah, where the Feds never have to tell you they've gained a warrant to invade your privacy - because it's not *your* property they've gotten into. Eejit.

RE: Syncing to Palms servers
mikecane @ 1/5/2009 6:28:14 AM # Q
And let me expand that: I use web-based mail, so I'm an eejit too, OK?

RE: Syncing to Palms servers
freakout @ 1/5/2009 12:32:01 PM # Q
It's all about choice. If you want to sync online, the option should be there. If you want to keep it all private on your desktop, that should be catered for too.

I suspect we'll see something along the lines of that MyPalm beta service they had going awhile back.

Reply to this comment

Palm: Revenge Of The Nerdi

mikecane @ 1/5/2009 6:26:08 AM # Q
Palm: Revenge Of The Nerdi
http://mikecane2008.wordpress.com/2008/12/15/palm-revenge-of-the-nerdi/

Still worth repeating.

Now TechCrunch is saying: PHONE.

Exclusive: New Palm phone to have slide-down keyboard, large touchscreen
http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/01/04/exclusive-new-palm-phone-to-have-slide-down-keyboard-large-touchscreen

>>>The new operating system is described as "amazing" and there will be a full software bazaar on launch. It will have media playback functions along with standard Palm calendar, email, and contact functionality.

But ... what if I don't WANT a frikkin phone, Palm? You got a model that will do WiFi only, like the iPod Touch?

And what about G1, baby?

RE: Palm: Revenge Of The Nerdi
hkklife @ 1/5/2009 7:41:07 AM # Q
I don't believe that CrunchGear story one bit.

I will reiterate my skepticism of Palm showing any actual new hardware at CES. And if they do, it'll be Nova running on a Treo Pro. EVDO Rev. A or HSPA, wi-fi, GPS, all of stuff Garnet cannot do, but nothing spectacularly new over what the Pro does already. Just a different OS.


Of course, regardless of what the new Nova hardware is going to ultimately look like, it's bound to be huge improvement over the FrankenGarnet Centro & aged Treos we have now. But I am sadly afraid that unless you are a Sprint user, you won't get any Nova-lovin'. I'm tethered to Verizon so that's going to hamper my chances of getting a Nova device. Look at this way: T-Mob has historically never been a Palm supporter and has not had a Palm product of ANY kind since the Treo 600. Verizon dragged their feet in carrying the 650, 700wx, 755p, and the Centro and passed completely on the 800w and (supposedly) the CDMA Treo Pro. Not a good sign, especially when combined with the rumblings that Verizon is gonna can all Palm products regardless of OS. Alltel's gonna be part of Verizon officially in just a few days so we can write them off. That leaves AT&T and Sprint domestically. AT&T passed on the most compelling piece of Palm hardware in years (Treo Pro) and AT&T remains iPhone-centric so THAT'S not a good sign either.


Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p

RE: Palm: Revenge Of The Nerdi
Caspian @ 1/5/2009 9:43:04 AM # Q
I don't want a phone either, but I'll settle for one if that's all they will give us. I would love a Nova-based Netbook computer with instant on and off and the ability to sync with my PC. Roll in GPS, etc, and it would be a killer. I know, I am only one of five people in America who would buy it. But, I would buy it.

David
Palm III> Palm IIIx> Palm IIIc> Sony T615> Sony T665> Sony TH55> Palm T|E> Palm T|E2> Palm T|X
RE: Palm: Revenge Of The Nerdi
mikecane @ 1/5/2009 11:39:40 AM # Q
>>>I know, I am only one of five people in America who would buy it.

Maybe I'd be sixth.

RE: Palm: Revenge Of The Nerdi
BaalthazaaR @ 1/5/2009 12:14:14 PM # Q
Given their track record, I'd have to fondle it before I decide to become the seventh buyer.
RE: Palm: Revenge Of The Nerdi
freakout @ 1/5/2009 12:36:07 PM # Q
Palm are still keen to target the international market, and I reckon that means we'll see a GSM Nova device early in the piece. After all, that was one of the big reasons for moving to a new OS - simultaneous voice/data capability.
Reply to this comment

Phone mockup: Deal or No Deal?

mikecane @ 1/5/2009 6:33:28 AM # Q
What do you lot think of this mockup?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/44432840@N00/3142231559/

Too damned fat, otherwise interesting.

RE: Phone mockup: Deal or No Deal?
SeldomVisitor @ 1/5/2009 6:45:00 AM # Q
Ya need to read before posting...

RE: Phone mockup: Deal or No Deal?
mikecane @ 1/5/2009 11:38:38 AM # Q
You mean AFTER posting. I was rushed, heading for an appt. I didn't see the frikkin URL got munged.

RE: Phone mockup: Deal or No Deal?
mikecane @ 1/5/2009 11:41:19 AM # Q
OK, here we go again, with a TESTED tinyurl:

http://tinyurl.com/7hxxae

Deal or No Deal?

RE: Phone mockup: Deal or No Deal?
SeldomVisitor @ 1/5/2009 11:47:51 AM # Q
Ahem...no...your post was fine.

Just that all that had already been posted hours earlier...

RE: Phone mockup: Deal or No Deal?
hkklife @ 1/5/2009 12:21:19 PM # Q
Another HTC-esque imaginative rendering/mockup:

http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2009/01/04/say-hi-to-the-itreo.html

Speculation that it will debut on Sprint (but of COURSE it will!):

http://www.gearlog.com/2009/01/ces_2009_palms_new_nova_phone.php


Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p

RE: Phone mockup: Deal or No Deal?
SeldomVisitor @ 1/5/2009 12:29:39 PM # Q
They say:

== "...Here's what we know so far.
==
== * Nova is a Linux-based OS."

True.

== "* Nova will launch with third-party software already available."

We do not know this.

== "* Nova will focus on integrating different kinds of data stored
== in different locations."

We do not know this.

== "* Nova will integrate into Web-based social networks."

We do not know this.

== "* Nova will be driven around the Internet and Web-based applications."

We do not know this.

== "* Nova will focus on the "prosumer" market, leaving consumers for Centro
== and business for Windows Mobile Treo products."

This was originally as planned; words at the earnings call suggest we now know this is NOT true.

== "* The phone will hit shelves by June 2009."

That is the currently planned timeframe for the first phone to be "shipped".

RE: Phone mockup: Deal or No Deal?
mikecane @ 1/5/2009 12:59:02 PM # Q
>>>Just that all that had already been posted hours earlier...

Some of us sleep. Zzzzzz

RE: Phone mockup: Deal or No Deal?
hkklife @ 1/5/2009 1:10:39 PM # Q
SV;

Indeed, this week prior to the CES unveiling will require almost hourly "BE CAREFUL!" warnings from you regarding what to believe/not believe!

In fact, the SF Gate piece I posted earlier says fairly plainly that they expect Nova to supplant Garnet entirely in Palm's lineup but the cheap/safe WinMob offerings will continue.

I can see Palm continuing to sell the existing stocks of Garnet-based Centros & PDAs, especially if they are working to integrate Garnet emulation/compatibility in later Nova devices. I could even see the 128mb Centro moving to other carriers and GSM form and maybe staying in production for another 6-9 months, actually. But Palm would be better off going with a low-end Nova device and trying to phase out Garnet ina timely fashion since no one (especially Palm & their carrier partners) apparently wants to have to support or deal with Garnet any longer than they have to.

Look at what Palm did with the Zire 21 handheld back in '04. It had an ARM CPU & OS5 but otherwise was nearly identical to the original Zire with the Dragonball CPU & OS4. The OS and the CPU in the Zire 21 far outclassed the rest of the package. But it made more sense for Palm at the time to just dump the old OS4 stuff and bring everyone up to par with OS5. Same still applies now w.r.t. Nova vs. Garnet.


Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p

RE: Phone mockup: Deal or No Deal?
SeldomVisitor @ 1/6/2009 9:20:06 AM # Q
> == "* Nova will integrate into Web-based social networks."
>
> We do not know this.

We might not know it about Palm's Nova, but Apple just announced at Macworld their iLife app that does this.

Guess some of Palm's potential steam just got let out, huh?

RE: Phone mockup: Deal or No Deal?
mikecane @ 1/6/2009 11:08:20 AM # Q
>>>Guess some of Palm's potential steam just got let out, huh?

No, because those are DESKTOP APPS. iPhone has also had FB and MS, etc, clients for a while.

It's Palm's turn now.

RE: Phone mockup: Deal or No Deal?
SeldomVisitor @ 1/6/2009 11:33:26 AM # Q
No,the clients are not the interesting thing - the automatic recognition of faces internal to a myriad photos and THAT combined with, say, Facebook IS new and, IMHO, VERY interesting!

Reply to this comment

These 7 things are not everyones things that is for sure.

duke77 @ 1/5/2009 11:26:05 AM # Q
1.) How can you say the candy bar form is dead? It is still the simplest and most durable of all the form factors. Iphone is a candy bar form. My friends windows on At&T with the slide out keyboard gets so cheap and loose after a few weeks of use. I can see variety will always help please more people but don't abandon the form factor entirely.

2.)I use the centro more as a business tool so as far as the media player goes I could care less. That is what I have an ipod for.


3.) Like a previous poster mentioned sync to desktop is dead. I haven't used hotsync it 4-5 years I could care less about syncing to a desktop.

4.) This one I agree entirely blazer is old and outdated. I would love to see a browser similar to safari on the iphone. The two weeks I had an Iphone I loved the brower and Safari is the only thing I miss on the iphone after returning it.

5.) This one I agree with two the processor and memory storage are entirely underclassed in this day and age of smartphones.


RE: These 7 things are not everyones things that is for sure.
freakout @ 1/5/2009 12:24:58 PM # Q
1)The candy-bar Palm ain't dead, it's just tired. Every single phone Palm has put out since the Treo 650 has looked near-identical. Palm need to shake up their image a bit, get people to notice them again. One quick way to do that is eye-catching new hardware designs.

2)you may use the Centro more as a business tool, but Palm says they're going after consumers/"prosumers", who use these things as toys as well as phones. So a good media solution is absolutely essential for that.

3)I don't think sync is dead. Far from it. We may use it less, but that doesn't mean it's still not important. We all carry massive amounts of information around with us nowadays, more than ever before, and simple ways to transfer that between the myriad number of computers people own is critical. Maybe this means online sync is needed. That's what I meant by "choice" - any modern sync solution should work just about any way you want it.

Reply to this comment

This better be good

markgm @ 1/5/2009 11:28:55 AM # Q
I've been a Palm user for over a decade and I still can't seem to shake using them. There is no better datebook program out there than Datebk+, that alone has kept me from ditching the platform completely. I left the Palm hardware when the Clie series came out, but when my NX80V finally bit the dust I picked up a TX which basically sits unused in a desk drawer, only to be checked once a day for appointments.

The iPod Touch is a great device, if it had the datebk+ application the TX would never be used. I like my Touch HD but it runs the same way Windows Mobile did for me 8 years ago. It constantly crashes, needs to be reset, and is too slow.

If Palm can pull out a device that will work with Tmobile's network, I'll be first in line to order one. Even the cost isn't an issue so long as they don't leave out important features. One reason I like the Touch HD so much is it has everything I want hardware wise except for a physical keyboard in a tiny package. 2 cameras, bluetooth, wi-fi, high-res screen, 3.5mm jack, charges with a standard micro USB cable, speakerphone, etc.

Palm's gotten my hopes up before, I won't be surprised if they blow it this time around as well.

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Service & Reliability too please

kjeffrey @ 1/6/2009 4:21:49 AM # Q
Whenever I run into someone with a Treo, I ask how they like it. In the last year, I haven't gotten a single positive response and every single person was looking to switch. The phones aren't reliable and the customer service is awful. Palm really needs to make sure to give us a phone that works and stand behind their product.
RE: Service & Reliability too please
SeldomVisitor @ 1/6/2009 4:57:51 AM # Q
That's interesting - I've asked a handful or two (totally random) strangers about their iPhones and Blackberrys (and Samsungs?) and 100% of them have praised the devices. I believe I've asked a single Treo owner (older Treo with an external antenna) and that person, too, praised the device so maybe who one bumps into how one phrases the question is important.

RE: Service & Reliability too please
BaalthazaaR @ 1/6/2009 7:07:45 AM # Q
The one person (that I know) whos company made the switch from Treos to Blackberries wishes that he could go back. The people that I know who started out with BBs or winmob devices love their devices and wouldn't switch. I know only one person who drinks the Apple Kool Aid. He took the day off to stand in line for an iPhone.
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