Comments on: Fortune Dishes Out Some Pre History

Fortune Magazine has published a new article on the current state of Palm leading up to its most important launch date ever. Entitled, "Palm fights back (against Apple)", the article aims to frame the Pre as the main rival to Apple's iPhone and at the same time also gives a good portrait of the Pre's backstory including some new revelations about the design phase.

A good overall read, the story also highlights the key role that Rubinstein played in implementing the Pre:

Rubinstein started, in his words, "hanging out" with Palm people in late June. He didn't like what he saw. The hardware for the Pre needed to be scrapped and rebooted. For one thing, prototypes were using old "resistive" touchscreen technology that responds to a user physically pushing the screen, not the newer "capacitive" technology manipulated by the electricity in the user's body. Rubinstein tossed out the old phone's hardware and built a new one in about 15 months. "We were basically running a marathon and doing a heart transplant in the middle of it," says Rubinstein.

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Marshall Flinkman @ 5/27/2009 1:57:16 PM # Q
The article is in Fortune Magazine, not Forbes. The only connection to Forbes--and it's a stretch--is that Elevation has a stake in Forbes.
RE: Ooops!
Ryan @ 5/27/2009 2:02:50 PM # Q
Ooopps indeed, it's been a long day. Thanks!
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What's the difference?

Tuckermaclain @ 5/27/2009 7:16:27 PM # Q
Isn't the capacitive screen lower resolution (as far as touch response) than the resistive screen? If so, why is it better?
RE: What's the difference?
pontif @ 5/27/2009 8:22:07 PM # Q
Because it is better suited for multi-touch and finger touch, where the resistive is better suited for use with a stylus
RE: What's the difference?
LiveFaith @ 5/27/2009 9:21:18 PM # M Q
I must say ''thank God that this guy came when he did to stop another Palm hardware trainwreck''. I don't know what they had in mind, but I'm sure it looked like a fatTreo 600.

Now as far as the new touchscreen, I think it's a bitter-sweet chnage. In almost every way it will be superior, except as mentioned above. Lower rez (less accurate) recognition all but eliminates EXTREMELY functional drawing / handwriting to the screen apps such as BugMe / Diddlebug etc. Using a stylus for writing quike notes are invaluable. Capacitive touch drawing by finger AINT gonna get it done either. My sons iPod Touch has an excellent app like this, but the hardware + finger just don't get it done.

I am not happy about losing the stylus in this case.

RE: What's the difference?
twrock @ 5/28/2009 12:21:13 AM # Q
Styli might not be "cool", but they work great for the complexities of Chinese character input. I'm not interested in any handheld that won't let me enter characters accurately.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?
RE: What's the difference?
SeldomVisitor @ 5/28/2009 4:13:58 AM # Q
Copy-n-paste is fun with a fingertip.

RE: What's the difference?
nastebu @ 5/28/2009 9:46:21 AM # Q
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interesting pre-review

jca666us @ 5/28/2009 2:12:00 AM # Q
from bgr:

Yes you're looking at the first site in the world to have a Palm Pre (or at least be able to post it up). There's so much to say but that's going to have to wait for our full review. In the meantime, here's a couple first impressions of the phone and a few more photos after the break:

The Pre feels really good in your hand in terms of size and shape, but there's a real plasticky aura about it. Additionally, things aren't looking good for that QWERTY either. And hey, you know we take them keyboards seriously! When you try and type on the top row of keys, your finger hits the bottom part of the front piece and on top of that, you often hit multiple keys at the same time while typing. It's actually really frustrating and doesn't bode well for such a fantastic social communication/personal/business tool.

The screen is really responsive and blends right in with the casing awesomely executed and the capacitive touch is so damn beautiful. We'd rate it just behind the iPhone but in front of the T-Mobile G1 as far as screens go. Ready for a couple more shots while we stay up all night and write this review? Hell yeah you are!

RE: interesting pre-review
SeldomVisitor @ 5/28/2009 4:10:47 AM # Q
This is a device that isn't going to be advertised, is depending on "independent" reviewers who were given one and 6 months service to chat up rather than advertising, and the keyboard is inadequate?

Is anyone other than an early-adopter going to get one?

RE: interesting pre-review
vetdoctor @ 5/28/2009 5:54:49 AM # M Q
Millions use the stupid iPhone "keyboard" no problem. it will sell.
RE: interesting pre-review
SeldomVisitor @ 5/28/2009 6:02:33 AM # Q
You don;t get the difference.

The iPhone keyboard s cool - little letters pop up on the screen when you tap a letter. You turn the phone sideways and the keyboard turns sideways, too! Ya want to type in Cyrillic the keyboard changes to Cyrillic! Pure Hollywood!

The Pre keyboard is hardwired - it's dinky and cramped.

So you're Joe Blow Nongeek.

Which phone are you willing to forgive for not being perfect?

RE: interesting pre-review
jca666us @ 5/28/2009 7:12:39 AM # M Q
I'm on the fence here - I'm one of the few that can't type on a blackberry keyboard - and that's bigger than the pre's keyboard.

there is a certain elegance to the iPhone's approach - and the usability is superior. Still, some people prefer a "real" keyboard - I'd like to see the iPhone keyboard with haptic feedback.

The Pre's design reminds me of the tungsten - the slider's cool but a bit clunky - hopefully that's an area Palm improved - as the Tungsten's slider got loose over time.

RE: interesting pre-review
hkklife @ 5/28/2009 11:15:47 AM # Q
IMO, Palm has wasted an incredible amount of real estate with the silly gesture are and single-function click button. All of those gestures could be accomplished on-screen with a soft gesture area and the button could be relocated anywhere.

I'd like to have seen that area used for a larger screen (at least an iPhone-esque 3.5") and/or improving the hard keyboard. Watching the Pre being typed on a CES, certain keys seemed much easier to hit than others. i once briefly had one of those Nokia slider dumbphones. It was hard to hit the numeric keys on the top row due to the edge of the top body interfering with my fat thumbs. I imagine typing on the Pre will be similar.

Still, I'll take a small & difficult physical real keyboard anyday over a virtual one...but I DO wish the Pre had a larger LCD with at least the option of onscreen QWERTY...y'know, something that the original Pilot offered in 1996. Having to reorient the phone, extend the slider, then rotate it again just to type a new URL in the browser while on the web in landscape mode is going to be a huge PITA.
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: interesting pre-review
jca666us @ 5/28/2009 12:02:41 PM # Q
Maybe once they develop webos further they'll add in an onscreen keyboard - then they could drop the physical keyboard entirely - and produce the phone in a thinner form factor.

While some people want a physical keyboard, a large number also want a small pocketable device.

RE: interesting pre-review
bhartman34 @ 6/1/2009 6:04:31 AM # Q
I got the chance to use an iPhone a few weeks ago. I have to admit, it's a fun device -- as long as all you have to do is tap.

The on-screen keyboard didn't work for me at all. I'd be looking right at the keys I wanted to hit, touch the keys I wanted to hit, but still some other letter would come up. I'm not saying all virtual keyboards everywhere suck and always will, but to do a virtual keyboard the right way, you need more space than the iPhone has.

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