Faulbaer's Schlafmulde :: english :: rants :: beloved annoying palm pre
2009.12.15, 07:51

beloved annoying palm pre

I'm still with the pre and I'm going to stick with it for another while because when it comes to the way it handles my internet life I find it to be amazing.

the touchstone wireless charging device is incredible, too. apple will have one of those as soon as they successfully pushed the whole syncing process to wifi I bet.

so why would I be renting about a pre that I love so much? well - I loved it even more I I could use it more often. it's broken again - for the second time now and that's starting to hurt our relationship. this time the touchscreen doesn't work as soon as I pull the usb-cable from it's socket. without the touchscreen I can't hang up calls, can't choose a phone number from the list, can't start apps - well ... the pre really suxx without the touchscreen. that the iphone and the pre do have in common.

wait - there is more! everything has gotten better with the latest firmware upgrade to something beyond 1.3 but still important features are missing and I can't tell why but palm decided to close down the american app-store to european customers - so the current app-store is looking very very empty and useless. that's not how you compete against the iphone or even android. that's how you dig your own grave. but there is even more! if the pre was be my first PDA smartphone ever it could seem great and it's shortcoming wouldn't matter too much but I happen to know the first two generations of the iphone as well as the first generations of palm PDA devices starting from palm III up to the palm tungsten t3 (an amazing wide-screen color PDA) and I still own the palmone treo, the phone that brought the word shortcomings into the smartphone business for the iphone to solve those.

compared to the iphone I often get the impression that certain features of the palm pre are missing from the iphone for a reason. that's not the case for the great notification system but multitasking doesn't strike me as super clever anymore as long as the 'phone' is just another app, performing rather badly. compared to the treo my pre's batteries seem to be leaking. ok - it's not been too much better with the iphone but where my treo goes through weeks of lazy standby, my pre start's crying for juice before the day is over. that's unbelievably bad performance.

there are some other annoyances that have to do with bad engineering I can't spare you. the usb-port protector is extremely fiddly and I always fear to tear it off after breaking a nail - or a finger. the slide-open keyboard tray doesn't feel too sturdy either. I'm also afraid of breaking the case while opening it for replacing the SIM or the battery.

the system software on the iphone is much better. for one, the phone app doesn't crash as often as the pre's does. tethering is an option, system preferences are one big app and you always know what you can do and what apple doesn't want you to do - with the pre not so much - I keep finding new settings I've never seen before just because I hadn't tried a certain settings app before - that's ridiculous! the settings should be in one place and in one place only. there are important settings missing, too: I want to be able to switch off the auto-correction, want the device to speak english but still use german dates and times as well as the metric system. I want to be able to switch off the screen no matter what - it's always on on the touchstone. I need to be able to hang up with a key instead of the touchscreen that is rather unresponsive during calls. I think the software problems and the empty store will be fixed in the future but the hardware needs to be improved. for a device with that high a price-tag the pre shouldn't be made from such cheap looking, that flimsy feeling components.

there should be a fileserver for syncing so that you can sync stuff to the pre when it's on the touchstone charger. also the syncing should be possible without switching off the phone - I mean hello? it's a phone, it should be able to take calls while syncing - the phone part has to be the priority in this kind of device. If I needed a media playing toy I had gotten an ipod touch in the first place - get real, palm! there should be jabber capability in the chat client. actually it's already there - google talk is just jabber anyway. so why not open that to the rest of the jabber world? there should be a sync app for the mac - I'm over dragging and dropping files onto usb-drives. apple made me see the light with itunes and I'd really like working with the pre the same way. people who like sorting their media within the boundaries of their filesystem are dinosaurs from the past who miraculously survived the burst of their bubble - they are going to be extinct pretty soon - so forget about them, please. build a syncing plugin for isync and get it connected to itunes so that at least my photos and my playlists can be synced automatically. have it work via wifi for your touchstone to make sense.

Faulbaer (please make the pre a device I don't need to apologize for)

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