As an ex-Palm fan and user, it was with great (desperate?) optimism that I had been waiting for the January 8th announcement at CES.
Palm hyped it up by saying we’d finally get all the Palm new-ness we had been waiting for, but that had been said before. Rumors were circulating..Upgraded Treo pro running Nova… completely new device running Nova, which was rumored to be INCREDIBLE. Devices with touch screen and a full keyboard behind it… this could make sense as Palm said they wanted to “Bridge the gap between the iPhone and the Blackberry”.
I was willing to forget about the unreliability of the latest Palm devices I used. The T2’s digitizer… the removal of Graffiti, the Lifedrive’s complete failure..
Because I am currently stuck using an iPhone. I say stuck because in reality I would rather be using an Android device, but the G1/Dev1’s 3g frequencies are not compatible with 3g providers in Canada. (We’ll, there is only one Provider actually – Rogers). Also, using Palm devices had always been a great experience, until they became totally outdated, and mostly, until their high end devices were Windows mobile only. Why would someone get a Palm to run that sorry excuse for a mobile OS?
While I do enjoy the multimedia features of the iPhone, and the browser, the major problem with it, to me, is the control Apple has over the app store. I appreciate the app store, but I wish there was an official way of releasing apps without going through the store. Of course, my phone is jailbroken, however, I don’t think companies such as Iambic, who make incredible apps for the PalmOS platform, would spend hundreds of hours to make Agendus for iPhone without knowing in advance if it will be turned down or not, and releasing it as a jailbroken-only app is clearly not a good business plan. Also, the fact that the iPhone third party apps can’t sync with the desktop is a big letdown. “Cloud” computing is great and everything, but I’m not letting a different company host some of my data for every app I need to sync. It’s ok for To-do lists maybe, but what about Password sync? If at least all my data was in an Apple “Sync” account and not on every program maker’s servers, it would be so much nicer.
So the solution seemed relatively simple, but hard to obtain for a company that is cash-strapped as Palm is now, and seemed pretty unrealistic considering the streak of failures that Palm has called innovation. Palm needs to release a wicked device with an awesome touch screen, as precise as the iPhone, and a slide out keyboard. It needs to have better multimedia than Android, and great enterprise features, which the iPhone is lacking. A great Mail client, centralized management, built-in tethering.
And what do we get?
SOMETHING THAT LOOKS INCREDIBLE !
This is the first time in many years that I, and presumably thousands of other Palm fans are excited. The only downside is that it is not GSM/3g, but I am sure a GSM version will come eventually. Palm is back, and by the time my phone contract is over, I’ll buy one!