Let me just get this out of the way: The Palm App Catalog sucks. Give it time and there will be plenty to choose from, but right now there are only a few gems in there. I was at first eager and hopeful when I saw Classic, by MotionApps, which is an emulator and allows you to install any of the applications that were designed for Palm OS on webOS. It would make thousands of applications availble to Pre owners, but two things are keeping me from purchasing right now: the $30 price tag and the plethora of poor reviews. … Read more
I've used the Sprint Navigation feature 3 times now. I've never had a GPS device before. The first time was from San Francisco to Menlo Park. It went smoothly; I missed my last turn and the GPS recalculated quickly, and it handled navigation in the business park's small parking lot. The second time was for a trip from San Francisco to South San Francisco to the FedEx distribution center. This was a shorter trip and the parking lot was much bigger than on the first trip, but it got me there in one piece. … Read more
I like the calendar that comes with the Pre. For a few days I was a little irritated that only the time was shown on the home screen (unless the screen was locked, then you saw both the date and the time), but then I realized that the calendar icon in the quick launch bar contains the day. (Insert Homer Simpson "DOH!" here.) … Read more
DUGWAY, Utah--"We train warriors and test weapons."
That's how Col. Jeff Snell, the commander of the 388th Range Squadron, which operates the gargantuan Utah Test & Training Range (UTTR), summed up the main mission of his command.
I had spent the day visiting part of UTTR's Maryland-size facilities, and discovered that Snell's words were a very succinct way of explaining what really goes on at the range: Air Force pilots fly in there in screaming-fast aircraft to run bombing training missions, often in advance of deployments to either Iraq or Afghanistan, and, less frequently, … Read more
You can add several email accounts to the Pre. There's a nice feature to consolidate the accounts by filtering the Inbox and Flagged items. The Smart Folders options for both these folders is on by default, but if you need more of a distinction between work and personal email it's easy to turn off. I like that you delete messages by swiping them off to the side. Two big gripes, however:1) there's no confirmation screen when you delete a message, and 2) you can't turn any of the screens in Email to landscape. Grrr!
The Palm Pre, like all smartphones, comes with a variety of features and software as well as the ability to purchase third party applications. In this post I'll discuss a few of the built-in features.
Screen Lock and Location Services
What I want my screen lock to do is, of course, lock the screen, but I also want a little flexibility. I can set the screen to turn off after 1, 2, or 3 minutes, and I can set the screen unlock password as off, simple PIN (numbers only), or Password. However, if I manually turn off the screen, it automatically locks the screen after about 2 seconds. So, if I want to use a PIN or password, the screen is either off and locked, or on and unlocked. I would like turn off the screen and be able to set the time before it locks. It might sound a little nit-picky, but I think about it everytime I use the phone.
The Location Services include the ability to geotag your photos. The problem here is that it's either on or off, and the setting is separate from the camera feature. I'd like to see an option to toggle the photo tagging on the camera screen. … Read more
TERRA, Utah--It seems like Road Trip 2009 has still just started, but the odometer hit 2,000 miles as I was driving through this tiny hamlet.
Terra is near the entrance to the Dugway Proving Grounds, where I was on my way to visit the Air Force's 388th Range Squadron and its Utah Test & Training Center--the largest bombing range in the country,
Since I hit 1,000 miles just a few days ago, I've done quite a few things and, obviously, covered a lot of ground in the Audi Q7 TDI clean diesel SUV I'm road-testing. … Read more
The Palm Pre that CNET shipped to me is actually my second Pre. This post explains my decision to buy it and make the switch to Sprint. The second Pre is currently in the possession of my less tech-obsessed partner, and I'll write about her experiences in a future post.
Why I left T-Mobile and signed up with Sprint.
Before I got the Palm Pre I had the T-Mobile Dash for a little over three years. The Dash was a fine first smartphone: good size, excellent keyboard, and fairly good screen considering the size. It came with Windows Mobile 5, an expansion slot, and, with a little hackery you could easily find instructions for on the internet, internet access for six dollars. There was also a fairly healthy developer community so I bought a few cheap applications that made life easier: calendar, tasks, password manager, and sms threading to name a few. … Read more
The Pre arrived on the afternoon of Friday, June 26, and as Murphy's law dictates, I was not home to sign for it. So after a short drive to the FedEx distribution center, I was in my home office, tearing through the box with my camera at my side.
I'm a little disappointed with the accessories that come with the Pre. The folding prongs on the charger is a nice touch for travel, but I'd like to see an actual case in the box. The chamois bag does a nice job of polishing the phone, and you'… Read more
MB Astro Compatability Test Software allows users to look at the potential ability to pair up with another individual. While entering some of the details can be a chore, the results are quick and mostly easy to read for novices.
This program's interface is an interesting mixture of simplicity and astrological jargon, which makes it slightly confusing for newcomers. However, the program is easily navigated from its input screen and its results screen, which makes it manageable. The Help file showcases program details, but nothing about astrology. Inputting birthdays and places of birth was a simple matter of filling … Read more