When Vindigo died an untimely death, I knew it was time to trade-in my old Treo. I had previously resisted the trade-up urge because Vindigo was only available for the Palm. (Blackberry, Windows Mobile & iPhone versions were days away from release when the company closed.) It provided restaurants, shopping and movie timetables for a variety of regions and did NOT use a live Internet connection. It simply updated every time you synced your Palm. No expensive data connection needed!
But, the Palm Pre was released last week and I have moved on. Since the one week anniversary is quickly approaching, I thought I would share my initial thoughts:
- Real Keyboard: I tried several times to talk myself into the iPhone, but I could never get used to the virtual keyboard. The Pre keyboard is the same size as my old Treo, and I am already typing with both thumbs.
- Removable battery: What was Apple thinking?? How can you manufacture a cellphone without a removable battery?
- Over-priced data plan: Having been gouged by Verizon for their data plan, I was thrill by Sprint’s Unlimited Data, Text, Emails plan. Take a look at this comparison.
- Data-roaming: Yes, that is right! The Pre is the first cellphone to allow data-roaming across other networks. But, you need to enable it.
- In the Pre’s Phone Dial Pad, use the Menu to go to the Preferences.
- In the Network box, first change the Voice Network to “Automatic“.
- Right below it will appear Data Roaming. It will be defaulted to “Disabled“. Just click on it to change it to “Enabled“. Guess what … it actually works! I flipped from Sprint’s data network with the “EV” designation to Verizon’s data network with the designation “1x” and used this connection to pull-up webpages and email.
- Manually “Update Network Settings” & “Update Preferred Roaming Lists”: On the same Preferences screen as above, you can manually update both you Network Settings & your PRL (Preferred Roaming Lists). Sprint advised to power off the Pre after this update to be sure that it is applied. I noticed an improvement in my coverage after updating both lists.
- iPhone-ready websites work on the Pre too: MovieTickets.com special iPhone site iphone.movietickets.com works great on the Pre!
- No tethering: Tethering is connecting your cellphone to a laptop (via Bluetooth) to use the cellphone as a wireless modem and share the cellphone’s data plan. I was so disappointed when Sprint removed tethering from the ads for the Pre. Of course, it is still in there somewhere, locked away. I am hoping that once Apple and AT&T release Tethering for the iPhone, Sprint will be force to follow. Note: there was a hack released for the Treo which allowed tethering through a constant “hot-sync”. Any ideas??
- App Catalog: There is no question that Apple has a large Downloadable App Store. But, reports indicate that most apps have a very short shelf-life before customers moves on to something more exciting. I am hoping Palm will encourage real usable apps. New Apps are being added daily. “Where” was just released and includes Yelp which is very Vindigo-like.
- Bluetooth on Infiniti, Nissan & BMW: What I previously thought was an isolated problem now appears to be caused by Palm’s Bluetooth implementation. On both the Palm forum and various Pre sites, there are threads about poor call quality. I personally have a problem with static so bad that it eventually drops the call. Other people have reported problems in ending calls and Bluetooth pairing. Palm has logged the issues and plans a fix in an automatic Upgrade. Never had this problem with my Treos!
- Deleting Email: There is apparently no way to do a mass delete on email downloaded to the Pre. Having to delete over 200 emails one at a time is time-consuming. However, I did find that if you change the Sync method to “1-day”, the Pre will automatically clean out old emails.
Overall, I am still sold on the Palm Pre. Just pick it up … it is hard to put down.