Palm shocked everyone (as evidenced by the pop in their stock price), when they unveiled their upcoming smartphone. Along with the phone came the announcement of a complete revamp of their PalmOS, called WebOS. The new operating system’s features will give Apple something to think about in the way it supports gesture-based navigation, an alert system that allows users to be notified without interrupting what they’re currently doing, and leveraging “local storage capabilities of HTML5 so that data is available even when users are offline”.
One of the annoyances of current smartphones, including Blackberrys and iPhones occurs when you are working on something on the phone and the phone suddenly rings. You are unceremoniously ejected from whatever you are working on and switched over to the “phone application”. The Pre does not do this. It more elegantly notifies you of an incoming ring, by moving your current application up a bit to reveal a notifier at the bottom of the screen.
The phone itself looks very “iPhone-like”, with the notable distinction of being somewhat smaller, but sporting a vertical slide-out keyboard. Similar to the iPhone, the Pre has a touchscreen interface which allows for multi-touch gestures, but arranges its applications in a more intuitive way to have multiple applications open at the same time and switch between them more easily.
Palm Unveils All-new webOS
Web-Centric Platform and New Palm Pre Phone to Debut Exclusively on Sprint's Mobile Broadband Network in First Half of 2009
LAS VEGAS, Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Jan. 8, 2009 - Palm, Inc. (NASDAQ: PALM) today unveiled its groundbreaking Palm® webOS™ mobile platform, built from the ground up to be constantly connected to the web, and the new Palm Pre™, the first phone based on the new platform.(1) Pre is scheduled to be available exclusively from Sprint in the first half of 2009.
Palm webOS is a brand-new kind of platform, invented exclusively for mobile use. webOS recognizes that you want your people, calendars and information to move with you, wherever you are, wirelessly, as opposed to being bound to a personal computer. Palm webOS is the first mobile platform to automatically bring your information from the many places it resides - on your phone, at your work or on the web - into one simple, integrated view.(1) The new Palm Pre and webOS are designed to be so in sync with your needs that it feels like Pre is thinking ahead for you.
"Palm products have always been about simplifying lives and delivering great user experiences," said Ed Colligan, Palm president and chief executive officer. "webOS and Pre bring game-changing simplicity to an increasingly mobile world by dissolving the barriers that surround your information. It's technology that seems like it's thinking ahead to bring you what you care about most - your people, your time, and your information - in the easiest and most seamless way."
"Pre continues Sprint's leadership in open access to the content customers want for a great web-connected experience," said Dan Hesse, Sprint chief executive officer. "We look forward to bringing this remarkably innovative device to our customers on America's most dependable 3G network.(2)
The new platform was designed to allow a vast ecosystem of partners, including developers, hardware suppliers, and accessories manufacturers, to develop core solutions to complement the platform and product line. For developers, webOS shatters traditional barriers to mobile-application development by offering a rich open development environment that's familiar to tens of millions of web developers. More people can develop for the platform and can do it faster than ever before. The platform's flexible environment will also allow developers to distribute their applications over-the-air via an on-device Palm application store.