Me and my Palm Pre – the wait is over

There are very few memorable lines from the Star Wars prequels. But one that always sticks with me is when the Chancellor/Darth Sideous tells Anakin Skywalker “your patience has paid off.”

It looks like the patience of Palm users has paid off with the arrival of the Palm Pre, now available from Sprint. For the last couple of years Treo users have been the laughing stock of the smart phone world, as iPhone and Blackberry users have ridiculed our archaic devices. Now, we may have the last laugh.

With a lot less fan fare and significantly less advertising, Palm and Sprint have released a superior product to Apples iPhone, the current gold standard of handheld devices. Last Saturday the Palm Pre became available in limited quantities at a price of $199 after a $100 rebate.

I bought my wife an iPhone for Christmas in ’07, and she has loved it. Why not, it’s a great device that really took the mobile experience to new heights. You Tubes, Movies, the scrolling flick, and a boat load of fun aps have made the iPhone a mega hit.

While the Pre may not sell as many phones, it is equipped with lots of features that make it more functional than the iPhone. Chief among them is the card feature which gives users the ability to multitask.

Multiple applications can be opened at the same time and reduced to “cards” that line up horizontally across the screen as small windows. You can swipe the cards left or right according to which one you want to use. Currently with the iPhone, you have to close out of an application whenever you want to open another.

I also prefer the full QWERTY keyboard that is part of the Pre’s hardware verses the keyboard on the iPhone’s display.  Again, probably not that big a deal unless you banging out upmteen text messages as some of us do.

The one thing that the Pre will never have is iTunes, as I believe the iPod is the greatest invention in recent years.
With the iPhone 3.0, AT&T users will the ability to buy and rent movies, TV shows, music videos, and audiobooks from inside the phone’s iTunes app.

And the true value of the iPhone, it is the coolest toy you’ll ever get your hands on because of tons of user developed applications. The Pre will have to encourage scores of developers to create new aps for the device or port some of the popular iPhone aps over(we need Tap Tap).

So far the only drawbacks for the Pre are the battery life, impacted by the ability to multitask, and the cumbersome cover that fits over the charger input area.

For a fun gadget that gives you or your kids something to do while bored I’d suggest an iPhone. But if you are looking for a phone to make you more productive and gives you a virtual office in your hands, I’d suggest the Palm. Call it Revenge of the Pre.

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