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Summary:

We’ve been playing with Palm’s Pre to learn the basics, but there’s always time for tips and tricks, right? Here’s a list we started compiling through our own first-day usage as well as some great reader commentary. Don’t hesitate to add more in the comments! Need […]

palm-preWe’ve been playing with Palm’s Pre to learn the basics, but there’s always time for tips and tricks, right? Here’s a list we started compiling through our own first-day usage as well as some great reader commentary. Don’t hesitate to add more in the comments!

  • Need to perform a soft reset? Hold the Power button and cycle the Ringer button on/off three times.
  • Want to turn your Pre into an ebook reader? Install Classic and then eReader for Palm OS. (Thanks, Jack in NC!)
  • Save battery life reducing the interval for email synchronization; I’m using 15 minutes for now. Note that each email account can be set for a different interval. Sascha Segan has a few more useful tips in this area too.
  • Use Palm’s one-time, web-based Data Transfer Assistant to get contacts, calendars, tasks and memos from Microsoft Outlook or Apple’s iCal / Address Book to your Pre.
  • Press the Orange key, Sym key and P key for a screenshot that you can use as a wallpaper or send in an email.
  • Turn on Advanced Gestures so that swiping the entire length of the Gesture Area moves you through your open cards. You’ll find this setting in the Screen & Lock app.
  • Customize which Calendars appear under the “All Calendars” view. In the Calendar Preferences, find the calendar account(s) you want to modify. In each of the calendars, there’s a “Display in ‘All Calendars’ View” switch you can turn on or off.
  • Compact your daily calendar by tricking out Pre’s accordian view. Create a “Start Day” event for the first five minutes of every day at 12:00am. Create an “End Day” event for the last five minutes of every day at 11:55pm. Pre will compress your free time so appointments will stand out with far less scrolling. (Good tip, John Doe!)
  • pre-batteryWant an exact percentage of remaining battery life? Just tap the battery icon. You’ll also see the date (including day of the week) and options for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Airplane Mode. Another way to turn on Airplane Mode is to press and hold the power button for a few seconds: you can choose to turn Pre off or enable Airplane Mode.
  • Don’t want Pre to capitalize a word that you’re typing? Press the backspace key one time after the capital letter and Pre won’t erase the letter. Instead, the letter will become lowercase.
  1. Have either one of you installed the PalmOS emulator Classic? It’s not a free app. It is only going to work for 1 week then we’ll all need to pony up $30.

    There are also many bad reviews of the emulator saying that it crashes a lot. Has anyone tried this out?

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  2. I have installed the trial and it has crashed once in less than a day. I only use it for eReader but will not spend $30 for it.

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  3. I’m definitely not paying the $30. eReader and eWallet are the two most missed programs for me. I’m guessing someone will jump in and publish these apps. Ilium (eWallet) has already stated that they’re working on it.

    I also REALLY miss Microsoft VoiceCommand, but I don’t expect that MS will rerelease this for the Pre.

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  4. Thanks for the tips. I didn’t know about the screenshot key combo.

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  5. Re: Advanced gestures – I turned that on, but then found that once you get into an app, there is no “back” (which is what the swipe gesture does w/o advanced gestures “on”). For example – open Email, click on an Inbox, open an email. With Advanced Gestures on, you cannot go back to the Inbox or even two swipes back to open a different mail account – you go to the next app.

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    1. Forgot – “push” email on is better if you do not get a lot of mail. I may go an hour between emails sometimes (and obviously longer on “off” hours) and “as items arrive” helps much better than the default 15 minutes. Also, I am at the home office most of the day and wifi works better than 2-3 bars of EVDO for battery life too. Good tips.

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    2. “Advance Gestures” only switches cards when you swipe the entire length of the gesture area (far right to far left – or vice versa). Using a shorter swipe on half of the gesture area from right to left still performs the back gesture.

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    3. When the advanced gestures are on and you want to go “back”, all you have to do is a half swipe to the right of the button. So start at the far right of the gesture are and swipe most of the way toward the button and that will work as back.

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    4. With advance gestures on you can go backwards. Try making a circular motion around the control ball. Hope this helps.

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  6. Huh? It capitalizes the first letter of every word you type? You have to backspace at the beginning of every word?

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    1. No, just the first word in a sentence.

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    2. Read that again – it did not say it capitalizes “every” word, it said “a word”. It will automatically capitalize the first letter of a new sentence or the first word of a new field (after hitting return or entering a new field). But if you are typing something like a web address, you do not want it to look like http://Www.xyz.com. The back space trick will take care of the cap.

      Odd – this works in email but not in memos.

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    3. Oh, right. Thanks!

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  7. Anyone having problems with battery life? I have hardly been using the phone and it only lasted 6hrs. That and the phone gets really hot when you do use it. Is this normal? Is there any settings that I can change to prevent the battery from draining. My email is set to check every hour.

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    1. IM kills battery life too, especially AIM. Use airplane mode if you’re out of range. I’ve heard turning on WiFi helps to conserve battery life too.

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    2. YOu can increase batery life but disabling some features. Go through these steps.

      1. Navigate to location services
      Turn off auto locate
      Turn off Use GPS
      Turn off background data collection
      (WHen you start up google map or sprint navigation it will prompt for current location and to restart GPS) THIS HELPS A TON!!!

      2. Turn off WiFi if not in use
      3. Turn off bluetooth if not in use

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  8. I’ll pay for Classic because I have apps for which the PalmOS functionality is more than adequate and (perhaps more importantly) familiar. Its cheaper to spend $30 on Classic than to re-purchase new, unfamiliar similar software.

    Another Pre tip: Got a favorite webapp-type website? Add it to your Launcher. Tap the upper left to drop down the menu and find the menu option to Add to Launcher (don’t have the Pre in front of me now, sorry). Current favorite application of this tip – Launcher icon to online banking.

    Jack

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    1. @Jack – have you used Classic? I have read it crashes on a lot of things. Try it before you buy it!

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  9. @HSK Yes, using it now. Some crashes, but the most-used apps are running fine. And, MotionApps is a good developer, future releases of Classic will only get better in terms of compatibility and stability.

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  10. To conserve battery, its told to leave WiFi on. That is wrong. If left on the device is constanstly searching for a server. By doing this, it runs the battery down. Leave WiFi off, bluetooth off, and email push on manual. Manual checks the email everytime you get on the device and its a few seconds to push through. Do this and your battery will last a good while. Mine has lasted a day and a half so far.

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    1. Sorry, but common sense would suggest that if you are not in WiFi range – traveling or not in the area of an available connection – you should turn it off. WiFi saves battery over EVDO only if you are actually connected to a wifi router.

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