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Palm Pre Bits for the Week

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A few Palm (s PALM) Pre news bits hit this week. Instead of offering them up in slices, here’s the whole pie. There’s definitely some attractive features that have me leaning towards the Pre when my AT&T (s T) contract is up in June.

  • Palm’s Application Store won’t be the only game in town for the Pre. You’ll be able to “side load” third party software via USB or over the air. Here I thought there wouldn’t be any desktop software for the Pre; Sounds like it’s not total Synergy after all.
  • Pre can be used as a modem and USB drive. Sprint (s S) officially says so on the updated Pre product page. If anyone would know, I’d say it would Sprint. Both wireless tethering over Bluetooth 2.1 and wired tethering with USB 2.0 are options. Native USB mass storage should be automatic on every smartphone these days.
  • WebOS isn’t that small. The product page indicates that the 8GB phone will only have 7.4GB available to the user. I’m sure that not all of the 600MB is the operating system, but I’m curious how big software updates are going to be. Perhaps Palm will follow in Nokia’s footsteps and one-up Apple (s AAPL) by implementing incremental over-the-air updates. If Nokia can manage it with the N80x Internet Tablets and some N-series devices, I think Palm can make it happen. That would give more meaning to the name “WebOS” too.

With Mobile World Congress starting in three days, we’re sure to hear more on the Pre, so stay tuned. I expect we’ll find out about the GSM version, likely to be with Vodafone for starters.

3 Responses to “Palm Pre Bits for the Week”

  1. Scott Shoemaker

    Dave, it should be included in your data plan. I have an old Palm 680 on AT&T with an unlimited data plan and can use my phone tied to my laptop anywhere I have AT&T service. Now the 680 is on the edge network, not 3G, so it is slow, but it does work. The software was available 3rd party for the old palm os, but I think the Pre will have it pre-installed??? Who knows at this point, I want one but won’t switch to sprint, been with AT&T for too many years and find there coverage to be the most extensive.

  2. I agree, OTA updates would be huge. I don’t know exactly why, but it seems like it should be the modern way to get it done. Then again, the size of the updates over a carrier’s bandwidth and the size of the swap space may be a barrier. I think you’re right, incremental updates is the way to go.

    Regarding the tethering, the big wild card is “how much?” I can’t imagine it’d be free. Then again including it in the $99/mo all-in plan from a carrier bleeding customers might be a nice incentive.

  3. I think you’ll find it’s 7.4GB because of the way all storage makers work out their capacities. An 8GB device is really only 7.4GB because manufacturers insist on labelling their devices based on 1GB = 1000000000 bytes. If you take 8000000000bytes/1024/1024/1024 you will get just under 7.5GB.

    Same reason my 16GB iPod Touch is 14.6GB.