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.