Palm unveiled its 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. 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. Palm webOS is the first mobile platform to automatically bring the information from the many places it resides – on the phone, at the work or on the web – into one integrated view. The new Palm Pre and webOS are designed to be so in sync with customer’s needs.
“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.”
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.
The new platform introduces Palm Synergy, a key feature of webOS that brings information from all the places it resides into one logical view. The customer doesn’t have to worry about tracking multiple calendars, contacts and messaging applications. With Synergy, the customer has a single view that links his contacts from a variety of sources, so accessing them is easier. For example, if he has the same contact listed in Outlook, Google and Facebook accounts, Synergy recognizes that they’re the same person and links the information, presenting it as one listing. And after updating a contact on webOS device, it also will be updated in various accounts, whether on a personal computer or on the web. Synergy lets the customer see all the conversations with the same person in a chat-style view, even if it started in IM and continued with text messaging.
The calendars can be seen on their own or layered together in a single view, combining work, family, friends, sports teams, or other interests. Palm’s webOS lets the customer manage multiple activities more effectively than any other mobile platform. He or she can keep multiple applications open and instantly flip from one to another.
With its multi-touch interface, webOS lets the customer move between activities like flipping through a deck of cards and rearrange items simply by dragging them.
Pre has a breakthrough interface and hardware design that makes it the most integrated and user-friendly phone for mobile users. Featuring a smooth, rounded ergonomic design and a physical keyboard that slides out only when needed, Pre is engineered to feel natural in the hand and comfortably small in the pocket.
Pre will support a variety of differentiated on-device Sprint services, including Sprint TV, offering an extensive selection of live and on-demand programming. Sprint Navigation provides GPS-enabled audio and visual turn-by-turn driving directions, one-click traffic rerouting and more than 10 million local listings. Sprint also offers more than a dozen streaming-radio applications, including Sprint Radio with more than 150 channels.
Palm Pre features a 3.1-inch touch screen with a 24-bit color 320×480 resolution HVGA display (with multitouch and an accelerometer), weighs in at 135 grams (4.8 ounces), and comes with a curved, slide-out QWERTY keyboard. It does Wi-Fi and EV-DO Rev. A or UMTS HSDPA, stereo Bluetooth, 8GB of internal storage, a 3MP camera, a 3.5mm headset jack, and a removable battery.
Palm Pre is scheduled to be available first in the United States exclusively from Sprint in the first half of 2009, and will be followed by a world-ready UMTS version for other regions. Sprint’s pricing for the phone has not yet been determined.