Why The Palm Pre Will be Better Than The iPhone, And Why It Will Never Beat The iPhone

March 27, 2009

Since the appearance of the iPhone, there has been an endless slew of iPhone imitators. The phrase “iPhone killer” was coined, a true testament to the power of the iPhone. None of those phones have come close to beating the iPhone for a variety of reasons, mostly because they were simply inferior devices. There is an upcoming contender however, the Palm Pre, which looks to be even better than the iPhone. Let me boil it down to a couple of points here.

The Hardware

  • It has a qwerty keyboard. Though this doesn’t differentiate the Pre from the various other iPhone competitors, it is a major selling point, and something that makes it superior to the iPhone.
  • It hasย  removable battery. That’s right, you won’t have to go back to the store to get your phone physically worked on just because the battery is getting old.
  • The “Touchstone”. Put simply, this is the first commercial use of wireless charging I’ve ever seen. You place your Pre on the Touchstone, where it sticks thanks to magnets. The phone is then charged wirelessly through the surface. Pretty cool
  • “The Gesture Area”. The bottom part of the phone is a black surface which essentially acts as the multitouch mousepad for your phone. While the screen itself is still a fully responsive touchscreen (supposedly moreso than the iPhone’s), the gesture area allows you to control just about everything with one hand. This is especially helpful when dealing with things at the top of the screen.

The Software

  • The Pre’s webOS is “absurdly slick”, performing zooms, transitions and fades with zero lag or stutter.
  • All applications can be open and running simultaneously. You’ll never have that slowdown when switching between applications because the Pre is fully capable of running them all at once.
  • “Cards”. When you want to switch applications, the interface zooms out to a deck of “cards”. Unlike the iPhone, these aren’t just thumbnail snapshots of the application, these are actually fully interactive live applications which can be individually flipped and manipulated.

  • Content Aggregation. The Pre uses their “synergy” software to basically compile your contact information from a number of sources. It can recognize and grab all the contact information about the same person from sources like facebook, gmail, and outlook, combining them into an infostack for that person. It does all this while cutting out any duplicate information. If this technology works they way they say it does, you’ll never have to enter any new contact information into your phone.
  • They use this same aggregation technology to pool instant messaging programs together. You can have a consistently threaded conversation which moves through sms, aim, gtalk and plenty of other services.
  • Universal search. The Pre has a search function which will initially search through all your applications, and if it doesn’t find anything there based on your terms, will sift through default sites like Google and Wikipedia.
  • Supereasy App Development. All of the applications for the Pre will be coded in CSS, XML, and Javascript, making it possible for anyone who knows their way around coding to develop applications. Palm is also giving developers access to all the application layers, so apps can integrate with things like calling, custom content, and notifications.

Why It Won’t Win

So as far as the technology goes, it looks to me that the Pre is the first legitimate challenger to the iPhone. It has an answer to all the iPhone’s key selling points, and it has a few new selling points of its own. But unfortunately, the Pre is not going to “beat” the iPhone. It doesn’t matter if it’s a technically superior device. The iPhone will not be taken down by a single competing device because the iPhone is a part of Apple. This is the genius of Apple. They’ve created an impenetrable “Apple Universe.” There’s iTunes, the premier online music service, which works only with iPods and the iPhone. ITunes, iPods, and iPhones are all designed to integrate wonderfully with Mac computers. If you wanted to, you could rent a movie exclusively from iTunes, then stream it exclusively through your Apple Tv, directly to your television set. Or your Apple Cinema Display. Almost all of these products are exclusive to Apple, and they allow for very little competitor penetration.

The second, and equally powerful weapon Apple has under its belt is its chic factor. Apple products are constantly growing in popularity because they’ve established themself as the “cool” technology company. You’ve seen the “Buy a mac” ads with Justin Long and John Hodgman. Mac’s are cool and young while PC’s are outdated and boring. A macbook is the cool laptop to be carrying around, and the iPhone is an equally cool device. The Palm Pre could be better in every respect on paper, but it could never beat the iPhone. The Pre is just a phone, the iPhone is a whole company.





Cool Internet Tools

March 25, 2009



The image above is the result of a cool new internet tool when applied to our blog. Wordle.net uses either inputted text or a quick site analysis to create an awesome visual representation of your site’s keywords. Each visualization is fully customizable, allowing you to change colors, fonts, layout, and more. Though there are plenty of wordcloud widgets out there (WordPress has a few itself) Wordle by far presents the most visually appealing wordcloud I’ve ever seen. Here’s the description from their site.

“Wordle is a toy for generating โ€œword cloudsโ€ from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.”

Cutting Edge Technology: The Sixth Sense

March 23, 2009

In the 80’s, the idea of “virtual reality” was all the rage. Virtual reality was supposed to be a simulated version of the real world, or an imaginary one, which one could experience as if it were reality. With an innovative combination of existing technologies, Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry have created a way to project your computer onto reality. Here we have the ultimate portable computer, and an interesting look at an extreme direction technology could be going. Every day the internet and personal computers are getting more ingrained in our day to day lives. The ubiquity of smart-phones and the emergence of ultra-portable laptops is only the beginning.

Description:This demo — from Pattie Maes’ lab at MIT, spearheaded by Pranav Mistry — was the buzz of TED. It’s a wearable device with a projector that paves the way for profound interaction with our environment. Imagine “Minority Report” and then some.

Simpler Cheap Gadgets

March 20, 2009

Why is the success of smaller, cheaper, easier-to-use devices upon us?

Simple: we are generally all short of time, money and patience!

Witness the success of the Netbook Computer which is now outselling laptops worldwide. The Netbook grew out of the desire to provide inexpensive computers to poor nations. the original goal was to hit a $100 price point. Flash forward and with the advent of the Intel Atom Processor, these little 6 x 10 inch computers travel light and let you do most executive and Internet tasks with ease and cost only $300 to $400. I love my HP mini because it comes with an almost full size keyboard and great screen.

Also, I recently needed to replace my broken older generation Video Cam for family videos, etc. In this economy, why spend $600 to $1000 for any device? The pictured Flip Video is incredibly cool and simple. It records 60 minutes onto its built in Flash memory, then flips out a USB plug to go right into your PC forupload to your favorite sharing sites all for $125. I love it! Simple – Cheap – Easy.

New, Cool, and Useful Sites

March 20, 2009

Cutting Costs the Internet Way

Skype – the Video Phone finally arrives. I saw the original at the 1965 Worlds Fair GE Pavilion. Only took 40 years to get here. We now speak with our employees, customers, family and friends free and quality exceeds my landline!

AskSunday – get a real(human being) personal assistant for $40 per month. Delegate all those little tasks!

Speed Up Your PC/Laptop – why do our machines get slower and slower? Because Windows and other programs generate tons of unnecessary files – “Digital Plaque.” CCleaner automatically get rid of all that junk and hence speeds up your computer.

Just Amazing:
Siftables – the new face of computing.

Got an Idea?:
Ponoko – have somebody make it for you!

Keep It Short:
Bit.ly – shorten and track URLs(Internet Addresses) when you include them in your Emails and other communications.

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