This post is a day late, mostly as I was nursing quite a large hangover which meant the creative juices weren’t exactly flowing.
So how has it gone?
So far so good, I managed to get the phone set up play with the gesture tutorial and then I started with Synergy. Big mistake on my part as I had forgotten to sync my contacts to my sim card prior to resetting my iPhone which meant that the ones the Pre now had were at least a year out of date.
For those unfamilar with ‘Synergy’ its Palm ethos that you should be able to sync all of your contacts from a range of different sources(Facebook, Gmail, Sim card etc) which is great in theroy but can lead to frustrations. Namely the fact I have ALL of my Facebook friends on my contacts list, which is fine for me as I’m a big proponent of ‘Friend Culls’ meaning that most of my friends in Facebook are actually people I physically know. The big drawback is that once you’ve added your facebook contacts, you can’t delete them from your contact list without deleting them from facebook first. This is further compounded by the fact that not everyone has their mobile numbers in Facebook (I certainly don’t) which creates a fair number of useless entries that just seek to take up space in your phonebook and you can’r remove.
So the first half hour of the my life with the Pre was spent sorting out the large mess of contacts into one list (lots of clicking, copying pasting and deleting), not the best way to be introduced to the phone.
Afterwards I setup my App Catalog account and put a card onto it, which almost didn’t work because the App Catalog only appears to accept Visa and Mastercard, luckily it seem to accept my Visa Debit card and all was well, I’m getting a feeling that this lack of clarity on certain sections is going to be an every present theme during my time with the Pre. So now I was all set up and good to go, it was time to get some Apps, now I know the App Catalog is threadbare in comparison to the iPhone and I had indentified that I only really use three core apps (Facebook, Twitter and Web browsing), all of which are easily available via the Pre (I’ve selected Bad Kitty as my twitter client of choice). I haven’t really spent much time looking at other apps although I may later on today.
I should take a minute to talk about the keyboard, its not great but I’m certainly getting used to it although I’m not nearly as fast as with an iPhone and the lack of autocorrect is a major oversight by Palm. On a side note its a lot harder to type on when you’re in bed as the slider makes the phone top heavy leading to potential a TKO as you inevitably drop the phone on your forehead.
But this all sounds a bit negative right? There are many things that I love about this phone. I love the feel of the phone in my hand, many reviews have made mention of the polished stone feel of the Pre and I heartily agree, its very satisfying to hold. Another is its beautiful approach to multitasking and the coup de grace, its notification system. Now I can understand if you don’t quite have a passion for smart notifications that I do, but that’s because you may not have been an iPhone user. Let me explain, Palm and Apple have two distinctly different approaches to how they think you should be informed of something happening on your phone. Palm method can be equated to being gently tapped on the shoulder and discretely informed that you have a new text message by popping up a small notification at the bottom of the phone. Apple prefer to use a modal pop up that is akin to being grabbed by the shoulders and told HEY YOU HAVE A MESSAGE, READ THE MESSAGE, COME ON READ IT NOW!!!!!!! It will also not release control of the screen until you’ve either read it (closing your existing app and opening the message one) or dismissing it and returning to whatever it was that you were doing. Nothing makes me angrier than crashing during a race just because someone text me and that’s the reason I switched from the iPhone.
So at the end of the first day I’m up and running but apart from the notifications system, I’m not bowled over but that’s not to say I don’t like the phone, far from it. It currently satisfies most of my smartphone requirements, the question is can I find something to keep me here as the iPhone 4 is looming large in my mind.
That’s the mission kids, we’re about a week and a bit away from the iPhone launch and I’m still tempted but I think I will give the Pre a month to prove itself.
After all the iPhone will always be there.