Palm Pre Plus – Too Soft For This Goldilocks

Almost everything about the Palm Pre Plus is cooler than my previous phone, the HTC Touch Pro running Windows Mobile. I thought my phone was the hotness. I thought my phone was the greatest thing ever. The Pre is hotter. The Pre is the greaterest thing ever.
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The hardware design is sleek and lovely. The OS looks and feels fabulous. After a brief learning curve I was able to pick up all the gestures and navigational tricks and I grew to really enjoy the interface. It can do cool things like navigate with Google Maps and it can act as a mobile WiFi hotspot, serving up to 5 other devices with wireless internet – very cool for a long roadtrip.

pre 051 (2)The problem is that although it’s cuter, prettier and faster than my stolen phone, it just doesn’t do everything I’ve come to expect. While I was trying it out, I kept saying, “But it’s so cute. Why can’t it do X?” or, “I want this to be my phone if only it could…”

The Pre works with Microsoft Exchange so it syncs my calendars and contacts, which is great. However, the calendar functionality is limited. There are little things that have come to be very important to me that you cannot do on a Pre calendar. The most critical problem for me is that I can’t add attendees to a calendar appointment. Whenever I’m out and about and make a new appointment, I add Dan as an attendee and the event goes to all of our phones and calendars within minutes. This makes family planning (not that kind) very easy and I feel like I need it, although “need” is a funny word.
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Another downside to the Pre is that there is currently no way to edit documents. It comes with a document viewer installed and on the Dataviz website, there’s a page saying that a fully functional document editor will be released early in 2010. But it’s April and that’s a deal breaker for me.

pre 055 (2)Dataviz has document editing apps for every other phone and its dog but not for the Pre. And therein lies the rub. Not many people are designing apps for the Pre. Palm is up for sale so its future is uncertain. I’m sure developers don’t want to pour resources into creating apps for an OS that may be off the market shortly. They’re putting their eggs into the basket of Apple and Google and hopefully Microsoft when their new (supposedly groundbreaking) Windows Phone 7 gets released later this year.

Because we’re so entangled with Microsoft, I was hoping my previous phone would get me through until the release of The Windows Phone Hotness but with my phone gone, I need to get something now.

I wanted it to be Palm. I loved the Pre. But this Goldilocks, like my burglarific predecessor, has very specific needs and is moving on to the next bowl of porridge.

If you’re looking for a smart phone that’s beautiful, sleek, easy to use and well-designed that doesn’t have a lot of gadgets and apps but has great web-browsing and simple personal calendaring, take the Pre out for a spin.

This week I’m exploring the world of <DROID>. The <> around DROID indicates that I’m saying it like a robot. Say it with me. It’s fun.

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In this case, I’m borrowing phones to try out and then I plan to purchase the one I like best.

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