Got the Palm Pre Plus

Discuss HanDBase running on various Palm OS devices and synchronization with desktop computers.

Got the Palm Pre Plus

Postby BruceArnold » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:44 pm

I did buy the Pre Plus and it arrived on Tuesday, so I've had a few days to fool around with it.

Mainly, I like it a lot. It took me no time to get the hang of using gestures; this is a really nice way to do things. I have seen iPhone people doing this stuff and it looked cool to me. I was right, it is cool. Much easier than navigating on the old Centro. I do not miss the 5 way button, as familiar as it was over generations of Palms.

The form factor is awesome.This phone feels better in my hand than any phone I've ever held. I like that it is smaller than the iPhone (which seems like the obvious comparison, although I suppose Android owners might disagree.) I like that it is so sleek and rounded. It just fits. It also fits my belt holster, which saves me a little cash. I like the integrated keyboard -- it works well for me -- just enough larger than the Centro to be a major improvement.

Here's a question: this is a phone, right? You talk on it, right? Why doesn't it have voice recognition for dialing from my contacts, like my old Motorola could do four or five years ago? Why can't I text via voice? This thing is a better computer than the first desktop I ever ran Dragon Naturally Speaking on, so please, don't anyone try to kid me that it can't be done at least as well as Motorola did it.

The suite of programs that come with it is not bad. Wi-fi is a great addition; I logged onto my home network once and it is automatic from now on, so I can use the Web over my cable modem instead of over the Verizon network -- much faster. I wonder if it is better in terms of battery usage also? Hmmm.

No problem getting my calendar/contacts/memos sync'ed over. The data transition program was simple and walked me right through it.

I downloaded "Classic" -- it is a free download. Odd that I haven't loaded HanDBase yet. I was using HanDBase on the Centro, but since I had some connection/sync problems with that (the sync area on the phone got scratched and would no longer connect), and I am not about to have a bunch of crucial data that I can't back up, I have gotten used to carrying my Tungsten E around again. It's not a bad solution at all, so I'm not sure I will load HanDBase onto the Pre. My original objection to getting a Treo when they came out was, if I put both my PDA and my phone on the same platform, I have neither if it breaks or is lost. The "swiss army knife" concept does not work in all spheres (although I love my SAK Champ and carry it everywhere.) So I've been back to the PDA here/phone there model again for months and honestly, I may stick with it. But who knows. BTW, I did get a Bluetooth dongle and that fixed my hot sync problem with the Centro. But I still stuck with the Tungsten for HanDBase.

Here's a criticism of the Pre software: they took Categories out of the Contacts and Calendar. Categories have been a feature ever since my first Palm Pilot Professional, and I have made heavy use of them. Being able to assign ringtones by category, for instance, is a great advantage; I could know something about a call without even looking. Or being able to look at my calendar and seeing with a glance, from the color code, whether an upcoming appointment is for business, personal, whatever. If Palm does another major upgrade to WebOS, I hope they will add this back in. I cannot imagine why they dropped it. If I knew where to send Palm a request, I would.

I may have some other comments later but this will do for now. Not much HanDBase content here. But I'm not done thinking about the Pre and HanDBase yet -- it has been THE must-have app for the 10+ years I've owned a Palm.
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Re: Got the Palm Pre Plus

Postby dhaupert » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:37 am

Hi Bruce,

Thanks for sharing your experience with us regarding the Pre Plus. I saw today that AT&T will be releasing the Pre Plus soon as well, so hopefully between the two largest carriers having this option it will grow in popularity and save Palm from financial ruin and distress ;)

In regards to classic- if it's a free download, why not try installing your HanDBase copy to it and the databases? You can keep them on your older device as well and see how things compare and how well it works for you. Nothing to lose as long as you keep good backup copies around!
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Re: Got the Palm Pre Plus

Postby BruceArnold » Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:37 am

OK -- now I get it -- the Classic version I downloaded was the free trial version. Which has now expired. I am thinking about whether I want to spend the money to purchase a registration key. Just mulling it over.
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Re: Got the Palm Pre Plus

Postby moneil » Sat Mar 27, 2010 2:06 pm

Thanks for the input Bruce. Like you, I've always been a "the phone is the communicatios device, the pda is the data device" kinda guy, and they are really seperate creatures. Unlike you, I made the mistate of getting a Vista 64bit OS lapetop last year (synching with Bluetooth sucks), so my options are more limited (can't use my Tungeston E anymore, it doesn't have Bluetooth).

My TX is acting up again, after two trips and $150 to the PalmDR, so its reliabilty scares me now, and I'd have the same worries about getting sombody else's used one.

I've avoided WinMob so far, and with a new non-compatible version coming out maybe in the fall, I'd probable be in the same boat in a year or two, after spending $ to cross grade all the software.

I love my Blackberry Pearl phone, the most reliable and durable phone I've ever had (I work outside in Ag research at a land grant university, and I'm hard on equipment :mrgreen: ). Since I now work at a university, and with students, I've had to enter the world of "texting", so I want a full keyboard, and a bigger screen for other stuff. The Curve seemed perfect, but I read about the Blackberry HanDBase performance issues on this forum, and tried a trial version on the Pearl, and while I could live with it's lack of features for awhile, the performance issue makes it a definite no-go. Hopefully Dave can resolve that in time, because I'd like to revisit Blackberry in the future.

Android - from what I've read there are/can be synch issues with desktop pda info (forget "clouds", the phone/pda and the computer have to talk to each other directly, completly, AND simply), and no HanDBase yet. When HanDBase comes out it will initially be feature lean compared to the Palm OS version, and performance? I can't afford the gamble. Sad, because I really like some of the Android phone hardware, and friends who use their phones more as a toy then a tool love alot of the Android features.

Palm - WebOS is awsome from everything I've read, hardware not so good.

I'm going with the Pre as the best compromise at the moment. I'm just going to wait a bit to see if Sprint drops their price, with Verizon having the Plus. There is another rumor on the net that Verizon's Pre Plus exclusivity is only for 3 months, so some think the Plus might come to Sprint. There is yet another rumor that Palm will have a new phone out this summer on Sprint, and the Sprint Store people tell me to wait for the Evo this summer, haha (looks good, maybe, if HanDBase for Android is up and running by then, but it will probable be expensive).

I can switch carriers in May, but with Sprint's new prefered customer program I'll be eligible for a new phone upgrade in 12 months instead of 22. With the volitility in the technology market at the moment, the Pre (with good insurance, haha) seems the way to go, as I can continue with all my old Palm OS programs, and see where things are at in a year.

I'm thinking I'll keep my eyes open for a good buy on a used Treo with Palm OS and bluetooth, or a Centro, so I have a backup device if needed. In the meantime I'll keep the Pearl in the drawer to reactivate as a backup phone if needed, as I'm going to shut off my land line - which I hardly ever use, and it's usually set to call forward to the cell phone anyway.
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Re: Got the Palm Pre Plus

Postby BruceArnold » Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:30 am

Hey Moneil,

You have some real specific needs there, and I think that makes it harder to find the right solution.

I have an idea. Find a used Centro -- I bet there are hundreds out there, it's getting kind of long in the tooth. Or maybe a new one on eBay, who knows, I haven't looked.

The Centro will link directly with your computer via Bluetooth. And, since it is not WebOS, it will run all "legacy" Palm programs just fine, including HanDBase of course.

So what if it's a phone? You're not going to use it that way -- you're not going to activate it on a network -- use the phone you like, such as the Blackberry. The Centro is just your HandBase/PDA machine.

I might talk myself into it, who knows? Although Bluetooth connectivity is not essential for me; I don't mind sync'ing the Tungsten via cable.

Just a thought, bubba, and good luck.

BTW, I like the Pre more and more as I continue to use it; couple of weeks, now.
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