Copy and Paste – oh the irony. The iPhone now has superb copy and paste support, and it turns out that the Pre’s copy and paste is completely useless – time and time again I need to copy something from an email, web page, or text message. And I can’t! Also, the few times I can, only serves to show how awkward Palms copy and paste command/gestures are.
That we had to wait two years for the iPhone’s text selection and pasteboard is a good example of one aspect of the Apple way: better nothing at all than something less than great. That’s not to say Apple never releases anything less than great, but they try not to.2 This is contrary to the philosophy of most other tech companies — and diametrically opposed to the philosophy of Microsoft. And it is very much what drives some people crazy about Apple — it’s simply incomprehensible to some people that it might be better to have no text selection/pasteboard implementation while waiting for a great one than to have a poor implementation in the interim.
Better late and completely awesome than early and epically retarded, right?
I’d actually go so far as to say that Apple made the decision not to release copy and paste until now, iPhone haters be damned. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well, and that applies to the iPhone just as it applies to any other mainstream consumer electronics device. And they do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, eh Palm?
Even with all of 3.0’s numerous improvements, it’s hard to think that this shouldn’t have been the OS that shipped with the device back in 07. People have commented that iPhone OS 3.0 should have been there from the start – but look where we’ve come! That, ladies and gentlemen, is progress in it’s finest form.
Don’t get me wrong. In many respects, the Palm Pre is a groundbreaking smartphone that portends the obliteration of the line between phone and full size computer. It joins the iPhone and arguably the Android devices as the only computer some people would ever need.
However, Palm missed a lot of the little things in this first release. It’s an admirable attempt, given what they’re shooting for, but the fact of the matter is that the devil is in the details, and Palm fumbled too many. Any one of the following items is easy enough to overlook in an otherwise stellar device. But the difference between, frankly, the Palms and the Apples of the world is that the Apples don’t miss over 20 of them. They add up to an annoying user experience more akin to Windows Mobile than the iPhone.
An excellent, concise list about why the Palm Pre isn’t the next “iPhone killer” – instead, it’s just another chance for Apple to prove how awesome they actually are. XD
My favourites are the no scroll bars (which genius thought of that one?), no way to jump to the top or bottom of a long list (oops, huge oversight there), non-universal “universal search” (if you’re going to do it, do it right, like iPhone OS 3.0), copy and paste only in “editable” text fields (no, you can’t copy that text from the web page, or an email unless you forward the email first (cmon, l-a-m-e), no Street View in Google Maps (lulzor).
Favourite quote would have to be:
22. Easy to run into “can’t open a new card until you close some existing cards.” Say what you will about the iPhone and multitasking, but memory management generally isn’t something the user has to think about.
…and people wonder why the general public refer to “iPhone killers”. It’s really no surprise – in this day and age, there’s simply no way any company can catch up.
However, kudos to Palm for trying. Thanks for helping Apple stay ahead of the curve.
One last effort. A slow, but firm, shove of the chips. All in. Palm’s only hope to save a company once synonymous with smart handheld devices: the Pre. Their eyebrow raised, daring you to call. They flip. Full house. Respectable. Decent. Impressive even. But not the highest hand.
Think of it like this. The software is agile, smart and capable. The hardware, on the other hand, is a liability. If Palm can get someone else to design and build their hardware—someone who has hands and can feel what a phone is like when physically used, that phone might just be one of the best phones on the market.
I can’t wait to see what Palm gets dealt in their next hand.
Continuing with the theme somewhat, here are 7 links I know you’ll enjoy. I’ve put them here for your satisfaction, but really, they’re just here so I can get them out of my webbrowser and make room for more news that I missed out on. I’m under 2000 RSS items (I started at 4000), so progress is being made! Enjoy.
So, in the list we have:
Dynomighty Mighty Wallets
These things rock. I already own a tri-fold dot-matrix wallet which gets questioned frequently in public, and to stand out more, I’m going to get some more. They make great gifts, but really – if the Australian dollar wasn’t so sucky at the moment, I’d buy them in a heartbeat. They’ll have to wait, however.
I’m no grafitti artist, but glow in the dark spray paint? That’s like any childhood dream! I found this on the internet – thanks Boing Boing Gadgets – a while ago, lost the link, but then found it again, so here it is for posterity. There’s probably nothing cooler than glow in the dark grafitti. Again – a little exxy at $59 a can, and when you convert that into Aussie dollars, well, it hurts.
Uma Doodlebook Frame
A tradition photo frame (read: non-digital) with a twist – you can create your own borders simply by drawing them. It’s got 80 pages, so you can create up to 80 custom borders for any of your pictures. Again, how cool is that? I rekon I’ll just stick one photo in it, and then use it as a scratchpad for notes and stuff.
iTunes Music Store – the web version
Yeah – again, props to df.net for this one – this one’s cool. It’s essentially a webbrowser-based version of the iTunes store. It’s a pretty good rendition of the actual store, but you need to open itunes to buy stuff from it anyway, so yeah. Handy if you don’t have iTunes on your current computer, or need to browse something quickly at the library or whatever.
Windows Shutdown Crapfest
I had no idea Windows developement was this convoluted. It’s actually amazing that they manage to ship products at all, considering that they’re “the left hand cannot see what the right hand is doing” approach with regards to all their code. No wonder Vista was so bad – here’s to Windows 7, the start (hopefully) of a new era in Microsoft computing.
Unlike Siegler, I think the large number of recent Apple employees now working at Palm on the Pre suggests that the relationship between the two companies is cold — ice cold. What I heard last month at Macworld Expo is that Palm has a standing offer for engineers at Apple to jump ship, with a starting salary of 1.5 times their current Apple salary.
When you’re done perusing the links – give us your comments below, yeah?
UPDATE 1: Oops, forget the all-important specs… Kudos to iLounge.
Palm today introduced its latest handset, named the Pre. Featuring a 3.1-inch, 480×320 touchscreen, a dedicated gesture area below the display, a vertical slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and more, the device is aimed at the same market as the iPhone. Other technical features include high-speed wireless (EV-DO Rev. A or HSDPA, depending on the model and carrier), GPS, Wi-Fi, a 3-megapixel camera with LED flash, 3.5mm headphone jack, microUSB connector, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR with A2DP, 8GB of internal storage, an accelerometer, ambient light and proximity sensors, a removable rechargeable battery, and an optional wireless charger. Pre is exclusive at launch to Sprint.
Folks, I’m not going to kid you on this one – Apple actually have a real fight on their hands here, for these three reasons:
Firstly, it runs Linux. This, in and of itself, will silence all those “the iPhone is locked down, proprietary, user’s can’t do what they want without jailbreaking, etc, etc” people who think Apple is the worst thing since the drop toilet. SQLite features as the database here.
Secondly – it has all the “wow” features needed to knock the iPhone of it’s most gigantic pedestal. The menu bar *cough*DOCK*cough* apparently has this cool feature where you slide your finger up from below the screen, and the dock pops up with your finger. This is possible because the touchscreen (with built-in) multitouch actually extends BELOW the actual LCD – which makes for cool features like this. And you thought Shazam was cool… this feature blows Shazam out of the water. Like Shazam, it’s one of those “OMGZ THATS AWESOME” times when words escape you and you’re left with nothing but pure adoration.
And finally, Facebook and Gmail – the integration is said to be “top notch”. None of this “have facebook as a seperate app on another home screen” business like the iPhone – instead, imagine being able to send a photo or text to Facebook from withthin every photo management app, every mail application, every web page, with the same features being applied to Gmail. PLus, you can choose to pull down your contact’s Facebook’s profile pic, so that when they call you, you can see their lovely face as it shows on Facebook. ZOMG! AWESOME!
…and I lied, there are actually four things. System-wide COPY and PASTE is the last feature that will make this a serious “iPhone Killer”.
Hopefully, it’ll have the hardware to match up to the software. The only way I can see this becoming a massive fail is due to a sloppy processor, or a battery life that just doesn’t quite cut it.
It’s for these four reasons that Apple had better make iPhone OS 3.0 a dammmmed good release. A couple of things for them to work on: MobileMe (integration? Don’t make me laugh), iWork.Com (a mobile version is a good start, now we need more integration), App Store (it’s far from perfect), Push Notifications (please don’t make this into another MobileMe fiasco…), and FRIGGIN COPY AND PASTE! SRSLY!
…and hopefully, something awesome that will blow us all away, like battery life that doesn’t actually suck, full-bluetooth capabilities, a user-accessible file system (instead of each file storeage app having it’s own… wtf) or even a dash of multi-core iPhones…
I’m scared. Scared at how badly Apple could have just lost the smartphone war, especially after it was doing so well… Scared at how easily it was to expose and exploit the disadvantages of the iPhone… Scared at how much of a contender Palm have come back as. Scared of how Android will respond to this new opponent.