HP TouchPad

Got my hands on an HP TouchPad today. No, I was not lucky enough to be able to buy one, this is an eval unit from HP. Here are some of my first impressions:

I LOVE the keyboard. Blows the iPad keyboard away. It has the numbers (1-0) at the top of the keyboard, just like a real keyboard. And the shifts of those keys are also just like a real keyboard.

The HP App Catalog is very well-presented. I like the category list at the left and the filters at the top. I like being able to install an app and stay in the store (unlike the Apple App Store). Downside – nowhere near as many apps as in the Apple App Store, and many key apps missing. Still, a surprising number of apps for the discontinued TouchPad.

The email app is pretty darn good. I have two EAS accounts set up and one gmail account. The presentation of email is nice, how it allows you to expand and contract the different panes as needed. I like this app a little better than how email is done on the iPad.

The calender is nice, but the iPad version is nicer.

I may blog more once I have had some more time with the TouchPad. I thought I wanted to buy one before I had the opportunity to play with one. Now I am SURE I want to buy one for me, one for my wife, and one for my son.

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What is in my pocket?

These days, I am carrying three “smartphones”. I carry the AT&T iPhone 3G (now running beta 4.0 OS), the Sprint HTC Hero (running Android 1.5 OS) and the Verizon Palm Pre Plus (running WebOS 1.4). Honestly, I love all three devices. They all do so many excellent and wonderful things. I am expecially fond of the Pre Plus – the size; the hard keypad; the ability to do video capture, edit, and share; and the ability to make it a mobile hotspot for up to five WiFi users. The Hero also does video capture, and I have a lot of fun with the barcode scanning app. The iPhone is the one device I always have with me though. I use it for email (two Exchange Active Sync accounts!), web surfing, Shazam, and a bunch of other applications (Ski Report, Pandora, and Facebook to name a few). The apps and the ability to operate the device with one hand make a lot of difference to me.

My job allows me to be able to get my hands on many new smart devices and their associated operating systems well in advance of public release. To be fair to Microsoft, I also have a Touch Pro 2 running Windows Mobile 6.5 with the HTC Touch Flo overlay from Sprint. It is nice enough, but this version of the OS is still tied to needing the stylus for some things (like hitting the “x” to close applications). I am anxiously awaiting getting Windows Mobile 7 devices. Based on what I have seen, Microsoft may have finally moved away from trying to replicate their desktop on their smartphones.

That is all for now. Thanks to everyone who stops by. Please feel free to comment or ask questions.

Palm WebOS 1.4 is out!

Palm released WebOS 1.4 on 26 Feb 2010, and it is a good one.

Video capture, editing, and sharing; better integration with Microsoft Exchange Security policies; and better battery management are just a few of the improvements/enhancements. You can read all about it at Palm’s website. Suffice to say that I am very pleased with this latest release. Now, how about MiFi for the Sprint Pre??

Nicely done Palm!

Web OS 1.3.5 (and 1.3.5.1) Issues

I updated my Pre to 1.3.5.1 today, and all of a sudden, I can’t update/install applications from the App Catalog. I am completely erasing my Pre and trying to reinstall apps now. Hoping this fixes things.

What’s up Palm? You need me back as a beta tester. You have to do better than this!  A device reset (erase all and reset) “fixed” this.  Fortunately, Palm’s Backup app is stable and functional.

WebOS 1.2 and Exchange Server 2010

I just updated my Pre to WebOS 1.2 (from the Beta build of 1.2), and I had to remove and add back my Exchange Active Sync email profile. Just a quick note for anyone who upgrades and wonders why their email isn’t working…

Excellent Pre Application Site

I love the Pre, and this site makes me love it even more:

http://www.precentral.net/homebrew-apps

Lots of excellent apps, many free. Help support the Pre Dev community. Check out HomeBrew, you won’t regret it!

Palm Pre WebOS 1.1.0 and Global Address Search

I am seeing some irregular behavior with the Pre running WebOS 1.1.0 against an Exchange Server 2010 mailbox when doing Global Address Searches. Sometimes it works, sometimes it takes a LONG time, and sometimes it drops an error “Global Search Not Available”.  Bottom line – it all seems to be dependent on the strength of the data signal.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.