With the launch of the Pre just a week away, new device features, webOS developer news, and other interesting tidbits continue to stream in. Here is a round-up from recent industry sources to keep you on top of the game:
Despite the big shake-up last week in the upcoming webOS developer camp, things seem to finally be coming together for the big day. Below is a summary of the latest PreDevCamp happenings:
- Greg Stevenson, organizer for Orange County, wrote a letter stating that their camp was scheduled for June 13, but expressed concerns that logistics and timing of the SDK could pose an issue. The organizers have since responded, and have officially scheduled the camp for August 8. This will allow time to arrange a successful event and work around other conferences, such as the Apple WWDC.
- Palm has thrown full support behind the camp, with Pam Deziel, VP of Palm Developer Marketing, posting on the PDN blog apologizing for any misunderstanding, presenting an optimistic outlook and offering to field any suggestings and ideas for the future.
- Organizers whurley and gio have stepped down from the organizing team, and have expressed their good wishes.
- Lisa Brewster and Greg Stevenson have joined the primary team to lead the discussions, bring excitement, and take up some of the slack with their experience.
Head over to the official site to join a camp in your area and to read more about this great event.
Early Palm Pre review:
Boy Genius managed to get their hands on a Pre, and put it through the paces. Overall, they concluded the Pre screen was top notch, second to the iPhone only by size. However, the slightly smaller screen made the unit closer in size to a Sidekick or BB Pearl, so it had a better feel in the hand and pocket than Apple's offering.
WebOS is also off to a great start, and will blossom when developers get their hands on the SDK. Battery life is decent, and it has a great browser and media player. However, they found that the keyboard was cramped (earlier reports compared it to the Centro) and the plastic shell made it feel "a little cheap". Head over the full review here. More news after the break.
New Pre features and D7 conference news:
Sync with iTunes: We already discussed this useful functionality in an earlier article, but how does the webOS device accomplish what many others cannot? "It reports itself as an iPod...brazen, and possible brilliant", Gizmodo notes. The Pre assumed an iPod Vendor ID, imitated its file structure, and spoofed an iPod information file for iTunes. But will they axe support? Because it's only certified to sync with iTunes 8.11, Apple could conceivably pull the plug by the next version (which could come soon, given a steady stream of updates). Also, we can't expect them to devote any time or engineers to maintain compatibility for unlicensed devices, reasons the iPhone Blog (other non-Apple players have worked in the past, notes Precentral). However, if Apple pulls the plug too soon, they could come off as anti-competitive.
Twitter in Universal Search: Twitter search will be integrated into webOS universal search, reports BusinessWire. This is in addition to searching the web via Google, Google Maps, and Wikipedia. It will use Twitter's search service to sort through real-time current events and news, making the universal search feature on the Pre more comprehensive than ever.
webOS App Catalog: Also at the D7 conference, Rubinstein and McNamee demonstrated a beta version of the App Catalog (previously spotted back in January). The beta will feature apps from developers including AP News, Citysearch, Fandango, Pandora, and uLocate. It was demonstrated using Fandango, a movie app that takes advantage of Synergy, and Pandora, an internet radio app that makes use of the notification bar and multitasking. Head over to the official press release for more details.
Video Highlights: Check out the latest Pre talk from the new dynamic duo, Palm Chairman Jon Rubinstein and investor Roger McNamee.
Twitter Apps Coming to webOS...by the hundred?:
According to developer community manager Chuq Von Rospach (via Twitter, appropriately), over 400 applications were received from developers interested in producing a webOS Twitter client. With so many Twitter apps already flooding the iPhone market, what will distinguish the various clients in webOS? "Good luck standing out in that crowd", he states; and goes on: "...another 10 applications to write twitter apps. Someone's not listening."
Pre ringtone leaked:
Want to get a taste of the Pre using your current phone? The default ringtone of the Palm Pre leaked out, composed by Roger Bourland (who was commissioned to make another 170 "micro-compositions" available through the Palm application site). Head over to Precentral for the scoop, or download it directly here.
Feature Palm Pre commercial announced:
Palm will be releasing their first major ad for the Pre on Facebook Wednesday, June 3rd, reports Precentral. They will also be showing some behind-the-scenes videos from the making of the commercial (which features a giant Facebook mockup seen earlier on the Warner Bros. lot). And the artistic direction for the ad?
"The ad was inspired by the way the Pre phone lets you effortlessly flow among all your life’s diverse passions and dimensions. All those connections (friends, coworkers, family, etc.) are represented by characters in a picturesque landscape. As our main character touches the screen, types, and interacts with Palm Pre, her world adjusts. A beautiful dance of invisible organization."