I’m Obsessed with the Palm Pre Smartphone

palm_preMan, I’ve got a bit of Obsessive Complusive Disorder in me or something. I’m just obsessed with the new Palm Pre smartphone that Sprint will be releasing on Saturday, June 6th. I’ve been reading three different forums several times a day trying to get information such as how many units will be available at the Sprint stores on “Launch Day”, the quality of the hardware, features, etc. And I’m not alone, since there’s many others obsessing over the phone and posting their thoughts and comments on these forums.

It’s turning out like deja-vu for me when the Android Google G1 phone came out. I was all psyched about getting one so I could write software applications for it, but it turned out to be a very difficult device to write for since Google provided an incomplete SDK (along with very limited documentation and examples). So, I decided to forget about developing for the Android OS and stick with what I already know (the Windows Mobile OS). Now, I’m getting the same feelings and ideas for the Palm Pre phone.

Like the Android OS, the Palm Pre’s apps are based on Javascript and HTML (which are basic web-page development tools). However, it appears from what I’ve read online that Palm Pre app development will be much simpiler than for the Android device. Since Palm has yet to release the Mojo SDK for the Palm Pre, I really don’t know if this is true or not. But, I do have a feeling that what Palm is saying is true, and it will be an easy platform for developing apps.

The one downside I can see in using basic web tools for the application coding, is that you are very limited to what Palm decides to expose through the SDK. So, depending on what Palm has decided to expose with the SDK 1.0 release, you may not see those great and wonderful apps you do find for the more mature Apple iPhone device (since it’s been out for a while). Also, the iPhone’s apps can be written in the Objective-C language which can give it speed and power that a HTML/Javascript can’t always do.

So to prepare for the Palm Pre, I’ve been brushing up on Javascript, AJAX, and HTML 5 programming. As it turns out, HTML 5 is very, very new and most web browsers can’t support its new features (such as the SQLite database option for client-side storage of data). Internet Explorer and FireFox (Mozilla) do not currently support it, with the only browser that does being Apple Safari.

So, will I be one of the first people to get a Palm Pre on the initial launch day? Probably not, since I’m not positive I can write good apps without seeing the official Mojo SDK. If I can’t write apps (and sell them on the Internet to generate some needed revenue), then it’s not worth the investment. Besides, when the G1 Android Phone was first released numerous owners found many different problems (hardware and software) that made it an unusable device for my needs. So, sometimes it’s good to wait and see what others flush out with new technology. 🙂

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