I love my Palm Pixi Smartphone!

November 23, 2009

For the last few years, I’ve been using my Motorola-Q Smartphone (running Windows Mobile 5) as my cell phone. When I first got it, I thought it was really cool that I could get emails “pushed” down to my phone automatically through the Microsoft Exchange Server system that my company was using. Along with emails, I could also view my calendar and get alerts on events and tasks.

As time went on, newer smartphones appeared on the market with GPS for positioning, better web browsers, and better apps. Blackberry phones were very popular, and the Apple iPhone raised the bar when it came to a productive user-interface. About 6 months ago Palm, Inc. came out with the Palm Pre running Palm’s WebOS operating system. Very much like Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android interface, WebOS was the new Linux-based OS that would help propel Palm back into the modern Smarphone arena.

It was the WebOS that really interested me, as it made the Windows Mobile 5 OS on my Moto-Q phone seem prehistoric. Unfortunately, the first Palm phone to run WebOS  (Palm Pre) had a slider keyboard form-factor which I really didn’t like. The Pre was also somewhat thick (because of the slider keyboard) and I didn’t want to get something that was thicker than my current Moto-Q phone (since I normally keep my phone in my front pants pocket).

Then appeared the Palm Pixi, which was a very thin candy bar-form factor smartphone that ran the WebOS and had a fixed keyboard. It was similar to my Moto-Q, but thinner, slimmer, and lighter and also sported a touch screen. This was the phone that I was waiting for! Read the rest of this entry »

Getting a Palm Pixi Smartphone Tomorrow

November 14, 2009

pixiSprint will be selling the Palm Pixi Smartphone running WebOS (same operating system as the Palm Pre) tomorrow, and I’ve decided to get it. Although I’ve been developing applications for the Palm Pre for the last few months, I’ve held off getting an actual Palm Pre phone because I was waiting for Palm to firm up their Palm Catalog program. In addition, I wasn’t so crazy about slider phones, so I was waiting to see what the 2nd WebOS phone would be like, and non-slider candy-bar phone is what appeared in the Palm Pixi.

The Pixi has a less powerful CPU, no WiFi, lower resolution camera, and smaller screen when compared to the Pre, but even so I like it better because it is one solid unit (no slider keyboard), the keys on the keyboard are raised and easier to type on, and it’s very, very thin. I’ve never had a WiFi phone before therefore I probably wouldn’t notice it not being present in the Pixi.

I just figured that I’ve gone on long enough without a physical phone to test my WebOS apps on, so now is the time to get one. As such, I’ll probably start posting more on the Palm Pixi and the WebOS, so stay tuned!

Evernote : My new information manager

November 1, 2009

evernoteI love using the Google search engine (who doesn’t?). I can very easily and quickly search for anything on the Internet using any web browser, and find the information that I’m looking for in a snap. Often, I’ve wanted to have a Google-like search engine just for my personal information which can be accessed on my PC or on the web. It turns out I may have found my answer with a product called Evernote.

Evernote is a cool product that can store various bits of information in a central database system “in-the-cloud” (Internet), on your PC, or on your smartphone. You can create multiple “notebooks” and store “notes” in each of them. Notes can consist of plain or formatted text, web page content, pictures, and audio. The single most useful feature I’ve seen, is the ability to easily grab content from a web page and save it to Evernote. A perfect example is when I come across a web site and I want to look into it further at a later date, I can easily save the full web page (or a portion of it) to a note in Evernote. In fact, there’s a FireFox browser plugin that easily does this for you.

All data stored in Evernote can be searched using a text string, just like with the Google search engine. In fact, if you store images in a note that contains text (say, when you snap a picture with your phone of product description at the store), Evernote can recognize the words in the image for the search! Speaking of snapshots, the Evernote app that runs on your smartphone (iPhone,Blackberry,Windows Mobile, or Palm Pre) interfaces with the Evernote database very nicely, and you can use the camera on your phone to easily snap a picture and store it in Evernote as a note. The Evernote site suggests using your phone’s camera for taking snapshots of business cards, airline tickets, travel receipts, etc. which is a great idea if your phone has a good camera (unfortunately, the camera on my Moto-Q phone is crappy). Read the rest of this entry »