Elance Blog

The Palm Pre Shakes Up More Than Just The Cell Phone World

In an era with a countless number of iPhone-toting twenty-somethings and BlackBerry-obsessed businessmen, no company, corporation, or single human has ever come close to denting Apple and RIM's stranglehold on the smartphone market.

However, June 6, 2009 may go down as the day where the cell phone world changed.

Palm, struggling to reclaim its throne as the go-to device for the connected citizen, is releasing a new device to the masses dubbed "Pre" and will attempt to do what no other smartphone has ever done before — shove the iPhone and the BlackBerry to the side and claim the top spot rightfully as its own.

The Pre touts an impressive number of hardware and software features that make it a definite contender in the arena. The hardware is powered with a 3.1-inch LCD screen, 3-megapixel camera with LED flash, Stereo Bluetooth, Multi-touch, 8GB of storage, GPS, accelerometer, and a proximity sensor. However, the software side of the Pre looks to be the most intriguing.

WebOS, Palm’s completely new operating system based on Linux, is what the manufacturer is betting will take the company back to superstardom. The sleek, gesture-based user interface features a unique, universal search, a contact information compiler aptly named “Synergy”, and the ability to multi-task with background-apps running. All of this is built on top of an open platform that uses a number of existing web technologies, such as HTML 5, JavaScript, and CSS. This development platform, dubbed “The Palm Mojo Application Framework” provides the huge pool of existing developers an easy way to transition to the platform without having to learn an entirely new programming language.

And this is where it gets really interesting: Developers can build applications that have full access to the Pre’s gesture system, calendar, GPS, and contacts list, allowing for an impressive level of third-party application integration.

All of these nifty hardware and software features sound great on paper, but why does it matter to software developers and digital entrepreneurs like you? The ease of development for the Pre and its potentially lofty level of popularity could fuel a huge new field of business that could challenge Apple’s dominance in App development. Businesses and entrepreneurs alike will be clamoring to have their new and existing applications created on WebOS, and developers will gladly accept the challenge to earn some cash in the process, all thanks to the preexisting familiarity to the coding language. More developers on board = more apps, and more apps = more users, and more users = more development business. This really could be big.

Of course, only time will tell how successful Palm is at its latest swing-at-bat, but with the Pre’s nice set of features and the release of the free Software Development Kit (SDK) looming overhead, it looks like Palm might have the ringer they need to get them back in the game.

It doesn't take an industry analyst to realize that product launches like these come once in a blue moon. If you're a developer hungry to get on the cutting edge, don't even think about sleeping on the Pre.

So, ladies and gentlemen, start your engine — things could get really interesting… or not. What’s your take on the Palm Pre, WebOS, and the Mojo Software Development Kit? Do you think it has the muscle to rival Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, and the titan known as the iPhone? Drop us a line in the comments section—we’d love to hear your opinion.

Links:
Palm.com - Palm Pre Phone
Palm.com - Palm Developer Network

Comments

I've been WAITING for this one! Can't wait to go see it tomorrow in action. I hope the price is right, though. From everything I've read, this is going to be one great piece of technology. Do I want to be on the bleeding edge though? Hmmmm, tomorrow I'll find out...LOL