pre · sprint · web os

Pre webOS 1.4.0 Battery Test: Part 2

My Palm Pre battery test continues. It’s about 6:30pm and my Pre is reporting that the battery is now at 84% with little use since about 2:00pm today.

So far, I have been losing 4% charge an hour. I haven’t made any phone calls or used the phone to play games or surf the web. The only thing that has been going on with the phone is scheduled sync check with my single Gmail account.

pre · sprint · web os

Pre webOS 1.4.0 Battery Test

Improved battery life is one of the reported enhancements in Palm webOS 1.4.0. I’ve decided to put the battery improvements to the test.

It’s just after 2:00pm and my Pre has 100% charge. Wi-Fi is off, as is Bluetooth. I have one Gmail account (email, calendar, and contacts) configured to sync items as they arrive. We’ll see how things are going in a few hours.

android · eris · google · sprint · verizon

Android 2.1 Update Coming to All US Android Phones

Taylor Wimber, the skipper over at Android And Me, has posted and article stating that Google is working with carriers to release the Android Eclair 2.1 update to all of today’s existing Android powered smartphones.

“After talking with several inside sources familiar with the matter, I would like to report that every Android phone currently released in the United States will be receiving an upgrade to Android 2.1.”

Now for the bad news. Mr. Wimber writes:

“Now let me cut to the bad news. Select Android phones will require a wipe when they are upgraded to Android 2.1. I actually only know of phones that will require a wipe, so it could include all of them (minus the Droid which is already on Android 2.0.1).”

Mr. Wimber goes on to state that he believes that the update will be rolled out to Android customers in late Q2, 2010. (Translation = Could be as late as the end of June or July)

Ok, so is a hard reset really that bad? I’m guessing that if your an Android gear head that you would rather have the official update on your phone and a reset won’t be the end of the world.

I’m playing with a work issued Verizon HTC Droid Eris running Android 1.6 (Donut) and would like to have the newer OS so that I don’t have to worry about compatibility issues with new application software over the next 24 months.

So how about it, Android fans? Are you ready for some “Google Goodness?”

[Via AndroidAndMe.com…]

pixi · pre · web os

Palm webOS 1.4.0 Impressions

With webOS 1.4.0, Palm has introduced over 70 new feature enhancements and fixes to their customers. I installed the update on my Sprint edition Pre and have spent some time playing with it. What follows are my impressions of some of the new features you can look forward to in webOS 1.4.0.

YouTube Links in App Catalog

The new App Catalog now allows developers to embed a link to a YouTube video of their application in action as seen here for ETI Studios Dice Tower application. Just tap on the video link to the upper right of the screen an the video loads up in webOS’ YouTube player application. That’s a nice feature since I almost never go to a YouTube page to view a video of a webOS or iPhone application in action before I buy.

Device Info

With this release of webOS, Palm has given their customers more control about how data is destroyed on a Pre or Pixi. There are now three types of data deletion options to delete applications and their data, everything from the USB drive partition, and a secure full erase (which erases apps, data, and the USB drive).

I think these features are important with so much focus on privacy today. You will want to use these features when you send your phone in for repair (don’t forget to back up first!), swap phones (for personal or corporate use), or give away or sell your phone when you get a new one. You won’t believe how many times over the last 10 years I have been told about stories of people buying a used phone and it still having the previous owner’s data still on it.

Blink Notifications

This is a feature I have been waiting for since June 6, 2009 – Not that I’ve been counting the days, hours, and minutes or anything like that!

Finally, finally, you can receive a visual notice that your Pre or Pix wants to get your attention when the screen is off! When there is a new message waiting for you, like an unread email, the Center button on my Sprint Pre now blinks twice, waits four seconds, and then blinks again.

Startup Card

This new “feature” drives me nuts. Before this feature was baked, or perhaps half-baked, into webOS, I never thought that app load times where longer then any other smartphone. Now I have a graphic that gets in my face every time I launch a new application that reminds me that I have to wait for my application to load. Ugh! I hate the start up card because I almost always flick cards away when I’m done using an app, so I start apps up all the time. Hopefully, we’ll be given an option to turn this option off in a future release of webOS.

Improved Performance and Battery Life

I don’t have a screen shot for this one. I just hope that Palm continues to work on these issues. There are times when I’m left wondering what the hell my Pre is doing as I wait there wondering if the phone accepted my touch or keyboard command. I would like to see Palm’s software engineers to continue to improve the peppiness of webOS.

Battery life is my #1 gripe with the Pre and webOS, bar none. It is a serious problem in my book when a phone battery does dead in anything less than 48 hours. When I was using my Palm Treo 700p, Treo 755p, the BlackBerry Curve, and even now with my HTC Droid Eris, I can go a full two days without having to worry about charging my phone. With the Pre and webOS, I start to worry about the battery about happy hour. It’s hard to use your phone for social networking when the battery is dead. But more importantly than that, if I forget to put the Pre on my Touchstone charging base, I shouldn’t wake up in the morning to a dead phone. That is just the pits and I refuse to carry around another $50 battery to get the same run time as my older phones have right now.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are a number of nice things included in this release of webOS. There are more features that I like than things I find annoying, and at the end of the day, I’ll get over them. If you like to have the latest and greatest software on your phone, download this update now using the Updates application.

pixi · pre · sprint · web os

Palm webOS 1.4.0 Update Arrives

The Palm webOS 1.4 update has finally showed up as being available for install on my Sprint Palm Pre this morning.

Palm’s management had said that the update would be rolled out in February during their CES press event last month. The update weighs in at 39MB.

Update
As of right now, the 1.4.0 update is only available for webOS Pre and Pixi phones from Sprint, O2 UK, O2 DE, O2 Ireland, and Movistar networks. If you have a Palm webOS phone on Verizon, Bell, or other carrier, you are going to have to wait a little longer for the certification testing to be completed.

The webOS 1.4.0 update does not include any new applications, however, it does include some 70+ documented updates to Palm’s mobile operating system. This update includes the following fixes and enhancements:

Calendar

  • You can customize calendar notification sounds in Preferences & Accounts. The options include Mute, System Sound, Ringtone, and Vibrate. The Ringtone option includes new notification sounds to give you more customization choices.
  • If you create an event and enters a phone number as the event name, location, or description, you can tap the phone number on the event details screen to dial it.
  • A new Sync Now application menu item gives you a second way to manually synchronize your calendar accounts (in addition to the Sync Now button in Preferences & Accounts).
  • This release improves Calendar synchronization performance in poor network coverage areas to optimize battery life. It also increases the default interval for synchronizing with online calendar accounts other than Exchange accounts.
  • This release contains improvements to the visual calendar display, including a clearer indicator of AM and PM and improved current time display.

Camera

  • You can record video whenever and wherever inspiration strikes with the new camcorder feature in Camera. After recording a video, you can edit the clip in Videos, upload the video directly to YouTube or Facebook, or send the video by email or multimedia message.

Contacts

  • If you import a Mac Address Book contact, all contact fields display correctly in the Contacts application.
  • This release improves Contacts synchronization performance in poor network coverage areas to optimize battery life. It also increases the default interval for synchronizing with online contacts accounts other than Exchange accounts.

Device Info

  • You now have two partial erase options: Erase Apps & Data, which erases all installed applications and associated data, and Erase USB Drive, which erases files stored on the USB drive.
  • This release includes a new Secure Full Erase option. A secure full erase takes considerably longer than a regular full erase.

Email

  • You can customize calendar notification sounds in Preferences & Accounts. The options include Mute, System Sound, Ringtone, and Vibrate. The Ringtone option includes new notification sounds to give you more customization choices.
  • If the message body contains a phone number and you tap and hold the number, a menu appears displaying options to Call, Text, or Add To Contacts (if the number is not already saved in a contact).
  • This release includes multiple performance improvements in Email, including improved handling of message replies and forwarded messages and quicker response times to gestures.

Location Services (GPS-enabled features)

  • If you turn off the Use GPS and Use Google Services options under the Locate Me Using application menu item, the Locate Me Using menu item remains available.

Messaging

  • You can attach a video to an outgoing multimedia message.

Phone

  • You can tap the contact photo or icon in a call history entry to display options for that entry, including dialing an alternate number, sending a text message, opening a contact, or adding the number as a contact. The expanded display also includes call details such as call length and phone number type.

Screen & Lock

  • New blink notifications (a blinking light in the gesture area) alert you when email, text message, or other notifications arrive. You clear the blink notification by turning the screen on and off or unlocking the screen. The blink notification preference is on by default; you can turn it off in Screen & Lock > Blink Notifications.

Sounds & Ringtones

  • This release adds new user-selectable notification sounds under Ringtone.

System (overall enhancements to webOS)

  • This release offers better overall performance, including faster loading time for apps and increased battery life across a wider range of user scenarios.
  • If you are playing a game and a phone or calendar notification arrives, the game pauses while the notification is coming up.
  • You can quickly unlock the screen by dragging up from the gesture area across the onscreen lock icon.
  • This release improves the speed of downloading applications and files.

Videos

  • You can upload a recorded video to YouTube or Facebook on the web.
  • You can edit recorded video. You can also delete recorded video, video copied from a computer, or video received as an attachment to an email message.
  • If you tap the option to share an uploaded video, you have the option to send the link via email, text message, or Facebook.

Wi-Fi

  • A new Sleep Settings application menu item allows you to change a setting so that if Wi-Fi is on and the phone screen turns off, the Wi-Fi feature turns off. By default, if Wi-Fi is on and the screen turns off, the Wi-Fi feature stays on.

The full change log for the webOS 1.4.0 update can be found on the Palm webOS update website.

Installing the Update

Sprint customers can install the Palm webOS 1.4.0 update right now by using the Updates application on their phone. Customers can also wait for their Pre or Pixi to download the update in the background automatically and then install the update when the download is complete.

pixi · pre · web os

Palm Updates Guidance

Earlier today, Plam issued a new guidance for Q3FY10, stating that the revenues for the smartphone maker will be below previous estimates.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Feb 25, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Palm, Inc. (NASDAQ:PALM) today indicated that it expects that revenues for the third quarter of fiscal year 2010 will be in the range of $285 million to $310 million on a GAAP basis and in the range of $300 million to $320 million on a non-GAAP basis.1 Revenues for the quarter and full year are being impacted by slower than expected consumer adoption of the company’s products that has resulted in lower than expected order volumes from carriers and the deferral of orders to future periods. Accordingly, Palm expects fiscal year 2010 revenues to be well below its previously forecasted range of $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion. The company will provide more detail on its financial results during Palm’s third-quarter financial results conference call currently scheduled for Thursday, March 18.

“Palm webOS is recognized as a groundbreaking platform that enables one of the best smartphone experiences available today, and our work to evolve the platform and bring industry-leading technology to market continues. However, driving broad consumer adoption of Palm products is taking longer than we anticipated,” said Jon Rubinstein, chairman and chief executive officer. “Our carrier partners remain committed, and we are working closely with them to increase awareness and drive sales of our differentiated Palm products.”

The Company expects to close its third fiscal quarter with a cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments balance in excess of $500 million.

Analysis

This can’t be good news for Palm, who has been struggling over the last two years to transform their business both from a technology standpoint and a revenue standpoint. Over the last three years, Palm completely changed their management team, infused the company with a number of tech company A-list talent, and completely revamped their smartphone and mobile operating system software.

However, many people where critical of what was pent up demand for the original Palm Pre smartphone which when on sale with exclusive launch partner, Sprint, back on June 6, 2009. Many customers on Verizon, which only recently began selling the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus, and AT&T simply had no way of getting new Palm hardware except to jump carriers which has become an extremely costly proposition for customers in today’s depressed economy.

I personally believe that Palm took too long to bring the Pre to Verizon as the Pre Plus and that their six month exclusive agreement with Sprint went on too long. It didn’t help that the second Palm webOS smartphone, the Pixi, also started out life on Sprint as an exclusive. Customers on AT&T and T-Mobile still don’t have access to a branded Palm smartphone.

Lastly, Palm is fighting an uphill battle against white hot brands like the Apple iPhone 3G S, the Motorola Droid, and the BlackBerry Storm2. Palm is going to have to get more phones out to more carriers and into the hands of customers sooner rather than later. That means Palm should pick up the pack and get the distribution deal with AT&T in place and grow the regions around the world that have access to Palm’s products.

It looks like FY2011 is going to continue to be difficult for Palm. Palm’s stock closed the day at $6.53 with a number of investment firms changing their buy ratings to sell.

blackberry · blackberry os

BugMe! BlackBerry Edition Updated

Electric Pocket Limited is announcing a significant update to the BlackBerry version of BugMe!, the simple and fun-to-use mobile app for staying on-task and on-time.

After the initial launch of the BlackBerry version of BugMe!, the company began work on the next version in response to user requests. The most significant new features include:

  • Reminder Alerts (nags) for notes so they will repeatedly alert you until acknowledged.
  • The ability to schedule BugMe! alarms on a monthly basis – both on the same day of each month and “First Tuesday” style.
  • Alarms set to repeat on a recurring basis will now display their next scheduled alert time.
  • The option to set a snooze time, which is ideal for those who use BugMe! to wake them up or who may not be able to act on an alert right when it sounds.
  • A daily email summary of notes with alarms for the next 24 hours.
  • Auto-backup of notes to SD card (if present).
  • Automatically checks for app updates, with a link to download the latest version.

BugMe! for BlackBerry makes it easy to quickly jot notes, ideas and tasks on-the-go and set any note as a reminder. BugMe! will automatically sound an alarm and pop-up an alert at the exact moment a reminder is needed.

BugMe! for BlackBerry is available for US$4.99 at BugMe.net. For additional information, visit the ElectricPocket website.