Mobile devices and your data

by Volker Weber


This week Palm has demoed a game changing device to be released within the first half of the year. For the US it will be launched on Sprint, but there will be a 3G version for the rest of the world, and according to Palm CEO Ed Colligan, also within the first half of 2009.

Pictures don't really show the beauty and power of the device and the platform. You have to see a movie (Quicktime required). Sit through the first minutes where Jon Rubinstein and Ed Colligan set the stage. The device is unveiled by Jon at 12:49 and he explains the hardware. The user interface is demoed by Matías Duarte, starting at 18:15. It's actually a lot better than anything I have seen from Steve Jobs.

After having seen the movie, I am pretty much convinced, that this phone will be more fun than the iPhone. And it comes with a keyboard. The most interesting aspect however is how the webOS merges all your data sources into a single view - Outlook data gets connected to Facebook data. How you can find information through a clever search, that not only looks through data (and applications) on your device, but also your Exchange Global Address List, or Google, Maps, and Wikipedia.

Since a lot of my readers don't work with Outlook, I'd like to also mention Notes for a minute. This is a déjà vu, isn't it? It's only been last year that Apple captured the imagination of lots of customers with their Exchange support on the iPhone 2.x platform. IBM is still trying to catch up to that. Now Palm comes on stage with probably the most important announcement ever, and again, IBM is missing.

Craig Wiseman immediately suggested that IBM should support the device from launch. The interesting pattern is that Palm only had to go out and use EAS (Exchange Active Sync). You just can't do that with Notes. Ed comments:

Any mobile device vendor that wants to work with Domino can work with SyncML and the Traveler team to fill in any Domino-specific gaps. It doesn't need to be "openly documented" in terms of our implementation...

I. Beg. To. Differ.

If IBM does not clean up this area, Notes will be left behind at more than those two occasions. Vendors will continue to announce new mobile devices, and they will be providing EAS support from the start. And then IBM can "work with them" to catch up. And time and again, the message will be: "We have Outlook support and that's all that matters".


IBM just don’t do APIs for Notes. Calendaring & scheduling anyone? Java API? Hmm.

Ben Poole, 2009-01-11

Really impressive UI, especially the card and the notification system are very very nice.

Andreas Linde, 2009-01-11

I want one. And I hope Vodafane will be launch partner in Germany.

Hubertus Alvensleben, 2009-01-11

Would it be right to say: it is a device manufacturer's market. They need to be looked after, rather them looking after the messaging system vendors?
:-) stw

Stephan H. Wissel, 2009-01-11

@Hubertus: I hope, it will be freely availabe without any locks to a network or contract.

Oliver Regelmann, 2009-01-11



Rob McDonagh, 2009-01-11

Time will tell, but this could be one of those great "Coming back from the dead" stories.

Personally, I had written Palm off years ago. A pleasant surprise. Seems to be very well designed.

On the note of "speeds and feeds" 8 GB is far too small a capacity.

I keep hitting the ceiling with my iPod Nano and that's just for MP3 files; never mind all the stuff a smartphone can carry around. I've been holding off on the iPhone because it lacks capacity. (I want to see at least 32 GB, preferably 64 GB of storage.) I've been bitten one too many times with desktops and laptops that have prematurely outlived their usefulness because of RAM and / or storage capacity.

Henry Ferlauto, 2009-01-12

@Henry: Palm has always offered slots for memory cards in its devices - I cannot imagine they don't on the new one. Too easy a differentiator to the iphone.

Axel Koerv, 2009-01-12

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