Palm Pre And Pixi Prices See Massive Discounts

With Palm being snapped up by HP, there is a lot of possible strategy change that is expected with the smartphone manufacturer. This means that the present flagship products, Palm Pre and Pixi may not be in the scheme of things in sometime now, though the company’s future itself is secure.

This has led to Verizon announcing a fire sale of the two devices. The 16GB 3G enabled version of Palm Pre Plus from Verizon will now be available at just $29 with a two year contract. This is $120 less than what customers paid yesterday! Sprint’s version of the device still sells at $149 though a commensurate price drop is imminent.

[via Yahoo News]

Palm Pre Plus On AT&T Show Up

Dummy units of Palm Pre Plus are reported to be making it to the stores of AT&T. This could possibly be an indication of the upcoming launch of  a GSM version of the popular smartphone handset from Palm.

No reports over the launch date, price at the moment, but according to folks at Engadget, the only thing we know for now is that the launch is happening anytime now.

Another smartphone on AT&T. Can Ma Bell handle it?

[via Engadget]

How To Add Music/Video/Picture Files To Palm Pre

Unlike iPhone, Palm Pre does not come with a native software like iTunes to download music and video files from your computer to your phone. However, there is an alternate software solution in doubleTwist. Using doubleTwist is simple and very much like using iTunes.

Here is a step by step guide for you to sync music to Palm Pre

Step 1 : Download and install doubleTwist on to your PC running Windows XP, Vista or 7. If you have a Mac, click here to download the appropriate version.

Step 2 : Connect your Palm Pre to your computer via the USB cable

Step 3 : You will now be asked to select the connection options like ‘Media Sync‘, ‘USB Drive‘ and ‘Just Charge‘. Select ‘USB Drive

Add music to Palm pre

Step 4 : doubleTwist will now launch and shall recognize your Pre automatically.

Step 5 : You may now begin the transfer process. The process can be done either via a comprehensive auto-sync or files may be transferred individually.

Auto-Sync

  • On the left sidebar of the doubleTwist screen, click on the Palm Pre icon
  • On the main area of the screen, select the appropriate options like ‘Sync videos with this device’ and choose whether to sync all videos or only selected, etc.
  • Once you have gone through options on all the tabs, click on the ‘Sync’ button on the lower right corner of the screen to initiate the process.

Palm Pre with DoubleTwist

Manual Sync
On the left side bar of the doubleTwist window, you will find a ‘Library‘ section. Here, click on the ‘Pictures‘, ‘Videos‘ and ‘Music‘ sections to select, drag and drop the individual files to your Palm Pre

Step 6 : The file transfer process is done. You may close doubleTwist window and unplug your Palm Pre from the computer.

Here is a video demo of the entire process

[via doubleTwist]

HP Enters Smartphone Segment With Palm Acquisition

Finally the drama surrounding the acquisition of Palm came to an end with Hewlett Packard announcing that the company is acquiring Palm for an estimated $1.2 billion.

Making the announcement on the company’s website, Todd Bradley, executive vice president, Personal Systems Group at HP said,

“Palm’s innovative operating system provides an ideal platform to expand HP’s mobility strategy and create a unique HP experience spanning multiple mobile connected devices. And, Palm possesses significant IP assets and has a highly skilled team. The smartphone market is large, profitable and rapidly growing, and companies that can provide an integrated device and experience command a higher share. Advances in mobility are offering significant opportunities, and HP intends to be a leader in this market.”

The acquisition is expected to be completed by July 31st of this year with every shareholder of Palm receiving $5.70 in cash for the stock that they hold.

[via HP]

Palm Fires Ad Agency, Scouting For New Partners

Following a lackluster performance over the past few quarters, Palm is known to have severed its ties with Modernista, the ad agency which was responsible for the several “creepy” looking ads of late and is reported to be talking to several agencies. Modernista is not the only casualty. The company has also reportedly fired its Director of Marketing, Scott Hancock.

The move comes following lower-than-expected sale of its Pre and Pixi handsets since the company engaged in partnership with Modernista last year. This is also a blow to Modernista as Adage notes,

“This is yet another major setback for Modernista, which lost its biggest account, General Motors’ Cadillac brand, late last year. Since the carmaker shifted its account to Publicis-backed BBH, New York, Modernista has been forced to cut staff, and in December shuttered its three-year old Amsterdam office.”

[via Adage]

Palm Peer-to-Peer Data Synchronization

Palm has clinched an important patent that relates to P2P data synchronization among several devices like desktop computers, laptops, mobile handsets,etc. The patent application that was filed way back in 2007 and awarded just recently can be a terrific shot in the arm for the now-beleaguered company.

In the patent, the inventors say that their method of data synchronization will enabled data sharing “without the need for a centralized system that keeps track of the shared data.”

Palm peer to peer data synchronization patent

The patent awarded to Palm might have just pushed its attractiveness quotient a notch higher among companies looking to buy the company out. What do you think?

Device Orientation Based Context Detection On Smartphones

In order to make applications easy to use, smartphone manufacturers offer a variety of shortcuts. Additionally, these devices also come with reconfigurable buttons so that the same button may be used for different purposes depending on the application that is open and context.

Palm Inc. wants to take it a step further by including the device orientation and GPS functionalities to determine the context. For instance, while on a camera app, pointing the device vertically (perpendicular to the earth surface) in portrait or landscape mode may let you capture a photo. However, taking the device’s orientation parallel to the earth surface may open the album.

This is among the several embodiments that Palm wants to incorporate with its new patent impending technology. Here are some examples quoted from the patent application

In an Amusement Park

“when a user enters a park (e.g. an amusement park), a server automatically downloads a file to the smartphone. When the smartphone is laid flat and a dedicated button is pressed, a map of the park is displayed. When the smartphone is pointed at an attraction (e.g. a ride, a trail, etc.) and a user input is received, information relating to that attraction (age and height restrictions, wait time, trail length and conditions, etc.) and/or other media relating to that attraction (music, an instructional video, etc.) are provided.”

Pointing at Building For Information (Uses GPS and Orientation)

“A user may point the smartphone at a restaurant to obtain information relating to the restaurant and/or other restaurants in the area. The information may include menu selections, nutritional information, hours of operation, links for making reservations, and/or other information related to the restaurant. This same example may be applied to other types of businesses and/or other buildings as well (e.g. to identify the businesses and their location in a particular building).”

Remote Control for TV

“A user first programs the smartphone to control the TV (e.g. may be a series of on-screen prompts, may be through selection of codes associated with the TV that are tested until a change is detected, may be by pairing the phone with the TV–e.g. through a Bluetooth connection, and/or may be through some other method). The user also programs the smartphone to provide quick access to the remote control functions of the smartphone when the smartphone is pointed at the TV while the smartphone is in the same room as the TV. In operation, when the smartphone is pointed at the TV, the smartphone is configured to send a signal to the TV to control the TV (e.g. using IR commands for TVs with IR receivers and using RF commands for TVs with RF receivers).”

Orientation Based context input

Palm Launching WiMAX Handset On Sprint

The sale of Palm Pre and Pixi handsets have not quite met expectations. A report on Softpedia reveals popular analyts’ speculation that the company plans to bail itself out of this situation by launching a WiMAX handset on Sprint.

However, not everyone thinks this is a possibility. Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney says a new WiMAX model will be poor leverage for the existing product portfolio of Palm and the company has to focus more on competing better with the iPhone and Nexus One. Dulaney says

“Palm needs to first and foremost build a phone that looks like the iPhone and the Nexus One and get rid of the Pre’s [physical] keyboard. Making it thin would be great with a touch screen that’s 3.7 in. to 4.3 in. They have to hit the next home run here.”

Neither Palm nor Sprint have commented on the speculations.

[ComputerWorld via Softpedia]

Palm Elan TouchScreen Phone Coming To AT&T?

Ok, first and foremost, we are not still sure if “Elan” is the name of an upcoming model from Palm or if this is a codeword for something that exists already. But rumors are in that AT&T has been testing on this WebOS handset due for release in the first half of May.

You might recall that we had written about WebOS coming to AT&T last month. Back then, the speculations were that Palm Pre and Pixi could be the models coming to Ma Bell. The new name doing the rounds is expected to be a completely touchscreen phone with soft keyboard – much like the iPhone or Nexus One.

We hope this rumor turns out to be true. You can then expect the Palm handset to be out on AT&T stores on May 10.

[via PreCentral]

Palm WebOS 1.4 Launching Feb 25

The next version of Palm’s WebOS platform could be out this week. According to sources from Verizon that folks at PreCentral quote, the “hard date” for the release of WebOS 1.4 is scheduled for Feb 25.

The release shall happen over-the-air for 100,000 devices at a time. What’s new in this version? PreCentral note the following

  • Enable video recording
  • Flash 10.1 compatibility
  • Improved speed
  • Turn on LED alert by default

[via PreCentral]