After all the rumors and leaks, the Palm Pre 2 has been officially outed by HP. This will be the first device to ship with HP webOS 2.0 that has been detailed for months now. The Pre 2 will pack all the software experiences we are used to in webOS, from multitasking cards, to the HP Synergy syncing solution. WebOS now has support for stacking cards for better viewing, and access to the Adobe Flash 10.1 beta.
The Pre 2 is an upgrade in some ways, and looks like its standing still in others. The form factor is mostly the same, but with slightly flatter edges. The slider portrait keyboard is still there as well. The camera has been updated to a 5MP sensor, but it is still just extended depth of field, not autofocus. The CPU will be a 1GHz chip; presumably a TI OMAP. The screen is, disappointingly, still only HVGA resolution.
France will see the phone this Friday on carrier SFR. US residents will have their chance in the next few months with the Pre 2 landing on Verizon. If this an intriguing phone for you, or is it just too little too late?
Hot on the heels of the leaked internal specs, some images of what appears to be the Palm Pre 2 have found their way onto the web. The first thing you're likely to notice is that the Pre 2 (or whatever they end up calling it) looks almost identical to the original Pre. But there's no mistaking it, this is not an original Pre.
The rim seems more flattened, and the face of the phone is flat instead of slightly curved. The charger door is different as well. The screen still looks about the same size, and many are pegging the screen resolution at the same 480x320 of the original Pre. This would be a shocking move, as HVGA screens are now mostly reserved for mid-range devices. Could this be where Palm is targeting the new Pre?
The rumored specs have this handset running webOS 2.0, a 1GHz CPU, and 512 MB of RAM. Those are certainly high-end internals, we'll just have to wait to see what the full specs are. Could a new high-end phone come in above the Pre?
French carrier SFR may have gotten a little ahead of themselves recently when they posted specs for the Palm Pre 2. The images they used appear to be stock shots from the original Pre, but the specs are in line with what rumors have previously indicated. According to SFR, the Pre 2 will pack a 1GHz CPU (probably an OMAP3630) and 512MB of RAM. The phone will be running on WebOS 2.0 as well.
It's now been about a year since Palm launched the Pixi, a low end companion to the Pre. Since then Palm has fallen off its game and was bought by HP, which intends to use WebOS on printers. We can only hope that the rumors of a new Palm phone are true. With these rumored specs, WebOS could finally get the horsepower is deserves. The problem, will users care when Palm releases another phone, or will they have already moved on? What do you think? Real specs or not?
It's no secret that Hewlett-Packard plans to vindicate its decision to buy Palm by using the concomitant IP, especially webOS, to plot its success in a range of web-connected device segments, including tablets, smartphones and printers. It has now further reinforced its commitment to webOS by suggesting that it no longer has room for other OSes.
According to former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein, who currently spearheads HP's gadgets business, the world's leading PC maker has scrapped plans of developing an Android tablet. Also, the company will not let Windows Phone 7 infiltrate its smartphone portfolio, despite the fact that the platform belongs to its key ally Microsoft.
For those of you getting your knickers in a bunch waiting for Palm's webOS 2.0 to ship, you can at least get a sneak peak of the upcoming mobile distro, and we're not talking about a few stills.
Someone has gone and leaked a video of the upcoming OS to the Web, and you're in for a double treat if you're a fan of "Shout" by British band Tears for Fears in remixed form (if not, well, cover your ears).
As far as we know, this is the first video showing webOS 2.0 in action. And while we've seen plenty of leaked snapshots already, we're admittedly impressed with the short demo. With the right device pushing the OS and continued support, we could see webOS becoming a compelling alternative to Android and iOS, though we're getting a little ahead of ourselves here.
Check it out below and then hit the jump and tell us what you think.
Update: YouTube pulled the video offline, but not before Engadget could snag a copy.
Developers anxious to see how the webOS platform will evolve under the new leadership of Hewlett Packard (HP) can catch an early glimpse. Members of Palm's Early Access program can now download the first beta release of webOS 2.0, the next-gen version of Palm's mobile operating system.
There are a bunch of new features in the new release developers can use to code new apps, starting with much improved multi-tasking. Building on Palm's card metaphor, webOS 2.0 ups the ante by grouping related cards in stacks, making it easier to move between tasks.
The latest release brings a better implementation of Universal Search renamed "Just Type." One of the new features of Just Type is Quick Actions, which allows users to start an email, create a message, update a social status, and search favorite websites without ever launching an app.
HP has always maintained that it bought Palm for its intellectual property and not because it wanted to be in the smartphone business. Talking of IP, WebOS is arguably Palm's most valuable asset. The PC maker sees WebOS being used extensively across its portfolio of small form factor devices. A tablet running WebOS is also in the pipeline.
The company has already stated that there will be no conflict between its Windows and WebOS tablets as the former will be confined to the enterprise market. On the other hand, the WebOS-based tablet will vie with tablets like the iPad for a piece of the consumer tablet market.
Everyone's been expecting a webOS tablet to come out of the HP purchase of Palm. Now there are some whispers from HP employees that a webOS tablet is coming by Q1 of 2011. Apparently, HP's VP of Personal Systems, Todd Bradley let it slip in an employee meeting just yesterday. Bradley also confirmed that the project is internally known as "Hurricane," which jibes with some earlier rumors.
Palm filed for a trademark on "PalmPad" not long ago, so it appears the pieces are falling into place. Little has been heard from Palm since the acquisition, and Palm execs are jumping ship at an astounding rate. We worry about what this means for the vision Palm had 18 months ago when we first saw the Pre. It's also a concern that the product is targeted for Q1 2011. If that slips even a little, people may have moved on and forgotten about webOS. Do you think a webOS slate can make a splash that late in the game?
Resignation is probably not the most popular world at Hewlett-Packard, certainly not after the resignation of its controversy-marred CEO Mark Hurd, who has kept the world's leading PC maker in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Peter Skillman, Palm's Vice President of Design, is the latest to bid farewell to the company – HP recently acquired Palm for $1.2 billion. He headed the design team responsible for the critically-acclaimed Palm Pre. Skillman's departure is not much of a surprise as Palm has always been in danger of losing key employees ever since it was acquired by HP.
HP's tablet and smartphone strategy has been covered in haze ever since it acquired Palm. But a much clearer picture is beginning to emerge. We now know that although HP plans to launch a Windows 7-based tablet, it will be targeted at the enterprise market.
This has led many to surmise that the company wants to placate Microsoft while still leaving ample room for a WebOS-based tablet. However, the Palo Alto computer giant, renowned for its loyalty to Microsoft, will not be so accommodating when it comes to the smartphone market.
HP's Executive Vice President Todd Bradley, made it very clear in an interview with CNBC that Windows Phone 7 is not part of the company's plans. Instead, it will be relying solely on WebOS for its push in the smartphone market.