Saturday, February 13, 2010

Exploring the Palm Pre Plus (Verizon) - Part 1

I've been getting tired of my Palm Centro (already obsolete at time of release). Although the frequent crashes suck, the PIM functions and physical keyboard rock, as well as the ability to go sans data plan. I decided to finally upgrade to a more modern phone and get a data plan at the same time. The Pre Plus has a physical keyboard, would let me stay with Verizon, and seems pretty slick. This is my user diary for the unit I bought on 2/12/2010.

After my first day of use...

1.Good: Universal Search and Phone app
You have rapid and flexible access to all contact options. Want access to a dial pad to to key in a number that isn't already in your phone? Run the phone app. From here you can use the touchscreen dial pad, or type using the keyboard. At the bottom are touchscreen buttons for voicemail and the call log.

As with Blackberries, it will intuit whether you are trying to look up a contact or dial a raw number. You don't need to hold the option key to switch to numeric mode to enter digits, just press the corresponding keys and it will know you are dialing digits (unless you happen to have a contact named "frtgder"). The Phone app will show you any contacts that match your search, and allow you to select any of their corresponding phone numbers to dial. However, you will not be able to send SMS, email, or IM.

Not to worry though, all you need to do is enter Card View or the Launcher, and start typing. This is called Universal Search. As with the Phone app, it will show you any matched contacts, except that in this view you will have the full range of options to call/SMS/email/IM. If you entered a string of numbers, you can also raw dial that number! Furthermore, you have the ability search Google, Google Maps, Wikipedia, or Twitter for whatever you entered. I think this is brilliant. I can look people up and contact them in multiple ways from one easy to access screen, and Universal Search is actually intelligent enough to know what I'm trying to do.