Originally Posted by johnqh
Wow, good question.
It is possibly the BeOS windowing system on top of Linux.
I watched the Pre video tour. Some observations:
1. You have to slide the keyboard out to type anything. I found this is very annoying with Android. Apple's software keyboard actually changes depending on the context. For example, if a text field is numeric only, the keyboard only contains number keys. With hardware keyboard, typing some of the stuff (numbers, symbols) is very difficult.
2. Again about the keyboard - you have to turn to the correct orientation to type. On Android, you have to turn to landscape. With Pre, you have to turn to portrait.
3. Again about the keyboard. When people have to slide every time they want to type, that's extensive wear on the sliding mechanism. I have doubts on its reliability. iPhone has terrific reliability record and one of the reason is the lack of keyboard.
4. Speed. From the video tour, the responsiveness is just not there. It looks cool when doing the animations, but not cool when you try to do anything for real. The demonstrator tried six times to show the gesture area.
5. So the apps will essentially be web apps. Yawn.
6. Palm is squeeze to Sprint - which is neither GSM nor CDMA, and is way smaller than ATT and Verizon. Basically, it is getting the leftover from Apple, Blackberry and Android.
7. The phone is simply UGLY.
8. Attention to details. On iPhone, when you pinch, the zoom level actually stick to your fingers. On "Pre", it zooms but the zoom level seems to be fixed. Basically, it knows that you are pinching, but doesn't know how much.
9. To do multiple apps running properly, it needs to have more RAM. On iPhone, the application usually has only 24MB of RAM to work with (that's only 3x photos). Running multiple apps would require much more RAM (more expensive, and bigger device) or swapping onto the flash.
10. A lot of apps are not finished. Photo doesn't rotate according to accelerometer, for example. During the demo, the demonstrator keeps on say "There will be a menu ..... blah blah" for missing features. A lot of things didn't work. She would press a button, expecting something to work, but then have to switch to something else.
11. Palm and Sprint won't say anything about the pricing and schedule. That means two things - it is going to be expensive, and it is not ready.
So, I think it is at least one year from reality, and will cost much higher than what people expect. It is quite possibly BeOS windows server over Linux, and it may end up like BeOS - very cool but couldn't find a market.