Posts tagged palm pre

Google Voice Now On the iPhone with HTML5

I’ve talked about using Google Voice in your daily life before, but Tuesday Google quietly released a new version web based version based on HTML5.

I’ve already been using a gVoice program for my Palm Pre (gDial if you were wondering…and yes it’s updated with this release), but iPhone users were stuck in limbo without an app that Apple would approve.  So, the Big G has basically gone around Apple’s app store and created a web based version that iPhone 3.0 users can take advantage of (accessible at m.google.com/voice).

Users get the ability to make calls from their gVoice number at Google’s rates as well as text message for free.

If you haven’t tried Google Voice yet you need to find someone with an invite for  you and get on it.

The really interesting subtext to this is Google avoiding the Apple app store and the power of HTML5.  If Google can put together as robust a web app as this then there are going to be a lot of people that will opt for HTML5 rather than jumping through Apple’s hoops.  HTML5 provides excellent power and is OS agnostic so developers won’t need to develop for Android, WebOS and iPhone.  They’ll be able to work in HTML5 and deliver their product to multiple platforms much more easily.

via [Google Voice Blog]

Tech to Live By’s Favorite Sites

If you like technology and/or cool stuff in general then you’ll want to add some of these sites to your regular reading list:

Engadget.com + Gizmodo.com – Listed in the same bullet because they are almost the same site.  Top notch content from around the technology world.

Lifehacker.com – Part of the Gizmodo family and focused on tips and tricks to make life easier.  Like TechtoLiveBy but not as focused on technology.

PreCentral.net – The leading site for info about Palm and the WebOS

AndroidandMe.com – The most useful resource for information about the latest and greatest around the Android OS.

WiredMag.com – Because everybody interested in technology with a splash of pop-culture should read Wired.

Joystiq.com – For the gamer in you.

inTELEMATICStoday.com – Focused on automotive telematics (internet in the car – for lack of a more simple explanation) this site may not be for the general consumer, but it has tons of great information about the automotive electronics industry (and I can’t ignore my sister site!).

What are your favorite tech sites to read?

Open Source and the Palm Pre: Nerd Out!

OpenSourceSimpsonsI’ve had a palm device of some sort since 10th grade when I got the PalmPilot Personal.  After 13 years and about 8 devices (that I had), Palm FINALLY developed a brand new, ground up operating system known as WebOS and put it in a sleek new phone, the Palm Pre (for the record, I was in line at 6am on release day to get my Pre – yes, I’m a fanboy).  In that time the screens, processors, keyboards, and even the company have changed, but one thing has generally remained constant.

A commitment to an open source operating system and NOT preventing developers from taking control of the device.  As far back as I can remember (and before I had ever heard the term Homebrew refer to anything other than coffee) users have been able to download freeware, shareware and paid applications to extend the functionality of their Palm device and to customize their experience.

Long time users will remember applications like Technician and Butler that let you tweak just about every setting the device had (and even a few it wasn’t supposed to have).  Over time, Palm took a number of these features and integrated them into the core OS, thus improving the experience even for those users not quite nerdy enough to be messing with their PalmPilot.

Now the Palm Pre has saved Palm as a company (fingers crossed), but the pattern remains the same.  WebOS is Linux based so it’s open source by nature.  It took less than 5 days for the first hello world app to hit engadget and within 3 weeks we we’re all basking in the glory of a homebrew community.  While the folks over at Apple are constantly battling their developers and rejecting applications Palm has embraced their developer community at an almost unprecedented level.  It’s not that Palm doesn’t reject apps from their own app store, it’s that Palm encourages (at least, makes no effort to stop) developers from creating and distributing applications outside of their  store.



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For the record, iPhone users can install custom apps, but the phone has to be ‘JailBroken’ and until recently this was a pretty risky task. The term itself implies the problem iPhone developers face.  The iPhone platform is in jail…inaccessible from the outside world without significant effort and criminal acts.

The nice people over at PreCentral.com have setup a homebrew app store that is constantly growing with custom apps from the homebrew community (admittedly, of a varied quality).  So, now, any user with even basic skills can get in on the homebrew goodness.  I’m currently playing with about 20 different apps that would never have existed if they had to go through an approval process.  Not because they don’t deserve to be in an app store, but because the developers might not be able to do all the necessary work to get approved, or because Sprint wouldn’t like it, or any number of other reasons.   Some developers are using the homebrew community as their beta testing platform and last time I checked about 10 of the applications that started out on PreCentral have already graduated to the official App Store and that number will continue to grow.

In the other direction, developers have found that Palm has coded, but commented out a number of features.  That is, the code is there, on the phone…it’s just not enabled.  So, what’d the developers do?  They enabled those features and Palm, whether they like it or not, gets tons of free feedback from a very knowledgeable community.  The fact is that everyone benefits, the users and the corporations.

My point in all of this is that, in the long run, giving the power to the users, especially in consumer electronics, will help more than it will hurt.  Sure, you’ll get the occasional bad app or bricked device, but overall, letting the community work together to come up with the best possible solution IS the best possible solution.

Hackers have known this for a long long time, but as social networking comes to the forefront of our society and crowdsourcing a solution becomes commonplace, you’ll hear more and more about Open Source this and Homebrew that…and that’s a good thing for everyone.