Palm will officially release the Pre smart phone on June 6th. It will launch on Sprint and be available at Sprint stores, Palm, Best Buy, Walmart and Radio Shack. Pricing is $199 with a 2 year contract and rebate.
The Pre is Palm's newest smart phone and the first device to run WebOS. WebOS is a dynamic new operating system that is easy to program for and is the first smart phone OS to have multi-tasking. This means you can have an open email that you are editing, have music playing, check your calendar, and go on the internet. The new web browser is also more functional and renders web pages better than most mobile systems.
The Pre also has a system called Synergy which keeps all of your contacts, from various sources, in sync and combined on the Pre. It also has the ability to sync your data to Palm's network for backup.
The Pre also has a slide out QWERTY keyboard instead of a virtual keyboard like the Blackberry Storm or Apple iPhone. This makes composing emails and work easier.
The Pre has been one of the most anticipated devices of the year and won awards at trade shows this year.
There are already many launch partners and applications available for the Palm including one that allows users to use their old Palm OS applications on it. There are also applications for gaming, data access, and using your Microsoft Office files on the Pre. And of course, any web application is accessible through it's web browser.
I can see the Pre being a very useful tool in a classroom. Imagine a class of students with instant access to research materials, the ability to send information to the teacher, the ability to interact with each other and other classes, the ability to do their work anywhere, anytime. The classroom just got expanded to outside the building. The challenge - changing many school district's outlook on cell phones in school.
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Disclaimer - I own Palm stock.