So I like what I see so far. But ... yet another mobile OS? Sprint? Egad.
I have to say, I wish them well. I really do.
Here's the press release:
Palm Unveils All-new webOS
Web-Centric Platform and New Palm Pre Phone to Debut Exclusively on Sprint's Mobile Broadband Network in First Half of 2009
Palm, Inc. today unveiled its groundbreaking Palm webOS mobile platform, built from the ground up to be constantly connected to the web, and the new Palm Pre, the first phone based on the new platform. Pre is scheduled to be available exclusively from Sprint in the first half of 2009.
Palm webOS is a brand-new kind of platform, invented exclusively for mobile use. webOS recognizes that you want your people, calendars and information to move with you, wherever you are, wirelessly, as opposed to being bound to a personal computer. Palm webOS is the first mobile platform to automatically bring your information from the many places it resides - on your phone, at your work or on the web - into one simple, integrated view. The new Palm Pre and webOS are designed to be so in sync with your needs that it feels like Pre is thinking ahead for you.
"Palm products have always been about simplifying lives and delivering great user experiences," said Ed Colligan, Palm president and chief executive officer. "webOS and Pre bring game-changing simplicity to an increasingly mobile world by dissolving the barriers that surround your information. It's technology that seems like it's thinking ahead to bring you what you care about most - your people, your time, and your information - in the easiest and most seamless way."
"Pre continues Sprint's leadership in open access to the content customers want for a great web-connected experience," said Dan Hesse, Sprint chief executive officer. "We look forward to bringing this remarkably innovative device to our customers on America's most dependable 3G network.(2)
The new platform was designed to allow a vast ecosystem of partners, including developers, hardware suppliers, and accessories manufacturers, to develop core solutions to complement the platform and product line. For developers, webOS shatters traditional barriers to mobile-application development by offering a rich open development environment that's familiar to tens of millions of web developers. More people can develop for the platform and can do it faster than ever before. The platform's flexible environment will also allow developers to distribute their applications over-the-air via an on-device Palm application store.
Your Life, Brought Together
The new platform introduces Palm Synergy™, a key feature of webOS that brings your information from all the places it resides into one logical view. You don't have to worry about tracking multiple calendars, contacts and messaging applications - Synergy brings it to you for a more comprehensive and truly representative view of your life.
Linked contacts - With Synergy, you have a single view that links your contacts from a variety of sources, so accessing them is easier than ever. For example, if you have the same contact listed in your Outlook(3), Google and Facebook accounts, Synergy recognizes that they're the same person and links the information, presenting it to you as one listing. And if you update a contact on your webOS device, it also will be updated in your various accounts, whether on a personal computer or on the web.
Layered calendars - Your calendars can be seen on their own or layered together in a single view, combining work, family, friends, sports teams, or other interests. You can toggle to look at one calendar at a time, or see them all at a glance.
Combined messaging - Synergy lets you see all your conversations with the same person in a chat-style view, even if it started in IM and you want to reply with text messaging. You can also see who's active in a buddy list right from contacts, and start a new conversation with just one touch.
Your Information, Effortlessly
By smartly integrating your information, webOS is designed to think ahead for you and keep you on top of the things that happen in your life, but that's just the first step. The platform's unique interface brings your information to you with the ease that only Palm can offer.
Web-connected applications - Applications are seamlessly connected to the web and always active(4), ensuring you have the most up-to-date information.
Run multiple applications at the same time - Palm's revolutionary webOS lets you manage multiple activities more effectively than any other mobile platform today. It lets you keep multiple applications open and instantly flip from one to another.(4)
Instinctive user interface - With its multi-touch interface, webOS lets you move easily between activities like flipping through a deck of cards and rearrange items simply by dragging them; when you are done with something, just throw it away. And finding what you need is easy with universal search - as you type what you're looking for, the OS narrows your search and offers results from both your device and the web.(5)
Intuitive and unobtrusive notifications - When important things come up or new updates arrive, you'll receive notifications with a diplomacy that's a radical departure from other mobile platforms. For example, if you receive a text message or email, a scrolling notifications bar at the bottom of your screen lets you address it right away or leave until later. webOS alerts are one step ahead, ensuring that you never miss a thing, but never lose your place or train of thought.
Palm Pre: The First webOS Phone
Pre has a breakthrough interface and hardware design that makes it the most integrated and user-friendly phone for mobile users. Featuring a smooth, rounded ergonomic design and a physical keyboard that slides out only when needed, Pre is engineered to feel natural in the hand and comfortably small in the pocket. When closed, the phone is ideal for phone calls, web browsing, music, photos and videos; when open, Pre is optimized for email and text messaging. With its curved slider and gesture-controlled touch interface, Pre fuses exquisite design with the revolutionary webOS software for fast access to anything on the device or web. It's an instinctive user experience that seems to anticipate your needs.
"As our lives revolve more and more around the web, devices like Palm Pre that transform how we interact with the web will lead the way," said Hesse. "We are focused on bringing our customers a superior experience that includes easy-to-use devices, simple pricing and value with Simply Everything all-inclusive offerings, plus Ready Now, our exclusive retail program that helps customers leave the store feeling comfortable and confident they know how to use their new device."
Pre will support a variety of differentiated on-device Sprint services, including Sprint TV®, offering an extensive selection of live and on-demand programming. Sprint Navigation provides GPS-enabled audio and visual turn-by-turn driving directions, one-click traffic rerouting and more than 10 million local listings. Sprint also offers more than a dozen streaming-radio applications, including Sprint Radio with more than 150 channels.
Palm Pre features include the following:
High-speed connectivity (EVDO Rev. A or UMTS HSDPA)
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g(6)
Large 3.1-inch touch screen with a vibrant 24-bit color 320x480 resolution HVGA display
Gesture area, which enables simple, intuitive gestures for navigation
Slide-out QWERTY keyboard
Email, including Outlook EAS (for access to corporate Microsoft Exchange servers), as well as personal email support (POP3, IMAP)
Robust messaging support (IM, SMS and MMS capabilities)(4)
High-performance, desktop-class web browser
Great multimedia experience and performance (pictures, video playback, music), featuring a 3-megapixel camera with LED flash and extended depth of field, and a standard 3.5mm headset jack
Bluetooth® 2.1 + EDR with A2DP stereo Bluetooth support
8GB of internal user storage (~7.4GB user available)
USB mass storage mode
MicroUSB connector with USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
Proximity sensor, which automatically disables the touch screen and turns off the display whenever you put the phone up to your ear
Light sensor, which dims the display if the ambient light is dark, such as at night or in a movie theater, to reduce power usage
Accelerometer, which automatically orients web pages and photos to your perspective
Ringer switch, which easily silences the device with one touch
Removable, rechargeable battery
Dimensions: 59.57mm (W) x 100.53mm (L, closed) x 16.95mm (D) [2.35 inches (W) x 3.96 inches (L, closed) x 0.67 inches (D)]
Weight: ~135 grams [4.76 ounces]
An array of compelling accessories also will be available for Pre, including the first inductive charging solution for phones (sold separately). Simply set Pre down on top of the elegantly designed Palm Touchstone™ charging dock without worrying about connection, orientation or fit. Pre is active while charging, so you can access the touch screen, watch movies or video, or use the speakerphone.
Availability? Within 6 months. Pricing? No idea yet. Hmm...
More info on Palm.com.