I had a Palm Pre from mid-2009 until I got my first iPhone (iPhone 4) in late 2010. It was a really neat, very hackable Linux-based smartphone.

It suffered from lack of good software support and poor battery life.

Photos from I was actively using it in 2009-10. :)

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The Palm Pre had wireless charging early on. It was actually better-implemented than Qi, in that it used magnets in the charging stand and phone to automatically center the phone on it when you dropped it on there, and hold it securely.

This was A YEAR before Qi!

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Another neat feature it had was unified messaging. The messaging app did SMS as usual, but you could also sign it into all the IM systems of the time, including AOL, Yahoo, Google Chat, and even your own JabberIM servers.

All your contacts/buddies/etc. were in an organized list.

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This was likely one cause for the poor battery life, as the phone had to remain connected with multiple TCP sessions to each messaging service.

The slide out keyboard was nice, but admittedly I've gotten faster at typing on an on-screen keyboard than I used to type on that.

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The Palm Pre's WebOS platform could have been a lot more, if it had gotten more support from Palm, and HP which bought it out. Unfortunately pretty much all contenders sorta gave up once it was clear smartphone OSes would be a duopoly (Android, iOS) going forward.

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Another fun tidbit. To put a Palm Pre into developer mode, you'd open search and literally type out:


You could tell this OS was put together by the nerdiest of nerds. I got such a kick out of that!

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@zorinlynx yes! it all just worked; none of this opening up "AIM for WebOS" stuff

@yakkoj @zorinlynx I want this so bad on a modern platform but the only project in that area now is libpurple and I don't want it that bad.

@Ember @zorinlynx I still have a bag of pres, including the unreleased pre3, which finally had hardware to match the quality of the software, and was available for GSM or CDMA carriers. WebOS was absolutely fantastic, and definitely deserved better. I'm so happy to hear that somebody appreciated all the work we put into it! ^_____^

@dragoness @Ember Oh definitely; it was a great platform and had so much potential. If it had been better supported and continued I'd probably still be using it today. :)

@zorinlynx that's another thing Palm got right. Today, I have to be careful to line up the phone with the charging coil, or I'll come back 12 hours later to find it didn't charge.

@zorinlynx also the hardware wasn't great when all's said and done

Still, the Pre had the best messaging app. I could put everything into one app and it'd Just Work. Try that with today's apps...

@yakkoj @zorinlynx The Pre 3 finally got the hardware right. Sadly, it was too late. And the stupid tablet...everyone was installing Android on it. Oh well!

@zorinlynx Hi! ^_^ I worked at Palm for the duration of the project, and got scooped up by HP to continue my cloud work. I was the cloud architect for all of the backend services, and worked closely with the developers on the platform.

@zorinlynx Oh, you're THAT Zorin! ^_^ I'm Kysh from FM circa 1995ish - present. It's so weird seeing og on social media.

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