Palm have just had their press event at CES 2010, and it comes with some rather exciting news, and quite a few new releases to watch out for, both hardware and software!
Software wise, there are three major announcements that have been made – two of these are for users of the Palm Pré only though. Although, coming to both the Pré and the Pixi with an update to WebOS in February is video recording capabilities!
No hard specs on how capable the video recording is yet, but it’s certainly a nice feature to have on both of Palm’s devices. Along with video recording capability also comes a trimming feature which appears strikingly similar to that of the iPhone, with two handles at either end of a timeline which the user drags into place to trim their clip. Recordings can also be directly uploaded to YouTube and Facebook and sent over e-Mail or MMS.
The next two announcements are for the Pré only, and are great features to add to Palm’s flagship smartphone: 3D gaming and Flash capability in the Pré’s browser! For all of you who were questioning the Pré’s ability to bring 3D gaming to customers, it’s most certainly capable of doing so and there are some great titles that are available to buy in Palm’s US store from today.
Two games were presented at the event by Travis Boatman from EA, who showed off Sims 3 and Need for Speed. Boatman said “They’re [the games] up and running on the device at a great frame rate”. Both of the games were demoed live in front of the audience, and played as smoothly as their iPhone counterparts with full 3D graphics and a good frame rate too. Palm will be hoping that this will kickstart some great developments for their smartphones, also announcing the release of their PDK, which will be incorporated into Palm’s SDK.
Palm were also showing off the multitasking capabilities of the Pré, with Paul Cousineau, Palm’s director of Product Marketing, seamlessly switching from playing Sims 3 to responding to text messages to going back into the game where you left it. All looks very impressive, and Palm will be eager to show this off, as it’s an area where it beats the iPhone in terms of usability!
Not forgetting new hardware, Palm also introduced upgrades to their Pré and Pixi, aptly named “Pré Plus” and “Pixi Plus”. The Pré Plus is slightly different in design to the Pré, removing the navigation button at the bottom of the device and doubling the internal memory to 16GB. The new version also comes with an inductive back cover as standard, which will allow you to wirelessly charge using Palm’s Touchstone out of the box.
The Pixi Plus has been made thinner than the original Pixi and made lighter. The big news though? It finally has built-in WiFi! Helping to add a bit of customisation to their line up, you can buy the Pixi in a host of different back colours too. These phones are both coming to Verizon in the US on January 25th. No news on a UK release date, but we’ll keep you posted.
Finally, Palm also announced a new application called “Palm Mobile Hotspot” which allows you to use your phone for tethering. All you have to do is download the Mobile Hotspot application and you can use it to connect up to 5 devices to the internet. This is certainly a much wanted feature, and it’s great to see it with a new application. It’s been a good year for Palm, and it looks like getting better as the year progresses… Maybe we’ll see another model added to their smartphone list before this time next year?