One of the things that I was reading about in reviews on the internet regarding the Pre was the consensus that the bundled apps were a bit lacking. Personally I’ve not found that to be the case as much of what I am after was either built in or available free in the fledgling App Catalogue.
Here’s part 1 of a brief-ish summary of the main stuff aboard with some short comments. It’s hard to expect too much sometimes from stock apps like these and typically, 3rd party software is much more fully featured. There is no Weather, Twitter or Stocks app like there is on the HTC Hero which is a surprise. Twitter-ers feareth not however as there are at least 3 decent Twitter apps available on the App Catalogue and the free AccuWeather software is first class. Likewise, the demo version of TopStocks more than matches anything available for the iPhone or Android. Genuinely, I’ve been very impressed by the quality of 3rd party stuff available to date.
The Pre comes with a basic Memo app that goes for the mac “stickies” approach, simple but not exactly fully featured, a decent Task application that allows for categories and basic lists but not repeating tasks, a rather acceptable PDF reader that loads even big files surprisingly quickly, a YouTube client that I haven’t bothered to try out yet, a Docstogo read only application with the editable app having been delayed to “next year”, Google Maps as seems de rigeur on all modern phones, a Calendar that is fine for my basic needs and which can sync with Google. At last, a la BlackBerry, clicking on a time in Day View adds an entry in that slot. There are a couple of useful “patches” available via HomeBrew/PreWare that let you change the default view and one adds a nice Agenda View. Many like the fact it can show different calendars in the same view, colour coding being employed to help differentiation between them.
The Contacts app is nice (I haven’t bothered with the “synergy” feature yet as I don’t want stuff like Facebook contacts added) and you can access contacts by sliding the..ahem…. slider up and starting to type a name. The Backup app backs up data to the Palm servers including Synergy contacts and apps but not application data unfortunately. I can’t see a schedule feature but on the front screen it says that your data “is backed up automatically”…not sure if that is in fact the case. Still, it’s nice to have it there and it backs up quite quickly. The “Update” app does what it says on the tin and that is to provide on device updates when available. So far, there has only been one but I live in hope of the big 1.3 update, which adds app purchases. The Photos software is very similar to the look and feel of the Android app which in turn is similar to the iPhone Photos software. It looks like it adds the ability to “share” photos, presumably through the major suspects like Flicker? Photos do not load as quickly as you would expect from a device with an internal hard drive and certainly not as quickly as they do on the iPhone which provides instant loading.
The Music application is functional but has been quickly replaced on my Pre by the currently free Music (Remix) software which adds quite a few important features currently lacking in the stock Palm one. For example, it adds “flylists” capability, it is skinnable, adds a bookmark facility, has a slider to move to different parts of a song/podcast, landscape mode and various other goodies. Well worth downloading as it is well better than the stick Palm one. You can play podcasts through this app but I prefer to do this by DrPodder, also available via HomeBrew.
Tomorrow I’ll take a look at important stuff like the email, camera, App catalogue and the rest.