Palm Introduces Pre Plus and Pixi Plus to Verizon; Updates webOS

Yesterday at Palm’s CES keynote, CEO Jon Rubinstein announced what we’ve been waiting for since the Pre first hit one year ago— availability on carriers other than Sprint, like Verizon. Sprint’s exclusives on both the Pre and Pixi have finally run up, so Palm plans to bring some updated version of both devices to Verizon by the end of the month (January 25th!).

But that’s not all. They talked a lot on the future of webOS, something that’s good for all devices (be it Pre, Pixi or the Plus versions). Read on for exciting details on both the new phones and the new software.

New Phones

Ok, so here’s the basics on whats new for the Verizon versions of the Pre and Pixi (and why there’s a Plus at the end of each). In short, both updates are solid but nothing really revolutionary– the Pre is getting a slightly updated design (such as no button below the keyboard), a little faster (thanks to 2x the RAM), and 2x the storage of the Sprint Pre, bringing it to 16 GB. The Pixi Plus on the other hand, also remains pretty much the same, just with one major add-on– WiFi. Small, but much needed, and something that makes the Pixi a much better device.

We still don’t know a price for either phone, but seeing as it’s coming out in a little over 2 weeks, we’ll probably know very soon. If I had to guess, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pixi Plus was priced below $50, and the Pre Plus at around $100-$150 or even a little lower— especially since Walmart and other stores are selling the Sprint Pixi for an awesome $25 with 2 year contract, and the more powerful Pre at $100)

New Software

So here the second equally big news out of Palm today talking all about the future of webOS. Let’s break it down:

  • Video Recording!— Yes, as part of a soon to be released update to all webOS devices in version 1.4, video recording, uploading (to Facebook, YouTube, as well as sending by email or MMS) and editing (similar to the way it’s done on the iPhone 3GS), is finally coming.
  • Flash 10— This means that you’ll be able to finally view the real web, including sites like Hulu, right from your phone. (Like the video recording, this will also come to all webOS phones in the 1.4 update– said to drop in February, though the Flash update also will be available as a beta plug-in sometime soon in the App Catalog, though this is only for Pre users)
  • New, updated SDK for Developers, with contest for best apps— Palm has officially opened the doors for developers to make awesome apps for webOS, and is even offering money for the best apps (developers of the best free and paid apps each get $100,000 through May 31st, with 40 developers more getting $10,000, and another 400 getting a a thousand each. Definitely a nice way to encourage great apps and show developers some love).  Oh, and this ain’t bad for us users either. Especially if it leads to this…
  • 3D Games!— Yes, the Palm is determined to make webOS a great mobile gaming platform, and they’ve got a whole bunch of great 3D games already for download today (by Pre users)! We’re talking Need for Speed Undercover, Monopoly, Scrabble, Tetris and The Sims 3 from EA, Asphalt 5: Elite Racing and Let’s Golf! from Gameloft just to name a few. During EA’s presentation today there also was pix of Rock Band, Madden and FIFA in the background, so this thing is really capable for to put on a solid, mobile gaming experience.

Some of the many new 3D games for webOS

Pretty solid announcements, and it looks like Palm has once again shown that they are in no way out of the mobile smartphone game– and we really can’t wait to see what else they got planned.

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Posted on January 8, 2010, in Cell Phones, CES and Macworld and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. your comments on the Palm Pre + are so helpful to me (and when you told me today in person) that I can’t thank you enough! I was so bummed when, last fall, I was checking out my upgrade status on my Verizon plan and saw *no* Palm products available (I used a Palm Pilot back in 1995-1999, and then took a long hiatus until 2008 when I got a Treo, and the palm platform totally came back to me)…but recently when I saw a print ad in the New Yorker for the Palm Pre (marketed directly toward me…a busy mom of 3 young children…the reason why I got the palm int he first place, and didn’t want to switch away from Verizon, as my At&T service year in year old proved very shoddy) I got so excited that they’re back with Palm, and so now with your information I can safely say that I’m so psyched to get back on board and not feel bad about not having an IPhone (which I would only really want anyway if I had a Mac at home, which I don’t…unfortanately we’re still sticking with the PC)…many thanks again!

  2. also, I don’t know if you picked up on their marketing, but when they used that phrase “life moves fast” it really invokes a line in Ferris Bueller, which , as a film from my generation, really and truly resonates, as the original line that Ferris said was “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” I’m sure you’ve seen the movie, but imagine yourself seeing it in the theater when it came out.

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