Palm Pre Wish List

While the Palm Pre is a great smartphone, and I’m a huge fan, I must admit that it’s not terribly close to perfect. With that in mind, here’s a wish list for things to be added or changed on the Pre (in no particular order). Feel free to add to this list in comments, and I’ll update it over time.

1. Add timed alarms to tasks: Currently, tasks are one of the Pre’s biggest weaknesses compared to some other platforms (Windows Mobile, with its Mobile Outlook, is a good example, not to mention PalmOS). And one of the biggest weaknesses of the Pre’s Tasks app is the inability to set timed alarms. As it stands, tasks reminders pop up at 8:00am and can’t be snoozed. This is particularly problematic because Outlook supports timed tasks, the Pre syncs with Outlook via Exchange, and therefore tasks are made very difficult to manage. Until the Pre matches up better with Outlook, it’s not much use (for me, at least) in managing my tasks.

2. Enable syncing tasks with Google: This one’s fairly self-explanatory. Right now, I have no way of getting my personal (non-Exchange) tasks from Outlook to my Pre. That’s another black mark against the Pre’s tasks function that I’m hoping Palm will address sooner rather than later.

3. Improve autocorrect and add predictive text: The Pre’s keyboard is decent enough, as I’ve remarked before. I’m still slowed down considerably because of the lack of predictive text and functional autocorrect. Currently, the Pre only fixes obvious errors, and thus I’m slowed down considerably in entering text compared to my Windows Mobile and PalmOS devices.

4. Add scroll bars to long lists to show progress: Email and contacts on the Pre would be immeasurably improved if only there was some way to tell how far one has scrolled in a long list. I’d settle for a simple scroll bar at this point.

5. Enable search in email: Enough said, I think.

6. Add collapsible sections in contact list: Contacts would be much easier to access if the list were collapsible, say alphabetically. Let’s say, as email accounts can be expanded and collapsed to show and hide folders.

7. Enable collapsing folders in email account folder lists: It’s great that one can show and hide the folder list per email account. Doing the same for subfolders would make complex email accounts (like my work Exchange account) dramatically easier to use.

8. Enable adding more app pages and the ability to categorize them: Hackers have exposed the ability to add app launcher pages, and so Palm just needs to turn on this capabilities. It would be great as well if pages could be named or otherwise categorized.

9. Add world clock and enable time zone adjustments for calendar events: This is basic stuff that would make the Pre much more usable by folks who travel. I don’t currently, but when I did the Pre’s current ignorance regarding time zones would have been a real problem.

10. Add horizontal on-screen keyboard: I hate virtual keyboards and would have been terribly disappointed if the Pre didn’t have physical version. But, there are times when a quick bit of data entry is needed in Web pages, and simple on-screen keyboard would be mighty handy.

11. LED notifications: The Pre’s notification system is one of it’s most important strengths. Having the center button or gesture area LEDs light up to indicate notifications would be a great addition.

12. Memo syncing: Memos don’t sync on the Palm, which is a huge ommission. I use Evernote, with its semi-workable WebOS client, and so memos are nothing but a convenience for me, but some folks don’t and the lack of syncing makes the Memos application a bit less valuable.

13. Video recording: This, and the ability to upload to YouTube, would be welcome. I fear that the iPhone 3G S has the Pre beat on this score.

14. Better copy/cut/paste: First, I find the current method of holding the orange key to move the cursor and the shift key to select to be difficult to use, particularly in selecting multiple lines. Second, it’s limited to editable text. Palm really needs to tweek this process and extend it to non-editable text.

15. Extend Universal Search: I don’t want too many things in Universal Search; it’s great how fast and clean it is. But adding Calendar and Task search (after the Tasks app has been fleshed out) would be welcome. Note that I specifically do not want email included in Universal Search–I can’t imagine how they’d engineer things to avoid email search slowing things down and seriously cluttering things up. I’d be happy with having search within the email app itself.

16. Visual voicemail: I’ve never had this before on a phone, and I don’t get that many voicemails, but I’d welcome this feature nonetheless.

17. Flash support: One word: Hulu. My kingdom for Hulu support, which as far as I know would require Flash.

18. MSN/Live Messenger support: My wife and I live by Windows Live Messenger, and I simply can’t wait until it’s supported on the Pre. And, I’m hoping that it’s fully integrated into Synergy.

19. Contact categorization: As Eve says in the comments, “I love Synergy but I don’t need some of my online contacts mixed with people I keep in touch with often. Please let me categorize!”

20. SMS forwarding: As Jorge says in the comments, “All good one’s but you forgot text (sms) forwarding. I do alot texting and need that more.”

21. Jabber support: As Kugreg says in the comments, “Jabber support. Should be easy since the library used for gchat and aim already supports it.”

22. Extend Synergy: As Remon says in the comments, “Extending the Synergy philosophy by letting you book an appointment either directly from the contact app or indirectly to a contact from the phone app. It is pretty common to talk with someone and arrange to meet. It should be natural to enter the appointment if the phone already knows who you are talking to.”

23. Custom lock screen: As Rune Bune says in the comments, “The Pre could also need a custom lock screen to show next calender events or any kind og widget feeds you would like. Then you just have to glance at the phone without unlocking to see the most basic info. Just like some apps on the iPhone.”

24. Flickr uploads: Jame has some great ideas in the comments. Flickr uploads would be a great addition to the Photobucket and Facebook support that’s already there.

25. Emoticons: Can’t believe I forgot this one myself, and thank again to Jame. I really miss the emoticons in text and chat from my Treos.

26. Home screen updates: I like the simplicity of the current home screen, but Jame says in the comments, “The home screen to summarize upcoming events and stuff for the day.”

27. Phone favorites: As Jame says in the comments, “And a favorites list/or customizable buttons for phone numbers on the home screen. Maybe favorites like the mailboxes in email.”

28. Skinning: Rune Bune mentions skinning in the comments, and the ability to create themes for the Pre would certainly be welcome.

You’ll notice that I’ve limited this list to those things that can be added via software, and I’ve not mentioned bugs (which I’m assuming will simply be fixed) or physical limitations (I’m talking about the Pre, not its successors). Also, I’m limiting the list to core WebOS features, not third-party apps.

Comments

  1. I love my Pre – best phone for me the multi-task queen but I would kill for being able to categorize my contacts. I love Synergy but I don’t need some of my online contacts mixed with people I keep in touch with often. Please let me categorize!

  2. All good one’s but you forgot text (sms) forwarding. I do alot texting and need that more.

  3. Jabber support. Should be easy since the library used for gchat and aim already supports it.

  4. Extending the Synergy philosophy by letting you book an appointment either directly from the contact app or indirectly to a contact from the phone app. It is pretty common to talk with someone and arrange to meet. It should be natural to enter the appointment if the phone already knows who you are talking to.

    • Yes, I agree, great idea. They’ve really only scratched the surface of what Synergy can do. Adding to the list.

  5. The Pre needs a dedicated podcast audio/video app, which can hold track of played, new and partial played media either from iTunes or feeds. I would develop one if I got a Pre myself (and the mojo);)

    • That’s really more of a third-party thing, but it’s a great idea. Really looking forward to a podcast application myself.

  6. The Pre could also need a custom lock screen to show next calender events or any kind og widget feeds you would like. Then you just have to glance at the phone without unlocking to see the most basic info. Just like some apps on the iPhone.

  7. I vote for Flickr sync/upload for photos. Emoticons for SMS and chat. The home screen to summarize upcoming events and stuff for the day

    • I vote for Flickr sync/upload for photos. Emoticons for SMS and chat. The home screen to summarize upcoming events and stuff for the day

      Great ones, thanks! Added to the list.

  8. How did i forget a native facebook app!
    And a favorites list/or customizable buttons for phone numbers on the home screen. Maybe favorites like the mailboxes in email.

    • How did i forget a native facebook app!
      And a favorites list/or customizable buttons for phone numbers on the home screen. Maybe favorites like the mailboxes in email.

      I’m limiting the list to non-third-party apps, but I agree, a native Facebook app is way overdue. I really expected one at launch. Adding the favorites idea to the list.

  9. what about skinning (themes)?

  10. I really thought that they would keep what made palm great and just add the new stuff. I didn’t realize I was giving up what made palm a really great organizer. I’m hoping for some mighty updates really soon.

    In the calendar (the site that frustrates me the most): too few colors available, month view has no colors, there is no year view & the alarm settings are too limited.

    In the contacts: no groups setting available and most of the data that I had stored in the notes section transferred over as gibberish.

    Speed dial is limited and dumb. You have to press a letter and hold it down for a really long time & you have to remember what letter you assigned each person. Give me back the sorted lists like on the treos.

    Hardware: needs a toggle for scrolling and moving the cursor around.

    Text messaging: no character countdown to let you know when you’re close to 160. No quick texts- I hate having to text the same message over and over again. No emoticons :-(

    Also – on my treo – the main screen had a quick view of my upcoming appts. and of important calendar events like birthdays,etc without opening the calendar section at all.

    I feel like I’ve taken a major step back in productivity. It’s really annoying.

    • Terri – I haven’t had the same overall experience, but certainly I’d love to see some of the issues you mention would be nice.

  11. Synching of read and deleted emails.

    For example, if I read and/or delete an email on my home PC the Pre will not mark it as having been read and/or deleted.

    • Miquel, I think that’s a function of how you configure email. For POP accounts, you can set the option to delete email off of the server (in account preferences), and the same option exists for IMAP. IMAP, however, does keep your online email the same (e.g., if you delete or read a message, that’s reflected online). Then, if you have your home email also running IMAP then it will inherit the changes as well. However, POP email running on your home system will stay pretty much out of sync.

      Personally, I use Yahoo, for example, as IMAP on my Pre and POP at home. That means that depending on when my home system picks up mail and when I check email on the Pre, I will definitely get messages on my home system that I’ll have to manually delete. Again, though, that’s a function of the email systems and not the Pre.

  12. My main concerns that have already been mentioned are visual voicemail and IM/Text forwarding. One thing that really irritated me was that Palm isn’t compatible with Sprint’s contact backup service that every other non-smart phone uses. I think that with synergy it should be able to access that service given that this is my first smartphone from Sprint, and no one at the store told me that it wasn’t compatible. I lost soooo many contacts because the second the phone was activated, I was no longer able to log into my contacts online.

  13. Syncing with Yahoo contacts and calendar. It does Yahoo Mail, but not those. While they’re at it they could sync with Yahoo Notes too :-) I don’t want to switch to Google. Synergy needs to support this ASAP.

  14. emeka udedibia says:

    I was wondering if you guys would agree. When a notification, lets say text message appears in the notification panel in the bottom of the screen but you want to use the whole of the screen to view, lets say a webpage, so you flick the notification away, but in so doing you forget that you ever received that text until much later. What I suggest is being able to do one more additional thing when you get a notification. Other than flicking it away you get the option of dragging the notification to the top task panel and the notification will appear as an icon next to the wifi icon or EVDO icon at the top. So now you have maintained screen size and you still have u’r notification in view. Not only is it effective but it is a very effecrive gesture that bulster the new OS’s capabilities.

  15. Emeka – Actually, if you swipe up when a there’s a new notification, it automatically minimizes to the notification area and remains as a small icon until you swipe it away or perform the requisite action (e.g., go to email). So, it seems to already do what you’re describing.

  16. Well all above are great…I want to mention though again the MSN Messenger that is still missing from Palm Pre…also what is the prob with the battery life…without WIFI and without using web too much mine only lasts for about a day…

    • Chrisa – I’ve not owned a smartphone yet that lasted more than a day of typical use. So, I think the Pre’s pretty much in the mix in that respect. I too wish that they’d add MSN/Windows Live Messenger, and quite frankly don’t understand what’s been the hold up. I’m hoping it comes soon, because from a communications perspective that’s the only thing the Pre is missing for me.

  17. oh by the way…is someone actually that can do something with all above wishes reviewing this list? :-)

    • Chrisa – I take these periodically and put them into Palm’s online suggestion box. So, Palm does see them eventually. :-)

  18. Hi, Want to send and recevie pics, ringtones and others via bluetooth and it should allow to send SMS from call log list, when u get miss call we get call back option we need send SMS as well, dont wanna use finger for scrolling up, down, left and right really missing the 5 navi key from palm OS, need video recording and zooming as well and THE MOST IMPORTENT NEED ARABIC LANG FOR READING SMS PLZ PLZ PLZ.

    Tnx

  19. Here’s my wish list:

    1. The ability to have separate volume and alert settings for various things. There’s no way to tell between something like “charging” and a new email… And I’d like a different chime for my personal email and my work email.

    2. The ability to choose a snooze duration for calendar alerts. Not sure what good 5 minutes does me…

    3. A better Facebook app. Facebook alerts would be nice. The facebook app sucks, compared to iPhone and Blackberry.

    4. Either a Kindle app, or an eReader that supports PDF books. It seems like Palm has some kind of a decent relationship with Amazon (with mp3s) so a Kindle app seems like an easy one to achieve.

    5. I know this is already on the list, but I’d love a virtual keyboard. A real keyboard is better, but that doesn’t mean it’s always better. Being able to open contacts and easily find the one I’m looking for by typing the first couple letters of the name would be very cool. If you have to open the keyboard every time, it’s no longer convenient…

    6. Another good one already mentioned is email searching…

  20. I would add

    (1) synchronization with multiple (sub)calendars of the same account.

    I have a CalDav account and it will only synchronize with the main calendar. I have a public calendar for work and a private calendar, as well as an event calendar (which are both not public). The pre does not distinguish between private and public in the same calendar and it ignores any the secondary calendar. So .. what to do (except having multiple accounts, which I think is the opposite of elegant)?

    (2) scrolling within text messages I am about to write.

    In long messages the beginning of the message disappears from the typing area, and there is no way to go back there.

    • Is your CalDev an Exchange account? I’m not sure how it works exactly, but if the “private” calendar is local to Outlook and the “public” one is on Exchange, then that’s why it can’t be synched. If it works differently than that, then I’m just not sure.

      Agreed 100% on the scrolling while entering text idea. It’s much more difficult than it should be to write text in Web forms.

  21. Hilda brown says:

    Just got the pre-plus. Missing two big things: Should let you decide if you want your calendar events on the home screen and…reminders for text messages/appts/etc…If I miss the first “beep” for a text message …I never hear one again. Should be able to set “remind me every x number of minutes”

    • I agree about the reminders–I really miss the ability to snooze for a set amount of time that was in PalmOS. If you don’t dismiss they reminders, they do stay in the notification tray, but active reminders would certainly be welcome.

      About the calendar events on the home screen, keep in mind that webOS doesn’t really _have_ a home screen where items can be placed. There are some apps (at least one that I can think of) that allow you to have various information displayed in cards that can be kept maximized. It’s sort of a poor man’s home screen, but it does work for some.

  22. Definitely needs the old magnifiying glass equivalent to find any word in the contacts, not just first name or last name, it is not clear if this is going to be fixed (though I am wrong hopefully…)

  23. chrisly says:

    most of that wishes are solved in webOS 2.1 (Pre2)

Speak Your Mind

*