AT&T Survey Pitches Address Book, Speaks In Code

AT&T has been sending out surveys to new smartphone customers. Having just purchased a Palm Pixi Plus (and then a Palm Pre Plus), I was included in the survey. The survey started by asking me to confirm if I recently purchased a Palm Elan (P121UNA). Most hardcore Palm fans will know this refers to the Palm Pixi Plus, but this question will likely will have consumers scratching their head asking, “What’s a Palm Elan?”. My curiousity was piqued as to what information AT&T was attempting to glean from the survey.

As I proceed through the survey, I was asked a littany of questions regarding AT&T’s Address Book service. I have no shortage of smartphones, but this was the first I had heard of this service. There is no charge and it apparently backs up your contacts to the cloud. I thoughtto myself, what a novel idea. Then I remembered that I just purchased a Palm Pre Plus. With my existing Palm Profile in place, all my contacts and apps were already in place by the time I left the AT&T store. When I moved from the Pixi Plus to the Pre Plus, it took me all of 10 minutes to sign into my profile and have all my contacts in place.

In theory, the AT&T Address Book sounds like a good service, if it were not for a duplication of what Palm owners already have with the Palm Profile. I have yet to sign up for the service, but I’m considering it. My Palm Profile has yet to fail me, but you can never have too many backups. Both the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus are supported and there is no charge. For more information, you can check out AT&T.

Anyone using this service? How’s it working for you?

AT&T Palm Pixi Plus Available Today, Priced at $50 or Free

The diminutive Palm Pixi Plus is officially available today on AT&T Wireless. You can find the Palm Pixi Plus at your local AT&T retail store or online. AT&T is selling the Palm Pixi Plus with black Touchstone compatible backplate for $49.99 after an instant $100 rebate. You can save yourself $50 and have zero out of pocket costs if you select the Palm Pixi Plus with the AT&T blue back.

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Those of you who are mid-contract or don’t like commitments, you can purchase the Palm Pixi Plus outright for $299.

UPDATE: If you prefer black, Amazon has the new Palm Pixi Plus for AT&T for free.

Can You Find Me Now?

Interesting find by the sleuths over at PreCentral. A number of Verizon webOS owners have reported issues with GPS, location based apps providing less than stellar results. These applications often rely on a combination of data from both GPS and aGPS, the latter being dependent upon your wireless carrier who provides location using their infrastructure. aGPS is often faster than GPS. When combined, location based apps like Foursquare are going to be immeasurable better, since they rely on accurate data of your location.

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Palm has confirmed that Verizon has a proprietary aGPS system and third party applications do not have access to aGPS on Palm devices. Palm’s developer page for GPS provides more details:

Some carriers may not support, or may limit access to, Assisted-GPS (A-GPS) for location services. This can dramatically increase the time necessary for an initial position fix. This can be mitigated to some extent by choosing the parameters “responseTime:1″ and “accuracy:3” when requesting position information. These settings, when combined with Google Services, will return a low-resolution fix within 30 seconds in most environments. Once the low resolution fix is acquired, updating the location using ‘responseTime:3’ and ‘accuracy:1’ will provide a high resolution location fix when available.

It’s not quite clear why Verizon does not provide support for aGPS to third party applications on Palm devices or if they provide support on other platforms including Android. What is clear is that the lack of aGPS support on Verizon Palm webOS phones is a kick in the location based services.

Verizon Palm Pre Plus Gets webOS 1.4.1.1 Update

Exciting day for Palm yesterday and some good news for those of you who have the Palm Pre Plus on Verizon Wireless. Palm has released webOS 1.4.1.1 for the Verizon Palm Pre Plus. The update process will happen OTA and you can manually check if it’s available by hitting the Update icon that looks like a present. Official changelog is available after the break. The most notable change appears to be the removal of the pesky double letter issue that affected so many of you.

Continue Reading …

Palm Introduces Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus, Coming To Verizon Wireless

Palm today introduced two updated devices to the family of webOS phones. The Palm Pre Plus and the Palm Pixi Plus will be available on Verizon Wireless starting on January 25th. Pricing for both phones is not available as of yet. Both Verizon Palm phones will offer a unique Mobile Hotspot application that will allow 5 devices to connect to the Internet using your webOS phone. The HotSpot application will be exclusively for Verizon versions of the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi and will be available in the App Catalog. No word on whether this will require an additional plan, though we are betting it will.

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Other notable changes include the bump up from 8GB to 16GB on the Palm Pre Plus and the addition of WiFi to the Palm Pixi Plus.

Info On Verizon Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus Leaked

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Documents from Verizon have leaked, detailing information about the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus.

The Pre Plus will double its predecessor’s memory, up to 16GB. It’ll come with a 3.1″ 320×480 capacitive display, with multi-touch support, slide out QWERTY keyboard, Wi-Fi, EVDO Rev A, 3MP camera with LED Flash, Bluetooth, video and music playback, and document viewer.

The Pixi Plus will have 8GB of internal memory, 2.63″ capacitive display at 320×480 and multi-touch, QWERTY keyboard, Wi-Fi, EVDO Rev A, 2MP camera with LED flash, Bluetooth, deo and music playback, and document viewer.

No micro-SD or video capture for either, though.

[via Phone Arena]

Rumor: Verizon Starts Palm webOS Training

PhoneArena, via PIC, has published a screenshot of what appears to be a training slide for Verizon employees who are learning webOS. Of course, earlier this year the CEO said Verizon would get the Palm Pre and there’s been no shortage of predictions that big red would have a webOS device in 2010. Earlier this week, we saw an FCC filing for a WiFi capable Palm Pixi. The training allegedly started yesterday and runs through January 4th, 2010. Palm’s CES event takes place on January 7th and seems all but guaranteed that we’ll see a carrier announcement. Will it be the Palm Pre, the Palm Pixi or both? Maybe it’s an entirely new device? It’s likely we’ll find out on January 7th, if not before then.

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Verizon Still Might Want Palm Pre

Yesterday’s report that Verizon was not interested in the Palm Pre has received a fair share of criticism from analysts who cover Palm. Jonathan Goldberg of Deutsche Bank called it “off base.” In a research note released this morning, Goldberg wrote:

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We believe the press reports late Thursday afternoon that Verizon would not launch the Palm Pre are incorrect,” Goldberg wrote. “Our checks continue to point to healthy carrier demand for the Pre early in calendar 2010. We believe Palm has placed orders with the supply chain for another version of the Pre with features highly consistent with a Verizon launch.”

Tavis McCourt of Morgan Keegan & Co also weighed in with a research note that directly conflicts with yesterday’s report.

“Palm reiterated its FY2010 guidance, which we believe REQUIRES a launch at Verizon (you just can’t get there with just Sprint and AT&T),” he wrote. “Verizon has carried just about every Palm product in its history, and the Pre is clearly the best. We do not have insight as to the marketing support Palm will get from Verizon, but we see little risk in not getting a placement at this carrier. The timing of the rumor post-deal makes it equally as dubious as the timing of the ‘Nokia will buy Palm’ rumor during the roadshow.”

McCourt still believes Verizon customers will see the Palm Pre early next year, possibly in February.

Outside of yesterday’s story, we haven’t heard anything from TheStreet.com. There are plenty of analysts and unnamed sources, but nothing that makes us believe either way. If you’re waiting, hoping for Verizon to get the Pre, don’t give up that hope just yet. It’s still unclear, but the outlook is not as dreary as it was yesterday.

Editorial note: Even if Verizon does not pick up the Palm Pre, it’s still quite possible they will carry a new webOS device. This could mean either the Palm Pixi or perhaps a device that hasn’t been announced yet. Palm’s commitment is to offering a wide array of webOS devices across a number of carriers. Verizon might pass on the Pre, but that doesn’t guarantee they are passing on Palm.

[Engadget via All Things D]

Sprint Introduces Any Mobile, Anytime

Sprint yesterday introduced a new addition to customers who have an Everything Data Plan, likely most, if not all Palm Pre owners. Regardless of what everything plan you have, you also receive free unlimited mobile to mobile calling. We’re not just talking Sprint mobile to Sprint mobile. The new and we should note free add-on to everything plans allows Sprint customers to call any mobile, any carrier and not have it count against your bucket of minutes.

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For example, let’s say you have a 450 minute everything plan, priced at $69.99. Any calls made to mobile phone (within the US) do not count towards your bucket of minutes. Think of your minutes as “landline minutes”.

This new add-on further encourages Palm Pre and soon-to-be Palm Pixi owners to take advantage of all the features of their phone and not be as concerned about overage charges.

Sprint has taken an already competitive plan and added to it….at no charge.