Friday, January 16, 2009

Will The Palm Pre Leave Me Cold?

Yesterday was a bitterly cold day in Chicago, with temperatures reaching as low as -11 degrees Fahrenheit. Today wasn't much better and it was fairly mild here compared to other parts of the Upper Midwest. That got me thinking about how I use my phone when I'm out in the cold which got me thinking about Palm's recent announcement of its new phone.

The Pre is a lovely phone with a cool new operating system and a sophisticated system of multi-touch gestures which promises to revolutionize smartphones. This last part is what concerns me on this cold day. One of the reasons why I never wanted an iPhone was because of the virtual keyboard. It was hard for me to type with and I really appreciate being able to type on my Treo and T-Mobile G1 keyboards even while wearing light gloves. Now the Pre does have a keyboard and its portrait orientation means that it would probably be good for one-handed typing—something that I've sorely missed since upgrading from my Treo to my G1. But the Pre is also going to be heavily reliant upon a system of gestures which will require bare hands. Without an alternative to these gestures for navigation, I'm not sure I'd enjoy using a phone like the Palm Pre during a cold January winter in Chicago.

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