Monday, December 21, 2009

Palm Pre vs. iPhone

In a strange town, as a friend and I were about to drive to the airport, he starts asking people for directions.  He had an iPhone with GPS but the iPhone's GPS, he explained, is worthless.  All it does it show google map info which, although good, is hard to use when driving.  By contrast, the GPS app that comes with a Palm Pre provides not just a map but also spoken turn-by-turn directions.  Street names are pronounced also.

You can buy GPS apps for the iPhone that provide spoken directions although the cost is about the same as a stand-alone GPS machine and you will encounter another iPhone limitation: it has trouble doing two things at once.  If you have the GPS app running you might not be able to play music or, if playing, you might not be able to change songs.  The source of this is that the iPhone's operating system is not true multitasking.  By contrast, the Palm Pre's OS is Linux which is true multitasking so you can run many apps simultaneously and switch between them effortlessly.  Thus, on the Palm Pre, the music and GPS apps run side-by-side with no problem. 

Another big advantage of the Pre is that it doesn't use AT&T.  For whatever reason, AT&T's cell phone service has such a bad reputation that even Saturday Night Live has made fun of it

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