Finally, the apps
Supplied apps: Both the iPhone and the Pre do a fine job of supplying you with the apps you need to take advantage of their hardware, and in most cases the differences between them are slight.
Their browsers, for example. Both the Pre's Web app and the iPhone's Safari are built on top of WebKit and are essentially equally snappy.
When the iPhone accesses a site that provides a mobile-formatted page, it'll use that page, but the Pre won't. Even if you enter a wireless-specific address such as IBM's or Cisco's, the Pre will render it as it would for a web page, not a handheld.
Oddly, Palm supplies the Pre with six built-in bookmarks, and five of them do load with mobile-optimized pages: ESPN, Amazon, Sprint, MySpace, and Facebook. The sixth - Palm - doesn't. Go figure.
Both the Pre and the iPhone provide the ability to save a web page into the Pre's Launcher or the iPhone's home page, where it will be then accessible by Universal Search or Spotlight. The Pre adds that capability to contacts.
The iPhone one-ups the Pre in that Safari's address field will auto-complete URLs, while the Pre instead sends you off to your choice of Google or Wikipedia.
The Pre's Calendar app has a couple of advantages over the iPhone's. For one, you can view by week or - even better - view by day and then side-scroll through the full week. The iPhone can do neither. Also, the Pre compresses unused hours into an accordion-pleat pattern, thus saving precious display space.
Multi-account emailers will appreciate the fact that the Pre's Mail app includes the ability to stock a Favorites list with often-used folders from different accounts, making them all easily accessible in one place.
In my testing, both apps handled images, audio, and video well, and both have the hideous shortcoming of forcing you to select each message individually before deleting it - a true pain if you have a hundred or more messages crowding a neglected mailbox.
Since it's a multitasking machine, the Pre has no problem whatsoever letting you know what's going on in other apps. This capability is best exemplified in Notifications, small messages at the bottom of the display that let you know, for example, if an email message has come in, who its from, and what its subject is; whose call you just missed, whether you have voicemail; from what number; and who's texting you and what's on their mind. If these notifications clutter your display, flick them off the the left to delete them - a gesture used to delete most list-based items.
The iPhone has alerts, as well, in the form of little red numbered circles on an app icon to tell you when some info has been added to that app's collection. Although these alerts carry less information than do Pre's Notifications, they're also less intrusive. iPhone Software 3.0 also allows developers to add more-intrusive alerts to their apps. We'll see how that works out when those apps start to appear in sufficient numbers.
Finally, as mentioned before, the Pre's Universal Search doesn't search Mail or Calendar apps as does the iPhone's Spotlight. Sounds like version 1.0 to me.
Supplied-apps advantage: A tie
One of the few Palm Pre accessories now available: the nifty Touchstone wireless charger
Third-party apps: Don't make me laugh. Okay, make me laugh. "Bwah-hah-hah-hah-hah!"
Now that that's over with, let's admit that there's no competition in this category. The iPhone has over 50,000 third-party apps available in the iTunes App Store, and Palm hasn't even released a Pre SDK yet.
And, yes, many of the 50,000 apps in the App Store are crap, but many are great as well. Some companies are even creating their own in-house iPhone apps for such corporate fun as sales support and documentation. Medical uses are also appearing. Not every iPhone app farts.
Palm and its developer-support group have a long, long way to go before they even come within shouting distance of the apps available for the iPhone/iPod touch platform. And if they ever do, they're also going to need to spend some time rethinking Pre's App Catalog. It'll be browseable for a couple of hundred apps, max - not that the iTunes App Store is a walk in the park.
I'll be anxious to see how intelligent Universal Search will prove to be when accessing the App Catalog of the future.
Third-party-apps advantage: iPhone 3GS
The Bottom Line
In the 18 categories above, the iPhone 3GS came out on top in 10, the Pre in five, and three ended in a tie. But to give the iPhone the victory in this smackdown strictly based on the number of categories in which it rules would be doubly ludicrous.
Ludicrousness number one: Not all categories are equal. The Pre's multitasking capability is obviously more important than the iPhone 3GS's ability to record voice memos.
Ludicrousness number two: As I said at the beginning, webOS is in version 1.0x. Expect the Pre to gain in capabilities as its operating system matures - and expect updates to be free, as have been the iPhone's.
That said, if you're in your right mind you're going to buy only one smartphone. And today is today, and not a probable tomorrow when Palm works out the kinks in Palm Synergy and Universal Search, updates the Pre's UI to make it more discoverable, and nurtures a healthy and creative third-party ecosystem for not only apps but also accessories.
And who knows what advances the iPhone will embody during that time? Maybe even multitasking with a Mac OS X-esque Exposé interface.
So, if you're choosing between a Pre and an iPhone 3GS today, buy the iPhone 3GS.
But as Scarlet O'Hara foresaw, "Tomorrow is another day." ®
iPhone v Pre - the celebrity smartphone deathmatch
In less than a year no one will remember what a Pre is!
The iPhone however will be the dominant mobile computing platform for years to come.
What a stupid article.
Another poor man's iPhone...yawn
I think this article just makes me glad I've been using an iphone all the way through from the first one to the 3GS. Basides the multi-tasking, there's nothing the pre offers which would make me drop the iphone, and the person reviewing clearly doesn't use an iPhone daily (or else he doesn't know the OS very well). The pre looks fugly too, they need to make it look prettier.
I find it amusing how people are still going on about Android dominating the industry. It hasn't and it most likely won't. The time for it to dominate is past, public opinion is apathetic and it was a missed opportunity for Google. The HTC rubbish phones it was introduced in were tantamount to a poor man's iPhone, and apart from a couple of nice innovations such as multi-tasking, the Pre falls into that same category. Who will buy a product that looks and feels cheap and confusing outside of the IT industry?
Re apps, the exponential growth in apps, s because of the exponential growth of iPhone ownership. The installed units needs to be there to justify people developing for a platform. Seeing as how Pre piggy backs on the achievements of Apple (iTunes) rather than have its own infrastructure, I can't really see it having a viable app store, at least when compared to iTunes and at best there'll be something comparable to The google one or the blackberry one i.e. a decent facebook app and that's about it.
Blah Blah blah
iPhone this.. iPhone that.... It seems that the iPhone fan boys just get their shorts all in a bunch whenever anyone doesn't just accept the iPhone as the secret of the universe, by default. The simple fact is that anyone who doesn't want AT&T as their vendor or anyone who wants features the iPhone doesn't support, will not get an iPhone. The rest who have more money than sense will buy an iPhone. I recently talked to an AT&T store employee about why she switched from the iPhone to a Blackberry. Quite simply because the iPhones short comings were things she simply couldn't get past. Not everyone will just because fruit flavored fanboys love their fruit flavored kit. Some aren't going to drink the coolaid and have an Apple love fest with you. Get over it. It's just a phone. Not the second coming of Christ.
Capacitive screens and overheating
If you're looking for a smartphone with a resistive screen, you're I supect you're going to be SOL, pretty much all the new ones are going capacitive these days. I think there are some WinMo ones that are still going resistive, but as a concept it seems to be dying.
Regarding the heat issues, Several of my colleagues have 3Gs's (I'm still stuck on my "ancient" 2G) , and are reporting no heat problems whatsoever. I can't help but think that this is either being blown out of all proportion, or that the've had a bad batch of batteries somewhere. DOes anyone have any hard numbers for how many people are reporting this?
You missed an important category
You missed the "Fire hazard" category.
As there have been reports of iPhone 3GS becoming too hot to hold and getting so hot they actually glow with the heat I think it's safe to say the Pre wins this one, and frankly it's such an important category in general it's enough to swing a win to the Pre overall.
What use is a phone if it risks setting on fire as the iPhone 3GS does?