Getting it all together is one of the biggest challenges of the work-from-home lifestyle. Appointments, due-dates, family, clients... There's always something or someone trying to slip through the cracks, a post-it that comes unstuck and flutters under your desk, an email that just doesn't get flagged. For about a decade now we've been waiting for the promised pocket-secretary, an all-in-one device that helps us stay on top of all aspects of our lives. Enter the Palm Pre, a phone/pocket computer/web surfing device/camera/etc.
At the very least, the Palm Pre is going to give the iPhone a serious run for its money. Is it an iPhone killer? Maybe not, but I'd certainly expect the next generation of iPhone to tackle a lot of the Palm Pre's extra features Stuff.tv shows off in this video:
I don't know about you, but consolidating all my calendars, is a HUGE deal. Jumping between my work calendar, my family calendar, my Facebook calendar, my Yahoo Groups Calendar, and trying to keep them all synchronized is, quite simply, impossible. It's everything that's wrong with modern communications technology in microcosm: a flood of useful information, but so utterly dispersed as to be more disrupting than old-fashioned ignorance.
What we need is a way to unify all this sort of thing in one place, at one time, so we can see it, process it and make good decisions based on it. Palm Pre isn't quite everything we need. It's still subject to the old GIGO rule: Garbage In, Garbage Out. It won't read your post-its, or the scribble on the dry-erase board that you fail to input on your computer, but it certainly looks like a huge leap in the right direction.
Unifying and capturing communications is another big step forward. About the only thing it doesn't seem to do here is record our calls and transcribe them as text files. Still, being able to handle the email and simple research with access to Google docs and LinkedIn makes me a networking machine no matter where I am, especially since the Palm Pre supports multitasking. And apparently, it multitasks very well:
Ten to fifteen apps at once is hopefully more than most of us need, but in all honesty, I'd probably end up pushing it. As the war for the ultimate uber-phone intensifies, applications are going to become a major battleground. While the Palm Pre might not be the pocket-secretary we all desire, there's a good chance it just might emerge from the coming clash between Palm and Apple.