Engadget to Palm

2007 Nov 19

This afternoon I found this Engadget blog entry titled “Dear Palm: It’s time for an intervention“. I agree with much of what is said in this article. I would like to offer a couple of additional suggestions, most of which are specific to mobile developers.

Consistent Screen size and resolution – With all the differences is devices, it can be nearly impossible to design an attractive mobile website. So standard across your product lines. Screen size and resolution are extremely important.

Follow web standards. The firefox and opera browsers are do an incredible job of following web standards. With web developers around the world using CSS for presentation and XHTML for structure, for Palm for conform to the standards will make developers want to develop on it. This is much in the same way that we use Firefox to build our websites, then fix the quirks in IE.

I recently added a handheld stylesheet to my website, so I could deliver an attractive experience to my mobile audience. I discovered that if a screen stylesheet is present, the mobile stylesheet is ignored! Why? You should only be using the screen style sheet if there isn’t a handheld stylesheet present. A better idea would be to make a preference to the user of what to do when a handheld style sheet is unavailable – use the screen stylesheet OR User-specified Style Sheet, or browser default settings.

View Source. Please add this to the browser menu.

Power Button. I use a Treo 700p from verizon. Just under the bottom right corner of my screen, is a red button. It looks like a power button. It’s not. When I hold it down, it turns of the phone. The device is still on. So I cant make calls AND the battery is still consuming power. Why is there not a button/switch to turn off the device? The only way for me to currently “turn it off” is to take out the battery. That’s bad. Please fix that.

New Browser. Perhaps instead of maintaining Blazer, you could donate a couple of developers to make Mozilla’s Minimo or the Opera Mini browser work on all Palm products. Start with the Treo line and go forward from there. I tried a while to install Opera Mobile, but it required a JVM. I wasn’t able to install that, so I moved on.

Hardware. Some people think the phones could be thinner. I happen to like the way the treo 700p feels in my hand. Its nice and solid (it doesn’t feel like a wussy RAZR), yet it is still thin enough to fit in my jeans front pocket. I’d try to thin it a little bit, but not much. The keyboard is great. Don’t touch it!

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