I was finally able to get my hands on a Palm Prē, and overall I’m pretty impressed. The screen is beautiful, the device fits nicely in the hand, and despite looking tiny, the keyboard is relatively easy to get used to with good tactile feedback.
One of the nicest features is application switching, which you don’t have in devices like the iPhone 3G/3Gs. And moving back and forth within an application is easy with the gesture area. I can imagine this smartphone taking off as a popular handbag accessory. It even has a mirrored surface on the back, although I don’t think it was really intended for that purpose.
Unfortunately the Palm Pre doesn’t support AutoDiscover or EWS like the recently released HTC Andriod devices. It’s a shame because it makes setup a breeze. The Palm Pre will attempt to auto-configure your email account by trying to look up your mail server and authenticating you. It should work for most standard POP3/IMAP4 accounts but may not work for your Microsoft Exchange account.
But despite not supporting AutoDiscover, setting up your mail2web Mobile Email or myhosting.com Hosted Exchange Email is still easy to do. It only takes a few extra steps to get up and running on your Hosted Exchange account. And best of all, you can add more than 1 Exchange account on your Pre. I was able to set up 3 without any problems. (Most smartphones will limit you to 1 Microsoft Exchange account only.)
Here’s a quick run-through of how to set up your mail2web Mobile Email or myhosting.com Hosted Exchange Email account…
|You can start by opening the Email application. If you haven’t already added an email account, you will be prompted for your email address and password.
If you have already added an account, you can select the “Email” menu in the top-left, then “Preferences & Accounts” and click “Add An Account”.
|Your Palm Pre will try to automatically configure your account, but will fail. You will then see an error that says “invalid userid/password”, or “unable to sign in”.
Click “OK” to close the error message.
|You can then click on “Manual Set-Up” to continue.|
|Click on the “Mail Type” box and change your setting to Exchange (EAS). Then enter your incoming mail server as https://ex7.mail2web.com.
If you are a myhosting.com Hosted Exchange user, you can enter your mail server as https://ex7.myhosting.com or http://ex7.your-domain.com.
You will also need to enter your username, which is the same as your email address. When you are done, click on “Sign In”.
|Your account setup is now complete and your Palm Prē will now begin syncing your information.|
|If you go to your Account Settings, you can also set how frequently you want to receive your email. “As items arrive” will allow you to receive your email via Push Email. You can also set how many days worth of email to synchronize.|
You can also configure other calendar and contact settings by accessing those applications directly.
Have you tried the Palm Pre yet? What did you like or dislike? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments area.