Saturday, June 6, 2009

Palm Pre launching with Google Search, Google Maps, and YouTube

As mobile technology geeks, we're really excited to see a new smartphone launch from our friends at Palm. Palm Pre phone's webOS works great with Google Search, Google Maps, and YouTube, which are built into the device. You can also easily sync your Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Contacts to Palm Pre.

We're big fans of Palm Pre phone's universal search feature. Just start typing a query from the home screen (no need to launch the browser). If your query doesn't match any contact info or the name of an application on your phone, you'll be prompted to search either the web with Google, local places on Google Maps, articles on Wikipedia, or Twitter.

What's neat about launching Google Maps in this way is that it will use your location to conduct a search for nearby businesses and points of interest (if you choose to allow Location Services, of course). Similar to some other mobile phones, Google Maps is built into Palm Pre phone's operating system -- you'll notice a Google Maps icon amongst the phone's built-in applications. However, the implementation of Google Maps on Palm Pre is actually very different from how we built Maps on platforms like Android or BlackBerry. Palm is calling its operating system webOS for good reason -- all applications running on webOS leverage a WebKit-based rendering engine for content, which made it easy to port Google Maps to the platform. You can use familiar Google Maps features such as My Location, local search, driving directions, and traffic.

Palm Pre also includes a YouTube application that Palm built using Palm's Native application MoJo SDK, and much like a web app, it uses HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. YouTube on Palm Pre makes it easy to watch your favorite videos. When you play a video, it auto-rotates to landscape orientation to take full advantage of the phone's screen.

Palm Pre wouldn't be complete without productivity functions and we're happy to report that Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Contacts work well on the device. Simply enter your account name and password and Palm Pre will sync your email, calendar events, and contacts to the device. Palm Pre supports the IMAP IDLE protocol so you can enjoy push Gmail.

This is just the beginning for Google applications on Palm Pre. The good news is that since our applications are built using web standards along with Palm's MoJo SDK, we can iterate quickly and provide new functionality, often without requiring you to install anything new. We look forward to rolling out new features for our mobile applications at a rapid clip.