HP webOS 2.0 plus Palm Pre 2 Formally Announced

Palm and webOS are officially back from the dead as of today. HP has formally announced both HP webOS 2.0 and the Palm Pre 2 smartphone. The Palm Pre 2 will be a Verizon CDMA phone.

There are a few interesting things. It looks like you can use it as a mobile hotspot if you have the right data plan from Verizon, which would be great if you bring a laptop along and don’t have an independent Wifi source – you can use the Pre 2’s CDMA connection and wirelessly tether up to five devices and connect to the internet through Verizon. One of the most interesting things is that you can have conversations that span multiple protocols and software – you can have a conversation with a person that starts in AOL’s AIM instant messenger, continue it in GoogleTalk, and finish it with normal text messaging. It looks like it can backup your data wirelessly every day. The web browser has Adobe Flash Player 10.1 beta support, but to be honest, in all the years I’ve had a smartphone, Flash has never been a deal breaker to me. I’ve never needed it on my iPhone, nor did I need it on my Windows Mobile phones before that. The sites I’ve come across that didn’t have an HTML alternative to their Flash support were not worth bothering with.

What does it offer genealogists?
There’s no indication of any genealogy software coming to webOS 2.0 just yet. It’s not backwards compatible with the older Palm OS genealogy software. If you just need something to check email and maybe browse the web and stay up on a few social networks (Facebook, etc.), it probably do just fine for you. It even has a hardware keyboard which some people like. One nice thing is that hardware keyboards don’t take up space on the screen. If you are looking for dedicated genealogy apps, you’re probably going to have to wait a while. It took a while before they started to appear on Google’s Android, and we are just now seeing discussion of genealogy apps on Windows Phone 7. My guess would be that developers are going to wait and see some hard numbers on the sales side of things. It looks like it has a decent camera which is a requirement for genealogists these days, and it’s got Skype Mobile. If Evernote comes out with a webOS 2.0 app, that would make it really interesting for some. It does support Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents which is very important for a lot of us.

Palm Pre 2 Specifications

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GedStar Pro 3.1d

GedStar Pro version 3.1d is out. GedStar Pro is a genealogy application for PalmOS users, and can be downloaded here (GedStar Pro site).

Processing some marriage-related events for Legacy Family Tree could cause the conversion program to terminate abruptly.

GedStar Pro 3.1c

The PalmOS genealogy application, GedStar Pro has been updated to GedStar Pro 3.1c. It can be downloaded here (GedStar Pro site). This version fixes a bug where multiple internal TMG (The Master Genealogist) exhibits are not being converted properly.

This update is recommended if the following new features are applicable to you:

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Treo as a Notebook Alternative

PC World has an article about using the Treo as a Notebook Alternative. They are using a PalmOS-based Treo 650, and basically trying to do the things they’d normally do with a notebook: “sending and receiving e-mail, with and without attachments; writing and editing Microsoft Office documents; and browsing Web sites.”

This is part 1 – part 2 will be posted next week.