Lifedrivedoc.com began as a place to talk about the Lifedrive. It soon became apparent that it was much more than that. Since moving on from my Lifedrive, I am engaged in more avenues of technology. That technology has intersected with my professional life - Medicine as well as my social life.

As noted above, the blog is about a lot of things in relation to technology. If you are looking for Lifedrive related material, I am currently dividing the blog so that those searches will be easy for you to find. Most of them will be pre 2007, that should help. Additionally, if you are looking for the links that used to be on the left border. They will be back up in a different format soon. I do enjoy reading about new things to do with the Lifedrive, so you can feel free to let me know about those. I will also post those on the site.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

HTML5 and its implications for the Palm Pre

Gmail logo

Google just announced that it will be coming out with a new GMail client that will run under HTML5. HTML5 allows developers to create databases and save them to a machine that is using the program. The program is purely web based and this means that Google can store your email within a browser, leaving the contents intact, even after you have disconnected from the internet.

For example, if you have an iPhone, you can download your email in the Safari browser, switch to Airport Mode (which turns 3G, Wireless wifi, bluetooth off) and still read and respond to your email. Once you resume the connection then your email program will sync back to the Google server.

The uses for HTML5 are endless. The ability to create documents on the fly, within a web browser and store and edit them on your device, syncing eventually, as long as you leave the cache intact is enormous. This will change the way we communicate with our mobile devices.

So the Palm Pre, which I presume will have the ability to support HTML5 coming right out of the box, should do well in this environment. However, there is a small problem. HTML5 applications, such as the one written by Google in Gmail are available cross platform. That is to say, Google showed the exact same program running on a Google handset and on an iPhone. According to the presenter, the same code was used to do this. If this is the case, GoogleDocs would not need an Iphone, a Gphone or a Palm Pre to operate, nor a Microsoft compliant device for that matter. It would be able to use anything that supported HTML5.

That leads to a wonderful choice for consumers if most of the programs are going to be web based. But for the manufacturers, such as Palm, this poses a major dilemma. If you don't need to worry about what device you use to run HTML5 applications, wouldn't you choose the lowest priced device? As of now, not including the monthly payments, the iPhone is the better value for money. Palm has already announced that it will require developers to write their wares in HTM and one can only assume that this will be HTML5. So, if the Palm Pre offers nothing more than Palm Pre apps written in HTML5, will that be enough to attract programmers and consumers? And what if the price is $399.00 or above, what features will the Palm Pre have to have to command buying it over the iPhone?

We welcome HTML5 and all that it may deliver in the future, but worry about what it means for Palm, in the long run, where companies such as Dell may get into the space by delivering super cheap Microsoft or Linux handhelds capable of delivering Apps with HTML5.

Video link below: