Applications: Email and Contacts
The Palm Pre, like all smartphones, comes with a variety of features and software as well as the ability to purchase third party applications. In this post I'll discuss the Email and Contacts applications that come with the phone.
Setting up Email and Contacts was fast and simple.The first time I turned on the phone, I followed instructions on a few screens and entered my Gmail account information. That was it on my end; the phone then downloaded all the data that was already in my account.
You can add several email accounts to the Pre. There's a nice feature to consolidate the accounts by filtering the Inbox and Flagged items. The Smart Folders options for both these folders is on by default, but if you need more of a distinction between work and personal email it's easy to turn off. I like that you delete messages by swiping them off to the side. Two big gripes, however: 1) there's no confirmation screen when you delete a message, and 2) you can't turn any of the screens in Email to landscape. Grrr!
Contacts, like I mentioned already, were added automatically when I set up the phone with my Gmail account info. The annoying part was that I realized none of my contacts were entered correctly to begin with in Gmail, so they appeared wrong on the Pre. Originally, I had imported the Contacts from Microsoft Outlook, but there appears to have been a problem with Google reading the Outlook database, so all of the contacts had the correct name elements in the Name field, but all other information was stored in the Notes field. According to the Pre, I had not phone numbers or email addresses in my Contacts. I had to go back to Outlook, export Contacts, open the file in Excel, strip all the fields down to the basics, and import back into Gmail. You can also import information from Facebook. This is handy as it might fill in some gaps in your Contacts; the Pre will consolidate all the info from one Contact's multiple entries so they only show up once on your list. The Pre will import Facebook profile pictures as well, and if you tap in addresses in contacts it will open up Google Maps and map that address for you.