Palm Pre "Cards" Deja Viewed in Mobile Safari "Tabs"

We've mentioned this in passing before, but the parallels, if any, are worth making more prominent.

Using webOS, which is a localized, almost widget-ized development environment (using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and enhanced local access), the Palm Pre can run many WebApps at the same time. The way it's visualized is with the "card" metaphor, where a touch of the Home-like button shrinks the current screen down to a thumbnail that's kept live and updated in real time. The interface also lets users shuffle the apps like cards in a fanned-out deck. You re-arrange the cards and can even terminate an app by "throwing it away".

While the iPhone doesn't keep them live or let you re-arrange them, and has an X to close rather than the throw-away gesture, going as far back as two years ago when Steve Jobs introduced it at Macworld 2007, it let you zoom out of the Mobile Safari web browser with an eerily similar thumbnail representation. (Though there doesn't seem to be any patent contention over that just yet...)

Actually, given Apple's recent obsession with Cover Flow in iTunes, OS X 10.5 Leopard's Finder and now Safari 4 Beta, we're surprised they didn't just default to that for Mobile Safari tabs from the get go as well...

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

Quick App: QWERTY 5-Row Keyboard for Jailbreak

Next up →

iTunes Short Term Pass Debuts with Depeche Mode

Reader comments

Palm Pre "Cards" Deja Viewed in Mobile Safari "Tabs"


Soooooo. @PPgeeks
Do you know If the PP is ever coming to ATT?
Sprint is horrible IMHO , you'd have to hold a gun to my head to deal with that again....
Me wants the PP on ATT. :)

makes no sense to me palm pre cards are totally different you have contacts ,photos, etc and the list goes on of live running apps on the phone the iphone only deals with the same card issue for web pages only....

Even if it has copied it from iphone palm has done a hell of a job of it, future generation compared to what you in its limited avatar in iphone!

And boy, did i say i want it to be available unlocked too, otherwise someone is anyways working on it anyways ;)

I loves me the Palm Pre implementation as well.
I do want to see how stable it is in the real world tho first. Even if WebApps/Widgets are theoretically "lighter", there are still app-loaded Facebook pages, crazy MySpace pages, and all sorts of badly scripted sites that crash full on desktop web browsers with tons of RAM.
I'm sure each card has its own thread, so losing one wouldn't crash the device (like my old Treo 680 crashed every day while making/taking calls), but overall, I wanna see it in action...

(I should add, like how individual tabs in Mobile Safari can bring down the whole browser app -- Apple, multi-thread that for 3.0 too please?)

What reasons do you not want to go back to Sprint? They are no longer the carrier you might've dealt with however many years ago.
I love sprint and will never go to another carrier personally.

Maybe they're no longer the carrier we dealt with as a result of all of us leaving. If we go back, they learn nothing. They offered lots of great deals to new customers throughout my 11 years with them, but never did anything to show appreciation to me as a long-time, loyal customer... other than give me excuses. Now they continually bombard me with deals to get me back.
Sorry, Sprint... shove your Windows-only compatibility. I don't have to put up with it anymore.

NoPantsu, First of all Apple is a leader in an industry of followers. Apple spends a lot of money on RnD and they're rewarded for it. It's not there fault everyone follows suit making better phones. The Iphone is a horrible piece of technology compared to a lot of the stuff coming out. For comparison, look at Sega, Nintendo, and Sony. Sega for years came out with new products first, unfortunately Nintendo/Sony would follow suit but with better hardware/software etc.
Apple will eventually go the way of the dodo or become like every other company. The apple fad will eventually wear off. It's only a matter of time.

YesPantsu: while it's arguable there is some better hardware out there, the software on that hardware is just horrible in comparison.

I've had Sprint for 7 years...not one issue that I didn't cause myself. I also have had two of my kids work at Sprint and the consensus is that most problems are user self-inflicted.

Actually if the iphone has enough memory then it does keep the tabs live. It is not just a snapshot. Try starting to load a web page and zoom out and you will see the tab change and load to the new page.

I dealt with them less than a year ago for 1 year. Given rate plans are cheaper.... but thats because they have to make up for customer care. Almost every time I would call i would get hung up on(not kidding) or if they couldnt answer my question they would transfer me so i would end up getting rerouted to different departments and it always took an act of congress for them to correct the bill that they consecutively managed to screw up. They are also the carrier that 1 year ago terminated the contract of idk how many customers because they called their call centers to much lol. I really hope palm handles the tech support side of the Pre like APPLE did for the iphone because when I had some questions regarding my HTC mogul i got transfered to a call center in India and that was just painful. ATT I don't like because i feel like they try to squeeze every penny out of you just because know they can..... but at least my bill is always correct and I've only had to call 1 time and they didn't hang up on me :) .

I hate how everyone copies Apple!
Apple, not Palm, was the first with a touchscreen phone!
Apple, not Palm, invented applications on cell phones!
Apple, not Palm, was the first with e-mail on a phone!
Apple, not Palm, was the first to synchronize a phone to the desktop!
Apple, not Palm, was the first to put a QWERTY portrait mode keyboard on a phone!
Apple, not Palm, invented mobile IM!
Apple, not Palm, invented e-mail on a phone!
The Treo in 2003 was a DIRECT COPY of all these iPhone innovations from 2007!
Damn Palm for copying Apple's innovations and using a time machine to do it!
Damn them to hell! Those copiers!

And Cingular/ATT has been horrible to me and you'd need to point a bigger gun at my head and pull the trigger before I'd ever sign with that anti-customer corporation again. If you haven't been with Sprint for the last six months you wouldn't know. I've been with Cingular for six years and couldn't wait for that contract to expire. I've been with Sprint five now and am ready to re-up. Cheap, consumer-centric (trust me on this) and pretty damn reliable.
I'll be hanging on to my 755p until PP arrives.
Thanks for the chuckle, iPhoneBoi. I was going to respond in flames but your parody was too obvious.

As long as the Cover Flow works in portrait. I don't want to have to keep turning my phone sideways just to switch tabs.

iPhoneBoi for President in 2016!
I'm going with the natural evolution of the iPhone, the Palm Pre.
Oh, & Sprint now has a rewards system for high $ users & long time customers, which lets you upgrade after only 12 months, although you don't get as steep a discount as you would after 24 mos.

@iphoneboi THAT MY FRIEND IS ALL WRONG APPLE WAS NOT THE first to do any of those things not one and what do u mean by the treo copying HOW THE HELL DOES A PHONE FROM 2003 COPY SOMETHING THAT WAS MADE IN 2007 THINK ABOUT IT get ur facts straight BUDDY

The thing is the palm pilot is a copy of the Apple newton that existed from 1989-1998.
It had a touchscreen, applications, notes, it could synchronize to the desktop, portrait keyboard, handwriting recongition, copy and paste, etc. Their was no wireless netwoking because wifi did not exist when it first came out. Palm released their first palm pilot in 1996, 7 years after the newton. And look at their features and interface, pretty damn similar.

It kills me when someone says that Palm is copying Apple's touch screen. Where was Apple when the Palm Pilot PDA WITH TOUCH SCREEN was introduced to the world in the mid-nineties? Not even dreaming about the iPhone, I can promise you. And for those who hate Sprint becuz they cancelled a handful of people who repeatedly called CSV, tying up the lines and looking for credits they didn't deserve, you need to get your facts straight. I started with Nextel in '96, and then migrated to Sprint in 2004, and I've never had a problem that wasn't taken care of quickly and courteously. That makes 13 years with them, and I'm not leaving!

Yes, because separate applications running in their own protected space is an obvious rip-off of a single application that does not even use isolated processes to load separate documents. :rolls eyes

For end users, the UI is the application, and in this case the UI's are obviously similar. Palm has done an incredible, herculean effort to extend the UI metaphor beyond multiple web pages, to cover multiple localized WebApps, but that metaphor, that paradigm is key to their multitasking being so effective.
Take the UI away, and its just another multitasking OS like Android, WinMo, Symbian, etc.
(But ya couldn't see that with yer eyes rolled back, now could ya? Sigh.)