A week of browsing with the Prē

Ok, so it’s more like 10 days, but it’s hard to carve out time to write.  In my day to day usage of the internet on the prē I hit a variety of website.  I was a heavy user of Blaser (the built in browser in the Palm Centro) and I have to say browsing on the prē is a big step up.  The ability to open multiple browser cards is huge for me.  I use tabs a lot when I browse on a computer, I have 9 tabs open now in the browser that I’m writing this post.  Here is a list of web sites from my history page in the prē.  I took me over a minute to swipe my way to the bottom of the history list.

Sites that just work

  • Social networking sites:  x.facebook.com; twitter.com; ping.fm; twitpic.com; m.flickr.com
  • Search engines:m.bing.com; m.google.com; m.yahoo.com
  • Shopping and research sites:craigslist.org; safecar.gov; edmonds.com; cars.com; amazon.com
  • News and portals: nytimes.com; my.yahoo.com; sprint.com; palm.com
  • aiso.net – my hosting provider (have I mentioned they are 100% solar powered?)
  • calendars.office.microsoft.com – This is a version of Outlook Web Access for the masses.
  • My corporate Outlook Web Access site.
  • marketplace.publicradio.org – I used this site to stream radio programs.

Sites that didn’t work

  • hulu.com – thumbnails work, but this is a flash site and no flash support in the prē (yet).
  • everyoneboysbusiness.msn.com – this is a Silverlight based content site.  No Silverlight on the prē yet either.

Things I love:  Web links that open in a new window work perfectly.  The best example I have of this is cars.com.  You can do a side-by-side comparison of multiple cars on this site, when you are picking the exact model to compare a model windows pops up and asks you to choose the specific engine type.  On the prē this works by opening another browser card.  You select the radio button and click select.  Then use the button to switch back to the original card and your selection from the second card is applied.  This ability to communicate between browser cards is great!  Another good example of this was calendars.office.microsoft.com.  Here the individual calendar items opened in a new browser card, so I could pan around in week view on the calendar and pop up’s I type this I’m wondering, is it also a security problem?  Could one card be sniffing data entered in another card? I already have 36 bookmarks in the prē which brings me to my first criticism. I wish there was more functionality to organize bookmarks.  All you get is a flat list of bookmarks.  The good this is it’s easy to re-order the list.  Simply hold your finger on a bookmark until you’ve grabbed it (a few seconds) then drag it up or down in the list.  You get nice smooth shuffling as it moves.

Things I love less:  The default is to render the whole web page visible.  The prē scales down the font to make this happen.  For example craigslist.org is scaled down to fit the whole site on the screen. It’s pretty unusable as this scale.  Maybe there are more dexterous folk than I out there, but it requires two hand for me to zoom in and out, and I like to browse one handed so I can be doing something else, like eating, mousing on a desktop or driving (kidding).

Note:  this post has been sitting around in a draft state for 4 months.  I figured I should just post it as is.