About Palm Pre's Cloud

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by dissdnt, May 20, 2009.

  1. dissdnt macrumors 65816

    dissdnt

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    Aug 3, 2007
    #1
    So I'm hearing that the Pre has it's own cloud and it's free. It will handle a lot of the stuff that Sprint can't really handle.

    It will auto sync to the cloud all your contacts, data, etc. You'll be able to remote wipe and if you reactive a new phone it will auto sync and wipe out the missing phone.

    Seems pretty cool. I'm hoping this will push Apple to open up the mobileme for free, or at least have a stripper down version that will do some of those features.

    I know I heard that MobileMe will soon offer phone tracking via active gps on the new iPhone and remote wipe etc. But 90 bucks a year is still 90 bucks a year.
     
  2. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

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    #2
    Synergy is different to MobileMe:

    "Palm's Matt Crowley explained that there is no central data sync point and that Pre syncs contact, calendar, and task data to the cloud. With mobile operating systems such as Windows Mobile and iPhone's OS X, users sync data with a "main" computer source.

    By individually accessing and editing canonical data sources like Facebook and GMail's contact management systems, it is hoped that webOS can eliminate the need to edit duplicate data. Because each data source has its own system for data retrieval (i.e. push, polling), it is not known how Synergy will impact battery life."

    "Users just make changes to their data (contacts, calendar, mail, etc.), and Palm's webOS handles committing those changes to whatever canonical data source it is accessing in the cloud. And herein lies the most important difference between the webOS and Apple's iPhone OS: the iPhone was originally designed under the assumption that the canonical source of a user's data (contacts, calendar, music, tasks, etc.) is a Mac. Palms webOS, in contrast, presumes that cloud-based services are the canonical source for your data (with the possible exception of media, which we don't know about yet)."

    "Palm's webOS does not presume any sort of tether at all. The company has totally ditched the idea that you will use this phone in conjunction with a specific "main PC" that contains the canonical, authoritative repository of your data. Instead, webOS draws seamlessly on a variety of data services—not data repositories, but cloud-based services that actively feed the device both data and critical context.

    This is a deep, fundamental break with both the iPhone and previous, repository-based smartphone usage models, and it's important enough that other smartphones are bound to follow. In fact, let me hand the mic over to HP's Russ Daniels, because he did a great job of talking about this concept in-depth in a recent interview with Ars:"

    "(By the way, if you missed that interview, go and read it now [PART I PART II]. Russ's extensive, big-picture discussion of the cloud turns it from an overused buzzword into an actual collection of useful technical concepts.)

    "Ultimately, the exact mechanism for moving changes of state between the device and the online information services to which it connects (cloud, IMAP e-mail, IM, Twitter etc.) will depend on the particular service. Some services ask the device to poll, while others push out updates—it all depends on the transport. But the user will never see any of that, since it all goes on behind the scenes under the heading of "Synergy."

    Note that I should have asked about Synergy's impact on battery life, because from a power savings perspective, it's probably better to have a single, shared model for handling state changes (like batch updates) than to have the kind of free-for-all that Crowley seemed to be describing.

    Ultimately, webOS acts much like what Daniels described in his interview; that is, it moves away from a repository datasource model to a federated query service model, where the device queries multiple services for state that it then caches locally, before invisibly propagating any changes back out to the cloud. "


    "Of course, Apple has since added over-the-air sync capabilities the iPhone, and it recently even added the ability to purchase media over 3G. But the device as a whole sort of "presumes" this tether—and by "presumes" I don't mean that it requires a tether, but that the device and the ecosystem that it's a part of still has "tethered sync to a Mac" as a default mode of use, with "untethered sync to the cloud" being something that you can do if you sign up for MobileMe."

    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2009/01/of-clouds-palms-webos-and-cutting-the-cord.ars

    MobileMe will be at least partially continue to be a subscription service. It would be like asking Apple to have made .Mac free a few years back...
     
  3. iWork macrumors member

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    May 7, 2009
    #3
    The OP's story jives with what I've heard myself. Palm is in the process of creating a cloud architecture for WebOS and WebOS applications.

    As for the contacts, calendar, backup, etc. I recall a free service Palm offered a few years ago. I personally used it with Treo 700p, and it worked well. It's not a stretch of the imagination for Palm to create a complementary suite of web services. The web-centric model of the Pre will demand such services, sooner or later.

    MobileMe has already sufffered from enough scalability issues. Opening it up for free and to the masses would bring the fragile system to its knees. It will take some time and experience for Apple to strengthen its web property.
     
  4. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

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    #4
    You can get MobileMe from eBay or Amazon sometimes for as little as $30.
     
  5. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

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    #5
    What does Synergy do for the Pre when there's low or no signal? Do they cache every so often, but always poll the cloud for contacts, etc if the device has a signal?
     
  6. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #6
    The same could be asked of Apple's push notification listener. Remember, there is no magic solution available. Except for Blackberries, "push" is really an repeated pull.

    So once an iPhone owner has PNS turned on, it's going to use battery whether the apps are active or not. Basically, you're forced to enable the equivalent of "push" email, which for a lot of iPhone users, has turned out to be a battery killer in their location.

    Q: What does Apple push notification do if it has no signal or Apple's servers or the developer's servers are down?

    A: All PNS apps become useless, even the ones that should have been triggered by simple timed or location based events.

    There is no perfect solution.
     
  7. Masquerade macrumors 6502a

    Masquerade

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    #7
    Palm Prè boys are thinking ahead. Apple's SDK 3.0 will impress some people but will fail in short time because iphone os metaphor is really computer centric.
     
  8. dissdnt thread starter macrumors 65816

    dissdnt

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  9. Pattycerts macrumors 6502

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    #9
    From what I've read Pre will sync with the 'cloud' many different ways, like the iPhone does currently. The main difference being that it can sync with services like Google, Exchange, and Facebook OTA, where Apple can only sync w/MobileMe and Exchange OTA.

    I remember an interview where a Palm rep stated 'if your friend changes his phone number on his facebook page, the phone number on your phone will change also.' Pretty cool, and I think they just added this service to the new version of Facebook for BlackBerry too.
     
  10. kas23 macrumors 603

    kas23

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    #10
    Man, I don't even know if I want to touch a Pre. I might love it. And I just changed from Sprint 5 months ago. I may get buyers remorse, even though I love my iPhone. As for the h8ters, give it a chance. Just because it doesn't have an Apple logo on it doesn't mean its bad. After all, a very high-profile Apple exec has overseen its development. I really don't think he's going to put out a piece of trash.
     
  11. robothero macrumors 6502

    robothero

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  12. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

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    #12
    Oooh yay! Another cloud!

    I just can't wait to make even more of my daily computing dependent on both my connectivity to and the reliability of yet another a third party!
     
  13. diemos macrumors 6502

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  14. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

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    #14
    It wasn't so much q on PNS, as what does the Pre store locally, that you can access, when there is no signal?

    Contacts, Mail etc.

    How could Apple and Pre make their repeated pull, a true Blackberry style push?
     
  15. skwoytek macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    As much as you talk about the programming benefits and implementations of Pre vs. iPhone, I'm going to assume you've read all the iPhone SDK documentation and that you're also a registered iPhone developer.

    If what you say above is true, "Except for Blackberries, 'push' is really an[sic] repeated pull," then why does Apple's APNs documentation talk about situations where the APNs attempts to deliver a notification but the device is offline? If Apple's solution is really a repeated pull, why would the APNs attempt to deliver the notification if the device was off - if the iPhone was off, it couldn't have done a "repeated" pull and that notification wouldn't have been sent in the first place. Apple also discusses opening and establishing secure points of remote entry to the device along with a device token which further ensures that the notification was delivered to the correct device. If the iPhone was actually initiating a "repeated pull" most of this wouldn't apply.
     
  16. iWork macrumors member

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    #16
    It seems that the iPhone conducting "push" as a "repeated pull" is a myth born and propagated in MR forums. It is my understanding that the iPhone is actually capable of "push" email.

    I suspect the myth of the iPhone not supporting "true push" was born out of the unreliability of the MobileMe infrastructure. If I recall correctly, MobileMe relies on XMPP and it should dispatch a header, thereby providing push email capability.
     
  17. Reiger macrumors regular

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    #17
    I'm incredibly curious about Synergy. I've followed almost everything concerning the Palm Pre. But there is one thing that seems to be largely unadressed... out-of-sync information.

    The contact information is made up out of all the different services. However, what is the Pre going to do if the information in your own contacts differs from the information in GMail and it differs again from the information on a Facebook account.

    The idea is really great and we can only hope that Apple will offer the same level of integration one day. But in practice, I can see a lot of problems. Since no one has really tested this in depth, I'm really interested in how this will work in practice. I mean, it could also be a very tedious process, where you can never be sure whether information is in sync and where the data is coming from.
     
  18. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

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    #18
    I think it's more born out of the fact that most folks on internet forums know sod-all about the technology that they talk about and will happily parrot any incorrect information that makes them seem like they know something.

    There are a bunch of different technologies that provide a "push" experience. Here's a quick run down:

    ActiveSync - based on long-lived HTTP(S) connections. Device opens HTTP connection to server, keeps it open until terminated or until timeout. If terminated before timeout, connection is re-opened, and timeout decreased (think like TCP's exponential backoff, but in reverse). Actual wire format is XML-ish encapsulation (it's MS, so *of course* it's XMLish).

    IMAP IDLE - standard IMAP + IDLE command. Device opens normal IMAP connection to server. After device updates view, sends "NOOP" command. Server doesn't reply -- when new mail arrives, server uses its pending reply (i.e. the response to the NOOP) to notify the client of the new messages. Client may then retrieve the new messgaes and issue another NOOP. If no new messages after 29 minutes, server will respond anyways, causing the client to re-issue the NOOP. No backoff is built in to the protocol, although the IDLE keep-alive interval can be any period of time less than or equal to 29 minutes.

    IMAP w/ OOB - Lemonade, Yahoo's P-IMAP, and Nokia's new Email service all fall into this category. An OOB notification mechanism is used to notify clients of new mail. This mechanism varies based on the implementation -- Yahoo uses UDP (IIRC -- I never did a thorough analysis, but the sniffing I did do seemed to indicate that it used a couple of UDP packets to trigger the fetch), others use SMS messages. Upon receiving the OOB notification, the client will then initiate a normal IMAP connection (or POP, but most implementations use IMAP) to retrieve the headers/body.

    Proprietary/other - RIM's system falls into this category, although the actual notification method of the client is not unlike the SMS OOB above -- the only difference being that BB notifications aren't delivered via the carrier's normal SMSC, but rather over a channel dedicated to Blackberry traffic (so as to avoid the delays/congestion/etc associated with normal SMS traffic.)
     
  19. skwoytek macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Here's what the upcoming Pre developer book says, "Always display up-to-date data, which requires both pushing and pulling the latest data onto the device so that the user is never looking at stale data when more recent data is available. But this also means managing on-device caches so that when the device is out of coverage or otherwise off-line, the user has access to the last data received." I'm going to guess palm followed the same rules for their applications.

     
  20. Saladinos macrumors 68000

    Saladinos

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    Feb 26, 2008
    #20
    Apple's computer-centric model works. It worked for the iPod, which was designed as an iTunes accessory that took your iTunes library mobile rather than as a device in its own right. The same model works for contacts.

    The concept of storing bits of your contact list in different places is cool, but who the hell actually does that? And how does the Pre recognise the same contact in two different formats with partially differing information? And what about the hundreds of people on my Facebook friends list that I don't even talk to anymore? They're just going to cause clutter.
     
  21. Reiger macrumors regular

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    #21
    That's my gripe exactly. This is the major problem for a lot of Google Sync users. Google makes an account for everyone you've had a conversation of more than two mails with... and well that's clogging up your contacts list quite fast.
     

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