Palm unveils Pre Plus and Pixi Plus

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Palm has updated the Pre and Pixi to turn them into the Pre Plus and the Pixi Plus. The Pre Plus gets improved navigation, design and an inductive back cover for use with the touchstone charger. It's also getting a doubling of its internal memory - up to 16GB. The Pixi Plus is thinner and lighter than the original Pixi and is getting the addition of Wi-Fi functionality. Both will be able to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Both the handsets will be showing up on 25 January in the USA exclusively from Verizon. There's no pricing or availability confirmed yet for Europe for the devices, but if the launches are anything like the launch of the Palm Pre, it'll be many months before the gadget arrives in Europe.

However, when it does, it's likely that it'll have a few more apps available for it than are available currently in webOS App Catalog. Rubenstein also announced that its developer program is being opened to the public, which should see a bit more buzz around the webOS platform, which lags behind the Android and iPhone app stores.

On top of that, Palm is also launching a plug-in development kit that'll allow a much wider range of applications to be built. It'll be arriving at the Games Developers Conference later in the year, but Palm will initially be focusing on 3D games like the Sims 3 and Need for Speed - competing with the iPhone for a chunk of the rapidly-expanding mobile gaming pie. Unlike the iPhone, however, you'll be able to multitask around games - they'll dynamically pause and resume when notifications come through.

Lastly, webOS is getting an update that enables video recording and editing on the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi. It's possible to crop, share and upload directly to Facebook and YouTube from the device interface itself. It'll be made available in February through an over-the-air software update, alongside a Flash plugin for the Pre's browser.

 



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