The Palm Pre Plus has made one thing perfectly clear: Palm’s webOS is all about integration. I was first impressed by the contacts feature of my Pre Plus, which I discussed previously, and how easily and extensively it synced with my multiple email accounts and Facebook. My newest discovery regarding Palm’s integration is the Universal Search feature.
I have to admit, when I first purchased my Pre Pus, I may have ignored the bit about Universal Search. From what I remember, I heard something to the effect of “and another way to locate...” and all I thought was redundancy and unnecessary. Last week I accidentally (and thankfully) uncovered Palm’s Universal Search feature while casually typing, and it has easily become one of my new-found favorites.
Need to make a call or send a text message without sifting though all of your contacts? Looking for a particular application without wanting to open the launcher? Just start typing the contact or application’s name right from the home screen. No need to open up anything at all. By simply typing from the home screen, webOS automatically initiates the Universal Search feature and instantly begins to list all of your contacts and apps that begin with the letter or letters you type. If there isn’t a match in your contacts or apps, Universal Search pulls up links to Google, Google Maps, Wikipedia and Twitter, allowing you to conveniently search the applicable site without even first opening the phone’s web browser.
Universal Search is a single-step, painless way to locate frequently used or urgently needed information; I guess redundancy isn’t such a bad thing after all. In fact, I think Palm could even take Universal Search a step further and make it more comprehensive by integrating with E-mail, messaging, notes, tasks, etc. How great would it be if the same easy-to-use Universal Search feature could also locate a line from a messaging conversation or E-mail? I am sure the extent of integration and additional uses for Universal Search could even go on and be something to look forward to in the future. As it stands now, however, when it comes to contacts, apps and web searches, Universal Search is simple and thorough. So really, what more could I ask for?
Actually, after some thought on that last question, there is really not much that is missing for my needs when it comes to the overall functionality of the Pre Plus. I do, however, have to send out a plea to the Palm app gods for a long overdue reincarnation. Don’t get me wrong, I love me Pre Plus and I am understanding of the fact that the App Catalog is the baby on the block when it comes to smartphone app stores. But there is something distinctly missing from Palm’s development - and it’s DopeWars. You remember the game. Buy and sell drugs, avoid the cops and pay back the loan shark before he breaks your legs. If there is one thing synonymous with Palm - at least from 10 years ago when I sat in the back of a lecture hall engrossed not in whatever class was before me, but rather on retiring to the Caribbean on my drug earnings - it’s DopeWars.
While I am not sure what kind of time I actually have these days to play a game on my phone - and yes, I realize that this game falls technologically short of the 3-D gaming experiences offered by Pre Plus - I can’t help but feel a certain nostalgic longing for DopeWars. Any one else remember the good ol’ days of DopeWars on the Palm Pilot?