Picture it: You’re out on the town, having a great time. You and your friends are laughing it up, bouncing from venue to venue, spending freely, living like there’s no tomorrow. You’ve never been younger than your are right now, and the world needs to hear it. And then disaster strikes — you get a push notification.
Damn! Your smartphone! We’ve all been there. Trying to have a good time, be in the moment, but suddenly our phone vibrates with dings and whoops. Also they’re just so heavy and enormous!
But what if … there was a smaller phone. Imagine. A secondary phone that was slightly less large and bulky than your primary phone yet dependent upon it. Are you imagining it? Well, imagine no longer because it’s real. It’s the Palm.
Palm is back! For those who do not remember, Palm was a company like a bazillion (20) years ago that made a device called the PalmPilot, a PDA — personal digital assistant. It was arguably the first mainstream portable computer. Eventually, Palm got pushed out of the market by companies like BlackBerry and Apple, and was later acquired by HP in an ill-fated attempt to reboot the brand.
But who cares? Palm’s back.
The pitch for the new Palm is very silly. It’s like a phone … for your phone? I’m not making this up. That is really what the marketing materials say. “The original PalmPilot made your computer mobile, now we’re making smartphones truly mobile again,” the site reads. Wow — a mobile smartphone.
The idea is that the credit-card-size device syncs with your larger smartphone but can operate independently from it. So you get messaging and mapping and whatnot without having to drag around a larger device. The big software idea is this thing called Life Mode, an elaborate Do Not Disturb mode that only pings you when you’re actively using your phone. “Life Mode silences incoming calls and notifications every time the screen is off, unless you’re on a call, streaming music or using GPS,” they say.
This is the type of feature that sounds nice in theory, but places the onus to activate it on users, who often don’t. Trying to distinguish between online and offline is arbitrary in 2018, less about flipping back and forth between modes and more about finding equilibrium.
Also, Steph Curry developed a sleeve for it. So you can play basketball with your phone.