From Palm Pre and Palm WebOS in-depth look we learn

The star of the show was the new Palm WebOS. It's not just a snazzy new touch interface. It's a useful system with some thoughtful ideas that we've been looking for. First of all, the Palm WebOS takes live, while-you-type searching to a new level. On a Windows Mobile phone, typing from the home screen initiates a search of the address book. On the Palm WebOS, typing starts a search of the entire phone, from contacts through applications and more. If the phone can't find what you need, it offers to search Google, Maps and Wikipedia. It's an example of Palm's goal to create a unified, seamless interface.

Other examples of this unified philosophy can be found in the calendar, contacts and e-mail features. The Palm Pre will gather all of your information from your Exchange account, your Gmail account and your Facebook account and display them in a single, unduplicated format. The contact listing for our friend Dave might draw his phone number from our Exchange account, his e-mail address from Gmail and Facebook, and instant messenger from Gtalk. All of these are combined in a single entry, with a status indicator to show if Dave is available for IM chats.

This is the holy grail of contact management experiences on a mobile phone. Today I use Exchange as the master for my contact records and then use tools like OutSync to merge in contact data for my Outlook contacts who are also on Facebook before pushing it all down to my Windows Mobile phone (the AT&T Tilt). Unfortunately this is a manual process and I have to be careful of creating duplicates when importing contacts from different places.

If the Palm Pre can do this automatically in a "live" anmd always connected way without creating duplicate or useless contacts (e.g. Facebook friends with no phone or IM info shouldn't take up space in my phone contact list) then I might have to take this phone for a test drive.

Anyone at CES get a chance to play with the device up close?

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