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It seems like no matter how hard the iPhone and Google Android devices try to dominate the news cycle, the scrappy Palm Pre keeps nipping at their heels. Case in point, check out this story from TechSpot.com, which is typical of what’s being found around the blogoshpere today.

The write-ups mentioning the demonstration that Google's VP of engineering, Vic Gundotra did showing a mobile version of Gmail (using the new HTML5 standards) running on both the iPhone and Google Android (the new HTC Magic) platforms all seem to smoothly segue into a discussion of the quick demo he did of Google Maps ---running as a web app on the Palm Pre.

Gundotra was quoted saying that the Pre is "arguably one of my favorite devices."

[No doubt that has the folks in Sunnyvale doing back flips]

Over at Engadget, Nilay Patel noted the significance of this demo, stating:

“… what's interesting there is that the Pre's HTML-based SDK means that web apps can act like first class citizens on the device -- which is probably why Vic called the Pre "arguably one of my favorite devices." Hopefully that means we're going to see a lot more Pre devs really blur the line between local and cloud-based applications…”

And Seth H. Weintraub, in his Google Ink column (“Palm Pre runs Google Maps as a web app with ease”) at ComputerWorld.com, provided his take on the demo:

“It acted exactly like you would expect a stand-alone app to act including multi-touch functionality like pinching, panning and zooming.”

He also noted that the Google Maps webapp is relying on the AppCache, GeoLocation and Database standards of HTML5 to keep the offline app running when there is no Internet connection, such as when traveling in an airplane or out of cellular range.

Clearly, the Pre is making good impressions in all the right places. That means that once again, Palm has managed to claw its way back to relevancy... and that is a beautiful thing.


You can see the demo, care of PreCommunity, here.