Last night I took an hour to activate my unlocked GSM Pre2 and get it onto a prepaid T-Mobile account. The webOS 2.1 device was a developer phone that I received direct from HP which I've been using to develop some apps for my online youth ministry management website, JabberGroups.com.
There were a few lessons learned, however, overall it was a pretty smooth process. Hopefully, this might help somebody else who is attempting to do the same thing.
One thing to keep in mind -- I don't live near a T-Mobile store, so I had to do everything on my own. It might be easier to just walk into the store and ask for help.
Here are the steps.
- Get an unlocked HP Pre2. Mine came directly from HP as part of their developer promotion, but Amazon and Ebay are good places to pick one up also. When you get your hands on a Pre2, you will quickly realize that it is everything that the original Pre was meant to be! Excellent device!
- You will need to purchase a T-Mobile Prepaid SIM card. I got mine at Amazon for about $5.
- Next, I ran the webOS Doctor process. Because I was previously using this device for developer purposes, I did not have it associated with a Palm Profile. Running webOS Doctor restores your device to factory condition, making it ready to activate with a Palm Profile and match it to a carrier. This process will take several minutes. If you are obtaining a brand new Pre2 device, you probably won't need to do this step.
- While that is going on, follow the activating instructions that came with the PrePaid Sim Card kit. There is a weblink that you will need to visit to key in the necessary information to establish your account. You can go ahead and select your plan and add funds. I skipped the plan selection / funding step because I was wanting to sign up for a "Pay as You Go" plus Web DayPass ($1.49 day), which I was not seeing during this process.
- Now, my Pre2 was ready for the SIM Card. I popped it in and the phone quickly recognized that it was now on the T-Mobile network.
- At that point, the Pre2 attempts to go through the account setup process. However, it couldn't do anything because there was no data established with the new T-Mobile account. The Pre2 requires a data connection (not wi-fi) to get setup. A quick phone call to T-Mobile revealed that I could NOT simply sign up for the Web DayPass plan without first having a data connection to TMobile's network. I know, a Catch-22!
To get around this, I simply opted for the lowest priced voice/data plan they offered (1,500 Talk/Text and 30MB Data) for $30/month. Now that this account is established, I can now switch between plans to get exactly what I desire.
Why go through all of this? And why T-Mobile?
Well, I'm at the end of my 1-year Verizon contract on my Pre Plus and am anticipating the Pre3 later this summer. T-Mobile offers very attractive prices on their PrePaid plans (more affordable than AT&T). So, although there was a little hassle involved, I'm now looking at a sweet, activated Pre2 as my "bridge" device. I'll wait til the Pre3 comes out and gets discounted - and then make the jump to a new contract device.
Or....maybe I'll really enjoy not being tied to a contract! I'll keep you updated here at weboscenter.com....
The new year has kicked in and rumors of the Verizon Palm Pre 2 being released are swirling around. Not to mention the promised "aggressive release" of new WebOS-based devices by HP/Palm in 2011. Well one question might be facing you soon.
What will you do with your old Palm Pre?
Sure, you could ebay it or recycle it to charity.
But my suggestion is simply to keep using it!
A "retired" Palm Pre still has lots of life in it and, I've found, can be a great device within your home's wireless network. Here are just a few ways that I continue to use my Sprint Palm, which I 'retired' a few months ago when I moved to Verizon.
- Music Player. Hey, with GrooveShark, Pandora, Slacker, and the other music apps, your Palm Pre is an amazing streaming music device. I've got a touchstone right next to my entertainment center where I can just plug and play. In the past, I would have to fire up my PC or laptop and load one of these websites up to play music. Now, my retired Pre fills my house with music anytime I need it.
- Study Aide. Got a kid in elementary school? Download the Flash Cards app and create study lessons for them to practice using your old Pre.
- eBook Reader. Sure, it's no Kindle, but I've always used my Palm devices as ereaders. The best app for this is pReader. However, as much as I hate recommending Kobo, it does have one very useful function. I can run it on either of my Pre's and read the same books. As WebOS picks up steam in 2011, I'm sure we'll see official eReader apps from Amazon and B&N.
- Gaming for the Kids. My son loves Angry Birds. Now, I can just loan him my 'retired' Pre to play his games. This is great for travel and at home. Most games don't require a data connection, so your old Pre will make a perfect gaming device!
- Email & Facebook Device. One thing that I didn't think about when retiring my old Pre, was that it could still be used as an email device around the house. Perfect use -- set it up with your spouse's email & Facebook settings so they can use it to send and receive emails without having to fire up the laptop or PC.
- XBMC and Boxee Remotes. Yet another very cool use! If you use XBMC or Boxee media centers on your TV, there are a couple great apps that turn your Pre into a remote control.
And I'm sure there are many, many more uses for your retired Pre! How are you using yours?