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Android User Spends 60 Days In WebOS Land 137

Posted by timothy
from the lives-to-tell-the-tale dept.
An anonymous reader writes "About six months ago, however, I began to wonder about how the other mobile products had grown. When the HTC HD7 crossed my path a little while ago, I decided to abandon my Nexus S and live among the Windows Phone folks for awhile. The experience was fun, but I eventually went back to my Nexus S. About a month later, I was presented with the opportunity to repeat the experiment, only this time with a Palm Pre Plus. With the HP Touchpad on its way, I wanted to get a feel for how WebOS worked, explore the differences, and take a look into the community that was still loyal to WebOS."
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Android User Spends 60 Days In WebOS Land

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  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Sunday July 24, 2011 @11:45AM (#36863020)

    They go spend time with new things, bear with teething troubles and root out bugs so that normal consumers like me don't have to a couple of years down the line. Go Russel Holly!

    • Funny that you mention it. I've been waiting for the Droid Bionic for close to a month "lost my old droid 1." I can't wait to get one but I should probably revise the way I phrase that.

      From: I can't wait to get my new Bionic!

      To: I can't wait to be on the pay-for beta team for the new Droid Bionic!

      Just to put that in perspective though, I love being an early adopter despite the inevitable problems. It's exciting getting a brand new device with all the bells and whistles and for me I guess it's
  • Comparison? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AnujMore (2009920)
    More than how the OS works, I think a more important question is the availability of apps for the platform. There are many people whose worlds lie outside apps provided for Flixster, Facebook and Twitter. Are there any apps any webOS users found no substitute for, when they shifted from Android? Or other way round? Note: I bumped across this on doing a simple Google search: http://www.hpwebos.com/us/products/software/mobile-applications.html [hpwebos.com] A lot like a market/app store for webOS.
    • by Compaqt (1758360)

      Who modded this flamebait?

      Even though I like webOS, the fact is they don't have as many apps in their store as either iOS or Android.

      How about posting a link to the missing 100K apps instead of modding "flamebait"?

      • Where were you and the parent poster when the discussion was Linux vs Windows?
      • Well, I don't really get the whole appitis thing that seems to have infected everyone in the 1st world...
        I mean isn't there a point where too much info is just that? Are all these applications really important to everybody's daily activities or are they just more white noise? Yes sure it is informative to see how many hours you have spent traveling underground, queing before others or in the loo (playing iFart) but is it really necessary? sure stats are good but at some point stats just encumber you and eat

        • I don't really get the whole appitis thing that seems to have infected everyone in the 1st world...

          Humans are lazy. Making accurate comparisons and judgements between two things can be very difficult, and so those things that can be easily quantified become the measure. That's why processor speed was so important for so long, that's why reviews contain checklist-comparisons, and that's why even "going all the way to 11," even though it's obviously silly, would actually work if hand't been for that movie.

    • The ampache client for webOS is much better than anything currently offered for android.

    • What WebOS *really* needs is a nice, unobtrusive Dalvik compatibility layer that works kind of like VMware Fusion -- run Android apps transparently under WebOS where there's no better WebOS alternative, and enjoy the best of both in the meantime. If HP has any sanity, they're working on this exact issue right now. If they can pull it off, it'll ensure that at worst, a WebOS phone is only slightly less convenient than Android for running android apps, and at best, would let users have their Android cake with

      • by Lennie (16154)

        Well, that has 2 sides: it would be good to get many apps on the devices.

        But on the other side we have patens. Considering how Google now is already in court with Oracle over that same Dalvik.

      • there's an open source project called IcedRobot that aims to liberate android by running it atop openjdk. The core developers have history in porting to embedded platfors via icedtea and caciocavallo.
        HP could crowdsource by donating a touchpad to each of the developers.

      • This, but the other way around as well, and with iOS apps as well. Gah, cross-platform app compatibility would be absolutely great...

    • by fermion (181285)
      Possible more correctly, the Apps one needs and the services on needs. On decision on using a phone is the services one uses. Apple, MS, or Google will tend to lead to a certain OS. WIth WebOS, it is not tied to a service so perhaps this is an advantage.
    • Re:Comparison? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Targon (17348) on Sunday July 24, 2011 @05:49PM (#36865294)

      While there are some text editors and such, a big issue has been about QuickOffice and when it will be made available for true document editing(right now we have viewing). There are a number of apps out there for WebOS, perhaps not in the hundreds of thousands, but WebOS has enough apps for most people, and only those who are more concerned with how many apps there are, rather than "is there enough for my needs?" will really find the App Catalog too small.

      Now, in reality there are two programs that give you access to an application catalog(store), the first comes out of the box, and has free and paid applications. There is a second called Preware that will act like a second app catalog for homebrew applications. This was touched on in the article without being named. Preware gives you access to tons of patches and tweaks, and in general will supplement the official app catalog well enough for most people. Since there are not a TON of apps overall, we don't have 2000 different fart apps and garbage like that, where the numbers are padded with duplicate pieces of garbage. If you then clean up the app catalogs/stores between platforms, and then look for the USEFUL apps, you won't be too disappointed with what is available for WebOS, but there ARE some things missing that would force some people to skip the platform right now. This is where getting more publicity will help fill in the gaps since it isn't TOO difficult to port an app from iOS to WebOS.

      The real key is that if you are looking to see if WebOS will meet your needs, ask the community at www.precentral.net in the forums.

      Now, some of what was missing from the article...

      Without downloading apps, WebOS is designed to sync your phone against either a Gmail or Yahoo account over the air, no need for cables to sync to a computer as long as you have cellular or WiFi data working. Facebook and other social networking are also included right out of the package, and your "friends list" will be merged with your contacts in your address book so it is all neatly connected together. In general, the level of integration between your different communications methods is very good, so you go to your address book, and you can e-mail, call, send a SMS/MMS message to the person. The only downside out of the box is that some chat features for social networking are not set out of the box. There are patches to take care of this though.

      WebOS is currently split in three main groups, and there is a fair bit of compatibility going up in versions.

      The original Palm branded phones are generally on WebOS 1.4.5, with the Palm Pre 2 running 2.0.1. There was an upgrade that was only made available to users of O2 in Europe for WebOS 2.1 on the Palm Pre Plus, and the developer community has come up with a way to legally allow users to hack this new version on to their own Palm Pre and Pre Plus phones. So even though 2.0 or 2.1 is not officially available for the Palm Pre and Pre Plus for most people, it CAN be done if you can handle a bit of tinkering.

      Then you have the HP Veer, tiny as it may be, it is running WebOS 2.2. Note that apps for 1.x will run on 2.x for the most part. The Touchpad comes with WebOS 3.0 which will generally run apps from WebOS 1.x and 2.x.

      When the Pre 3 comes out(whatever the name may end up being by the time it does), it will come with either WebOS 2.2, 2.3, or 3.0, at this point there is speculation all over the place. The Pre 3, if it comes out SOON, will be fast enough to grab some attention and probably generate more app development. The real key is how long HP is going to wait, or why they have not released it yet. 1.4GHz with 512MB of RAM with a 3.6 inch screen plus slide-out keyboard SHOULD be enough to get some users if Verizon and AT&T don't hide it and intentionally kill sales. We shall see what happens.

      • On a related note, here is a WebOS user who came home to find his house broken into and all his tech stuff stolen [precentral.net]. He now relates how he gets by with only a HP TouchPad [precentral.net]. Some of the points you raised are addressed by him from a user's perspective.

  • by Compaqt (1758360) on Sunday July 24, 2011 @11:56AM (#36863086) Homepage

    1. Konami code [wikipedia.org] activates developer mode (i.e., root or jailbroken). No muss, no fuss.

    2. The "card" metaphor to represent running apps. Slide to switch, throw away to kill.

    3. It's Linux, and mostly open source. (Shares that with Android.)
    3b. Not M$, not Apple, for people that care (shares that with Android).

    4. Apps are in HTML/Javascript. Easy. Or C++ (harder but faster to run)

    5. Touch to move stuff between Pre and TouchPad.

    6. Looks nice. Fonts, layout, icons, etc.

    7. The homebrew community [google.com]

    • by Nursie (632944)

      But is it Linux-linux, or rather GNU/Linux ?

      I love my N900 with maemo, but as Nokia are going the windows route, I'm looking elsewhere for my next phone*

      So is WebOS full of the same sort of debian-ish packages and utilities that maemo was? Is the normal linux ecosystem in place? Are we running Xorg?

      Yeah, ok, I' know could just hop on over to google. But it's sunday.

      (*Yeah, I know there's the N9, but it has no keyboard, and the morons at Nokia won't sell the N950, you have to be given one as a maemo develope

      • by LurkerXXX (667952)

        No, it's not nearly as smooth access into the debian-ish packages as maemo. You've got a bash shell from the Mod community, and a number of apps made easy to install, but don't expect the same easy install of a huge standard linux repository.

        I'd love an N950 if Nokia decided to sell them to the public. WebOS would still be my favorite mobile version of Linux, but HP just isn't putting out anything close to competitive hardware-wise for phones, and has pulled some crap on the old user base that's g

      • by Compaqt (1758360)

        >Yeah, ok, I' know could just hop on over to google.

        No problem, I'm not one of those obnoxious twits that post a link to lmgtfy.com in response to a question.

        The fact is, I don't think us geeks will ever have it as good as with the N900. The stuff I listed above is just things that would be appealing for a N900 alternative in a Microsoftized Nokia world.

        And I hate the fact that we lost a great Debian-based platform with Maemo (Meego is RPM-based).

        Btw, somebody got Xorg and OpenOffice [engadget.com] to run on Pre.

      • by Vahokif (1292866)
        Hey, do you think it's a good idea to get an N900 in 2011? I'm looking to upgrade my old Nokia 6303 and I'm looking for a phone for hackers. Or is there something newer?
        • Yea, go with the N900. If you take the time to do some minor tweaking, install a few community packages and possibly OC it... you can get an extremely fast device out of it, and there's just about nothing it can't do. You can get USB hostmode working and hook up keyboards, usb drives and the like, write and compile software, run just about anything written on Python or comes with a Debian ARM system. Yea. It's nice.
          I would *not* go for a N9/N950 - They seriously locked it down, with signed binaries, a TC ch

    • One thing I always wondered about C++ support in webOS - is it like Android NDK, in that it lets you write bits of native code, but if you want to access UI and other system APIs other than OpenGL, you stil need Java (or, in case of webOS, HTML/JS)? Or does it actually allow you to write a UI app completely in C++?

      • by nedwidek (98930)

        You use SDL to access the screen, sound, keyboard, etc, so you write completely in C or C++.

        • But SDL doesn't have any stock widget toolkit. What I meant is that, if I want to use the standard widgets etc, can I do it in C++ (without manually copying every singe OS widget and drawing them by myself)?

  • I always think that if I left iOS I would try WebOS. It is the closest thing in consistency and well thought out design.

    There simply isn't a unified Android UI and it would annoy me to have to choose which hardware I bought based on the UI it would run. I might want a Samsung phone but with the Sense UI.

    Of course there's Windows Phone 7, I have owned a few Windows based phones before and liked them. But I can't help but think their patent tax on Android and others is too much about the money rather than pre

    • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@@@keirstead...org> on Sunday July 24, 2011 @12:42PM (#36863324) Homepage

      I always laugh at iOS people who talk about a "unified UI".

      Tell me, how do you return to the previous screen, in an iOS application? You can't, because ever app does it differently. In Android, you *always* hit the back button.

      How do you bring up preferences for every iOS application? Again, they all do it differently. In Android, it is *always* the menu button.

      In fact, pretty much every single iOS application does everything differently - they throw buttons and menus all over the place. Sometimes it is top left, sometimes top right, sometimes it is press and hold... it's nearly random. And there is seldom any visual cues to figure it out either, it is pretty much random guesswork.

      Android is far, far more consistent than iOS.

      • by Lifyre (960576)

        While I completely agree with you, I think you took it a little too far. The GP obviously was talking about look and not function. Obviously no one cares about consistent and uniform function as long as it looks pretty.

        • by brunes69 (86786)

          The argument still holds. Anyone who has spent any actual time in iOS can not with a straight face argue that the look of one app to the next is in any way consistent. They are all over the map. By contrast most all Android apps (aside from ones ported from iOS) have a very consistent look, thanks namely due to the app platform.

          • by devnil (2412450)
            Why do you need consistency?
            • by brunes69 (86786)

              Well for one, when you install an application for the first time, it is nice to know how to navigate it.

          • by Lifyre (960576)

            I know :-p His issue is with the most basic and unimportant part of the phone (the same appearance of the primary screen from phone to phone). I think your point was actually very well said.

      • by Wannabe Code Monkey (638617) on Sunday July 24, 2011 @01:34PM (#36863644)

        Tell me, how do you return to the previous screen, in an iOS application? You can't, because ever app does it differently. In Android, you *always* hit the back button.

        I've got an adroid phone and would love an answer to this: You've navigated to a screen deep within an application. You then hit the home button to go do something else. Then you go back into the application in question... Now when you hit the back button, what happens? The 'last' thing you were at was the home screen, so I've seen some apps simply close and drop you at the home screen. Other apps know your previous history and send you 'back' as if you had never navigated away. There have been several times when I've found myself stuck in a certain part of an app and can't get back to the main screen because the back button closes the app.

        • by brunes69 (86786)

          While this is true, that a few apps mess up the behaviour of the back button, at least the back button exists. I'd rather have a back button that works 75% of the time than not have one at all and have to constantly guess.

        • I'm not sure you want a definite answer to this, to be honest.

          The one mobile OS that I know of that has a universal (hardware) "Back" button, and 100% consistent behavior for it, is Windows Phone. There, "Back" always means "go back to previous screen", regardless of how you arrived to the present one. And I find it very annoying for precisely the reason that you state - if you drop out to home screen and then use that to go back to one of the apps you've been in before, "Back" will drop you back to the hom

        • by ckaminski (82854)
          Facebook, Google Voice and the default text messaging app on Froyo are FAMOUS for this.
      • Ive used Android, iOS and WebOS, owning a Pre Plus and Ipad 2. I have had a palm Pre Plus since they debuted on Verizon. WebOS is the most natural mobile OS interface, HANDS DOWN. That being said, I still bought an iPad instead of the WEbOS tablet for near universal support for almost anything i want to do. IM watching WebOS closely, but im not ready to jump back in with a $500 tablet for an uncertain future.HP telling me im not getting official WebOS 2 on my Pre Plus also kept me away. There is no reason t
      • Obviously you failed to understand "Think Different".

      • Tell me, how do you return to the previous screen, in an iOS application?

        90% percent of the time it's in a navigation controller which you then use the back button for at the top left. Almost all apps are very consistent about this because it's wired right into the frameworks to put a back button there and the navigation controllers are really handy.

        For a modal display there's usually a done button on the top right or the bottom.

        The point is they are not hard to find and the benefit is that you don't have

      • by sco08y (615665)

        I always laugh at iOS people who talk about a "unified UI".

        Tell me, how do you return to the previous screen, in an iOS application? You can't, because ever app does it differently. In Android, you *always* hit the back button.

        How do you bring up preferences for every iOS application? Again, they all do it differently. In Android, it is *always* the menu button.

        In fact, pretty much every single iOS application does everything differently - they throw buttons and menus all over the place. Sometimes it is top left, sometimes top right, sometimes it is press and hold... it's nearly random. And there is seldom any visual cues to figure it out either, it is pretty much random guesswork.

        Android is far, far more consistent than iOS.

        Huh, that has never been a problem for me on iOS. Mind you, I do toss poorly designed apps and I just grab one written by someone else.

        What's more important is that the same app works the same way on all my devices, which is the "unified" I think iOS users are talking about. Designers can "throw buttons and menus all over the place" precisely because they know they're showing up pixel for pixel the same between devices, which really does seem to result in better UIs. That also, paradoxically, gives them far

        • by ckaminski (82854)
          Evernote and facebook for me are the two that don't operate the same on iOS and Android. Is it really that hard?
      • I've never messed with an iPhone or iPad, so I don't know but I'm astonished about what you say - it's counter to the Macintosh model. That very unification of the user experience was one of the primary hallmarks of the Macintosh computer. It was somewhat difficult for developers but enforced with vigor by Steve Jobs and the rest of the Mac crew. Apple did a lot of research to determine the best ergonomics and UI experience, before the finalized the Mac platform. On the NeXT they went a step further and

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There simply isn't a unified Android UI and it would annoy me to have to choose which hardware I bought based on the UI it would run. I might want a Samsung phone but with the Sense UI.

      Does it also annoy you that you have to choose an Apple phone if you want the iOS UI?

    • There simply isn't a unified Android UI and it would annoy me to have to choose which hardware I bought based on the UI it would run. I might want a Samsung phone but with the Sense UI.

      That attitude pretty sad, isn't it? You don't want to use Android because you're incapable of making choices?

      Freedom of choice makes Android a much better environment than Apple's mobile products. Take dual-core phones for example: HTC Sensation, Motorola Atrix, LG Optimus 2X, Samsung Galaxy S2... I think I've missed many others too. How many dual-core options does Apple have again? What if you want a physical keyboard? Different screen size or display technology?

      If you just want Apple to make all your cho

      • How many dual-core options does Apple have again?

        iPad 2 (until the iPhone 5).

        What if you want a physical keyboard?

        You use any bluetooth keyboard on the planet, with phone or iPad.

        Different screen size or display technology?

        iPad/iPhone/Touch.

        If you just want Apple to make all your choices for you, then it's pretty plain to see that your options are far more limited.

        They are more limited but not "far more" limited.

        However it's rather funny that you speak of "limits" as a positive in any way for the Android de

        • Re:The Want (Score:4, Informative)

          by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday July 24, 2011 @05:53PM (#36865316) Journal

          You use any bluetooth keyboard on the planet, with phone or iPad.

          It's not a solution. A phone with an integrated physical keyboard is a vastly better experience than having a keyboard that you have to lug separately from your phone.

          since the ultimate point of any device is to run software you can make use of - and there the iPhones/iPads truly offer "far more" choice.

          That's arguable. Sure, iOS app store has more apps, but on both iOS and Android, vast majority of apps in the store are useless crap.

          Focusing on those which are not, it depends on what your needs are. If you already use Google services (GMail/Talk/Voice/...) a lot, then Android offers a far better experience, since it has native full-featured clients for all of those. Ditto for Apple services, though they have fewer adherents outside of iTMS.

          If you want Skype, it's a bit of a draw - on iPhone you have the best version to date, complete with video chat; but there is no iPad support, so you have to run the phone version. On Android you have proper version for both phones and tablets, but video chat is only available on selected phone models.

          If you want games, then iOS generally has more of them, and they are higher quality, but some gems - like Majesty - are only available on Android so far. Also, Android has DOSBox, and I was surprised just how much I enjoyed the old point-and-click quests (like "Legend of Kyrandia") on my Android tablet.

          For productivity apps it's a draw. For all the hype about Pages/Numbers, they are pretty limited feature-wise in practice. Third-party Office packages exist for both platforms, and usually have the same features and limitations (in many cases, it's the same apps). Android gets a bonus in having a dedicated Exchange client (TouchDown) which doesn't pollute your phone's contact list and mailbox, and can be PIN-locked and remote wiped in isolation from the rest of your data. Android gets a further bonus for having MS Office Communicator / Lync client. iOS gets a huge bonus for OS-wide support of HTTP proxies, which Android has only got in 3.1 (what the fuck, Google?).

          For web browsing, Android is way ahead. Even if we just look at the stock browser, mobile Safari is fairly inconvenient - most annoying is that it doesn't have an option to open tabs in background, so every time I want to open a link "for later", I have to open in new tab, and then switch to the original tab. It also decides to reload page opened in a tab if you left it it in background for "too long" (which can be just a few minutes in practice). This is exceedingly annoying when you were writing a comment on some forum, opened a new tab to do the needed research, and then switch back just to see your comment form reloaded, and everything you've typed in it gone. That Apple could make such a horrible UX is unbelievable. Then, of course, there's no ad blocking. And minor stuff like not being able to open more than 9 tabs. And third-party browsers? They exist, and they solve all of these problems, but there's no way to set them as default in iOS; so any link you open in any other app will still open in Safari. Grrr!

          In contrast, in Android you have a pretty decent stock browser which doesn't have any of the stupidities described above. You have a bunch of third-party browsers built on the same WebKit engine but with variously different UIs. Then you have browsers using their own engines - namely Firefox (extensions! AdBlock!), and Opera (holy shit this thing is fast... as smooth as Safari, but you never see the checkerboard!). And what's most important is that you can make any of those browsers system default, so it will handle all HTTP links.

          Oh yes, there's Flash. This one is so-so - it's still sluggish on Android, and has some annoyances of its own, such as intercepting scroll gestures if they fall onto the plugin. On the other hand, it's still useful to have occasionally when you need to view a Flash-based webs

          • So, anyway... limits? They exist on both platforms. I would argue that there are less of them on Android, but iOS makes up by being more pleasant to work with (just generally smoother). What matters in practice is which limits you hit, and that depends on what you need from your phone/tablet.

            I think this sums up the phone OS fanboy wars.

            OTOH, I think we should all get together and laugh at people clinging desperately onto BlackBerry, WinMo/WinPhone 7 and Symbian.

          • by tzanger (1575)

            I disagree very strongly with your assertion that an on-device keyboard is vastly superior to an external one. The number of times I actually have to use a keyboard with my iOS device is low enough that I am happy to keep the BT keyboard in the car and not have the extra weight/bulk on me all the time. When I have to ssh in somewhere and it's for more than a dozen commands, or when I want to have a real conversation on IM/IRC, or I have to write a long email, I bust out the BT keyboard. For everything else

            • The number of times I actually have to use a keyboard with my iOS device is low enough that I am happy to keep the BT keyboard in the car and not have the extra weight/bulk on me all the time. When I have to ssh in somewhere and it's for more than a dozen commands, or when I want to have a real conversation on IM/IRC, or I have to write a long email, I bust out the BT keyboard.

              So what happens when you have to write a long email, and you're not in your car?

              Anyway, you should understand that the need for physical keyboard depends on one's usage scenarios. For most people, one is not, generally speaking, a requirement, and then they either do what you do, or - the majority - do not bother with BT at all. But there is a reason why e.g. all Blackberries used to have one (and all business ones still do). For people who do use the device for email and other written communication a lot,

              • by tzanger (1575)

                So what happens when you have to write a long email, and you're not in your car?

                I wait, just like I would if the battery was dead or I had no cell signal or any of the other reasons someone would have to wait to send a long email. Tapping out a long email even on a physical but tiny keyboard is still tedious, albeit marginally less so than on an onscreen keyboard.

                Anyway, you should understand that the need for physical keyboard depends on one's usage scenarios. For most people, one is not, generally speaking, a requirement, and then they either do what you do, or - the majority - do not bother with BT at all. But there is a reason why e.g. all Blackberries used to have one (and all business ones still do). For people who do use the device for email and other written communication a lot, having an integrated keyboard is indispensable.

                Yes, you're absolutely right, it depends on use cases. However I think it would be hard to argue that 70% of those who have blackberries (or smartphones to a larger extent) actually have a real need for the device. They're sta

      • by sco08y (615665)

        There simply isn't a unified Android UI and it would annoy me to have to choose which hardware I bought based on the UI it would run. I might want a Samsung phone but with the Sense UI.

        That attitude pretty sad, isn't it? You don't want to use Android because you're incapable of making choices?

        Freedom of choice makes Android a much better environment than Apple's mobile products. Take dual-core phones for example: HTC Sensation, Motorola Atrix, LG Optimus 2X, Samsung Galaxy S2... I think I've missed many others too. How many dual-core options does Apple have again? What if you want a physical keyboard? Different screen size or display technology?

        Why do I care how many cores there are? Or different display technology? I have a desktop computer to open up and tinker with. When I'm using my phone, I'm trying to get work done, not screw around with drivers and displays and all that crap.

        I'll keep looking at Android, but I just bought an iPad2. The Android market was a dozen different offerings that were thick, heavy, uncomfortable, expensive, not connected to the Internet and didn't stay on for very long.

        A tablet is, by definition, thin, light, comfort

      • by tzanger (1575)

        You know, I've never given a shit how many cores there are on my phone. I want it to be reasonably responsive and if it needs one or 12 cores to do this, I don't care. I don't need or even WANT a zillion choices. I want things that work well, and that's why even today, I will choose an iPhone 4 over anything Android. I've seen them and I've used them and Android is exactly like Linux on the desktop. Full of choices, but nothing's quite finished. I'm fine with that on my desktop, but not on my phone.

    • by Osty (16825)

      I always think that if I left iOS ...

      But I can't help but think their patent tax on Android and others is too much about the money rather than preventing products being sold.

      Which would you prefer? $5 going to Microsoft for every Android phone, but you can still buy Android phones? Or not being able to buy Android phones at all? Microsoft is doing the former. Apple is doing the latter. In this case, I'd say Microsoft is doing the more respectable thing. They're not trying to shut out competitors from

      • I guess the first step in getting licensing is suing the bastards to bring them to the table. If they did steal iOS IP then they should pay or be shut down.

  • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@@@keirstead...org> on Sunday July 24, 2011 @12:07PM (#36863150) Homepage

    The main problem with WebOS is the same main problem with iOS... it only runs on one platform. As such, it is doomed to failure. Android has become the Windows of the smartphone world. The hardware platform manufacturer is now nothing but a commodity.

    • by _aa_ (63092)

      Well, WebOS runs anywhere [youtube.com] linux does.. so.. ?

      • by brunes69 (86786)

        That is mostly irrelevant because a) It is not free to license (compared to Android), and b) HP doesn't license it at all, anyway

    • only on /. could a phone sell millions, have a strong app ecosystem and be backed by one of the richest tech companies in the world and have it be declared a "failure."

      By your logic, the 3DO should've been the most successful games console of the mid 90's, as anyone could license and build the 3DO hardware.

  • I'm a devoted and loyal WebOS fan. It's better than Android, subjectively speaking. The appstore doesn't have nearly as much stuff though, and the device on sprint is dated and barely functions by today's standard. I grew extremely tired of waiting to see if (not when, but if) HP would finally release the pre3 on sprint. As the summer wore on, I finally broke down and got an EVO 3d. I really like Android. It's fantastic. I like WebOS better, and I think Android could learn a lot from it. The card p

    • by puck01 (207782)

      Similar story for me. I used a palm pre for about a year. The OS was great. Much more intuitive and easier to use than Android. Its hardware issues and lack of software forced me to change. I use a Samsung Epic now which I like immensely but it has its quirks and took a several days of regular use to become familiar with. On the other hand, the palm pre I had figured out to to a point I was very comfortable with its use in 1-2 hours.

      • Yes, that's it exactly. And other things like it. There's some things WebOS could learn from android too though. Admit it. The launcher was limited. Oh well. I may go back to WebOS some day. By then it might have a better launcher. If it's still so damn dev friendly, I know I'll go back. I just won't let the hardware pick my provider.
    • by jhill000 (303048)

      I agree. As a launch day palm pre owner who made the evo 3d switch I miss 2 things:

      1. cards
      2. touchstone

    • I like WebOS better, and I think Android could learn a lot from it.

      Google appears to agree with you, since last year they hired Matias Duarte, Palm's lead designer, to head up the Android User Experience team. [engadget.com]

    • I switched the other way (to android) last year. I owned a palm pre for a year and absolutely hated it. Yes, the OS is nice and I liked the cards user interface however, the actual "phone" capability was shocking and the phone system would shut down and I'd only realise some hours later when no calls had come through. it wouldn't switch between 3G, HSPDA and 2G cleanly, often failing completely (even during a call in good signal area) and rebooting (which is a nightware where I live in a hilly area becau

      • The hardware sucked, there's no question. I had three phones in two years and thanked my stars I had the phone insurance each time. I didn't have any phone system crashes like that, and suspect it was your carrier's comcard or possibly the drivers for it. Who really knows. Another really common hardware problem that bugged me to death was the headphone port. Occasionally, often enough to be really really irritating, it would fail to sense the removal of the wire and your audio would be essentially dis

  • Palm Pixi had a damn good design, never mind the OS. Woulda brought it if it had lasted long enough to get launched in India.
  • by strat (39913) on Sunday July 24, 2011 @12:45PM (#36863350)

    Speaking as a former Mac developer and someone currently having to work with Android network stacks, WebOS seems to have thought more about human factors in a coherent way than either iOS or Android.

    One word: Notifications. The notifications system in WebOS is the epitome of "considerate." Whether it's of users' time or attention or screen real estate, they have created a UI that very capably tells the user when something important happens, and gets out of the way while discreetly leaving a telltale that there's something to acknowledge. The notifications systems on both iOS and Android are clunky by comparison.

    Apple traditionally spends a lot of time thinking about human factors, but compared to their almost religious fervor for human interface guideline compliance in the pre-OSX era, these days they're on a fast track to MS Windows-level UI inconsistency. Well, perhaps not quite that fragmented, but it is what it is.

    Android vendors have approached this by grafting on their own proprietary chrome, but some of those are better than others.

    I invite anyone who really cares about intuitive usability to try out WebOS. Even on a first generation Palm Pre, it's noteworthy.

    From a hacking and customization perspective, I have yet to see a system as friendly as WebOS. Palm and HP have taken their sweet time with some of the SDK/PDK releases, but they've also done things to make it about as easy for developers as one can imagine. Having a full IDE running in a web browser is both a neat hack and rather convenient. Pretty much everything other than time-critical code is in Javascript.

    That openness does not come without some potential downsides. While I love that I can customize my phone by tweaking a line of Javascript, I can't help but feel a nagging concern that there are security implications inherent in some of the choices Palm/HP made. It remains to be seen how pervasive those might be, but I'm remaining wary. It won't stop me from using the handset (yet), as I have yet to find anything else as friendly, open, and customizable.

  • Of all of the mobile platforms, this was the one that I was really looking forward to, not just as a user, I was looking forward to program things for it. It seemed just so nice, well developed, well planned, and it even had some nice touches such as the Konami code. I didn't care about iOS and android just wasn't as interesting, this was, and I was very sorry to see it fail and fade away.

    I know that HP bought it, and that it plans to do something with it. I just hope that they handle this correctly because

  • Seems like an odd blogpost, bordering on a paid advertisement. I owned a Pre for 2 years, and never saw squat from bloggers on it. Now the new touchpad is out someone decides to write a review of a 1.5 y/o device???? Meh.

    • by mgblst (80109)

      So you are saying you have seen no review for the Pre in the last 2 years? Maybe you should dig your head out of you ass.

  • I assume Palm is going away since its popularity continues to shrink. :(

  • by MacGyver2210 (1053110) on Sunday July 24, 2011 @02:43PM (#36864100)

    Sounds pretty much like a horror story to me.

    Why anyone would choose anything over Android at this point is well beyond my understanding. The code is easy to write (Java/XML or Native C-based) runs excellently on even old hardware, as long as it's not Crysis, and the developer community is the size of the friggin' moon. It's been around for a good while, so people have gotten most of the bugs out of the base programming. The app store doesn't require approval/scrutiny to upload your programs, and the developer resources headed up by Google are amazing. The entire system is open source as well, so developers are able to 'compile their own' version of the OS to suit their devices and needs.

    Until I see that on these other systems, I'm at a loss for why anyone but Mac Cult members would use anything non-android.

    • by Gizzmonic (412910)

      I'm at a loss for why anyone but Mac Cult members would use anything non-android.

      How do I know you didn't read the article? (And have never used WebOS?)

    • Ebuyer in the UK had a brief fit and sold off a load of Pre 2s for under $200 each, unlocked. This is the going price for a Pre. I bought one, and should have bought several. The Pre 2 is simply the best phone I have ever owned and is now in use as my main phone. webOS is simply extremely easy to use, end of story. However, this is being written on an Android tablet, because I think that Android is evolving to be a better overall general purpose mobile computer platform.

      If Nokia, may they swallow a tram and

    • by strat (39913)

      I don't have any animosity against either Apple or Google, but Android reminds me of Linux in the early days. The open source model does NOT axiomatically mean that all bugs for all use cases (e.g. Enterprise, consumer) are mitigated in a timely fashion, just as is true with single vendor proprietary software.

      Speaking personally, the Android IP stack is still immature and the VPN support is a bit of a train wreck. I wouldn't call it "enterprise grade" at its present level of reliability abd interoperabilit

    • by Spaseboy (185521)

      I had a G1 in May 2009 before I got an iPhone in Feb 2010 and I had it rooted and on the current Cyanogen Mod until then.

      #1 Everything about Android says "we don't do polish". It TRULY is the Linux of the smartphone world. I have never been told by anyone at Apple "fix it yourself" after filing a bug report.

      #2 Dalvik is SLOOOOOOOW. Every review of Android talks about this magical future where there will be hardware fast enough to run that dog without hiccups and frame drops during even light tasks such as

  • I really really wanted to try out a WebOS phone. It's Linux, you can get root without cracking or jailbreaking, there are development tools for Linux, the form factor is nice.
    BUT to use one you HAVE to have a data plan through your cell phone provider. I do not have a data plan. I get wireless for my N900 for free at home, work, the church, the pool, my favorite restaurant, starbucks, the library, my friend's homes, etc.
    On top of that HP strongly recommends that you get an unlimited data plan because Web

    • by Scutter (18425)

      I really really wanted to try out a WebOS phone. It's Linux, you can get root without cracking or jailbreaking, there are development tools for Linux, the form factor is nice.
      BUT to use one you HAVE to have a data plan through your cell phone provider. I do not have a data plan. I get wireless for my N900 for free at home, work, the church, the pool, my favorite restaurant, starbucks, the library, my friend's homes, etc.
      On top of that HP strongly recommends that you get an unlimited data plan because WebOS chews so much data. Great, especially now that providers are dropping their unlimited plans.
      Oh well. My next plan is to offer someone an absurd amount of money for a N950.

      I had a Pre almost since they came out and I really really wanted to love it as well. WebOS is fantastic. The hardware, however, is complete garbage. Palm (and the HP) continued to string us along with promises of API releases for camera and microphone access, as well as Flash. Promises that never materialized. It lagged farther and farther behind as it continued to lack, in features, things that everyone else had for months or longer. They had an opportunity to make a good dent in the smartphone ma

    • Don't bother. Tweak your n900, and keep it for a couple more years. N950' nothing special, and *way* more locked down than the n900. Heck, it may not even be possible to have phone functionality with a custom kernel(thanks to TC/signed binaries!

    • I was in the Verizon store a couple of days ago, and the Verizon guy told me that, since I have a smartphone with unlimited now, as long as I continue to keep a smartphone my unlimited plan remains. They aren't canceling old plans. But if I go to a dumb phone (even for a month), then I will lose my unlimited plan and won't get it back. I have not switched phones yet, so I don't have any proof, but if you're thinking of switching phones, it's worth asking them.

    • by Spaseboy (185521)

      I really liked WebOS and that as coming from using both Android (which just always seemed unfinished) and iPhone. I just thought the hardware was garbage after returning 3 Pre Plus for different reasons. And after iPhone 4 you just can't market a smartphone without a retina display and charge as much if not more than an iPhone, it just looks like you're not serious about competing.

  • For some reason WebOs continues to have the same problem with trailing a generation on the hardware side that Palm did. I remember going into assorted places looking at the Palm OS devices in the late '90s when all the wince machines were color, and the sad little palms were all black/white. Then when they finally came out with a color version the screen looked like it was two generations behind. Sure my palm would go 3 months on a set of batteries vs a daily charge on the wince devices, but they should hav

    • by mgblst (80109)

      Of course, those black and white devices would power for a week, on the whole time. Their CPU was drastically underpowered, and Palm did not make any changes for many years. Palm drove themselves into the ground, I would not be surprised to find out Microsoft had paid them money to stop producing updated devices. They went the same way as Commodore and Sony, both great tech companies that lost their way.

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