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Palm Devices Are Coming In 2018 Without WebOS, Says Report (slashgear.com) 81

According to a new report, TCL will be manufacturing palm-branded devices next year. SlashGear reports: The Palm brand has been in limbo for the past half-decade, moving in and out of HP-connected devices then on into relative obscurity. The Palm operating system was acquired by LG and continues to be used (in some form or another) in LG smart TVs to this day -- as such, it won't be coming with the Palm phone set for next year. On the day when gesture controls for the next iPhone just started to look like the last phone version of Palm OS, word appears of Palm's resurgence. Sadly, this resurgence almost certainly wont include Palm OS. Word comes from Android Planet that TCL Marketing Manager Stefan Streit confirmed that they've finally gotten to a place where they can make a Palm phone. TCL acquired the Palm brand all the way back in 2011.
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Palm Devices Are Coming In 2018 Without WebOS, Says Report

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  • PalmOS, and later WebOS, is what made Palm devices unique. If it's just another Android phone maker, big deal?

    Unless it's something new and groundbreaking it will stay in relative obscurity as just another Android phone maker.

    • HP sold WEBOS to LG Electronics in 2013.

      HP typically destroys every company they acquire.

      • HP typically destroys every company they acquire.

        Since Fiorina, the company has even destroyed itself.

      • > HP typically destroys every company they acquire.

        LOL, yup. Reminds me of that old joke:

        Q. How do you know when a company is worthless?
        A. When HP buys it !

        *Zing!*

        /Oblg. How Hewlett-Packard And Dell Destroyed Their PC Advantage ... Piece-By-Piece/ [googleusercontent.com] --- cached copy because "Fuck you Forbes for your Anti-Ad-Blocker"

    • TCL are not just another Android phone maker
      They're the Android phone maker that thinks Alcatel is a brand that millennials will pay a premium for.
      So, not just another Android phone company. A really stupid Android phone company.
      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        So, not just another Android phone company. A really stupid Android phone company.

        that apparently also thinks it takes years to contract an android phone to be manufactured.

        it's almost at a line of ticking checkboxes by now(of course the trick is that it's really hard to compete with price with anyone else who is doing the same thing!) and receiving the phones 6 months later. all it takes is some free cash.

    • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2017 @10:01PM (#55114345) Homepage Journal

      PalmOS, and later WebOS, is what made Palm devices unique.

      No, Graffiti was what made Palm devices. It was so intuitive that with very little training, you could take written notes in the dark or under a table without looking.
      Secondary, calendar functions coupled to Graffiti. Appointments with notes on the go didn't exist back then, and with iOS/Android, it's much more work. On the Palm, you hit one designated button, and it woke up and immediately displayed what you needed.

      Also, exceptional battery life. As in going a week or two without charging with daily use. Try that with your smartphone.

      I also miss LCD screens that worked in direct sunlight. I take that over colour any day.

      • I changed the two alkaline AAA cells in my favorite Palm device about once a month, or a bit more if I was using it a lot to read books with the backlight on.

        It always responded instantly to commands. My S7 feels like a turd in comparison.

        • It always responded instantly to commands. My S7 feels like a turd in comparison.

          But it's a shiny turd!

      • No, Graffiti was what made Palm devices.

        No, being cheap and good was what made Palm devices. Palm Computing's first product was Graffiti for the GRiDPad 2390/Tandy Z-PDA-7000/Casio Zoomer, a PC-GEOS-based handheld about the size of a paperback book which used a V20 processor and ran on AA batteries. It wasn't cheap and the software they made for GEOS sucked, the bundled applications all stored their data in a sort of memory dump format so there was no interchange. The 384x512 (IIRC) mono LCD (4-gray?) didn't really support most GEOS applications,

      • I also miss LCD screens that worked in direct sunlight. I take that over colour any day.

        Tapwave's Zodiac screen was exceptionally good from this point of view.
        - a CFL-lit colour LCD, giving a nice picture in indoor conditions.
        - the best ever screen readibility in the sun. Yes, the colours weren't that much distinguishable under strong light, but the screen was perfectly readable.

        (It's the kind of sun-compatible screens that was used at some point in time by Nintendo for the GBA).

      • Also, exceptional battery life.

        Graffiti wasn't a great selling point for me. I mean it was OK, and probably the best solution given the technical limitations of the day, but it wasn't great.

        However, the battery life was a huge selling point for me (it's still one of the top three things I look for in portable devices). That, and size and weight -- the other PDAs available at the time weren't even in the same ballpark.

        • by arth1 ( 260657 )

          However, the battery life was a huge selling point for me (it's still one of the top three things I look for in portable devices). That, and size and weight -- the other PDAs available at the time weren't even in the same ballpark.

          Yes, I remember a colleague who excitedly (and two-handedly) pulled out his Apple Newton. And I pulled out my Palm.

          • In the day, I was developing software for both the Palm and the Newton. I still have boxes stuffed with both!

            The Palm was more useful and practical day-to-day, so I always carried one. The Newton, though, was far, far more capable. I took it on trips instead of a laptop.

            The Newton was also an absolute joy to develop for. I really liked both of those devices a lot, but for different reasons.

            • by arth1 ( 260657 )

              No doubt the Newton was more capable. Except for capabilities like "keep in shirt pocket", "look up a phone number in a second" or "take notes while not looking at the screen".
              The Palm was in many ways intentionally made simpler, out of the philosophy of giving the users what they need, and not what they want.

              • Yes, they had different strengths and weaknesses.

                However, the Newton worked much better for me when taking notes without looking at the screen.

                But my overall favorite PDA of the era wasn't either of those. It was the Sharp Zaurus. More powerful and smaller that the Newton, an excellent slide-out physical keyboard, nicer screen, and faster.

                It had also been on the market for longer than Palm or Newton, so it was more mature and polished.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      PalmOS, and later WebOS, is what made Palm devices unique. If it's just another Android phone maker, big deal?

      Problem is, they have nothing.

      PalmOS was sold to Access Limited (Japan) who carried it on as Garnet OS. For a time, they had the Garnet OS VM which ran on Nokia tablets, and this was classic PalmOS all the way. (Garnet was one of the internal names of the legacy PalmOS). Sadly, I don't know what happened to it.

      Then Palm developed WebOS and that got sold (with Palm) to HP. HP sold WebOS to LG after f

  • I'm not huge on random apps and such, i just want a smart phone that i can do web browsing, check email, and that's pretty much it..

    But barring a wide variety of apps in the palm ecosystem (not exactly the device's fault), the device itself was pretty top notch. I Liked the physical keyboard and sliding mechanism.

    The OS it self was also pretty damn good, responsive, easy to use.

    Not sure why WebOS got so much hatred honestly.. it's a shame HP absolutely fucked it up.

    • Re:I loved my Pre (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2017 @06:46PM (#55113727) Homepage

      WebOS itself was pretty great. The problem is Palm handled the release of its phones very poorly.

      For example, the first edition of the Palm Pre was a Sprint exclusive. The second release, the Palm Pre 2, was a Verizon exclusive. That's a huge "screw you" to people who want to upgrade since they have to switch providers too.

      Also, the tech in the phones failed to keep up with competitors like Apple and HTC.

      A great concept that had a lot of potential, destroyed by bad management.

      • Palm's problem was that they were two years late to the party. I think that they easily could be in a similar position to Apple now if they had launched alongside Apple or even shortly thereafter like some of the big Android devices of the time instead of being caught with their pants down. The company sat on their hands for entirely too long and had nothing to show for it when the iPhone changed the game. The fact that the Pre ad WebOS were as good as they were at release showed that the company still had
        • Not even. HP made me so upset. They bought it and within 30 days discontinued it?? Why buy it? They didn't even give it a chance. Didn't even try. The just layed in front of Apple while they walked over them and it became apparent for those who did not want iphones or Apple that Android was the alternative.

      • (Just to put things in context -- I finally retired my Pre3 in February. I was using a Pre or Pre3 since the day after the Pre was released)

        I blame the absolutely crap commercials for the fall of Palm. WTF were they thinking? It had multitasking! And copy & paste! And it actually showed you real websites rather than some stripped down 'mobile' version that were absolutely crap at the time. Why did they show some albino woman instead?

        And when it didn't go so well, they sold themselves to HP. And H

        • And no Unicode updates meant that I just saw rectangles when people sent emoji, but I could deal with that. (although GChat or one of the others would end up as nothing but rectangles)

          That sounds like an upgrade feature I would pay real money for. Can it be in the Play Store sometime soon?

          • All that you would need to do is change it to a font that wasn't extended to support full Unicode. Of course, I have no idea how to get fonts onto a smartphone.

      • For example, the first edition of the Palm Pre was a Sprint exclusive. The second release, the Palm Pre 2, was a Verizon exclusive. That's a huge "screw you" to people who want to upgrade since they have to switch providers too.

        No worse than making your phone an AT&T exclusive for years - some people enjoy abuse.

        • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

          Except that AT&T was, and remains, significantly larger than Sprint. Also, AT&T phones can be used on other GSM networks, but Sprint was (is?) CDMA. And Apple didn't abandon AT&T customers with later revisions. So, all-in-all, practically nothing like it at all.

          • Be honest. Apple trapped their loyals in AT&T hell for years. Their most slavish, loyal customers. Whitewash it all you want. Yes, we know marketing has put a lot into floating that revisionist history, to hide the painful past.

        • An exclusive with one carrier is annoying, but not so bad. An exclusive that changes carriers between the first and second releases of the phone is NOT.

          At one point if you wanted to upgrade your Pre to a Pre 2 you had to switch from Sprint to Verizon. Most people don't want to swap carriers just to upgrade their phone.

      • Exclusives were probably less disastrous than other factors, but it was indeed a factor. iPhone was exclusive for a while and they did fine but they excelled in every other aspect.

        PalmOS certainly was ahead of its time and would have done very well on decent hardware. Every Pre released had too small of a processor and RAM compared to other flagship devices. It was incredibly frustrating waiting 10-15 seconds between simple tasks like adding something to calendar, bringing up the dialer, while every other d

    • The hatred is what HP and Palm did and missed the boat while the IPhone taken over and then Android.

      WebOS today is 10 years obsolete so it is best to let it go. You will have better luck ressurecting WindowsPhone then that as at least some few people still use them and their are up to date tools.

      It looks like we are stuck with Android or IOS which I HATE. I do not like Android which I know will get modded down here, but after using WebOS, some cheap semi smart phones, and even WIndows Phone 8.0/8.1 I have t

    • But barring a wide variety of apps in the palm ecosystem (not exactly the device's fault),

      Actually it was the devs slight oversight.

      They were pretty much aware that being part of an app ecosystem is critical. (The success of Palm devices was partly due of the incredible success of PalmOS apps - the switch from Motorola 68k to ARM did pay attention to keep backward compatibility for this exact reason).

      It's just that, back when they started developing webOS, Android was still a small emerging platform, and iOS, hadn't even started to allow 3rd party apps (it was all about having only web-apps open

  • It sounds like the only thing that this will be bringing to the market is an old brand name. Are we supposed to be excited?

    • That has been the Amiga schtick for quite awhile. Except the Palm userbase was successful, efficient business people. Not slavish zealots championing a consumer PC in a plastic case sold in department stores.

      It's hard to tell if there would be a userbase for new Palm branded stuff.

    • Hey, if people will actually PAY for the rights to names like "Circuit City" and "Crazy Eddies", some sucker will think the Palm name is still relevant. Sure, we all miss the far-greater functionality of PalmOS over the provider-locked iOS and Android ecosystems, but I miss my 1970 Ford Maverick as well (although I'm still more likely to find parts for that than I am to find something to run on PalmOS these days).

  • by gavron ( 1300111 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2017 @06:31PM (#55113659)

    What made Palm great was a usable keyboard. Love them, hate them, defend them to death, but their OS was primitive even by Windows Mobile 2002 standards; their hardware was obsolete even by Pocket PC standards; they truly had the pulse of the dead user down.

    Their keyboard was another matter. It was ergonomic. It was fast. It felt good. You could use it with two hands.

    If Palm wants success... give us the keyboard. Android, IOS, whatever. The keyboard.

    If Palm wants to be a failure, keep giving us phones. It didn't work for Nokia (Microsoft put its shil in to kill it) and it didn't work for Microsoft (microsoft mobile phone is dead). It won't work for Palm.

    E

    • I do seriously miss physical keyboards on phones/PDAs.

      • There's been nothing decent since N900. Yet Gemini [indiegogo.com] looks promising.

        • by nasch ( 598556 )

          The Droid 3 had a (IMO) nice sliding physical keyboard, and came out about three years after the N900. That was the last Droid phone with a physical keyboard and I too miss the feature.

          • Droid 4 had a keyboard, too. And a battery that was easy-ish to swap. And MHL. And HDMI. And an FM radio. And USB OTG. And CyanogenMod. And that was the end of the line for non-shitty phones, IMHO.

            • by nasch ( 598556 )

              Oh cool, I thought they went to standard candy bar with the 4. Yeah my Droid 3 had micro HDMI too, that was pretty cool though I didn't use it often. I don't miss a swappable battery at all - yet. The problem is when the battery degrades enough to be annoying, I have to get a new phone or try to pry this one apart and probably break it, and then get a new phone. I would definitely enjoy a hardware keyboard again.

    • I owned a few Palms. Never had one with a physical keyboard. When the iPhone came out, to me it just looked like a tiny, spruced up Palm. Never thought it would be the killer device it turned out to be.
      • I owned a few Palms. Never had one with a physical keyboard.

        During the PDA-era, most PalmOS devices and all Palm-made device were using Graffiti as an input.
        (There *was* some Psion-shaped text processor featuring a hardware keyboard and very wide screen.
        Some Sony Clie had a clamshell design revealing a keypad)
        The only hardware keyboard where the various W-shaped foldable by Stowaway/ThinkOutside - officially supported by palm and some even branded.
        (I love them, I still use the bluetooth one with my modern Jolla smartphone).

        It's during the smartphone-era that Palm st

    • by murdocj ( 543661 )

      What I miss about Palm was an early (PDA) version that had the "write letters with stylus" input. I know it sounds clunky but it was very easy to learn, and because it didn't require full letters you could input really really fast, far faster than I can input with the mini screen keyboard, because there was not hunting for keys and no hitting the wrong key. And it was even kind of fun. I really miss it.

    • Love them, hate them, defend them to death, but their OS was primitive even by Windows Mobile 2002 standards;

      Which OS are you talking about ?
      PalmOS - which of course was much older than Windows Mobile, so it's more a Captain Obvious quote than anything.
      But which was still extremely quick and responsive for the tasks that the PDAs covered (calendar, notes, etc.)

      or webOS - which basically was a full blown GNU/Linux under the hood, with a nice UI with a very practical "stack of card" metaphor to manage the multitasking. Supporting both heavy Linux apps with direct gfx (SDL), or lightweight web-apps written in HTML a

      • PalmOS was like MS-DOS. A single tasking operation that simply got the hell out of the way after loading the program and came back when it was finished. That kept it fast and very directed. I kind of wish there was a PalmOS emulator, a robust rocklike one, that could run on Android. It could replace a lot of the junk Android tries to be.

    • by sremick ( 91371 )

      What made Palm great was a usable keyboard.

      Your experience with Palm was late and limited, then. Most Palm devices did not have a keyboard. They originated as an almost exclusively (resistive) touchscreen device, with a few dedicated hardware buttons. It was much later, after a few generations, that a few oddball special models were released with physical keyboards to compete with Blackberry. I owned many Palm models over the years, from mono to color, but never one with a keyboard.

      What made Palm great was:

      - battery life
      - simplicity and speed of use

  • They called it task manager and it was ideal for unorganized task reminders. If there was a new version out as a stand alone app, I'd take it.

    That aside, the book on Palm has yet to be written. They invented the smart phone and just as BlackBerry was emerging, Palm sold their increasingly creaky Garnet OS to a third party because their new OS was 'just around the corner'. Well it wasn't and the company went broke licensing their own OS back otherwise their hardware would be bricked.

    Someone doubtless made a

  • I think I can still write faster with less error using Graffiti than with onscreen keyboards.

    • I find that the version of Swype on my current phone does not work anywhere near as well as the version of Swype on the Galaxy SII I had years ago.

    • by murdocj ( 543661 )

      Exactly! I couldn't remember the name but yeah, I loved Graffiti. Easy to learn, easy to use, no hunt & peck. Even had some shortcuts for common words.

    • You asked for it. https://play.google.com/store/... [google.com]

      • extremely important question :
        - does this one also support the Graffiti 1 alphabet (100% single-stroke letters ? i.e.: "T" is written as a left-handed reversed gamma, "K" has the shape of an alpha/fish, "X" has the shape of an left-facing reversed alpha/a fish, etc. and "A" has a "/\" triangle shape)
        - or is it only Graffiti 2 alphabet (the thing that Palm release during the PalmOS 5 due to an ongoing suit over "jot" and which used multi-stroke letters, i.e.: "T" is written as "-" and "|", "K" is written as

    • I think I can still write faster with less error using Graffiti than with onscreen keyboards.

      Same here. It was easy to learn and didn't require you to look where you were writing. My Pilot was great at what it was designed to do - keep contacts, notes, and calendaring readily available. I also had an expense program that let me keep track of expenses , export them as a .csv and then directly upload into my companies expense accounting system; saving me hours of time. I had a VII that even allowed you to email but the battery life was horrendous. Sure, todays smartphones do that and more but I could

  • Palm made some great stuff but they had WebOS which I complained about constantly. What am I supposed to do now, not complain? THIS IS BULLSHIT! ;)

  • Shameless plug to a blog I wrote in 2014. I still use it daily. I'm an independent I.T. consultant. I love the looks and questions people give me when they see it for the first time.

    Why I still use a Palm Pilot [thedarkener.com]

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