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Happily back to webOS (Pre3) after 7 months on Android
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Old 02/17/2013, 09:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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After trying to "move on" since last June, using an Android phone with access to all of the apps I'd been missing out on, a bigger screen, microSD memory expansion, a better camera, and a price I couldn't resist, it was a failed endeavor. I'm back to webOS, guys. I couldn't stop thinking about webOS's superior user experience. The operating system is too good.

Android 2.3, in this case on a MyTouch 4G Slide with T-Mobile, using the HTC interface, is just too clunky. Yes, I'm aware Android's past version 4 now, and it's surely better, but man, the Slide was a high-end phone when it came out... and it just didn't compete. The portrait keyboard didn't help -- I never adjusted to the whole two-hands-required thing. The way you access menus, the notifications, the just plain poor design of important details like the auto-correct, seeming disjointed collections of features that didn't work together, as though the software of different parts of the OS were written by different companies and just glued together, it was all too much.

I got obsessed with webOS back in early 2010, when I was on the Palm Centro and looking to upgrade to a "smarter" smart phone. It looked too good to resist. It was. I picked up the Pre Plus on Verizon in late summer of that year, and just loved it. Intuitive, easy to use, great screen, great camera, slider portrait keyboard, and best of all, the real reason I made the plunge, was the homebrew community.

Over the course of a year and a half I customized the webOS experience on my phone so much there were probably 100 different patches, all thanks to you wonderful homebrewers. I had plenty of apps, too, but I only really used a few of them. Of course I always yearned for more apps that you knew your friends had, gimmicky things mostly, but things you couldn't share in the experience of.

When February 2011's big event came and went, I too was ecstatic about the prospects for HP-Palm. More phones, a tablet, and hints of greater things to come. I read the forums every day -- on multiple sites. I did Web searches for details of webOS's future, and on the new devices. I pored over the details of the products, becoming more and more certain that the Pre 3 was the phone for me, the Holy Grail of webOS phones.

I too was crushed when HP turned its back on webOS, but took some solace in snapping up a $130 TouchPad 32GB, which I also love. When the Pre 3 suddenly ceased to be for America, I was just short of distraught. Gobsmacked, certainly. Then, the rumors -- they were coming anyway, through eBay, through the grey market. First, there were AT&T Pre 3s, then Verizon ones started popping up. I was with Verizon at the time, and ecstatic that I might get my hands on one. Alas, they were crazy rare, and consequently crazy expensive. $600 for a phone -- which of course is reasonable when it's unlocked and ready to go, off contract, a brand new pocket computer with cutting edge technology, but I'd never shelled out full price for a phone -- not when two years of subsidy on a contract would get me it for $100 or less.

I would have to wait.

As time went by, it started seemingly clearer to me that the price of the phones wasn't dropping as quickly as with other, less rare offerings. My Pre Plus was soldiering on admirably, though the spider web cracks were starting to show on the screen, bits were snapping off here and there, and I was growing tired of pushing the limits of the phone in a futile effort to make it something it wasn't. Upgrading it to webOS 2.x, even knowing in advance that it was shaky and experimental, was a let down. I couldn't bring myself to buy a Pre 2 because it seemed like a lot of money for what wasn't more than a software upgrade. Yes, I know there were other improvements, but essentially, from my view, the Pre 2 was a Pre 1.5.

I started looking in earnest for a non-webOS phone in early spring 2012, when it became clear to me that webOS was faltering, that HP wasn't putting much effort into resuscitating webOS. The homebrew community was still kicking, but with waning membership. In spite of my long affair, I was giving in. Android would have to do. I took the opportunity to switch carriers, too, from Verizon, which I'd had since I got my first phone more than a decade earlier, to T-Mobile. The MyTouch was a good deal, good specs, and for a while, it was exciting.

It took adjustment, me always wanting to swipe the bottom of the screen, always wondering where the cards were, why the menus were in different places. I got used to it, but some things never felt comfortable. The multi-tasking, for one, and it was a big one. It wasn't multitasking, it was fakery. Apps that you switched between often had to be reloaded entirely. They would forget what you were doing earlier, even 30 seconds ago, so the song would start over, or the nav app would ask you where you wanted to go, or the news article would be gone and you would be staring at the front page of a digital newspaper. It was tiresome.

Notifications never made sense, and were absolutely inadequate. One chirp and if you weren't around to hear it, nothing more. Not adjustable, or at least not in a way that worked for me. Software updates that never ended, absurdly frequent updates that always required you to agree to a new contract. Every. Time.

Then there was the seeming disconnect, frustrating in concept, that Google itself didn't seem to be properly integrated into the operating system. Searches were a pain, and nowhere close in utility to "Just type." The integration of social networking, too, was lacking, no where near as polished as webOS.

I missed the hockey puck charger, too. Plugging in just seemed like a step back after the wireless charger.

So it happened -- my brother's phone broke about a week ago, and he wanted another one. I had the phone he had, so I told him, buy a Pre 3, and you can have mine. It all took place in a matter of a few days, me lost in the morass of Android, to being back in webOS bliss. The phone showed up early, and the transition was relatively seamless. My T-Mobile SIM card worked -- but only thanks to, once again, the webOS homebrew community, which showed me how to unlock the phone. In a few short days, it's reminded me, too, how to get Preware running, through webOS Quick Install, even how to change out the AT&T splash screen for a T-Mobile one I made.

Sure, I miss some things about Android. I keep feeling for a button below the screen to wake up the phone. The power button on the corner just isn't as easy or user-friendly to use for such a purpose. I miss a pop-up menu add-on I had that allowed me to swipe from the side of the screen to pull up a grid of apps that would disappear once I let go of the screen. I miss the DLNA app with which I controlled my DVD player. I miss YouMail. But boy, am I happy to be back. Thanks for still being here, webOS community.
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Old 02/17/2013, 11:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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nice post. multitasking on webos is unmatched by any other os
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Old 02/17/2013, 07:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by OrlandoAlex View Post
After trying to "move on" since last June, using an Android phone with access to all of the apps I'd been missing out on, a bigger screen, microSD memory expansion, a better camera, and a price I couldn't resist, it was a failed endeavor. I'm back to webOS, guys. I couldn't stop thinking about webOS's superior user experience. The operating system is too good.

Android 2.3, in this case on a MyTouch 4G Slide with T-Mobile, using the HTC interface, is just too clunky. Yes, I'm aware Android's past version 4 now, and it's surely better, but man, the Slide was a high-end phone when it came out... and it just didn't compete. The portrait keyboard didn't help -- I never adjusted to the whole two-hands-required thing. The way you access menus, the notifications, the just plain poor design of important details like the auto-correct, seeming disjointed collections of features that didn't work together, as though the software of different parts of the OS were written by different companies and just glued together, it was all too much.

I got obsessed with webOS back in early 2010, when I was on the Palm Centro and looking to upgrade to a "smarter" smart phone. It looked too good to resist. It was. I picked up the Pre Plus on Verizon in late summer of that year, and just loved it. Intuitive, easy to use, great screen, great camera, slider portrait keyboard, and best of all, the real reason I made the plunge, was the homebrew community.

Over the course of a year and a half I customized the webOS experience on my phone so much there were probably 100 different patches, all thanks to you wonderful homebrewers. I had plenty of apps, too, but I only really used a few of them. Of course I always yearned for more apps that you knew your friends had, gimmicky things mostly, but things you couldn't share in the experience of.

When February 2011's big event came and went, I too was ecstatic about the prospects for HP-Palm. More phones, a tablet, and hints of greater things to come. I read the forums every day -- on multiple sites. I did Web searches for details of webOS's future, and on the new devices. I pored over the details of the products, becoming more and more certain that the Pre 3 was the phone for me, the Holy Grail of webOS phones.

I too was crushed when HP turned its back on webOS, but took some solace in snapping up a $130 TouchPad 32GB, which I also love. When the Pre 3 suddenly ceased to be for America, I was just short of distraught. Gobsmacked, certainly. Then, the rumors -- they were coming anyway, through eBay, through the grey market. First, there were AT&T Pre 3s, then Verizon ones started popping up. I was with Verizon at the time, and ecstatic that I might get my hands on one. Alas, they were crazy rare, and consequently crazy expensive. $600 for a phone -- which of course is reasonable when it's unlocked and ready to go, off contract, a brand new pocket computer with cutting edge technology, but I'd never shelled out full price for a phone -- not when two years of subsidy on a contract would get me it for $100 or less.

I would have to wait.

As time went by, it started seemingly clearer to me that the price of the phones wasn't dropping as quickly as with other, less rare offerings. My Pre Plus was soldiering on admirably, though the spider web cracks were starting to show on the screen, bits were snapping off here and there, and I was growing tired of pushing the limits of the phone in a futile effort to make it something it wasn't. Upgrading it to webOS 2.x, even knowing in advance that it was shaky and experimental, was a let down. I couldn't bring myself to buy a Pre 2 because it seemed like a lot of money for what wasn't more than a software upgrade. Yes, I know there were other improvements, but essentially, from my view, the Pre 2 was a Pre 1.5.

I started looking in earnest for a non-webOS phone in early spring 2012, when it became clear to me that webOS was faltering, that HP wasn't putting much effort into resuscitating webOS. The homebrew community was still kicking, but with waning membership. In spite of my long affair, I was giving in. Android would have to do. I took the opportunity to switch carriers, too, from Verizon, which I'd had since I got my first phone more than a decade earlier, to T-Mobile. The MyTouch was a good deal, good specs, and for a while, it was exciting.

It took adjustment, me always wanting to swipe the bottom of the screen, always wondering where the cards were, why the menus were in different places. I got used to it, but some things never felt comfortable. The multi-tasking, for one, and it was a big one. It wasn't multitasking, it was fakery. Apps that you switched between often had to be reloaded entirely. They would forget what you were doing earlier, even 30 seconds ago, so the song would start over, or the nav app would ask you where you wanted to go, or the news article would be gone and you would be staring at the front page of a digital newspaper. It was tiresome.

Notifications never made sense, and were absolutely inadequate. One chirp and if you weren't around to hear it, nothing more. Not adjustable, or at least not in a way that worked for me. Software updates that never ended, absurdly frequent updates that always required you to agree to a new contract. Every. Time.

Then there was the seeming disconnect, frustrating in concept, that Google itself didn't seem to be properly integrated into the operating system. Searches were a pain, and nowhere close in utility to "Just type." The integration of social networking, too, was lacking, no where near as polished as webOS.

I missed the hockey puck charger, too. Plugging in just seemed like a step back after the wireless charger.

So it happened -- my brother's phone broke about a week ago, and he wanted another one. I had the phone he had, so I told him, buy a Pre 3, and you can have mine. It all took place in a matter of a few days, me lost in the morass of Android, to being back in webOS bliss. The phone showed up early, and the transition was relatively seamless. My T-Mobile SIM card worked -- but only thanks to, once again, the webOS homebrew community, which showed me how to unlock the phone. In a few short days, it's reminded me, too, how to get Preware running, through webOS Quick Install, even how to change out the AT&T splash screen for a T-Mobile one I made.

Sure, I miss some things about Android. I keep feeling for a button below the screen to wake up the phone. The power button on the corner just isn't as easy or user-friendly to use for such a purpose. I miss a pop-up menu add-on I had that allowed me to swipe from the side of the screen to pull up a grid of apps that would disappear once I let go of the screen. I miss the DLNA app with which I controlled my DVD player. I miss YouMail. But boy, am I happy to be back. Thanks for still being here, webOS community.
Thanks for sharing your experience in such a visual and colorful manner. I currently have and still use my original Pre and at times have thought about switching to Android. And although on occasion my Pre restarts or even shuts off for no apparent reason, I'm still haven't a difficult time validating the switch to another OS other than the best - webOS. I can imagine if I were to switch that my experience would be very close to yours. If and when the time comes to switch, I'll only be switching carrier and not operating systems. You see I currently have Sprint and I wouldn't be able to use my new Pre3 on their network.

So down the road you just might see another message from me asking about your experience on T-Mobile.

Last edited by qbenguy; 02/17/2013 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 02/18/2013, 01:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by qbenguy View Post
Thanks for sharing your experience in such a visual and colorful manner. I currently have and still use my original Pre and at times have thought about switching to Android. And although on occasion my Pre restarts or even shuts off for no apparent reason, I'm still haven't a difficult time validating the switch to another OS other than the best - webOS. I can imagine if I were to switch that my experience would be very close to yours. If and when the time comes to switch, I'll only be switching carrier and not operating systems. You see I currently have Sprint and I wouldn't be able to use my new Pre3 on their network.

So down the road you just might see another message from me asking about your experience on T-Mobile.
I'm awaiting the arrival (from Ebay) of my third Pre (after dropping number two ). Too bad I'm on a Sprint family plan, and spouse doesn't want to switch, otherwise I would have been scrambling for a Pre 3 too.
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Old 02/18/2013, 05:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ohhh man! I'm in a S3 right waiting for the screen to broke to go back to my Pre 3.
Big missing feat.
- Multi-tasking (what a fake, you jump away from Chrome and you go back to the same page and it start loading again)
- Skype not fully integrated with the phone app
- No wireless charging (I can't stand that)
- Calendar (S Planner app is just CRAP)
- Physical Keyboard (I use several spanish characters and you have to keep pressed a button to wait for the options instead of Symb key, waste of time)
- Just type
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Old 02/18/2013, 08:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ohhh man! I'm in a S3 right waiting for the screen to broke to go back to my Pre 3.
Big missing feat.
- Multi-tasking (what a fake, you jump away from Chrome and you go back to the same page and it start loading again)
- Skype not fully integrated with the phone app
- No wireless charging (I can't stand that)
- Calendar (S Planner app is just CRAP)
- Physical Keyboard (I use several spanish characters and you have to keep pressed a button to wait for the options instead of Symb key, waste of time)
- Just type
I just went through this ordeal (screen breaking and going back to my Pre3), and I can't agree with all of your observations. I can upload a video as well, if you like (leaving Chrome, re-entering....no reloading)
.
For your multi-tasking "jumping away from Chrome and having to reload" I do not have that experience with that browser, or any other browser for that matter.
I have nothing to say about Skype, I don't use it.
I have a rooted SGS3, use an app called Calendar....don't really bother much with the Samsung apps to be honest. I've never really been the type of person to really use a calendar anyway, even with my Pre-, Veer and Pre3.
I can see how having a physical keyboard would be more to your style of typing with special characters, maybe try out SwiftKey3. There's a free one month trial you can try out. The more you use it, the better it gets.
Maybe I didn't use Just Type to it's fullest potential, or maybe I've just altered the way I use my phone now.

My main uses for Just Type were to find a contact, or an app..I can do both pretty much the same way by tapping the Google search bar, and just typing.

Not sure what your circumstances are, but if you're that unhappy with your SGS3...I still see them for sale anywhere from $350-500 CAD, which isn't too bad for a phone that's been out almost a year.
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Old 02/18/2013, 09:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Welcome back. All phones do the same things more or less. So it comes down to style. Some like the webos way better and others want the power and size of the new devices and also the app selection.

By the way, I just found out that I was wasting my time sending smiley faces because both iphone and android do not show an actual image, just the text. How boring

Last edited by laingman; 02/18/2013 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 02/19/2013, 08:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I just went through this ordeal (screen breaking and going back to my Pre3), and I can't agree with all of your observations. I can upload a video as well, if you like (leaving Chrome, re-entering....no reloading)
.
For your multi-tasking "jumping away from Chrome and having to reload" I do not have that experience with that browser, or any other browser for that matter.
I have nothing to say about Skype, I don't use it.
I have a rooted SGS3, use an app called Calendar....don't really bother much with the Samsung apps to be honest. I've never really been the type of person to really use a calendar anyway, even with my Pre-, Veer and Pre3.
I can see how having a physical keyboard would be more to your style of typing with special characters, maybe try out SwiftKey3. There's a free one month trial you can try out. The more you use it, the better it gets.
Maybe I didn't use Just Type to it's fullest potential, or maybe I've just altered the way I use my phone now.

My main uses for Just Type were to find a contact, or an app..I can do both pretty much the same way by tapping the Google search bar, and just typing.

Not sure what your circumstances are, but if you're that unhappy with your SGS3...I still see them for sale anywhere from $350-500 CAD, which isn't too bad for a phone that's been out almost a year.
The problem with the Android Multitask is: if you leave the app open, just go and back, still continue open. But if you leave the app, open many apps and go back, the SO has released the memory and the app gonna reload.

And in Android, is not hard do you need more memory to work...

SwiftKey is funny... but I dislike all this keyboard in Android. Serious. And the Google Search is not so good or elegant as Just Type...

The GLS3 is a excellent hardware piece... and I just like more of webOS. If we could mix them...


Best Regards...
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Old 02/19/2013, 09:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Welcome home.
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Old 02/19/2013, 09:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If there's a way to keep the webOS browser from refreshing when coming back to it, I'd love to hear it. That's one thing that we definitely deal with as well.
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Old 02/19/2013, 10:20 AM   #11 (permalink)
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At Christmas I got a Galaxy Note 2. It is one of the best Android phone on the market. The phone is huge (in every way) but I have my Pre 3 in the pocket forever. Why? Multitasking with cards, Synergy intelligence, speed of Just Type, Palm keyboard, consistency between applications, menus on top of the aplications, floating icons ( you can scroll up and down and icons like back arrows, etc are static), better notifications.... In my Pre 3 I have my own applications and I use it for email and agenda.

WebOS is simply better. It is disappointing and unfair that webOS is not in the market. Android has cool apps. Samsung and others make very good hardware, thats all. But the same apps and hardware could be done for webOS and this would be awesome.

I'm also an amateur developer and in my opinion to program in the Android SDK is a nightmare compared to Palm Ares.
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Old 02/19/2013, 12:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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If there's a way to keep the webOS browser from refreshing when coming back to it, I'd love to hear it. That's one thing that we definitely deal with as well.
Yes, a patch in preware called no auto refresh after idle
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Old 02/19/2013, 01:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Me too! I am back and I can't wait. I hate Android...never liked it. Loved my Pre 3 last year and sold it. I tried windows Phone 7.5 and evern if it looks great..that's it because it is not a great OS. At home I only use Mac as a computer but don't really like the iPhone (in fact i am bored with iOS).
I am selling my new iPad 3 and purchased a Touchpad 64GB brand new. As a phone I am using Blackberry now. I think for email Blackberry is still one of the best. I also have the Playbook 64GB. I thought to buy the Bold 9900 but I really miss webOS so Pre 3 will be.
Thanks
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Old 02/20/2013, 05:24 AM   #14 (permalink)
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When Im browsing with three or four cards, I can change and see the pages.

In Android, you have no idea if the page continue loaded or not, same in GNote II and his big RAM... the memory management is worst...


Best Regards...
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Old 02/20/2013, 04:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I agree with you OrlandoAlex. I stepped away from my Sprint Pre minus after years of work (I was able to avoid any real scratches but the phone finally developed some pressure cracks). My family was moving over to AT&T and on Black Friday, I purchased a Samsung Galaxy S3 form my wife and myself. Interesting hardware and some elements of Android were wonderful (I am definitely a webos fan but not so much i cannot acknowledge android for the solid os it is).

Well, my wife's phone dropped and cracked the screen. I did not have insurance so I was going to be out $300 to repair it. Even before this happened, I would say to my wife how much I missed my old Pre. She would laugh because she never had one. I just missed how well it worked. So, I found a new AT&T unlocked Pre 3 on ebay for $200 and I am so happy.

We all know what is better with the Pre, especially the Pre 3. However, here is what I liked and did not like about my android s3 experience:
+ apps (of course, lots of them)
+ track data transferred and set a warning and a cap. very helpful on a data share plan
+ battery monitoring (being able to see what apps take what amount of battery helped me optimize)
+ map programs (much better, very fast and responsive, google latitude works)
+ LTE is blazingly fast (but a problem when limited on data share plan)
- battery life was not as good as I expected (really very little difference with my Pre 3)
- performance still had some lags and it is not as fast as my Touchpad with cynogenmod 10
- size was too large for a phone but not large enough to use resolution (my Pre3 and Touchpad combo is better)
- size was so big it would catch on my pocket as I removed it and I dropped it a half dozen times.
- has wireless charging but all options are expensive (and I have 4 touchstones I cannot use (tried to mod but failed)
- plastic case and edge to edge glass is a recipe for disaster
- phone app and contacts were just not as good. (skype integration on Pre3 is amazing)
- just not webos

It was an interesting experiment but I am excited to use my phone again.
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