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  1. mightybees's Avatar
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       #1  
    Hi,
    I need advice, opinions and wisdom from all of you guys that know the Pre 3 and webOS intimately.
    Ok, I've had the iPhone (a 3GS and a 4S), recently went to Android (various devices) and I've even tried Windows Phone 8 on the Lumia 820 and the Ativ S... I have tried them all.
    Or at least I thought I had.
    I have come across a new and unlocked HP Pre 3 for sale in the UK... I'd forgotten about the Palm (HP) phones... I remember seeing one available on O2 but then they seemed to disappear.
    I had a Palm Pilot back in the day and I loved it.
    So, I'm tempted... very tempted.

    I would value any insights about the sanity of buying a phone that runs, forgive me, a dead or at least dying operating system.

    Is it a good idea to take a step backward in time and abandon iOS, WP8 and Android?
  2. #2  
    DON'T DO IT!!! NEVER TOUCH IT!!! RUN AWAY AS LONG AS YOU CAN!!!

    Issue is: if you use a webos device, you'll be spoiled for all time and none of the other systems can ever make you happy (at least not until they copy more features from old webOS and don't spoil them ). That's my issue... It's the best mobile OS I ever used. I actually have a Galaxy Nexus right now that I carry around with me every day. I'm not using it, if I don't have to.

    WebOS really lacks apps. And some of the apps around are dying. More will come in the next months and years. Sometimes the old dev releases a fix (example: Papermache, an instapaper client). Sometimes the community manages to fix the app (Dropboxify, a dropbox client) and you'll have to apply patches from this forum... sometimes no one cares or changes would be too big (all the dead twitter clients since the last API change or the dead google reader clients after the shutdown).

    But the OS still is very useful. And if there is an app, it usually is of high quality (very different to the usual Andoid apps, I've seen). Doing things on webOS usually means much less pain. Especially if multiple apps and app switches are included or searching something...
    Often it is only the ageing browser that forces me to launch Firefox on the Android phone and work with that. :-(

    The thing I do the most with my phone is reading news. I.e. syncing a news client with theOldReader or my private tt-rss sever (now I do the later). Then browsing headlines and teasers and sending them to Instapaper or open them up in the browser. If that is done, switch to the browser or instapaper and read there. This is perfectly possible on webOS and that's why I won't move away from it... at least not until I can't find any hardware.

    Some things I really like about webOS:
    • App switch is VERY easy. People tend to call it "multitasking". Sure the apps can multitask. But for me that's not the point... I'm often doing one task that involves multiple apps and that's very fast, easy and intuitive in webOS. If you ever saw the card based interface in action and used it, you'll never want to go back to the "homescreen"-stuff again. Never.
    • JustType: Use the physical keyboard and type. In many lists this will start a search. If no app is open it will trigger JustType search that will find everything on device (contacts, also by initials, e-mails, apps => I'm seldomly scrolling through my launcher pages) or you can send the search string to any web search (google, wikipedia, amazon are set up by default but you can configure all about this). You can even create memos, e-mails, sms this way... If you got used to that a bit, it REALLY speeds up about everything... call my wife? I just type sk and tap the right phone number to call her. Run an app? Start typing the name and launch it. Search something in the web? Start typing and send to google. Or just enter the URL and send to browser.
    • Synergy: Just let webOS sync all your external accounts and display the results in the system apps... that's really great. At the same time this includes a perfect security scheme. No app can access your private data. It can create it's own calendar/contact storage and contents will be displayed in the system app. But it can't access data from other apps. That's just brilliant. The only thing that is not possible is 3rd party calendars or addressbooks, i.e. the display apps... but that's not a bad thing, because they are JSJSJS $and$ $can$ $be$ $easily$ $patched$.
    • "Jailbraking"... I really don't get why it is that complicated on other systems... if you are a developer or Linux guy, webOS really is the OS for you... there is a complete Linux in the background and you can access it by just typing webos20090606 in the JustType bar. (ok, you'll still need Preware and some other apps... but hey... Preware is maybe one of the most important tools that allows me to stay on webOS.)


    So that's my 5cent... tried to keep it from bashing other systems. I could go on all day ranting about Android. But I wanted to be positive here... Still makes me sad to see this system die. I don't know if it is a smart decision to jump on the wagon at this time... surely you can't blame anyone to jump ship in the current situation. On the other hand: Pre3 will continue to work as basic smartphone a few years, even if bought today. So why not? All this depends heavily on what you want to do with the device and what not.... if you always need the newest game or big company apps, then don't use webOS. If that's not what you are into, then maybe we have everything you need.
  3. #3  
    Excellent write-up Garfonso. I have been truly spoiled by webOS. I use a different phone now as my daily, but my Pre3 is rarely far away, and I sometimes carry both - though not too often as not carrying two phones is the whole reason it's not my primary device.
  4. #4  
    VERY TRUE, Garfonso! I want to switch to iPhone but I can't - I'm spoiled.
  5. mightybees's Avatar
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       #5  
    Thanks Garfonso... Brilliant insight but I'm now even more undecided 😀
    If I understand you correctly... WebOS is the best thing you ever used but you don't recommend getting the Pre 3 because of the poor ecosystem?
  6. #6  
    You could try listing the services / apps you already use or want and find out if the Pre3 will do it for you...
    ananimus likes this.
  7. #7  
    For me personally the ecosystem still is ok. But I am sure that other People have more issues with it. Appart from ecosystem another issue is that no further hardware will be available, so when your Pre3 dies, it's quite possible that you can't replace it with anything webOS based will be forced to use something else later anyway. We still hope for open webOS... but that has some risks of never being usable by a broad audience. And for me changing ecosystems always includes pain.

    I like the idea of @Preemptive.
  8. #8  
    WebOS is the best OS there is. If it weren't for the small screen and the browser I would have never switched to Android. I hope that someday I'll get OpenWebOS running on my GNex
    HP Veer Unlocked Wifi/3G 8GB - WebOS 2.1.1 & Unlocked Samsung Galaxy Nexus (maguro) - CM 10.2.1
    WebOS developers are awesome!
  9. mightybees's Avatar
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       #9  
    Ok, working on Preemptive's suggestion...
    Can I use a Pre 3 for...
    Google Calendar?
    You Tube?
    as a Sat Nav?
    Are there other browsers you can use?
  10. #10  
    Calendar: Yes, Youtube: Yes, Sat Nav: I assume you mean navigation with GPS? Homebrew Google Maps from Preware could do that.

    For browser there is no new one (currently), however there are some patches to make it be identified like an iSheeple I mean Apple device for example which fixes issues with some websites :-P

    -- Sent from my TouchPad using Communities
    HP Veer (daily driver), HP Pre 3, HP Touchpad Proper 4G/LTE (Sierra MC7710), HP Touchpad 32GB WiFi, Palm Pre 2
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by mightybees View Post
    Ok, working on Preemptive's suggestion...
    Can I use a Pre 3 for...
    Google Calendar?
    You Tube?
    as a Sat Nav?
    Are there other browsers you can use?
    You can use google calendar with a standard google account (user@gmail.com) but it seems to be broken with a google apps account (user@domain.com hosted with google).

    Youtube works great (though apply the [Patch] webOS 2: Fix low YouTube quality or it looks a bit grainy)

    Options for Sat Nav are Navit (which is free) and nDrive (which is a bit more polished but costs). As nDrive have stopped development for webOS the maps will slowly get more out of date. If you don't need turn by turn navigation there are bing maps built in and a quality google maps app too.

    There is a project to create a new browser based on the code HP released (Isis browser) but it has stalled a bit on phones (it is still being developed for the TouchPad).

    Overall I can do pretty much everything on webOS that I do on other phone operating systems (I used a Pre for two years, switched to Android for a year then switched back to a Pre3 because I missed webOS that much!) but things can slowly start to break as devs don't update their apps (the google apps login problem effects me as my domain is hosted there, it was working 6~7 months ago but something has changed which broke it which means no google chat/calendar for me!).

    I'd still recommend getting a pre3 but only if the price was right, and know that not everything will work, but what *does* work, works so well you won't want to leave webOS
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by mightybees View Post
    Ok, working on Preemptive's suggestion...
    Can I use a Pre 3 for...
    Google Calendar?
    You Tube?
    as a Sat Nav?
    Are there other browsers you can use?
    Just a word of caution: HP/Palm webOS is no longer really supported by it's manufactures, though in fairness, it's a kind of benign neglect - earlier this year HP did provide an update for the certificate of the app catalogue. In practice a great deal of support and in fact, improvement is available from the expert developers who remain interested in the platform. An example is the maps replacement mentioned above, which far exceeds anything offered by the OEMs.

    If you buy a new or wiped device, you will need to apply updates from the homebrew community for this kind of maintenance and usability. This is not difficult if you have a little patience and take the time to read the instructions you can find here. To begin with, you can go to Main Page - WebOS Internals , download webOS Quick Install, put your device in developer mode and install Preware - the homebrew app catalogue.

    So, google calendar? Yes. Youtube? Yes, but you'll need to patch it to avoid low quality video, Satnav, as above and HB Googlemaps will also send location data to Navit which is an opensource satnav that can work without a data connection.

    There are other browser versions that may have better features, but I'm not sure if core performance is any better - others can perhaps answer this.

    A brief list of other apps: Twitter - Project Macaw, RSS - FeedSpider, Books - pReader, Internalz Pro - File Manager, WiFi File Sharing.

    EDIT: And in the time I took to write that someone else pretty much covered it! This forum is so useful! You know you want to come and live here!
    Last edited by Preemptive; 10/14/2013 at 05:40 PM.
  13. #13  
    For Navigation use Navit. You can use it offline (for European users with roaming fees abroad a big point).

    At the moment you can use it and propably get it cheap. So you gain one more year to decide between BB and Ubuntu.
  14. #14  
    Here's my experience as a three-month-old Pre 3 user.
    First of all, sadly my Pre lags when listening to music while doing something else like browsing x.facebook.com (that'll be your main Facebook access, rember this, App isn't decent enough for browsing, but it's good for uploading photos and videos). It doesn't seem to happen to other people, not so much at least, so perhaps I'm just an unlucky guy who got a "defective" model. Its camera is quite decent, but it's got only 5 MPs. Gorgeous screen, it only reaches 720p but I truly don't care, it looks wonderful.
    If you need any fashioned kind of app like Shazaam, Instagram or newly developed ones, forget about them. I can live without all that junk (well, that's my opinion, I'm not insulting anyone). Whatsapp has a wonderful replacement thanks to Amoralico, a great developer who's still updating his MojoWhatsup, which doesn't make me miss the official app. Facebook chat isn't embedded, but you can get it in several ways by following different instructions here on webOSnation. Homebrew is the (only) way to approach perfection on this operating system. I don't use it to work, but IMO Email app is fantastic, as well as Calendar, Notes and Tasks (the latter a little less than the others, still good). QuickOffice isn't horrible, yet far away from decent as an office suite for a smartphone. Stock maps are pretty good IMO, I don't miss Google Maps, but you can still get them via homebrew. Contacts is a great app: everything you know, have, need about your friends, relatives and co-workers is there, from Facebook to Skype. Messaging is both useful and usable, Synergy rocks. What else can I say... If it wasn't for the unexplainable lag occurring when listening to music, I would love this phone so much it could break. Almost 2 years without further developing... webOS could have become a devastating beast out there on the mobile OS fields. Don't forget you're buying a phone with a dead operating system: no official updates of any kind will ever come for us. If you don't mind about this, new apps, and pointlessly talking with Siri, welcome in our world.
    Last edited by WebOSLloyd; 10/16/2013 at 07:31 AM. Reason: typo
    Pre 2 (16 GB, dismissed), Pre 3 (8 GB, dismissed), Wi-Fi TouchPad (32 GB). Moved to Android (Nexus 5) in late 2014.
    Rnp likes this.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by Preemptive View Post
    There are other browser versions that may have better features, but I'm not sure if core performance is any better - others can perhaps answer this.
    There are other browsers like Advanced Browser, Universe Browser and what was published as "Isis" sometimes. They all are only changed UIs for the same browser core. The page rendering is still done by the aging webkit core of Luna.

    Other browsers in webOS are only possible as PDK apps. At some point there was a firefox beta, which was a PDK app but it never got anything close to stable. Then there is the A-Browser in Preware, that really is a different Browser (QT Based), but the UI is lacking, because it was just a quick proof of concept to compile the binaries... that's what I understood.

    I always wanted to look at the iPhone version of Firefox. It should be open source and available somewhere. And given that at some point Palm created some kind of tutorial to port iPhone Games to webOS it might be possible to get Firefox from iPhone to compile for webOS... but I never really got into that. :-( Maybe also I'm thinking too easy and there are a lot of system dependencies that can't be satisfied and whatever....

    But a real browser alternative including it's own web rendering engine would definitively be needed...
  16. volka's Avatar
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    #16  
    Id like to come back to the first thing Garfonso said. Its quite a big one in my opinion.

    spoiler + TL;DR: WebOS is (at least to me) a drug with limited or non supply.


    I got sucked into the addiction when i purchased a used Touchpad with the intention to install Android. It was the best price per hardware deal i could find and i was familiar with Android from my first and only Smartphone.

    Then i first booted it to WebOS.

    It was new to me, different and interesting. I installed Android right away tho and used it as main OS.
    Every once in a while i booted to webos, just out of interest and finally dicided to give it a shot. I set my stuff up, installed some apps, installed preware did some research and fell in love.
    After a few weeks tho the honeymoon feeling faded away. I came to a point where i got frustrated not finding some apps i desired. I wanted to play with my new baby!
    So i went back to Android and installed all the app glory possible. Soon i found myself trying to customize the Launcher to look like webos, i stopped using Widges as much as i did before. I installed and uninstalled app after app, failing to satisfy my altered design wishes.
    I even installed Apps to emulate the gestures. It was nice at first but never came close to the experience in webos.
    Thats when i started to regulary boot back and forth . I changed the OS at least 3 times a day, always with a bad feeling while leaveing the one for the other.

    It should be noted that at that time i had a relativly lot spare time to spend on tingeling around with the device.
    I even installed Ubuntu for some triple-booting madness.

    Time changed, i spent more and more time with my daughter and university life.
    The Tablet served mostly as a pdf-reader for learning for exames (webos was my os of choice then) and maybe once in a while a little game (.. aand back to android, sometimes)

    Then i purchased a nice Laptop which i didnt have before and my intrest shifted away from the tablet. My girlfriend now is the main user of it and stays happily inside the Android world.

    Then my Android Phone broke a few weeks after 2 year warranty expired. It was a good time. Motorola Defy; i tried my best to revive it as i flashed about a hundret times new and updated and different and cool new ROM's, but ther was no hope. The 1ghz overclocked single core phone that appeared to be my horsepower phone (okay.. it was a bit laggy sometimes... maybe i got frustrated a lot and searched for nicer ROM's..) was gone for good.

    As the lucky guy i am, i happen to know someone who works at HP and had a old Pre 2 collecting dust which he had to use as work phone. Yay!
    ...

    "Boy. Nostalgica. Perfect mobile OS. Dont need many Apps, no time for that anyways.Hmm what do Pre 3's cost nowadays? Wasnt there some OpenMobile kinda thing? And those Phoenix guys? Oh! LG purchased webOS? So that must mean hope for a bright feature with new Hardware!"

    So here i am today, checking ebay for good Pre 3 deals to legitimize a purchase while the Pre 2 works good enought, checking the forums every day desperate for some news. If not for possible new webOS developements, maybe Matias Duarte will turn Android into what WebOS would have been. So i check for Android news as well even though im not even that much interested in it anymore.

    -----------------------------
    I hope this rather lengthly story explains Garfonso's first point a bit better.

    You wanne dive into a bittersweet relationship and dont have to many special needs bejond the basic smartphone functionality? Go for it!

    You want something to be your daily driver and if the phone breaks you just purchase a newer one without any drawbacks? Keep off!
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by Garfonso View Post
    ...Then there is the A-Browser in Preware, that really is a different Browser (QT Based), but the UI is lacking, because it was just a quick proof of concept to compile the binaries... that's what I understood.
    (...)
    But a real browser alternative including it's own web rendering engine would definitively be needed...
    Yes, I'd assumed A-Browser was just a test, but I just installed it. Wow!

    Would it really be so difficult for someone to add an easier interface to it? No rotation or touch interface makes it difficult to use, but it seems fast and stable at first go. That's Qt4.8. dKirker is looking at Qt5 Well, here's hoping.

    Apparently, Firefox can run on the ACL if you have a Touchpad.
    Attached Images Attached Images
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by Preemptive View Post
    Yes, I'd assumed A-Browser was just a test, but I just installed it. Wow!

    Would it really be so difficult for someone to add an easier interface to it? No rotation or touch interface makes it difficult to use, but it seems fast and stable at first go. That's Qt4.8. dKirker is looking at Qt5 Well, here's hoping.

    Apparently, Firefox can run on the ACL if you have a Touchpad.
    I preferred the other version of A-browser, but I was also rather pleased with both operationally. For a proof of concept I was impressed, and disappointed nobody picked either one up and improved on it.
  19. Yazen's Avatar
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    #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by mightybees View Post
    Thanks Garfonso... Brilliant insight but I'm now even more undecided ��
    If I understand you correctly... WebOS is the best thing you ever used but you don't recommend getting the Pre 3 because of the poor ecosystem?
    As much as I enjoyed my Pre3, I would not recommend anyone to buy it. Its only nice skin deep imo.

    Looks and feels nice in the hand, but has issues. Slider seems to be a battle, first pre3 too tight, and the other too loose. SIM pins break easily, so soldering a new socket may be needed if you're clumsy haha. Battery is always a mixed bag even with the patches.

    The OS is great, just the hardware is not competent enough. I'd take a Lumia 822 as they are often on eBay for $144 new (works with GSM just fine). A much more competent phone with todays standards. Navigation is all offline, no active data needed. Works hspa+ with refarmed tmobile

    Sorry I have not elaborated, typing on my phone. I won't sell my Pre3, but I'm nit using right now either. Just have so much more on my Nokia 808 and 822. Will probably have to upgrade to 1020 as Symbian is dead now too

    (822 is a WP8 device). Its really solid, and very good for the money.
  20. dmd1227's Avatar
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    #20  
    To also piggy back on the don't start something you can't finish theme...

    I have used iOS and Android (about to go back to Android) and every single day I miss something about my original Pre. Everything out today is embarrassing compared to what webOS and Pre was years ago.

    The thing I miss the most and feel I will never see again is a portrait slider keyboard. The keyboard was so awesome for Just Type, keyboard shortcuts and actually being able to type. The amazing new multi-tasking [sarcasm] on iOS is just a partial rehash of webOS, as are so many other features out now.

    I sadly gave up my Pre years ago and haven't been keeping up on webOS since then, it hurts too much. I'm so happy I stumbled on here tonight and saw so much activity. Here's one more hoping new hardware becomes a reality.
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