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Thinking about getting a webOS phone, wanna know about functionality...
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Old 08/14/2012, 10:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Looking for a smartphone for Mom and Dad. They're very cheap, and in my searches I came across webOS. I remember it from years back when it was making news. From reading around, I'll probably try to buy them a Pre 2. And I like the Verizon network and their Page Plus Wireless reseller, so I have to make sure I get a phone that works with them. Or maybe the Verizon network through Straight Talk, but I don't think most Verizon phones work with Straight Talk, only the ones Straight Talk sells on their web site.

Regardless of the possibilities in the future for this platform, I'm interested in what it can do today. Here's a list of things I'm very interested in:

1.) Google Voice - listening to voice mail, viewing call logs, and reading/sending text messages (and possibly even SMS's). I think there 's an app called SynerGV for this, but I don't know how much of this stuff that it does.
2.) Google Maps - I saw there's an app for this that a guy from Czechoslavakia wrote! (You guys better be donating to him!) This app doesn't do any navigation with turn-by-turn directions does it? Is there any GPS integration in this app at all?
3.) Google Contacts - have to be able to view my Google contacts and click on a button to call them. being able to edit them would be extra nice, almost a necessity.
4.) Google Calendar - nice to be able to view days I've marked with events
5.) GMail - have to be able to access GMail via IMAP. They check email from multiple computers, so it can't be POP.

Man this is weird, I had no idea till just now how dependent we are upon Google... (and don't pay for any of it)

6.) Coupon apps like Groupon or Amazon Local, Mom loves coupons...
7.) Facebook would be [i]really[i]nice
8.) Twitter would be nice
9.) Weather app - just a basic one of these that shows somebody's forecast for the upcoming week and month

Anyway, I've spent a couple of hours and have barely gotten anywhere with my webOS research, would really appreciate it if you guys could help me out...
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Old 08/14/2012, 10:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Man this is weird, I had no idea till just now how dependent we are upon Google... (and don't pay for any of it)
"When you don't pay for a service, you're the product!"


Best Regards...
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Old 08/14/2012, 10:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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1) Not familiar with Google Voice

2) there is a home brew google maps app. Im not sure about turn-by-turn navigation, but im sure there's GPS support. (may want to look into "Navit")

3) 4) 5) Google is directly integrated into webOS
Contacts, Calendar and Gmail are accessible.

6) I never used them, so I wouldn't know

7) There is a FB app, not as up to date though, and there are some minor bugs. The website works decently though.
8) There are a boatload of Twitter clients (both free and paid) (I like phnx/Project Macaw)
9) There are several weather apps. I personally use The Weather Channel one.

Note: Straight Talk is only on GSM networks AFAIK. The VZW model won't support it. You'd have to get the Unlocked GSM variant of the Pre2 to use ST.

If you're considering webOS, be sure you know what you're getting.
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Old 08/14/2012, 11:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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1) SynerGV 1 does most of it, SynerGV 2 adds a few more things. 1 is an app only, 2 integrates directly to the Messaging and Contacts apps. I'm still working out if it's possible to patch it to the phone app, since HP won't whitelist a phone app connector.

2) It does use the GPS ,and you can set it for realtime map updating. It does give directions, but it doesn't do the whole navigation (currently, i have no idea if there are any plans to do anything like that). When you ask it for directions, they'll come up on screen, but it doesn't track your progress along the route.

3) Google contacts is built in, direct telephone app-to-google voice may be possible via a patch, but that is not currently available.

4) calendar built in

5) email built in

6) on my TouchPad, I have a nice app for all the "deals" sites called "seahorss", i don't know if it's available for phones. Not sure what else is around. Groupon and Amazon Local both email me constantly with their deals anyway, even though I never asked them to.

7) Facebook apps are available, the semi-official one mostly works, but is quirky

8) We definitely don't lack Twitter apps.

9) I like WeatherBug or AccuWeather
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Old 08/14/2012, 12:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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K, great! Thanks guys. webOS is closer than I thought it'd be.

@Xandros9 - Straight Talk is an MVNO for both AT&T and Verizon. But. They offer way more phones for
AT&T and you can't "bring your own phone" so easy to the Verizon side of their things. They sell 2 CDMA phones on their web site and what I was reading on Howard Forums, you have to use one of those two phones for their Verizon access.
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Old 08/14/2012, 12:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I forgot 4 things in my OP.

Wifi tethering - do you have to jail break or anything like jailbreaking to get this working? I know most mobile phone companies frown on this unless you pay an extra $50/month. but from what ai've read around about MVNO's (like
Straight Talk, Page Plus), they don't care what you do as long as you don't use too much data. but the thing is, the less I can hack the phone up to get it working, the better it is. I don't want Mom & Dad coming over all the time because the hack I did to their phone stop working again. dad has to have Wifi tethering because of his lifestyle, Mom would think it's neat but not use it.

Then, there are three apps for Android that after I got them, I finally started liking my Android phone. wondering if webOS has anything similar?

Llama - learns locations based on what cell towers are nearby (doesn't use GPS because that would drain too much battery). then you can set up actions so that like when you "leave home" it'll turn off your Wifi to save battery. I was always doing that manually before and it was a real pain.

My Data Usage - can count usage for a bunch of things, and display the count in the Android notification bar at the top of the desktop. I only use it to count data usage, but you can also count call times, etc. You can also open the app up itself and it gives you a bunch of graphs like what application used so much data, etc.. before I got that, was always a really pain guessing how much data I used. AT&T can only tell you how much data you used two days ago, so even texting to get that information wasn't that great.

I don't think My Data Usage does this, but it would be a really nice feature if it just turned off data when you got to close to your limit, via configurable settins...

Power Toggles - puts icons in your Android notification bar that are like shortcuts to all different kinds of actions. I have toggles in my notification bar for turning wifi on/off, opening the wifi settings page, turning Bluetooth on/off, opening the Bluetooth settings page, turning data on/off...
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Old 08/14/2012, 01:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for clearing that up for me

anyway, webOS is the easiest to "jailbreak"
you type in eithe the konami code or webos (some number I can't remember) to enable developer mode, and voila! (plenty customizations and homebrew apps)

Actually ST's EULA says no tethering.
There is an app called freetether (I think it can hide tethering)

Dont know about llama or anything like that

There's an app called netstat. (in Preware, the webos equivalent of Cydia for iOS)

In webOS, you swipe down/tap the battery icon area and a menu pops up for toggling Wi-Fi etc.
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Old 08/14/2012, 01:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It is unlikely that you won't find an app for a particular task you have in mind, but you may not find the exact same app as another platform. Webos just has less cr@pps than other platforms.
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Old 08/14/2012, 09:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Okay, thanks guys. You've gotten me to where I know maybe 85% or 90% of what I want to know. I'm way further along after this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MudShark22 View Post
It is unlikely that you won't find an app for a particular task you have in mind, but you may not find the exact same app as another platform. Webos just has less cr@pps than other platforms.
Oh, I completely agree. All the financial analysts pointing out how there's one million apps in iTunes and don't think anybody can't compete with that... It's nonsense! 99.999% of those million apps, nobody wants.

But if I don't have a webOS phone yet, so where do I go to look for these apps? I saw something like the official app catalog by HP isn't available on the web? You have to have an app or something to access it.

How do I see what's in this Homebrew catalog I hear about?

What about preware? Where do I see that?
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Old 08/14/2012, 09:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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And if somebody reads this thread and knows about apps or functionality whatever that haven't been mentioned, I'd still love to hear it...
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Old 08/14/2012, 10:03 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Have a look at the APPS menu item on the front page of WebOS Nation.
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Old 08/15/2012, 04:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by xandros9 View Post
1) Not familiar with Google Voice

2) there is a home brew google maps app. Im not sure about turn-by-turn navigation, but im sure there's GPS support. (may want to look into "Navit")

3) 4) 5) Google is directly integrated into webOS
Contacts, Calendar and Gmail are accessible.

6) I never used them, so I wouldn't know

7) There is a FB app, not as up to date though, and there are some minor bugs. The website works decently though.
8) There are a boatload of Twitter clients (both free and paid) (I like phnx/Project Macaw)
9) There are several weather apps. I personally use The Weather Channel one.

Note: Straight Talk is only on GSM networks AFAIK. The VZW model won't support it. You'd have to get the Unlocked GSM variant of the Pre2 to use ST.

If you're considering webOS, be sure you know what you're getting.
I tried Navit, it just works on WebOS 1.4.x. On my Pre3 with 2.2.4 it does not work.
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Old 08/15/2012, 05:47 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TouchToLove View Post
I tried Navit, it just works on WebOS 1.4.x. On my Pre3 with 2.2.4 it does not work.
Navit works very well on my EU Pre 3 with 2.2.4
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Old 08/15/2012, 07:13 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TouchToLove View Post
I tried Navit, it just works on WebOS 1.4.x. On my Pre3 with 2.2.4 it does not work.
Worked on my Pre 2 with 2.2.4
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Old 08/15/2012, 07:16 AM   #15 (permalink)
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There is a onboard app called 'App Catalog' which is the webOS App Store. Apps are obtainable from there. Also, you can browse it online (I think)

Preware is installed by activating Developer Mode and installing it via webOS Quick Install, which is a desktop version of Preware.
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Old 08/15/2012, 10:45 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Your entry to the homebrew app catalog: App Gallery | webOS Nation

The official HP app catalog is not really online browsable... if you know the id of an app, you can view the description online, like this one: https://developer.palm.com/appredire...ftware.tallier (sorry, has nothing to do with your questions, first link that I stumbled uppon ).

Preware is an app to browse the homebrew app catalog and install apps from there, so that's only useful with a webOS device, also...

You could install the SDK and try out the emulator. But you can't get apps there easily, and especially not from the catalog. Maybe that helps to understand the device menu (klick on the top right). With Homebrew patches (aka Advanced Device Menu) you can freely configure that menu, which makes it very powerful.
On the other hand there is no real need to turn of wifi on webOS, if you are outside. I experimented with that and never managed to get a significant runtime improvement, just as side note.

AFAIK there is no way in webOS to get to the cell ID of the network. So to do anything smart based on the location, GPS is your only hope. There is a homebrew app called "modeswitcher" which offers A LOT of possibilities: Mode Switcher | webOS Nation

You see where that goes: Homebrew is your friend in webOS land...
It's also easy to use... just type in webos20090606, the developer mode app appears, enable developer mode, qoogle for webos quick install, download the latest version (4.3.something), install preware from that, start Preware on the device and install homebrew and patches from that (Preware works much better than quick install for installation stuff, sadly).

Anyway, webOS is the first smartphone OS my wife likes to use... so that's an ultimate plus that neither Andriod nor iOS had...
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Old 08/15/2012, 11:01 AM   #17 (permalink)
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AFAIK there is no way in webOS to get to the cell ID of the network. So to do anything smart based on the location, GPS is your only hope. There is a homebrew app called "modeswitcher" which offers A LOT of possibilities: Mode Switcher | webOS Nation
This function is called A-GPS, but the webOS only enable when the GPS is on.


Best Regards...
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Old 08/15/2012, 02:52 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Sorry Czechoslovakia is a non existing country for about 20 years now. They are two different countries since then .

Your parents are real power users...

Why you came around WebOS? Do they demand a physical keyboard?

Navit works fine on 2.2.4 Veer and Pre3. Many of those coupon sides are using rss feeds too, so a designated app is maybe not nedeed.

So far for myself I can say, what is missing is whatsapp and a sip-soft client for my home pbx (skype wont help here).
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Old 08/15/2012, 10:02 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I wouldn't buy a WebOS phone at this point. They are aging and not supported anymore.
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Old 08/15/2012, 10:55 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I wouldn't buy a WebOS phone at this point. They are aging and not supported anymore.
I agree with 'rnld' with not buying a WebOS phone, no matter how cheap you could find them online either on eBay or Amazon. Those phones could still be useful for making calls, but if you intent of using them for more than that "hint": look elsewhere. The WebOS phones could be a great device phone to buy back in the days, where there was still a promise than WebOS was going to be bigger and more competitive with HP. However, looking on how things are going on the WebOSLand, I wouldn't even say anything or recommend buying a phone that runs on the WebOS operating system. There is no reason, you should be going into this hacker stuff with installing home-brew and installing patches....when you could go a find a nice phone that works out the box without no need of tinkering.

So here is a huge list that should guide you, into skipping a cheap sell on a WebOS phones. Five things that you should know to avoid a sour taste in your mouth when buying into a new WebOS cheap phone online(Palm Veer, Pre 2, Pre 3).

1) The WebOS phones are getting old, if something breaks or whatever you no longer could find someone to repair it or spare parts.
2) No more software updates are coming anymore(so whatever bugs you encounter within the WebOS 2.0, you stuck with it) and of course it no longer offers support from no-one(from HP nor devs).
3) The HP catalog looks like an old haunted towns(like if appolocapse had just happened), its empty and it has no useful apps and whatever its left is no longer relevant.
4) While you could enjoy using the operating system(we once liked WebOS) with its intelligent multitasking abilities, using the WebOS browser among other things its a hair pulling experience.
5) That OpenWebOS which everyone has been salivating for years, it will not be supported on your device(even if you spend money on $400 dollars Palm Pre 3)
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