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  1. WhoMe's Avatar
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       #1  
    I’ve owned a Pre + with Verizon since March. This is the first smart phone I’ve owned, though it’s not the first one I’ve used. That being said I was impressed with Web OS and its UI immediately. It wasn’t long before I found the forums and soon I was making changes to my phone. I’m themed, patched, and over clocked. I did these things not because I didn’t think the phone was good enough stock, but because I’m a geek and this stuff is fun. The side effect being that my phone now hauls booty as compared to stock.

    Anyway I had spent some time with a Moto Droid back in December. I thought it was a cool phone, with what felt like rock solid hardware. However Android and the systems UI felt bare, like using an old windows machine; yeah it works, but it’s not fun to use or very interesting. When I became a Pre owner I was surprised how much more fluid and user friendly its OS/UI was compared to Android. Managing your phone with nothing but gestures really makes the touch screen interface work naturally. In My opinion this is how a touch screen interface should work. Android is different. It’s as if its UI’s designers set out to build a hybrid system in terms of control paradigms. Android uses touch screen as its sandbox, with a physical row of buttons as its remote control. When compared to WebOS this system just feels awkward, stunted.

    I’ve really become a fan of Mobile technology because of WebOS, so out of curiosity I decided to give Android another try. I thought perhaps my initial impression of Android was tainted because I was a complete noob to smart phone devices; maybe because I hadn’t had any experience with smart phones I hadn’t appreciated Android properly. So I borrowed a friend’s LG Ally with Android 2.1 and set out to use it for a week. I made it three days. For starters the hardware sucked and lagged more than my stock Pre did. And while the Pre is sluggish, I feel it’s consistent and stable. Android on the other hand stutters, freezes, or crashes regularly on what I would call a modest load (Pandora/texting/internet browser). Now granted I’m not saying that WebOS has never failed me, but not with the frequency and manner in which Android did.

    Ok, I know what you Android guys are thinking. “Well DUH it was a bad experience, it was an LG Ally!”; arguably about as underwhelming an Android phone as the Driod Eris. So I chalked part of my experience up to the fact that the hardware wasn’t up to snuff. Well something happened on my third day, another reason why I gave up on the Ally. I got to use a Motorola Droid X (a whole night!), no need to toy with a handicapped Android phone anymore, heres the KING! Wow, what a machine. Its screen is huge, but it’s thin. It’s light but solidly built. Its form factor is sharp, clean, stealth even. I felt like I was holding a gadget from the future. This is nice hardware, really nice. I put it right up there with how the iPhone 4 feels. I spent a day with that too. But anyway that a whole different discussion.

    Android on good hardware is better. No crashing, almost no instances of stutter in any of the interfaces transitions. This kind of hardware plants Android solidly into place, making it stable and fast. Also Moto’s new Android skin is unobtrusive, and useful. However it’s STILL not WebOS. When I reactivated my Pre it was like I could breathe again. I never before realized how well multitasking is implemented in WebOS. Going from email, to Pandora, to YouTube, to the Browser to an SMS card to whatever is just soooo butter. I could have them all going at once and easily see what’s happening and toggle between them with ease. Android on a clunker like the Ally or in a Sports car like the X is still Android. Its still, stop what you’re doing, hit the home screen and poof the last app is gone, launch into the next. It’s so….well… like… stop motion animation. The only thing that saves Android awkward control scheme is the speed of the OS and the impressive speeds of the new hardware. Apps open almost instantly and its Widgets are cool looking and useful. Now I’m not worried about closing (killing) apps but it absolutely sucks that there is no easy way to see what’s going on. No easy way to go back to what I was doing. There is no uniformity to the apps. How do these Android guys put up with this!? WebOS apps while not plentiful all share a type of uniformity. I always know what to do in a WebOS app when I want to adjust its properties. In Android it’s sometimes like a game of hide and seek even though the menu BUTTON…is supposed to keep things uniform. The Droid X makes my mouth water, but I still walked away from it going, wow if WebOS had hardware like that…
    Last edited by WhoMe; 07/07/2010 at 12:00 PM. Reason: Grammer, Foul Language and Typography.
  2. #2  
    ...the OS would still be behind today's standards.


    But maybe WebOS would at least be more responsive.
  3. WhoMe's Avatar
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       #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by Brain Mantis View Post
    ...the OS would still be behind today's standards.


    But maybe WebOS would at least be more responsive.
    I think today's "standards" are behind WebOS.
  4. #4  
    Certainly not in available API's for app development. But if precentral is just constantly going to go back to the multi-tasking UI then sure.

    At least admit that Palm/HP needs to bring not only the hardware up but the software up. Clinging to a UI will only get you so far. The multi-tasking pony obviously wasn't enough for most people. (hell that and notifications are my favorite part of the Pre but other phones do it good enough where the other benefits on those devices easily out weight what the Pre does better).

    Of course all of this is in my opinion....as those features can be the top 2 for some people so clearly WebOS is for them.
  5. #5  
    I don't get how people think Android is necessarily "stop what you're doing...go back to the home screen" when using it.

    Folks, there's a notification shade. If you care to pull it down, you can access any Gtalk or SMS or IM conversations that are going on, just like Pre. Hold down the home button for just two seconds, and you get rght back to whatever it was you were doing. Even better, many different programs use this feature unlike WebOS where it's just music and IM. You can track downloads in the background while you browse while you are getting IMs while you are also receiving email...all from the same screen.

    WebOS' card UI is indeed elegant and nifty. It is not the be all, end all when it comes to smartphone multitasking.
  6. WhoMe's Avatar
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       #6  
    I absolutely agree Palm/HP need to improve on their technology to compete. If not only to get people's attention.

    Stupid marketing and a bad reputation hurt Palm and WebOS. Most people didn't make their choice based on the experience, because honestly most didn't even get as far as using WebOS. Those things mentioned above combined with an enormous corporate push to put iPhone OS and Android up front pretty much killed WebOS's chances. But honestly that is a whole different discussion.

    I do not believe WebOS is the Pre's limiting factor. In fact its quite the opposite....the OS and the UI is the ONLY thing that saved Palm. The world of Tech media still praise WebOS. And HP saved it from the brink only because of WebOS. That much is abundantly clear. Hell HP has stated as much.

    I'm not riding the UI Pony, I'm not a fan boy that clings to this single attribute as some sort of trump card. I feel on the whole that WebOS just works better. And even if I would concede that the way WebOS multi-tasks is it's trump card.....its one hell of a card. And if it's one Apple or Android can pull off then Id seriously consider switching.
  7. WhoMe's Avatar
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       #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikah912 View Post
    I don't get how people think Android is necessarily "stop what you're doing...go back to the home screen" when using it.

    Folks, there's a notification shade. If you care to pull it down, you can access any Gtalk or SMS or IM conversations that are going on, just like Pre. Hold down the home button for just two seconds, and you get rght back to whatever it was you were doing. Even better, many different programs use this feature unlike WebOS where it's just music and IM. You can track downloads in the background while you browse while you are getting IMs while you are also receiving email...all from the same screen.

    WebOS' card UI is indeed elegant and nifty. It is not the be all, end all when it comes to smartphone multitasking.
    Good points. But I was more referring to actually going from app to app...not notifications.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by WhoMe View Post
    Good points. But I was more referring to actually going from app to app...not notifications.
    But notifications (and their great browser system) make that easier.

    Let's say you are using an Android device as a typical Palm user uses the Pre: You have some music playing in the background - either Pandora/Slacker or on the device - and you are browsing several web pages at once, plus maybe messaging through either IM or GTalk and maybe checking Facebook or Twitter.

    On Android, all you have to do is start a conversation in GTalk or an IM or SMS app. Clunkier than the unified messaging of WebOS...to begin with. But once you start, everything comes through the notification shade on top and then it's very similar. What about the myriad of web pages you have open? Well, unlike WebOS, they are all in ONE APP instead of five different cards you scroll between, inefficiently eating up memory. So just use the home button long press to jump to the browser and either tab or swipe over to the page you want. With widgets, your Twitter and Facebook is actively being pushed to you, so you can hit the home screen and see it at a glance without opening another app or manually refreshing as you must do on WebOS. Another long press, and you're back to your browser.
  9. WhoMe's Avatar
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       #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikah912 View Post
    But notifications (and their great browser system) make that easier.

    Let's say you are using an Android device as a typical Palm user uses the Pre: You have some music playing in the background - either Pandora/Slacker or on the device - and you are browsing several web pages at once, plus maybe messaging through either IM or GTalk and maybe checking Facebook or Twitter.

    On Android, all you have to do is start a conversation in GTalk or an IM or SMS app. Clunkier than the unified messaging of WebOS...to begin with. But once you start, everything comes through the notification shade on top and then it's very similar. What about the myriad of web pages you have open? Well, unlike WebOS, they are all in ONE APP instead of five different cards you scroll between, inefficiently eating up memory. So just use the home button long press to jump to the browser and either tab or swipe over to the page you want. With widgets, your Twitter and Facebook is actively being pushed to you, so you can hit the home screen and see it at a glance without opening another app or manually refreshing as you must do on WebOS. Another long press, and you're back to your browser.
    I do agree how the browser works needs to change. I would also concede that I didn't spend enough time with Android for those systems to become second nature to me and thus highly usable. I also agree that Widgets bring a lot of vital functionality to Android and that Widgets would be a great addition to WebOS

    However I still feel that in an App centric market, how an OS manages it's individual apps is more important to the function of a mobile OS than notifications and Widgets. Each app is it's own microcosm, and for better or worse thanks to the iPhone thats what people are used to. Being able to zoom in and out of those apps allows for a more fluid user experience. WebOS has that.

    P.S. Thanks for the civil exchange...this is the kind of stuff I enjoy about our forum.
  10. spare's Avatar
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    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikah912 View Post
    I don't get how people think Android is necessarily "stop what you're doing...go back to the home screen" when using it.

    Folks, there's a notification shade. If you care to pull it down, you can access any Gtalk or SMS or IM conversations that are going on, just like Pre. Hold down the home button for just two seconds, and you get rght back to whatever it was you were doing. Even better, many different programs use this feature unlike WebOS where it's just music and IM. You can track downloads in the background while you browse while you are getting IMs while you are also receiving email...all from the same screen.

    WebOS' card UI is indeed elegant and nifty. It is not the be all, end all when it comes to smartphone multitasking.
    Can you take a screenshot of this? Don't the android notification pane take up the screen making the app behind it unusable? Correct me if I'm wrong, I didn't think you can do all that in one screen shot. And are you saying only music and IM is used in the webos notifications?

    And how is having a card per web page inefficient? Isn't this what google is doing with their chrome browser? I much prefer how the chrome browser is a new window per tab over how firefox has all it's tab in one browser. That way it's less likely the whole browser freezes when one tab is causing a problem.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by spare View Post
    Can you take a screenshot of this? Don't the android notification pane take up the screen making the app behind it unusable? Correct me if I'm wrong, I didn't think you can do all that in one screen shot. And are you saying only music and IM is used in the webos notifications?
    Primarily. I get random notifications saying the People Magazine app is updating news or the odd additional notification (e.g. Facebook) here and there, but largely this feature is unused by third party WebOS apps.

    As for the the notification shade, I'm not going to use the app at the same time I am reading messages and notifications anyway. The point is that, like WebOS, they sit there until you are ready to view them. You can just get more information from the Android shade than the WebOS area.

    And how is having a card per web page inefficient? Isn't this what google is doing with their chrome browser? I much prefer how the chrome browser is a new window per tab over how firefox has all it's tab in one browser. That way it's less likely the whole browser freezes when one tab is causing a problem.
    Inefficient in terms of system resources for a smartphone.
  12. spare's Avatar
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    #12  
    I see a lot of webos apps use notifications in some way (ie. sports live, power nap, geostrings, bumper to bumper, weather dashboard, etc.). If an app doesn't use notifications, it's not the fault of the os anyway. I actually have used an app while checking info in the notification dashboard in webos quite a few times (you can scroll in an app without the dashboard minimizing). It's convenient at times since it's less swipes to go back and forth.

    Do you have data on how much ram the webos browser takes compared to android's browser?

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