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iPhone Rene Returns to Palm, Needs Your Help! -- Round Robin
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Old 01/18/2010, 01:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey folks, Rene from theiphoneblog.com (TiPb if you're savvy) here to check out the new digs!

TreoCentral was my first SPE experience. I believe some heavy-handed mod named Septimus kept trying to ban me. But whatever. TC was there for me from the Treo 600 to the Treo 680, and last year when their Round Robin entry was the HTC WinMo Pro... er.... Treo Pro.

This year, however, the 2009 Smartphone Round Robin brings me to a whole new forum and even better -- and entirely new OS! webOS, to be specific, and you phenomenal folks here at PreCentral.net, whom I'm hoping can help me figure out this Palm Pre and Palm Pixi.

1. The multitouch part I'm okay with. Familiar territory. But the keyboard at the bottom of both, do I *really* need it? I've gotten to love virtual keyboards so much I've arrogantly proclaimed the era of physical keyboards is over. Was Ruby right though, and Jobs wrong, would none of you prefer a webOS slab with a huge screen and no keyboard? Like an HD2 or Nexus style webOS OGRE?

2. You totally kick Apple's **** on notifications and multitasking. The multitasking visual metaphor is so good, in fact, that it's making me mad I can drag between cards. I do that a lot on the desktop, click and drag between windows. Is that something you can see Palm adding to webOS, tap and drag between cards? Or is that even needed on a mobile device yet?

3. Arguably, with almost no money and limited resources, Palm out-innovated everyone last year. I'll say straight out they clowned Google, who I'm sure wishes they thought of webOS first, and couldn't improve Android as fast as Palm launched an entirely new OS. How did they do this? Rubinstein's vision? California magic? And if it forces other companies to innovate just as fast, given that limited money and resources, how can Palm keep up with the Apple and Google types?

4. What do you think about the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus? From last year to this, Apple went from the iPhone 3G/2.0 to iPhone 3GS/3.0, Android went from the G1/1.0 to the DROID/2.0. On the other hand, Microsoft went from Windows Mobile 6 to 6.5 and BlackBerry from the 9000 to 9700. How much of an improvement has Palm made over the last year, and blending into the previous question, is it enough for you? What are you happy they added, what are you sad they didn't?

5. What's next for Palm? They're getting on more carriers, so what else do they need 2010 to bring? Do they need webOS 2.0? Another device form-factor? Some huge app announcements? A content deal? Their own local sync software? What pieces do they simply have to add this year not just to survive, but to be one of the big players heading into 2011?

6. If you could steal one feature of the iPhone and give it to webOS, what would it be? By contrast, what single feature does webOS have you'd miss most if you had to switch to an iPhone (like for the Round Robin). There's pros and cons to every device, so I'm trying to get the best sense of trade-offs I can.

Thanks PC! Look forward to chatting with you, and remember this is an official Round Robin thread -- every day you reply to me right here, you're entered for another chance to win a Palm webOS device of your very own!
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Old 01/18/2010, 02:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm going to go with a short one-factor response here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rene Ritchie View Post
1. The multitouch part I'm okay with. Familiar territory. But the keyboard at the bottom of both, do I *really* need it? I've gotten to love virtual keyboards so much I've arrogantly proclaimed the era of physical keyboards is over. Was Ruby right though, and Jobs wrong, would none of you prefer a webOS slab with a huge screen and no keyboard? Like an HD2 or Nexus style webOS OGRE?
I'll try to be honest. I like virtual keyboards very much. It's more comfortable and less work on your fingers. The pre's keys don't depress very easily and I'm starting to wonder about carpel tunnel. But... let's face it... even on a sophisticated powerful virtual keyboard like the iphone, typing is slow. You just can't reach the speeds you can with a physical keyboard... and touch-typing?? Forget it!

As for the "slab" part, I don't want a phone that doesn't fit in my front jeans pocket. The people I know with iphones carry them in jacket pockets (men are lucky tards too who get pockets even in suits!) and things like that and are always losing track of them. I admit the screen is huge and slick and it's aesthetically pleasing (which is very important to me), but it's not practical. With a more solid build, the pre's hardware would basically be perfect.
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Old 01/18/2010, 02:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Give me a real keyboard any day, many people feel this way, gotta have a real button to push.
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Old 01/18/2010, 02:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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1. The multitouch part I'm okay with. Familiar territory. But the keyboard at the bottom of both, do I *really* need it? I've gotten to love virtual keyboards so much I've arrogantly proclaimed the era of physical keyboards is over. Was Ruby right though, and Jobs wrong, would none of you prefer a webOS slab with a huge screen and no keyboard? Like an HD2 or Nexus style webOS OGRE?
I will never buy a Smartphone without a physical keyboard. I come from a long like of Treos (back to the Treo 600 that I got in 2003) I have tried various virtual keyboards: the iPhone/iTouch keyboards, some of the Android keyboards, and even the Pre Virtual Keyboard patch. I am a heavy texter/emailer and would never be able to rely on a virtual keyboard for 100% of my needs. Sure, if it was fast enough and integrated enough, I may use a virtual keyboard for some quick things, but I have absolutely no issues with the Pre's keyboard and have gotten used to sliding out the keyboard for a quick text entry and closing the slider. Even for landscape mode, its not a huge issue to rotate, type, flip back (even if that is not ideal). Also, I will state that I do not like horizontal sliders, either. The Palm style is just about perfect for me!

2. You totally kick Apple's **** on notifications and multitasking. The multitasking visual metaphor is so good, in fact, that it's making me mad I can drag between cards. I do that a lot on the desktop, click and drag between windows. Is that something you can see Palm adding to webOS, tap and drag between cards? Or is that even needed on a mobile device yet?
With copy/paste (even as limited as it is now), not sure we need the drop/drag between cards. It might be nice, but I doubt I would use it much. I am happy with the implementation of it right now


3. Arguably, with almost no money and limited resources, Palm out-innovated everyone last year. I'll say straight out they clowned Google, who I'm sure wishes they thought of webOS first, and couldn't improve Android as fast as Palm launched an entirely new OS. How did they do this? Rubinstein's vision? California magic? And if it forces other companies to innovate just as fast, given that limited money and resources, how can Palm keep up with the Apple and Google types?
I think it really comes down to the fact that Palm HAD TO do an amazing job with webOS or they would go out of business. If Android was a flop, Google still has a ton of money in the bank and a big business. But Palm had to do a great job. Hopefully, they can force other companies to innovate as fast, because that would also cause Palm to go even faster (hopefully), and in the end, the consumer wins! In the end, though, I just hope webOS really takes off in the global market (and specifically in the US on Verizon and eventaully AT&T) and webOS because a true competitor. If that happens, Palm will grow, get more money and then can spend it on further updates! Imagine what they could do with 2x or 3x the manpower and money!


4. What do you think about the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus? From last year to this, Apple went from the iPhone 3G/2.0 to iPhone 3GS/3.0, Android went from the G1/1.0 to the DROID/2.0. On the other hand, Microsoft went from Windows Mobile 6 to 6.5 and BlackBerry from the 9000 to 9700. How much of an improvement has Palm made over the last year, and blending into the previous question, is it enough for you? What are you happy they added, what are you sad they didn't?
I don't see the Pre/Pixi Plus as the 2.0 device. It has only been a little over 7 months and to me, this is just the evolution of their 1.0 product. So, give us 6 more months and lets see. Either way, though, webOS 1.0.1 vs 1.3.5.1 (and soon 1.4) is like night and day. The phone is SO MUCH BETTER now than compared to at launch. And with homebrew, it's even that much better!



5. What's next for Palm? They're getting on more carriers, so what else do they need 2010 to bring? Do they need webOS 2.0? Another device form-factor? Some huge app announcements? A content deal? Their own local sync software? What pieces do they simply have to add this year not just to survive, but to be one of the big players heading into 2011?
They need to keep working on webOS and sell more units! More units = more users = more developers = more apps. Personally, I love the form factor of the Pre, but I can understand going to a more Droid/Nexus One size phone with a bigger screen, as long as they can keep the physical keyboard (see point #1). I just want them to focus more on the software to get it to a good 2.0 device first, then look at more major changes to the hardware. Also, they need to create some local sync/backup feature, or allow access to the Palm Profile via the web. Oh, and keep working on those APIs. with video recording around the corner, now we need microphone and sound support and better memory management. Better Battery life would be bad thing either!


6. If you could steal one feature of the iPhone and give it to webOS, what would it be? By contrast, what single feature does webOS have you'd miss most if you had to switch to an iPhone (like for the Round Robin). There's pros and cons to every device, so I'm trying to get the best sense of trade-offs I can.
I want the smoothness of the iPhone. While it's better than it was back in June, the Pre can still be laggy and appear slow. The iPhone is just smooth. I would like that. Also, while I don't need 100,000 apps, I am jealous of some of the apps out there... we want more!
For webOS, it would be the multitasking that I miss, with the notifications a close 2nd. It's just so easy to multitask and I have become so reliant on it, I would miss that! Also, the homebrew community is amazing and I would miss them! The webOS OS is such an open platform and Palm is so open to Homebrew (both apps and patches) that you really do have a community here who love the devices and the software!
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Old 01/18/2010, 02:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Rene, to get the full use of your experience let me give you one tip, leave a few of the most accessed programs open and running (except browser, it eats battery i believe) this is how the os was designed to be used IMHO. it makes things much faster and smoother.


1) I don't see why it can't be both ways, I wouldn't mind having a virtual keyboard option available to me as well, but for many things, the physical keyboard is preferred.

some reasons include the ability to type while looking at someone else, and pretending to pay attention, say in a meeting. another is familiarity. there are virtual keyboards available for the pre, if you go into patching, you might want to look there, if you get a chance.

2) you bring up an excellent point, and one that i am surprised isn't raised here, I too would like to drag and drop within the device for certain things, a more advanced copy and paste would be the first iteration, but other things, contacts for example, would be a great start.

if steve jobs has his druthers, i'm sure he is looking at this as a way to leap over the pre's multitasking in whatever he unveils on the 27th. frankly I am expecting it if there is a apple tablet running an iphone type OS, it had certainly better.

Mr Rubenstien, i am guessing, is probably batted this idea about with the engenieers at palm as well, i look forward to it happening in the future (2.0 perhaps?)

3) while the money issue has improved (they have some hundreds of millions from that stock sell, though its funny money to me, since i don't understand how you can both be in debt and have millions, oh, wait, I'm living on student loans, so i guess it kinda works?) but yes, they certainly did not squander resources and have made a damn impressive phone. what can they do next to stay on that course will be implement new features, alla your point number 2. Unlike apple, they haven't done much innovation in the physical relm. I think that is what takes some real deep pockets. I would love to see them develop a form with dual lcd and e-ink technologies. I can immagine an enlarged PDA form, running a webos with drag'n drop.
what can they actually do, I think that the pronged approach to app distribution is a long term ace in the hole for palm. that Ares is amazing, I don't know how to write code for a damn, but am working on a simple application for myself, fitting a specific nich, I don't know who else has built tools and will let me do that, as well as open up the hardware to the fancy coder's of the world. its pretty amazing.

4) I like the pre and pixi plus because it shows palm can keep producing and tweaking new devices and moves forward, its a good healthy thing IMHO.

IN the same vein, palm has moved the device forward dramatically, things like video recording and flash are comming, 3d games are here. they respond (relative to the field) quickly and directly to user concerns, its very refreshing.

5) I think as i eluded to above, some return to there initial device, a handheld with a larger screen and that PDA functionality could be useful, perhaps an in-between of the tablet and PDA. a slide out keyboard perhaps? I don't particularly like the candybar form factor to be honest but seems many people call for it, so perhaps that. also, there own local and complete sync software would be nice, even just an official total clone mechanism that you could doctor back too should you need it. I don't fully trust the cloud or any other bit of technology.

6) I would like to use the GPU for GUI, I am wishing for it in 1.4 but wouldn't bet on it for another few releases. the iphone has some launch speeds that are much better. that being said, I leave most of the important apps open in cards and can get to them much faster than on an iphone. but since that will likely be taken care of in the near future, i would also like to see voice recognition at some point.

outside of the visual multitasking, I think the iphone could use more gestures, this point and click icon based only way of moving around is basically like my old zire72 pda, its functional, but not as efficient, or elegant.
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Old 01/18/2010, 02:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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For the first time yesterday I used the on- screen keyboard on the Iphone. I must say I just loved it. I found it to be fast and I could type with no errors. I wouldn't mind if Palm went with that style keyboard. I would then like a bigger screen on the next Palm Device, maybe a 1/4" or 1/2" would be perfect. IMO besides some Apps I think the Pre Is a wonderful Device now, hoping the new updates live up to what everyones needs.
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Old 01/18/2010, 02:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Any one watch that episode of Psych where Shawn tried to touch-type on his iphone to give the police clues about where he was? The messages were hilariously garbled. That was prob my fav part of the ep.
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Old 01/18/2010, 05:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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1. Keyboard
I admit, I didn't like the keyboard that much when I first got my Pre (coming from a really old BB,) but I got used to it well enough and can type pretty fast, even one handed. I haven't used the pixi or pre plus, but I hear the keyboard on those is miles better. I've only used the iphone keyboard a couple times, and it seems that it would also take getting used to to be able to type reliably. Neither are that pick-up-and-type friendly IMO.
When it comes down to it, I'd prefer a hardware keyboard personally.

2. Tap and Drag
Copy and Pasting in WebOS seems like it could be improved. Where I run into trouble is selecting the text, the copy and paste commands are executed well with the aforementioned hardware keyboard.
You have to hold the shift key and tap to select the text, then press the gesture area and C, X, or V to Copy, Cut, or Paste.
Perhaps some kind of dragging mechanism would work well, but its hard for me to imagine making it work fluidly with the OS and form factor.

3. Innovation and Competition
Palm innovated out of desperation, from what I gather. They were on the brink. They also did it at just the right time, before the market got cornered completely by Apple and Android.
Technological innovation will only get you so far, you have to have the business model to back it up. Android and iphone are diametrically opposed in this area, with Apple being very controlling and uniform, and Android being very open and fragmented. I feel Palm has captured the best of both worlds with WebOS, as it is both very open and very uniform

4. Advancement
Man, so far Palm has listened very well to the community, and has made notable improvements in both hardware (Plus models) and software (new WebOS versions coming monthly.) I'm quite happy with the direction we're going.
Pretty much the only things left on my list are Flash, GPU accelerated GUI, and better battery life. 1 of those is coming next month, and the other 2 can be addressed with new hardware. So I can only hope for June

5. What's next?
All that you mentioned there is possible, and given our track record of improvements so far, shouldn't be more than a year or so out.

6. Trade-Offs
Hmm, not really sure what I would steal. The things iPhone has going for it over WebOS are intangible, not technical. The community, the stylishness, the hype...
I would miss the WebOS GUI the most. I'd be constantly trying to swipe applications away, swipe a nonexistent gesture area... come to think of it, I'd miss swiping in general. As Dieter mentioned in his review, Tap...Tap...Tap...
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Old 01/18/2010, 07:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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1. The multitouch part I'm okay with. Familiar territory. But the keyboard at the bottom of both, do I *really* need it? I've gotten to love virtual keyboards so much I've arrogantly proclaimed the era of physical keyboards is over. Was Ruby right though, and Jobs wrong, would none of you prefer a webOS slab with a huge screen and no keyboard? Like an HD2 or Nexus style webOS OGRE?

To each their own. Some prefer all touch, some prefer keyboard. For me, I prefer hardware keyboards. Easier for me to use with one hand and not worry about my input as much. I am just accustomed to it now. You get used to what you have.

2. You totally kick Apple's **** on notifications and multitasking. The multitasking visual metaphor is so good, in fact, that it's making me mad I can drag between cards. I do that a lot on the desktop, click and drag between windows. Is that something you can see Palm adding to webOS, tap and drag between cards? Or is that even needed on a mobile device yet?

I don't think there is much use to drag and drop between cards as of now. Maybe once we get documents to go and openoffice.org. Even then, the OS pretty much associate files itself, so it really is not useful. For instance, regards when you have music, WebOS associate it with the music app and you can play that song. If we have bluetooth file transfer, then that will be a slightly different story, but I am sure Palm has a solution.

3. Arguably, with almost no money and limited resources, Palm out-innovated everyone last year. I'll say straight out they clowned Google, who I'm sure wishes they thought of webOS first, and couldn't improve Android as fast as Palm launched an entirely new OS. How did they do this? Rubinstein's vision? California magic? And if it forces other companies to innovate just as fast, given that limited money and resources, how can Palm keep up with the Apple and Google types?

The good thing about being small is that you don't need to sell as much as the big guys to stay in business. However, as they sell more phones, they will need more people to provide support. With that in mind, I think Palm will be able to compete and continue to innovate.

4. What do you think about the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus? From last year to this, Apple went from the iPhone 3G/2.0 to iPhone 3GS/3.0, Android went from the G1/1.0 to the DROID/2.0. On the other hand, Microsoft went from Windows Mobile 6 to 6.5 and BlackBerry from the 9000 to 9700. How much of an improvement has Palm made over the last year, and blending into the previous question, is it enough for you? What are you happy they added, what are you sad they didn't?

They have come a long way, but still have a ways to go. For my essential needs, the Pre gets the job done. The Pre Plus seems nice and ideal for power users and gaming folks, however, it will not cause me to change carriers since Sprint has been good to me. I will wait to see what they do with the Pre2. The improvements come rapidly and I like them in their current fashion

5. What's next for Palm? They're getting on more carriers, so what else do they need 2010 to bring? Do they need webOS 2.0? Another device form-factor? Some huge app announcements? A content deal? Their own local sync software? What pieces do they simply have to add this year not just to survive, but to be one of the big players heading into 2011?

They will probably add another device to replace the Pre and Pixi. Opening up the PDK to other developers is also on the books. I doubt they will do their own local sync software since they say they are trying to encourage developers to do something. I am guessing they will expand their mojo SDK and add a more fluid experience. What they will need is a power user device for business and gamers. Larger screen and more memory. I am fine with the Pre as of now though

6. If you could steal one feature of the iPhone and give it to webOS, what would it be? By contrast, what single feature does webOS have you'd miss most if you had to switch to an iPhone (like for the Round Robin). There's pros and cons to every device, so I'm trying to get the best sense of trade-offs I can.

If anything, probably just the speed that the OS moves. It would be a welcomed experience. I also like the glass screen in contrast to the plastic screen on the Pre. Besides that, nothing really. Not really that into apps.
As far as what I would want for the iPhone, probably the multitasking experience along with the notifications. ( Yeah I know you said one, but that is a strong 1-2 punch combo I find hard to do without now)
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Old 01/18/2010, 09:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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1. The multitouch part I'm okay with. Familiar territory. But the keyboard at the bottom of both, do I *really* need it? I've gotten to love virtual keyboards so much I've arrogantly proclaimed the era of physical keyboards is over. Was Ruby right though, and Jobs wrong, would none of you prefer a webOS slab with a huge screen and no keyboard? Like an HD2 or Nexus style webOS OGRE?

I've tried both, and physical keyboard is certainly better. Anyway, you can get used to either.

2. You totally kick Apple's **** on notifications and multitasking. The multitasking visual metaphor is so good, in fact, that it's making me mad I can't drag between cards. I do that a lot on the desktop, click and drag between windows. Is that something you can see Palm adding to webOS, tap and drag between cards? Or is that even needed on a mobile device yet?

Yup, certainly a nice idea if well implemented. Well, iPhone & Pre have both stretched the boundaries of what we thought was possible or needed on a mobile device.

3. Arguably, with almost no money and limited resources, Palm out-innovated everyone last year. I'll say straight out they clowned Google, who I'm sure wishes they thought of webOS first, and couldn't improve Android as fast as Palm launched an entirely new OS. How did they do this? Rubinstein's vision? California magic? And if it forces other companies to innovate just as fast, given that limited money and resources, how can Palm keep up with the Apple and Google types?

Having the end-to-end experience in control helps. Android is too unfocused, for example. And Palm/Handspring has done this before. Their one constraint is if market forces start dominating engineering considerations.

4. What do you think about the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus? From last year to this, Apple went from the iPhone 3G/2.0 to iPhone 3GS/3.0, Android went from the G1/1.0 to the DROID/2.0. On the other hand, Microsoft went from Windows Mobile 6 to 6.5 and BlackBerry from the 9000 to 9700. How much of an improvement has Palm made over the last year, and blending into the previous question, is it enough for you? What are you happy they added, what are you sad they didn't?

It's been more of a change in 7/8 months than any other platform (on the same device). But yeah, I want more. I would want more if I had an iPhone, too.

5. What's next for Palm? They're getting on more carriers, so what else do they need 2010 to bring? Do they need webOS 2.0? Another device form-factor? Some huge app announcements? A content deal? Their own local sync software? What pieces do they simply have to add this year not just to survive, but to be one of the big players heading into 2011?

Umm, after the 1.4 and Flash/PDK/Ares/Video, I think it would take another form factor or big changes to a webOs 2.0 to really excite me.

6. If you could steal one feature of the iPhone and give it to webOS, what would it be? By contrast, what single feature does webOS have you'd miss most if you had to switch to an iPhone (like for the Round Robin). There's pros and cons to every device, so I'm trying to get the best sense of trade-offs I can.

Speed, compass, better autofocusing camera. I would also like to steal Google Navigator from Android. And I would miss an OS built for multitasking and smart notifications. Using iPhone now is like if I were using a (very pretty/powerful) DOS based OS which was always full screen and teh only way programs communicated was thru popups. There's no justification for such a smartphone OS anymore.
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Old 01/18/2010, 10:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for the feedback so far, you folks remain awesome!

I've posted the video walkthrough Dieter gave me on the Palm Pre and Pixi last month, and just added the Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus tour he gave Kevin and me at CES 2010.

http://www.theiphoneblog.com/2010/01...rtphone-robin/

Back with more questions soon!
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Old 01/18/2010, 10:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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1. The multitouch part I'm okay with. Familiar territory. But the keyboard at the bottom of both, do I *really* need it? I've gotten to love virtual keyboards so much I've arrogantly proclaimed the era of physical keyboards is over. Was Ruby right though, and Jobs wrong, would none of you prefer a webOS slab with a huge screen and no keyboard? Like an HD2 or Nexus style webOS OGRE?

I prefer a small phone which makes virtual keyboards even more difficult. Pocketablity is more important to me than screen size so physical keyboards are a must.

2. You totally kick Apple's **** on notifications and multitasking. The multitasking visual metaphor is so good, in fact, that it's making me mad I can drag between cards. I do that a lot on the desktop, click and drag between windows. Is that something you can see Palm adding to webOS, tap and drag between cards? Or is that even needed on a mobile device yet?

Without an official file management UI on the phone, I don't see this happening.

3. Arguably, with almost no money and limited resources, Palm out-innovated everyone last year. I'll say straight out they clowned Google, who I'm sure wishes they thought of webOS first, and couldn't improve Android as fast as Palm launched an entirely new OS. How did they do this? Rubinstein's vision? California magic? And if it forces other companies to innovate just as fast, given that limited money and resources, how can Palm keep up with the Apple and Google types?

Palm can stay in the smartphone game by keeping focus on only making smartphones while the big guys do tablets, tv's and open phone stores. Very happy Ruby joined Palm to direct their focus.

4. What do you think about the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus? From last year to this, Apple went from the iPhone 3G/2.0 to iPhone 3GS/3.0, Android went from the G1/1.0 to the DROID/2.0. On the other hand, Microsoft went from Windows Mobile 6 to 6.5 and BlackBerry from the 9000 to 9700. How much of an improvement has Palm made over the last year, and blending into the previous question, is it enough for you? What are you happy they added, what are you sad they didn't?

This year's CES annoucement surpassed any realistic expectations for the growth of webos in the near future. No one thought we'd already have 3d games and native support this soon. So realistically, I can't complain and believe the things we don't have will eventually come to webos. Also, I love how we get a significant update about every 6 weeks.

5. What's next for Palm? They're getting on more carriers, so what else do they need 2010 to bring? Do they need webOS 2.0? Another device form-factor? Some huge app announcements? A content deal? Their own local sync software? What pieces do they simply have to add this year not just to survive, but to be one of the big players heading into 2011?

They need to finally grab that casual market that Ruby designed webos for. Going on Verizon is a big step and now they need to market the heck out of it and get the word out. A bigger screen device would help broaden it's appeal too. I don't see why Palm can't grab a big enough piece of the growing smart phone market to thrive.

6. If you could steal one feature of the iPhone and give it to webOS, what would it be? By contrast, what single feature does webOS have you'd miss most if you had to switch to an iPhone (like for the Round Robin). There's pros and cons to every device, so I'm trying to get the best sense of trade-offs I can.

From the iphone, I would like optimized coding for improved speed of apps. From the webos, visual multitasking. I don't even stream music anymore but am hooked on webos multitasking because I use it so much thanks to how easy it is to use.

Anyway, enjoyed your articles during the round robin. You're bias but you back up your opinions well, (whether or not I agree with them).
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Old 01/18/2010, 10:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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1. The multitouch part I'm okay with. Familiar territory. But the keyboard at the bottom of both, do I *really* need it? I've gotten to love virtual keyboards so much I've arrogantly proclaimed the era of physical keyboards is over. Was Ruby right though, and Jobs wrong, would none of you prefer a webOS slab with a huge screen and no keyboard? Like an HD2 or Nexus style webOS OGRE?
To each his own. I personally make too many mistakes typing on my Ipod touch on my MSN application. Virtual keyboards just don't do it for me, I much prefer a phsyical keyboard.
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Old 01/19/2010, 10:12 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Hey folks, Rene from theiphoneblog.com (TiPb if you're savvy) here to check out the new digs!

TreoCentral was my first SPE experience. I believe some heavy-handed mod named Septimus kept trying to ban me. But whatever. TC was there for me from the Treo 600 to the Treo 680, and last year when their Round Robin entry was the HTC WinMo Pro... er.... Treo Pro.

This year, however, the 2009 Smartphone Round Robin brings me to a whole new forum and even better -- and entirely new OS! webOS, to be specific, and you phenomenal folks here at PreCentral.net, whom I'm hoping can help me figure out this Palm Pre and Palm Pixi.

1. The multitouch part I'm okay with. Familiar territory. But the keyboard at the bottom of both, do I *really* need it? I've gotten to love virtual keyboards so much I've arrogantly proclaimed the era of physical keyboards is over. Was Ruby right though, and Jobs wrong, would none of you prefer a webOS slab with a huge screen and no keyboard? Like an HD2 or Nexus style webOS OGRE?

2. You totally kick Apple's **** on notifications and multitasking. The multitasking visual metaphor is so good, in fact, that it's making me mad I can drag between cards. I do that a lot on the desktop, click and drag between windows. Is that something you can see Palm adding to webOS, tap and drag between cards? Or is that even needed on a mobile device yet?

3. Arguably, with almost no money and limited resources, Palm out-innovated everyone last year. I'll say straight out they clowned Google, who I'm sure wishes they thought of webOS first, and couldn't improve Android as fast as Palm launched an entirely new OS. How did they do this? Rubinstein's vision? California magic? And if it forces other companies to innovate just as fast, given that limited money and resources, how can Palm keep up with the Apple and Google types?

4. What do you think about the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus? From last year to this, Apple went from the iPhone 3G/2.0 to iPhone 3GS/3.0, Android went from the G1/1.0 to the DROID/2.0. On the other hand, Microsoft went from Windows Mobile 6 to 6.5 and BlackBerry from the 9000 to 9700. How much of an improvement has Palm made over the last year, and blending into the previous question, is it enough for you? What are you happy they added, what are you sad they didn't?

5. What's next for Palm? They're getting on more carriers, so what else do they need 2010 to bring? Do they need webOS 2.0? Another device form-factor? Some huge app announcements? A content deal? Their own local sync software? What pieces do they simply have to add this year not just to survive, but to be one of the big players heading into 2011?

6. If you could steal one feature of the iPhone and give it to webOS, what would it be? By contrast, what single feature does webOS have you'd miss most if you had to switch to an iPhone (like for the Round Robin). There's pros and cons to every device, so I'm trying to get the best sense of trade-offs I can.

Thanks PC! Look forward to chatting with you, and remember this is an official Round Robin thread -- every day you reply to me right here, you're entered for another chance to win a Palm webOS device of your very own!
1. You know you really don't need it. But is Palm limiting their market by choosing to make a physical kb mandatory? And do enough people prefer Palm's vision of a physical kb? I find it too small.

2. Tap and drag would be just making copy n paste harder..especially the pasting part. Visual copy n paste isn't needed. I could do without the kb integration that Palm requires though. Apple's isn't nearly as cumbersome to use.

3. Palm's entire existence depends on providing webOS on its own hardware. Android is simply another "in beta" project google has going to help keep google services plugged into mobile devices.

4. I think the question is worded wrong. Apple went from Iphone 3GS to well..iphone 3GS and a VERY minor 3.1 update. Droid's update to 2.0 didn't seem very deserving of a 2.0 title and still feels 1.x. In that respect, i think Palm improved at a faster pace. But Palm also had tons of things to address.

5. Palm needs hardware that isn't half baked quality. They need a way to do local full backups/restores and a way to manage apps better. And new marketing. If Palm is going to target the general consumers as Ruby claims (instead of busy people..lol) then they have to understand that market better and assume that market is made up of 6 year olds. In other words, make it simple and provide ***** proof DEFAULT ways (or handholding) for these people to set up and use the device. Palm's history of expecting the "general consumer" to find 3rd party apps to perform basic functions or figure out things on their own won't fly.

This can't be stressed enough. Imagine the number of people who lost contacts or is experiencing the how unreliable the Palm Profile is? Imagine all the support Palm and Sprint has to waste on it. Imagine all the returns people made. Imagine all the bad word of mouth these customers will spread. And now imagine how simple it would've been for Palm to have prevented it by providing a simple local backup.

These devices need to be required to be hooked up to a computer upon buying so these new users can be walked through. A sync (itunes like) desktop program should automatically install and let the tutorials begin step by step that walks the new user through the basics of setting up this phone and backing it up.

6. From webOS to the iphone: I'd want multitasking and the notifications of course

From iphone to webOS: I want that itunes like desktop app that allows me to manage my device with full backups and app management. I would have said better hardware quality like the iphone, but i can suffer exchanges if its as easy as pie to restore a new device..fully.

As crackberry kevin might say with his pyramid of hierarchy of smartphone needs (http://crackberry.com/crackberry-kev...ne-round-robin), Palm needs to address the bottom rows. This latest CES had palm addressing the top of it while the bottom remains full of gaping holes.
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Old 01/19/2010, 10:24 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks for the feedback so far, you folks remain awesome!

I've posted the video walkthrough Dieter gave me on the Palm Pre and Pixi last month, and just added the Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus tour he gave Kevin and me at CES 2010.

http://www.theiphoneblog.com/2010/01...rtphone-robin/

Back with more questions soon!
Thanks for the update! It's amazing how 6 weeks can make a huge difference for webOS. We now have 2x the Apps (even if its only 1% of the Apple App Catalog), 3D gaming, software updates, more carriers, soon-to-be video recording and flash, and a known way to get native apps! Pretty crazy! Now let's see what Apple brings next week!
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Old 01/19/2010, 11:47 AM   #16 (permalink)
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1. The multitouch part I'm okay with. Familiar territory. But the keyboard at the bottom of both, do I *really* need it? I've gotten to love virtual keyboards so much I've arrogantly proclaimed the era of physical keyboards is over. Was Ruby right though, and Jobs wrong, would none of you prefer a webOS slab with a huge screen and no keyboard? Like an HD2 or Nexus style webOS OGRE?
that's a pretty loaded question. I'm sure there are those who would prefer other form factors, such as prē-›pixi converts.
personally, I love the portrait slider. no need for reorientation to tap out quick messages... or enter a set of linux commands
in fact, I'm typing this from my prē right now.
of course, I would like to see the OPTION of an available virtual keyboard, mostly for landscape use.
(an official solution mind you, not a homebrew one.)
that would go prettily handily with a larger screen, as of now, I'd be ok with it covering a rather significant part of the screen.

Quote:
2. You totally kick Apple's **** on notifications and multitasking. The multitasking visual metaphor is so good, in fact, that it's making me mad I can drag between cards. I do that a lot on the desktop, click and drag between windows. Is that something you can see Palm adding to webOS, tap and drag between cards? Or is that even needed on a mobile device yet?
I'm not sure what you mean here.
you're upset you can't drag between cards?
but you can.
simply bring applications into card view (swipe up) and hold your finger on them to drag and sort.
additionally, you can tap along the bottom screen area when in card view to minimize the cards further.

even if not in card view, you can perform a full swipe along the gesture area (full left or full right) to switch between apps.
the only issue I have with cards is they're not "connected" or "circular."
i.e. I can't perform a full left swipe to switch from the first card to bring the last card in the row to view.

Quote:
3. Arguably, with almost no money and limited resources, Palm out-innovated everyone last year. I'll say straight out they clowned Google, who I'm sure wishes they thought of webOS first, and couldn't improve Android as fast as Palm launched an entirely new OS. How did they do this? Rubinstein's vision? California magic? And if it forces other companies to innovate just as fast, given that limited money and resources, how can Palm keep up with the Apple and Google types?
google already had a legacy os platform in place (they bought android in '04 I believe) and apple used mac osx as the basis of their mobile os platform.

palm decided to scrap their previous offering completely and start afresh, marrying hardware with software for their new mobile work. this is particularly evident in their gesture implementation.
additionally, google's was (until recently) a halfway-there vision. they would bring things to bear on the software side and leave it up to their alliance members to finish ship on the hardware side.

going forward, palm has the complete support of their investors and is picking up traction, adding more carriers, countries and phones to their portfolio.

Quote:
4. What do you think about the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus? From last year to this, Apple went from the iPhone 3G/2.0 to iPhone 3GS/3.0, Android went from the G1/1.0 to the DROID/2.0. On the other hand, Microsoft went from Windows Mobile 6 to 6.5 and BlackBerry from the 9000 to 9700. How much of an improvement has Palm made over the last year, and blending into the previous question, is it enough for you? What are you happy they added, what are you sad they didn't?
the prē plus and pixi plus are the equivalent of last year's automobile models on sale to clear out inventory space for the new iterations.
verizon's the dealership receiving 2010's luxury spec vehicles with all the bells and whistles added on because unfortunately, they won't be receiving any shipments of 2011's offerings.

still, it's impressive palm's releasing a phone with 512mb of ram. only other phones boasting such are the htc hd2, sony ericsson xperia x10 and the google nexus one.

but hey rene, remember how all through 2009 palm kept announcing or releasing new updates/information and the like during apple's events to try and upstage them?

I'd wager they'll be in the headlines again on or around the wwdc with press releases on their new deal with at&t and exactly what the palm c40 in sprint's database is.
big news will be coming soon from palm and I'm expecting another phone offering in june.
maybe a prē2 or possibly even a full touchscreen slab form factor?
either way, I guarantee it'll be another exciting year for palm.

Quote:
5. What's next for Palm? They're getting on more carriers, so what else do they need 2010 to bring? Do they need webOS 2.0? Another device form-factor? Some huge app announcements? A content deal? Their own local sync software? What pieces do they simply have to add this year not just to survive, but to be one of the big players heading into 2011?
I have no idea what palm's turn-around roadmap looks like but I do expect the following:
- another form factor. either a full slab device or possibly even a landscape slider.
- big app announcements and releases.
i.e. eprocates
- webOS 2.0 to coincide with a new device release around june. (it was hinted users would be able to "test-drive" beta releases of future webOS updates)
- more gestures implemented.
- various improvements to standard webOS apps and software, especially synergy
i.e. better control of contact management and pulling
- perhaps a even palm-branded syncing solution la hotsync...?


Quote:
6. If you could steal one feature of the iPhone and give it to webOS, what would it be? By contrast, what single feature does webOS have you'd miss most if you had to switch to an iPhone (like for the Round Robin). There's pros and cons to every device, so I'm trying to get the best sense of trade-offs I can.
I expect palm to ape the digital compass implementation that's become prevalent in the iphone and android.
can't leave the augmented reality chaps out in the cold now, can we?

gestures, hands down.
it was a tough choice for me, multi-tasking, nonintrusive notifications or gestures.
I'll break down my decision:
- multi-tasking. sure, the iphone doesn't yet _really_ allow it's implementation. and though not as elegant and simple as webOS, you can at least still jailbreak the phone and duct tape it on.
- notifications. sure, the iphone's method is annoying (annoying pop-ups anyone?) but at least it's still there, right?
- gestures. navigating through an os has (desktop or mobile) has never seemed as simple or intuitive. simply put, it's elegant and beautiful.

notification? swipe it away.

bring up the launcher? swipe up.

cardview? swipe up.

bring app back in focus? swipe down.

back/forward? swipe left/right.

switch apps? full swipe left/right

bring up the dock without viewing the homescreen? gently swipe up.


truly, it's a beautiful thing.
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Old 01/19/2010, 12:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Assuming iphone 4.0 comes complete with gestures, multitasking, and improved notifications, and better syncing (form of synergy) what then becomes the reason to buy into webOS?

Well, aside from choice of carrier and a physical kb.

To make matters worse for Palm, I can imagine Apple marketing these as if Apple invented them. It seems like Palm has really never attempted to market its current unique features. To this date, i even hear from people "can you browse the web on the Pre? you know..like you can on the iphone"
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Old 01/19/2010, 12:58 PM   #18 (permalink)
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The good news for Palm is that these OS features were probably never a significant driver of sales to begin with so Apple adopting them for use in the iPhone probably isn't going to hurt that much. We may talk about them, here, a lot, however, 9 out of 10 Palm buyers probably don't know about these features.
You mean not a driver of sales until Apple introduces them :P C'mon, you know Apple with its advertising will make these new features common knowledge among the masses. And the masses will eat it up and go buy new iphones.

And Palm will be sitting there scratching their heads thinking "hey we have multitasking..we came up with that months ago." "If only we thought to tell people or show it off...but we thought showing off this bizarre woman instead would do the trick. Darn it"
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Old 01/19/2010, 01:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
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1. The multitouch part I'm okay with. Familiar territory. But the keyboard at the bottom of both, do I *really* need it? I've gotten to love virtual keyboards so much I've arrogantly proclaimed the era of physical keyboards is over. Was Ruby right though, and Jobs wrong, would none of you prefer a webOS slab with a huge screen and no keyboard? Like an HD2 or Nexus style webOS OGRE?
I need a physical keyboard for typing in my devices. I get along fine with a virtual one for calls, but you just can't beat the feedback of using real keys. Yes, the Pre's keyboard is hardly the best, but it did grow on me, and I certainly wouldn't trade it for anything. As for device size, I'm not sure. I'd love more resolution, but a modest increase would be better so it doesn't become too clunky.

Quote:
2. You totally kick Apple's **** on notifications and multitasking. The multitasking visual metaphor is so good, in fact, that it's making me mad I can drag between cards. I do that a lot on the desktop, click and drag between windows. Is that something you can see Palm adding to webOS, tap and drag between cards? Or is that even needed on a mobile device yet?
We've gotten this far with multitasking on a smartphone already, what you suggest is simply the next logical step. Of course, I think more resolution and bigger screens would be necessary for a useful implementation of that - and more office oriented apps. Of course, I'm not familiar with the iPhone app landscape, but at least on the Pre right now, there aren't many uses for that which the copy / paste mechanism doesn't handle quite well right now.

Quote:
3. Arguably, with almost no money and limited resources, Palm out-innovated everyone last year. I'll say straight out they clowned Google, who I'm sure wishes they thought of webOS first, and couldn't improve Android as fast as Palm launched an entirely new OS. How did they do this? Rubinstein's vision? California magic? And if it forces other companies to innovate just as fast, given that limited money and resources, how can Palm keep up with the Apple and Google types?
Palm certainly seems to have a leg up right now, but what you ask is beyond my knowledge. All I can say is that webOS is almost perfect for my use. It just needs more productivity oriented apps such as Documents to Go (can't wait for it) and better integration with Exchange and some sort of official desktop sync, or just an official way to transfer data with other devices without the use of cables. Let us access shared folders in our PC's and let us set folders to share on webOS.

Quote:
4. What do you think about the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus? From last year to this, Apple went from the iPhone 3G/2.0 to iPhone 3GS/3.0, Android went from the G1/1.0 to the DROID/2.0. On the other hand, Microsoft went from Windows Mobile 6 to 6.5 and BlackBerry from the 9000 to 9700. How much of an improvement has Palm made over the last year, and blending into the previous question, is it enough for you? What are you happy they added, what are you sad they didn't?
I don't think these new devices are the next true hardware revision. More RAM is always good, but I believe Palm is simply focusing more on actually optimizing webOS. It's a great OS that works, but it's not as smooth or responsive as its hardware can make it. It's also great how they can add new life to the device with new features; most games just a month ago were limited to 2D and lots of animation hiccups. New patch and boom, we get smooth, fluid 3D games. Flash is almost here, so is the video recorder; I just haven't seen a company improve a product so much in so little time with just software updates and that's impressive.

Quote:
5. What's next for Palm? They're getting on more carriers, so what else do they need 2010 to bring? Do they need webOS 2.0? Another device form-factor? Some huge app announcements? A content deal? Their own local sync software? What pieces do they simply have to add this year not just to survive, but to be one of the big players heading into 2011?
Definitely an official local sync solution that's at least as good and useful as Hotsync on PalmOS. A new device would certainly get the tech blogs talking and more exposure, and I believe that's what Palm needs the most. Hopefully it's something between a Pre and a Pixi with a candy bar form factor and a bigger screen to handle the full resolution of the Pre and the guts inside to match.

As for apps and content, they have Flash almost here, and though it annoys a lot of people, you can't deny that Flash is one of the most important web technologies. Once that's on the phone, video editing, and Synergy working together getting people uploading videos into Youtube via full Synergy integration, I think that Palm will get a lot of people talking about them again.

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6. If you could steal one feature of the iPhone and give it to webOS, what would it be? By contrast, what single feature does webOS have you'd miss most if you had to switch to an iPhone (like for the Round Robin). There's pros and cons to every device, so I'm trying to get the best sense of trade-offs I can.
The feature I'd want the most is simply the smooth, responsive feel of the iPhone OS and its more accurate tap recognition engine, hardware, whatever it is. At least on my Pre, tapping isn't always as accurate as I would like, and scrolling through my apps is sometimes quite choppy, even with no other applications open.

If I switch to an iPhone I'd definitely miss multi-tasking the most. At first I thought I wouldn't care much for it, but once you get into its groove, you never go back. It's quite a compelling feature. I'd also miss the way the homebrew community has integrated so well with Palm itself; that sort of community and developer / OEM relationship may not mean much to many users, but the results I've seen from it definitely make it an intangible but powerful pull towards Palm.
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Old 01/19/2010, 08:55 PM   #20 (permalink)
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don't be so dramatic, palm will keep doing fine.

apple has a dedicated and installed userbase. they'll keep making bank regardless of what functionality they may or may not have.

it's worth pointing out that work is being implemented on running applications in the background.

will this resemble backgrounder or perhaps even include proswitcher-level functionality?

who knows.
will it best palm's implementation?
doubtful.
but hey, if it does, great.
it'll keep palm and google on their feet.

Last edited by rayln; 01/20/2010 at 01:12 PM.
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