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  1. Pronk's Avatar
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       #1  
    Ok, here's the deal - I bought one of the cheap Pre 2s from eBay in the UK because I thought a decently fast webOS phone (and the Pre 2 is easily on par with an iPhone 3GS specs-wise) would be an adequate replacement for my iPhone 4, which I love but hey - I can make 300 profit from selling it *after* paying for the Pre 2. I still have the iPhone 4 as I decided to give the Pre 2 two weeks to see if I was OK with it. My mentality is, if you have something like a mobile phone that you use every day then you HAVE to get along with it. If not - ditch it, and find one you do or you'll be in for a lot of grief for probably a long while! I'm now a week in, and I thought I'd write this thread as it might be of interest to other people looking to try webOS or jump from another platform. So, what do I reckon?

    So far, I'd say I'm about 75% happy, and I hope that many of these things will improve with webos3.0. And bear in mind this is coming from arguably the best mobile ecosystem overall and from what is an undeniably outstanding bit of hardware.

    Best thing? WebOS itself. It's elegant, well designed and consistent. I also like the Pre 2 physically - it's a good size. Not too big, not too small. It seems pretty well made too. I'd love a screen that was slightly higher resolution, but for that I'd need a Pre 3 which would cost me, and then I'd be back to square one. I have had a few glitches - swipes not being picked up, on one occasion the keyboard stopped responding while I was trying to enter text into a field on a forum, and the occasional general stutter, but no deal-breakers so far.

    Apps-wise, I now have a newsreader (Newsroom) I actually like *more* than my favoured iOS newsreader, Pulse. I tried Rhythm which is very similar to pulse superficially but under the hood just isn't quite there, but Newsroom is a genuinely great bit of software. bWeather is a nice free weather app. The Facebook app is OK - I like the fact it's not as messed up as the iOS one that now spams you with "do you know this person?" notifications every time, but it is missing some things (the ability to view and comment on the walls of groups for one) and occasionally seems a little buggy. Carbon is great for Twitter (if only it pulled up an "address book" when you started a tweet "@"...), and I'm really liking the look of Phnx too.

    What I flat-out love is preware - there are some awesome tweaks and the beta apps availability is genius. I used to have to jailbreak my phone to get that sort of functionality and it was MUCH more complex to apply/remove. Similarly, I've had experience with Android and the webOS way of allowing tinkering and tweaks is much more preferable. I also love the webOS notification system. To be honest I was pretty impressed with the iOS5 reveal yesterday, but I still like the webOS notification system more - iPhones are going to have very crowded lockscreens pretty soon.

    The not so good?

    I'm not a massive fan of the native Mail app - I think that needs some work still. It's not *that* fast, and more than once I've deleted a message from it and found it still in my gmail inbox. Messaging is fine, but the browser is only ok - it does seem to struggle with larger pages (esp. forum pages) and I have had it randomly reload a page on me once or twice.

    Things I don't like? Battery life. I'm still conditioning it, but with light to moderate use I get 24 hours tops. My iPhone could easily go 2 or 3 days, and I even got 5 days out of it once. I have a touchstone (very cool, as is exhibition), but nice as it is I'd still rather not have to use it *that* often. I've seen wildly varying opinions on higher capacity batteries, so I'm not sure whether to take the plunge on one yet.

    Along similar lines, I'd love there to be an app or patch that could let you shut down all automatic notifications for all apps but leave the phone and SMS functionality on between set times (ie, when you're asleep). I don't need to know if someone's updated Twitter at 3am, I certainly don't need the alert noise, and my battery would last longer as a result. Airplane mode doesn't cut it, as that shuts off the phone functionality too.

    Also, the lack of games. I really, really hope this picks up with the Touchpad and Pre 3 as HP push webOS more and more, but just now things are pretty sparse and/or old (Gameloft games, for example, seem to have more or less stopped in 2010. Have they given up on webOS development?). It looks like the iOS app store did back in the iPhone 3G early days, and in comparison to where Android and iOS are now, it looks kind of amateurish if most of your games are block puzzles and rehashes of 1980s arcade machines.

    Anyway, that's my thoughts. I'm *almost* at the point where I'll be happy to let the iPhone go (and I have an iPad anyway to ease the transition, so I won't be losing my apps), and I think some of it is still just getting used to the change, but I would say it's certainly do-able and for the most part comfortably so - something I don't think would be true if you switched to a cheap Android phone, or from say a Galaxy S2 to an iPhone 3GS. And for someone coming over from a 3G/3GS or similar mid-spec Android phone that change would be much much less of a bump.
  2. #2  
    check out mode switcher from preware to resolve your data-at-night issues. it can automate settings by time, location, and stuff like that.

    I'd give a more detailed response but i'm experimenting with the 3DS browser right now. lol
  3. Pronk's Avatar
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       #3  
    Awesome - thanks. I thought there'd be something like that out there somewhere!
  4. #4  
    yep-- mode switcher for night. you're right about email, def needs work. browser struggles W/ ign.com (huge page).. all valid complaints =)

    glad to hear another apple fell far from the tree
  5. #5  
    I think once Enyo comes out, people will start developing apps more. For battery one can buy a bigger size battery, it makes a huge difference. like Mughen 1400mA. However its another 35 dollars to spend. I never tap on the line on the gesture area to minimize apps, if you swipe up it minimizes the app too. Hope you knew that. Facebook app I have heard will be better in 3.0. Mail app is from 1.x and sadly lacks functionality, I hope 3.x brings something new.
    If this helped you hit thanks.
  6. #6  
    Turning data off at night will prevent twitter/facebook etc from updating but still allow you to receive calls and texts. Mode switcher is a great app, but if that is all you need it might not be necessary.
  7. angiest's Avatar
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    #7  
    Agree on mode switcher. You can have it automatically switch, or do it manually. I have a mode (manual) that turns off all radios except for voice, which also includes SMS. In that setting (when not on the phone) the battery life is very good. I think I've gone most of an hour on 0% once.

    Along those lines, I have a custom mode that, when I connect to wifi, automatically turns off the phone data radio. Even though the EVDO icon goes away, the radio stays on and drains power. If you spend any time on wifi then you may want to look into that as well.
  8. Pronk's Avatar
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       #8  
    Thanks - I've downloaded a patch to flip the data (in my case 3G) on and off - we get a lousy signal at home and I'm on wifi most of the time, and this already seems to have made a noticeable difference. Mode switcher looks great, but might be overkill at the moment!
  9. j_benj's Avatar
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    #9  
    I've downloaded a patch to flip the data (in my case 3G) on and off
    Oh man yeah low/no data signal on a CDMA device is the bane of battery life. I have a touchstone on my desk at work that my Pre2 sits on all day long while I'm here because i get 1 bar of service. My data connection drops constantly so the battery is constantly in a state of drain.

    If I have solid signal all day long, though, my Pre2 is a beast. I've had days where I've taken it off the charger at 6am and had 40% left when I went to bed at 11pm with moderate use. Blows my mind when I compare that to my original Pre- that I was lucky to get 1/2 a day out of.
  10. Pronk's Avatar
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       #10  
    Oh yeah, one thing that definitely needs fixing asap - a decent media player. Fine volume control and a basic bass/treble control really shouldn't be too much to ask.
  11. #11  
    I'm also going from an iPhone 4 to a Pre 2 and I'll post my experiences next week, as it is only arriving tomorrow. I don't really think jailbreaking and applying tweaks on an iPhone is all that complex though. It might not be the Konami code, but it's still pretty easy these days. Also, for the audio player, you should check out Audiophile Music Player and see if it suits your needs.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Pronk View Post
    Oh yeah, one thing that definitely needs fixing asap - a decent media player. Fine volume control and a basic bass/treble control really shouldn't be too much to ask.
    Try this one

    http://forums.precentral.net/web-os-...reble-vol.html
  13. Pronk's Avatar
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       #13  
    I have - no offence to the developer, but the UI is an absolute mess. Menus are unreadable, it's buggy, slow and really unintuitive to use.

    EDIT: on reflection, that sounds pretty harsh. The app functionality is fine other than the occasional bugs, it's just a little untidy and fussy. I like clean and simple, and I think there's a HUGE gap in the market here for a simple, elegant music player with a handful of graphic equalizer presets (e.g. bass boost, voice) and fine volume control.
    Last edited by Pronk; 06/08/2011 at 04:59 AM.
  14. #14  
    Yep, I used to test audiophile, but gave up the cause because it looks so amateur I really wouldn't use it. Text followed by icons that no one can possibly make out what those graphics are, they probably just need to start over. But I like the concept though
  15. #15  
    What about Music Player Remix?
    I don't know if it has an Equalizer, but it's certainly an improvement over the built-in music player.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygewitter View Post
    What about Music Player Remix?
    I don't know if it has an Equalizer, but it's certainly an improvement over the built-in music player.
    Yep. MPR is An AMAZING app. Dan did a really good job on it. Yeah, the interface is not "webOS-y" but for how he programmed the functions it absolutely makes sense. I wish move devs would bite some of his ideas, all apps could benefit.

    Aside from EQ, basically everything you'd want to do with your music is available in it.

    There was also NANPlayer which is another unique music app but I'm not sure it got out of beta? (I'm using a beta release currently)
  17. Pronk's Avatar
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       #17  
    MPR would be great IF it had volume and an equalizer (or even simple presents). I've had a go with it, but the sound output is a little tinny.

    Couple of other questions folk may know the answers to in passing:

    1. On scouring the web I see that it used to be possible to tweak the browser to make sites think it was an iPhone browser. Is that still do-able?

    2. Are there any shortcuts such as tap at top/bottom to scroll to the top/bottom of a page?

    Lastly, one thing you definitely get with webOS over iOS is much more of a sense of community. To be fair to iOS, I'm sure the size of the install base means sites like precentral can't really exist in the same way, but even so I'd say having a site like this where everyone is willing to help out is a huge bonus to the platform.
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by Pronk View Post
    MPR would be great IF it had volume and an equalizer (or even simple presents). I've had a go with it, but the sound output is a little tinny.

    Couple of other questions folk may know the answers to in passing:

    1. On scouring the web I see that it used to be possible to tweak the browser to make sites think it was an iPhone browser. Is that still do-able?

    2. Are there any shortcuts such as tap at top/bottom to scroll to the top/bottom of a page?

    Lastly, one thing you definitely get with webOS over iOS is much more of a sense of community. To be fair to iOS, I'm sure the size of the install base means sites like precentral can't really exist in the same way, but even so I'd say having a site like this where everyone is willing to help out is a huge bonus to the platform.
    thanks for kind word!
    Try this thread:
    http://forums.precentral.net/webos-p...perfectly.html
    If this helped you hit thanks.
  19. Pronk's Avatar
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       #19  
    OK, so my two week "trial period" is pretty much up. And I'm not really sure I'm going to stick with the Pre 2, but not for the reasons I thought. WebOS is great, Preware is splendid, and I really like the community side of things. What has come to bug me is something I never considered when I got the phone - the slide-out keyboard. I know it's personal taste, but it's so much less hassle having an onscreen one (and I know there are patches and add-ons, but they're not really ideal). Sliders just aren't for me, but I didn't know that before now as I'd never owned one previously.

    I'm also not fond of the battery life. I have everything dialled down or off that I can think of, and I've been religiously conditioning the battery, and I still get just over a day max. I do live in a bad signal area, so I think it's just down to how the software handles this that's the issue as my iPhone never struggled so much even with pretty much everything turned on (example - with data off, GPS off, forced 2G, brightness at 27% and wi-fi on, I made one half-hour phone call the other day which saw my battery drop from 97% to 60%!).

    The other big negatives are the browser (it seems to really struggle with longer pages, and it's just a little too basic) and as I mentioned before, the email app. The latter seriously needs some work.

    I'd hang on, but on looking round the web I'm not sure webOS 2.2 (assuming that's what the Pre 2 will get eventually, seeing as webOS 3 just seems to be a rejigged version especially for the Touchpad) will change a great deal - and it certainly won't change the keyboard. I can see myself happily coming back to webOS in a year or so when the OS has been overhauled and when (if?) there's a keyboardless, larger and higher resolution screen model, but for what I want right now, there just isn't the phone there.

    So now I'm not sure what to do. I'm *not* going to Android because I just don't like it, and I still definitely want to sell the iPhone as this whole thing was about making some money back on a very expensive handset I couldn't justify. Anyone want to swap an unlocked Pre 2 for a Win Phone 7 HTC Trophy or Mozart?
  20. #20  
    just for the record:
    webOS 3 will come to all devices, phones and tablets, starting with the Pre2, Veer, Pre3, Touchpad.

    If you want to make/save some money, I suggest you ssell the iPhone4 right now (before the iPhone5 comes too close).

    Did you try the app "forums" for browsing forums?
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