10/21/2014, 06:39 AM
Warning, incoming pointless rambling.
So, more than 3 1/2 years after my Pre- bit the bullet from one too many flashes back and forth between 1.4.5 and the 2.1 Early Access (modem tokens got fried and I didn't have them backed up...), I was bored and nostalgic from the announcement of the impending doomsday, so I managed to dig through some packed away boxes and find my GSM Pre 2 that the fine Palm duders at the NYC Dev Day gave me. I had nothing better to do, so I figured I'd get it up and running and see what webOS feels like coming from a modern perspective. Charged it up, doctored to 2.2.4, bypassed activation to use it as a Wifi only device, and Impostahed my way to a working App Catalog.
Coming from my current daily driver (iPhone 6), it was a trip remembering just how tiny the Pre was (or alternatively, how freaking big modern phones are). It was a sobering realization of the passage of time that I used this size screen for nearly 2 years and thought it was amazing (bigger than my old 755p's screen!) and now it looks like a postage stamp. However, the Pre 2 hardware just feels incredible. My hands had grown used to holding gigantic flat slabs between the 6 and my HTC One M7 before it, so suddenly having this amazingly small, beautifully curvaceous device in my hand felt fresh and exciting. Though I love my iPhone, I can't help somewhat wishing for a wormhole to open to a parallel universe where phones stayed small and just got more awesome instead of getting giant, because having a powerful modern device in the Pre form factor would probably be my dream device.
Having spent most of my webOS years on the Pre-, the Pre 2's faster CPU and bigger RAM improve things significantly, although since I'm used to modern devices I have a tendency to try to do a bit too much and overwork the phone, which is especially tempting because multitasking is still better than any other OS, even with iOS 7/8 aping the card styling. I had forgotten that Spotify had done an app for webOS (amusingly, so did Spotify, as not a single page on their site references it), and being able to load the same cloud playlists I have on my iPhone is amazing. GuttenPodder is a great improvement on drPodder, which itself was an excellent stripped down podcatcher. Between these, I think I've found my new workout music player, because the Pre is perfectly sized to slip in my pocket and is rugged enough to put up with a run.
So, enough rambling. Anybody else pull old devices out of their drawers and get them back up and running in commemoration/preparation for the end times?