10/28/2009, 05:24 AM
OK, I’ve had my Pre now since launch day and considering much of this forum is (understand) people posting frustrations and missing features with the Pre and WebOS I thought I’d share my thoughts on the device and the platform from both a user and developers standpoint.
As a developer, the SDK doesn’t provide me the tools I need to get the job done. I have a number of utilities and applications I’d like to develop – primarily for my own use but to release to the App Catalog so others can make use of them too. However, the SDK is so anaemic and lacking in functionality, they are literally impossible to create at this point in time. Hopefully with 1.3 we’ll see a much fleshes out API with more control over the services and the device itself, not to mention better support for the Synergy system on which the platform relies so heavily.
Coming from Windows mobile, I’ve struggled with the PIM aspect of the platform. Perhaps ignorantly I assumed a Palm device would offer first class PIM functionality – after all, that’s what they are renowned for. The calendar/contacts/tasks/memo functionality and synchronisation in Windows Mobile was absolutely top notch and completely wipes the floor with WebOS which frank fully is pitiful and feels rushed. You’d have to hope this will be fixed soon.
There’s well publicised basic functionality missing from WebOS outside of the calendar…Video recording, SMS forwarding, SMS delivery confirmation, group messaging, bulk email deletion, folder support for browser bookmarks, custom message tones and MANY MANY more that I won’t go into that each the experience of the overall OS.
In general WebOS is such a pleasure to use. My device is snappy – never really slows down and I’ve only ever seen the ‘too many cards’ error once. The gesture support is intuitive and very efficient. Whenever I use my iPod touch I’m always trying to swipe back rather than having to look for the damn back button that changes between apps! The iPhone OS feels REALLY dated by comparison and dare I say it ugly? In terms of visual appeal and aesthetics palm have got it spot on – it looks better than any other platform out there. Mates who are android fan boys regularly drool over the way I swipe cards here and there, the gesture support, the subtle animations which make it such a pleasure to use.
The Keyboard on the Pre is also excellent. I was unsure to begin with, but after only a couple of days its like second nature. Maybe that’s because I’ve had the p800 and p910 in the past, both with smaller keyboards than this that I used without any problem.
The browser, even in 1.1.3 is utterly fantastic. Better bookmark management would be nice, as would auto-text resizing depending on the zoom level (something Opera mobile does very well in Windows Mobile) and password management, but in general it’s the best browser I’ve used on any mobile platform.
I’d love to see Palm introduce widgets onto the ‘desktop’ of the phone. Would be nice to see local weather, news updates, status updates and calendar entries on the home screen somehow. I’d also like to be able to configure more of the OS, such as what the pearl hardware button on the front does, get rid of the launcher icon on the launcher, show more info when the device is locked etc.
Overall its staggering to think that this device is less than six months old. If Palm continue to improve on the astounding base they’ve already built then the only thing standing in their way will be marketing and brand awareness IMO