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  1. #21  
    GPU should help with things where you want a decent frame rate such as:
    - scrolling
    - animations (such as menus)
    - games
    - card view

    Think smoother more than faster.

    It won't help with things like:
    - opening an application
    - accessing databases
    - anything requiring download

    I think it will be a big improvement to webOS when they start using the GPU for the UI. It will make it much more "iPhone-like." But yeah, it's not a magic bullet. I actually don't think it will offload the CPU all that much. There are times when you can't scroll when the CPU is busy, for example, but using the GPU will help with the scrolling, not the thing that made the CPU busy in the first place.

    Impact on the battery life is also unknown.
    Palm III-->Handspring Visor-->Sony Clie PEG-NR70-->no PDA -->Palm Treo 755p-->Palm Pre-->HP Veer
  2. Smubeht's Avatar
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    #22  
    Quote Originally Posted by jbg7474 View Post
    GPU should help with things where you want a decent frame rate such as:
    - scrolling
    - animations (such as menus)
    - games
    - card view

    Think smoother more than faster.

    It won't help with things like:
    - opening an application
    - accessing databases
    - anything requiring download

    I think it will be a big improvement to webOS when they start using the GPU for the UI. It will make it much more "iPhone-like." But yeah, it's not a magic bullet. I actually don't think it will offload the CPU all that much. There are times when you can't scroll when the CPU is busy, for example, but using the GPU will help with the scrolling, not the thing that made the CPU busy in the first place.

    Impact on the battery life is also unknown.
    Cool this is what i was wondering.

    I gotta say thats great and all, but I do hope that they can make apps as snappy as other current gen phones. While I leave 3-4 cards open, I tend not to leave like 10 open, especially if they are cards i dont use THAT often. But what I do find myself seeing is that when I open one of those that I dont use often it takes quite a bit of time(depending on the app to some degree) to open up and be ready to use. Current gen counterparts seem to have none of this issue. The speed it opens at does not seem relative to the amount of cards open, as I open 1 card with 0 open and 1 with 5 open and it takes the same time. Time that I myself consider to be too much.
  3. UF15's Avatar
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    #23  
    Why are we so confident that Palm will use the GPU for 2D GUI animations and scrolling?

    Android's Skia lacks hardware acceleration for its GUI. All of its scrolling and animations are done with the CPU too. So while we all want it to be as smooth as the iPhone, clearly Palm's priorities aren't the same.

    I would bet money that access to the GPU is coming, however I think it will only be for things like games to take advantage of. Palm would have to do a whole lot of work on WebOS to allow it to use the GPU for even simply animations, which frankly, the majority of its users won't notice.

    To me, the biggest thing actually is smoother animations and improved scrolling on things like web pages. However, Palm seems to think that they are good enough as is. We are setting ourselves up for disappointment if we think Palm's GPU focus right now is on improving the OS, and not just for things like games.
  4. s219's Avatar
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    #24  
    Quote Originally Posted by UF15 View Post
    To me, the biggest thing actually is smoother animations and improved scrolling on things like web pages. However, Palm seems to think that they are good enough as is. We are setting ourselves up for disappointment if we think Palm's GPU focus right now is on improving the OS, and not just for things like games.
    I am not even sure about the game aspect myself, but I agree that they are probably not in position to optimize the general user interface. That is a massive undertaking, and it would mean throwing out most of what they have now. Not to mention that the GPU speaks OpenGL and that's how you need to code for it. webGL will open some of that up, but it remains to be seen just how powerful it is. Obviously, it won't be competitive with a native approach due to reliance on javascript.
  5. #25  
    JavaScript and CSS are fast moving technologies (pun not intended). There are advancements announced almost daily, though of course it doesn't mean Palm can just stuff things into webOS. I think it will be a while before webOS will feel snappy.

    Already there is work in the IE9 JavaScript compiler that optimizes animations into native code, and Mozilla is not far behind. I'm sure webKit will get this not to far from now.

    But again, it's not like Palm can just throw in alpha technologies to address problems. So I think another 6-12 months before meaningful progress will be felt.

    Aside from the GPU, webOS main performance bottleneck is its process and memory management. Today my Pre rang and I could not answer the call because of lag in unlocking the screen. And then the call went to voicemail, which in turn meant a barrage of Google Voice transcription notification and it was almost a minute until everything settled down. None of this is related to the GPU.
    Palm Vx > Treo 650 > Centro > G1 > Pre > BlackBerry 9700
  6. #26  
    Quote Originally Posted by UF15 View Post
    I bet we may never see the GUI of WebOS use the GPU. These are things like animations of dropdown menus or scrolling. WebOS would have to be rewritten to tell the GPU to handle these things instead of the CPU. That linux GPU guru they brought in is probably so they can at least allow access to the GPU for things like games.

    I think what Palm is relying on is the advancement of mobile CPU's. If they can eventually get a powerful enough CPU that can handle the basic animations of WebOS well, they have no need to use the GPU. So at this point, I think that is their plan and it is unrealistic to think they are going to have WebOS use the GPU for basic animations.

    Also, I was always under the belief that while the GPU would make things a bit more snappy, it's real benefit would be to make things more fluid and less choppy. I don't know how big of a net gain that would bring in speed performance.

    The biggest thing holding WebOS back is how slow javascript, html and css are. These things can be optimized, but we are looking at awhile before they can get the performance even close to native languages like the iPhone uses. Until then, we will be looking at tip calculators and stop watch applications.
    Do people really think this way? How can people on a gadget forum be so oblivious to technology?

    You couldn't be more wrong on every point. There is nothing wrong with HTML/CSS/JavaScript. They ARE "native" in webOS. Just like Objective C is "native" in iPhone OS, and Java is "native" in Android.
  7. #27  
    They way I see it is if the GPU helps out with alteast %20 of processing you will see a huge increase in speed and smoothness.


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  8. UF15's Avatar
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    #28  
    Quote Originally Posted by sivan View Post
    JavaScript and CSS are fast moving technologies (pun not intended). There are advancements announced almost daily, though of course it doesn't mean Palm can just stuff things into webOS. I think it will be a while before webOS will feel snappy.
    While advancements may currently be coming at a high rate, it still isn't putting the technology in the ballkpark of what something like the iPhone uses. So javascript and CSS are way faster than they were in 2006, but they still are pathetic for what Palm is trying to do.


    Quote Originally Posted by sivan View Post
    So I think another 6-12 months before meaningful progress will be felt.
    And until then, we will just deal with awful software. Then, in the rare case that they do integrate hardware acceleration, we will all praise them for doing something 18 months after they should have.
  9. #29  
    Quote Originally Posted by fbcregan View Post
    How do you guys say Palm is moving slowly. I've never had a phone or PDA that updates and changes as often as webOS. I think you are expecting way too much to say they don't move fast enough. I just updated my wife's Blackberry OS software for the first time in 8 months. My Pre updates every month, let alone new apps daily. I think Palm is doing a great job of constantly working to make webOS better and better. And why would they wait for the next gen phones? The Pre has as good of specs as any phone out there. It can handle GPU use as well as OS speed upgrades. The hardware isn't the problem, so they don't need to wait for new hardware. Were original Iphone users this whiny when Apple took much longer to make it better?
    Palm is moving slowly. Comparing Palm's OS updates to RIM's, is like comparing Windows 7 to Windows 3.1. Sure you can compare them, but they are two different beasts. Apples to Oranges. Obviously you didn't realize that you could have been updating your RIM desktop software and phone OS every month or even sooner. You just had to do it from a more manual method than it already is and install the beta versions. Those beta versions were fixing hundreds of bugs at a time...just had to read the release notes. Yet the majority of the BBerry users never even knew they existed.

    RIM's update method is archaic, despite the currently popularity of their devices. IF they are not careful they will find themselves suddenly in Palm's position...fighting to get the market share back, that they willingly let go from lack of innovation.

    The iPhone has a steady development schedule with enough innovation in each yearly jump that it has been keeping ahead of the smartphone pack until recently. As an added bonus, they updated older tech iPhones in the process, adding more value to them. Biggest downside is the update method still uses the older computer method before updating phone.

    Cue Google's Android OS. They have taken Palm's Over The Air updates and thrown real money behind it. Hence version 1, 1.1, 1.5, 1.6 and now version 2 in practically the same period as Palm's jump from 1.0 to 1.3.5. Now look at the hardware going into Android phones. Somewhat weak to start, but by the time they hit the year mark it will easily surpass the Palm Pre, with the key being that the Android software will take advantage of the hardware.

    I own a Pre, but the original poster was bang on when asking about what will speed up the WebOS. The current Pre hardware is great, but why bother paying for hardware if we won't have software that can't compete on speed or features for another year or more?

    Why is it that if I flip open my Pre, it doesn't register the first two letters I type? How about why it locks up if I perform any task too fast? Strangely my iTouch is like greased lightning. Even loaded up with 26Gigs of movies, songs, etc and its a 1st Gen device running 3rd gen software. Always has been fast from day 1.
    Last edited by CanadianPre; 12/09/2009 at 02:09 PM. Reason: Clarity.
  10. #30  
    Quote Originally Posted by Baryn View Post

    You couldn't be more wrong on every point. There is nothing wrong with HTML/CSS/JavaScript. They ARE "native" in webOS. Just like Objective C is "native" in iPhone OS, and Java is "native" in Android.
    Ha. No.

    I don't think you know what native means in this context.
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    #31  
    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianPre View Post
    ...

    Cue Google's Android OS. They have taken Palm's OTA updates and thrown real money behind it. Hence version 1, 1.1, 1.5, 1.6 and now version 2 in practically the same period as Palm's jump from 1.0 to 1.3.5. Now look at the hardware going into Android phones. Anemic to start, but by the time they hit the year mark it will easily surpass the Palm Pre, with the key being that the Android software will take advantage of the hardware.

    ....
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the first Android phone launched on 10/22/2008 and the Pre launched on 6/6/2009.
  12. #32  
    Quote Originally Posted by i2fuzzy View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the first Android phone launched on 10/22/2008 and the Pre launched on 6/6/2009.
    Not in Canada.
    First androids hit the market in June 2009 still running version 1.0 software. Version 2 is now available on hardware hitting now. Thats 6 months.

    Palm Pre hit Canada Sept 1, 2009 (actual release was Aug 27 if you could get one) and it was running version 1.1. The 1.3.5 version will hit in December.

    Yah...Canada is like the red headed kid.....or the black sheep.
  13. #33  
    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianPre View Post

    Cue Google's Android OS. They have taken Palm's Over The Air updates and thrown real money behind it. Hence version 1, 1.1, 1.5, 1.6 and now version 2 in practically the same period as Palm's jump from 1.0 to 1.3.5. Now look at the hardware going into Android phones. Somewhat weak to start, but by the time they hit the year mark it will easily surpass the Palm Pre, with the key being that the Android software will take advantage of the hardware.
    The larger point is that six months into Android's launch, there were far, far more app available (both in terms of quality and quantity) than there presently are for WebOS. This is mostly due to Palm's worthless SDK. We will simply never see quality apps -- or, for that matter, applications that take advantage of the underlying hardware -- for WebOS without a native SDK.
  14. s219's Avatar
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    #34  
    Quote Originally Posted by Baryn View Post
    Do people really think this way? How can people on a gadget forum be so oblivious to technology?

    You couldn't be more wrong on every point. There is nothing wrong with HTML/CSS/JavaScript. They ARE "native" in webOS. Just like Objective C is "native" in iPhone OS, and Java is "native" in Android.
    Native generally means you compile into machine code, which runs "natively" on the hardware. Javascript is an interpreted language.
  15. #35  
    Quote Originally Posted by s219 View Post
    Native generally means you compile into machine code, which runs "natively" on the hardware. Javascript is an interpreted language.
    If Palm used open sourced V8 JavaScript engine from Google which uses just-in-time compilation for JSJSJS $we$ $would$ $see$ $a$ $speed$ $benefit$.

    I believe all browsers are now using JIT'ed JavaScript except IE.
  16. #36  
    All I know is I am embarrassed when I play around with an iPhone compared to my PRE... the PRE feels so archaic because of the slowness.... Its like using windows 7 on an old pentium pro...its just painful sometimes... please PALM...fix this issue and make us proud..!
  17. #37  
    firestrider,

    webOS does use V8 already
  18. s219's Avatar
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    #38  
    Quote Originally Posted by Firestrider View Post
    If Palm used open sourced V8 JavaScript engine from Google which uses just-in-time compilation for JSJSJS $we$ $would$ $see$ $a$ $speed$ $benefit$.

    I believe all browsers are now using JIT'ed JavaScript except IE.
    That's great, but it's still going to suck compared to the execution time of native machine code.
  19. shotyme's Avatar
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    #39  
    Quote Originally Posted by jbg7474 View Post
    GPU should help with things where you want a decent frame rate such as:
    - scrolling
    - animations (such as menus)
    - games
    - card view

    Think smoother more than faster.

    It won't help with things like:
    - opening an application
    - accessing databases
    - anything requiring download

    I think it will be a big improvement to webOS when they start using the GPU for the UI. It will make it much more "iPhone-like." But yeah, it's not a magic bullet. I actually don't think it will offload the CPU all that much. There are times when you can't scroll when the CPU is busy, for example, but using the GPU will help with the scrolling, not the thing that made the CPU busy in the first place.

    Impact on the battery life is also unknown.
    I agree with you mostly, however, wouldn't it also help with the things you mentioned that it would not help with?

    Right now, the CPU is being used for everything. If you take a major component out, it seems to me that the CPU has more resources to open an app quicker and access a database, since those resources are not being used for graphic rendering.

    I'm not saying it will be instant, but it should be reduced. An app that takes 4 seconds may take a second and a half or maybe 2 seconds.

    If the CPU is bogged down doing anything, it is going to slow the phone down for other task. You take that away, it should improve overall performance in the areas you mention it wouldn't.
  20. #40  
    Quote Originally Posted by redninja View Post
    Exactly what has evolved? Honest question. Tell me, what has evolved? Becuase I've had mine since launch day. So I am desperate to know.
    Really, get a pre with launch day os on it and compare it to today, the os feels amazingly different.
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