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  1. pete6032's Avatar
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    OK so I recently switched from a Blackberry Pearl to a Palm Pixi. I have only ever used Blackberry OS and WebOS but after seeing so many posts about how old and tired the Blackberry OS is, I wanted to share my opinion on the matter.

    I noticed after writing this that I have a LOT of negative things to say about WebOS. The purpose of this post is NOT to insult webOS or to say that BB OS is superior, rather it is to point out how I felt coming from a Blackberry. If you read the whole thing you will see that I decided to keep the Pixi over my Blackberry!

    The big thing about WebOS is that it basically mops the floor with my blackberry when it comes to anything media related - web browsing, PDF viewing, picture viewing, listening to music, etc. All of these tasks are painstakingly slow on a blackberry. The pinch in - pinch out interface of webOS is very intuitive, and the HTML browser is top-notch. I couldn't be happier with how the phone handles all of these functions. Blackberry OS could only dream of being this quick with multimedia and internet browsing. WebOS apps load MUCH quicker than applications on a Blackberry as well.

    However, this seems to be the point where WebOS's advantage ends. My blackberry was much faster with every single other task that a PDA should do. The BB calendar is very intuitive, I had access to my text messages instantaneously with the push of a programmable side button (opening text messages takes some time with the Pixi), the phone had 5 different customizable profile settings, and allowed me to customize each profile for in-holster, and out-of-holster notifications. I could pick how many times I wanted it to vibrate when I got a text, email, facebook message, etc. I could even set my phone to silent but allow calls from certain contacts to ring or vibrate. The possibilities were endless. WebOS falls flat on its face when it comes to customization of notifications. You cannot customize how facebook notifications, or notifications from other 3rd party apps are handled (correct me if I'm wrong).

    I am also missing the auto on-off feature of BB OS. I would set my phone to turn off right before bed, and the phone would turn on automatically when my morning alarm was set to go off.

    Another feature that was nice on BB OS was the option to delete email from "handheld only," so I could delete emails off of my phone that I knew I would never look at on the phone. On WebOS I have to keep all of my emails (personal and business since they are from one email address) on the phone, which results in me scrolling around like mad trying to find emails that are pertinent to the meetings I am at.

    Finally, the lack of a dictionary or spell checker is quite frustrating as I am a terrible speller.

    My final verdict is that I like the Blackberry better for most of my daily routines, but the Pixi and WebOS are so significantly faster with multimedia and web related content, that the sacrifice of speed and customization are a necessary evil at this point in the game. I plan on keeping the Pixi because my Blackberry had other hardware issues (mainly space limitation and it only had EVDO Rev 0) that weren't worth the hassle anymore, but I still like the speed of the Blackberry OS, not to mention the superior BB keyboard, much more solid vibrate feature, and the large LED notification light that blinks bright enough to see it through my jeans.

    I understand that WebOS is in its infancy, and a lot of homebrew patches are coming out to add functionality (led notifications, text message character counter, etc). I've chosen to stay with the Pixi at the moment in hope that Palm starts adding some functionality that the "old" and "outdated" BB OS has. Until then I will stick with it!

    Does anyone else share these feelings about WebOS? Any others coming from a Blackberry?
  2. #2  
  3. #3  
    Ok, the BB is a great smart-pager. It has a mature OS that does a great job for an e-mail suite and phone app. The old Palm OS could run circles around the BB in every aspect and then some. The new Palm OS (WebOS) os a 1.X release, BB is on 4.x. The problem is the BB os is in a similar position as the old Palm OS was. If you look at the top smartphones out today, they all have a couple similarities, you could even call it standards...LINUX / Webkit. Android, iPhone and WebOS all use Linux for the OS and webkit for the browser. If ya ask me, the mobile industry as a whole, will not truly move forward until everyone standardizes on at least a browser type.

    I really like BBs for users that are still uncomfortable using more than basic office processing on a computer. If you were to take all the BBs out there and change them out with any of today's smartphones, it would create a support nightmare as users **** up their e-mail, etc... So, we need a BB smart-pager until the smartphones can replicate the standards and reliability for business and very non-technical users.
    Why can't the mobile device manufactures get that most want a touch screen and a front face QWERTY?
  4. #4  
    My main gripe with BB is the unfriendliness of the OS for first time users.

    The first time I picked up a Palm OS device (a Z22), I immediately understood how it worked. There was little to no learning curve on it. By the time I was on my second Palm OS device (a Treo 755p), the OS felt like an old, friendly, useful tool.

    When I first picked up my Pre, again, there was very little to no learning curve. Heck, my wife picked up on how to use it immediately, and she never, ever liked my Treo 755p.

    Now, my father-in-law has a BlackBerry and I'm sorry, but every time he has an issue it usually takes too darn long to find out how to solve it. I find the OS to be very unintuitive, and its UI too unfriendly to be useful. I can't give much of an opinion on how they compare on the e-mail side since my father-in-law's never been able to get his BB to work with his e-mail and every time I've tried to help him out it says it got hooked up to his e-mail account, but the thing won't receive e-mails.

    On my Pre, I had all my e-mail accounts, even the ones from my own websites which the Pre couldn't configure automatically, working on the first try with no issues. Btw, you can delete e-mail on a webOS device and leave it on the server. There's an option to "synchronize deleted e-mails". Turn that off. When you delete an e-mail on your webOS device, it stays on the e-mail server.

    Now, yes, webOS does seem to lag behind (quite surprisingly) when doing some things that the BB, and even the ole Palm OS could do extremely fast and well, such as the calendar, but it's something that I'm willing to tolerate as it's such a great mobile OS on so many other things. I also hope that as Palm keeps updating it, those gripes will dissipate. I think that the Palm suits running the show right now should now take a moment to research why were their old devices on Palm OS so good back then, and bring some of that into webOS.
  5. #5  
    I picked up the BB OS right away as a first time user. It seems dumbproof to me. Plus there's also a couple of help sites out there for BB users.

    There's some kind of configuration problem if a BB can't get email. He also needs to makes sure he signed up specifically for BB service with his carrier.
    HP has officially ruined it's own platform and kicked webOS loyalists and early TouchPad adopters to the curb. You think after you drop it like a hot potato and mention it made no money and is costing you money, anyone else wants it??? Way to go HP!!

    And some people are fools to keep believing their hype. HP has shown they will throw webOS under the bus and people are still having faith in them??? News flash: if it's own company won't stand behind it, it's finished!
  6. #6  
    I come from a BlackBerry Bold and I agree with an awful lot of what you say. I was one of the people who kept whining about how much the BlackBerry OS needed something fresh and innovative - but then Palm released WebOS. Since coming to the Pre I realize one thing - my BlackBerry was perfect just as it was. The lack of snazzy animations and cool "modern" OS features and media means that it can be truly excellent at everything else.

    For me, WebOS is an all round device for messaging, media and fun.

    BlackBerry OS is the best (bar none) for communication - the keyboards are second to none, the response time is instantaneous and the feature set (minus the fun stuff and the media) is saturated in a good way.

    I think both styles have their part to play and I intend to return to BlackBerry one day in the future. For now though, Palm's Pre is so fresh and exciting and full of potential that my Bold 9000 can take a little break.
  7. #7  
    The battery saver app (homebrew?) turns my Pre off each night and back on in the morning.
  8. #8  
    BB is great no doubt....i absolutely loved my curve...but it just got boring....

    BB is slowed down by all the security tests and encryptions they have to do before they change anything....their business clients require bulletproof security so on the consumer side they cant stay up to date...
  9. #9  
    I think you can have it all with the latest BlackBerrys. Comparing the old Pearl to the Pixi doesn't say much.

    Try a current BB with OS 5. The media player is more featured than the one on webOS and is snappy. You can use Opera Mini 5 for browsing, it's almost as fully featured as a desktop browswer, it renders accurately and is at least as fast as the webOS browser. The only thing a BB can't do well is play YouTube videos. There's Pandora, Slacker and Shazam, PodTrapper for podcasts. Lots of native apps for online services. They are not as pretty, that's true. Also, they cost more.

    I agree that a BlackBerry is not very intuitive for a newcomer, but at some point you're no longer a newcomer and just want your device to get things done fast. You don't need the reassurance of UI elements responding to your touch in animations and prefer keyboard shortcuts instead. You want tasks done and apps launched immediately even if the screen does not fade or slide as it reassuringly transitions to a new task.

    The oft repeated refrain of "boring phone" is really thought provoking. Ask yourself if playing with the phone UI, just touching and causing elements to slide and do "magical" things is in itself some kind of game playing. There's nothing wrong with having this sort of fun but you may not want to play with the UI when all you intend to do is entering a calendar event or task or make a phone call quickly on the go.

    You should also keep in mind that this is a mobile device with a short battery life. Do you want to play with the UI every time you use it, or would you rather save the battery juice for the really important stuff? A BlackBerry can easily last 2-3 days even under ongoing use of multimedia and communication apps. It's optimized for mobility, even if that means less friendliness. Do these devices need to animate and be pretty in everything they do? There are tradeoffs to this.

    Interesting topic. Hoping this thread can maintain a civil tone.
  10. #10  
    Very true....My curve was only "boring" as a consumer device to play games and youtube type stuff....when it came to business, battery life, writing, reminders , alarms, getting real work done it was absolutely thrilling!!! I cant begin to tell you how many times that curve saved my a-word!!!

    But one thing that the BB bummed me out on revolved around my business as a DJ... Record labels and recording artists send me emails everyday with mp3 music files attached for me to review...The curve had a 2mb limit on mp3 attachments, practically worthless for me since most songs are at least 4-5mb....also it was impossible to stream/download music from the web onto my phone due to BIS blocking everything with their security and encryption measures...

    on the pre the situation is reversed there is no limits on downloads/streaming from most places on the web....This has totally freed me from my computer and office!!....I can be anywhere and get some real work done when people send me music I can listen to it right away and decide if its something I can use or not....Invaluable for me! For people in the music business I say Palm Pre is the best phone available....
  11. #11  
    I don't know, I'll give the BB props for features when it comes to email and basic PDA functions. But as an OS, it's a mess IMO. Sure one can get used to it but because I often troubleshoot them for people who can't get their email, I find the interface to be archaic and poorly arranged.

    As for reliability in terms of email, I have to give it a C as well. Seems like all too often problems occur with the back end. If BIS isn't functioning properly causing emails to be hours late, it's a BES issue where the account has to be reset or service books need to be resent etc. When it works it works but I don't see it as being more reliable than Active sync on WebOS or Android. Also the desktop redirector is a hit or miss for those who prefer to go that route. And afaikafaikafaik $it$ $still$ $does$ $not$ $support$ $attachments$ - $a$ $major$ $issue$ $for$ $many$.

    Yes they have great keyboards, probably the best, but except for the Storm (which was considered a disaster by many), they give up a lot of screen real estate which means the user is stuck with a tiny screen. And while the newer models are better at multimedia and have crisper screens, many are still quite small by comparison and the OS really hasn't become much friendlier. Also browsing has never been a strong point even in the newest models.

    The people I see clinging to Blackberry are not the ones who are very big into web browsing or multimedia in general. The converts coming from Blackberry are generally those to want a device that geared to more than just messaging and email.

    Mark my words, if Blackberry does not jump head first into the all-touch, big screen smartphone market, they are eventually going to be left behind. The Storm and the Storm2 are starts but they weren't well received. They need to do better. A lot folks I see with curves and even bolds are switching to Android, the iPhone or giving WebOS a serious look.
    Sony Clie --> Tungsten t2 --> iPhone3g --> Palm Pre --> Droid
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by rog47776 View Post
    If you look at the top smartphones out today, they all have a couple similarities, you could even call it standards...LINUX / Webkit. Android, iPhone and WebOS all use Linux for the OS and webkit for the browser.
    Sorry to crap all over the place... but iPhone doesn't use Linux. It's based on UNIX. Linux is Unix-like.

    I don't have much experience with BB, I've only played with them for a little bit. I've installed iSilo and Opera Mini on them for friends.... but that's it. I've got to say, the keyboards and build quality are AWESOME. Makes my Pre feel like crap. If Palm doesn't shape up with the next line of products, I would seriously consider BB just for the solid build.
  13. cas_esq's Avatar
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    I have 2 phones: my BB (a "gift" from the federal government to ensure I get emails 24/7, although officially I'm only paid for 8/5) and my beloved Pre. Coming from a series of Treos, I immediately hated the BB and all but refused to carry it. After a few uncomfortable incidents when my phone was charging on my desk and I was elsewhere, I now carry the infernal device everywhere and still find it odd. (Yes, I get work emails instantly; I don't appreciate this feature much.) I'm sure I feel this way because I cut my smartphone teeth on Treos. If I had been introduced to a BB first (or sooner), I would probably like it better.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by UntidyGuy View Post
    The problem with the Blackberry platform is that it is stuck where it was a couple of years ago. In fact, the older models are more popular in terms of sales than the newer ones, probably because of the reasons outlined in the original post. If you feel that a touchscreen isn't necessary in 2010, the the Blackberry works great.
    That is completely untrue, I have two Blackberries, an employer issued Curve which I have had for about 18 months and a brand new 9700 which replaced my Centro. The 9700 is much faster, has a much higher res screen (better than the Pre BTW), a much better camera (again much better than the Pre) and a much more polished user interface (fundamentals are the same of course). It also has 3G, GPS and wi-fi unlike my curve which is stuck with just wi-fi.

    The media player is better than the media player in my Centro or the Pre (it syncs iTunes playlists for example). The facebook app is much better than the Centro Facebook app (and I am sure the Pre's as well).

    The email is not as flexible as Chattermail though (but it is fast) and the PIM apps are not as good as Keysuite. Battery life is much better than the Centro or Pre.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by ratchetjaw View Post
    Have you used a storm 2? I have all 4 phones sitting right here (Pre,Droid,Storm, Storm 2 well hell also..Iphone, Nokia n900,BB 9700). The storm 2 gets the nod. They really did a great job on it. I even had reactivated my Droid tonight for fun and after an hour reactivated my Storm2. As a messaging device it is the best. Browser even with Opera isnt. I am rooting for the Pre so i can pull it out of the box but it just lacks too much natively. Just my .02.
    In all fairness, I haven't used the storm 2 but I've seen tons of storm/storm2 owners who've switched over to Android. Right now, I get all my mail (gmail / exchange) pushed instantly to my Droid and with color-coded Led notifications, I know which is which just by glancing at it. And it's been flawless since day 1.
    Sony Clie --> Tungsten t2 --> iPhone3g --> Palm Pre --> Droid
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by darreno1 View Post
    In all fairness, I haven't used the storm 2 but I've seen tons of storm/storm2 owners who've switched over to Android. Right now, I get all my mail (gmail / exchange) pushed instantly to my Droid and with color-coded Led notifications, I know which is which just by glancing at it. And it's been flawless since day 1.
    No doubt. Now if your Droid could do that for 3 days without recharging, it would be as impressive as a Blackberry!

    I prefer my Droid to my Blackberry too, but for the average businessman who needs a reliable phone, reliable email, long battery life, simplicity, and rock-solid stability, Blackberries are hard to beat. Their continuing lead in smartphone marketshare is a testament to that. However, from a consumer-centric, entertainment-based viewpoint, Blackberries are more ho-hum than the iPhone/Pre/Droid variety.
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
    No doubt. Now if your Droid could do that for 3 days without recharging, it would be as impressive as a Blackberry!

    I prefer my Droid to my Blackberry too, but for the average businessman who needs a reliable phone, reliable email, long battery life, simplicity, and rock-solid stability, Blackberries are hard to beat. Their continuing lead in smartphone marketshare is a testament to that. However, from a consumer-centric, entertainment-based viewpoint, Blackberries are more ho-hum than the iPhone/Pre/Droid variety.

    I'll give it the long battery life and even the stability(up to a point), but I'll respectfully disagree with the reliability aspect or the simplicity. I believe BB is riding mostly on reputation right now. And like I said above, if they don't change with the tide fast enough, they'll find themselves grasping to hold on to their market share. What little edge they may still hold on the email/security side of things aren't going to mean much in the immediate future.

    As for the battery on the Droid, I'm perfectly content with plugging it in at night as I get through an entire day with heavy usage. It's really a non-issue. And if it becomes an issue I can spring for the 2600mah or carry a spare.
    Last edited by darreno1; 01/05/2010 at 01:12 AM.
    Sony Clie --> Tungsten t2 --> iPhone3g --> Palm Pre --> Droid
  18. #18  
    The thing is, other platforms are moving closer to RIM's model. Palm's still in beta messaging service, Apple's Mobile Me, Gmail for Android. If you think it's an outdated way of doing things, more of it is coming to every platform.

    At least RIM has the option of simplifying BIS if encryption is a problem for some, and they may have some legacy issues, but the infrastructure is already in place.

    Why is it important? Battery life and bandwidth will continue to be a problem for mobile devices and they need help from the network in a way a tethered desktop doesn't. BIS does the polling on behalf of the device, so the device has to maintain only a single connection open and it can be in standby mode and still listen on it. Arcane stuff, but really essential. It really should work at the carrier level, not on the device.

    Now for the comment on RIM having to move to all touch screen UI, the only value in a touch UI is that it lets the user manipulate the UI directly. This also dictates a simplified UI and lots of movement across a large screen. It's inefficient.

    If anything, I'd argue that it's Apple, Palm and Google who are wrong in relying on a fleeting UI paradigm that's good for drawing in new users but hasn't yet proved to be enduring. I also question the trend of doing away with physical keys. If the devices are swapped every couple of years, it seems premature to avoid committing to physical buttons.

    Personally, I'm looking at the new phones coming out and I'm just not impressed. The Nexus One has animated wallpapers. Why on earth would I want to waste my battery on this? And it still won't let you search the freaking calendar. Just nonsense everywhere I look.
    Palm Vx > Treo 650 > Centro > G1 > Pre > BlackBerry 9700
  19. #19  
    ^^The market trend see's things differently. Why do you think the storm and storm2 were invented? Touchscreens are the future. My prediction is the 4.3-5.0 screens will be the sweetspot that will put pressure on the mini computer market. Soon the smartphone WILL be the new 'notebook'.

    Android Gaining Momentum Among Future Smartphone Buyers - Mac Rumors
    Sony Clie --> Tungsten t2 --> iPhone3g --> Palm Pre --> Droid
  20. miata's Avatar
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    I wouldn't mind if Palm moved more in the direction of Blackberry. I would love to have something closer to the Bold form factor with a usable keyboard. I also love the Blackberry options available to customize your phone experience. I realize that these are not Palm's highest priority at the the moment, but I hope that Palm gets around to power user interface that doesn't require a bunch of unsupported patching.

    I had high hopes for WebOS when I first got my Pre, but I am starting to wonder who they are targeting with their phones. Are they targeting teens who only care about Facebook integration -- or are they really serious about business users? I am starting to have my doubts. It is very clear that Blackberry is continuing to target the serious, business road warrior.

    Don't get me wrong, I think that WebOS has more potential than anything else out there. I just wonder in which direction it will go from here.
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