7 ways the HP TouchPad burns the iPad 2 | webOS Nation
 
 

7 ways the HP TouchPad burns the iPad 2 264

by Tim Stiffler-Dean Mon, 04 Jul 2011 5:57 pm EDT

Can the iPad 2 stand the heat from the HP TouchPad's hottest features that it brings to the tablet market? After reading a list like this, we aren't so sure anymore.

The big question that has been on everyone's mind since the HP TouchPad was announced back in February, how will it fare against the much more widely known and mature iPad 2 from Apple? We'd already tackled the topic a bit in our TouchPad review last week, but there's still a lot more to look at before the final decision can be made on an individual basis. We aren't saying that the TouchPad is better than the iPad 2 in every way, we aren't like HP Europe in that way, but when you stack up a few of the major feature enhancements of the HP TouchPad that we list below, there is no doubt that the new webOS-powered device will be a much more pleasurable choice for some users over the iPad 2.

Let's be real here, the TouchPad still has a few improvements to be made before people migrate from the iOS world to webOS (we're told they're coming). Even with some bugs on the TouchPad, though, we have found 7 ways that make the TouchPad a likely competitor with the Number 1 tablet in the industry, the iPad 2. With a few OTA (over-the-air, something the iPad requires a cable for) updates to the TouchPad, HP could have a TouchPad that is even more strongly placed in the public's mind by the time this year's Holiday season arrives. Can't forget that we gave the iPad 1, and even the iPhone 4, that same liberty when they were released, so is an OTA update too much to ask for potential webOS users to wait for? 

Enough talk. Click through the break and read our list of 7 ways that the current HP TouchPad, before any updates are pushed out, beats the iPad 2.

1. Multi-Tasking and Notifications

Perhaps the pivotal feature of the original Palm Pre that set it apart from every other device, and had the crowd cheering with excitement at the announcement, was multi-tasking. The ability to open many different apps at the same time and switch between them quickly was unique for its time, and since then every other mobile operating system has been playing catch-up. Even now, two-and-a-half years after the original announcement, the HP TouchPad has a multi-tasking setup that is only imitated cheaply by the BlackBerry PlayBook, and even then the TouchPad has an improved system with the ability to stack cards based on task or application. Even Steve Jobs himself once said that webOS is great software at a public event, and that's something to say from the man who makes some of the most sought-after gadgets in the world.

Multi-tasking on the TouchPad works beautiful, and especially so with communication apps like email. At any time while you are in an application, simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen and you go from being able to interact with the app, to interacting with a card that the app is viewed in. This small window can be manipulated with swipes and taps, allowing you to switch applications (while leaving the current one running in the background), re-arrange it on the screen for quicker access later, put it in a stack with other cards to condense the space it takes up and toss it off the top of the screen to quickly close it. An example of how this works: If you're ever sending an email but forgot an important address, you can swipe the app up to go into card view, move over to your contacts applications (or Calendar, Maps, Email or any Third-Party apps) and find the address, copy it and bring it back into the email to pick up where you left off.

Along with multi-tasking, though, no-interrupt notifications mean that you'll be able to do your work and keep your focus without that annoying pop-up from an SMS someone sent you (which you got because you paired your TouchPad with your webOS smartphone). When you're ready to see your emails, music player dashboard, facebook messages, twitter timelines, calendar alerts and whatever other notifications that might have arrived while you were working, just look up at the top right corner of your screen in the menu bar, and the notifications are ready for you to sort them out.

On the iPad 2, the only notifications that you'll get will stop your workflow dead in its tracks until you do something with it, which might even mean closing that email you've been working on for a while. And for multi-tasking, the iPad simply has no real effective means of handling it, much to the chagrin of loyal Apple users. Apps don't instinctively run in the background unless they are specifically coded that way (and even then it's tricky), and moving from one app to the next to take advantage of "multi-tasking" takes more swipes and taps than should be necessary. For business users, and even media-junkies, webOS multi-tasking and the notifications system are intensely better than the iPad 2 counter-parts, and there is very little to argue there.

2. JustType

A feature that was introduced with to webOS smartphones earlier this year takes Universal Search to an entirely different level. With JustType, yes, you can do a search for contact details from any view on the TouchPad (just, you know, type, and it starts), but it can also do so much more. Send a tweet, start an email, update your Facebook status, search YouTube, convert measurements, play a specific song on your hard drive, look up a recipe and even do a simple search on Google. Whenever you Just Type something, the TouchPad reads what you are telling it and offers the most likely options for what you can do with it. And since developers can tap into that API to add their own applications to the system, Just Type, Just Works. For whatever you need, whenever you need it.

I'll give you an example. I "JustType" to find an email conversation that I was reading earlier between myself and Kevin about the TouchPad Unboxing video that is working on, and after finding it, tap the option to launch that app and read it right on the page. While reading the conversation, I realize I need to just call Kevin, so I "JustType" his name, and his contact details show up. I can see that he's on Skype, so instead of calling him, I tap the Skype Video Call icon and the Phone app launches. Within a few seconds I'm talking with Kevin face-to-face. Kevin needed me to send him a file, though, so I "JustType" the file name, and it pops up with the ability to send it in an email. It really does like nothing else.

On the iPad 2, you have search that you can access on a specific page within the launcher view (so you have to close your application you're in just to get to it), and it only searches the content on your device. It's not going to calculate your tip quickly using the JustType Plugin from that third-party developer, and it's certainly not going to let you search your Box.net account while talking on FaceTime. Just like with multi-tasking and notifications, JustType simply has no competition when it comes to TouchPad and iPad 2 comparisons.

3. Full Web Browsing

Very possibly the bane of Steve Jobs' existence, the lack of Flash on the iPad 2, is conquered easily on the HP TouchPad. There really isn't much to say of the matter when the TouchPad has it and the iPad does not. If you're looking for a device with full web-browsing capabilities, the TouchPad is the only choice you really have. 

Granted, there are many apps in the iPad App Store (hundreds of thousands more than on the TouchPad), but those apps often carry only a portion of the features that a real website can offer, and many of them cost money just to use (even one time) as is the nature of apps. No doubt, the TouchPad could serve much more nicely if it had even a small percentage of the number of apps that the iPad does, but the ability to access any website at any time (as long as that website doesn't strictly forbid the webOS browser) is just one more reason why the TouchPad can stand toe-to-toe against the iPad 2, holding ground firmly, and perhaps even gain a bit.

4. TouchStone and Touch-To-Share

If there is an accessory that Steve Jobs says you need to get with the iPad 2, it's the Smart Cover. And if there's one that HP wants you to get with the TouchPad, it's the wireless TouchStone Charging Dock. Both of them can act as a stand for your device while you're using it, and yes, both can put your device to sleep when the accessory is docked (though the TouchPad has to be configured to do that with the TouchStone, a minor step), there are a few major differences between these two accessories. 

For one, the TouchStone dock is a wireless charger that chargers your tablet while it sits on the stand, which the SmartCover does not do (the iPad needs a cable to charge, or a separate docking station with only works in portrait mode). TouchStone technology also allows one other major advantage to appear on the TouchPad: Exhibition Mode. With Exhibition Mode, your device can be silently charging on the dock that sits on your desk and also be displaying the rest of your days schedule, a photo slideshow, statusses from Twitter, a music library for easy listening (with Beats Audio) and of course, any number of other possibilities with third-party applications. So you're working hard, and your TouchPad is working hard as well (while charging wirelessly). Try to do that on the iPad 2, and you have to leave the device plugged into the charger and the app itself running in full-view on the screen waiting for you to interact with it every 2 minutes to wake the device back up.

On the iPad 2, there is some semblence of device pairing between the tablet and a compatible iPhone, but it's not much. You can track the location of either device (from a computer with iTunes installed), and with MobileMe you can save 5GB of files to the cloud which you can access on the iPad or iPhone. But that's where the pairing ends. With Touch-to-Share technology in a webOS smartphone and the TouchPad, however, you can do all of that and a whole lot more. Starting with sharing SMS text conversations and phone calls from both devices (from all the way across the room) to tapping the two devices together and transferring data (like maps, images, web pages and more). Touch-to-Share, which is shown over and over and over again in nearly every tech review or video demo that we've seen, is really handy if you can't take the TouchPad with you out to dinner, but still need those directions. Quick and easy, it just works.

5. HP Synergy

When most users think of webOS HP Synergy, they think of the ability to sync your contacts from Google and Facebook to all of your webOS devices, just be signing into one account. But Synergy goes a bit further beyond that, and luckily so, since the iPad 2 can do that same thing. Synergy is open and available for app developers to hook up with in their applications, giving webOS users more than just the default options like LinkedIn and Yahoo to sync, but potentially hundreds, or even thousands, of other services and applications to sync with as well. A service like BatchBlue, for example, could have an app created that pulls in all of the contact details from your accounts there, or 37Signals could do the same thing with Basecamp. The possibilities are, quite literally, limitless. 

On the iPad 2, you'll need to sync one service with another, and then import the contact details into your exchange account, or do any number of other things, before your contacts are legitemately synced across devices. For your average user, that's a long hard road to travel down. With Synergy, it's as easy as logging into an account.

6. Box.net 50GB Free Storage

Now, maybe this isn't something that HP has necessarily done with the device itself, but being given 50GB of free cloud storage space for the rest of your life is exactly the kind of deal that potential tablet buyers should be looking for when deciding which device to get. Within just two years, that 50GB of free storage from Box.net, which has come to some kind of amazing agreement with HP, will pay off the entire cost of your TouchPad. On the iPad 2, that same service will cost you $20/month (or more) for 50GB, and most people will settle for hte 5GB that Apple gives you for using their MobileMe service. 

So while iPad 2 users are busy connecting their devices to iTunes, which is the only software that will sync with their device without voiding the warranty, TouchPad owners will be streaming home movies from the desktop PC while on a trip around the world. The world is moving to cloud storage, and with Box.net and a free 50GB service, the HP TouchPad is several steps above the rest.

7. Homebrew

And lastly, perhaps the biggest advantage for the HP TouchPad over the iPad 2, is the Homebrew development community. If you want to install a theme on your iPad or patch the menus to act a little bit different, you have to go through a sometimes grueling task to jailbreak your tablet and void your warranty (and possibly bricking your device). On the TouchPad, you install WebOS Quick Install on your desktop computer, plug your TouchPad in using the USB cable, and grab all of the homebrew software that you want. Without voiding your warranty or risking the health of your device in unnecessary ways. Oh, and on the TouchPad that's all entirely legal and even indirectly supported by HP - on the iPad 2, this is simply not the case.

With the webOS Homebrew community actively working to make these devices even better, and with teams like WebOS Internals patrolling the forums to make sure everything is completely legal and without malicious intent, TouchPad users can safely get into Homebrew apps, patches and themes without ever worrying about damaging their devices. At any rate, even if they do install something that locks up their device in some way, HP provides the webOS doctor completely free from the support website so that you can reinstall the operating system, webOS, and get back to enjoying your TouchPad. You aren't confined to iTunes, and you aren't limited on what you can do to your device (as far as the software goes). By allowing homebrewers to continue working like that, HP is securing a population of people that really get into their community, and that's a big win for everyone involved.

Does the TouchPad hold up?

With all of these features and paradigms that the HP TouchPad has over the iPad 2, the question of whether or not the TouchPad can hold up against the Number 1 tablet device in the world is one that needs to be answered by each person based on their own circumstances. Keeping in mind a few things; that the HP TouchPad has had some difficulties that come with every new product launch, but that OTA updates are coming sometime in the future, and that the iPad has plenty of features that the TouchPad does not (like the enormous app catalog that they've created over the years), will probably keep you wondering which device to go for.

You really do need to see each device for yourself at your local BestBuy or Walmart and see which one feels right for you and fits best into your lifestyle. Our job here isn't to dismiss one device over the other, both of these devices stand strong in their own ways, it's simply to say that you have a choice. Of course, that leaves us with that last question for you: Which choice will you make?

 

264 Comments

Mine will be here at the end of the week. Can't wait. Hopefully the updates won't be far behind.

Mine too. Played with a few in a couple Best Buy stores. Played with ipad2, playbook and Xoom. Im happy I chose the Touchpad. Not cus Im some Fanboy. But It made since to me. I had $500 and I chose the WebOS... Not cus it was a 'Cheap' alternative as some critics say. cus price was the same. I could have baught either one..

Listen to this Sunday's iPad live to hear PreCentral's The Keith Newman call the TP hardware cheap, creaky, and not solid feeling.

http://www.tipb.com/2011/07/04/ipad-live-63-angry-ball-hate/

Don't care. I tried it out it feels solid to me, although I'd prefer softcoat back. And its running webOS. The iPad is darn nice too, but webOS just feels better too me.

Hey threed61 - this not related to your answer.
Tim Stiffler-Dean: I have just got to ask you: Do you post articles like these just to sit down and have a laugh at the comments section? Are you by chance baiting the Apple crew?

Got a time marker? Haven't listened to that one yet.

About 12 minutes in

Interesting. Thanks. I'm sure he'll be labeled a troll/hater pretty soon.

Good to see you **** buckets getting along yet again... You guys need your own show... It would kill .... Something.

??? Not sure what you are talking about. Maybe you responded to the wrong comment?

Btw the four stars was ****

Damnit.... Gizz then

Don't get your pressure up over it.

Keith tells it like it is. While some ppl like hp making it "right" in their buttocks

Why don't you bugger off?! Looks like you got both Apple and Android (all of them) in yours!

you are the one mentioning apple and android not me. while hp is making it "right" in your buttocks.
Apple and Android are "housing" WebOS. Don't worry their devices will be "coming soon"

i would think at some point you'd get tired of trolling P|C with your predictable anti-webOS rheotoric.

Why do people attack rather than simply countering? The posts were about webOS, why are you trying to make it about the poster? Can't you simply counter with something positive about the product rather than stooping to labeling?

WebOS users are angry people that like to belittle folks that aren't drinking the Kool-Aid. You know this.

Someday jetsetter883 will realize that loving WebOS and loving the regime that is destroying it are two different things. Then some other newbie will call him a troll and the circle will be complete.

So unbelievably true. We've seen this cycle happen over and over again.

Cool story bro

TKN has hated on Palm/HP for a while, no surprise.

I don't know. He still uses a Pre 2 and was a big supporter (though objectively critical where needed, IMO) back in the early Pre days.

"hopefully updates won't be far behind"

"I really hope that we see an OTA update in a few weeks that fixes many of the little issues and helps performance."

"Listen to this Sunday's iPad live to hear PreCentral's The Keith Newman call the TP hardware cheap, creaky, and not solid feeling."

Where have I heard all of this before. WebOS has great potential, I actually really like it. But my Pre hardware was **** the software was not ready when the phone was delivered and the promised updates never materialised. I still can't reliably open a PDF file. It just does the minimum, and a lot of that not very well.

I hope the Touchpad does better, but I'm not getting another WebOS phone.

I dig your arguments, that's why I have been sold on webOS in the first place...

...but the true problem, guys, is: WHO CARES? webOS has pretty much the same advantages over competing mobile OSes from get go, two years ago, some of them polished in 3.0, some of them not-so-unique anymore, after 24 months of other systems catching up on different fronts.

Answer is: no one cares. Not customers "en masse", not developers.

Question 2: why no one cares?
Answer(s): because customers are not educated, because hardware is ALWAYS behind the competition, and YES, people buy by spec sheets quite often, because hardware is overpriced, comparing to better specced competitors, because hardware is shite quality, because there's no clear direction in webOS, because HPalm does not put their money where they mouth is, because they are making horrendously stoopid decisions (Veer->TP->Pre3->Flagship slab - for real, that is YOUR priority list? Have you checked the sales figures for different form factors yet? Or maybe you don't do that, Mr. Rubinstein, as to not be "tainted" by sales facts, as you don't do with your competition hardware?), because they are saying catastrophically stupid things, because their hardware refresh cycle is non-existing). Because they are promising things to existing customers and then do not keep up the promises, repeatedly. Because they saying stupid things about "webOS on printers" (seriously, if my printer is going to need 2 minutes to boot, I will return it faster than you can say "what idiot have decided to put this dog-slow booting UI on that printer"), and do not say anything about what people WANT, NEED - phones....

What HP did to date to address the above enormous feckups? EACH and EVERY one of them has to be addressed, for webOS to start getting ANY traction.

Their launches/rebooting of webOS??? Non-existing, pathetic media "efforts". Their communication with tech community??? Non-existing.

HP, what you did to date in webOS land, is nothing short of giant, enormous failure after failure after failure. On the contrary to what you seem to think, you DO NOT have all the time in the world, and as many failed attempts as you want, to make webOS anything successful. Window of opportunity is closing FAST, is practically closed already, and it would take laser-precision and focus to wedge it back open. Can you do that?

Your "efforts" to date did nothing to convince me that you really can.

I COULD NOT AGREE MORE! Well said on all points! :-)

Why would the printer need 2 minutes to load? It won't need to load phone, camera, and 1/2 the stuff the phones need.

Oh yeah? "half the stuf, it doesn't need"? So what will happen to half of the OS functionality, on that printer thing, if not "loaded"? What idiotic argument it is? Since when your phone "loads a camera" when it boots up, anyway? And lastly, why the feck anyone would need multitasking OS running on a printer?? **** why not install Windows Vista, in such a case - it certainly boots up faster)

But lets have it your way, let's make it HALF the phone's time to boot. That is of course assuming, that they'll put 550MHz++ processor on that printer, just to handle the UI (and thus driving price up...). It makes ONE MINUTE to boot up. Riiiiight, color me impressed, just a PERFECT use case for a printer UI. Congratulations to you, for your (lack of) logic and precise argumentation. You should work in HP's PR, they do need people who don't have any connection with reality.

Anyone who says "webOS on a printer", is an idiot, a clueless muppet with two braincells. Period.

..oh, not on a printer, then? Why, maybe a TV? Fancy waiting one minute (and longer, more likely) for your TV to show some signs of life? Noooo??? Amazing, I wonder why. Well, at least they can put the thing on a toaster.. Erm.. wait.. OK, nevermind.

...or maybe instead of making some knee-jerk stunts, they would release solid, mainstream phones, just for a change?

seriously - H E L L gets starred out?

As one who really likes my Pre Plus in spite of the lack of software (home brew makes it tollerable...as always thanks), I'm sad to say I agree with your assessment.

I would recommend discounting the hardware $100 less than iPad 2 to make it attractive to new buyers and loyal Pre owners. HP needs market share desperately. Most people without prior use of WebOS will just follow the herd to iOS or Andriod!

Come on HP, make better decisions and get WebOS out to people to use.

I really hope that we see an OTA update in a few weeks that fixes many of the little issues and helps performance. If a 1.5 gigaherz 64gb white one can be had for $699 I'd consider it, but I would be hesitant to buy until I see if an ipad 3 hits in sept. per the rumors.

I'm currently on an ipad 1, and while the touchpad is a step up in performance (most likely), the apps still leave a bit to be desired. If they get Hulu and Netflix, with some nice document editing, I'd have to relent on that argument as well. Still though, I have apps like Keynote, Pages, Omnifocus, GoodReader, Netflix, Garageband on my ipad already, it's becoming hard to catch up.

no you won't.

no I won't what?

edit: Oh, sorry, reread it and see you meant I won't consider it.

Honestly, as much as I hate things HP/Palm have done I still like webOS, and my chief reservations with the touchpad lie in it's pricing and first gen feeling. Wish a 4G verizon version was in the cards.

... you can at least be sure that the cards will be in the 4G version.

Actually, I talked to the HP rep at a local Best Buy store on Saturday when I was looking at the TouchPad, and asked about the cellular versions and when they'd be out. He said the AT&T one will be out first in the next few months, and a Verizon 4G LTE version would be out at some point too. No dates or timelines, but he said it's coming.

I like how the fact that Rubinstein acknowledged the problems that reviewers like Josh Topolsky were experiencing and were working on them has turned into "it will all be fixed in the next update".

This is what happens when people are allowed to post their fondest hopes and dreams for these devices while any kind of skepticism is considered to be trolling.

If you want people to believe that all of the TP's shortcomings will be fixed with the next OTA update that will practically arrive simultaneously with the devices as they hit the shelves, then fine. All you are fostering is eventual disappointment and anger as unrealistic expectations are not fulfilled.

Eventually, people will just fall back on "Well, you bought first generation beta hardware. What did you expect?"

Feel better?

Touch-To-Share will be worth something if they ever actually come out with phones to take advantage of it.

Exactly. It's stupid to even mention touch to share as an advantage over the ipad2 when you no phones that support this exist.
I'm still boycotting the touchpad until they drop the prices. If i were to spend $500 i'm going with the guys that are stable and have more quality apps.

The problem with the TouchPad is that I can afford one, and will probably buy one before the year ends.

picking the ipad 2 tomorrow. I'll definitely look at webOS and come back once they release a quality device with a more fluid OS

a lot of apps crash on ipad 2 and there is nothing more fluid than webOS when you actually multitask even though webOS 3.0 is not optimized yet.

Another key indicator, TP's WiFi performance is much better than iPad2

It's not just iPad all Mac based systems have a very poor WiFi performance. The funny thing is that when you are in Windows on Macbook pro it never has any WiFi performance issue.

My decision was made months ago when I got an iPhone 4 from work. It feels downright outdated and kludgy compared to my launch day Sprint Pre minus. Granted it's been heavily modified via homebrew, but that's the point. I control the look & feel and still feel, with a webOS 1.45 device out performs ios 4. Yes, apps are a big deal, and I wish there were more for webOS.

My 32Gb unit arrives tomorrow, as well as a few accessaries, so I've voted with my wallet. It will fit my needs today, and will adapt and grow along with me over the next few years.

It's webOS for me.

You will love it!

Its like we came from the same mother!!!

yeah touch to share really makes the ipad2 look inferior especially since we all have a pre3 phone to utilize this

It works right now with the veer and pre2, also it will connect and share calls/sms with any webOS device,

so yeah using my hp veer connected to my tablet taking calls all day, id say this wipes the buttcrack with ipad2

has touch-to-share been confirmed with the pre2? the original demos back in Feb always indicated the pre2 would not be at that party... if it is then even i may be tempted to early adopt on the TP - maybe the 64Gb one...

touch to share is not the same as device pairing. You can even pair Pre- to receive calls and text messages. Touch to share is for sending websites to the other device and so far it seems only Pre3 is capable of doing that since it requires a secondary coil and they other webOS devices don't have. I am not sure if Veer comes with the second coil.

Touch To Share does not work with the Pre2. The phones have to have a special coil/chip inside them that makes it work. Only the Pre3 and Veer(?) are equipped with that (so far). Hopefully we'll see a slate phone by Christmas that will have it too!!

Mita is correct. The Best Buy rep that I was speaking to confirmed with a phone call to a corporate support # she was given, that ONLY the Pre3 has touch to share functionality. She did also confirm that even my original Pre- will be pairable with my TP for SMS and phone calls interception/relay to my TP.

"...share calls/sms with any webOS device"?

I paired my Sprint Pre- (webOS 1.4.5) via Bluetooth with my TouchPad, and while the calls are shared, my texts are not, unfortunately. Can someone clear this up for me?

I am still waiting for my TouchPad so I haven't tested it out myself but from what I have heard from paring with Pre- it has been a hit or miss so far. I like to know if it's the same with Pre+ as well or not.

It's calls only for now. I tried the same thing and had the same result.

Is that the case with all phones paired with TouchPad or just the webOS 1.4.5?

I don't know. I can think of roughly 25 MILLION (with projections pointing toward 50 million) ways the iPad burns the TouchPad. But I suppose 7 is a start.

Good one lil Steven.

The thing is, how many times have you have to repeat same argument no matter the article? What sense is there to counter like you suggest? People dont get mad at first negative comment. We get your point and its valid, iOS has million more apps and more sales. We understood you the first 50 times. Some people just have other priorities and tastes.

I've said it 50 times? Really? I think you are mistaking me for someone else. Care to point me to those 50 posts so that I may edit/delete them?

Anyway, I saw it as a proper response to an article that suggest the TouchPad "burns the iPad". Similar things were written about the Pre...they didn't help then either.

Also, my comments are about the products, not peoples tastes and/or priorities. Feel free to counter it with something rather than implying that I post (or repeat myself) too often. OR...feel free to continue implying that I post (or repeat myself) too often.

I'm curious - and this is a legitimate question - are all iPad users really this jealous over webOS's multitasking? It seems they get really, really torqued off when someone suggests that their OS feels like something from the '90's vs webOS, which feels more modern? Personally you know, some people don't really need multitasking. Thats cool. I mean, I really don't know why my PC has it at all?? I'd much rather just close the app I'm on and open the next! It's highly overrated IMO. Single tasking is the wave of the future and the iOS sales PROVE it!! BOOYAH!!

just proves there are a lot of suckers out there.

LOL! That was awesome! I had a friend of mine (mega Apple fan, and he should be since he makes apps for Apple) the other day mention how 80's it felt to use a keypad to text on a Pre (he also think virtually every IT product but Apple is garbage). I wanted so badly to say to him why don't he throw his MacBook and iMac in the trash since they use those silly little keypads on them. I also wanted to mention how virtually every corporation in the world still has keyboard for virtually all data entry. But trust me, if you know my friend, you would realize that I would be wasting my breath :-)

Could you imagine if iMac's and MacBooks only allowed for one app to be open at a time, it would be a laughing stock......to every non-Apple fan I guess :-)

I tried to find two things here. a) the area in my post that had anything todo with multi-tasking and b) the logic the shows anyone who disagrees with something about the touchpad must be an iPad fan living in fear.

I didn't find either so I'm guessing you replied to the wrong post.

You didn't. I was just being sarcastic. I just think its funny that iOS trounces the Touchpad in so many ways except the one that really, truly matters. Well.. to me at least. You couldn't pay me to use an operating system that effectively uses one app at a time.

One could argue that the areas "that really, truly matters" are in fact where webOS fails the most.

So true

Oh this outta be good. I'll bite - enlighten me. And remember, you said webOS in general, not the Touchpad.

After all is said and done, it is apps that drive device sales. WebOS has nothing compared to iOS or Android. In that, one of, if not THE most important areas, webOS fails. Badly.

Are you saying that if Android had more apps than Apple they would outsell them? Don't let the Apple defenders hear you here.

That's not what I said at all. But if you prefer to twist words to arrive at idiotic conclusions, instead of actually talking about the issue, go for it.

@taharka

I think this actually refutes your (sometimes asinine) comments. You talked about the fact that iOS may soon have 50 million ways to burn the Touchpad. Meaning the amount of apps on the platform. It seems that the point Tim was making in the article (save for the cloud storage), was the that WebOS 3.0 burns iOS in fit and function. Unfortunately the name of the article does not reflect it's writing.

Now you are definitely correct in that iOS and Android for that matter have a ridiculously large advantage when it comes to apps but I would say that WebOS holds its own and does burn iOS and Android in core functionality. Now you can say so what because I have a million apps, which is fine but I think the argument still is valid that WebOS is a better operating system in many ways.

My "25 million reasons" comment was about the number of people that have purchased the ipad (sales), NOT the number of apps.

By the way, love that you have to throw and insult in there rather than just counter me. :-) I don't mind either way, but comments without insults are better for everyone, don't you think?

I was really not trying to insult you. I was speaking about what you say.
Your comments tend to be pretty negative and annoying. I did not call you anything (troll, fanboy, etc) or demean
you in anyway. I think it's fair to speak on the tone of your thoughts. All that said I
do apologize for offending you.

My main point is irrespective of apps or sales WebOS can still be better
than iOS and or Android. Which I think we can argue. Betamax was better
than VHS but VHS still won. OS2 Warp was much better than Windows 3.1 but
we see what happened there. I just think Tim was making that type of
argument. Apps and sales don't necessarily tell the whole story.

Calling my comments negative and annoying is one thing. Calling them extremely stupid or foolish (asinine) simply because you think they are negative and annoying is another. Thanks for the apology but I honestly wasn't insulted, I just thought the conversation would flow better without such language.

Anyway on your point: I see it slightly different. I do not agree that because a product has a few features that are considered "better" necessarily means the product itself is better overall. Even in some of your examples above, the product that was "better overall" won. The Betamax vs VHS battle is a perfect example of this (though many misrepresent this and simply say the lesser of the two won). "Better" is not limited to a few technical features.

In fact, one of my main arguments against Android is the fact that people look at the fact that it can support every wiz-bang, geeky thing that can be imagined and assume that makes it "better overall".

I agree that sales is not 100% of the picture, but I do not agree that it can be easily dismissed as "meh, it was just well marketed". People aren't as dumb as some here would like many to believe.

I'll use Apple as an example (not to suggest that it's better...just an example).

The iPhone has been one of the best selling products in recent history. Even if we dismiss its initial success to "good marketing", if the product itself was not solid overall (enough to overshadow it's flaws), it would be hard to explain the repeated sales. No matter how good your marketing is, if the product is bad, word will eventually get out. There are likely exceptions to this, but this is the norm.

I'm curious myself, mattbrad2, as to why you've descended to outright lies. iPad 2 does multitask several different services and apps. iPad users can stream audio as they write an email while something is downloading in the background.

That's multitasking.

What happens to your Facetime video conversation with your friend if you put it in the 'background'? I would genuinely like to know please.
And say you want to change a different music track in the middle of composing that email, what happens to the email message you are composing when you 'switch' to the music app? Can you list the steps you would take to get to the music app from the email message and back please?

What happens to a YouTube video on WebOS when you put it into the background?

More importantly, your scenarios are UNItasking, not multitasking. In each case, you STOP one task, then switch to another. Put something in the background, then go from there.

WebOS can sometimes task switch faster and more efficiently.

But in some cases like having multiple browser cards open, it CANNOT. iOS 5 will bring native tabbed browsing where you can have several websites open on the same screen and switch to between any of them in any order without going to the desktop. Can WebOS do that?

You can play this game anyway you want to. Meanwhile, where are the apps? The media stores? The better build quality hardware? The system updates?

I believe this is more a function of Flash on mobile platforms as even Android devices do this. You are going to undercut webOS's multitasking by using Flash as your sole example? Wow - especially in response to nyallj, which by the way, webOS could do all of those examples nyallj listed without breaking a sweat. The iPad? Ohhhhh, I don't know about that.

I'm calling you out on that whole "being rational" thing you so eloquently brought up in another post. I'm starting to think that in your world, anything (and I mean ANYTHING) pro webOS is not rational. Which... isn't being rational. Hmmm, maybe we need to look up the definition of rational.

I believe you're mistaken as there is a patch that DOES enable YouTube videos to keep playing when not active. Have no idea which versions of WebOS it still works on as there are a kazillion these days, but the limitation is on HP's implementation, not Flash.

Anyway, each scenario is just task switching, not multitasking. Maybe you need to look up a few more words...

AND....you still HAVEN'T answered my question above. Kind of makes you look...ummm....

ahhh...no answer...as much as I thought...smh...

No it's not. Apparently, it's only multitasking if there is a card involved. This is why you can't do "true multitasking" on a headless linux server installation. /sarcasm

I own iPhone and pre- for testing purposes. It is simply painful to work on the iPhone. When you dontload an app, your app will be closed and you will be redirected to the last page. But if the app store/openfeint/browser are on the first page, you will browse, and browse, and browse through the menus again and again. Something webos does in 2 swipes. Same with ipad.
And no, iOS users are not jealous, as the have no idea what they are missing

They don't call this multitasking. Apparently it's an "outright lie" (Mikah's words, not mine), to say the iPad doesn't do multitasking. We're really getting nit picky here.

Multitasking - to do two or more tasks simultaneously.

Power on iOS device. Get in car. Turn on TomTom. As it navigates in the background via voice, web browse. as it navigates and loads the web page. When you finish with that, stream audio from Pandora or another service as navigation continues and the webpage is loading or loaded and waiting. All at the same time.

iOS multitasks. Fact.

Why aren't you answering my question above asking about the 'multitasking' 'fact' of iOS?

Because you're not talking about multitasking, but rather task SWITCHING, which I made patently clear.

I don't even think you have to go to straight statistics. There are objective advantages like iOS 5 getting a tabbed browser, while on the TouchPad, you have to swipe out and then over to the next card just to go to another web page you have loaded up.

Or Apple having superior PDF support. Or superior media content options. Or superior Twitter integration. Or superior lock screen functionality. Or superior accessory choices. Or superior developer support. Or superior hardware build quality. or superior product scheduling. Or superior promotion and marketing. And so on and so on.

But these are things that only matter to "some" people like the millions and millions. And these 7 things matter to WebOS fans.

I hear ya Micah! Who cares if iOS feels like something from War Games? You can truly single task MAN!! Ride the wave to the future!! iOS is truly, truly, a modern marvel of software engineering. Have you seen those notifications?? Oh wow, these webOS users here don't know what their missin, I tell ya.

Notifications that completly take over your entire screen, and can't be bypassed until you acknowledge them (still in the year 2011) is the wave of the future Matt. Haven't you heard?

Notice that you can't take issue with what I said. Only repeat the "notifications! notifications!notifications!" mantra.

Yes, WebOS notifications are better in most ways. NO, this does not offset all of the other advantages for iOS and iPad that I mentioned. And what's more, Apple has finally addressed notifications and significantly improved them for general release in iOS5 which will arrive in a few months at the latest.

What release window has HP given for Netflix arriving? Or for a better build quality Touchpad? Or for better PDF support? Or for getting their media and eReading content online?

It's okay to love a product, yet acknowledge its weaknesses and disadvantages. It's called being rational. I know of so many iOS weaknesses and disadvantages that I own NO Apple products save for the iPod Touch 64GB I bought my wife a couple of years back that gets used strictly for her when she's at work for music. I got a Roku instead of Apple TV. A netbook instead of a MacBook Air or iPad. And if iPhone "5" with iOS 5dropped on Sprint this morning, I still wouldn't replace my current handset with it. Now what? It still doesn't change the fact that that ecosystem towers over WebOS for the forseeable future, both in tablets and phones.

For build quality see: http://www.tipb.com/2011/07/05/apple-stays-years-competition-massive-amo...

Apple literally squashes the competition with their tactics.

Odd, Samsung seems to have no problem staying on par despite this.

They've sold 3 million Galaxy S II handsets without so much as touching American shores yet.

Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been the number one AND two bestelling tablets at Amazon for quite some time, beating both the iPad 2 and cheaper iPad 1, and absolutely eclipsing Touchpad sales for the entire launch weekend and today.

HP is a larger technology company. What's their excuse?

Oh oh, Mikah is pissed. Quick - no one mention how iOS can't touch webOS's multitasking.

Man! You sound silly as ever. Read your statement and listen to how corny and untrue that sounds. Too much superior support can also jamm apps up as well. Did you know that?

... in other news, Danielle Steel is better than Kurt Vonnegut, Baywatch was better than Babylon 5, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace is better than Citizen Kane, Dane Cook is better than Bill Hicks, and Britney Spears is better than Eva Cassidy.

Because, y'know, the numbers of the people who buy something are always indication of that something's inherent superiority.

Look; I'm not judging either way which "burns" the other--each model has its pluses--but when couching your argument (or ANY argument, for that matter), please recall the words of Anatole France: "If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing."

No matter how you slice it or try to dismiss it, a company WANTS to have those 50 million (or as huge of a chunk of it as possible) in their sales report. Unless of course, these companies don't care about actually selling products. I kind of thought that was the point.

Millions of sales going to the other guys, no matter how "good" you think your product is will cause you to echo the words of Jon Rubinstein "driving broad consumer adoption of Palm products is taking longer than we anticipated" (in other words, "our stuff ain't selling")

Keep thinking sales don't really matter and take a closer read at your Anatole France quote.

You mean there are 25 to 50 million people...

hahaha good one taharka.

Nice list Tim, shocking to me after playing with an iPad2 yesterday how the reviewers don't mention webOS multitasking as key. I just can't imagine not doing several things at once as part of my normal workflow and this is key.

That said, hard to evaluate the TouchPad before the OTA to fix so many glitches. And also getting some of those apps that were promised already--Kindle Netflix a movie store, music store.

Finally that box.net deal needs to be priced in relationship to what storage costs with other vendors especially as it does not look like box.net is offering any of its specialized business services for the personal accounts: syncing, password sharing for downloading etc. Amazon is offering 20 gigs annually right now for the price of a $0.99 album; Also Note the box.net business account itself is less than the personal at $15 a month with all these functions plus a lot more storage, clearly box.net sees business as its key constituency.

I think if there were more apps available, multitasking would be more useful. But the reviewers probably had stock apps and it didn't even phase them that they could flip through them. Imagine having a stock Windows installation with none of your favorite programs and that is possibly similar to the experience reviewers had. I know it's not a perfect metaphor, but I hope it conveys the idea. It's great I can multitask on my Pre... but I am missing so many programs that are on iOS and Android that it doesn't seem like much of a selling point to me anymore. I'm sure lots of us had high hopes for the apps.. but maybe a year from now things will be a lot better in the App Catalog. I still want Shazam and the nice games iOS gets like Final Fantasy and Rage. I would be very happy with webOS if we had iOS' catalog and all the features we currently have =/

*****
maybe a year from now things will be a lot better in the App Catalog
*****

Similar hopes have been expressed in 2009, 2010 and now 2011. Maybe the third year is a charm.

Exactly. It's great that WebOS has a great task switcher, but when it's the same limited tasks over and over, and iOS is providing unique experiences like Garageband or some of their leading games....it just doesn't compare to most people.

People don't drop hundreds on tablets so they can have unobtrusive notifications. They do it because touch surfaces are cool, and they want to do cool things with it.

I respect this article, and realize that pep rallies are a must around here. Not like HP is doing the job with their soft launches, buggy software and terrible demo units. But this article could be rewritten for the Palm Pre line versus iPhone two and a half years ago, and....well.....

Agreed. In fact, it's been done:

"Seven features that make the Palm Pre better than the iPhone" http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2009/01/08/six-features-that-ma.html

"Nice list Tim, shocking to me after playing with an iPad2 yesterday how the reviewers don't mention webOS multitasking as key. I just can't imagine not doing several things at once as part of my normal workflow and this is key."

The iPad has multitasking... some may say it isn't full multitasking, and they're right, but truth is, I highly doubt any user can see the difference. The true difference is the Touchpad GUI is MUCH BETTER.

joketasking

Shouldn't it be 8 areas?

Audio Experience

So far Beats Audio seems to be a great addition to the Touchpad by the accounts I have seen. Yes the speakers can become muffled depending on orientation. The Ipad has cases with deflectors to address this same issue. So we are not alone. Overall the audio experience on the Toucpad should be superior to the Ipad.

I agree with you. Even listening to the speakers of all the tablets in best buy, you can tell a difference. The HP rep there said that with headphones it really bumps...her words not mine.

Where's taharka and mikah912 on this one?!

SRS for the iPad does pretty much the same, comes with the souped-up earbuds, and costs the exact same as a TouchPad Touchstone.

Huh?!

Mikah would argue how the iPad's power button is by FAR superior to the Touchpads.

let me write a couple of things ,
1)Netflix
2)Hulu
3)the biggest selection of enterprise tablet apps currently available
4) a proven product
5)superior build quality
6)10+ hour battery life
7)having WAY more choices in the app catalog
8)internally developing an app and being able to sell it NOW on a market of 100 million+ users
9)a huge selection of accessories
10a guarantee that they are buying into an established ecosystem that will be healthy for years to come

Aside from those tiny quibbles, you are right there is no reason whatsoever why anyone would choose an iPad.

(by the way i have both touchpad&ipad and i still ove my touchpad over ipad, but it doesn't change the fact that first gen touchpad is inferior to the ipad 2)

you do realize that 4 of those choices are in the same simple category "apps"...

I think you missed the point on the article and what the writer is trying to convey.

they are things you can do with the tablet though. Not just an app. YOu can watch netflix on one. You can't on another. You can edit video on one. you can't on another. You can watch espn live on one not the other. etc. i'm sure there are other examples. But i hate these lists because they are not objective and honestly the guy's right you can rattle off countless areas that benefit the other guy. But if people just want to bury their head in the sand that's fine. But it doesn't make it true.

This article isn't saying that you should definitely buy the TP of the Ipad. It's just pointing out 7 things that the TP does better.

It even mentions the places where it falls short to the Ipad.

I like how at the end, Tim mentions that it really depends on what you need and your circumstances.

Let look at Ipad's adantages over Touchpad

1) Better battery life.
2) An App store that is beyond compare
3) Smoother GPU optimization.
4) Tuetonic qualities in build and materials.
5) Sling Box
6) Docs Editing for enterprise and regular users.
7) O/S upgrades
8) Broad range of accessories.
9) Social acceptance/no stygma.
10) Not having to depend on HP for nuttin'
11) Don't need jailbreak/homebrew to hit the minimum acceptable user experience.
12) Your friends have them, hit them up for a video chat/share contacts.
13) The platform will continue to grow in all aspects.
14) ITunes (if you're into that sick sorta abuse)
15) Local retail experts/support/repairs.

9) Social acceptance/no stygma.

Seriously? Does that really play into your technology buying?

Not me. I went droid on tablet. Dont feel the need to lord that over anybody, it's been a pretty sweet deal so far. But it means a lot to most people and thus is makes my list.

Oh dear. That is incredibly sad. However it explains a lot of why people buy the iPad... and why bell bottom jeans were all the rage at one time.

10) Not having to depend on HP for nuttin'

Personally, I'd consider not having to depend on Apple for nuttin' to be a bigger perk.

I'm honestly not sure if I could accept an Apple product as a gift without gagging.

When you're spending tablet dollars, you dont want to depend on anybody to complete the product or help it keep pace. Especially if you release an incomplete iteration and have a history of o/s ADD.

-5 up there HP. Make things right, make that list go away. You cant cost as much as Ipad and have this many defined weaknesses. Stop goofing off in Cannes and showcasing incomplete products to celebrities. Make your products the celebrities.

Love resume
Sorry about your name not showing properly, that was the iPad predictive text!

In response to your points

1 & 2 - I am based in the UK so can't access them anyway therefore they are immaterial to me.
3,7 and 8 - Apps - time will address these issues. I have lots of apps on my iPad and iphone4 and hardly use any of them. I have noticed in the app store that sometimes the same app appears several times. Has anyone verified the number of unique apps? The number of apps is not a useful comparison as lots of apps are not in the least useful, to me anyway.
4,5 and 6 - I will come back to that when my TP arrives. For now I will say that the two things I like best about my iPad are the screen and the battery life. The two things I like least are being tethered to iTunes, which is horrible and only recently did I manage to perform and update without it failing several times, the second is reliability or polish you might say.

Twice my idevices have 'ruined' holidays by choosing those times to fail. The first time my iPhone 4 completely crashed and I lost the videos I had taken and my audiobooks I had downloaded, photos contacts music etc all lost. The second time my iPad won't open any of the books I've bought to read, it does actually open them but then immediately crashes.

9 - not of great interest to me personally but I take your point.
10 - never say never. In the uk we had a national jewellers with hundreds of stores throughout the country and they were also a financially sound company, until the CEO said as a wee joke at a dinner that his company produced and sold **** They don't exist anymore.

Tim,

What about the Palm Profile? Having all of your data synced/backed up to the cloud automatically is a pretty big deal I think. If a 64 GB tablet is released anyone with a 16 or 32 GB can easily 'upgrade' and most of their data will wirelessly sync from the profile.

-Jeremy

that's a good point

I really really don't get the infatuation about applications.

That being said, I would take those 7 notes over a few thousand apps to make an attempt to try to patch it up.

I just was at futureshop and played with the ipad2 for about 20 min. It just doesn't do anything for me. It's simple, it works. Nothing knocking the way it does it.
But webOS is just smarter. It does more, and overall a better experience.

Once the marketing starts, people will realize the potential and HP has the brains and power to do such a thing.

new to webos

multitasking - so an email app can be checking email in REAL TIME while i listen to an mp3 in the foreground?

i have android today and it doesnt work that way. or does it, i dont know, i am not too tech savy i guess.

Yes you can do that.

You can load a website, go back to the email to finish that sentence, then return back to the webpage loaded.

You can do all, and everything at once essentially

I'll take the WebOS road every time. I like the touchpad but I love the home brew crew. With that kind of real simbiosis between HP and home brew, that is a very bright spot in their offering. now if someone can just start up on those overclocking patches...

You forgot the number row on the keyboard as another advantage.

That said, I'm a Pre2 owner and still not sold on the TouchPad Vs EEE Pad Transformer. How long it takes HP/Quickoffice to get document editing capabilities will determine which I'm going to purchase.

for real. Switching back and forth is a nightmare. Especially since most passwords have to have both letters and numbers. This should be added. Perhaps we should start a second list.

Also ' and - on the primary keyboard. Yes, auto-correct will put the apostrophe in most of the time and yes, I'm rather pedantic for writing e-mail with a dash, but for me it will be a big benefit.

Should be 9 areas.

8. Beats Audio
9. OTA Over-the-Air updates (apple can not do yet, until iOS5 comes out)

My phone can get OTA updates? I think OTA are only provided for a few months. It's been over a year since Palm / HP delivered an OTA, I know they've promised a few. Maybe it's my phone that's the problem.

My phone can get OTA updates? I think OTA are only provided for a few months. It's been over a year since Palm / HP delivered an OTA, I know they've promised a few. Maybe it's my phone that's the problem.

My phone can get OTA updates? I think OTA are only provided for a few months. It's been over a year since Palm / HP delivered an OTA, I know they've promised a few. Maybe it's my phone that's the problem.

My phone can get OTA updates? I think OTA are only provided for a few months. It's been over a year since Palm / HP delivered an OTA, I know they've promised a few. Maybe it's my phone that's the problem.

My phone can get OTA updates? I think OTA are only provided for a few months. It's been over a year since Palm / HP delivered an OTA, I know they've promised a few. Maybe it's my phone that's the problem.

My phone can get OTA updates? I think OTA are only provided for a few months. It's been over a year since Palm / HP delivered an OTA, I know they've promised a few. Maybe it's my phone that's the problem.

LOL, OTA concerns are what is taking WebOS to a PREmature death.

You really want to push that button?

How can the Touchpad be better than the iPad in any way if the thing is so slow and glitchy? I have two exchange accounts syncing to the Touchpad and I have to wait a good 10-20 seconds before the email app becomes responsive. I understand there is an OTA update coming but this is just awful. They should have waited a month before releasing this to make sure it was running smoothly. I love webOS and really want to love the Touchpad but I feel ripped off right now. This is going back to the store, I'll try again when version 2 comes out.

LOL, OTA concerns are what is taking WebOS to a PREmature death.

You really want to push that button?

LOL, OTA concerns are what is taking WebOS to a PREmature death.

You really want to push that button?

LOL, OTA concerns are what is taking WebOS to a PREmature death.

You really want to push that button?

ipad2 will have better resale value than the touchpad1

8- Beats Audio
9. OTA
10. Angry Birds HD for free (240 levels)!
11. 4 Keyboard sizes/number row on main KB
12. 1GB RAM