Editorial: Why I'm a Palm fan and not a fanatic | webOS Nation
 
 

Editorial: Why I'm a Palm fan and not a fanatic 284

by Derek Kessler Tue, 17 Nov 2009 7:50 am EST

No 1 I’ve been a loyal Palm user for many years. Going back to the old Palm M105 I’ve been a Palm diehard, up through the Tungsten T, Tungsten T3 (best PDA ever), a Treo 650, Treo 755p, and now the Palm Pre. Don’t get me wrong, I really do like the Palm Pre and believe that it is the best smartphone on the market and webOS certainly has more potential than any other platform, but years of observation have left me somewhat jaded on the future of Palm.

This time one year ago I was lost as to what my next phone was going to be. My Sprint contract was close to being up for renewal and while I was still a fan of the old Palm OS, it simply couldn’t compare to the offerings from Apple and Google. Problem is, Android a year ago was still pretty darned rough around the edges and even then I didn’t like the idea of being locked in the Apple iPhone ecosystem. And Sprint, oh poor lowly Sprint, they didn’t have a single new phone that I found really appealing. My Treo was by no means in bad shape - the 755p was a tank, after all - but I’m a self-professed technology whore and I had a bad hankering for the latest.

Thankfully, it wasn’t much longer before Palm revealed webOS and the Pre. I though I was saved, and through the next six months that it took for Palm and Sprint to finally ship the phone I read everything I could about it, jumped back into discussion of the phone and Palm, and eventually came to be a writer and editor for PreCentral. The Pre finally landed in my hands on launch day and I couldn’t have been happier.

But the five months since have slightly soured my opinion of Palm. With my observation ramped up by orders of magnitude so that I could effectively cover Palm and its products, I’ve come to be more than a bit jaded. If webOS had launched like this two years ago, or even just a year ago, it would have been more acceptable. But we live in a world where smartphones are becoming more and more prevalent and manufacturers and developers have stepped up their game considerably in response to, well, the iPhone. The more competitive devices there are on the market, the better yours has to be to truly stand out.

The standout part of the Pre is the webOS operating system, and even that has some glaring shortcomings.

Here’s the problem: the standout part of the Pre is the webOS operating system, and even that has some glaring shortcomings. But I’ll start with the hardware, which simply put is unacceptably inferior. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the design concept, but clearly it’s not designed or built well. I know that there are plenty of Pre users that managed to get a good unit at their first (and only) purchase, but I can speak from experience that not everybody has received quality hardware.

My first Pre was afflicted with the infamous slider crashes because of a loose battery compartment. The Touchstone back contacts on my second Pre randomly broke. And after only a few weeks my third Pre began to develop stress cracks around the USB door. I have a Touchstone, so the only time I ever used USB was to hook up to my computer, which maybe happened twice a week at most. So now I’m on my fourth Pre - by now most sane customers would have turned to something else, but clearly I’m not sane.

As best as I can tell, the Pixi is a much more solid phone than the Pre. I wish I could say that the slider design of the Pre makes it inherently fragile, but given the fact that slider phones had been on the market for several years before the Pre was even conceived, it’s unacceptable for the hardware to be this shoddy. You could say that the curved slider makes the Pre more prone to breakage, and you’d probably be right. One has to wonder why that wasn’t realized before trotting the phone out on stage at CES. When Palm phones were more dominant in the smartphone world it wasn’t so bad for the hardware to be less-than-stellar, but now that you’re at the bottom of the heap those same low standards just aren’t good enough.

So what kept me with Palm and the Pre, aside from the fact that I’m paid to write about the company and its devices? webOS, that’s what. If there’s one thing that I am more than a technology whore, it’s a sucker for good design. The ease of use experience that is the webOS user interface is in my eyes unequalled. Where the iPhone set a new bar in the UI world, Palm stuck their pole into the box and cleanly vaulted over that bar (that’s a pole vaulting analogy, for those of you with dirty minds). The nearly seamless multi-tasking interface of webOS is second to none and is wrapped in beautiful graphics, but in most every other area it falls short of the competition.

While it seemed like an awesome concept back in January, the cold hard reality is that these basic web based coding tools aren’t going to be powerful enough to make the kind of apps that people truly want.

I’ll start with the foundation of programming for webOS: HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. While it seemed like an awesome concept back in January, the cold hard reality is that these basic web based coding tools aren’t going to be powerful enough to make the kind of apps that people truly want. While Palm has made some impressive stock apps with the Mojo SDK, their limitations are readily apparent with the struggle that the Pre has just trying to run Email. While there’s plenty that can be done with web coding tools, there’s only so much that can be done well.

There’s a place for apps built on these foundations - things like translators and calculators and pretty much everything else that fills the App Catalog is fine. But heavier apps, the kind that now drive smartphone adoption and are clearly evident as the keystone to the iPhone’s continued success, can’t work off these tools. Apps like Palm’s own Calendar and Email struggle to run smoothly even with the beast of a processor that is inside the Pre.

There’s only so much tweaking that can be done to make these apps faster, and when Calendar ran faster on my old Treo and its comparatively pathetic hardware, there’s a case to be made for over thinking the coding approach. That same case will argue for native coding. At its core, webOS is a Linux operating system and as such is capable of running Linux apps. Palm has not yet given access to Linux development, which is really the only way that we’re going to get the kind of impressive apps that have made the iPhone so popular are making Android into a platform with which to be dealt.

On the subject of hardware, the beefy processor inside the Pre is an impressive chip. But it also has an impressive counterpart, the GPU, that’s sitting there completely idle. Why it’s idle is a mystery to me, except that Palm has clearly chosen not to enable it. I’m hopeful that it will be enabled at some point, along with the aforementioned native SDK. But each day and each webOS update that goes by I have to wonder when that day will come. The Pre’s processing and graphics potential are comparable to the mighty iPhone 3GS, yet the Pre still lags horribly in comparison. While some of that can be blamed on having a multi-tasking operating system, when you’re running what are supposed to be lightweight web apps it’s hard to defend the sluggishness.

At least Palm put 8 GB of storage in both the Pre and Pixi, and sure after counting the OS there’s really just over 7 GB available, but that’s par for the course. I can even deal with the lack of expandable storage, though it would make me happy to have the option (and give me one more thing to lord over the heads of my locked-down, uni-tasking, iTunes-hobbled friends that tote iPhones). But what’s laughably absurd is how that storage space is allocated for apps.

I completely understand Palm’s motivation in partitioning the storage space such that apps are segregated from the USB partition and not available to the average user. Since the App Catalog is an ecosystem with no serial codes, developers are dependent upon Palm protecting their apps from the fingers of less-than-scrupulous users. Imagine the backlash developers would have given if the app files were easily copied from the USB drive partition. So I do get why Apps were hidden away in a separate partition, but Palm knows as well as I do that where there’s a will, there’s a way, and Palm provides the way in the form of a publicly available SDK.

But keeping apps to a partition poses a bigger problem than developer backlash: user backlash. The problem is that we’ve run out of space. I’ve hit the app space limit as have thousands of other Pre users. Palm has an App Catalog with close to 400 apps now available and most users can only download 40 of those at the most. This limitation is not only crippling users, but it’s going to cripple developers as users are forced to chose between apps not because of their price or features, but because of their size. Eight gigabytes of storage space is a good thing, but only being able to use a few dozen megabytes of it is not so great.

Of all the shortcomings of the Pre and webOS, the app space limit is the most galling. It demonstrates and incredibly lack of foresight in the design of webOS.

Here’s where I can truly express my fan vs. fanatic argument over Palm. Of all the shortcomings of the Pre and webOS, the app space limit is the most galling. It demonstrates and incredibly lack of foresight in the design of webOS. Palm knew as well as anybody that the future of mobile computing, nay, the present of mobile computing, was hinged on apps. People need more than a calendar, email, tasks, memos, and a web browser. Being able to easily extend the function of your device was one of the hallmarks of Palm OS. The iPhone has taken that to an even greater extreme by building an ecosystem with more than 100,000 apps that have been downloaded more than two billion times. Read that again: two billion downloads.

While some may quip that iPhone users are simply app hounds, you can’t deny that Apple and the App Store have changed the face of mobile computing. I think it’s been for the better, and given Palm’s embrace of an App Catalog - albeit in limited beta form - and the recent overtures to developers, Palm clearly recognizes that the game has to be stepped up on the apps front.

But I’m afraid that Apple has also changed the mobile computing space for the worse on the features front. Apple made it acceptable to launch a phone without all the standard phone features intact. While that was okay for their first phone, and marginally excusable for their second phone (I’m looking at you, MMS and video recording), it’s not acceptable for somebody who had been a player in the smartphone industry for more than seven years by the time the Treo was announced. While the Pre did bring more to the table at launch than the iPhone, in many small ways it was a disappointing step back from Palm OS Treo smartphones.

While webOS is impressive in many ways, it is the small things that make it a complete package. It’s the small things that made Palm OS so nice and kept me on the platform for years despite the advances of other systems. And it’s the small things that were missing from webOS at launch, many of which still are. Simply put, it’s unacceptable for a four-year-old Treo to be able to do things out of the box that a brand new supposedly state-of-the-art Pre cannot.

It’s tantamount to Chevy releasing its upcoming Volt electric car without cruise control or FM radio (but still including AM). It wouldn’t be a complete package, just like a phone without customizable alert tones or video recording is not a complete package. Such things can be excused in a company’s first offering or in bargain basement products - you won’t see cruise control in a thousand-dollar Tata Nano - but not in the flagship device from an established, if downtrodden, market leader.

It doesn’t matter how cool the concept of webOS is if users are frustrated by the lack of simple features or less than great hardware.

A few years ago Palm had lost its way. You can trace it all the way back to the spinning off of PalmSource and the Palm OS and the lack of aggressive pursuit of a new operating system as Palm OS quickly aged. Has Palm gotten its Mojo back with the Pre and webOS? Not quite, though they’re on their way. There are still many steps to be taken, but the first has to be a true commitment to quality and excellence. It doesn’t matter how cool the concept of webOS is if users are frustrated by the lack of simple features or less than great hardware or the relative dearth of apps in general and the complete absence of truly impressive apps.

I still have faith in Palm. They’re the scrappy beaten-down company in the smartphone world, getting back into the race and impressing users and media alike. It helps their cause that many people remember Palm devices of old and can look at webOS and see the heritage, yet still be wowed by the modern newness. But some of that wow factor wears off after using the devices for a while. I know that Palm is a small company with just around a thousand employees, and competing against behemoths like Apple, Research in Motion, Google, and Microsoft is no small task.

The Pre and webOS were a good start on the road back to relevance, but they’ll only get Palm so far. I have little doubt that the Pixi will sell well, especially if Palm can quickly get it onto carriers other than Sprint. But even the strong-selling Centro was barely enough to keep Palm afloat, and today the numbers that the Centro put up are positively pathetic compared to how well other more modern smartphones have sold.

Palm is under new management with Jon Rubinstein and has brought in plenty of new talent in recent months. It makes me hopeful for Palm, but there’s not much that I or any other smartphone user can do with hope alone. That hope has to be translated into results, and those results have to be real tangible improvements to hardware and software. Palm may have been a big player in getting the smartphone industry to the point where the market was poised to take off, but right now they’re clearly not acting like the top dog. In some ways Palm is ahead of the curve with webOS, but in many others they’re still stuck thinking like they were years ago. And that is why I’m only a fan, and not a fanatic.

284 Comments

Turncoat!

(kidding. nicely written.)

To be honest, I think Derek is one crappy editor. And he's an even crappier writer. But what do I know? I'm a fanatic.

Just seems like if he's getting paid to write such a lengthy article that pretty much only complains about the /var limit... he could've written a cross-platform guide to meta-doctor'ing your own firmware. I can't believe I wasted my time with this trash for an article when it takes minutes to use meta-doctor to set the /var partition to be any size you'd like.

Every article Derek posts is some negative bullsheet, where he does nothing but b!tch and complain. Why don't you talk about the one thing that really sets webOS apart from the other smartphone OSes?? The "rolling release" schedule!! No other phone is getting 100+ new features in a nicely packaged update every 5 weeks or so. No Android phone gets updates like that, and the majority of Android phones rely on the "community" to provide an update that can't be done OTA. And eventually, all the Pres and all the Pixis will be "in sync" with the same exact OS. Eventually, all the carriers worldwide will be "in sync" with Palm, and they'll be able to focus on even bigger and more features with their next updates.

Why is it that Derek can't see the potential that other users see? Because he's not even a fan. He's just the wind that blows wherever the fans [& fanatics] are blowing. Try writing some non-fiction next time... like a meta-doctor article or some shiz. Jeez.

Feel free to disagree, but by and large we're fairly positive on Palm. We may be hard on Palm, but it's for a reason: because we know that they can do better. I see plenty of potential in webOS, if I didn

Derek,

Unbiased coverage is one of the reasons I keep coming back to this site. When the Pre (and WebOS) is good, you say so. When it isn't, you say so too.

I feel that I can trust you to bring up issues whether they will be good for Palm stockholders or not.

Thanks!
nb

Well.. I haven't seen too many articles of yours that are worth their weight in dung.

Like I said, a cross-platform guide to meta-doctor'ing a Pre has more worth than your day-to-day opinion (which does change day-to-day alright).

Or how about an article that theorizes what webOS will look like at the rate they've been going with 100+ features/updates every 5 weeks. That's what I want to see is an article that compares the lengthy release schedule of Android-G1 vs. rolling releases of webOS-Pre. Let's see your interpolations if you truly see the potential.

"100+ features/updates every 5 weeks"

What are you talking about...?? At that rate, the Pre would have had 400 new features and updates. When you add a feature that was missing to begin with and fix something that never should have been broken, it's not really a gain... more like it's back to where it should have been all along.

List off every change that has been made to webOS and the SDK since June 6th, and then I'll care to continue this conversation.

Even if 75% of changes so far were correcting errors, then where does that put Palm after they start rolling out two more updates??

That would be an interesting article (theorizing where WebOS will be in the next several months based on the rate they are going right now)!

In the meantime I will read all the stuff here (some good and some crap like this editorial) no matter what, because WebOS has me hooked

Derek,

my experience here on precentral is that you and Dieter have been nothing but fair to Palm and everyone who has passed through this site. Your article is well thought out, and expresses many of the same concerns that a lot of people are having right now. Check this article out: http://jkontherun.com/2009/11/09/im-putting-my-palm-pre-on-notice/

the arrival of the droid and the n900 and their robust feature sets make the pre and webos look half-baked at this stage of the game. Palm can succeed, but they must act quickly, and in some amazingly major ways to fulfill webos's potential. For each of us the details of the issues will be different, but the big picture is the same: if Palm doesn't make serious improvements soon, many of us will be bailing on Palm for something else.

yeah, a tutorial on the metadoctor would be cool, but would not have been as useful for the average reader. And besides, one of the duties of an editor is to editorialize.

"yeah, a tutorial on the metadoctor would be cool, but would not have been as useful for the average reader."

It wouldn't have been as useful as what? ... this article?!? HA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Ok. Now you are just trolling. We get it.

I guess he's got nothing better to do.

Nice response to the flamer.

And I agree, Derek is great writer. And if anyone is negative about Palm, it's Keith. ;)

Because so many people who buy a cell phone know what a "meta-doctor" is, right (I've never heard the term before)? And because most people who buy phones don't expect to be able to record video with them, or change their alert tones when they buy them? No, you're right... most people buy a phone with the expectation that they will get a "rolling release" schedule to add in features five months later that should have been included from the getgo... oh wait, they don't.

Your typical PreCentral user *should* know what meta-doctor is, because Derek *should've* written that article on it by now.

The rolling release schedule is important for me, because I never would've bought a Pre if it was gonna take Palm 6 months for an OTA update. The release schedule was the the one reason I chose not go to to Android which will be splintering more and more as time goes on.

PreCentral is for folks of all levels of familiarity with the Pre. This is the perfect article for someone who is considering a Pre and simply Googles "Palm Pre". PreCentral is the second only to the official Palm Pre product page. It lets folks know that what they will be getting in to if they opt for a Pre.

Exactly my point!! If it weren't for this forum, I wouldn't know about meta-doctor, mvapp, fair dinkum, homebrew, tweaks, patches, themes, etc...

Write articles on that stuff, please. If you want to b!tch about the app limit problem, at least give the solution. It took less than 10 min of my time to use meta-doctor to create my custom firmware with 2.5 GB for /var. How long did it take Derek to write this article?

Seriously man, give the guy a break. He writes articles for this site for a reason, and though I'm sure you're God's gift to writing on the palm pre, maybe you could cut the guy a break. If not for people like him, we'd be sitting here knowing a lot less about our phones. Actually, if you wanted to write your own article i'd be happy to read it and then bitch about everything you said too.

Well... I will write one very soon. Believe that!

But it's just frustrating that instead of Derek, the one who is getting paid to inform people of all things Pre, is constantly telling people that the sky is falling. And Downer Derek even makes me, the fanatic, want to reconsider keeping this phone past 30 days. If he can do that to a fanatic, then surely he can take Palm down all by himself.

I just don't want to be stuck with some lame phone that developers don't want to touch because Derek Frickin' Kessler told them over and over and over again about some total non-issues as long as you have half a brain cell to follow directions and fix problems.

It may have been the other 100-some comments echoing the same sentiments as Derek.

Besides, a phone that REQUIRES one to hack in order to make it useful is doomed from the start from being a widely-adopted and purchased product.

Installing homebrew does not equal hacking.

BTW, I guess now would be the time for me to plug my homebrew guide for soccer moms everywhere. It's easy...

http://forums.precentral.net/palm-pre-tips-information-resources/214451-...

I'm willing to say that's more work than most non-geek soccer moms would put into their phone

Well, to play the devil's advocate, if you had an LG phone, you had to use bitpim to access BREW on the Verizon platforms. Data transfer could be done on bluetooth though, no software needed.

If they can't put in 5 min of work, then they don't need a smartphone. The steps actually end at part 6... the rest is just "good to know" info.

BTW, Renard...

The 100+ comments echoing Derek's attitude could have just as easily been converted to 1,000+ comments of thanks and praise... if only he had offered them a real solution. Running the meta-doctor is not rocket science, and breaking it down for NEW users would be good, too. Get them on the right path from the start. Don't continue with the nagging, please, dear God!

Those attitudes go in whichever direction the fan (Derek) is blowing. And boy, does that fan sure blow. Why not blow some solutions in the direction of those asking for them?? Good grief, there's like 4 different solutions. What are you waiting for?

One of which is just to install Preware (Fair Dinkum being subsumed into the package and all). Grndslm, you're 100% right on the money here.

I agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!with grndslm

Now wouldn't "All things Pre" be both the good and the bad not just the stuff that makes you feel good? The pre is a good phone but face it, there are some major issues and without bring those issues to peoples attention, and i'm sure the attention of palm and homebrewers alike, none of that shit will ever get fixed. Derek talks about the good when there is something good to say, like we got text fowarding after only 5 months, but when palm is dragging there feet to fix basic phone shit it needs to be talked about.

I'm sorry, but everything you said is a load. Palm is well aware of everything written in this article and are not dragging their feet (their release schedule of once a month or so is proof of this). This isn't bringing anything to light, it's just rehashing crap (without, say, offering solutions) that PRECENTRAL HAS ALREADY COVERED AT ONE POINT OR ANOTHER just for the sake hearing himself hit the keys.

Yow, if you are truly reconsidering your purchase of the phone due to this article, then I can understand why you're so shaken. I'm happy with my purchase, but Derek is right. Palm has a window in which to resolve a large number of things. If sufficient progress is made, people will give them more slack. When sufficient progress is not made, people bail.

Yes, it's fairly easy to resolve the app limit issue with patches, metadoctor, homebrew, and/or other means. I haven't had any problem with the app limits for many weeks now. On the other hand, the average smartphone user is not going to patch their phone in ways that might interfere with future OTA updates.

Derek is absolutely right that the app limit illustrates a galling lack of foresight on Palm's part. It's not the end of the world. Palm can obviously address it. And Palm absolutely MUST address it if they wish their app store to succeed. Again, the *average* smartphone user will not alter the "firmware" on their phone to work around the app limit, even as easy as it is to do.

Would you suggest that we are only allowed to say positive things? We cannot point out where Palm is dropping the ball? Palm has been a great company in the past, and shows some signs that they can again be a great company in the future, but they're not there yet. The sky is not falling, and I doubt that Derek would indicate that it is. However, their success is not guaranteed.

Palm have a lot of work to do. We are all obviously pulling for them to succeed. And as a fan of past Palm products (this is my first smartphone, not my first Palm), I certainly hope they succeed and take a solid market share away from Apple and RIM as well as prevent Android from taking away their market share.

Also, don't forget that on the forums for the other products, you'll find plenty of people pointing out their shortcomings. *Balanced* coverage means honest coverage, which means some negative as well as some positive.

quote

"He writes articles for this site for a reason"

whats that reason??

Actually because of the length and the unfortunate choices of highlighted phrases, this is far from the "perfect article" for someone considering a Pre. Though I agree that it should be part of whatever set of articles are read while considering a Pre.

The problem is that highlighted phrases are typically read first (especially for lengthy documents) and can taint the overall perception of the document. In this particular case, all of the highlights are negative statements. Unfortunately, because of this, this article would be perfect for deterring someone from purchasing the Pre.

Exactly. Downer Derek didn't get his nickname outta thin air.

I fear that he has more influence on the community than most realize. If 10,000 soccer moms read his articles... or 100 developers... then things will never be as good as if we all fixed problems, like men. Derek is not a man.

For the record...I'm not calling names here. I don't think he's an overly negative writer in general...but I think because of the phrases that were chosen for highlighting, this article will seem extremely negative from the onset.

I agree with that. The article needed a bit more "why I'm a fan" and a little less "why I'm not a fanatic".

+1

then i look at the right side of the page and wonder who's gonns buy the Accesories.

I'm sorry, but if the consumer doesn't care that a company cares enough about it's product to update it in a major way every month or so at no charge to them, then the consumer has really f'ed up priorities.

Dude, if you don't want to read Derek's article, don't read it. Or was the temptation to flame him too hard to resist? :)

As for the "rolling release"? The reason why they keep updating it every 5 weeks is because WebOS is a WORK IN PROGRESS. As Derek mentioned in his article, a 4 year old Treo can perform basic tasks his brand new Pre can't.

You had it right... the temptation was too hard.

I just expect to learn something of value from articles here. Not to hear his fickle opinions. It's appalling to come to a new source like this for articles like this. And this is my vomit for all to see.

Oh, how ironic that someone boasts about how someone should write a cross-platform article about how easy it it meta-doctor your firmware showing the /var limit isn't an issue, then slams the Android for relying on 'the community' for support.

There's a bad writer in the thread, but it ain't Derek.

I never slammed the Android community for support. I slammed the manufacturers of the phones for not releasing Android updates when they come. That is the problem that Android users face and that webOS users don't. Why Derek doesn't pick up an article on that, I have no idea.

Who is this bad writer you speak of, and what errors has he made? I saw at least 3 errors in this incredibly overdone article. Grndslm makes no errors... he just knocks them outta the park.

*woosh*

Who really wants updates every 5 weeks? I don't. I look forward to them but not at that pace. For one, they can cause problems.

Derek is writing from the heart. As someone who's been a long time fan of Palm, i feel basically the same way he does.

Although we both differ in opinion concerning the Pixi. I think it's a product that shouldn't have seen daylight yet. Maybe later..maybe never, but now wasn't the time.

I think the Pixi was great. Downgrading the camera, the screen, and leaving off wifi was not a bad idea. But downgrading the processor was a HUGE mistake. Why develop for two CPUs and two GPUs? There's no way that can be cost effective. And it sure won't help get people on the good side of webOS. Why they couldn't drop the Cortex A8 in there... I'll never know.

RIM has done this for years and years -- one OS and multiple hardware varieties. Seems to have worked okay for them.

Blackberries have never interested me, because there isn't one that has a touchscreen *and* a keyboard all in one. But I HIGHLY doubt that Blackberry had the same exact OS on all their phones. And I also HIGHLY doubt that they were/are releasing OTA updates every 5 weeks.

I think you missed Mr. rouge's point. While I agree with you that writing for multiple processors can slow things down....If you start with good base layer then anything you abstract atop that is just that, an abstraction. You don't have to worry any more about changing major code to interface with a new chipset.

You get a Smaller more consumer class phone (ala pixi and its chipset) but can still sell the prosumer Pre. no?

RIM also has 4000 employees. The smaller you are, the more difficult it is to support multiple different hardware varieties.

Who really wants updates every 5 weeks?

I do! One of the things I hated most about PalmOS was the lack of updates.

And that's why I decided to stick around with Palm for one more round. The rolling release schedule is the most attractive part of webOS for me.

same here, i hated the fact of getting a palm product that wasn't updated

Noone said they didn't want updates. Just not every 5 weeks. Geez. Do you really like having to risk your data, work flow, new bugs, playing the patch uninstall game, etc that frequently over very minor updates? Bad enough one has to exchange their Pre once a month because of hardware problems...

Stretch updates out to every 3 months.

I have had ZERO problems from updates. Yes, I want them every 5 weeks or whenever they come out. Patching is something you do at your own risk and I think we all understand that.

Funny, we complain about what the device can't do, what hasn't been fixed after all this time, and now we're complaining that they're putting out too many fixes? Strange. I'm glad a business user didn't have to wait 3 months for better exchange integration, etc.

My Windows, Linux and Mac computers ALL get updates ALL THE TIME; daily in some cases. And I do far more with "data and workflow" on those than on the Pre.

I say bring on the updates as fast as is practical.

...exchange their Pre once a month because of hardware problems...
You're being silly here.

That's about the stupidest thing I have ever heard. I was going to try to be civil about it, but I can't. Just straight up stupid.

Negative bullsheet? I disagree. Now I don't agree with everything he writes, and I have a problem with these sites that seem to allow articles that are backed more by speculation than actual research. However, I don't he's been overly negative.

grndslm, no other current smartphone NEEDS as many updates as the Pre. Every Android phone has tons more features and capabilities than the Pre already, and most have better performance.

Eventually, eventually, eventually. All you fanboys are alike. Maybe when WebOS catches up I'll buy one, but I need a phone that meets my needs today, not the promise of a phone that might meet my needs tomorrow.

Most people aren't interested in potential, they're interested in capability now. Try taking off your rose oolored glasses and compare what the Pre does (and doesn't do) vs. it's competitors, today. And consider that tomorrow, when the Pre begins to meet that potential you're so excited about, all it's competitors will have received updates, too. And the Pre will probably still be behind.

no other current smartphone NEEDS as many updates as the Pre

In all fairness, I see hell being raised in all the forums for all of the mobile platforms. Just because they don't GET as many updates does not mean they don't NEED them.

Again, my Windows, Linux and Mac computes all get updates all the time. I don't see a problem with a mobile platform getting many updates with short intervals.

Well... I just wish that they would do a story on what things might look like at the rate Palm is actually moving. I'm not sure why Palm hasn't fixed the app catalog limit, yet... but you'd think there'd be a reason, right? Well then... offer the readers some solutions.

I just think that with two more updates, there won't be a whole lot more to complain about. The app catalog limit might even still be there if they haven't fixed it by now... so go ahead yourself and figure out how meta-doctor works. But things are definitely better than most realize and definitely better than the way this article makes Palm look.

If you guys want updates every 6 months to a year... or only when you upgrade phones, then go ahead and let them know that. I absolutely HATED not having updates with palmOS, so they can gimme updates every week for all I care. Their average of 5-6 weeks is just about right, IMHO... and I hope they never stop.

meyerweb, right on!

What can you do for me TODAY is the name of the game. Tomorrow, PALM will be dead anyway. I am sick of hearing of the great potential of WebOS. Show me what you can do for me, NOW! Time to market is everything. If it is so freaking easy to fix all these functionality problems why can't PALM come up with them, TODAY? Whoop-the-doo WebOS in the hands of fools means NOTHING anyway. WebOs to Palm is like giving Excalibur to a quadruplegic, or reading glasses to a blind person. They botched the whole thing up there. Palm has lost its direction, no leader, and no engineers. They have come up with 3 updates and still so far they are under par to my 10 year old TREO 650. Give me a fcking BREAK!

Wow grndslm, you really are ridiculous. First of all, it may be easy for YOU to hop into the code and update your /var limit, but a VAST majority of users do not have the technical skill to do such a thing. They are going to happily downloading apps onto their phone and all of a sudden, they won't be able to install anything else.

They don't read Precentral, they don't read EverythingPre, they don't follow the homebrew scene and what's going on there. They will have no clue why they can't install anymore apps and it will be incredibly frustrating for them.

Try thinking things through next time before you post. This is a very serious issue, and oversight, on Palm's part and while it may not seem like a big deal for someone like you, it is a huge deal as far as the overall scope of the platform, when you think (keyword here) and take into account ALL of the users.

I've been a fan since 1999, when in my first job out of college developing an application for the PalmOS, I got so much invaluable help from Palm's engineers that I ended up owing a lot to them. I got direct help through the mailing list, for free, from a couple of their chief engineers. It was quality help, not just the typical link to a manual or web page, but real actual, clear explanations of why I was having trouble with a few things.

I think what has kept me as a user of their products, though, is because they have the guts to try something new every few years. The bottom line is that their competitors imitate and improve, but Palm takes their time and comes up with the real game changing innovations that others imitate. AND they will take the best ideas of other platforms and incorporate them into theirs. They tend to get in trouble when they do that too often...but I can see a platform that will definitely improve. They should be selling these things as the world's first cloud computing devices, with no need for third party software like carbonite or whatever. They've always treated their developers pretty well...aside from the internal culture of secrecy that can drive us up a wall...and I can see that this hardware will get better. It's already a pretty good value for what you pay for...you get a pretty powerful phone for a pretty cheap price. I'm sure if they can see a market for it, they'd release higher end versions of the hardware like they did in the old days, too.

Only issue is the cloud doesn't work.

That said, it seems if your palm profile doesn't update properly after a reset, you should IMMEDIATELY do a partial erase and reinstall the palm profile. Apparently it's a download issue, and not poor backup by palm. Still because there is no access to this data, and no restore point (such as if I figured out this Palm profile fix 12 hours after thinking my data was gone, and a new backup was created already, I have no way to recover the lost data).

No DON'T advertise this as the first cloud computing device, not yet, too many bugs to make people believe the cloud is better than what we have.

+1. I would far rather have a local backup on a desktop PC of my choosing than a cloud backup, for exactly the reasons you suggest. If we could go online and view/modify/BACKUP our data there, it would be less worrisome.

I totally backed up my old Palm at least monthly to a new directory. (That is, I backed up the totality of my device to a new hard disk directory. Apps, data, configuration, EVERYTHING.) This way, if I discovered that I accidentally lost a file or discovered a corrupted file, I had a good chance of being able to find a good copy from previous years.

With our current cloud backup, there is no chance of recovery if something is accidentally deleted or if something gets corrupted.

Agreed. I too am excited about the future. However, it better happen sooner rather than later. This article was well said and thought out. I own 3 mac computers at home at wanted the simplicity of the iphone. I remember before the release date of the iphone telling friends it will be smoother & run better than any phone at the time. I also new it would make everyone step up to compete, it is what Apple has done of late. I remain on Sprint because of the cheaper plans & bad AT&T coverage in my area.

I like the direction Palm has started but it does need to speed up or they risk the followers going to the wayside. I for one think this phone can be every bit as good as the iphone, but they cannot ride of their past, this is the now and they need to be in the now. "This is the now network". Good luck Palm & Sprint!

Agreed. Good luck to both companies. Thus far I am extremely happy with the phone. Now, we just need to push forward.

Well Put!

IIRC Palm originally said they would only provide basic
PIM functionality, and they would depend on third parties solutions for true robust power.

I'm not linguist but i believe linguistically if you are a fan you are by definition a fanatic.

Personally. It's just a tool. I'm loyal to no company. Not apple, microsoft, starbucks, or whatever. I'm a free agent. I don't care about internet comment section battles to bash Apple or Activision or whatever. I've had three phones all samsung. That fact never occurred to me until this very moment. These companies mean ZIP to me.

I don't care about excuses, that it's a first gen product, or well apple didn't have such and such when it introduced the iphone. Or Well the sdk is bad. Whatever? I owe Palm or any other company nothing. There is one bottom line. Deliver the best product now. If someone makes a better phone I'll buy it.

Oh come now, surely you understand what he means. Better put: he's not a blind fanboy.

My sentiments exactly. I once proudly owned an iPhone but my loyalty isn't blind... I fiercely love Palm, but they need to step up their game up if they want us fans to continue this love affair ...

Yeah i understand what he's trying to get it at. But i maybe i should have put a smiley face after the sentence so people get that i'm not mr. grammer police. But i think he clearly believes the two words to be two different concepts. The statement still stands though. I may be wrong but i think they are by definition exactly the same. but yes i understand his point.

Like i said, I don't "love Palm". I don't care one way or the other about them. They get no loyalty from me. I'll buy the best for me. And deep down i think the huge majority of potential phone consumers are like me. That's why they need to make the best phone out there, period and not try and rely on a few treo owners brand loyalty. I'm their to be won. They aren't yet winning though.

fan 2 (fn)
n.
An ardent devotee; an enthusiast.

fa

dictionary.com
an enthusiastic devotee Origin:
1885

i'm positive that Fan and Fanatic are the exact same thing. People have just decided to make up separate definitions. so they can pretend they are not phanbois. Whatever. but fan and fanatic are the same thing.

Yow, what's with the attitude?

When not trying to be linguistically perfect but instead communicate with real people, it is understood that "fan" and "fanatic" are different words with a "fanatic" being a more extreme "fan." Thus, the definitions someone quoted above. Just because one word's origin is a shortening of another, and just because two words can be synonyms, doesn't mean that the two words are identical.

There are also differences in usage and definition when you cross the Atlantic. For example, "mad" means "angry" for Americans but "crazy" for Brits. However, for Americans, "mad" can mean crazy.

Just because two words can be synonyms doesn't mean the words are identical.

If you want to assert that there is no distinction between a fan and a fanboy, OK, it's a little silly because there's a clear distinction that 99% of us can see, but I guess it's your prerogative. If you're instead trying to assert that OP is a fanboy masquerading as a fan, then linguistics is the wrong path to that argument. (And a fanboy wouldn't have written this article, but ....)

Same denotation, different connotation.

Brand loyalty results when a company proves itself to have a solid, steady, reliable, consistent product. Once a company establishes itself, brand loyalty is justified. That product was PalmOS, and is what kept people coming back to Palm products, whether they be Palm or Sony.

Why do you think certain car companies have so many repeat buyers? They have established a product that is associated with its brand.

I used to be a Palm customer but now that they have betrayed its customer loyalty with WebOS and the Pre, I'm going to have to take a long, hard look at future products. Brand loyalty is one of the most valuable assets to a company.

I did not deny the existence of brand loyalty. I just said that most cell phone users are not brand loyal to a specific phone maker and they surely are not loyal to Palm. If they were they wouldn't have been in such trouble straights. Thus Palm can't hope to think that appealing just to those that are loyal to the brand will see them through. They need to appeal to people like me that are not loyal. Cause just having Treo users got them in the bad financial shape they were in before. It is rather harsh to say they have betrayed it's loyal customer's with webos. sorry webos has it's issues but it kills that treo phone. But then again the harsh reality is appealing only to those loyal customers nearly made the company bankrupt and necessitated the Pre and webos.

as for car companies, i've had 4 cars, all 4 from different car makers and mind you 3 different continents. And my next car is going to be a 4th maker (repeat continent). But comparing cars to phones is a bit of a red herring. Because within a class of cars, at a given price range, for the most part the features are all the same. There may be some difference here and there, a beefier engine in a american sedan vs the smaller engine of a more fuel efficient japenese but you get mostly similar features. You don't get one $25k car with an 280hp inline six and another at the same price with 550hp V12. In the same vain comparing certain features in phones like say, iphones app catalog to palm's is just as big a difference. There are tons of areas webos trounces other platforms and some where even loyalty to Palm isn't enough to make them comparable.

Great comment. Right on the money. Like you, I was fooled into buying the PRE thinking it was a Palm device, Palm culture, smart, intuitive, etc, etc. How far away from what Palm used to be the PRE came to be. I am stuck with Sprint for 2 years. Next device I buy won't be a Palm device, that's for sure. They lost my loyalty, burnt their bridges. Amazingly stupid to kill their Treo's loyalty line. Palm is no longer the Palm we knew.

I am loyal to the American company. I will buy hardware and software from Palm before I buy any hardware or software by Sony or Samsung.

However, when two or more American companies are competing, I feel the same way. Give me the best product, or I walk. Simple as that. I believe webOS is the best product. I love it. Dearly. However, it does have many shortcomings.

I would still not give it up for an iPhone or a Droid (especially a droid, overrated phone).

i don't think there is a fundamental problem with brand loyalty. Not to mention if you're american there can be some benefit to buying american products.

That said there are tons of foriegn companies employing americans hear. Japanese car companies for example employ tons of people in the south where they have plants. And it's not like all these American companies all employ american workers. It wouldn't suprise me in the least to find Palm Pre's are manufactured outside of the U.S. to save money. I'm loyal to coke cause it taste better in my opinion then all others except maybe Orange Crush but that's not really a cola. Regardless if one thinks that the Pre is the best phone, job done for palm. That said, the reality is most people don't. And if they want to get people just getting people loyal to the brand Palm isn't enough cause sorry, their aren't enough. Hell i'm only even posting on this site cause homebrew apps are what make the phone bearable to me. I'm not here cause i've got some love for palm or think they are doing a bang up job. As for Iphone. Well if i'm not one to go blowing money on cancelation fees so i've got a pre for a while at least and i can live with that. but i'll tell you this. If iphone came available on sprint, i'd very much consider a switch. Not cause Webos sucks but that i don't see it getting better fast enough especially on the app side and i no longer demand a physical keyboard. i can live without it.

Pre II will be at least 16 GB and will likely have expandable storage so I think app sizes wont be an issue down the line... though it will be interesting to see how they fix the current dilemma.

Even with 8 Gb, app sizes aren't an issue if the place were they are installed isn't artificially limited.

If you really think that there's ever going to be expandable storage in a Palm device again, you're nuts.

Apple's been doing it for years... Planned obsolescence built right in. Palm's definitely taking a page from this book.

My Palm m505 had expandable storage.

16gb? Be still my heart. That needs to be skipped. Heck, Palm needs to go all out on hardware especially with an OS with growing pains.

Palm sells hardware. It's something they can't forget. WebOS is just the ace up their sleeve. A big high res screen form factor needs to loom in Palm's future.

Tick tock Palm..

thanks for the article! one of the best i have read so far on precentral, and a very comprehensible summary of the situation. hope, also Palm and Rubinstein will read it soon. :-) especially the part about space limit for apps... however, absence of some hardware issues, palm pre and webos have so much potential for growth, just hope they will tap the full potential as fast as possible.

Palm still has a chance. Now is the time to unleash the fury if they have any. If tomorrow, Palm released a whole new app store with 60,000 apps, a video recorder, voice recorder, and a few other things, yes, they'd be ahead. But you know, they'll always be the few to wine and want more. I'm just glad I have the phone. This baby is sexy like a Ferrari.

Interesting read.

Palm still has a chance. Now is the time to unleash the fury if they have any. If tomorrow, Palm released a whole new app store with 60,000 apps, a video recorder, voice recorder, and a few other things, yes, they'd be ahead. But you know, they'll always be the few to wine and want more. I'm just glad I have the phone. This baby is sexy like a Ferrari.

I have to say this was a very well written article and exactly what everyone who has a pre or a palm in the past has thought of while debating a pre, I just hope rubenstein will read this and deliver, *most of us are patient, but webos should not have been released until it at the very least did everything a centro could do and multitask... But hey that's just my opinion

I have to say this was a very well written article and exactly what everyone who has a pre or a palm in the past has thought of while debating a pre, I just hope rubenstein will read this and deliver, *most of us are patient, but webos should not have been released until it at the very least did everything a centro could do and multitask... But hey that's just my opinion

this post captures where i'm at in my relationship with my pre awfully well. while it was an exciting device at first and i was there standing in line at launch, i'm disappointed with the device as a whole and palm's handling of webOS in particular.

my pre, though i still have the same one i got at launch, is quite simply a piece of crap. it was poorly designed and even more poorly built, and i know for a fact it won't last much longer. i have babied this device and it should stand up to normal wear and tear, not have cracks and intermittent button failures.

the software is essentially the same as it was at launch, and that's not good enough. swipes and other gestures are a great idea, but only if they work the first time. swiping my pre 3 or 4 times to get it to do what i need is ridiculous. as adequately pointed out above, the app limitation is beyond ridiculous, and hurts not only me but developers as well - there's just no way i am going to shell out for a paid app until i know that i won't need to delete it a few weeks later to try something new.

palm is losing this battle, and quickly. i should still be in love with my phone, not drooling at motorola's droid and even starting to think windows mobile looks good again. based on what we've seen since launch (especially after the universally horrid reviews of the pixi), it doesn't seem likely that the management at palm has the vision required to remain in the market for much longer.... it will sadden me to see a company with such a significant history fold, but it will shock me if they're able to pull out of the tailspin they've put themselves into.

Well written article. Although there are some areas of WebOS that are frustrating, the Pre by far has been the best phone I've ever owned. The multitasking ability alone is worth the price. I've had Blackberries, two iPhones and an android device. None of them come close to the Pre for what I want - excellent usage as a cell phone, e-mail working properly and perfect integration with my calendar. Secondary features are another story (multimedia and apps) where the iPhone rules. As a side note, if I didn't have a Pre, I would get the Motorola Droid. And this is coming from an Apple fanatic.

Ive never owned a Palm or a smartphone of any kind. Plus Im not going to pretend Im as smart or up to date as many others here. Nor will I pretend that I am all that picky about products. Dont get me wrong,I do have standards. But you wont find me nitpicking over every detail.

But I enjoy my Pre and it along with the cheaper price for service from Sprint are the reasons why I stayed. Do I understand much of what goes on with the Pre? Nope LOL. Thats why I am always thankful for those on this site and others who have been working hard to bring us updates,apps,and tweaks. Without them,this phone wouldnt be where its at today. So my hat is off those fine,smart people and I hope they keep up the good work to help keep low brow people like myself from nuking my phone.

What does burn me is the comment that Blackmagic made. People with mindsets like that are the reason why some companies and maybe even the country from some view points find itself in the spot its in now. Whore themselves out to the best new thing and after 5 minutes,move on. 'What have you done for me as of late...like the last day or so...Nothing? Ok,see ya'..Pathetic.
Flame me if you all wish but thats my view. Loyal till they screw me then its free agent time.

Capitalism is a tough gig huh... customers leaving their current products becasue another company has made a superior one... not fair!!!

Ha ha ha! +1

Yep,thats what I ment wiseass.

Wow...I had been feeling a little depressed about Palm this last week, especially since 1.3.1 didn't do much to impress, and since my first touchstone had the on/off bug. But I couldn't really articulate why. You just nailed it for me. Thanks.

x2.

A well written commentary/consumer view of the state of Palm's union, Derek.

Today I received from Sprint an early upgrade voucher in the form of their new "Sprint Premier" service. This means by March of next year, I will be eligible for the FULL UPGRADE discount -- a mere 6 months after purchasing my Pre! I love the Pre -- I REALLY DO -- but if there are gadgets coming out in Q2 of 2010 that blow the Pre out of the water (and they would do that only if Palm doesn't get on the ball) then I will no doubt leave the Pre behind for deeper technological waters.

And out of everything in the most recent 1.3.1 update, I seriously cannot believe the app limit wasn't addressed. Sure, I've patched it on MY Pre, but what about all the new Pixi users about to come on board? Weep for them.

I have had a Palm device since the IIIc. I was a bit disappointed in the WebOS losing the "Zen of Palm". It takes numerous flicks or gestures to make a single calendar entry, etc. But I really do like the card framework and the multitasking. One thing that always bothered me about Palm-haters and fanboys alike was that the Palm OS was "old" and "dated". It performed very well in many areas. Just because something is new doesn't mean it is better (see Windows Vista initial release). However, the WebOS is a step forward. It's just that Palm shouldn't forget its great PIM roots.

eloquently scathing...you said what I think most of us are feeling, and you said it well. I hope like hell Palm brass takes it to heart...and soon...

This is a great article, but I think one must not think too much about it.

Palm and Pre are doing fine.

Most users don't need a lot of apps.

I think Pre does 95% of what a phone with email and internet ability is suppose to do extremely well.

The host of this blog clearly is a member of a tiny minority in terms of how much time he has to spend thinking about the Pre. The author brings up important points, but the issues that seem to him to be very important are not critical to the silent majority.

Running the site, additionally, forces the writer of this article to have to constantly read about complaints. These complaints are getting to the author.

The Pre is a great phone that is a huge upgrade for most people who bought it, and as surveys have shown (there has been a bunch out), while WebOS users are not as super happy with their phone as Iphone users, they are nearly all very happy with it.

Dear author of this blog, please realize that you are forced to live and think in the darkest corner of the pre world, where all complaints and problems come to, so it is natural for you to feel bad. But your vision is clouded by your circumstances.

+1

I've seen this coming for some time.

+2

I've seen you see this coming for some time.

I also have far better things to do than sit around and either; get lost in a sea of $0.99 apps, or bite my nails waiting for the latest RPG game I can play on my phone just to get sick of it after 30 mins total use.

I disagree. There is a lot left to be desired in "basic" phone feature that this phone "should" be able to do. I regret getting this phone because of the QA issues and the lack of support this far out. I'm on my 3rd pre in just 2 1/2 months, the first 2 went kaput in the first month, had to deal with the second one for 2 months due to Sprint's policy of shipping phones changing against my favor.
Things this phone "should" have that it doesn't:
1. Voice dialing... seriously, my last 2 crappy phones had this feature and it did them well
2. Video Recording... again another feature my past 2 crappy phones had
3. For some reason, 3g data is not accessible during a phone call (Android 2.0 can do this, not sure of previous models)
4. Expandable memory. If there was room for a SIM card, there was room for a microSD port. Just saying.
5. Software to sync to pc/mac. Not tapping into someone else's program. While I thought this was neat at first, Apple doesn't want to play along with it, as they have the right not to want that.
6. Bluetooth file transfer. Again a feature my last crappy phone had. I didn't need a data cable to load my pictures to my mac, just send the file to the computer and go on my way. Its not like the BT card doesn't support the feature.

It seems like I gave up too many features when I switched to Sprint from Verizon (LG Dare, another phone to lack application support, but thats Verizon's fault). There was only one advantage of switching to Sprint from Verizon and that was the price, but like most things in life, you get what you pay for... may be worth breaking contract to not have to deal with another Sprint Tech Support person.

These things were known before you bought the phone... the things that this phone advertised it can do, it does well. Maybe we will see video recording reasonably soon, but i still will argue that video recording sucks on a cell phone anyhow (especially with this phone).

Actually, I installed the patch for video recording and checked out the video quality. Its pretty good. It would be nice if it were in a format playable on the pre (mp4).
But yes, I knew they were not available, but they should have been added by now. There is no reason the App store should be in beta still, its getting close to 6 months since release, almost 1 year since announcement. Should be in full swing. Palm is more concerned right now releasing as many phones as possible instead of keeping the customers they have cause, well, you're screwed with the device for 2 years.
Have you ever contacted Palm Support? They are just as useless as Sprint's Tech Support. With the 1.2.1 update, the cloud server lost ALL of my contacts on my palm profile. How long ago was that? No phone call, despite being promised twice I would receive one.

3. For some reason, 3g data is not accessible during a phone call (Android 2.0 can do this, not sure of previous models)


this is an issue with sprint not palm.

#3 - It is not a Sprint problem. It's a Cdma vs GSM problem. A Cdma network cannot handle voice and data at the same time. A GSM network can.

Um... The Droid is on a CDMA network (VERIZON). That is definately NOT the problem.

read this, http://community.sprint.com/baw/people/jerry85032;jsessionid=FA07787377C...

a phone can do stuff but if its on cdma it will not do both at the same time, so unless the phone you mentioned has to "lines" it can't do both

In the features of the Motorola Droid from verizon's website:
http://phones.verizonwireless.com/motorola/droid/#/home

They used to have senarios in their advertisment. One of those senarios was being on the phone with the pizza place to go pick up pizza but you forgot what everyone wanted. Shoot them an e-mail and find out while simultaneously talking with the pizza place.

I see they have removed this senario from this page and I read the same now that you mentioned. Guess they thought they were advertising the GSM version.

You can, however, send a text message while talking on the phone -- to an e-mail account or to a phone. So... a 160 character e-mail, yes :D

that is something i never understood, if cdma cant carry the data, how does the texing while talking work?. i have to do some more research.

It uses the phone signal for texting. When I was in AZ and Roaming (didn't know I could turn on roaming data until my 5th week out there) I could text message, but not access Internet based apps or picture message (requires data).
Its not using EVDO for text messages.

and sprint = cdma :)

saying sprint is for those who don't understand/wanna hear geek talk

Well put.

eloquently scathing...you said what I think most of us are feeling, and you said it well. I hope like hell Palm brass takes it to heart...and soon...

quote

"But heavier apps, the kind that now drive smartphone adoption and are clearly evident as the keystone to the iPhone

Re: "can you give an example of what types of things cannot be done using js"

Here is one:

An OUTLINING app that syncs with my desktop.

I've been a Palm user since the IIIc. I have migrated nearly nine years of client notes from one outlining app to another by syncing each new Palm handset to my desktop. My last app was Natara's Bonsai on a 755P. But since I got the Pre, my only choice to run Bonsai is through the Classic emulation that cannot sync with my desktop.

What say you?

I don't know what you understand about programing but this has nothing to do with javascript, a desktop syncing app would be writen in any language, Did your previous palm devices have some program that did the syncing or did you use, palm desktop.

and BTW you can do almost anything with js, all you need are the API's and access to the filesystem, which is there but has benn blocked for security reasons.

so again

ME SAY

What cannot be done with
JS

Palm HotSync provided a method for any program to use a conduit to sync with any Palm device. As of now, a programmer has to not only write a program, but come up with a way to interface it with the Pre.

this is again not an issue with javascript as a language.

An RDP client.

A VNC client.

what is "remote-win lite" in homebrew

NOT RDP, and NOT VNC.

It's a web app that talks to essentially a funky home-built webserver you have to run on your home PC, of unknown quality or security.

Once again, NOT RDP, and NOT VNC.

again, this is noy an issue with js, its an issue with the "funky home-built webserver ", BTW vnc also needs to run a server on your home pc.

Once again, you can NOT do everything with javascript.

VNC and RDP are very well established protocols that have been thoroughly tested and are used daily for work as well as home use.

Suggesting some one-off home built app is a replacement for them is ridiculous. As is suggesting you can program anything ever needed in javascript.

With sufficient access to underlying OS things built into the JavaScript, you can do just about anything in JavaScript. Then again, you could write an IDE in COBOL if you have GUI bindings in COBOL. It doesn't mean you'd want to. JavaScript is a complete language with a rich set of features. I'm not going to disparage JavaScript.

But just because you can do something in a given language doesn't mean it's the best choice. A fully-featured image editor, for example, is something much more appropriately written in a language that is compiled to native code.

I agree with many of the points above.
I'm really lured to Android, especially the Hero's sense UI, because the stock Google UI is very ugly. It seems that palm can attack things one at a time, so first came Multitasking, then slightly improved performance, then the Pixi. I personally think that palm should recode the OS to run on top of android, similar HTC's Sense, give back the Beta Developers their money, and beg them to write for android, while giving Pre and Pixi users some sort of compensation for the money they spent on apps which no longer work. I know this would kill some people's trust for palm, but they are sinking again, and it's better to jump onto your inflatable boat and pass out life vests, than it is to stay with others and try to pull the ship back up. I would be much happier pledging support to both Palm and Android, rather than having to choose, because right now, the Hero is looking quite shiny...

Bravo, Bravo!!! Very well said. It seems you and I follow the same phone path in history. I like the Pre, even though it's not built like the Hero, just wish it came with more out of the box functions like you mentioned in your articular. So for now I have a Hero which lets you record video, save images and video from a txt message and email, micro SD card, and much more.

nice article. thanks to palm I have migrated my information off of apple software into the "cloud" specifically, one of their competitors- googles cloud which means and very easy transition to android now. I liked my phone 6 months ago, I truly thought it would be further along by now and have also been depressed about palm lately. maybe its android envy, maybe it's an inferior product losing the race, but palm needs to get the lead out and fast before I too move on to bigger and better things.

Sexy like a Ferrari with a Yugo engine in place of the V12, and no seats or steering wheel. It looks fantastic. You just can't do much with it. My Treo still does more, with more flexibility, more app choices, and more customization than the latest and greatest Pre or Pixie.

Nicely said. I am very pleased with the Pre (although mine has just developed a yellowish "hotspot" at the bottom of the screen), but it's not a perfect device. Constructive criticism such as this is important to set the stage for future improvements in both hardware and software. Thanks. {Jonathan}

I desperately want to like the Pre , but until the software is fixed, I can't use it. As the first poster said, this phone is a tool. As it stands, it is an tool set that is shiny and pretty, yet missing some of the most common and important tools. I begrudgingly remain with my 755p because there's nothing out there better as far as tools go. Old software? Yes, but it works better than the new stuff. Kinda like the difference between a Jeep Wrangler from 20 years ago and a Jeep Wrangler today...

+1

I would really love to get rid of my 755 for something new, shiny, and more functional, but can't really find that device. The Hero may come closest, but I really need a physical keyboard for a specific, personal reason. The Pre is still incapable of doing many of the things I do with my Treo. Multi-tasking is great, but not if most of the application functions I use aren't available to switch between. The last really good keyboard Palm made was on the full size Treos. And frankly, while the UI is slick, the old P-OS is simpler and easier to use to get things done.

Android phones have a good set of featurs and capabilities, a decent selection of apps, and multi-task well (if not as easily as the Pre), but don't come close to the ease-of-use of the old P-OS. BB's never worked as well as P-OS, and get more and more dated by the week. And the iPhone: well, no keyboard, no replaceable battery, and a lousy network are just the beginning of the things I don't like.

You'd think someone could write a UI that beats the ease of use of something Palm came up with more than 10 years ago, but everyone seems more focused on flash than ease-of-use. Except BB, which can't seem to manage either.

I am a 12 step palmaholic since the original Palm Pilot. This article was exceptionally well written. I recently left the pre for the hero and could not be happier. Real apps, medical apps, sd card, a calendar that actually functions reasonably fast, backup on the sd card, 7 scenes that act like cards, functioning widgets etc etc.

I wish Palm well and will return if they get their act together, but I am afraid google/android is going to wipe them out.

God, I love the posts from the Pre Fanboys. Abe's takes the cake though. Someone writes something you don't like and you accuse them of taking bribes? Geez, grow up and get a life that isn't so dependent on you phone.

Geez Grow up yourself, it was a just a little bit of humor, but it seems humor is lost on you.

Your tone seemed (and seems) way closer to nasty than funny. Maybe you should add a smiley so that we don't have to read your mind.

Well written and to the point. Considering what the Treo was, and how early it set the standard, you are right. The Pre ideally should not have been such a "first phone" with such great limitations that it looks like a functional downgrade from a 3yr old 700 series Treo.

What is clear to me, that similar to many new technologies, Palm will not marry the Pre, WebOS and its GPU et al into a functional unit before it is obsoleted by their own products. We'll never see the Pre 1 function cohesively. And I don't know that they've established the credibility needed to sell Pre 2 in meaningful numbers.

I've decided that in June 2010, I'll review what's out there. What has funcitonality now, what has apps, what is cost effective. If Palm wants to stay in my pocket, they're going to have to free up the Pre and its great resources in the next couple of months so that 3rd party developers can make it into a functional tool, or I will never see the capability that I will be looking for in June.

The phone interface, a mess. The app limit a devestating disaster. If we got the speed functions of GPU running, the pathetic battery would melt like a chocolate bar. If this phone were at ATT and its high service cost, they'd be auctioning off Palm's office furniture by now. I've known for a while that Palm will not continue. A soft performance, the end of the road. Mild success, and somebody with needed resources will take them over and try to leverage WebOS into their own hardware. There are no other paths, Palm fell too far behind and failed to cleanly transition from Treo to Pre.

Take it easy! Have you played Zombie Invasion?! Makes it all worthwhile!

When I logged in PreCentral showed me I've been a member for 9 years and 50 weeks. Two weeks shy of 10 years. So I've been around the Palm OS for a long time. Started with the Handspring Visor, then the Kyocera 6035, Treo 300, 600, 700, 755p then Pre. I've been a fan of the Palm OS for a long time. And this article captured my feelings very well.

Back in January when the Pre/WebOS was announced, I was hooked. I read every article, subscribed to every Twitter feed and consumed every piece of information I could find. I visited my local Sprint store multiple times looking for inside info and received one of the first 3 units sold at my local store.

But now I find myself chafing over the same issues Derek mentions. I have to find something to delete to install the new facebook app. I *LOVE* webOS and the multitasking is to die for. But the app limitation is, to use Derek's word, "galling".

I will stick it out. And I'm looking forward to Pre2, whenever that will be. (Personally, if the Pixi would have had WiFi, I might have jumped to that because I think it's going to be a more solidly built device. I like the candybar w/keyboard form factor.) Overall I'm happy w/my Pre, but I'm not as ecstatic as I thought I would have been. The luster has worn off somewhat. Hopefully Rubenstein and company are reading this and will release a "legitimate" fix to the app limit issue. I can hope.

Tha app limitation should be fixed in 1.4 if you guys don't have the patience to wait then go get yourselves any of the new phones, we will se you back very soon.

Posts like this are part of the problem. Someone makes an unsubstantiated claim based on wishful thinking. Then the next person states it as a fact. Then when 1.4 shows up people are dissappointed. The app limitation could be technically difficult - kind of like repartitioning a hard drive while trying to preserve the data. Who knows how long it will take to solve?

Here here. Such prediction spread like a wildfire laced with crack. You keep hoping it'll be better the next update

Just like it was going to be fixed in 1.3? And 1.3.1? Unless you have real inside knowledge, don't make predictions that are nothing but wishes.

Even if your guess is correct, how long until 1.4? Three months, six? You don't know that either, do you?

Palm never said it would be fixed in 1.3 or 1.3.1. In fact they said that it would not be fixed in either of those versions. They mentioned that it is being worked on but did not give a specific version that would include it nor a date when it would be available.

Also, judging by their previous schedule, I would say 1.4 is coming in two months tops. Six months is highly unlikely given their rate of release so far.

This is how I am feeling at the moment. Well...except for the Palm TX...come on, we all know the Sony Clie TH55 was the best PDA ;). I have the same feelings against the Pre, the app limit memory, and thats big because for me, as of now when Docs to Go comes out, I can't download it because I have hit that limit and it seems no matter if I delete apps, I still can't download apps. They don't fix this by the time Docs to go comes out, I'm out. The PIM situation is getting to me as well, how can the old school Treo PIM's out class the modern Pre. Even skinned with SKinUI and zLauncher, that usually slows the PDA down a bit, I can open the apps much faster than the Pre. Right now I'm looking at the big flaw that the Pre is missing..FOR me at least, and this is the Agenda Screen on the Treo 755P. How can we not have a screen that shows your upcoming appointments and tasks?!?! This new Palm is vastly different than the Old Palm...and thats not a good thing because the Old Palm knew PIM's, and thats what I stayed with them for. Oh and of course I have to voice this out. How can a 320x320 screen show more info of the calendar then a 320x480 screen? Answer....Color coded appointments on the month preview. These grayed out time slots are not ideal. It does tell me I have SOMETHING going on...but what? I don't know?, is it a bill I have to pay? A birthday coming up? What? With Treo, I look and see red dot..oh oh, I got a bill coming up, a green dot..oh man, time to go out and get a b-day card.
One last thing...please for the love of all thats good, let me SEARCH! I used to use the Treo for my journal my days, and its good, when I'm thinking about something I want to remember, I search in the calendar on the Treo and it brings me all the entries about that subject I'm searching and it doesn't matter if its the title, or the body, it searches all. Give me that! I see an easy way to do it too, right now, when your in the calendar and you start typing, it doesn't do anything. Well, give us that, when you start typing, it brings up a search and lets you find anything.
Thats about it....and just in time..House is on! Have a good day!