Life on webOS and webOS only – The Final Days | webOS Nation

Life on webOS and webOS only – The Final Days

by Derek Kessler Fri, 16 Sep 2011 2:11 pm EDT

Back in July, Esteban's home was broken into and his computer, television, and game console were stolen. Thankfully, nobody was home at the time and he had his TouchPad with him. Now, the TouchPad is his only computer, his only source of digital entertainment, and his only gaming system. Join us as Esteban explores life on webOS and webOS only.

July 19 is a day I will never forget. My home was broken into and my digital life stolen. But since then, my HP TouchPad has managed to handle most of what I threw at it, and as it was my primary device, so I did throw a lot at it. But the time has come for this grand experiment to end: I have finally saved enough to afford a replacement computer.

I really enjoyed the experience and it allowed me to learn quite a bit about webOS and the community. For this final entry, I would like to compare between the use of my computer (which I have had for about a week now) and my TouchPad now that I have both.

I’ve grown accustomed to using a TouchPad as my primary device. Although I now that I have a full computing machine, I still use my TouchPad quite a bit. It practically never leaves my side. I read news in the morning during breakfast, I take it to work with me everyday, I use it for entertainment after work, and I even fall asleep with it while watching my favorite shows via Flash-based websites. That said, I will point out one very important thing:

Although the it did much of what I wanted it to do and did it well, the TouchPad, or any tablet for that matter, is not yet a replacement device for a full computing operating system. Although webOS handles things very well on the big screen and comes with quite a few features that are closely related to a desktop OS, a full computer is still by far the best way to go. A tablet of any kind is still a compliment to a laptop or desktop.

My experience came out of an unfortunate event, but it was a good experience. Now that I have a computer again, however, I am going to talk a bit about how my computing experience has changed – how my experience with the TouchPad changed the way I deal with computers.

Because much of my personal data was on the TouchPad (and it was my main device for a month), my information management is split. Throughout the last couple of entries I have mentioned how the TouchPad deals with certain kinds of information better than my computer, and here is what I have found:

The TouchPad excels at any PIM applications. My computer doesn’t have the convenience of the tablet form factor when it comes to dealing with a calendar, contacts, most email, messaging, and cloud storage of documents. The touchpad is a very good entertainment device. It is often a bit more difficult (for me) to find things to entertain me on my computer. Just Type search works more intuitively on webOS thanks to “Quick Actions.” I enjoy the webOS multitasking system more than Windows. However, the Mac I used to have was very good with running applications since it I have features like Spaces and multiple desktops available to me. There is something about webOS Stacks that I really like, however.

For any of you out there that are heavy Windows users, I am new to Windows 7 and I must figure out some way of interacting with multiple Windows better, because for now, my TouchPad is more enjoyable to use when I have several applications open. When I had my last computer, I used it more often and for more things than this one, and I have nothing else to blame other than my TouchPad. webOS and the TouchPad have their negative sides, absolutely; I will not say it is perfect, but it got the job done thanks to the intuitive operating system that is webOS.

With all the positives of my experience, there were also the hardships. The combination of the TouchPad, webOS, and the available apps just were not very good at creating things. The TouchPad was very good at consuming data and media. If you are in the market for a tablet in order to create robust documents, media, and other things, the TouchPad and webOS, at least in their current state, won’t do it for you. Perhaps in a few years, if there are still webOS products then. I do believe that the tablet form factor is going to replace the laptop form factor someday, but for now, the laptop and desktop still reign supreme.

webOS itself still has quite a way to go before it becomes a fully functional operating system. It’s seriously lacking in terms of customizability, a robust feature set, an expansive App Catalog, and accessory integration.

The TouchPad has been a pleasure to use, and even if HP has decided to cease manufacturing webOS hardware, I consider myself lucky to have had a tablet that offers such a good experience, especially in the absence of my main computer. I still have good feelings about the future, however. I remain so optimistic because where there used to be just tens of thousands of users, there are now hundreds of thousands, and more to be expected. Major developers can now look to the platform as a major player and we might just see that “explosion of apps” that Rubinstein talked so much about a year ago. webOS is going to make it somehow; I believe something as well designed as it is cannot fail.

Going forward, my laptop will remain with me almost as closely as my TouchPad. However, my laptop will be use to create, while my TouchPad will be used to consume my creations, and those of others. The tablet form factor has a very unique interface in the ways of consuming media that is simply more attractive and intuitive. Reading a newspaper, for example, is much more enjoyable on the TouchPad’s form factor than that of a full-blown laptop.

With that, I must say thank you. Thanks to all of you for your amazing support through these times, and I thank the PreCentral Staff for allowing me to share this unique opportunity with all of you. It was a pleasure knowing that out of a negative situation, some positive light could be shed and that I could help people discover new apps, and discover that webOS and the TouchPad are very competent devices, no matter what others say. I have enjoyed this, and I sincerely hope that most of you have enjoyed reading my experience. Thanks, and I will see you all in the forums!

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