Life on webOS and webOS only - it's the little things
Last week, 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.
A few more days have gone by and I have discovered even more about my TouchPad in the ways that it can be a competent replacement for my laptop, gaming systems and TV. However, now that I have some more time to check out the different aspects of each application, I spent quite a bit of time focusing on business-based applications and things that I would use in school. Also, I do want to mention three apps that I have grown to really enjoy over the last several days:
- SecuStore 2
- Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
Glimpse is genius in app form. If you haven’t even looked at this app in the Catalog, you need to stop reading this and head over and download it. Why? Because instead of just reading this, with Glimpse, you can read this, watch a YouTube video, check your daily tasks, read the news, and check top stories throughout the world in one screen. I thought webOS took multitasking to the next level, and it does, but glimpse takes it one step further. Talk about productivity - you have it with Glimpse.
SecuStore 2 is by far the best password manager I have ever seen or used. Like many of you, I have dozens of websites I log into every day, and sometimes it is difficult to remember which login was which and which user name is which. This application is really one you need to use to truly understand how useful it is to anyone. The layout is fantastic, it is very responsive, fast, and it encrypts your information. I used to put my login information on my Mac in a secure folder, but seeing as that is gone, SecuStore has managed to do what my Mac did- except better.
The biggest disappointment of the TouchPad at this point is the fact that it doesn’t support document editing, so all of the posts I have written for PreCentral have either been composed in Memos or Google Docs. So for those of you that really want to find the most competent solution: Google Docs will give you document formatting, while Memos does not. However, Memos seems to be a lot more responsive and I have been able to type much faster in it, but again, with no document formatting. Google Docs has a few bugs when it comes to things like symbols and some capitalization. For example, Google Docs doesn’t seem to recognize parentheses coming from the TouchPad’s keyboard. It also has a lot of issues with apostrophes, as it doesn’t seem to recognize those either. Overall, it’s really a personal preference. Are you willing to cope with a few bugs and lack of speed to get document formatting, or would you rather have speed without document formatting and cloud access?
One thing I use in large amounts is the Music player. As all of you know, the TouchPad is equipped with Beats Audio. I am very satisfied with two things: the quality of the music, and the built-in speakers on the TouchPad. What am I not satisfied with? The volume of the music on the TouchPad and the performance of the Music app. That is the only application that I have experienced lag with - and in significant amounts. Music just doesn’t respond well at all. In addition, as I have posted in the forums, the TouchPad’s volume is very lacking. My Pre 2 has approximately 40% more volume than the TouchPad (and that’s just with one speaker). When I had my laptop, it nearly doubled it. I have to put every stereo I have used it with in full volume to get a decent volume level for the music. The quality is great, but the volume is not there for me to enjoy that quality.
The second thing I used in quite large amounts was the email client. This is one of those areas where the TouchPad simply shines. As I have said before in the forums, I believe that “handles” are the absolute best feature of Enyo, especially in productivity applications like Email. I can quickly change from inbox to inbox, I can view all inboxes if I so wish, I can still view my messages while reading an email, and at any time, I can expand any of those screens to fit my liking. This is another one of those features that is much better on my TouchPad than it was my laptop. My email experience on the TouchPad is unmatched, and I have four different email accounts that I consistently use, so I need the fastest possible solution, and I’m very glad to say that the TouchPad provides that for me. I will say, however, that the email application needs a better way of organizing specific emails. They have the folder system now, but it’s a little clunky and I can’t seem to rename folders as I wish. It would really help me out if there were different methods of organizing my email, and for now, the desktop is a better way to do that.
Last post, I spoke about Just Type and its superiority over any other universal search mainly due to the actions it can perform. Well, this time, I have realized how amazing stacks really are. In a desktop OS, you see the windows of your open apps, same as in webOS. In a desktop, however, you cannot organize the applications intelligently and quickly as well as you can in a TouchPad with webOS. I always have tons of windows open, and I wish that desktop systems would be able to do something as simple and intuitive as stacks in order for me to perform my work faster. It is rather annoying having to look around for the program I want to use. In my TouchPad, I just have a stack for web browsing, one for a few games, and one for email and communication. Simple, easy, and fast. The one thing I do not like here is that it seems like webOS 2.0 was better at organizing stacks on its own than webOS 3.0. I may be wrong, but they seem to stack things in different ways, and I do prefer the automatic stacking in webOS 2.0.
A lot of you have been wondering about battery life. Well, battery life has been pretty good. Not great, definitely not bad, but pretty darn good. In heavy use (which is 90% of the time), the TouchPad’s battery will last me from 8 am until about 6:30 pm. Heavy use is writing a ton of emails, playing heavy 3D games, reading books, watching movies, etc. Remember, this is my only device, so it really has to do everything. In my book, when a device lasts ten hours in heavy use, its acceptable battery life. This is one of those areas where mobile devices are definitely superior than full computers. I was getting three hours of usage from my Mac.
One aspect of the TouchPad that needs a lot of work is the copy and paste function. It doesn’t work right. I used that a lot on my laptop, and I honestly don’t like to use it on the TouchPad. The handles to drag need to be larger and put further away from the word since I often cannot see where I am at with the selection point. Also, there needs to be some sort of feedback to the user on copy and paste. The brain doesn’t really register press and hold functions, and even less so when it’s a little quirky. This just needs to be fixed.
Synergy is great. Enough said. I have used the QuickOffice viewer and PDF viewer quite a bit, and I absolutely love that it pulls in all of my documents from different sources. I always had to go to different websites on my Mac to do what I can do with the TouchPad in one place. When I need a document, I simply pull the QuickOffice app and it pulls everything for me- or at least everything I managed to sync before my computer was robbed. I really enjoy how fast this makes me perform on the tablet, as I don’t need to worry about going to different places to get my information. One of those things that people cannot understand the use of until they use it. Synergy has also allowed to communicate easier than I did on my laptop and has allowed me to actually be a bit more organized in my digital life.
With all this said, I will address one thing: speed. I, for one, have not had any issues with the speed of this tablet (again, except the music player). It has run smoothly for me from day one and it continues to do so. I have been able to get a lot done because of the speed of the tablet. The processing speeds are great, and I am still enjoying using webOS as the center of my digital universe. It has been a great experience so far!