Life on webOS and webOS only – an update! | webOS Nation

Life on webOS and webOS only – an update!

by Derek Kessler Wed, 31 Aug 2011 9:25 pm EDT

Last month, 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.

It has now been over a month without my computer, TV, PS3, and Xbox, – among other small things – and if I were to summarize in one word how my experience has been I would say “special.” Not special in that anyone else cannot do it, but special in that I was able to live a digital lifestyle in just a tablet – my TouchPad. Many of you have been very helpful in discovering new things and new ideas, and although I do not often reply to many of you, trust that I’ve taken every recommendation very seriously.

For starters, I started to use Typewriter Beta to write on my TouchPad. Many of you recommended this, and it became a primary method of word processing. Would I recommend it to others? Yes. I used to use Google Docs for document editing, but it was a bit buggy with special characters. Typewriter, in the other hand, is faster, and now with the 3.0.2 update, the typing is faster and more accurate than ever. Oh, and now there’s an update to bring document editing to QuickOffice? Score!

Let me just begin by saying one thing: 3.0.2 is a great update. I am someone that uses a TouchPad for his primary computing and entertainment needs, so if there is anyone that would notice the differences between 3.0 and 3.0.2, I would hope it is me. As I have said before, I didn’t have many of the issues that others did with my launch day software, but 3.0.2 significantly improved a few things for me:

  • The keyboard and auto correction
  • Email
  • Music Player
  • Exhibition mode

First, the keyboard, which was already the best in my opinion, has been improved even more, as I can type much faster with fewer mistakes, and if I do commit the occasional mistake, the word is corrected immediately and with a much broader dictionary. With 3.0.0, it always seemed to take a second before the word was corrected, and by that time, I would think the tablet did not see the error and I would go back to try to correct it, often as the TouchPad corrected it for me. In other words, a waste of time. It was rather annoying. Now the fix is instant and I don’t need to go back to fix words.

Email was greatly improved as far as speed and responsiveness go. It just moves faster and smoother. Email on the TouchPad with 3.0.0 was already amazing, but now it shines. Another area that received speed and responsiveness improvements was the music player, which was extremely laggy before, as I have said in previous posts. Although I did see improvements, the music player still needs a lot of work on speed and smoothness. Also, I didn’t see an improvement in volume, which was and continues to be one of my biggest pet peeves about the music player.

Finally, Exhibition received a good update for me. I don’t know if any of you experienced a lag when placing the TouchPad on the touchstone, but I did. Often times, it took about 45 seconds- 2 minutes for the TouchPad to enter exhibition. Now, it does it instantly, which is a very nice little touch.

One thing I have had a problem with is the video calling. In fact, I have never gotten it to work. I always hear audio, and it actually sounds good, but I never get video. I haven’t posted about this before because I was told by the awesome chat help built into the TouchPad that it would be addressed in the update - it wasn’t. Now, I do realize have been some issues with calling to Macs, since the four people I have tried to call all have Macs. Still, not a great experience there.

Now for a few apps I have discovered to my digital life a bit more robust. Before I mention them, I do have to thank HP for the very generous $50 credit in the app catalogue, as it has made my apps experience a lot better.

  • Typewriter Beta
  • Slice it HD
  • Big Boss
  • Advanced Browser
  • Market Pulse HD
  • Spaceblip HD

Typewriter beta I have already spoken about. It is a very simple but unique word processor that will handle basic processing needs very well. It served as a great placeholder until the more robust QuickOffice arrived.

Slice It HD is a GREAT puzzle game. If you have not tried it yet, I would highly recommend so. It is addictive and it gets very challenging. The main point of the game is to slice different shapes into equal pieces by size, and trust me- its a bit tougher and more fun than it sounds.

Big Boss is a pretty unique game in that you play the ‘bad guy.’ Not only does that make it good, but it is also very very cute, as my monster currently has equipped a pink bowtie with some Karate clothes. The story of the game is also very neat. It revolves around a monster that destroys castles simply because the castles are blocking his view. Pretty good reason to destroy castles if you ask me! This game is well worth the money, and with the $50, what are you waiting for?

Advanced Browser has made my browsing experience a thousand times better. About five hundred of that thousand times better is from the ability to browse with tabs. I very rarely have only one website open at a time, in fact, I usually have about four open, both when I had a computer and now on my TouchPad as stacks. Advanced Browser, however, has allowed me to save some time by making it easier to switch from site to site through its tabs, an I really enjoy that. The other half of the thousand comes from the “find” function of the app, which saves me tons of time when trying to find specific information on a website. The TouchPad prides itself in its Just Type search engine, which is very good, but it seems curious as to why have such a good search feature in the OS but not the browser. Now we have it with Advanced Browser.

Market Pulse is an excellent app for those that want to follow whatever the heck is going on in the economy and the markets of the world. It has an excellent user interface, and it looks great too. The one thing that seems to be missing from it is a ticker, which would be great in addition to what it already shows. It really is an excellent app.

Spaceblip is a very unique game in that it takes the game ‘snake’ (I’m sure you have all played it) and puts some unique twists to it. For those of you that like old school gaming, with a twist, this gem is definitely for you. I really enjoy it.

Overall, I am definitely getting used to this whole webOS only deal; it works. With a few more features and a bunch more apps, this platform is the perfect platform for many people, especially those that care about having simplicity and power in their platforms, and I think that is many of the potential tablet buyers in the world. I still believe this is the most unique product in tablet computing today, as it offers many things that competitors do not, bandit is these things that make living my digital life a lot easier since it is my only computing device (other than my phone).

Let me just say it this way: I went from saving money to replace my computer to saving money to replace my TV and PS3. Why? Because the TouchPad os actually doing a pretty good job at managing my computing lifestyle, since most of my computing lifestyle relies on the web. But there is still something about watching a movie on 46” of goodness that I really miss. As always, any suggestions from all of you are welcome!

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