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

Life on webOS and webOS only – an update! 30

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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30 Comments

Well done! Great description and value added for each apps! I am very very impressed and admired your dedication to the platform! Thanks for sharing!

Esteban, I would like to offer you my app for free. Just contact me in the forums.

I'm thankful you've found the TP useful beyond your initial perception of its functionality. Rock and roll, man.

Advanced Browser sounds really good. Is it preware or the normal app store. I cant find it in either.

Mind you im in Australia. I may need to use Impostah to get it from the US.

Does anyone know the app ID ?

Cheers

It's in the App Catalog. $3 I think.

More power to you, but I've been in a similar situation- my laptop has been at Dell for three weeks now (received it 'fixed' and had to ship it back to Dell again the next day because it had a new issue), and the more time I have to go with only the Touchpad and no laptop, the more I get frustrated with it.

The Touchpad does a lot right, but opening multiple browser cards and leaving them open for a while slows the device down a ton.

I can't upload files on websites, which makes it useless for me while I'm between jobs and having to upload resumes to company databases using forms, which is a requirement for most of the jobs in my field these days. (Nobody wants emailed resumes because that's more difficult for them to run a keyword search on manually).

When I take pictures on my camera, I can't transfer them to the Touchpad without a laptop as a go between.

And when sitting at my desk, a mouse would almost always be faster, instead of poking a screen. Using touch is best when not at a desk, but it can be annoying when you are there.

There are other frustrations that come up, but those are the biggest ones as my primary day-to-day computing device, and I can't wait to have my laptop back.

The Touchpad is at its best as a complement to a real computer, and not a standalone computing device, sorry to say.

That's the experience I'd imagine instead of his.

I left a very biting comment that while I apologize for my tone, meant this.

There are two key words in your response...

...experience and imagine...

Esteban had his own real experience...not imagined. Most of the rest of us can only imagine.

Others have had similar experiences, yet limited in that they had multiple computing devices to continue to rely on. They chose to use their TouchPads to some degree, but typically reverted back to a desktop or laptop when they encountered a difficulty. The key difference is that Esteban had no other choice, so he had to "work with what he's got". Necessity is the mother of invention, he found ways to deal with those limitations that the other folks did not. They didn't try as hard as Esteban because they had other options.

Esteban is recounting his experiences on living with a TouchPad as his only computing and entertainment device. He is telling us new things he's learned along the way that have given him a special 'connection' with his TouchPad. No, I'm not talking about Borg-like implants...although, hmmm...but he has had to come up with ways to make it work for him. He has had a lot of successes, and some failures. He honestly tells us about both.

Thanks to Esteban, your trials have generated blessings to the rest of us.

You sound like his PR agent or butt buddy. Doesn't matter, you don't have to explain.

Ah, but when you make such an unnecessarily misleading and crude statement, what can I do but point it out? It's like that old 'question' "Have you stopped beating your wife?" It implies something that has not been established.

So, for the record, I am neither. I've never met Esteban, therefore the second of your two allegations is not feasible, but you get the reward for crudeness and a general lack of propriety. I've never contacted Esteban directly, only responded in these comments on some of his articles during this saga in his life. So, it is improbable that I have entered into a PR agreement with him. If I have, I'll need to find out what's holding up all those royalty checks.

What I am is one who admires Esteban for being what seems like a decent person who has had a setback (the theft) but has decided to take the opportunity to make something useful out of his forced situation. If being that is something that deserves your crude response...so be it. I still admire positive 'gumption' which Esteban has shown.

Nice response. And thanks!

I've had the Touchpad for three days now. I like a lot of things about the OS, but here are some issues for those who want to hear more negatives. With my multitasking ways I keep running into "too many cards" errors. The USB drive functionality has flaked out and required a TP restart every time I wanted to use it. Tried the Skype videoconferencing tonight with my brother on an iPhone, and I got a blocky still image at the beginning, followed by a black screen the rest of the time. He can see me, I see nothing. I used QuickOffice heavily today, and while it's great to have it is has very limited features. Word tables are scrambled, and you have few resize or formatting options and no drag and drop in Excel. No Hulu or Netflix is rather sad. Not a desktop (or laptop) replacement.

Hulu is so easy to fix it's almost stupid. Check the forum.

Good article.

I do find myself using a tablet, apple, android, TP at times and realize it would be much faster surfing the web on a laptop or desktop...just need to get off the couch lol. During such times with all the scrolling, pinch and zoom, vitural keyboard it does take longer plus don't have advanced browser yet on TP nor preware.

Just wait and see what the next several years offers us right :)

Clearly Esteban is not a developer or in the IT field. I had the touchpad last month but returned it after 2 weeks and from my experience, the touchpad is NOT business ready. There is no terminal application(the one in homebrew does not work), evernote web site does not work. There was no evernote HD app at the time I had the touchpad. I couldn't invite anyone to meetings via the calendar.

Pity there's no TTY or proper Telnet client, but st least EverNote has an app now. As for the calendar, I don't recall either the iPad or Android ones using Lotus or Exchange to allow meeting invites.

Still shows how tablet computing has cone far enough to allow basic computing tasks to be done You couldn't do much with Windows XP Tablet edition that couldn't be done better with anything else

without a working Citrix client that accepts https logins, I have to use my gf's iPad to log into my work system.

for me the biggest hole for work use is that there's no RDP or VNC client. Also for reasons I can't determine the web admin interface for the firewall I use at several sites does nothing at all on the touchpad browser, yet works fine on my pre-plus (just too small to really do anything).

so I've pretty well run into a dead-end on every work task I've tried so far. I've e-mailed a few clients, but I could already do that on my phone pretty well.

how hard could a basic vnc & rdp client be? It exists for linux, and we are running linux, yes?

I've been a developer for 12 years. I've worked on every mobile platform, and have customized winmob builds. I'll let you know that I really like the TouchPad, and if you were any good at our field, you'd know how to make that terminal app work because I HAVE. Also, the webOSInternals guys have delivered that sort of thing in the past and they'll do it again. Be patient.

Don't see anyone mentioning the TouchPad Volume script in Preware. Fixes your volume issues!

> 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.

There is a Preware fix for this...actually 2..."Increase Touchpad Volume" and "Increase Touchpad Volume Lite" under Linux Applications.

It was kinda tough to install the patch without a computer :-)

great news eseban! I just confirmed that you can buy renters insurance on a touchpad, and it's only like $13/month!

Is that for a non-smoker who exercises regularly? Good find Glenn! We definitely do not want Esteban to lose his TP! We love his articles too much.

But there is something we all need to think about for the future...do we really want Esteban to have to watch the Colts win the Superbowl on his TouchPad? I say we need to help him get that 42 inch TV...or maybe get him tickets to Lucas Oil Stadium...which ever is cheaper... ;)

How on earth would they replace it? You can't even find them anymore

cool, I ordered Spaceblip based on this review. It is fun! Ordering BeamOut now...YouTube vid looks good.

I didn't like Big Boss, but got it free with the six-pack deal ;-)

Great that TouchPad is helping you manage your computing life. Now, I think the highliy paid marketing brains at HP and/or whatever company buys the hardware rights need to be knocking on your door for some real world testimony.

They can then show the hundreds of millions on non-tablet users a useful platform and device to consider. No need to change iPad or any other tablet users minds. Go for the currently untapped market.

I own an Ipad 1, and an Apad 8"with Android 2.2, the first is a great Machine with an OK OS and a worthless PC interface that i won't even mention, because just thinking of how restrictive and clunky this piece of Apple **** gives me a bout of rage. The later is just **** both hardware and especially the software.

The reason I purchased the TP was because for $100 how could I go wrong with such a powerful device?, I truly was not expecting what I have so far discovered.

The OS is GREAT I would say that in most respects is either at par with IOS or it beats it hands down.

The bad - cannot bunch up apps in a folder, or at least have several tabs to catalog my apps as the folder icons do in Apple.
- Volume is very good although it could be a little better, i tried the free app for raising the volume, but I saw absolutely no difference.

The good- I do not get what people say about this TP being laggy or slow, I find it as fast or faster than my Ipad.
-The card system kicks the living daylights out of the crappy doubly click apple "Multitask"
-I purchased the movie player Kalemsoft and so far it has played mov,mpg,avi,wmf. Take that apple!!!
-On the internet (way better that safari) i can not only see all youtube videos, but i can go to andkon and let my children play all the flash games the want- Double take that apple!!

And NO F*&^*g ITUNES, just drag and drop from any computer. How great is that?

i just think that in the 27 years that I have been tinkering with computers and OS so seldom have I been so impressed.

As far as I'm concern their mistake was trying to go head to head with the leader, the way to do it is selling a great product at a fraction of the cost of the competition, take a small loss, and then when people have it, use it, and recommend it, bring up the price. (case in point the first Honda CVCC $3000 in the 70's $20000 2011, or the Hyundai Accent $7500 in 2000 $16000 in 2011!)