Round Table: Improving webOS
Welcome to Round Table, which is in fact not a table at all. Round Table is a continuing series on PreCentral where we pose a question to the staff and they provide their thoughts and insights. The question could be something simple like “what’s your favorite webOS app?” or something a bit more complicated, like “what was Palm’s biggest mistake in getting here today?” Or maybe we’ll just end up chatting about our favorite recipe for pumpkin pie, you never know.
Today, however, we're taking a critical look at our devices and webOS and asking, “If there was one thing you could improve about webOS, what would it be, and why?”
Derek: Memory management: I know that the solution for the anemic memory on the original Palm Pre is the Pre Plus, but for those of us stuck with a launch Pre we need some relief. Too often are "out of memory" errors thrown up when working in just one app, or when trying to launch just one app. We shouldn't need to be running stuff like JSTop just to have a functioning device.
Dieter: Email: Palm did a pretty solid job with the email client out of the gate: unified inbox, push email support on the major email providers, and so on. It's time to give it a little more love, though. Of course I want better Gmail support - labeling and archiving please - but I'd be happy with a few more likely changes. First: multi-select for deleting and moving multiple messages at once. I can't tell you how many times I've accidentally deleted the wrong email. I'd also like to see webOS synchronize starred folders automatically. I get so much email that it's critical that most of it gets auto-filtered into folders (labels) and out of my inbox - but unless I manually check (and wait!) those folders, I don't know if there are new emails in there. Hey - the ability to universally search all folders wouldn't hurt either. Of course, I'd also like to see speed and more speed.
Jason: Google Maps: I'm not sure if it was done by Google or by Palm, but it's bundled in the standard webOS ROM, and needs to be fixed. The webOS version of Google Maps really far behind the competing releases on other devices. There's no latitude integration, no street view, no advanced mapping feature that are incredibly handy on the iPhone and Android. Patches have shown latitude is easily feasible, so why not integrate it officially, for the average webOS users who doesn't use patches? There isn't even landscape compatibility. Ideally I'd love all those features in the webOS version. Seeing YPmobile with Bing maps being a viable alternative is a bit surprising, especial with all the features Google normally offers as standard.
Jonathan: Bluetooth: Keyboard and additional BT profiles should have been added months ago, and certainly should be moved to the top of the priority heap. Beyond those of us who lack only a full-sized keyboard to truly use our Pre phones for laptop replacements 90+% of the time, there are many other BT-enabled features that are both phenomenally useful and would instantly differentiate the Pre from its competitors. From file transfer to video streaming to printing, BT is a long-stable technology, is industry standard and is additional profiles are entirely software-based. Adding non-audio profiles would also help place the Pre firmly in the “for business as well as consumers” marketplace where it could more readily compete.
Keith: Email: But for a different reason than Dieter. 2-way Sync for Google as well as labeling / mass selection is a huge missing feature to me. I'd rather get to a computer to clean up my inbox with the Pre as my Daily Driver, where as on a BlackBerry or an Android device, I can do a nice job of tidying up on the go.
So there you have it, that's what we want to see improved. How about you?