webOS 2.0 Review | webOS Nation

webOS 2.0 Review 161

by Dieter Bohn Tue, 19 Oct 2010 2:20 pm EDT

webOS 2.0

webOS 2.0 is the most significant update to webOS since the release of the Palm Pre 2 (See a history of webOS updates here). We've previewed the features of webOS 2.0 already, but now we have a pre-production Palm Pre 2 in-hand and have a full review of HP webOS 2.0 for you - including Stacks for multitasking, Just Type for search and actions, Flash(!) for the web browser, and much much more.

Palm has announced the Palm Pre 2 is coming to SFR in France on Friday, Verizon in the "coming months," and also that they'll be releasing an unlocked, UMTS developer version of the Palm Pre 2. In other words, SFR customers in France will be able to experience webOS 2.0 first. Palm says that "the webOS 2.0 update will be delivered to existing customers in the coming months," but what that exact timeline will be is still unclear. Hopefully Palm's original goal of delivering webOS 2.0 before the end of the year will apply to existing devices as well as the Palm Pre 2.

While we can't review the hardware of the Palm Pre 2 (it is pre-production, after all), we have been putting webOS 2.0 through its paces for the past few days and have plenty to tell you about its performance, graceful touches, near misses, and glaring omissions. Can webOS 2.0 help keep HP and Palm competitive in the hyper-competitive smartphone landscape? Read on to find out!

A word about hardware

We know, you're dying to know about the hardware of the Palm Pre 2. We're going to hold off on getting into the details on the device, but we can tell you what Palm has announced:

  • It features a 1GHz processor, double the speed of the Palm Pre and Palm Pre Plus.
  • It has a 5-megapixel camera, a step up over the 3MP shooter on the Pre and Pre Plus.
  • It has a flat, glass screen fronting a device with what Palm calls a "sleeker, streamlined design."

webOS 2.0 performance

Overall, if you're familiar with webOS, webOS 2.0 isn't going to feel like a radically different OS (If you're unfamiliar, check out our original webOS guide for more information). Palm's stated goal for 2.0 was to enhance the elements of webOS that they feel already gives them a leg up on the competition: 'true' multitasking, universal search, and Synergy.

All are present in webOS 2.0, just refined. Instead of a flat array of cards for your running apps, webOS 2.0 lets you stack them up. Instead of a universal search, you have 'Just type' with expanded search capabilities and the ability to initiate 'quick actions.' Instead of waiting on HP to provide more sync sources for Synergy, developers can provide sync sources independently.

Still, the overall experience of webOS is largely unchanged. Although every app is listed at version 2.0, the vast majority of them are functionally unchanged. The launcher and phone app have both received some much-needed TLC, which we'll get to in just a minute.

Under the hood, Palm has added all sorts of developer-friendly APIs as well as plenty of tweaks to speed things up. There's a new background-services model based on node.js, hardware-accelerated transitions, and a new database structure called db8 underpinning the apps.

Back to speed: The net effect is that the biggest change you'll see in webOS 2.0 is things are much faster throughout -- there's much less wait time as apps load and fewer frustrating lags and jags.

Obviously that 1GHz processor is going to make things faster and definitely has a part in the overall snappiness of webOS 2.0, so keep that in mind. The difference between a stock Palm Pre Plus and this Pre 2 running webOS is marked, but not as extreme if you're an overclocker.

As you can see in this video, I was able to open well over 50 apps -- running into problems only when I taxed the system by opening multiple 3D games. The remarkable thing is that web pages in the background stayed properly loaded instead of having to be re-loaded when I returned to them.

I've only been using webOS 2.0 on the Palm Pre 2 for a few days now, so the jury is still out on battery life. I've been driving the phone pretty hard and lasting through most of the day, but there's not enough of a difference between when I'm experiencing here and on 1.4.5 for me to say battery woes are a thing of the past. At the very least, battery life is not worse -- my estimate so far is that it's the same or slightly better.

Just Type


Although it's perhaps not as noticeable as the Stacks feature, my favorite feature in webOS 2.0 is "Just Type." Previously known as "Universal Search," Just Type is a system instant-search that adds in extra functionality. I'm going to go in depth here because it's a powerful feature that is likely to be 1) under-appreciated 2) become a source of much confusion to consumers due to a slightly confusing interface mapped to a very powerful set of features.

Essentially, any time you're not in a specific app, you can "just type" to bring up either a search or a quick action. Let's address search first, as it's still the core feature here. Search is broken up into two sections. The first is the set of data you can search directly from the Just Type interface -- results are listed and auto-filtered as you type in different sections:

  • Apps
  • Contacts
  • Email
  • Bookmarks & History
  • Others as developers add them

As before, you can just start typing a contact name or app name to find them immediately. One nice bit with contact search -- if a contact is on your favorites list in the Phone app, their name appears with a star (sadly, there still isn't a way to assign a primary phone number within a contact that gets identified within Just Type).


The addition of the other direct searches is much-needed and very useful. Email actually searches every synced folder, not just the inbox (however sub folders are still not automatically synced in webos 2.0). There are plenty of other apps that aren't included that certainly should be, however. Memos, Tasks, Calendar, Music, text messages, IMs, and Office Documents are all the sort of local bits of data that really should be exposed to Just Type but are missing.

There is an API for third party developers to add their own apps to Just Search so their apps can also display results directly within the Just Type interface. Hopefully enterprising developers will find ways to fill in the gaps above.

You can search Google (or other search engines) by tapping on the Google button and there's also a "Suggest" button on Google that will query and give you a direct drop down of suggested searches -- a function that should be a godsend for spelling those 25-cent words.

Of course, you can still directly type in a URL in Just Type and hit Enter to open a web page.

In addition to the direct searching, there is also a new section called "Launch & Search" that offers more search options. This section replaces the Google Maps, Wikipedia, and Twitter buttons in the old Universal Search. Instead you have a configurable / re-order-able set of Apps and web pages that can be launched and searched in a single step. Some of the stock options include:

  • Google Maps
  • Twitter
  • Wikipedia
  • IMDb
  • Palm App Catalog
  • YouTube (app)
  • CNN
  • Amazon

What's great about this section is that other apps can register themselves as available, as can web pages. Any webpage that uses the OpenSearch protocol will get recognized by webOS. When you visit the site, a notification will pop up letting you know it can be made available to Just Type as a Launch & Search option. Most Wordpress sites do it by default. Conveniently, we added OpenSearch functionality to PreCentral.net last night. When you visit us with a webOS 2.0 device, you'll be able to add PC as a default search option.

So that's search. Still with us? Next up is Quick Actions. As with "Launch & Search," this is a configurable list of apps that you can pass text to to finish actions. By default you have the following options:

  • New Task
  • New Email
  • New Memo
  • New Calendar Event
  • New SMS

Additionally, webOS apps can register themselves for Quick Actions -- as Palm's Facebook 2.0 Beta did, which meant I could update my Facebook status straight from Just Type.

... well, almost straight from Just Type. What I had hoped for was an action interface that didn't even need to launch an app to work (just type, hit tweet, move move on my merry way). Instead what happens when you select a Quick Action is the app launches and the text you've typed gets passed into the appropriate text field. It's still super convenient, but not quite the "Mac Quicksilver on a phone" I dreamt about. Perhaps third-party developers will be able to refine Quick Actions in their own apps to make things a bit more efficient.

Nearly every Just Type section / setting can be removed, re-ordered, and re-added from the Just Type preferences, located at the very bottom of the Just Type screen (but not, strangely, in a simple Just Type Preferences App). Those preferences also also have a button to search the App Catalog for more Just Type services as they become available.


If you haven't gathered from the 800-plus words so far on just this subject, Just Type is a very powerful but also very complex feature. If you were wondering why Palm decided to switch the name from "Universal Search" to "Just Type," your first answer is that it does more than search. Your second answer is that Palm is trying to make a very complex set of features seem more approachable. They've made it more prominent by adding a permanent Just Type search bar on the home screen (and no, there is no virtual keyboard that pops up when you tap it). Maybe the best answer is that the only way to really understand the feature and get the most out of webOS is to, yeah, Just Type.

With a little practice you can "trust" the system and get to what you want to do much more quickly and efficiently that is possible on any other smartphone platform. Unfortunately, that efficiency only comes after spending some time poking around the settings and getting your bearings.


Even though Just Type seems to have some strange blind spots with regard to search, after only a couple of days I don't know that I'd want to do without it. Once third-party developers start plugging their apps into it, I suspect it has the potential to be one of the "stickiest" features webOS has to offer.


The most prominent new feature in webOS is definitely Stacks. Palm has taken their marquee advantage over other platforms and enhanced it by making it easier to have multiple apps open and organized.

The basics are fairly straightforward: you can drag a card on top of another card and they become grouped -- stacked -- together. When you do something in an app that launches a new card -- like tapping a link or starting a new email -- that new card gets stacked on top of the card you initiated it from.

Combined with enough RAM to let you have as many cards as you like (up to an unreasonable 50-plus apps), the Stacks feature means that I am no longer closing apps when I'm done with them. Because I can stack cards together, it becomes less of a chore to jump between apps because there are fewer swipes between them.

In practice, what I've found is that I am grouping apps together by function. I already have a default setup:

  • A games stack with crosswords and my 3D game of the moment
  • A PIM stack with calendar tasks and memo.
  • A news stack with an RSS reader and a couple browser windows with stories I want to read when I have a moment
  • A social stack with Facebook and Twitter.
  • An email "stack" that usually has my inbox, a related web page or two, and often a draft
  • A messaging "stack" with the IM/SMS app and maybe associated links

That's a simple setup for when I'm working. In other situations it might make sense to leave my camera open, to have a stack with Yelp / Foursquare / Google Maps. A music stack. A Tripit / FlightTrack stack ... and so on.

A clever feature that Palm bought with their Facebook 2.0 Beta is the ability to have a single app use multiple cards. The email app has done this with draft messages before, but with stacks I hope both Palm and third-party developers continue the trend. The IM/SMS app, in particular, should have an option to open a conversation in a new card.

One subtle change Palm made is that if you're in the middle of a bunch of cards and open a new app, it opens in the spot immediately to the right of where you currently are -- whereas before new apps always opened at the far-right position. It's makes it easier to stack related apps together.

More important: it's a necessary change because Palm also changed the UI for re-arranging cards. Before when you started moving cards all of the cards shrunk down to a small size so you could quickly slide a card left or right. Now the cards don't get much smaller and the movement is much slower because you have to wait for the UI interaction that offers you a chance to either stack a card on top, behind, or move to the next open slot.

As far as that interaction goes, it's pretty simple: when you're stacking a card, both the active card you are dragging that the card that's offering to be stacked tilt slightly to the side. When you're looking at a fan of cards, you can fairly easily select and swipe any card in the stack.

Overall that slower card moving is a hassle, but well worth the tradeoff. The only real issue I have with Stacks is that it pushes the limit of what you can do on a 320x480 screen. With more screen real estate (say on a PalmPad or simply on a phone with a higher resolution screen), the ability to have lots of apps open and ready for action would be a lot more powerful.

Text Assist

Although many Palm faithful have acclimated themselves to the relatively small keyboard on the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi, many more have been turned off by the cramped quarters found underneath the screens on these webOS smartphones. There's no getting around the fact that the smaller the keyboard, the more likely there are to be typing errors.

Palm has finally recognized this and is helping to fix the issue with Text Assist -- aka proper error correction when typing in webOS. While Palm has had some autocorrect before in webOS, with 2.0 it's significantly beefed up -- with what seems like an improved algorithm for detecting mistakes, inline spell check, and an intuitive system for automatically fixing your errors.

When you are typing and key in a word not in the webOS dictionary, one of two things happen. First, if it can, webOS will autocorrect the word and indicate it has done so by making a small noise (you can turn that off) and underlining the word in gray. If you like the change -- type on. If you don't, you can either immediately hit backspace to under to the change or tap on the word to bring up a pop-up menu showing your original spelling and/or alternate suggestions. If you tap on your original word, it reverts and then gets underlined in red.

If webOS can't intuit a corrected version of your unknown word, it will simply underline it in red. You can tap on any red-underlined word to bring up a pop-up list of suggested replacements and swipe it left to finally come to a button with a + symbol that lets you add it to your custom dictionary.

Finally, there's a Text Assist app that shows you a configurable list of all the words in your custom dictionary (for fun, try all the cuss words and note which ones webOS does or does not try to correct. You'll be surprised).

The Text Assist app is also home to your custom shortcuts. You can assign any combination of two or more letters to auto-transform into some longer or alternate string of characters. I have "pc" auto-change to "PreCentral.net" and "DD" change to "- Dieter." As with other auto-corrections, you can just hit the backspace to undo. One bug: if you try to create a replacement that's more than 64 characters long, webOS will not only reject it, but reject any further edits and remove the shortcut.

In all, the Text Assist additions are welcome, but webOS 2.0 is not as smart as the iPhone's iOS as recognizing and correcting mistakes. Since we're typing on a physical keyboard, this isn't as much of an issue. However I think Palm will want to further improve their system before they release a touchscreen-only device.


So hey -- Flash! It's here and it works better than I expect it to. That's not saying a ton, of course, as I expect Flash to be pretty terrible on any smartphone. Still, for the occasional flash video, simple flash game, and flash navigation it will certainly do the job.

By default, Flash is on in the browser but not active -- the exact right design choice. You can tap on any Flash element to activate it. When you do, the Flash portion is surrounded by gray bars and it takes over all touch and gesture actions on the screen. You can rotate the Pre to zoom in on the Flash element. You can exit Flash Mode by tapping an X in the lower right and then pan around the web page.

Independent Flash apps and Adobe Air apps aren't supported.

Other browser improvements

In addition to Flash and the previously-mentioned OpenSearch, there's improved support for HTML5, including geolocation. I haven't noticed many other significant changes, although Google Reader and Gmail do appear to perform slightly better in my testing.

New launcher

Palm has also updated their launcher so better accomodate the growing (but still small) number of apps available for webOS. The revamped launcher more closely resembles the card metaphor, separating out the different launcher pages into explicit cards. The real change, though, is that you can now add, remove, and re-arrange launcher pages. You can also rename each launcher page to better categorize your apps.

Moving apps around is essentially the same experience -- down to the strange delay that can sometimes happen at the edge of the screen when trying to move an app a page over the the launcher. The quick wave bar the bottom no longer appears when the launcher is open (to better make room for those page names), so now when you add an app to the quick wave bar it also remains in the launcher.


Whether Palm ditched DataViz or DataViz ditched Palm is academic now: RIM acquired DataViz and DocsToGo is no more in webOS 2.0. Instead we have QuickOffice as a document viewer. Not editor -- just a viewer. It does a stupendous job finding and downloading documents from DropBox, Google Docs, and Mobile Me. It does a pretty good job displaying those documents as well -- so long as they're standard Office docs.

Hopefully we'll see a full version of QuickOffice in short order -- even if we have to pay extra for it.

Phone update

The Phone app received a minor bump. SFR customers in France will get visual voicemail. For the rest of us the big new feature is a proper favorites tab. You can add people directly from the Favorites tab within the phone app or by starring them in the contacts app. You're prompted to choose a default number inside Favorites, but you can tap on the thumbnail to bring a dropdown to dial a different number or send an SMS.

The Phone app is now skinned with a blue background. Why not, hey?

New App Catalog

Palm has updated the App Catalog as well, brining a slightly new skin. There are now two main featured apps on the home screen as well as hot apps, so there's less drilling down. Additionally there are buttons along the bottom for top paid, top free, and most recent. It's a cleaner design overall and I like the dark look of the new skin.

Exhibition, Improved Synergy, and Skype

Two top features touted for webOS 2.0 aren't really here in full force in the version that I tested. The biggest bummer is Exhibition, which is the mode that allows apps to display when the Pre is sitting on the Touchstone charger. Palm tells us that it will come via an Over-The-Air update in the coming months.

HP and Palm have opened up Synergy for third-party developers to offer more sync sources to contacts, messaging, and calendar. As of this writing, however, no such extra services existed for testing.

What does exist right now is a proper Accounts Preferences app. Finally -- finally-- there is a single place where you can see all of your Synergy sources and drill down into each one to see what kind of data is being synced and turn off whatever you're not interested in.

Unfortunately, that's as fine-grained as the control gets. When you plug in Facebook, it still pulls down all of your 'friends,' without giving you the option to only sync those already found in another synced address book. Ditto LinkedIn, Yahoo, etc.

Speaking of Synergy-related features, the messaging app now offers Yahoo IM and, at long last, the ability to add and remove buddies from your various IM services. Facebook IM is also coming via Facebook 2.0. Facebook 2.0 will also bring support for Exhibition.

There's one more marquee feature that I wasn't able to test: Skype. Since Verizon signed the exclusive deal with Skype, they'll have exclusive access to the Skype app on webOS. It looks as though it's mean to integrate directly into the Phone app and seems like a perfect Synergy-style service for the contacts and messaging app to us. We'll see.


Palm has added full VPN to webOS, with support for VPNC / IPSEC and Cisco AnyConnect / SSL. Unfortunately, we use a different VPN system at PreCentral, so I wasn't able to test this. I will note that I wish Palm didn't put it above Bluetooth in the main system menu, as it seems to be that most people are likely to want to toggle Bluetooth more often than VPN.

APIs and developer goodness

I mentioned some of the backend improvements at the top of the review: Node.js as a runtime environment that will bring faster data access, the db8 database structure which offers faster sync with cloud services, and hardware-accelerated CSS transitions to speed things up in the graphics department.

In addition to the above, HP is allowing full 'hybrid' PDK/SDK apps in now, which means we can see apps that combine native code with standard webOS elements. As always, HP/Palm will let developers compile however they'd like.

There are new APIs for developers as well, most prominently microphone, camera, and media library access.

Other Apps

Here are a few of the apps / preferences that have probably been updated for speed & compatibility, but otherwise seem pretty much unchanged from an interface and features perspective:

  • Calculator
  • Calendar
  • Camera
  • Email
  • Google Maps
  • Memos
  • Messaging
  • Music
  • Photos
  • Tasks
  • Videos
  • YouTube

Email is significantly faster, so while I'd still like to see threaded messaging and sub-folder sync, I'm not going to harp on it. Many of the other apps listed above don't need all that much improvement to begin with, but the fact that Google Maps hasn't been updated at all is pretty terrible when you consider how well the indie BFG Maps works. Ditto the Music app when we've seen Music Player Remix and NaNplayer. And so on.


The boot up time on webOS 2.0 is much faster than 1.4.5. It still a slow boot, but it's moved from "completely intolerable" towards "bemusingly long," so that's a win.

Another win: Bluetooth keyboard support. It's a little twitchy, however, as whatever Bluetooth keyboard you connect acts exactly like the built-in keyboard on the Pre, right on down to the shift key acting as a caps-lock if you hit it twice. Try as I might, I could not get a key to map to "Meta" for "Meta-Tap," which meant that cut and paste required a trip up to the Pre itself. Since there's no "undo" in webOS, I did lose some text here and there as I tried to hit "Ctrl-C" to copy and webOS read it as "Opt-C," and replaced the text I was trying to copy with the number 8.

Palm points out the Bluetooth keyboard support isn't important just for keyboards, but also because it offers support for barcode scanners and lock boxes. In the interest of completeness, here are the supported Bluetooth profiles: HFP/HSP, A2DP, PBAP, PAN, AVRCP, OPP, SPP, HID.

Although I haven't had a chance to test it, Palm told me that webOS 2.0 is smarter when connecting to WiFi networks that require you to open a browser window and enter a login screen - so called "Captive" WiFi Networks. When webOS 2.0 sees that it is connected to WiFi but can't connect to the internet, a notification pops up prompting you to open the browser and log in.

Palm has separated out App updates from both the Updates app and the App Catalog -- there is now a separate "App Manager" app that does just that.

I've seen a few crashes and weird behaviors -- but I can attribute them all to either my crazy 55-app launch-a-thon or to pre-production hardware issues. I've had one app (Scoop) not work properly and seen a couple mysterious error dialogs that didn't seem to affect anything adversely. In all, webOS 2.0 seems stable and fast.

Wrapping up

WebOS 2.0 is without question the biggest webOS update we've seen since Palm first unveiled webOS at CES in January 2009. You could argue that the main features -- Stacks, Just Type, Exhibition, improved speed, and a bevy of developer tools are mainly evolutionary and you wouldn't be wrong. However, the sum of these updates adds up to an OS that is coming into its own. Rather than try to play catch-up with Apple's iOS and Google's Android, HP chose to bolster webOS' advantages over those platforms. webOS 2.0 is not a me-too operating system.

It's a smart move, but plenty of work remains to be done. It's absolutely vital that HP get more developers on board creating apps that take advantage of those unique strengths as well as fill in the gaps where webOS isn't keeping up with the competition. webOS 2.0 is a solid release, but the final verdict won't be in until we see what developers do with the new functionality they have to work with.

Five and a half months into HP's acquisition of Palm, it still feels a bit like we are looking at platform put together by an overachieving, scrappy underdog instead of a by the largest technology company on the planet. Given the engineering realities of building a complete smartphone OS, that shouldn't be a surprise. But it will be a disappointment if HP can't capitalize on the work done to further differentiate webOS 2.0 by giving their Palm division the resources necessary to increase the rate of innovation.

WebOS 2.0 still has an edge on the competition in certain categories with the advantages it had at launch: best of breed smartphone multitasking, unobtrusive notifications that can let you act on (or ignore) alerts without leaving your current app, convenient management of WiFi and Bluetooth, deeply-integrated web standards, easy development, Synergy.

WebOS 2.0 isn't so much a blockbuster sequel as it is the premiere of a second season. Well, this being Palm, more like the premiere of a fifth season. A good start, a reminder of why we loved the show in the first place, and a chance to build something really great again. We'll stay tuned.




No wonder you guys were so quiet yesterday. No doubt you were wrapping up all these articles sourced on embargoed news releases. Well done!


Very Nice Review.

how much of webos 2.0 should be attributed to palm before hp, and how much to after? seems like 2.0 is going to make leaps and bounds, probably because of hp. so, the future looks bright for further development. i think hp's os and next gen super phones will be real contesters starting this ces. webos is back in the game :)

didnt read everything, but didnt see anything about boot time. has that improved?

edit: ok found it. looks better..should get a video to see lol

All of that is Palm.

Much of the stuff that is in webos 2.0 was announced months ago for a "fall release". It's clearly an evolutionary improvement in line with what Palm has done before.

Even the physical device probably is just Palm without much, if any, HP involvement. It takes a while to develop, test and certify hardware and the Pre 2 is likely to have been what Palm had in the pipeline for a while. My guess is that it was likely delayed a bit by the aquisition. Had to get the merger done first.

We're seeing HPs influence in the quick push for a tablet and announcements for peripheral device interfaces.

Stop riding the coat tails of my first comment. >:(

So you admit it was a firstie then?

ok ok ok...just spill the beans and tell us. How long did u have the pre 2 before you could talk about it?

I'll bet their families haven't seen them since Friday or so...

this is what they were doing all weekend lol

okay now we see why you were up so late las night. Sneaky sneaky. Now when do I get this on my oc'ed pre 1. And you didn't talk about the phone at all. I know it's an early build and all.

I'm having an affair with the Evo and I am thoroughly unimpressed, I am hopeful Sprint will get something!! Android just doesn't flow and handle anything as elegantly as webOS, no real comparison. I am certainly not willing to switch to Verizon for this.


Ok, I just want 2.0 now. The phone itself does seem more responsive and fast. But I have a palm pre plus thats still in pretty good shape so i'm not hurting too much for new hardware just yet. I definitely want 2.0 though. Should be coming soon. :)

Nice review Dieter, can't wait to see this on my OCed Pre Classic.

Three things I'd like to see. 1. To be able to turn off the autocorrect feature. 2. To be able to turn off the labels on the launcher cards (they seem unnecessarily large and I've never felt the needfor labels). 3. To be able to turn off stacks if I decide I prefer the old interface.

It's called 1.4.5 ...on a faster device

There'll be a patch for that.
Actually there'll be dozens of patches.
And then meta-patches.

Where is QuickOffice? WebOS needs this badly!

I pooped in joy

glad preware works with WebOs 2.0!! :D

when will we hear other carrier support?

Great review. Do you know if the camera is can autofocus, or is that strictly out of the question? They obviously replaced the camera, so, hopefully they added one that could focus on what you wanted.

Is the interface hardware-accelerated ?

It should make the battery last longer, in addition to having smoother transitions...


yes! did you even read the article???

I read it, but then isaw the video and saw the same not-so-smooth transitions.

It may ot lag, but I like the fluid flow on the iPhone and Android. I really wanted to see this on a WebOS device.

Looks like it's never gonna happen since it would have been implemented in 2.0.


Either you don't know what hardware-acceleration looks like, or you just didn't pay attention.

Did you not see the smoother transitions from card to card? The smoother application-open transitions? The acclerometer effect when he opened the browser and Facebook in the beginning? All of that looked hardware-accelerated, simply because it was so smooth.

Yes, there were some stutters, but I've made an iPhone 4 stutter before, and it's far too easy to make an Android device stutter (I've made an EVO, Epic 4G, Fascinate, Droid 2/Incredible/X all stutter with UI elements).

I also don't see anywhere that this is the final build of webOS 2.0 that they'll release to the public.

Is hardware accelerated transitions the same as enabling the GPU?


based on the video, the transitions do not seem any smoother, but again that could just be the video. I also noticed the same lag between when he moves his finger and when the phone reacts. Still does not compare to the ipod/iphone (which I also use). Right before he opens text assist (you can see it around 5:11), you can see his finger move up and a half second later the page moves up. This is something that can be quite irritating and does not feel smooth. I was hoping they'd fix this in this version but I guess its not going to happen.

To see an even more dramatic instance of this annoying lag, look at the video Dieter did on Flash. You can also find it here:


Look at approximately 11 seconds in, when he scrolls on the preferences page - the phone actually lags and then jumps to catch up. Not good.

I really have to agree. How was this not a major flaw that was addressed?!

This is a HUGE oversight in my opinion. My friends like WebOS when I show it to them, but they always mention that it seems to laggy. This didn't get fixed at all!

Wow. That just seems really bad. I can't emphasize this enough.

There's a patch to change the sensibility of drag actions.
Lemme see if I can find it ...
... "Reduce Drag Radius NNpx"
I use the 15px variant - but there's a range of patch options that let's you choose one that works for you.

That and overclocking my Pre(-) to 1 GHz makes things much smoother.

Here are a few of the apps / preferences that have probably been updated for speed & compatibility, but otherwise seem pretty much unchanged from an interface and features perspective: Calendar, Camera, Email

Well, YOU may not want to harp on it, but I will. Disappointing, sorry, ESPECIALLY the Email and Calendar. Flash is nice. The other stuff in this review is gloss I really couldn't care about. I'd have loved to seen Exhibition, but...not ready? Really...

There are some nice UI improvements and I really like the addition of new search engines and the addition of bookmarks and history to the search. It's a great start, hopefully they'll do somethings more substantial soon after it launches.

totally agree.this was my fear: no improvements on calendar, mail and BATTERY...makes decisions easier although i have a buddy in paris ;-)...bigger fear: what will webOS 2.0 do to my pixi plus? kill it?

WebOS 2.0 is actually lighter than WebOS 1.4.5

It will make your Pixi Plus run like a dream

you mean a "nightmare"? when i see the tests they have done with 1.4.5 it does not seem like it is lighter, maybe less buggy. so... i hope you have a good source at HPalm for telling so!

I AGREE!! I can think of many ways to improve those apps.

I wish the Calendar had an Agenda view, like PalmOS had.

I wish the Tasks list provided the ability to specify a due time, not just a date. Like PalmOS had.

I wish Tasks and Calendar had the ability to snooze an alert for a selectable amount of time - not just five minutes. Like PalmOS had.

I wish Notes had categories, and a list-view option (like PalmOS had), and not that ridiculous Post-It metaphor.

I wish the Calendar would display the day view with one line per appointment, instead of that huge green rectangle "blocking out" the appointment time. It's ridiculous that one three-hour appointment should take up half the screen. I want ONE LINE, e.g., "1:00pm-4:00pm Bungee jumping w/Bill".

I could go on.

Looking at 2 side by side screen caps showing stacked cards, I notice one screen shows the Just Type bar and the quick launch bar. The other does not. At what point do those bars disappear?

Dieter -- they threw Cisco VPN support in, but the big question is -- is there any indication that there is PROXY support anywhere in WebOS 2.0???? We use Cisco VPN here, both IPSec and AnyConnect -- but it will be completely useless to me if there is no proxy support.

VOICE DIALING - here comes 2.0 on a supposed smartphone and no mention of voice dialing. This is all that I lack for me to quite happy with Palm for quite some time. Please do not let them be like iJunk and make us wait until 3.0 before it will do what dumb phones have done for years.

I had great voice dialing on my Palm OS Kyocera 7135 seven years ago or more. Just another inexplicably absent feature. . .

All OSes have 'inexplicably absent features'. iOS lacked copy/paste for three generations. It still lacks custom SMS tones.
No OS has everything.

They released the mic API so voicedialing, either native or third party, is likely not far behind. Not a function I'd ever use though.

That's the tune they've played since the Pre came out. "Voice dialing, comming soon."

This is great stuff!! Cannot wait to get my hands on it!!


Good and fair review. Looking forward to try the webos2.0

wow, we've waited this long for a slight bump in specs? this is horrible. palm should be ashamed of themselves. I was hoping I'd have a reason to get back on the webos bandwagon, but this isn't going to do it. I sure hope their other devices coming soon will be a lot better than this. I'm sure they'll market this to "stay at home moms" again totally destroying their image.

can't wait. I just got the pre plus on big red and love it. Really want to see how this runs with my overclocked plus. Great article. Love your site. Keep up the good work!

Skype is exclusive to Verizon? Oh sad day...why would they do that :(

tell me how you would use it on the Pre 2?

..... Oh,it doesn't have a front facing cam. You can't.

Skype is primarily a Voice Over IP application; video support is gravy. For phone-to-PC calls and inexpensive international calls over IP, the Pre 2 (and even the Pixi & Pre 1) hardware is perfectly sufficient.

I might jump ship if new phone doesn't have front facing camera. I want to skype with ny grandchildren.

Do you know anything about skype?

Its not just for teen-aged girl teleconferencing.

Why? Because VZW probably threw a pile of money at them. This probably has more to do with iOS than WebOS.

This kind of thing is usually decided by carriers.
Stuff like Skype is in direct competition to the main business of a phone network provider.

I don't see why Palm by itself would want to restrict that.

Few questions.

Is the camera autofocous? and is the video recording HD?

Does google maps still take years to load.

Is it faster then an overclocked pre plus?

The camera is fixed focus.

yes,googlemaps does. The showed it in one of the comparison vids. They glossed over it, but you could see it taking a year.

Not Palm's fault, mind you, just that Google was obviously in no way interested in improving a feature that would make their own phones lose a competitive edge.

... That's why we have BFGmaps!

I just want to say GREAT JOB, DIETER, as always!

Some of these were pointed out by other commenters already, but things that irritate me in current WebOS that I'd like to see remedied in 2.0. Are they?

* YouTube infinite spinning wheel
* Google maps interminable load time
* Visual voicemail
* Voice dialing, voice control features

Also, can it connect to multiple bluetooth devices simultaneously? E.g. can you have a bluetooth A2DP device connected at the same time as a BT keyboard?

i think so, yes. according to what i saw in deiters bluetooth keyboard video

Google Maps issues are not due to WebOS problems, but Google Maps' App. Totally unrelated to the update. Ditto Youtube.
The Mic and Phone APIs have been released so while there doesn't appear to be native voice dialing, it should be possible soon either native or 3rd party.
Vis Voicemail. Not native. It's a lower priority feature compared to most of what was done in 2.0, especially since there are 3d party options.

I see that you not only have a new phone, but an upgraded one as well.

Phone question:
Does the slider seem any better than the horrible implementation on the Pre 1?
Does it get just as hot?
What type of glass is it? Gorilla? Or generic?
How is the camera?
How is the battery life on the new phone?

OS questions:
Have they updated the API for voice interaction? ie, voice dialing, voice recorder?
Do any apps load noticeably faster than a 1Ghz overclocked Pre?
Any mention of Google Maps update? Or Bing Maps App?
How long does it take to boot up?
How is the battery life affected with the upgraded phone?

Did you read the article? They are not reviewing the hardware, which means they won't/can't answer your questions.

Although SFR has this thing on sale on Friday, someone might want to tell the French they are selling pre-production hardware. :rolleyes:

Very nice. Thanks.

Flash looks pretty great. I'm guessing I still can't play Yahoo! Dominoes on the thing, but oh well.

With Flash, if your watching a youtube video, do you have an option to let the video play through the youtube player or is it flash only?
Speaking of youtube, do you see the new youtube page or we still stuck with the old layout?
On the topic of new google pages, do we have access to a better experience for google voice on the mobile page: IE can we playback voicemail?
Must have more questions, hmm oh can we disable flash if we don't want it?
Did Palm update so we can have mutiple device login with same profiles?
Am I going to be locked in same dungeon as that Mr. Ski Mask guy for asking these NDA stuff?! :O

You can disable flash. It was in a video.

Google still loads slow. It was in a video.

.... Did you watch the videos he posted?

Wow...yeah, no I like to just post questions without seeing the video. :O
Google loads slow, hmm fine I don't care about that, I wasn't asking about that too. I'm talking about pages made my google, specifically Google Voice. I was wondering if we have a better experience with that as in can we listen to our voicemail instead of getting that error playing audio file. If it works, it will lessen the ease of not having a dedicated google voice app.

"the most significant update to webOS since the release of the Palm Pre 2"

Shouldn't that be "the most significant update since the Palm Pre was released", not the Pre 2? Or is it since the Pre + was released?

Good review!

First thing I noticed is that new launcher doesnt have bottom gradient that goes over icons and suggest half scroll. There are no arrows either that suggest you can stil go up or down.
I am saying this cause this is one of few redesinged parts of webOS and they've already slacked on it. I was affraid of it since leadin UI designer left.

I once went to my old town to see one of my ex-girlfriends from way back when...I was really excited, and nervous to see her, I kept thinking: wow, after 10 years, will she remember me? What does she look like now???..believe me, the excitement before the meeting was nerve-wrecking...but then I saw her....:{..Ever had that feeling??? Now????

Wait, can someone help me out here? Are we getting a similar upgrade to 2.0 for the original Pre since it brings Flash? I'm really going to feel cheated since we've been promised flash for so long.

come on man! Read the articles, watch the videos.

Yes, original Pre owners get flash also. It's baked in 2.0.

Don't post blind. Read first bro.

Great review. im happy about the new features but not all that excited. i know they deserve to be credited. Precentral's done a great job providing us with information. thanks guys. BTW im on sprint and that sucks..

What is the configurability of wireless networks? Is it still just called "Enterprise," or can you select and fine-tune the authentication methods or pull certificates?

looks like pre 2 will be comin out for AT&T too!!

I didn't even notice his phone said AT&T. Im sure it will come to all carriers who have the pre now. Those Sprint users need to calm down.

He probably got a developer phone that'll hook up to any network? Just a guess.

What makes you think the Pre2 will be on ATT?

Hmm! My head hurts... In a good way though. ;-)

I have one thing to say >>> Webos Rocks! :-D:-D

The touchscreen in the Pre 2 looks more responsive than one on my Pre Plus.

Thats the point in upgrading the phone. Everyone seems to think its going to have the same problems as the original. Like oreo effect, keyboard problems, blah blah. Palm isn't that stupid. This phone will fix every problem the old ones had.

eh, thats what they said about the plus compared to the original. im sure it will be better, but idk about perfect

Good luck on waiting for perfect from any manufacturer.


....... {gasps for air}....


Ugh, if they're not going to announce a Pre 2 coming to Sprint then ATLEAST lets us Original Pre owners get webOS 2.0!

it has been repeatedly stated that webos 2.0 will be coming to all existing products.

Great review!

I have a question about Active Sync. Currently if you setup Active Sync for an Exchange account, you get email, calendar and contacts. You cannot just sync calendar for instance.

Does Web OS 2 support selecting what data you want to sync in Active Sync?


Can you turn off the "Just Type" box?

Sheesh - now I know why you guys failed to talk about WebOS 2.0 when you were ragging on the Pre 2 in the last podcast. It seems to me WebOS 2 could be a big draw - it's not just a hardware issue with this launch. You shoulda told us you couldn't mention it yet - it made a major part of the last podcast pretty meaningless. I really excited to get this update on my Pre Minus.

I guess it's pretty ingenious for HP to release on Verizon, as much as I hate to admit it. If you're on Sprint where will you go? The EVO? By the end of you're contract you're sitting on an 18 month old phone with no promise of an OS upgrade. So you'd be in the same boat as you're in now with the Pre. Go to the Epic and you'll have nearly the same issue in a couple months. With CES in January, Android will get another fresh update for sure with new phones dropping probably around Spring '11. If HP plays their cards right (yes, bad pun) they can show off Roadrunner 4g at CES and release in February, giving them a Sprint Flagship phone for a minimum of 3 months before another slew of Androids drop. Dropping on Verizon now gives another nibble for people to hang on to in the mix of Droid's and iPhones. Remember the biggest mistake Ruby said with Verizon was coming after the Droid 1, so this way he hits before or during the Droid versions premiere. Keeping the name fresh in people's minds is important, and every day of non-competitive advertisements can help. Dropping on Sprint in February will help get out the bugs of 2.0 and have a polished OS for the new flagship device to rock before anything major hits.

By the way, I have it on very good authority that Pre2 will hit Verizon on November 11th. Here's to hoping the Roadrunner HD 4G drops February 7, 2011!

Hey, I just noticed this is a Pre 2 in the picture, and it says "AT&T". But there has been no announcement for AT&T....just SFR, VZW and some Canadian carrier....


Probably a preproduction GSM developer Pre 2.

What I want to know is does it support T-Mobile USA's 3G bands?

My most important feature, one that will likely make me leave webOS if it is not fixed: Can I log onto my PEAP network at work? Are there any new options for connecting to WiFi?

I'll settle with the Pre2 until something different comes out.

I wasn't planning on changing my phone factor anyhow... So I'm glad they kept it the way it is. Love the changes though.(i.e. Glass screen, non-usb port cover, etc.)

The best I never had. ^_^

Note: I'm hoping they have implemented that one lacking feature in 2.0. Yes, the screen following the cursor, or vice versa. I would love to see that feature.

I'll be going to France in a fortnight, and I'm seriously thinking of picking up a Pre2 from SFR. Does anyone know if they sell the off-contract ones unlocked, and if they can receive OTA updates?

Are you ok with using an AZERTY keyboard if you get it from SFR?

Yep, it's not a deal-breaker.

IIRC the french phones are locked - but for a limited time (n months - not sure).

AFAIK the only unlocked from the start Pres are sold by german O2 (QWERTZ keyboard, no Pre 2 announcement yet).

AZERTY keyboard.

People in Vietnam were getting OTA updates - so - yes. ;-)
But commercial apps are bound to a national profile. See other old threads about this on the forum for details.

Ah, that sucks. Was hoping to just pick one up from a store :( Will check out the forums, thanks for the info!

A question about the Bluetooth support... does it allow simultaneous connection to multiple devices? The bluetooth spec supports this, but as of 1.4.5, the Pre does not. BT keyboard support isn't nearly as useful if you cannot also be connected to a BT headset or play your music through your A2DP speaker connection while you're using it. This is one limitation that I hope gets fixed.

dieter, is there any chance that you can try preware and/or a few popular homebrew apps just to see if they work?

also, is the gps working???

and for the umpteenth time, where is the supa dupa virtual keyboard?

Any word on a list of new APIs for the Devs?

Any word on whether the original Pre will be upgradeable to OS 2.0?

2nd paragraph.

That's great and all, but any word on Audible in the music app? Palm(HP) keep saying it was up to Audible to make a app and Audible says it's up to Palm(HP) to make it work.

It looks like the supported audio formats haven't changed: http://www.palm.com/us/products/phones/pre2/#tab2

Still don't have AA format for Audible on the list.

want it. i might start using and paying for audible if they make that available. i hate it when big dev companies like that cop out.

OK so its coming out on Verizon. IF it comes with this:

-Wifi Skype baked in.
-Facebook Chat
-Flash Player
-Free Verizon Nav
-Free Mobile Hotspot
-Free Touchstone

then MAYBE I see this as being popular on Verizon.

Hey Dieter -- thanks for the update -- great stuff. I'm really dissappointed to see the lack of PIM updates, though (ie: native integration of Metaview's great Ubercalendar work).

All the same -- I'm looking forward to when I can get my hands on WebOS 2.0

One other comment. You wrote "The boot up time on webOS 2.0 is much faster than 1.4.5. It still a slow boot, but it's moved from "completely intolerable" towards "bemusingly long," so that's a win" --> ever tried a battery pull on a Blackberry?

You STILL cannot search the calendar? You have got to be kidding me!

as far as apps, shouldnt better email and calendar (etc) apps be able to get in the catalog? more functional stuff? i think thats palms intent in providing hypbrid capabilities and more api's


unacceptable from my perspective. The PIM features are what users hold at palm, so i need a searchable and more functional calendar (look what ubercalendar does in the newest update - needs to be a bit faster tough).

also vcal/ical over bluetooth is a must

I hope Sprint users are making their feelings known on facebook.com/sprint

I'm not going to waste my upgrade on a glassy Pre when a Vudu Pre is coming out 3~4 mos!!

-Sprint guy

Well, at least there is Flash support in the browser (not apps) and hopefully better battery life, but having a Quick Office "viewer", when the iPhone and Android get a full office suite that can edit, is totally disappointing. Not hearing any availability on AT&T for the Pre Plus + (aka Pre 2). Will just wait for the OTA update and live with that until my next phone upgrade...

Looks great BUT!!!!!!

GIMME SOME BATTERY LIFE!!! that is the difference between me using a blackberry as a primary with my pre plus as a secondary, and using the Pre as my ONLY phone.

No calendar or email improvements? Still? You have to be joking.

Hey guys, I've been trying to find out if the Palm Pre 2 is coming on Sprint, and I thought I'd drop this little conversation I had with customer support:

(I've changed my name and other identifying details, but the transcript is otherwise verbatim.)

1:43:28 PM : Connected to sprint.ehosts.net

1:43:28 PM : Session ID: -REDACTED-

1:43:28 PM : Bishounen: Initial Question/Comment: Question about the appropriate department/person to contact regarding the new Palm Pre 2 and whether Sprint will be carrying it.

1:43:33 PM : Samantha has joined this session!

1:43:33 PM : Connected with Samantha. Your Reference Number for this chat session is -REDACTED-.

1:43:34 PM : Thank you for contacting Sprint. My name is Samantha.

1:43:42 PM : Bishounen: Hello Samantha

1:43:54 PM : Samantha: Hello,I am happy to help you.

1:44:43 PM : Samantha: Do you want to add a new phone on your account?

1:44:59 PM : Bishounen: No, We already have two Palm Pres on our account.

1:45:19 PM : Samantha: Ok.

1:45:48 PM : Bishounen: I want to know which department or person would be the correct one to contact regarding the new Palm Pre 2. This is a new phone that is being released by Palm, and I would like to know if Sprint will be carrying it.

----------ID Validation sequence omitted--------

1:51:32 PM : Samantha: We will carrying it for that whenever this information's will be updated on our system we will update this information's on your online account because as of now there is no updations for this new plan pre 2 phone.

1:52:39 PM : Bishounen: So you WILL be carrying the Pre 2, but it's not yet available to update to? Is that correct?

1:53:02 PM : Samantha: Yes you are correct.

1:53:38 PM : Bishounen: That's great news! Thank you!

1:53:53 PM : Samantha: You are welcome.


So, assuming this is correct, the Pre 2 IS coming to Sprint, they just haven't announced it yet.

Of course, this person could just be trained to tell everybody that every phone is coming. But it's still at least a little bit of light for launch Pre users like myself.

"samantha smiles"... and so do i, if this chat transcript is correct.

I hope for your sake (and all those other Sprint customers) that the Pre 2 will come to Sprint and soonish.

*But* - given the terrible sentence "structure" of that answer, I wouldn't trust this to mean that the Pre 2 will come to Sprint or that Sam knows what she's talking about.

She could have misunderstood and meant a webos 2 update.

Or it could have been a horrible way to say "we have no information on this available atm - you will be notified at a later date".

Neither Sprint, nor HPalm made any announcements about this - but Sam is informed and authorized to answer this? Unlikely.

"samantha" is probably referring to WebOS 2.0

Great review! I'm so exited, i am definitely going to change my Nokia e71 for a webos devise in the near future. The only thing that gives me some reservations is that I can't understand why Palm didn't include notes and images to the just type search feature. Since the just type feature is really where webos will shine for me, it is hard to understand that Palm wouldn't give users the ability to include extra stuff like notes and images. For me these would be of great value since I use my phone mainly for storing and looking up specific pieces of information. Other than that I have to say that the just type feature is nothing short of perfect!

"you can either immediately hit backspace to under to the change or tap on the word to bring up a pop-up menu showing your original spelling and/or alternate suggestions"

alternate suggestions? such as.. "under" for "undo"?

Irony makes me giggle.

"as of now there is no updations for this new plan pre 2 phone." ?? There is no such word as "updations". I think you've been had mate. She's reading from a script.


Oh, I fully realize that she may very well have been reading from a script, but I ALSO know that carriers will very often tell their people NOT to comment on the availability of new phones.

Honestly I don't know what to think at this point. I'm ready for a new phone and I'll be pissed if Palm gets the shaft on Sprint, but I REALLY hate Verizon and AT&T's plans are just so BAD...

The stupid part is, most of Palm's users are on Sprint. Verizon is Droid obsessed, and AT&T has the iPhone. Why wouldn't Sprint want their own "flagship" device? It's not like the "jesusphone" EVO is really igniting sales.

I hope that 2.0 supports device encryption so that I can use my phone to access my work e-mail. Currently due to regulatory requirements my employer only supports iOS and WM.

is it coming out on sprint soon?

Spoke to my very trusted Sprint source 10 minutes ago. It is coming to Sprint, no later than Q1 2011. In fact, it will go to all current US carriers (don't know about TMob). Chill, people.

"Although I haven't had a chance to test it, Palm told me that webOS 2.0 is smarter when connecting to WiFi networks that require you to open a browser window and enter a login screen - so called "Captive" WiFi Networks. When webOS 2.0 sees that it is connected to WiFi but can't connect to the internet, a notification pops up prompting you to open the browser and log in."

This. This will be one of those "little things" fixes that makes working on the phone so much better. Seriously, this is such an annoyance on any smartphone I've ever used. I'm glad SOMEBODY decided to actually address it.

It is a damn phone and no bluetooth dialing? Sort of hard to get people into the game when it cannot even do what a basic phone did in 2005. Why does Palm and now HP go full retard when it comes to BT Dialing?

As stated before, Palm/HP just want children to die because Mommy had to dial by hand while driving. Perhaps a law needs to be put into place preventing WebOS from hurting children. Or, at least make them put a disclaimer "No Bluetooth Dialing - We weren't concerned for safety and productivity and things that just made sense".

Seriously, how do you tout a phone when my grandmother's Motorola E815 can do more as a phone? WTF? All bragging rights even to the elderly go away when they are more efficient. At least it's known up front now that there never really will be a super phone from these jackasses, just cool not-quite-good-enough mediocre stuff.

I get that all the fanboys and lapdogs will state how the APIs have been released, but that really isn't the same now is it? Palm always means never having to say that it is quite right. As the article said, they certainly weren't trying to play catch up.


I second the query regarding encryption, from december my work exchange account will require this.
No encryption = no palm pre 2 for me.

Also, you really still can't search the calendar? That is a fail of epic proportions.

It seems like the cards are slightly smaller also. And so much screen real estate is taken up by "Just Type" and the launcher page names.

Overall, nice if you have a virtual keyboard, but sucks b/c its extremely redundant, and kinda of pointless.

And the page names is a cool feature, but takes up a lot of room also.

I hope a some of these new visual features are optional, through a preference app or something.

All in all though, its awesome! Does hitting below the applications still make them really small?

PAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALM!!! I hope that webOS 2.0 comes to original Pre owners. Blaize when you said it's coming to Sprint were you referring to webOS 2.0 or the Pre 2?

So, Palm Pre 2 is built like the old Palm, minus the glass front of course. No larger screen... boo.

sadly the stuff they address where not high on my list. the suto correct dictionary editor is great. But the other stuff, even flash, aren't high on my list of interest. my priorities are music for one thing. So sadly, probably one of the most important features is still an afterthought, more then a year later.

So sad. (sniff) Tragic even. How can this o/s ever hold your attention. We'll miss you when you leave.

Selly question is bluetooth file transfer available in Web0S 2.0 i.e Picture etc

Somewhere in the review was a list of supported Bluetoott profiles.

Still no OBEX.

Which is my biggest disappointment.

I don't want a 4" screen. Couldn't care less about voice dialing or front facing camera. I don't need 64 GB of storage and 512 MB RAM is plenty enough for anybody.

But after over a year of patiently waiting it's high time that I can transfer pictures via BT again - which my frakkin old dumbphones could easily do almost a decade ago.



hello all,
does the update finally support bluetooth file transfer to phones etc ?
and does anybody know if the app store is gonna work in more countries now... i'm still not able to buy apps..

thanks for any input

See my comment above - still no OBEX (BT profile for file transfer). Sux.
Plus I don't get why. They are using a Linux kernel - Linux had this for ages. Been using that between my old dumbphones and this Ubuntu Linux laptop.
And unlike Skype or Mobile Hotspot I don't see a reason why carriers might block this. It's a puzzle.

I bet that HPalm will add push into many more countries in the coming months. Probably big announcements at CES - webos everywhere and ISS app store too. ;-)

Hope it comes to Telstra before Christmas