Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 16th Nov 2009 16:15 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless This weekend, Palm launched its second webOS phone, the Palm Pixi. At the same time, the company also released webOS 1.3.1 for Pre owners in the US (other countries will follow later this month). At the same time, Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein talked to The New York Times about his company.
Order by: Score:
Comment by _txf_
by _txf_ on Mon 16th Nov 2009 17:01 UTC
_txf_
Member since:
2008-03-17

Unfortunately (judging from reviews as it is impossible to get a hold of one unless you live in the us), The pixi is horribly slow and as a result will not encourage people to stick with webos. The Idea is great, the hardware design is great, the software design is good, the overall software experience is average.

Webos already is quite a beast in terms of sucking cpu cycles from powerful processors it must be simply atrocious on the pixi

Reply Score: 3

no wifi is dumb
by mckill on Mon 16th Nov 2009 17:14 UTC
mckill
Member since:
2007-06-12

not including wifi is pretty dumb, i can't see it adding that much to the size or cost.

Reply Score: 3

RE: no wifi is dumb
by memson on Mon 16th Nov 2009 17:20 UTC in reply to "no wifi is dumb"
memson Member since:
2006-01-01

$7 apparently... the European version will supposedly have WIFI, but Sprint were too cheap to pay the extra bucks.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: no wifi is dumb
by mckill on Mon 16th Nov 2009 18:02 UTC in reply to "RE: no wifi is dumb"
mckill Member since:
2007-06-12

so size isn't an issue if it's included in Europe, I guess they just decided to cave into Sprint's demands, I'm sure sprint would rather charge extra with their data plans and prevent people using wifi to make skype calls.

heck, even china has some sort of custom wifi on their iPhones.

Reply Score: 1

OMG
by drstorm on Mon 16th Nov 2009 20:28 UTC
drstorm
Member since:
2009-04-24

This weekend, Palm launched [...] Pixi. At the same time, the company also released webOS 1.3.1 [...]. At the same time, Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein talked [...] about his company.

OMG, too much concurrency! ;)

Edit: Fixed a typo...

Edited 2009-11-16 20:30 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: OMG
by Kroc on Mon 16th Nov 2009 22:28 UTC in reply to "OMG"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

That’s only a problem on the iPhone. WebOS can multi-task!

Reply Score: 4

Just one all important question...?
by cmost on Mon 16th Nov 2009 20:28 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

Does the Pixi (WebOS 1.3.1) synchronize with iTunes? ;-)

Reply Score: 5

Just got rid of my PRE today
by tyrnight on Mon 16th Nov 2009 20:29 UTC
tyrnight
Member since:
2006-10-05

I had it, with the Pre. Lag and new issues brought on my 1.3.1.... I tried from the beginning to let Palm work out the bugs.. but when I try to answer a call and it takes over 5 seconds to actually stop ringing after I tell it to pickup.. um no.. DONE with it.. Oh and dont get me started on the Hardware issue with the headphone jack not disengaging headset mode.

So I bought the Hero instead.. and loving every spiteful moment of it..

Sorry Palm, I am now another to jump ship on you...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Just got rid of my PRE today
by mrhasbean on Mon 16th Nov 2009 21:28 UTC in reply to "Just got rid of my PRE today"
mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

I had it, with the Pre. Lag and new issues brought on my 1.3.1.... I tried from the beginning to let Palm work out the bugs.. but when I try to answer a call and it takes over 5 seconds to actually stop ringing after I tell it to pickup.. um no.. DONE with it.. Oh and dont get me started on the Hardware issue with the headphone jack not disengaging headset mode.


Are these common issues though? I really don't think WebOS will overcome the lag issues in the sort term - I hear techie geeks complaining all the time about iPhone not allowing background apps yet that is the very reason the Pre has these sorts of issues. I love the concept of WebOS, and hope they can get past this - my first smartphone was a Palm and I'd like to see them do well with this - but both from battery life and performance perspectives I just don't think the hardware is ready to support full-on multitasking.

The old "quality over quantity" argument wrt software won't get them too far either - the Mac community has been screaming that one for years but Joe and Joanne Lunchbucket only want to hear their cousin's best friend's hairdresser's masseuse's pool cleaner who's an expert in the field and tells them that they need XYZ model because it's got all these gazillion apps available for it. They need apps, and lots of them, to keep the "look what new toy I just got" generation happy.

Reply Score: 2

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

the "look what new toy I just got" generation

Well, from what I've seen there is no single generation which has that attitude. There's both senior geeks and teenage ones, and everything in-between, who just want the latest and greatest toy to play with.

I'm still pretty happy with my old, trusty Nokia 6630 ;) The camera sucks, but otherwise it's been an awesome phone all these years ;)

Reply Score: 2

mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

Well, from what I've seen there is no single generation which has that attitude. There's both senior geeks and teenage ones, and everything in-between, who just want the latest and greatest toy to play with.


To some degree that's true - I have a heap of apps on my iPhone that I don't use often - but everything on there I do use as some point. My sons and daughter-in-law to be (late teens and early twenties) have heaps of junk on theirs that they never use - a lot of them are those stupid free single purpose "tickle your fancy for five minutes" apps, that's probably the difference, but the point still carries, most iPhone users actively go looking for apps on a regular basis.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Just got rid of my PRE today
by Kroc on Mon 16th Nov 2009 22:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Just got rid of my PRE today"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

"Son, no one gives a shit about all the things your cell phone does. You didn't invent it, you just bought it. Anybody can do that." -- s**tmydadsays

Reply Score: 3

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Are these common issues though? I really don't think WebOS will overcome the lag issues in the sort term - I hear techie geeks complaining all the time about iPhone not allowing background apps yet that is the very reason the Pre has these sorts of issues.


Other handset OSs pull off background apps with success.

If Apple are such inspiring developers as some people make out, then I'd have expected them to have found a workable solution rather than simply not implimenting it what-so-ever.

Reply Score: 2

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

they can do it (apple apps can run in the background) they just dont let other people do it

Reply Score: 2

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

they can do it (apple apps can run in the background) they just dont let other people do it


I'm aware of that (and that jailbroken phones can run 3rd party apps in the background), but that doesn't change my point.

Rather than implimenting a workable solution for 3rd party developers, Apple just removed the option to them altogether.

Reply Score: 2

memson Member since:
2006-01-01

Other handset OSs pull off background apps with success.


Do they? Are you very sure about that? Most OS I've used on mobile devices that multitask eat battery life like nobody's business. Even the iPhone, when multitasking, has poorer battery life. If I listen to music and use other functions my batter goes down way faster. But never as fast as the Win Mobile phones and Nokia phones I have around me. The Android devices I've used also crash and burn in a similar usage pattern. I believe Apple should allow multitasking, but I's rather wait for hardware that is capable of multitasking without compromising my user experience and without leaving me high and dry when the battery fails to last a full day.

Reply Score: 2

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

all of them are common issues, its really not a usable device yet. This is by jwz in oct (http://jwz.livejournal.com/1108212.html)

Folks, I couldn't take it any more. Today I wiped my Palm Pre and bought an iPhone.

Believe it or not, this actually has nothing to do with my utterly nightmarish experience of trying to get my applications into Palm's app catalog, and everything to do with the fact that the phone is just a constant pain to use.

This should be obvious, because my complaint about Palm's developer relations is that they are setting up a closed ecosystem, and Apple is even worse than Palm in that regard. (And while Palm is also slow and unresponsive to respond to developers, Apple is, again, even worse.)

So why would I get an iPhone? Because it's an appliance that just f--king works.

I have a list of 30-ish reports of more-or-less irritating bugs that I encountered during my first week of using the phone that I back-channeled into Palm via several of their developers, but most of those bugs were tolerable. The deal-breaker bugs are as follows:

I still can't reliably sync my phone to my Mac.
Now, I have to say that since the last time I publically bitched about this, the developers of Missing Sync really stepped up: I've been exchanging emails with a couple of the Missing Sync developers for months now, doing tests and sending logs and trying out alpha versions, sometimes several times a week. So I really appreciate the effort they went to to try and diagnose the bugs that I was experiencing. But, the bottom line is, it still doesn't work. The only reliable way to sync the phone is to manually do "desktop overwrites device", which means I can't actually edit contacts or calendars on the phone, ever.

Peformance is a joke.
Seriously, it's comically bad. The speed of this phone is truly pathological. It's horrible across the board, but some of the most egregious examples:

If the Calendar app is not running, it takes 10-15 seconds to get from "I clicked on the Calendar icon" to "I can see today's events". And then, switching from the display of one day to the next takes 2+ seconds (and it doesn't buffer swipes, so you have to keep trying). It's embarassing when I'm talking to someone and they ask me about availability and I have to say, "I'll tell you in a little while, once my phone wakes up."
If a call comes in, the phone starts ringing, and I can answer and talk to the caller, but most of the time it takes another 10 seconds before the Phone application's UI comes up! So if it's from the front door and I have to press a button to buzz someone in, I have to either hope the app starts responding before the caller hangs up; or I have to slide out the physical keypad and pray that it buffers the keystroke. Trying to answer the door feels like a game of whack-a-mole.
If I want to take a photo (for example, of the license plate of a hit-and-run) getting from "I clicked on the Camera button" to "I have taken a photo" takes almost 20 seconds. If I want to get all the way to "I have reviewed the photo, and can tell that it came out ok", that takes more like 40 seconds.
It seems to me that the only way this phone is going to be usable is for it to get literally 10× faster across the board. There was a speed improvement of maybe 10% between WebOS 1.0 and 1.2.1, so I think it's safe to assume that they've already picked the low-hanging fruit. I don't expect the performance of this phone to be even remotely suitable for every day use for at least a year. I figure it's going to either take a substantial amount of work on the lower levels of the OS, or they're going to have to throw Moore's law and new hardware at it... and the recently-announced Pixi is clearly not the hardware that's going to be 10× faster.

So even though I hate Apple's developer-hostility, and even though I hate that now I'm giving money to AT&T, and even though AT&T's network is way less reliable in San Francisco than Sprint's, and even though I absolutely despise the iPhone's on-screen keyboard... at least now I have a phone whose software actually works.

I thought about trying out an Android phone, but the reality is that the most positive review I've ever heard about Android was damning with faint praise along the lines of, "it sure does show the potential to someday be an iPhone competitor." Also, you have to surrender all your data to the Hivemind to use one. At least an iPhone will actually sync with the computer on my desk.

Sorry, Palm. I tried to root for the underdog, I really did.

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

In all fairness, when is Zawinski *not* writing a full of drama, and oh-so-very-public farewell letter to some "underdog" project he "used to support"? Jamie is a smart guy. But I take his "farewell" letters with a quarry of salt.

Edited 2009-11-17 19:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I really don't think WebOS will overcome the lag issues in the sort term

I don't understand this. It seems reasonably straightforward. Giving the phone app realtime scheduler priority (schedtool -F, i.e. SCHED_FIFO), real time disk priority (ionice -c 1), and pinning its pages in memory should certainly do the trick. And may even be overkill. If disk i/o is still a problem, make sure that the phone app requires minimal to no disk access at critical times, like answering calls. This doesn't seem like an insurmountable problem to me. But I'm not a phone software expert, by any means.

Edited 2009-11-17 14:38 UTC

Reply Score: 2

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

I really don't think WebOS will overcome the lag issues in the sort term


Why not? What are the indications that those issues are irreparable or inherent to the design of WebOS?

I hear techie geeks complaining all the time about iPhone not allowing background apps yet that is the very reason the Pre has these sorts of issues.


Correlation is not cause. If the WebOS has issues with responsiveness, then the reasons are probably a little more complex.

Put in context, the old PalmOS is about on par with the "classic" MacOS in terms of multitasking (cooperative only). And yet even that OS is capable of basic multitasking, running on slower hardware and without the problems that you're attributing to background apps.

Reply Score: 2

Wrong direction with Pixi
by brown_rm on Mon 16th Nov 2009 22:36 UTC
brown_rm
Member since:
2006-02-23

I can't help but think that Palm went in the wrong direction with the Pixi. Did the Pre really need a low-end sibling? It seems to me that Palm would have been better served developing a Pre 2.0. I get the desire to make a cheaper phone, but the faster/cheaper/smaller progression of hardware would have made the Pre low-end by sometime next year. For a device that started at $200 with contract, there isn't much of a window for a lower end device 5 months later.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Wrong direction with Pixi
by bousozoku on Tue 17th Nov 2009 06:54 UTC in reply to "Wrong direction with Pixi"
bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23

I can't help but think that Palm went in the wrong direction with the Pixi. Did the Pre really need a low-end sibling? It seems to me that Palm would have been better served developing a Pre 2.0. I get the desire to make a cheaper phone, but the faster/cheaper/smaller progression of hardware would have made the Pre low-end by sometime next year. For a device that started at $200 with contract, there isn't much of a window for a lower end device 5 months later.


It seems a good move to me. There are a lot of teenagers going after smart phones but they don't care about WiFi, but they want a quick way to surf the web and send SMS/text messages. A lot of times, they end up with feature phones, as they call them, because of the price.

If Pixi is US$50 more or the same price as the higher priced feature phones, it's a fairly easy choice. The Palm Centro has sold well because of the US$99 price point.

Reply Score: 2

about my comment
by tyrnight on Tue 17th Nov 2009 14:53 UTC
tyrnight
Member since:
2006-10-05

Im glad my Post about me getting rid of my Pre got people talking about the WebOS and the Devices it runs on.. Please, don't misunderstand me.. I really wanted the Pre to work for me.. and in order to bring awareness to the platform, we need to make Palm aware of the issues and need to get them to fix them.

Palm is notorious for not being diligent in sending out updates. And I know the the WebOS is in its infancy, but it could have been more polished than this.. I went with the Hero.. and Folks say its slower and more laggy than the Pre.. well.. thats not what I experienced.. the Hero, IMO FWIW, has shown to be responsive and more usable than my Pre.. I gave my Pre 2.5 Months to shine.. and it got worse with time.. every update was a tiny bit better.. but added more issues than it fixed..

ALL devices and OS platforms have their issues.. and some better suited for other people than another.. but Palm, please, do not leave every WebOS user hanging when your not fully utilizing the hardware to its potential. Polish it like the stone that it is..

Reply Score: 1

webos1.3.1
by defdog99 on Wed 18th Nov 2009 23:40 UTC
defdog99
Member since:
2006-09-06

webos1.3.1 is a solid release.

More speed, more intuitive behaviour, and little gui enhancements here and there.

Reply Score: 1