Linked by the_randymon on Wed 9th Jan 2013 09:26 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless This week the folks on the webOS forum got into an interesting and productive discussion about how webOS can fit into the current world where iOS and Android seem to have completely stitched up the market. Even Windows Phone 8 is having trouble getting a toe-hold! But there is hope.
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Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 9th Jan 2013 10:31 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

An operating systems in one thing, but more important, for me, are applications. A great OS without apps is almost useless.

WP is lacking a number of apps that have iOS and Android versions. This situation is slowly improving, but it's an OS that has the might of Microsoft behind it and hardware makers like Nokia.

Apart from WebOS there are a number of new operating systems with no such backing. My guess is they will divide the very small "others" category in the marketshare pie chart and I doubt this will make developers take much interest. You can expect some hobbyists making an app or two, but nothing from the big players.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by Neolander on Wed 9th Jan 2013 16:46 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I guess it depends on what one calls ''applications". In my experience, mobile software that doesn't come from the OS manufacturer will almost always be of horrendously bad quality and should not be used unless there is absolutely no way around it. Which rarely happens anyway.

It even kind of makes sense : considering how little one pays for mobile apps, one shouldn't be expecting much of them.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 9th Jan 2013 19:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

The stock apps tend to have the basic functions covered + some extra. Third party apps should be better, or else it would make no sense to release them (unless you call them "light weight").

I have an iOS Phone and a WP one. Some apps are available on both platforms, but the WP ones are of lesser quality. They can be described as light versions of the iOS ones.

But for example my bank has an iOS app, it allows me to check my accounts and transfer money between them and to other people. This is great and less hassle than using a computer. It didn't have a WP app, until recently. No big deal, because I had it on iOS. But imagine having a WebOS or Ubuntu phone. Not very likely it will get the app and I would miss it. Probably a number of apps I would miss.

Then what good would the stocks app be if other phones provide these same functions? Maybe the OS can read minds which would be great, but it can't read my bank account, display my Dropbox files, kill pigs with birds and a number of things common on iOS, Android and to some extend WP.

Before I had an iPhone I had an iPod touch. It was great, I loved it, but very quickly it became limited. There was no app store. Then came the app store and it's capabilities became unlimited, because over time more and more interesting, fun and useful apps appeared.

So I don't want a phone with only a few apps, no accessories, no users and no serious backing and thus no future even if it's the greatest operating system ever and is the most usable thing in the history of the universe.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Wafflez
by Wafflez on Wed 9th Jan 2013 12:11 UTC
Wafflez
Member since:
2011-06-26

And there's also Ubuntu Phone.

lol

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Wafflez
by Spiron on Wed 9th Jan 2013 12:53 UTC in reply to "Comment by Wafflez"
Spiron Member since:
2011-03-08

Which I personally see having a bigger failure rate than WebOS. The concept is good but almost no mainstream OEM is going to ship the product as it stands now. Canonical would have more of a chance if they melded their idea with an already existent company and/or product. I could see it combined with WebOS or Sailfish being a good foot in the door but each product individually doesn't really have enough going for it to be a player with much strength at all

Reply Score: 2

Where the Apps Are
by ricegf on Wed 9th Jan 2013 12:13 UTC
ricegf
Member since:
2007-04-25

Two types of apps are important.

"Native" apps are important for serious gaming (not Angry Birds - that plays just fine in the Chrome browser) and productivity apps. WebOS seems to be skipping these, unless I missed something.

Web apps are actually of more interest to me for casual computing. For example, even though I have the GMail app on my iPad, I more commonly load the web app in Chrome - even with the Safari engine, it just works better for me. WebOS should shine with these apps.

Overall, though, if the new Ubuntu Phone manages to launch successfully, that looks like the best fit for my use case - especially given their recent successes in attracting commercial development and support (Steam, Amazon, NetFlix, etc.). It may annoy the purists, but commercial success just drives FOSS deeper into the computing mainstream.

Reply Score: 1

chekr
Member since:
2005-11-05

Betteridge's law of headlines: "Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word 'no'."

Reply Score: 6

Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

I am sure we can find a car analogy to better explain why.

Reply Score: 5

Wafflez Member since:
2011-06-26

Seeing how this has 4 votes so far and I don't get it (not a car enthusiast), care to explain what's the pun?

Reply Score: 1

Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

I am fed up with car analogies. Too many of them, everywhere, for as long as I have crawled the internet, and, like almost all analogies, wrong.

God I hate them.

And I don't seem to be the only one.

Reply Score: 2

fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree! The car analogy is the Ford Pinto of argumentation.

Reply Score: 5

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

When people want to play the analogy card it used to be Nazi's, but you can't mention the war and for some strange reason a good substitute for cursing Germans are cars.

Reply Score: 2

Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

I am sure we can find a car analogy to better explain why.


Hang tight, I'll get slashdot on the horn.

Reply Score: 2

Simple answer.
by moondevil on Wed 9th Jan 2013 13:39 UTC
moondevil
Member since:
2005-07-08

No

Reply Score: 3

Not for webOS
by Nelson on Wed 9th Jan 2013 17:37 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

Hell no.

Phone OSes are probably the hardest ecosystems to bootstrap. Unless you're lucky and fill a void (Like iPhone and then Android did), you have to claw your way into relevance, inch by inch.

Windows Phone can do it because of Microsoft's massive resources, but I have no faith in webOS.

Right now I think Jolla and Ubuntu have the biggest potential to success outside of Windows Phone.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Not for webOS
by MOS6510 on Wed 9th Jan 2013 19:31 UTC in reply to "Not for webOS"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12


Right now I think Jolla and Ubuntu have the biggest potential to success outside of Windows Phone.


You're in an optimistic mood.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Not for webOS
by Nelson on Wed 9th Jan 2013 19:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Not for webOS"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Its mainly because I think China at least gives them a snowballs chance, but its a window which dwindles every day.

Whereas I could envision a future with the aforementioned OSes, I absolutely cannot see webOS existing much longer.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Not for webOS
by MOS6510 on Wed 9th Jan 2013 20:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not for webOS"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

You are probably right.

My theory is that a new OS only has a chance if it's cheap and runs on cheap phones. The expensive brands aren't to be found in poor countries, these will love cheap smart phones. If they get a following there there could be a chance of them moving in to the richer countries.

I don't think the targeted audience of WebOS is located in poor countries.

Reply Score: 3

WebOS as a Launcher
by bentoo on Wed 9th Jan 2013 21:00 UTC
bentoo
Member since:
2012-09-21

I'd like to see the webOS GUI on top of Android replacing/enhancing the stock launcher, application drawer, etc. That is, leave all the Android OS/application compatibility retained but have a much more functional GUI/Launcher (Stages, Scenes, Cards, Just Type/Universal Search integration, etc.).

I've seen some skins but the skin is not as important as the functionality.

Reply Score: 2

May have a chance
by BlueofRainbow on Sun 13th Jan 2013 19:00 UTC
BlueofRainbow
Member since:
2009-01-06

As an open project, webOS may have a chance. The user interface has some merit over Android. It may remain as a niche like many open source projects based on glorious but now commercially orphaned OS.

The lack of apps will be an inherent hurdle to any ~niche~ OS and this will be more true for webOS as the early developers were burned when HP terminated the TouchPad and webOS development.

Being able to run Android Apps within webOS rather than via the dual-boot scheme currently available for the orphaned TouchPads would reduce the ~there are no Apps~ barrier. Isn`t after-all the approach taken by BlackBerry for their PlayBook (native QNX-OS)?

Some users may also relish a niche OS once Android and iOS malware are spreading like wild fires.

The biggest hurdle now is the lack of a readily available hardware natively running webOS. An idea - adapt/port webOS to Raspberry Pi along with sourcing a stand-alone touchscreen display and let the explorers come.

The second biggest hurdle will be the continued availability of the cloud services associated with mobile devices. As I understand, HP is still supporting the webOS cloud from the devices it sold.....will it do the same for future devices?

One uncertainty - would it be HP or open webOS who would be the custodian of the apps marketplace? If it is open WebOS, then could the developers and open webOS organization nicely share the revenues of the non-free apps and thus financially sustain the project?

This is a story I will follow closely over the next 6-12 months.

Reply Score: 1