Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Dec 2011 20:11 UTC
Google Once upon a time, in a land, far, far away, there were two mobile operating systems. One of them was designed for mobile from the ground up; the other was trying really hard to copy its older, desktop brother. One was limited in functionality, inflexible and lacked multitasking, but was very efficient, fast, and easy to use. The other had everything and the kitchen sink, was very flexible and could multitask, but had a steep learning curve, was inconsistent, and not particularly pretty.
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Agreed on many points
by StephenBeDoper on Mon 19th Dec 2011 21:51 UTC
StephenBeDoper
Member since:
2005-07-06

The recent influx of people who call themselves geeks just because they bought an iPhone or an Android device a few years ago


I've noticed this as well - especially when it comes to mobile-centric blogs & news sites (the saying about "one-eyed men in the land of the blind" comes to mind). Just as with "social media experts," there seem to be plenty of mobile "experts" who use the technology heavily, yet don't even have a basic understanding of how it works under the hood.

I was a heavy user of both PalmOS and Windows Mobile back in the PDA days. PalmOS was almost strictly utilitarian; it wasn't good at multimedia, couldn't multitask, and was quite inflexible.


While I agree with the parallel you're making, one difference is that PalmOS came by its limitations "honestly". In other words, they were genuine limitations of the platform & not anti-features.

PalmOS did have some multitasking ability (at least in later versions - I started with the Treo 650), it's just that it was limited to cooperative multitasking. I remember using a 3rd-party SSH client on my Treo that would keep running/stay connected in the background.

Windows Mobile, on the other hand, could be very confusing, was inconsistent, and had a far steeper learning curve. At the same time, its flexibility still isn't matched by Android (let alone by iOS).


Which is why I haven't really been able to muster much enthusiasm for most "post-iPhone" mobile devices. Sure, the players have changed, but you're still largely stuck choosing between polished but locked-down, or unpolished but flexible. Worse yet, people are starting to take that situation as a given and concluding that polish & openness are mutually-exclusive in some fundamental way... which is one of the reasons I had high hopes for WebOS: it seemed to be almost the "golden mean" between iOS and Android, but we all know how that worked out.

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