Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 15th Sep 2017 21:27 UTC
Apple

I have become the unofficial standard bearer for webOS, the operating system created by Palm for the Pre and its successive devices. It was a wildly innovative and smart foundation for a smartphone done in by performance problems, mediocre hardware, and most of all by US carriers who acted as kingmakers for other companies.

So as the bearer of a thoroughly-tattered banner, I’ve been hearing a lot of people ask what I thought about the iPhone X and how it borrows many of the ideas first introduced by Palm. Here’s what I think: it’s great, and also it’s silly compare the state of tech in 2017 with the state of tech in 2009. Just because Palm did some stuff first doesn’t take away from Apple is doing them now. Context matters, and our context today is very different.

WebOS had some great ideas, but on a technical level, the operating system was a mess. It was a major battery hog, slow, and basically nothing more than a tech demo made in WebKit on top of a largely unmodified Linux kernel, running on mediocre hardware. WebOS wasn't a product worthy of the Palm name.

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A mess ?
by lc_lol on Sat 16th Sep 2017 07:30 UTC
lc_lol
Member since:
2017-09-16

"WebOS had some great ideas, but on a technical level, the operating system was a mess. It was a major battery hog, slow, and basically nothing more than a tech demo made in WebKit on top of a largely unmodified Linux kernel, running on mediocre hardware."

I can't agree with that. Please look back at what Android was then (and most of the "then-Android" mess still annoys me in the latest versions), and compare it with WebOS... Battery hog ? My Pre3 (still) runs about 36 hours without needing a charge, I remember my collegues who _cable_charges their iphones twice a day...

No mobile OS has yet reached the ease of use of WebOS GUI, nor its capacities in multitasking.

OK, the OS wasn't perfect, and yes the hardware was messy. But don't forget two things :
- 1st most of the failure was due to the policy of mobile phone carriers (I never quite understand the "carrier&phone" exclusivity system. Anyone should always have been able to choose either carrier or phone)
- 2nd : when HP entered in the game the palm team was given a 3-years delay to reach a fully-grown webOS, aiming to reach a multi-devices ecosystem, able to run on phones, tablets, TVs, printers, ... Then, after one year and the first prototype Leo ran into it and F... it all. Well, this OS wasn't slow, messy or anything else. And, matter of fact, it was very promising, if only it had been given its chances.

Edited 2017-09-16 07:31 UTC

Reply Score: 11