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.
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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

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 Parent 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 Parent Score: 2

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 Parent 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 Parent 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 Parent 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 Parent 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 Parent Score: 2