Linked by Kroc Camen on Sun 10th Jan 2010 14:27 UTC
Podcasts The round table changes again this week, Kroc Camen is joined by Tess Flynn and David Adams--sorry, no Thom this time. We discuss the mobility of personal computation machines once more with the fresh topics in the news this week. Google's Nexus One phone, Palm's developer announcements, some Microsoft / HP thing that happened or something, and the sound of inevitability: the Newton Apple Tablet.
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Weak info on Palm
by elgeb on Thu 14th Jan 2010 01:15 UTC
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I was very surprised to hear the bad the treatment that Palm got. There was missing information (mentioning only a part of what was shown), and lots of misinformation.
For instance, on the developer front. Saying that Palm is struggling to get significant developers, and then "there is a big difference between 300 and 3000 apps". Was it uninformed or dishonest to imply that there were only 300 apps for webOS?

No doubt, Palm is way behind Apple & Android, but then with a dev kit out only since July, they aren't doing that bad either, both in numbers (> 1100, which is past the middle between 300 & 3000 in enlightened circles [3x 300 < 1000 <= 3000 / 3]) and quality. In 12 days, the number grew by 10%, from 1000 on Jan 1. That's what you call no traction? At 10% every 12 days, they'll be at 3000 in May... which they won't, I realize that, but that's still a platform gaining great momentum, no matter how you slice it.

For quality, I find that a very large number of apps are equivalent to their Android versions (check out to convince yourself. Using them myself on both, I seldom find any significant difference), with a number of cool 3D games from top developers, like Need for Speed by Electronic Arts, available right away on webOS, but not on Android, I wonder why...
Have you tried webOS apps lately?

I was amused by the claim that Palm "needs it's Droid", implying, a much more potent device than the Pre was desperately needed. FYI, the Pre has the exact same CPU than the Droid, though with a smaller screen, but with the same amount of RAM (2x for Pre Plus). The Droid's screen is its only advantage once you ignore the form factor (a matter of taste). But mind you, it was available 5 months earlier.

Criticism of the dev tools fell flat as well: while indeed some C++/Java/Objective C developers can feel uncomfortable with HTML/CSS/JavaScript, they are outnumbered by the number of HTML/CSS/JavaScript capable developers, who are happy to prove that you often don't need anything else to build perfectly good apps. Many developers find that much simpler indeed, and that Engadget has iPhone, webOS and Backberry versions of their app, but no Android support yet might be a proof of that. The arrogant C++ developer (like me) should no longer look at web developers with contempt: It takes serious skills to build modern websites, like Google Maps or gmail and the like, nothing to sneeze at. And if you, the "real" developer, think web tools are just toys, be sure you are yourself not in need a serious retraining...

Palm knew that they needed more for advanced 3D games though, and by giving a full fledged and already proven 3D dev kit (by the 1st class games available immediately), they showed they were aware of where they were and knew what they needed to do.

Little or no mention of tethering on Verizon, Flash 10.1 (the real thing, not Droid's), video recording/editing/posting and you complete a podcast in serious lack of research before entering a conversation between obviously, uninformed parties happy to share their opinions nevertheless.

Very, very disappointing from OS News.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Weak info on Palm
by Kroc on Thu 14th Jan 2010 08:46 in reply to "Weak info on Palm"
Kroc Member since:

Excellent comment, thank you

"you complete a podcast in serious lack of research before entering a conversation between obviously, uninformed parties happy to share their opinions nevertheless.

Bingo—got it in one. It’s called being casual. The podcast is just a discussion between friends. What we do get wrong off of the top of our heads we are hoping the attentive listeners will correct us, just as they would were they there on the show.

Doing it this way works well for discussion and personality, instead of the show feeling like reading the news at 10.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Weak info on Palm
by elgeb on Fri 15th Jan 2010 08:01 in reply to "RE: Weak info on Palm"
elgeb Member since:

Ok, fair enough, I can understand the idea of casual and can certainly live with inaccuracies, in particular during live discussions. This can work well, even very well *if* someone in the mix can actually step in, defend an opposite view and a healthy debate can ensue.

But the tone was ranging from definitive to mocking, with no one correct any of the cliches accumulated. It turned into an unwarranted execution. Maybe was the mix of speakers to homogeneous?

I long thought of OSNews that way: the place to find news about OSes & platforms overseen by the general media for various reasons.
The debaters seemed all acquired to Apple & Android, infatuated with their iPhone or their Droid, disregarding that neither of these platforms has shown much innovation recently (live wallpapers? what a live changer!). Don't get me wrong, as a geek, I love my G1 that I keep using alongside my Pre, but there is not much groundbreaking in it in terms of UI, and the ideas it brought often raise more questions.
For instance, that activities chain, allowing me to go back to my previous activity, killing apps as memory is needed seemed great at first. Then in practice, I noticed that I do want and need to jump back and forth, go from podcast to web to email to podcast and back to web, while listening to that podcast. I never know what's running, except when my podcast stops while I'm browsing the web, not to mention the apps being constantly launched for some unpredictable reasons in the background, often making my device crawl while I use it for something else. This concept was probably good 5 years ago, when memory was so expensive & limited, like my G1's. But now that smartphone have as much memory than some netbooks, this is no longer a necessary compromise.

webOS on the other hands has been able to come out of the grave a year ago, and delivered since, past the iPhone level in terms of UI. The cards metaphor is a game changer for multitasking (and 3D games can be carded during a game), while synergy makes me take out my Pre even when I'm in front of my computer or have my G1 in hand and I need to find info about someone: what else -computer included- lets me access my friends details from Google/Facebook/LinkedIn in a single place?

It seems to me that while Palm certainly has to catch up with Apple & Android on many front (apps, UI speed, some features), Apple & Android have to catch up with Palm in many other areas, UI in particular, where Apple made virtually no progress since the introduction of the iPhone (if you exclude copy & paste, I guess...).

So casual discussion, ok, but maybe the entire staff has been missing quite a bit on the mobile front, despite talking almost only about mobile phone during that podcast. I still am disappointed about the missed debate opportunity, the narrow opinions and the lack of wider view of the mobile world.

Reply Parent Score: 1