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

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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WebOS had too much.
by theTSF on Mon 18th Sep 2017 18:05 UTC
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The big problem with WebOS was it wasn't how most people used mobile devices at the time. Too many hacky tricks to get all the features to work on such limited hardware. And people didn't need most of them at the moment.
Apple knew this. That is why early versions of iOS had so many less features then WebOS. But the features they did have they made sure they worked well. WebOS had a lot of features and good ideas. But the stuff that worked well wasn't necessary what people needed at the moment.

A decade later with much faster device such features can be implemented properly without crazy hacks to get them to work. Also a lot of people have moved to their phone as a primary device, so these features we may have seen in WebOS will actually be needed and used.

Reply Score: 3

RE: WebOS had too much.
by Sidux on Tue 19th Sep 2017 12:57 in reply to "WebOS had too much. "
Sidux Member since:

Back then Apple was fighting over iTunes sync issues with "non-Apple" devices and Google was trying hard to lock users in.
Palm had nothing of the kind.
Even today most users don't know what they want .. They just want easy access to all the services they are using within a simple to use device.

I still remember the finishing touch of ArsTechnica for it.. "It was its great success that led to its failure on the market as well". ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2