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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Comment by Moochman
by Moochman on Sun 17th Sep 2017 06:57 UTC
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WebOS wasn't a product worthy of the Palm name.

Spoken like someone who owned - what - one used Palm Pre four years after it came out, and played around with it for one hot minute? Of course it will seem slow that much later and the battery will be poor on such an old device... Thom's knack for hyperbole never fails.

I owned a Palm Pre 2 for a couple of years and it was one of the best phones I ever owned. It had cards, multi-tasking, wireless charging, unobtrusive notifications, universal search, and a centralized address book and messaging across all online platforms before any other platform, and in some respects still implemented it better than any other platform has since. Not to mention that the technology - using web technologies to build everything - is now standard practice in the industry - and considering the timeframe we are talking about performance was impressive. The slide-out physical keyboard - whose mechanism was perfected on the Palm Pre 2 - was icing on the cake. The Palm Pre (1 and 2) were mind-blowing at the time, and Palm should feel honored that they managed to release such an awesome, revolutionary product in the late stages of the company's decline.

Edited 2017-09-17 07:07 UTC

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