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  • Noriaki - Thursday, February 03, 2011 - link

    It's nice to have the flexibility of Flash I suppose, but I have little use for it in practice and I usually don't have it installed on my Nexus One. I mostly find it to be a waste of battery.

    On the nexus one it's a market place app I can install/remove as I like. Is there some way to control/disable Flash support in webOS2 ?
  • mythun.chandra - Thursday, February 03, 2011 - link

    You can enable/disable Flash support in the browser. Also, even if Flash support is enabled, you can toggle whether or not to load Flash content automatically on a page. Reply
  • Noriaki - Thursday, February 03, 2011 - link

    Oh toggle to load automatically, I like that!

    Thanks for the info. I'm pretty interested to see what comes of webOS2.
  • tekeffect - Thursday, February 03, 2011 - link

    I got the pre the day it came out. I liked the OS then but the build quality of that phone was shit. I will never understand how they put that much effort into making a OS and put it on the shittiest plastic/hardware they could find. I'm with Android now with no intention of leaving. I wonder how many people would be willing to go to Web OS after so much time. Reply
  • JHBoricua - Thursday, February 03, 2011 - link

    I would, in an instant. But, only as long as the applications are there. That's the only reason I have an Optimus LG now, I got tired of HP dragging their behind and the lack of usable applications on the Pre. The application ecosystem on Webos is pathetic at this time. I couldn't care if coming February 9 HP shows some awesome hardware, if they won't have the apps behind the platform it will be the Pre all over again.

    I like WebOS. IMHO it beats Android and IOS hands down in terms of usability and the user interface experience is absolutely great, but what is the point if the apps are not there?
  • DigitalFreak - Thursday, February 03, 2011 - link

    Exactly. It's a catch 22 really. Without the apps, people won't buy the phone. Without people buying the phone, developers won't create apps.

    While WebOS 2.0 may be technically better than Android, iOS, etc., having only one or two phones just isn't going to cut it.
  • retrospooty - Sunday, February 06, 2011 - link

    "I will never understand how they put that much effort into making a OS and put it on the shittiest plastic/hardware they could find"

    I worked for Palm for 5 years from 02 to 07. They are never able to fire on all pistons at the same time to get anything meaningful done... Alot of good people there, but the management on the hardware/engineering side is useless.

    My favorite quote from a Palm employee? "I have never seen so many smart people that truly care and are trying hard, go into a meeting together and come up with such stupid solutions"
  • firechiefsta - Monday, February 07, 2011 - link

    That's the most perfect comment I have ever read about Palm. You nailed it right on, 100%. Great work.

    I've loved palm since the Vx days, but these last few years have been painful, to say the least.

  • DigitalFreak - Thursday, February 03, 2011 - link

    "Build quality aside, the Pre/Pre Plus had the innards to, at the very least, keep up with the competition of its time and the OMAP 3630 in the Pre 2 is the very same found in the capable and well received Droid X."

    The Droid X will be a year old soon (if it's not already). HP should be releasing a Pre 2 with next gen hardware if they really want to capture any meaningful amount of market share. Being an also ran isn't going to work.
  • mythun.chandra - Thursday, February 03, 2011 - link

    I get that the 3630 isn't exactly the "in" thing...quite far from it. But I honestly feel that the the pace at which mobile CPU's are jumping forward every couple of months in terms of performance, soon we will be reaching a plateau in terms of how much CPU power we really need in a 3.5-4" device. Look at the desktop/notebook sector...apart from the Atom's, when was the last time you really felt the CPU was slowing you down?

    IMHO, the hardware needs to complement and be able to support the software it's driving. Now whether this means using a slow, low-power CPU with a software stack that almost entirely depends on the GPU (a la Nokia N8), or have it balanced like in case of the Pre 2 and webOS 2.0. At the end of it, it is the experience of using the device that really counts, not whether the CPU underneath is running at 1 or 1.5Ghz.

    That being said, the upcoming HP/Palm tablets should also whet your appetite fo raw CPU power :)
  • Chapbass - Thursday, February 03, 2011 - link

    The Droid X was released in July 2010, so its 6 months old... Reply
  • haplo602 - Friday, February 04, 2011 - link

    OLD ? I ma still using a HTC Herald with a 200Mhz CPU. The only problem I have is the small RAM (only 64MB). A larger screen and more RAM is all I need.

    I do not get why the phones are advancing so fast. I mean most of the time you just listen to music and browse the web. The interface is too small to do anything serious for a longer amount of time.

    I guess I'll be getting a webOS 2.0 device once the new generation is out (and Outlook synchronisation works perfectly).
  • ant1pathy - Thursday, February 03, 2011 - link

    If I could get this on, say, the Atrix, and the application library of iOS, I'd take it in a heartbeat. The software is AMAZING; too bad the hardware and mindshare doesn't reflect it. Reply
  • Lonyo - Thursday, February 03, 2011 - link

    If they manage to make it all work nicely in a tablet format as well, then the only weak link would potentially be application support.
    Hopefully they will gain enough market traction to get a decent amount of apps developed, because a lot of the features sound awesome, especially JustType.

    Is there any word on how much developer support there is for applications?
  • mythun.chandra - Thursday, February 03, 2011 - link

    From the looks of it, HP is trying to get as many developers on board as it can. With webOS 2.0, they really seemed to have opened up a lot of the OS for devs to hook into directly. webOS has a pretty strong homebrew community, matching that of Android's. And from experience, developing an app for webOS is actually pretty easy (if you know basic HTML, CSS,'re good to go).

    The issue for developers here is, no matter how good/easy webOS may be to use/develop for, it doesn't make monetary sense for them to write applications that can at best reach about 1% of the total smartphone market. What HP needs to do is move a decent amount of handsets to the market. Once this happens, developers automatically have an incentive to develop apps, with webOS' easy app dev framework only acting as a catalyst.
  • Jonathan Dum - Friday, February 04, 2011 - link

    It's a chicken and egg problem. Developer's won't flock to HP's ecosystem until there are tons of devices, yet HP needs a strong application base until people really start buying into it. I think that's the reasoning behind Palm/HP going for the "PhoneGap" development model, but I don't think that's enough since most serious developers write an app in it's native language (Obj. C for iOS, Java for Android, etc.). Reply
  • mythun.chandra - Friday, February 04, 2011 - link

    There does exist the PDK which lets developers develop native webOS apps in C/C++. Reply
  • Penti - Friday, February 04, 2011 - link

    They just need to do what Microsoft and the others do, partner up with a few important developers to put out the apps that's most important. For example Dataviz canceled their development of Documents to Go, they could have put out that if Palm/HP teamed up with them. Cooperation is important, not just a ready public SDK. They could easily sign deals with developers to put out apps if they wish. Reply
  • Computer Bottleneck - Friday, February 04, 2011 - link

    I think it would be great if HP could get some form of Web OS into prepaid.

    Then let the entry level consumer get used to using and learning WebOS. As time goes by let them move up the ladder to more power hardware and apps.
  • Hrel - Thursday, February 03, 2011 - link

    This does look very usable; and straightforward. My main concern is that there isn't room for a 4 OS smartphone marketplace. I mean, average people are already confused about the difference between Android and iOS, except ones apple ones "Verizon". Yeah, I've heard that one before. "Android, that's those Droid phones on Verizon right?" Even though you can get them on any network. I haven't even mentioned Win7 yet. Now there's going to be another one? They'll need one hell of a marketing campaign to break into the minds of the sheeple.

    For the most part it seems like people buy what their family/friends buy. Or if they get addicted to a specific app they'll stick with it. I think Windows cloud based features will earn a lot of loyalty.

    On hardware I'd still like to see a smartphone that can truly replace my point n shoot camera. I'm talking almost instant photo taking when I hit the button, no 3 second pause. with a slide out design except no keyboard, joystick/s and a couple buttons for gaming. That's what I wanna do with it, play video games, shoot photos, record video. Surf the web, get directions, check movie times, watch youtube, use it as an mp3 player.
  • ssj4Gogeta - Thursday, February 03, 2011 - link

    Well, that sounds pretty bad. Google needs to advertise Android as a Google product. That will definitely help. Reply
  • Belard - Friday, February 04, 2011 - link

    "4 OS Smartphones"? Uh, theres more than 4 on the market. But if WebOS(HP) can make a dent in the market place, it would be 6th major contender. Linux would be 7th and its dying out - killed by Android (Which is based off Unix).

    Around 2010, the smart phones :
    1 - 36% = Symbian (Nokia - blah)
    2 - 25% = Android (Samsung, Motorola, LG, HTC, SONY)
    3 - 17% = iPhone
    4 - 15% = RIM (Blackberries)
    5 - -3% = Windows Mobile
    6 - 2% = Linux (and getting smaller)
    7 - -1% = WebOS 1.x and everything else including Sony's old system.

    WebOS 2.0 is competing with 4~5 solid major competing systems.

    A bit of fun. First SMART Phone is by IBM. The Simon from 1994. It has a huge mono-LCD touch screen, no actual buttons. Use your finger or a stylus to operate.

    Looking at the screensshots, it looks great. Clean and simple. In ways, there are still issues with Android. I'm still on 2.1 with my Galaxy which isn't perfect, other than its screen.... and there are some interface issues that are harder than it should be.

    Setting up an alarm, in which the screen button display is alpha numeric?!
  • rhangman - Friday, February 04, 2011 - link

    Don't forget Samsung Bada. Surprisingly decent OS and the hardware is essentially the same as their Android/WM7 phones. Reply
  • Conficio - Thursday, February 03, 2011 - link

    I like webOS too. sounds quite a bag of good ideas.

    But the hardware spec seems to be last years boat. by the time that hits the networks we are talking about dual core A9, etc.

    The interesting part would be if HP could use this to build UIs for all its devices: phone, tablet, printer, scanner, monitor/TV remote, monitor OSD, cameras, notebook instant on, netbook instant on, etc.

    Ahh, and make it open source and engage many hardware manufacturers. Google has done it, webOS does need too.

    One more question, what is the app install story/marketplace? That is key for developers, isn't it?
  • Cyborg7th - Friday, February 04, 2011 - link

    The pre's specs are last years boat... or more to the point, mid 2009. But at the time of release it was just as powerful, and in some areas better, than the other phones on the market.

    HP does plan on using webOS on tablets and printers so far that I know of, and possibly more in the future.

    As for open source, webOS has Android blown away in that department. I have full access to everything on my pre, including a terminal interface which I can run shell commands on. Thanks to the homebrew guys/gals you can change almost everything on the phone, including overclocking it. My pre is curretly clocked at 1 ghz with custom voltages.

    The last question is where I feel HP needs to step up their game on the software side of things. The current app store sucks to be blunt. I never use it anymore after loading preware onto my phone. But while webOS doesn't have a ton of apps available, a lot of them are free.
  • ChronoReverse - Friday, February 04, 2011 - link

    That seems like a curious thing say about "blowing away Android" when the examples you provided are all possible on Android as well. Perhaps you meant to say iOS? Reply
  • Cyborg7th - Saturday, February 05, 2011 - link

    Possible on Android... sure... now get back to me when you can do it without rooting your phone first. Reply
  • tenkom - Saturday, February 05, 2011 - link

    It is not exactly officially supported on webos either and over clocking does require you to flash a new kernel. Many android phones are very easy to root so I don't think that is a very good argument. Reply
  • Cyborg7th - Saturday, February 05, 2011 - link

    That was the arguement to begin with. My statement was about webos being more open than android. Out of the box, webos on any of the phones does not have to be rooted. Reply
  • Conficio - Thursday, February 03, 2011 - link

    I'd think that many of these app features would be great as kind of a dashboard on Windows/Linux as well.

    So make a virtual phone as a dashboard (many laptops have multi finger mousepads and desktops start using it too - Apple?). Then sync the the phone and the dashboard app, allow any sort of sizing, make it a screensaver, etc.

    Same for media access on your media settop box?

    HP has the ability to do it, especialy if they OSS it.
  • ssj4Gogeta - Thursday, February 03, 2011 - link

    I have an app called Searchify on my Android which some of the functionality of Just Type. It presents itself to the OS as a normal search plugin, but you do calculations, create calendar events, have keywords for different tasks, do unit conversions etc. by just typing in the Android search bar. This shows that this functionality is at least possible on Android already. Reply
  • adayse - Friday, February 04, 2011 - link

    Mithun seems a little confused about multitasking. Android multitasks as well as any flavour of linux so he is clearly not talking about that kind of multitasking. Multitasking for him seems to be what the UI does to help you multitask - like you get when you do windows + tab on your PC. Reply
  • theinvisibleduck - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    Until HoneyComb Android did not truely multitask. It isnt very evident because it is "close enough" Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, February 04, 2011 - link

    Is there really space for another platform where the same company is responsible for the hardware and the OS? One of the advantages Android and WP7 have is that they have multiple companies developing the hardware so there are lots of choices to get the features you want (screen size/keyboard/camera/etc) while running more or less the same OS. Apple obviously does fine with it, though at least in part because of their marketing, their integration with the rest of the Apple ecosystem, their app support, and the lead that came with having the first "modern" smartphone OS. Hard to imagine that HP is going to push out new hardware at a rate to compete with all the options running Android or WP7, so do they have any other tricks up their sleeve to draw new users? Hard to see that just being really easy to use and open to homebrew is going to go too far for them there.

    I like WebOS, and if the Pre hadn't been limited to Sprint in 2009 when I got my last phone I certainly would have chosen it over the POS HTC Diamond I got. Now that I am about to upgrade again they still haven't done enough to show that the platform has a long-term future, so I'll be going Android this time, maybe in another 20 months things will be looking better for WebOS.
  • melgross - Friday, February 04, 2011 - link

    Honestly, except for a number of people here and there, who really cares about this anymore? I know that the tech writers care, and some geeks care, but who else? Those two groups can't keep a system in the money.

    What I found with WebOS when it first came out was that it was very confusing to use. Some things, such as swiping on the phone BELOW the screen to be impossible to figure out without being told first. I'm willing to bet that when people went into the Sprint store and picked up the Pre, they couldn't figure out how to work it, and so went on to something else. The day of 100+ page phone manuals are over.

    The improvements here are welcome, but as other writers have said, it's not nearly enough. I understand that with all of Palm's problems, they hadn't the funds to do much work on this, and after HP bought them, they were spending more time on integrating the company into HP. Maybe, at some point Ver. 3 will actually make some moves that matter. But will it be way too late? Even Hp's money may not be enough to help this.
  • Targon - Friday, February 04, 2011 - link

    When the original Palm Pre came out, it showed up six months after the initial introduction. There WAS a good amount of excitement for the new Palm device at the announcement, but six months really hurt, and with poor marketing at launch, the chance to get the PUBLIC interested was gone. The initial build quality and it being Sprint exclusive through the end of 2009 hurt things as well.

    Then you had the Verizon launch of the Palm Pre Plus....and Verizon didn't even TRY selling it. Put a mid-sized phone(3.2 inch screen+slideout keyboard) in a case with the power off, and without sales people showing it to customers, it didn't sell well when the same sales people were pushing Android based devices.

    The AT&T launch was almost as bad, with no advertising, and no sales people with any clue about the phone or what WebOS could do. Note that the AT&T launch was on May 17th of 2010, before the iPhone 4 launch, so the processor speed and overall specs were very similar to the iPhone 3GS, with the Pre Plus being better due to 512MB of RAM.

    Palm just didn't advertise or hype the Pre Plus, which DID fix most build quality issues by the time the Verizon and AT&T versions were released. Without advertising or sales people trying to sell it, how do you expect that the phone would have generated the excitement needed to bring in developers?

    So, that was what came from the days of Palm. The Pre 2 is really a somewhat improved Palm Pre Plus...512MB of RAM, a glass screen instead of plastic, 1GHz really had the specs to compete with the iPhone 4 and other devices if you didn't care about the screen size. With the other advantages of WebOS, if it were sold back in October of 2010, with advertising and a sales push, it might have done well with WebOS 2 on it.

    Going forward, there are several new devices set to be announced on , with launch by the end of March. There have been rumors about WebOS 2.1, but the exact details are still unknown. As it stands, if HP releases new phones with a 3.7 inch screen that also have the slide-out keyboard(as well as virtual keyboard), that SHOULD be competitive enough to generate a good number of sales.

    Now, one feature of the HP/Palm devices that should not be overlooked is the Touchstone....which is an induction charger. No need to plug in a cable to charge it, or even to fit the phone onto a charging dock....smooth surface to smooth surface, and your phone charges up. When on the Touchstone, even from the original Palm Pre launch, the phone would show the time, as well as showing notifications. It is great on a desk where your phone now doubles as a clock, PLUS, when you answer the phone while on the Touchstone, it starts in speaker mode. If you take the phone off the Touchstone while on a call, it automatically switches from speakerphone to normal, and if you are on a call when you put it on the Touchstone, it switches to speakerphone mode automatically. It's a great feature.
  • johnsonx - Saturday, February 05, 2011 - link

    agreed particularly about the touchstone. I can't imagine switching to a device with no touchstone... it would just be so *odd* and "low tech" to have to go back to plugging in my phone. I know there are inductive charging accessories available for some other devices, but I'm certain they don't work nearly as well (and at a minimum they require some sort of add-on skin and other fiddly bits). Reply
  • SanLouBlues - Friday, February 04, 2011 - link

    I know review units are nice, but you could have bought a GSM model off their website for a few months now. Anand can afford it. Reply
  • Targon - Saturday, February 05, 2011 - link

    If you think about it, the Pre 2 was really intended for developers since at this point, only one carrier in the entire world has offered it. If a phone ends up being ONLY for those who want to write apps(since the general public won't get one off contract), then that device is of fairly limited appeal.

    Now, WebOS 2 has been slated to go out to all the current WebOS devices, which is why this article about the OS is good. Talking about the Pre 2 itself when Verizon has been sitting on it for four months prior to release....I can understand why the site did not want to PAY for a device that may never end up being released by any of the cell phone companies here in the USA.

    Feb 9th isn't that far away now, and multiple new devices and announcements are due. It would be interesting to know if Anandtech has gotten some of the new hardware to review prior to the event so reviews can go up on the 9th or 10th.
  • hpram99 - Saturday, February 05, 2011 - link

    What, no inclusion on how webOS handles Global Address List for Exchange? Definitely better than Android's implementation, and a very useful tool for most business folks. It's very slick, using just type you'll get an option at the bottom to search the GAL, there's no need to add any contacts to your list, or clutter up your phone with a complete sync of thousands of contacts. Reply
  • alxxx - Sunday, February 06, 2011 - link

    So is HP eating its own dog food and making its staff use Pre2's
    or is it still only half heartedly supporting web os ?

    Pre 2 isn't available on any of the 3 major carriers here in Australia
  • Targon - Sunday, February 06, 2011 - link

    HP is not releasing ANYTHING until Feb 9th, so the lack of new devices that you have heard about may be due to keeping things quiet. Reply
  • kmmatney - Sunday, February 06, 2011 - link

    I'll always have fond memories of the original Pre. My company is on ATT, and when I was told get my first smartphone, I was specifically told to go to the ATT store and get a crappy $79 Palm "smart " phone. I asked if I could get an iPhone, and they said no - too expensive. So I went to the ATT store, and luckily enough the Pre had just come out on Sprint, and ATT was no longer allowed to sell any Palm smartphones. Woohoo! This allowed me to buy an iPhone instead, and after showing my company that it was only $20 more, it was then an approved phone, allowing all my co-workers to go out and get iPhones. This was back in 2009, so the only smartphones worth getting on ATT were iPhones or Blackberries. Reply
  • commet67 - Wednesday, February 09, 2011 - link

    In another era the market would have been iOS and Pre to worthy competitors. The core issue is that Google bought stole and copied a bunch of technologies and gave them away for free with Android. This is called dumping in any other industry - except in this case it wasn't hardware but software. It basically puts all the legitimate Software OS companies out of business - the little guys first - (this is a major part of the US economy and spells doom for other OS developers). If Microsoft didn't have windows and office to fund their mobile division they would be out of business to from Goggle's illegal and unethical ("don't be evil" my a$$!) behavior.

    Where are the feds to stop Google from killing off our tech industry - it will be Google's free OS (NO Software revenues from the rest of the world to USA - just great for the monster trade deficit) and a bunch of Korean and Taiwanese and future Chinese Hardware makers (again no Hardware revenue to the USA).

    Google is killing our future economy and a key growth industry we created. Where is the outrage! - where are the Feds?!

    HP is probably too far behind to resuscitate Palm to any substantial market share after Google's illegal between rounds knockout punch - but at least web OS may live to see another day.

    (P.S. I ban Android and use iOS)
  • silentim - Saturday, February 19, 2011 - link

    What HP need is its own hardware store. Dont fully trust ISP to market their phone, instead open their own showroom and store and let people try with the hardware. And also more presence in non US market, I mean lot of smart developers does not have access to Nexus S just because they don't live in US. Don't underestimate Asian market, e.g China, Japan, Korea, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia. The developers there are desperate to get early access of hardware, while the society just love to buy anything new.

    And integration with HP laptop, e.g. rather than preinstall the HP laptop with bloatware, why not preinstall it with WebOS SDK? (like Apple always distribute XCode in its software DVD).

    I think with only knowledge of javascript, HTML, and CSS to build an app, it should have more developer potential.

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