TAG | Operating system
HP has explained how it is going to develop the WebOS platform after it acquired smartphone manufacturer Palm.
HP has now announced that it will be integrating the WebOS platform into some of its other product lines, including network printers. This means that smartphones will no longer be the only devices powered by the WebOS platform.
“You’ve now got a whole series of web-connected printers and as they connect to the web you need an OS. We prefer to have that OS, in our case, be our IP where we can control the customer experience,” said HP’s Mark Hurd during a conference this week.
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- HP wants Palm OS for Web-connected printers, Hurd says (infoworld.com)
Palm’s latest update to its mobile operating system now allows owners of the Pre and Pixi to use Yahoo’s instant messaging client and watch YouTube videos in wide screen view, among other things.
But one feature not included in the update is the seamless synchronization with iTunes, Apple’s popular software for managing music and other media on a computer.
Palm has long clashed with Apple over whether or not owners of its devices can sync them up with their iTunes libraries without any intermediate software.
Palm confirmed that the newest release of WebOS, the mobile operating system for Palm devices, does not include a fix to the media syncing capability, although declined to specify the reasons behind the decision.
Read the full story on NY Times.
Highlights of a review of the Pixi from NY Times:
Twenty-five bucks for an app phone? That’s unbelievable. (Or, rather, it emphasizes how irrelevant a phone’s starter price really is. The true cost is embedded in your two years of monthly service fees–in this case, $2,309.)
Anyway, the Pixi is absolutely gorgeous, with a razor-thin (OK, .4-inch-thin) design. The front is flat glossy black; the back is curved hard rubber. It weighs just over 3 ounces. THREE OUNCES!? That’s insane. If this phone were any smaller and lighter, it would cease to exist.
This time, the illuminated keyboard doesn’t slide out—it’s always there beneath the screen; the phone is a slab design. The keyboard is very tiny indeed (just over two inches wide), but because the keys are super-raised and rubberized and move and click when you type on them, it’s not bad. You wind up supplementing each press with your thumbnail, and it works.
The operating system is the same fluid WebOS you can read about in my Pre review here. Once again, it integrates contacts, e-mail and calendars from all online sources—Google, Yahoo, Exchange and so on—and merges them on the phone.
However, on the Pixi, almost everything from the Pre has been diminished. The most painful change is the screen, which is only 320 by 400 pixels; that is, it shows 17 percent less, vertically, and you really miss those extra 80 pixels. You feel a little cramped.
The camera is 2 megapixels, down from 3. The battery life is shorter. The speaker is quieter. You can’t open as many apps at once.
There’s no Wi-Fi, either, so your only connection to the Internet is over Sprint’s cellular airwaves; cellular connections are generally slower than Wi-Fi ones. (Then again, I’ve found Sprint’s Internet coverage to be excellent.)
Worst of all, the cheaper, slower processor in the Pixi makes it slow to open apps, load Web pages and trigger functions. Sometimes it gets ridiculous; you might wait a whole minute for a Web page, for example.
MobileCrunch has a review of the Palm Pixi, here are the highlights:
What we like:
The build quality is outstanding. It’s one of very few candybar phones I enjoy holding.
Generally, webOS as an operating system is the pinnacle example of user experience. It is (usually) functional and gorgeous without sacrifice, and we’ve got hope Palm can de-suck the Pixi by fixing the lag issues.
The keyboard blows the Pre’s out of the water
Multi-touch in the browser
Sprint Navigation is included in the price of data, and it’s pretty solid. It’s essentially the same powered-by-Telenav navigation app you’ll find on other phones.
The design of the webOS IM/messaging system is fantastic
What we don’t:
Lag. Lots and lots of lag, throughout the entire OS. Hopefully they can fix this with an update, because it’s incredibly distracting.
The new Facebook application is lacking, as is the Youtube client.
The App Catalog is far too limited
The battery cover is way too difficult to pull off, and the cover over the microUSB data/charging port makes me want to smash.
No video recording
Who should buy it: Anyone coming from an LG Envy, Samsung Alias, or other such messaging-oriented feature phone who wants a bit more functionality without diving into a more expensive and more complex smartphone. Sprint’s got some of the cheapest pricing when it comes to plans – this $99 smartphone is $500-$1100 cheaper than a $99 smartphone on AT&T or Verizon in the 24-month long run. If I had a early/mid-teenage sibling or kid, I could give them this without feeling like I was giving them junk that they’ll hate in 6 months.
Who shouldn’t buy it: Anyone looking for a fully capable smartphone. I love this operating system to pieces, but the lag, the lack of applications, and the absence of WiFi keeps me from ever recommending this phone to anyone who needs it for much more than texting, casual browsing, and growing into a full-fledged smartphone.