Posts Tagged ‘webOS’

Phone Roam

19 August 2011

Dear J-

I suppose everyone has a curmudgeon inside but I wonder what the actual utility of a large-screened phone is. if you recall Jeff Hawkins, one of the founders of Palm, carried around a block of wood for a week in order to come up with his ideal shape and size — 120 x 80 x 18mm, 180g. Lately though it seems like the newer the phone, the bigger the screen (the leaked Droid HD has a 4.5″ screen), the bkgger the device, and the bulkier our pockets become until we’re all left toting around something way bigger than a stack of 3 x 5″ cards (it’s the closest analogy I can think of to the original Palm Pilot 1000).

I’m sure the saga of Palm will be dissected throughout the week until some bigger tech story moves on to displace it (it has been a bad week for hardware, with Motorola and now HP/Palm; I’m beginning to understand why my brother now has to work in Taiwan). Us personally, we’ve had a fair amount of involvement with the products. I got a TRGpro, sort of a forked Palm IIIx with a CF slot for theVet when she was in vet school (we managed to wipe the memory twice and she stopped using it). Then when I graduated to a team lead I picked up a Palm IIIc and used it usefully a few times (the contact list was pretty nice for keeping tabs on the little telcos and LECs, and the color screen was pretty whizzy at the time). Various other models followed including a couple of Cliés and the original Tungsten T, nice and solid, but the one most useful was a Treō 650. Between wireless (bluetooth) sync and keyboard I wrote most of the entries from 2007-2009 or so on that beast.

I picked up a used Pre not long ago as I was interested in seeing what webOS was like. That was the device which provided the tipping point and I jumped into a smartphone six months ago and its associated bad habits (charging every night, turning off radios and managing RAM). There are those who will not accept anything less than full control but for me, the whole point has been to have the computer make some of the mundane decisions for me. I shouldn’t have to root the phone to gain increased stability and performance: if that’s not already standard that tells me they aren’t sweating the end user experience. I stayed with Palm OS for so long because of its relative polish and am considering dumping Android for tis lack of the same. Selling phones based on feature points and scrren size is like buying audio equipment on THD and watts.