This is Part Three in a series of "Love it, Hate it" articles that includes
Love it, Hate it: Apple iPhone
Love it, Hate it: Google Android
I was reading Game Informer magazine the other day, and the Letter from the Editor was basically a shout-out to everyone who's ever accused him of favoring one platform over another over the years. He did this by running through a list of what he likes and dislikes about every major gaming platform currently on the market.
Dealing with accusations of bias is a sad, annoying truth when you make a living reviewing *anything* for a living. While I'd be the first to tell you that I have my personal preferences when it comes to mobile devices and applications, I also do my very best to remain as objective as possible - and to view products from multiple perspectives - when reviewing a phone, accessory, or service.
That said, I'm stealing that gaming editor's idea here by offering a run-down of what I love and hate about the major smartphone platforms we've been spending so much time covering this Summer at PhoneDog. Take it for what you will, but I'm tellin' ya, there are things I love and hate about every device out there, and I really mean it when I say that just because I like a particular phone doesn't mean you will, or should, as well.
Now if only I could get YouTube commenters to stop yelling at each other (and me) for a minute and come read my blog ...
Love it, Hate it: Palm WebOS (Palm Pre)
- I love how Palm came back from the dead with a brand new platform built from the ground up that's actually innovative and easy to use. Between the time they shocked the world at CES with the WebOS/Pre announcement and the launch on Sprint a few weeks ago, they created huge buzz and anticipation and their stock price soared.
- I hate that Palm took six months between "launching" and shipping Pre. I hate that they showed Pre off at every major trade show they could in that time but wouldn't let anyone handle or really try the thing out. I hate that the blogosphere got all muddied up (even more than usual!) with rumors, second-hand accounts, and other generally needless Pre-related stuff during that time. And yes, I was as guilty as anyone of proliferating the waste. Well, as guilty as almost anyone.
- I love that the Pre is small and rounded and cute but feels big when you use it. The multitouch display is large enough, high res enough, and rich enough to compete with the big boys of the mobile phone world. And there's an actual hardware keyboard hidden under that slider! The keyboard's small, but you get used to it.
- I hate that Palm keeps talking about how Pre was inspired by a river stone, and yet they couldn't see fit to round off the sharp edges along the slider seam. And that keyboard? Was it designed for a five year-old's fingers? Couldn't they have brought in someone from HTC to design the keyboard?
- I love WebOS. Cards are awesome. Actual multitasking - take that, iPhone! Multitasking that's easy to use and manage - that that, Symbian and WinMo!
- I hate WebOS. Why bother with an overhyped multitasking system on a toy phone clearly designed for hipsters and not businesspeople? Do I really need to have Email, IM, Facebook, and Twitter all open at the same time? Why, so I can talk to the same five people in five different ways in five different windows ... er, "cards"?
- I love the potential of WebOS as a platform. Notifications are smooth, multitasking works, and Synergy is a sign of the times and a fore-bearer of great things to come.
- I hate that Palm couldn't bother to stomp the bugs and polish the features before releasing WebOS. Battery life is a joke. Where's my RSS reader? Why can't I capture video with the camera?
- I love Palm's App Catalog. Imagine the possibilities for developers: An OS based on existing Web technologies, and access to that cool notifications system and multitasking? w00t!
- I hate that Palm's WebOS SDK isn't out yet. Why bother with an App Catalog if nobody can fill it with cool apps?
- I love that WebOS will be coming soon to other form factors and other carriers.
- I hate that Palm launched their brand new platform on a slider phone running on Sprint. Hello, the rest of the world runs GSM, not CDMA! Way to shoot yourself in the foot before you're out of the gate, Palm!
Agree? Disagree? Love my thoughts? Hate 'em? You fill up the comments and in the meantime, I think I'll pick another platform and do this all over again ...