Android from a webOS Perspective - Smartphone Round Robin Contest Thread
A little late to the game this week. Ok, a lot, but the good news is that we'll have this thread going until Sunday for my full Android Review.
As I compare webOS to Android I have a few things on my mind:
- Android is open source, webOS is not. Yet it seems to me that maybe webOS is more accessible and therefore more 'open' even though it's not technically open source.
- I see Pros and Cons to the notification systems on both webOS and Android. I like Android's "clear all" button, but I also like the ability to dismiss notifications one-by-one on webOS. Do you have a preference?
- Do you use a task manager app on Android? Which Android phone do you have? Is a task manager necessary?
- How do you rate the various touchscreen keyboards on Android?
- Does the fact that different Android phones have different versions of the OS bother you?
- Is Android accessible to the average, non-geek user. I think the answer is yes... but how could it be better?
More soon. Don't forget every day you reply here, you have another chance to win the Android phone of your choice (yes, that includes the Nexus One. Just saying)
- 01-14-2010, 01:14 PM #2
First of, I'd like to start by saying that I had an android phone and switched over to a webOS device, and that I follow precentral closely. Overall the only thing I must say I miss is the keyboard, and even so not very much.
The keyboard being singled out to me, another gripe I do have about android is the different versions of the OS among different phones.
You get the feeling that while the hardware only slightly advances the phone is left behind in a way, getting updates slowly.
Palm's updates are regional but still everyone eventually ends up getting the same end product or close to (18.104.22.168 to 22.214.171.124)
I haven't used an android since the G1, (perhaps I'll get lucky and win one and that'll change)
So maybe my thoughts are dated.
As my final thought I think if anything could be done to make it more accessible to people it'd be to make the OS feel more organized. My complaints from my friends were always based around confusion of finding anything, while in the webOS I simply told them which was the launcher icon and it solved everything.
- 01-14-2010, 01:48 PM #3
I have the Moto Droid and only use the soft keyboard. I'm able to type pretty fast in both portrait and landscape. The auto-correct definitely helps.
I used advanced task killer for a while before uninstalling it. My battery life slightly incresed without it actually. A task manager isn't necessary in my opinion.
- 01-14-2010, 01:50 PM #4
What I hate most about the Palm Pre and love most about the HTC Hero
When I zoom in on a page in the web browser, which I frequently have to do as my eyes cannot cope with the default small font, the Palm Pre does not wrap the text to fit the screen. Ok, that is not entirely true. Zooming in by double-tapping the screen results in a wrapped screen, but the font is still too small for my eyes, and subsequent double-taps have the same effect as asking Santa to this year remember that special present you asked for last year. As a result I have to zoom in using the two finger stretch gesture which gives nice big font but requires scrolling left and right again and again in order to read the text. It is a major drawback that I hope Palm will fix soon. Try the same thing on the HTC Hero, running Android 1.5, and it re-formats the page beautifully, both in the default browser and the brilliant new Dolphin browser. Check out a picture showing the two phone side by side at my blog at getsmartphone.net
- 01-14-2010, 02:05 PM #5
- 01-14-2010, 02:35 PM #6
In my opinion in order for touchscreens to be truly practical they need to be multitouch.
It makes navigation and use so much easier and intuitive.
If multitouch comes to the nexus one I'd be seriously excited.
I'm impressed by how android has been picked up and used by so many developers and I think that's it's biggest advantage.
But even so the only android phones that have my interest are the Droid and the Nexus One.
- 01-14-2010, 02:35 PM #7
I love the standard Android touch keyboard. i think it works very well with a minimal learning curve. It isn't as accurate as say, the iPhone, but you also can download new touch screens of various layouts/colours/sizes etc.
Yes, it bothers me that the different phones have different OS versions. However, I would rather have a ton of form factor choices (and carrier choices) with fragmentation over, say, only two form factors and no fragmentation.
I think it is accessible, and things like the new 2.1 gallery app have proved that Android is moving towards a more beautiful and intuitive OS. The best thing about Android though, is that it is so powerfully customizable. If you don't like something, chances are you can change it. It may not be as simple, but it sure is better.
- 01-14-2010, 03:02 PM #8
- 12 Posts
I've been scouring over the web trying to find the piece of information that would help me decide between WebOS or Android.
I love the Droid's customization and power user capabilities and I have always like soft keyboards over hard ones (except the Blackberry handles it the best). So I love the Droid's keyboard. However the Pre doesn't need one because their keyboard is pretty solid.
I love Pre's intuitiveness, it's notifications, it's multi-tasking capabilities, and it's user-friendly synergy.
I love the Droid's apps, power, screen, and user base. It also has Google and more users, so I would imagine more resources.
It's a good problem to have though, they are both EXCELLENT OS's.
- 01-14-2010, 03:08 PM #9
I think the Palm Pre with WebOS provides a more enjoyable experience.
And like Dieter Bohn said, it feels more open because of the ease of development. And that's really starting to show.
I see WebOS getting very strong over the coming months.
- 01-14-2010, 03:29 PM #10
i've always been fond of HTC products. I haven't had the chance to use a droid but would love to see how they stach up. I agree that droid would be nice to have the same version for all. Is the main difference between version drivers? Maybe it could be difference in the hardware functions? Any help would be great.
- 01-14-2010, 03:30 PM #11
WebOS is better in my opinion as well. I've had both phones and the build quality of the Pre to the Hero is awful. I'll be waiting, hopefully a better build of phone from Palm and a browser the does word wrap. The screen is already small, why not have better rendering of sites on its mobile version? Very frustrating for me.
All that to say, WebOS I'll be back!
- 01-14-2010, 03:47 PM #12
I have a Pre and a co worker just got a Droid.
We sat in the conference room using our phones and comparing.
My GPS worked considerably better then his. I assume this was a signal reception issue.
I much prefer 2 finger pinch and spread for zoom in/out of web pages.
I did like the more solid feel of the Droid slider.
I prefer the Pre keyboard over the flat keys on the Droid slider.
- 01-14-2010, 04:08 PM #13
I have the palm pre since its launch date till about a week ago. I needed to be able to do proper conference calling (yes, cdma sucks for conference calling - go figure - but thats a whole different topic), thus switched to gsm, specifically tmobile on an android device. Overall I liked the pre but many small things annoyed me. The android seems to be better in almost all respects but not by much. The things I'd like to see improve on both OS's are as follows:
- Installing preware and using the many "patches" is a terrific way to get some of the items I am going to list but I believe Palm should be incorporating this into the basic WebOs as they are just basic things every smartphone should have
- date display - on the pre home screen - no where can you find the date which is annoying (time/date are absolute necessary on all phones as everyone checks the time/day/date on the phone more than once a day!)
- spell check - how can someone use the pre for work emails if there is no spell check or very thorough auto-check? at least iphone and android suggest words as you type (so if your a bad speller like me - you wait for the right word to pop up)
- Call History - Should be able to view call history for a particular contact which should include at a minimum, last 10 calls to/from and length of each conversation
- Email - Folders - Should have ability to move emails from inbox into other folders without having to open the message.
- Email - Delete - Should have the ability to "batch" delete emails (maybe check/highlight emails and then hit a function like delete or move to, etc.). For business users who get well over 100 emails a day, organization is key (quickly being able to delete several messages and move them to saved folders, etc.).
- Email / txt - Landscape - Would be helpful to be able to view emails in landscape mode which would allow easier reading of text across screen as typing. In addition to viewing in landscape mode, an onscreen keyboard in landscape mode would also be key to use the landscape mode.
- Txt's - should be able to save draft txt messages!!!!!! (this feature is a must during holidays and new years!)
- palm profile - this is a great concept but palm really needs to incorporate much more info into the "backup", including conversation threads, contact links (ie, link facebook/google/aim contact but link is not preserved in backups)
- music - seriously please stop with the itunes (which has been now stopped by apple) - just allow people to sync music with any software - like android
- should use widgets like android - bc have a app launcher and home screen stays blank (i understand the empty space is used for cards but still)....would make it nice to have weather/calendar widgets on the pre
Android - have only used 1 week so do not have as strong of opinion as on pre
- As suggested in the first post - able to clear one notification at a time would be great
- i think its easy to learn for a "non-geek" although to really customize everything the way you want - need to learn the os more than the avg user
- different versions of the os do bother me - would not be an issue if users could pick which version they wanted to download from 1 central location. but having to wait for updates, etc is just too confusing and frustrating
- on screen keyboard is responsive but the beta app swype looks very cool - can't wait till its released
- market place has many more apps than webos (of course) but i find the quality of apps not as nice as the pre. they do what they say but are not the best looking or designed apps
- would be great if there was an easy way to root the android phones as there is for the pre - but i guess this is a big disadvantage of not having one version of the os in the market
- multitouch - why does europe have this and not n. america???
Overall - i love where the smartphone's are going and its fun to try all the new devices that are around today.
- 01-14-2010, 04:14 PM #14
- 01-14-2010, 05:51 PM #15
I thought I liked the Palm notification until I used the Hero. Many notifications on the Palm Pre could potentially take up lots of valuable screen space where the Hero does not. The clear all button is great on the Hero.
I am currently using the Advanced Task Killer on my Hero. Maybe once a week I utilize this to try and speed up the phone. I also find myself rebooting it or restarting it once a week as well. I think a task manager is a good option to have.
I have only used the Sense UI keyboard on the Hero. I admit it has been difficult getting used to the virtual keyboard compared to the Pre physical keyboard. I am forcing myself to get used to the virtual keyboard as I see this as the direction of the future.
It does not bother me that other Android phones have different OS versions. However it would bother me if I had a relatively new phone and did NOT get an update that the newer phone had. The Palm Pre across different carriers did not have the same versions.
I think that ANYONE that uses Google for email or any other services that Google offers is accessible to anyone. Could it be better, I am sure it could be, how I am not sure.
I am just pleased that my Sprint HTC Hero is capable of performing the basic PIM functions that the Palm Pre was not. I use Google Gmail, Calendar, tasks and the Android and Google solution is great.
- 01-14-2010, 06:04 PM #16
- 01-14-2010, 06:05 PM #17
Android is open source, webOS is not. Yet it seems to me that maybe webOS is more accessible and therefore more 'open' even though it's not technically open source.
I think the main problem with Android's potential openness is not the OS itself but all the propriety stuff that phone manufacturers put on themselves to make the hardware work with the OS. Encouraging the likes of Motorola, HTC, Huawei and others to open source their hardware drivers would make the platform far more open.
I see Pros and Cons to the notification systems on both webOS and Android. I like Android's "clear all" button, but I also like the ability to dismiss notifications one-by-one on webOS. Do you have a preference?
I prefer clear all - I go to the ones I want to first, then clear the rest off. Simples...
Do you use a task manager app on Android? Which Android phone do you have? Is a task manager necessary?
Android is a Linux and should not need a task manager other than the TSR one it already has running the OS and allocating memory and processor time. The only time I could possibly find use for a task manager is if something crashes on me and the OS is not able to end its routine itself. Crashes are fairly rare, and the OS failing to shut down something that has crashed even more so. Hence I am of the opinion that one should not need a task manager unless one has rooted the phone and are messing about with its guts...
How do you rate the various touchscreen keyboards on Android?
I have the T-Mobile Pulse and the one that it comes with is gorgeous. I would not want to swap it out for a third party one.
Does the fact that different Android phones have different versions of the OS bother you?
Not really, although I am saving up for a Nexus One unlocked with Android 2.1 (drools)...
Is Android accessible to the average, non-geek user. I think the answer is yes... but how could it be better?
As it is my second smartphone since I bought the Nokia 9300i way back in 2005 (and yes, I have been running it for over four years before moving over to a T-Mobile Pulse), I find it far easier to use than my former Symbian phone.
I love how it works seamlessly with Gmail and other Google services, and it was a lot easier to set up than the nightmare that was the Nokia 9300i. The hoops I had to go through just to get my tesco.net email working on that old beast...
The only thing I miss is an actual physical keyboard. If I don't go for a Nexus One I will go for a Moto Droid instead...
Last edited by pbrennan42; 01-14-2010 at 06:08 PM.PhilipBrennan.Net | Hacking the T-Mobile Pulse | My boot-splash designs and Beautiful Widget themes are here...
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- 01-14-2010, 06:51 PM #18
The tweaking and hacking that is going on in webOS does not seem to be matched on Android, even in the XDA community. I know that they are working on Android ports to many different devices, but the actual hacking of the OS and it's operations seem to be on a much smaller scale than what is going on for weOS.
just my $0.02
- 01-14-2010, 07:14 PM #19
The samsung moment had a pretty sweet operating system in my view. I havent' used the new stuff, but I like 1.5. Gestures on the touch screen aren't as fluid as on other phones, and also the GPS has a major accuracy issue. Other than that it's a sweet phone. I liked the big screen, option of physical or onscreen keyboard, and real gmail support.
- 01-14-2010, 08:19 PM #20
I think WebOS needs to have the variety of form factors Android is available in. I have friends that will ONLY buy horizontal sliders, or ONLY buy tablets formats and want a virtual keyboard, not the thicker phone a physical keyboard requires. I love my Pre, but a lot of folks won't even consider WebOS until it's available on the form factor of their choice.
- 01-14-2010, 08:23 PM #21
- 01-14-2010, 08:58 PM #22
Maybe WebOS will be a serious competitor. Maybe. Neither Android nor WebOS is very far ahead of WinMo and Symbian. It's still anybody's race. Android can still clean up the app store and unify the platform. (Look at Apple's app store. It's a mess but it is successful). WinMo has very little problem with screen scalability. Android can learn.
What is the purpose for clearing notifications one by one. Either you read it or you didn't. If you are worried about forgetting to check your unread e-mail, little numbers appear next to your mail and message icons anyway (At least on Sense anyway. Everyone else can get apps that do the same).
I avoid task managers (I've heard bad things). Astro has one built in for those rare occasions I need one though.
Sense keyboard is great. I haven't had a need to switch.
I'm just looking forward to 2.1 or 2.0 on my Eris. 1.5 is good enough though. I haven't really had problems. (Except Bluetooth sucks on 1.5. No OBEX or FTP)
Yup I know some less intelligent people who love it!
- 01-14-2010, 09:38 PM #23
- 01-14-2010, 09:47 PM #24
2. Clearing one by one is superior. An option for both is preferred
3. Very judicial use of Advanced Task Killer. Needed if you're apt to run buggy apps or modifying the system, otherwise no. Phone model makes no difference in this matter, as all run on the 2.X.xx Linux kernel and memory management is identical. I don't need a "task manager" on any of our RHEL servers, why would I on an Android device?
4. HTC sense devices use the best OSK Android has to offer. The rest are fair, but a distant second.
5. No. I have to option to build and use any version I'd like on any of the devices. See #1.
6. Yes, but I believe the out-of-box experience of other platforms is better suited to most non-techie users.ಠ_ಠ
- 01-14-2010, 10:41 PM #25
- 17 Posts