01-18-2010 04:11 PM
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  1. HardcorePooka's Avatar
    I'm not too much of a technical person, so what 'open source' means confuses me. From everything I've seen on Precentral, I have to agree with you, Palm pretty much says go for it. But perhaps I just don't understand what open source means.
    Open source means just that. The source code is open for people to have.
    01-16-2010 03:16 AM
  2. simp_10's Avatar
    Another Entry for me!
    01-16-2010 08:15 AM
  3. pbrennan42's Avatar
    Open Source is a little more involved than just having the source code open so that people can "have at it". The GPL (General Product License) v2&3 sets conditions that ensure the openness of the software, and gives a very healthy set of rights and permissions to the user.

    The great advantage of a company like Google (or Red Hat, or Canonical / Ubuntu) in having open source platforms for the majority of their software is that the OSS community will get on board with programming and bug squashing. It is through Fedora Core and the community's involvement with its development that goes into the bulk of the programming for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which in turn Red Hat sells support packages for (RHEL can be downloaded for free, it's the support from Red Hat that costs money). It is mostly through the Debian and Ubuntu communities that Canonical is able to constantly update Ubuntu, which in turn feeds back into the community with Kubuntu, Edbuntu, and Ubuntu Studio.

    Conversely, it is through the Open Source Software community that Google and other companies are able to develop the Android platform for mobile devices from Android Phones to eReaders and even some netbooks.

    The primary advantage of Open Source Software for the end user is freedom of choice and openness of the source code, while the primary advantage for the companies is the fast development cycles at little or no cost and constant vigilance on the bug squashing end of things.

    It is a win / win situation for both parties.

    Phil.
    01-16-2010 08:58 AM
  4. AZbear's Avatar
    Well put Phil. Thanks for the great explanation.
    01-16-2010 09:21 AM
  5. pbrennan42's Avatar
    You're welcome

    Phil.
    01-16-2010 09:43 AM
  6. Thespis721's Avatar
    Okay. Let me continue the confusion. Going back to why Android apps are so ugly (and as a side note, Blackberry apps are even uglier) when the WebOS apps are not. I realize that Google has NO approval process and I think Palm has a small one, but does making the platform open source really make the apps ugly? Like the people who make the Facebook app for Palm or for Apple, do they do the Facebook app for Google? And is THAT app ugly?

    If the FB app isn't ugly, I would imagine that the reason their ugly is solely due to laziness of the developers and the lack of any approval process from Google (even a small one) but if it is ugly, I would imagine it has something to engrained in the actual code and OS itself to create an aesthetically unappealing interface.

    I remember reading (perhaps from this forum, but maybe not) how Apple said that Google is the best at handling data but horrible at creating aesthetics while Apple is the opposite. Apple has designers who can code. Google has coders who are trying to design.
    01-16-2010 11:14 AM
  7. ripcity00's Avatar
    - 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.

    Palm is trying to make it as easy as possible for developers of all kinds which if they are successful has many of the advantages of open source. The key will be can they draw in the numbers like Android has done.

    - 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'd like to see both options on one device or something similar.

    - Do you use a task manager app on Android? Which Android phone do you have? Is a task manager necessary?

    Droid - not sure a task manager is necessary.

    - How do you rate the various touchscreen keyboards on Android?

    I think they are pretty good although there is room for improvement.

    - Does the fact that different Android phones have different versions of the OS bother you?

    It would bother me more if my phone was lagging several others. From a user perspective, I don't care as long as I can get the key features I need on a timely basis.

    - Is Android accessible to the average, non-geek user. I think the answer is yes... but how could it be better?

    More education and pr about its abilities.
    01-16-2010 12:23 PM
  8. pbrennan42's Avatar
    I feel that the platform cannot be blamed entirely for the lack of good aesthetics on Android applications, as with recent iterations of Android (1.5 cupcake and above) the ability to make rather gorgeous applications has been there, but only a few applications have development teams that understand the graphical capabilities of the Android platform, notions of aesthetics underlining form and function, and the ability to bring the two together.

    Again, we only have to look at applications like Beautiful Widgets to see what can be done when the developer understands aesthetics as well as coding and puts the two together in perfect harmony. And, unfortunately, we also have plenty of examples of applications that are so basic as to be hideously ugly (like the many dice roller applications you can get for free).

    The aesthetic qualities of market applications has little to do with Google staff coders, as the vast majority of Android applications are made by third parties - it is purely in the hands of those who make the applications.

    I am all for encouraging application developers to think far more deeply about the aesthetics of the applications they release, but as many of them are free, there is no incentive for them to bother. Conversely, those that are for sale tend to be the ones whereby the most effort has been put into them, both in coding, and in the UI design (there are also some free applications that are well designed like PandaHome, but these exceptions are there to further illustrate the general rule that without an actual incentive few free applications are going to bother much with aesthetics).

    Unless we who desire nice looking applications start rating them on the Android Market in terms of how they look as well as function, I cannot honestly see much future change there.

    Phil.
    01-16-2010 12:34 PM
  9. corneliused's Avatar
    Does the fact that different Android phones have different versions of the OS bother you?

    nope, as long as the os on the phone I got works and most apps in the market work on the phone I have.
    01-16-2010 12:42 PM
  10. land of the trill's Avatar
    I haven't had any real time with the WebOs but from what I've seen it has a lot of potential and the UI and multitasking ablities exceed every phone except for the N900 but that's another story also that a pretty high praise. I haven't checked out any development on the WebOs but it seems to be headed it a great direction and 3D games on it will rival the iphone.

    1. Open source not so much what you think even on android and its obvious some limitations exist on any platform but what is being done for Android & WebOs is for the better but I'd say its more in Android favor when it comes to updated considering in a short year how so much has been changed.

    2. The notification panel works amazingly well on both platforms and its mostly person perference but there is no need to clear a specific notification IMO on android when you tap it it will take you to it clearing it from the panel but I do get your point there should be a little more flexibilty with it.

    3. I own the best task manager and that would be Advance Task Manager but its only neccessary up to an extent which would be having more control over what's running in the background. I have a gripe with multitasking on android although its good it allows no real control, you have to hold down the home button to view the 6 most recent apps which is fine but why not allow that to be all running apps and allow you to kill them? I bet it will be improved on but back on topic. Its really only needed for all android phones that aren't the Nexus being how android is limited to poor hardware specs but memory management is great.

    4. Touch screen keyboard are getting better but the lack of multitouch there is hurting it but HTC Keyboard, Betterkeyboard, and swype all are helping in that area but one thing that needs to be available as well is swipe genstures on the stock keyboard to make it easier on the end user.

    5. The gap will be closed soon regarding different OS versions on different handsets but when you start laying your own skin on top of android that's how problems like this occur but every phone is getting 2.1 except the HTC Dream (G1) which is what I currently have but thanks to the amazing devs we have live wallpapers and more from 2.1

    6. Its very user friendly and it could be much better in terms of the UI which is basically eye candy, 2.1 does a good job of improving on this but the biggest complaint is out of all the updates and revisions the only thing that still the same is the barebone music player which better be updated soon and it does work well it just leaves a lot to be desired when compared to HTC Sense UI. I would like to see other improvements with multitasking, Market, browser, video player layout and some other SDK related type stuff.
    01-16-2010 01:26 PM
  11. klebron23's Avatar
    I agree the OS on the phone doesn't matter as long as it works good.
    01-16-2010 02:18 PM
  12. AndrewWestSide's Avatar
    another entry for Round Robin!
    01-16-2010 02:25 PM
  13. KyleKatarn9812's Avatar
    I have always personally felt that webOS and Android are a lot closer and more compatible then one or the other with any other mobile operating systems. I feel like they share capabilities and are very similar in ways that make the decision of one over the other based purely on small personal preferences. Why I chose android is because there is no webOS phone on T-Mobile, had there been when I bought my G1, maybe I would have a pre. I love Android and I will say there is a good chance I may not leave it but webOS is a close second.

    The things I like that webOS does is for starters, having a much more beautiful ui. I think it is much more polished and well done when compared to Android. I have played with the emulator extensively and it just has the polish and feel that makes it feel like a wonderful experience to use. I don't think Android is ugly but webOS sure makes it look that way. Android knows it is clunky, every software release has aesthetic changes to try and improve the look. I feel like the removal of the drawer in 2.1 on the Nexus was a huge step in a good direction.

    The other thing it does well is have a concise app catalog. I love having access to a great deal of apps, but to be fair most of them are crap. I feel like palm takes the gems and only offers them whereas Android puts it all through and makes you find the gems yourself. Because of this I hardly ever find apps I want unless an online source reviews them.

    I also think the Pre and Pixi have much more attractive hardware and have lots of features I am still waiting for on Android. My big example of this is the integration of facebook into the contacts. And before you say Android does have that, I do not because the G1 is still at 1.6 before that feature became available.

    What I like about android is I think it is a powerful platform and it has the strength of Google behind it. The operating system is constantly changing and getting better. I went from the phone I had and I have received things like navigation and a soft keyboard. Its nice to know that my phone will just get better and better as time goes on. Though on that same note now I am scared that my G1 will soon be left behind with no updates. Thats what I don't like about the software fragmentation, I have no qualms with the various overlays but I am not ok with not being the most up to date when there is better versions out there.

    I think at the end of the day with things like widgets Android is much more functional. And what I love is the Google integration. Day by day I get more pulled into Google and they constantly integrate their experience seamlessly into Android which is great for people who like to have their lives centrally organized.

    I like what Android does, I like how Android works and I am confident Google will continue to take care of me and the platform and make it even better going forward. Having said that I like webOS a lot and if I was in a position of opportunity I would not hesitate to get a webOS device.
    01-16-2010 02:25 PM
  14. ads's Avatar
    it is open source by definition. You can read the GNU licensing stuff to further understand, but essentially, you can't close or stop development if you use a Linux (or other GNU license) base. But there ARE many things you can do to make money on support (Red Hat, et al) and have "some" level of control.

    I believe the control is through the the stores, in what they do and don't publish/certify, and probably the associated ability to use the WebOS name, which I'm sure it trademarked. So, one could write an app that doesn't get accepted in the store, but you'd have to make it available some other way that obviously would have way less visibility (today at least) and you'd probably have to be real careful in how you state it's use or use WebOS in the name or description. EG, (I'm no lawyer so this is my layman's understanding) I bet you could say it runs on WebOS, and properly state that WebOS is trademarked and owned by Palm, but you might get some grief if you advertised it as a "WebOS app", or a Palm app, which might be an infringement on the use of a trademark.

    I'm not a coder and don't follow this too closely, but I'd bet the difference in the quality or polish of the apps are largely based on the development kits offered, which is also another part of the control that can be exerted on how apps get developed, the look, feel, consistency, etc.
    So for example, Palm has you develop WebOS apps with their dev kit that doesn't allow talking directly to the hardware (like the graphics processor or radio). But if you have unix/linux root authority, you can get to ANYTHING in a Linux system, (unless they put in some firmware interpreter of the root shell that I bet would violate the Linux GNU license). But depending on how they did the drivers, which could be in firmware, or even if you write to them - before they add that capability to the dev kit - you would likely not get that app published on their store, and they could in fact tell you that you voided the support part of your warranty as a user if you installed said app, etc.
    Having said all that, WebOS appears to be VERY open, evidenced by Homebrew and Preware as mentioned by others, the latter being an example of something I expect Palm could say "you can't use the term "Preware" it's a violation of our trademark, but they've not done so.

    Hope this helps.
    ADS
    01-16-2010 02:44 PM
  15. Thespis721's Avatar
    I think it's important to mention that the US Android phones don't have multi-touch, but rather, that their native programs don't have multi-touch. However I did read how Motorola said future phones will probably have multi-touch. You can download programs that use multi-touch (like the previously mentioned "Better Keyboard" or the Dolphin web browser).

    That is one thing that is really nice about Android is that if someone can make a better contacts list or a better web browser, then you can get it off the Marketplace, opposed to someone like Apple, which restricts those types of apps.

    Just wanted to specify that it isn't the screen, it's the programs.
    01-16-2010 03:39 PM
  16. Ryan32's Avatar
    I think i have a very good grasp personally on what the difference between the two is... I owned a Palm Pre since release.... And a month before the N1 dropped, i switched over to a Touch Pro 2, and then to N1.

    Personally, i wasn't impressed with the Pre as a phone at all... I do however like WebOS. The notification system is great, and the overall ease of use is pretty nice as well. However, I came into Android the same way I did WebOS, completely blind (never used it before). I gotta say, i prefer Android.

    There are a few things i don't particularly care for (aesthetically) in Android, such as the dark black menu's with white text etc... I think WebOS looks more "modern" in that sense.

    The biggest items for me? Phone choice and App Market. WebOS's market is lame. Period. And of those apps, a lot are purchase only (without alternatives) and the price is way too high. Android Market blows Palms out of the water in my opinion.

    Now to phones, i think the Pre is cheaply made, and overall underpowered. The keyboard is damn near worthless for anyone with hands bigger than a 10 year old as well. Why Palm didn't go with a slider to the side, with a larger keyboard is beyond me.

    My first experience with a touch-only keyboard has been the N1, and i gotta say it's not nearly as bad as I thought. It's not quite as nice as my TP2 physical keyboard, but i've learned to type quickly and efficiently with it regardless.

    Overall, i am much more satisfied with my N1 than i ever was with the Pre. I believe Palms weaknesses in the market area as well as phone offerings is going to be their undoing. All of this is of course just my opinion.
    01-16-2010 04:00 PM
  17. land of the trill's Avatar
    I'm sure in future releases Android will continue to improve on the UI and implement 3D even more. I can't wait till the music player is revamped
    01-16-2010 06:59 PM
  18. jankyhanky#WP's Avatar
    Pretty simply, who will motivate more developers? The big G or Palm who struggles to even keep their offices open?

    Of all brands to rival Apple for loyalty and inspiration, it would be Google. Everyone loves Google (me a little less) and Google's pervasiveness is undeniable. Google will have more apps and developers. Google has its own site that hosts code. It has an annual developer challenge. Google has the money to throw around.
    01-16-2010 07:21 PM
  19. eXPerience333#WP's Avatar
    Howdy all!

    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)
    the simple fact that Android has the tendency to forget their phones when new ones come out, makes me not even think about owning one... but of course, if i could have one for free or w/e i would def use it. Android may have its bad sides, but its good sides are way too good
    01-16-2010 08:08 PM
  20. land of the trill's Avatar
    Android doesn't forget its phone when new ones release and I think you mean google instead of android. The only phone that will not be updated due to hardware limitations is the G1 but there is a ROM for that if you want to flash it but still won't compare to other phones. The G1 was an introduction and basically those who purchased were beta testers up until 1.5
    01-16-2010 08:37 PM
  21. Lupevalenz#AC's Avatar
    Ah ha! I'm onto your lil game peepz! All these videos have been taken at one time when you all gathered, unless you all really love them shirts that you use over and over. :-O That, and the Moto Droid isn't the big thing being talked about now, its the Nexus one! I'm onto you all! Still, great vids none the less
    01-16-2010 09:40 PM
  22. simp_10's Avatar
    Another Entry!
    01-16-2010 09:41 PM
  23. ads's Avatar
    I've been in IT for a long time, trust me, EVERY manufacturer of hardware and Operating Systems "forget" the older stuff eventually, and be glad they do. What you'll find is hardware and software continually leapfrog each other to some extent. Trying to "promise" that you'll never have to abandon even a whole architecture fails in the longrun.
    However, until the Android hardware changes significantly, I expect much of what the new version on the new phones bring can be compiled to run on the older hardware. You may have to wait for some ambitious hacker to do so and learn to apply your own updates, if it means enough to you.
    But limiting the progress of the Android Operating system to always be backwards compatible to older devices is a loser's game. Even your pc is outdated feature and performance-wise 6 months after you buy it. If you expect more from an even lower-end device, you're going to be disappointed. This is true of any hardware manufacturer or OpSys, not just Android.
    However, the open base of both Android and WebOS do allow some pretty cool possibilities. Android has been compiled for hardware that came with Winmo, and WebOS developers have produced a PalmOS "classic" emulator. You're never going to see this happen (in a way a non coder can implement) on the proprietary systems.

    I don't know that the latest version of Android will get compiled for the G1, BUT, I don't that it won't, OR that much of it won't somehow be added to an earlier version. What you need to understand about Linux, the base OS for both Android and WebOS, is that it is an amalgamation of endless binary programs. So there is no reason many of the functions in a new version can't be compiled into an older version, save things that use hardware that older devices don't have. But you can't expect the prime providers to do this, it isn't in their best interest, they're going to focus on forward products, and I'm glad they do! Look at the function these tiny devices are starting to provide, it's just awesome! Let the enthusiasts or small business guys fill the backward need, I want the new stuff being worked on!
    ADS
    01-16-2010 10:09 PM
  24. leonl's Avatar
    Another Entry!
    01-16-2010 11:39 PM
  25. KU Kitch's Avatar
    - 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 guess people say that Android is somewhat "complicated" and hard to figure out, and it's certainly much different coming from an iPhone, but I haven't had much trouble at all getting up and running on it. I think the main issue is just finding out and remembering what/where the buttons do/are as the iPhone really is that simple. However, it's pretty refreshing to use something like this that's so different from the Apple OS.
    - 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've played some with my friend's Pre, and I now have a Nexus One myself and both are pretty solid. Coming from an iPhone, I really like the notification system period. I don't have extensive use with the Pre system, but Android is pretty darn good in my opinion.
    - Do you use a task manager app on Android? Which Android phone do you have? Is a task manager necessary?I haven't noticed that a task manager is necessary. The N1 of course seems to work pretty smoothly even with 5-6 different apps running and updating in the background. May not be great for battery, but it doesn't seem to hurt the processor in this case.
    - How do you rate the various touchscreen keyboards on Android? I've played with several different Android phones in stores, from the Droid to the Cliq to the G1 and so on, and while I do think it takes some getting used to I've found that the Nexus One keyboard is really quite good. People talk about the lack of multitouch harming the keyboard, I don't know how it helped the iPhone, because if I was touching two buttons at once it would jump over and select whichever letter I let off of last. It's taking some getting used to, and I can't type quite as horribly as I did before and get some of the words that the iPhone would pick up, but I really like having the selection bar under the keyboard to pick a word in different instances.
    - Does the fact that different Android phones have different versions of the OS bother you? I guess I hope that they get things sorted out and that the platform doesn't get too fragmented, but as far as my experience goes I'm only using one phone so whatever.
    - Is Android accessible to the average, non-geek user. I think the answer is yes... but how could it be better? I guess maybe things could be made more obvious and clear through a manual perhaps? I don't really know as I really didn't read much about my Nexus One, just put in my Sim and went about trying to figure things out.
    01-17-2010 08:33 AM
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