Tag Archives | Palm Web OS

Good News for Android's User Interface?

All Things Digital’s John Paczkowksi, is reporting that Matias Duarte, the guy in charge of the user interface of Palm’s WebOS mobile operating system, has left Palm and appears to be headed to Google, presumably to work on Android. WebOS is the only phone OS that’s in the same league as Apple’s iPhone OS when it comes to general usability, so Duarte clearly knows what he’s doing.

I’ve said before that the one Android upgrade I most want isn’t tethering or automated translation or built-in music streaming–it’s an overhaul of the interface that makes the OS, core programs, and third-party apps more consistent, efficient, and enjoyable. If Duarte is charged with making something like that happen, he could work wonders.


Palm OS is Dead! Long Live Web OS!

Palm Pilot PreThis is news, but it’s anything but unexpected: Palm CEO Ed Colligan says that the company won’t be making any new devices that run the Palm OS. The operating system which was synonymous with the company for almost a decade and a half (even after Palm started making Windows Mobile devices, too) is going away, and the company will focus its OS energies on Web OS, which will debut in the Palm Pre smartphone.

I assume that there will be at least a few folks who will argue that Palm OS should have survived–hardcore Palm fans, maybe, and certainly at least some developers who make apps for the platform. But for many of us who are Palm users and admirers (past or present) the notion that Palm OS is giving way to Web OS isn’t just acceptable, it’s kind of delightful. It’s been painfully obvious for years that Palm OS was hopelessly antiquated, but until Palm unveiled the Pre last month, it wasn’t clear that it had any kind of viable strategy for replacing it.

Web OS doesn’t run Palm OS programs, and has only a few specific interface features which are pretty much the same as in Palm OS. But from what I’ve seen of it so far, it’s got the Palm DNA in spades. The philosophies behind the original PalmPilots are the same as those reflected in the Pre–it’s just that the technology that Palm can call on is unimaginably better than they were in the mid 1990s.

I was a Palm fan for years; then I became someone who thought that chances were he’d never own another Palm device. Now I think I might again–and saying goodbye to the Palm OS is part of the remarkable rebirth that Palm now stands a reasonably good chance of pulling off.


Palm’s Spectacular Hail Mary: Pre Smartphone and WebOS Operating System

I’m going to have lots more to say about the demo of Palm’s upcoming Pre smartphone and WebOS that just ended here at CES in Las Vegas in a bit–but for now I’ll just link you to Ryan Block’s coverage at GDGT and share some photos I took. The device looks very impressive and the OS looks exceptional, and neither is an iPhone knockoff. It’s very dangerous to get too excited about a product based on a demo–and Palm is only saying the Pre will ship in the first half of this year (on Sprint). But this is by far the most impressive Palm demo I’ve seen since I first saw the original PalmPilot in 1995. If the Pre lives up to its unveiling today, it’s not hard to imagine being a huge hit and the beginning of a mobile platform that matters as much as the original Palm OS did in its day.

Photos after the jump…

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