• I’m Sorry Lifehacker, but you’re wrong

    by  • 2010/06/11 • Android, iOS, PDA, Review, Thoughts, webOS • 49 Comments

    I was thinking the other day, you know what my site needs? More rants. That is exactly what I bring you today cause I am finally fed up with something in the technology industry. What exactly am I fed up with? Well, a lot of things, but this particular post is about the complete disregard for what I argue is the best mobile operating system available, webOS.
    I understand that the iPhone is the king of the hill (well technically RIM is but they suck anyway and are only ahead because of the giant corporate following) and Android is the new buzz word, but how can so many comparisons just ignore the most intuitive, productive, and flexible platform? Honestly I really am sick of the fact that webOS is left out of most mobile device comparisons simply because the “tech industry” doesn’t use it because it isn’t cool enough to get headlines. The only thing that gets webOS into the headlines is when one of their amazing and thought provoking creators leaves Palm to work for another company. Why is this big news if webOS sucks? The truth is, webOS is fantastic and these other mobile operating systems will benefit from the talent behind webOS. But that doesn’t mean webOS is going to lose out because webOS is already ahead of all the competition.
    The thing that has held webOS back is the fact that it was only on 2 phones and one of those phones had questionable build quality. But lets face it, there will be a new webOS phone in the future and I think we can all assume that Palm/HP aren’t stupid about what hardware they need to use for the next webOS phone. The thing that finally made me write this rant was lifehacker’s article comparing iPhone to Android. I mean really, I understand that both platforms just announced major updates, (iOS 4 and Android 2.2) but I think that webOS, which hasn’t seen a major update for at least 4 months, is still ahead of the game and I think it is about time that people start to recognize it.
    I took the liberty to fix Lifehacker’s article to actually take into account all three competing mobile operating systems in the consumer market.

    Ease of use; Winner: 2-way tie
    This one we can call a tie between iOS 4 and webOS because both interfaces are just as easy to launch and run apps and both have little things that you need to get used to. Double tapping the home screen to switch apps isn’t super intuitive and neither is forward/back gestures in webOS. In either case, Android is the loser.

    Openness; Winner: webOS
    Obviously iOS loses here, Android is open source for its core OS and allows installing apps from outside of the marketplace but so does webOS. Where webOS takes the cake is the fact that there is no rooting of your phone to get access to parts that are supposed to be locked down. How to root the phone is FREAKING IN THE DOCUMENTATION!!! It doesn’t get any more open then that. And lets not forget the open nature of the platform to allow apps to be written in HTML, CSS, Javascript, or C/C++ if you want. Due to this wide open nature, amazing things like Preware has been made available to tweak every last “kernel” of your phone.
    Google also loses by making their “default” apps (Gmail, Maps, etc.) completely closed source and even takes down anyone who tries to share them. Palm on the other hand has written every built in app according to the standards they hold their developers to and made the apps all open source so you could see exactly how they built the app. Android and webOS are both fairly open, but webOS is more open and is the winner here.

    Battery Life; Winner: Bogus Category
    WTF is this doing here?!? This has everything to do with hardware and almost nothing to do with software. In any case, I think we can agree that Android loses this category with almost zero battery conserving settings and complaints on almost every Android device. This is a bogus comparison when trying to compare mobile operating systems. If this were a debate between the iPhone 4, Evo 4G, and Palm Pre Plus this would be a perfectly valid comparison.

    Multitasking; Winner: webOS
    This is a no brainer. WebOS does multitasking better than any other mobile OS available period. Android is the only other one that even can run apps in the background but there is a reason that a task killer is the first thing every Android phone needs. And lets not even get into the difference between running apps and using approved services and fast app switching.

    Software Keyboard; Winner: 2-way tie
    iOS has evolved into the best software keyboard and Android actually gives you options for keyboards, I would call this a tie because if you want to use swype on Android, you can. A software keyboard is only good if you are used to its idiosyncrasies and can use it. Personally, I rarely have to get used to a hardware keyboard, but webOS doesn’t even have a proper soft keyboard option.

    System-Wide Search; Winner: 3-way tie
    They all have it, they all work about the same with the same oddities and features. It is a tie. But just for the record, Android and webOS did it first.

    Notification System; Winner: webOS
    Once again iOS is the clear loser here, and while I liked the idea of Android’s curtain at first it just plain sucks after using it for a few months. I can’t clear a single notification without clearing all of the notifications and I can’t have extended controls in a notification. I know it is possible, but in all the apps I have installed, I have never seen actual controls inside the notification, just an icon that always stays there and opens the app when pressed.

    Voice-to-text; Winner: Android
    This works really well 80% of the time in Android and is the clear winner without a doubt. The bad thing is, I only use it 5% of the time I am inputting any text. So it is great 4% of the time I input text but really wouldn’t be a missed function and I still would prefer a proper physical keyboard.

    Syncing; Winner: 2-way tie
    Who the hell wants to plug their phone into their computer anyway? iOS loses here because you need iTunes for updates and setup. Android is great as long as you use Gmail and have a Google account. WebOS creates an account for you and stores all of your settings AND apps installed. So with webOS, if you break/lose your phone, you can log in with your Palm account and not only do all your settings from every service (sans Facebook) come back, but the apps you had installed come too.

    Non-Google Syncing; Winner: webOS
    Ever heard of Synergy? You probably haven’t, but it wins. Gmail, Facebook, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and Exchange are all there, out of the box. There is not contest here.

    Tethering; Winner: webOS
    iOS is just now putting this feature in but because it has the typical Apple restrictions, (no teather in to the iPad, really?) and Android still costs money on any carrier that will allow it, webOS wins because it is available on the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus and is completely free on Verizon. Yes I know if you root your Android phone you can do it for free, guess what, you can do the same thing in iOS and webOS so no one cares. Heck, Windows Mobile 6.1 had this feature and it worked great and was always free, doesn’t mean WM is any good.

    Release/Update Consistancy; Winner: Bogus Category
    HUH?!? really? What does this have to do with how good a mobile OS is? because you know you will get an update every year? Is Windows better because you get patches every first Tuesday of the month? Or the fact that a new and improved Windows will come out every 3-5 years? NO it makes it worse. This shouldn’t even be on this list.

    Customizable; Winner: 2-way tie
    If we are talking about user customizations, Android wins hands down. Widgets are great, icons can be placed almost anywhere, and you can set anything you want as a background image. But if we want to talk about the underlying OS, that is a win for webOS. Just go look up Preware and kernel patches and then come back and see why I picked this as a tie for Android and webOS. Oh and I agree, webOS needs to allow more home/lock screen customizations. Widgets sure would be nice but not at the cost of slowing my phone down like it does in Android.

    Apps; Winner: 2-way tie
    WebOS cannot complete here. Both Android and iOS have >50,000 apps and at that point it just doesn’t matter. There will probably be an app for just about everything. I would actually call this one a slight win for Android just because you can still install apps outside of the marketplace and the web store they have announced should be a huge success. Oh ya, and that whole Apple approval process is a joke.

    Web Browsing; Winner: 3-way tie
    They are all based on webKit so what does it matter. Some will scroll faster than others and some have better resolutions, but that all depends on the phone and doesn’t matter for rendering. Android and webOS may have slight wins over iOS because they have embraced Adobe flash but once again, that is a phone specific thing because the device has to be up-to-snuff for playing flash content. A three way tie.

    Gaming; Winner: 2-way tie
    Android doesn’t even have a language that enables the rich games that iOS and webOS allow. And besides the quantity, webOS has every bit of the quality as iOS so it is a tie.

    Music Player; Winner: 2-way tie
    Android’s built in music player is terrible, iOS’ is as good as any iPod’s (which doesn’t really say much), and webOS’ is just OK. The fact that webOS’ player is open source makes the player really stand out from the crowd when you install simple things like lyrics, and wikipedia searches straight from the player. I know there are better 3rd party players on all the platforms but that is not what we are comparing here. So it is a tie between stock iOS and stock webOS.

    Free Turn-by-Turn Navigation; Winner: Android
    This is a killer feature, but lets be honest, this will probably come to iOS and webOS simply because Google can sell more ads if it exists on all the platforms. For right now though, it is a win for Android.

    Google Apps Integration; Winner: Android
    This is like saying iOS has the best iTunes integration. OF COURSE ANDROID IS INTEGRATED WITH GOOGLE APPS. If Android did not have the best app for Gmail I think we would all be very worried. This is one of those arguments that fluffs Androids numbers IMO, but I will leave it in just for the sake of argument. Every mobile OS will integrate with their own offerings, the problem is, Apple and Palm don’t have email or web app offerings. This is more a win for Google and less of a win for Android.

    Google Voice; Winner: 2-way tie
    Yes this is a cool feature, I have it (and have had it since it was Grand Central) but I never use it because it is iffy and I don’t think the service is quite there yet. In any case, both Android and webOS have native apps for Google Voice and iOS is stuck using a web page. Android integrates deeper into the system, but all of the basic features/settings can be set on either platform so it is a tie.It has come to my attention that webOS no longer has a native GV dialer since some of the recent webOS API changes. I was unaware that a recent update broke this compatibility. In any case, it is somewhat of a bogus category seeing as accounts are still invite only and I am sure only 1-2% of people who have GV even use it for their daily calls.

    So what is that total again? This time taking out the stupid frivolous comparisons.
    iOS = 7
    Android = 10
    webOS = 13

    Do I own a iPhone, Android phone, or Palm device? No. I have a 4 year old Windows Mobile device (HTC Vogue) running Android 2.1. I have use plenty of iPhones and have convinced quite a few people to buy webOS devices. I just needed to let the few people who read this site know webOS is the best mobile operating system currently available on the market. I just hope other technology sites can finally recognize how great webOS is, and maybe stop focusing on flaws with a phone that came out when the original iPhone was still big news.


    Avid learner with a passion for technology and people. He is always trying new things or taking something apart to make it better.

    49 Responses to I’m Sorry Lifehacker, but you’re wrong

    1. Pingback: iPhone Vs Android Vs webOS: A Counterpoint | Lifehacker Australia

    2. keishi
      2010/06/11 at 17:46

      This is a SMARTPHONE comparison chart.

      It’s doesn’t need to include an OS which in the future will only be used for printers. >:)

    3. 2010/06/11 at 18:34

      Actually, Keishi, webOS is definitely going to be used in SmartPhones by HP. Their CEO said it himself after people kept complaining about him not saying it was.

    4. 2010/06/11 at 20:30

      Android doesn’t require a task killer. In fact using a task killer on Android results in worse performance and battery life. Android manages tasks very well.


    5. keishi
      2010/06/11 at 21:41

      Oh I concede my point then HP is an incredibly popular manufacturer of phones with a large, unshakable market share and in addition to that prior to being bought out things were looking nothing if not sunny for Palms WebOS after successful launches on Verizon, AT&T, and in Europe.

      • one.m.davis
        2010/08/12 at 03:28

        I see good reason for you reservations, but before the iPhone, apple was not “an incredibly popular manufacturer of phones with a large, unshakable market share” either. Both came from the position of being computer manufacturers though, with decent (although very different) reputations.

        Personally I really like that palm is producing a phone that feels different to the competitors, and better in many (not all!) ways. Options and competition can surely only be a good thing, even if you love iPhone, and plan to stay with it, it can only benefit you for Palm to do well (eventually…)

    6. Shadowcat
      2010/06/11 at 22:01

      Rothgar- Thanks for posting this article. I think that this really needed to be said. I agree that WebOS does get a bad wrap, mostly because Palm isn’t as big as Apple, and it came out for a select set of devices as opposed to Android which is trying to make itself available to every device on the face of the earth. I know we have had this argument many times, but in the end I think that I agree with you, Palm making WebOS with definite hardware conditions ends up being a better thing for the end user. Anyway, WebOS is one of the most feature rich, and innovative OS’s out there. It includes many features out of the box, that can only be gotten via apps or other hacks or customizations to other OS’s. By not including it in comparisons users really end up losing out. I think that both Android and iOS have a lot to learn from WebOS and could really do with some innovative competition. I mean look at cards… For Android I have to remember that an app is running, go back to the home screen, and pull it back up. And iOS is a joke when it comes to that multi-step single line application scroll.

      However, I think that you may have been overly zealous for WebOS, trying to make up for all of the times when it has been slighted, when you wrote your article. However, before starting I need to admit that I have a certain bent as well. I’m and Android user. Its the only system that I have thoroughly used, and so far it has been great for me. Below are a few points that I disagree and agree with you on. Let me know what you think.

      Software Keyboard – I think that Android should win this category. To be honest I haven’t used the iPhone software keyboard as much, and I haven’t used the new multi-touch features at all, but that seems to be more input selection than anything to do with the actual keyboard itself. Like you said, it comes down to idiosyncrasies, so letting you choose the keyboard that you work best with is HUGE. I know that Swype or an app like it doesn’t come pre-installed on the Android, but Android is the only system out there that gives you an option to switch out the keyboard at an OS level without any other apps. And again, not as much to do with the OS itself, but I think that there is something to be said for the active developer community with Android for providing so many keyboard options.

      Notification System – I couldn’t agree more, I wish that Google would put time and effort into making the notifications easier to customize for all apps and give you more options once you drop down the notification bar. It stinks that every single application has to repeat the same notification settings… Do I want it to vibrate when it notifies me? Do I want it to make an audible notice? Which noise should it make? Should it continue to notify me until I respond? Why can’t I set all of these options in once place and have them be system wide? Furthermore, I hate only being able to clear all notifications, or having to enter an application in order to clear just those.

      Non-Google Syncing – I can’t speak to the WebOS piece here, but I’ve never had a problem syncing my Android phone to Facebook, Yahoo, Hotmail, or Exchange. All of it has worked seamlessly for me. Especially in 2.2, Android has taken some big steps to tie in with Exchange features. Maybe it is easier to setup in WebOS, I’m not sure, but it all works in Android.

      Release/Update Consistency – I would disagree with this category being labeled bogus. I get what you’re saying, that more updates doesn’t make it better. However, I think that this is still a big deal users. I like to see that a company is active with its product, and one of the ways that this is most visible is by receiving updates. And I’m not just talking about bug fixes, I’m talking about feature updates. Again, I can only speak to my experience, but it is REALLY refreshing to be able to go to http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/list , see issues that are pain points for me, vote for them to get fixed, and then get an email from Google saying that someone is working on my issue. One month later, I get another email saying that the issue has been fixed and that it will be going out in the next release of the product. It shows me that the company is invested in the product, listening to me as a user, continually trying to make it better, and being open about the whole process. And this isn’t only Google, this also applies to many of the application creators for Android as well. The community is thriving! So I would love to hear about how WebOS or iOS do in this area. However, I’m guessing that iOS completely fails in this category. My few experiences inquiring about pain points in Apple products, have been to get flamed by Apple fan boys telling me that I’m stupid for trying to do something that Apple didn’t foresee as necessary.

      Gaming – I’m not sure why you counted Android out on this one. I personally don’t really like gaming much on hand-held devices, but the games that I have played on Android have been fast, responsive, and detailed. And as far as language goes, I don’t get where you’re going there either. Android is Java based, there are probably more games (I’m talking mobile games here, I’m not talking about $50 PC games, or console games) than any other language out there, besides maybe Flash. Especially if you consider all of the games written in JavaME for cell phones. This article is kinda old, but I think that a lot of what he says still applies about Java in the realm of gaming: http://weblogs.java.net/blog/yensid/archive/2005/02/java_game_devel.html . I think that Java in the gaming realm is similar to WebOS in the mobile realm. It is counted out before it is ever given a chance. In many cases Java is just as fast as any native compiled application out there, and in some cases it is even faster.

      • 2010/06/12 at 05:56

        Thanks for the article reply. In regards to some of your replys:
        Software keyboard – I had to give a point to both on this because I think I have used the soft keyboard on almost every Android phone to date and while I think HTC’s keyboard in android is one of the best soft keyboards around; I simply type faster on the iPhone without having to spend weeks getting used to it. This hasn’t always been the case, but their keyboard has evolved into the most accurate hardware representation of a keyboard I have ever used on a phone. WM had a bagillion soft keyboards you could install and frankly, they all sucked.
        Notifications – Almost all of those settings are available in WM. With some phones you could even pick what color you wanted the LED to flash for which notifications. Unfortunately, neither Android or webOS are really to that point. But my main complaint was how the notifications happen in software.
        Syncing – iOS and Android can both sync external sources. The point was that in webOS it is all built into the OS and the synchronization can go for contact, calendar, and messages. With Android, almost all of those syncing options are 3rd party apps. And only in Froyo do I feel like they finally got Exchange syncing right.
        Releases – IMO Android’s frequent releases are hurting the platform more than they are helping. Fragmentation is HUGE and developers really have to not only chose what device they want to target, but also what version of the software they are running and hope that the next update doesn’t break anything. With iOS and webOS at least 90% of apps run on all devices. With Android some apps don’t work if you don’t have a keyboard, some need a certain resolution, etc. I think new features for free and bug fixes are great, but all three platforms have free updates, the problem is with Android is you have to wait for your manufacture, service provider, or hacker community to actually get those updates.
        Gaming – I was mainly talking about games that can take advantage of OpenGL ES for 3D rendering (2D casual games even my Nokia had). Java games I am sure are great but so are Javascript games. It was pointed out to me (because of this article) that Android has had an NDK for 3D accelerated games but now the major thing that holds them back is hardware fragmentation. Why make a game for Android with the NDK when only ~15% of the Android phones on the market can even play that game? And for games that are on all three platforms you can notice a pretty major difference between the Android version and the iOS and webOS.

        Thanks for taking the time to reply, and like I said when you bought your Droid. It all comes down to what you prefer.

    7. ray
      2010/06/11 at 22:15

      Last time i read something it said the person who made the web os going to Android..and web os is the ugliest thing ever but does running multiple apps very well bit and anDroid puts it were u don’t see wat apps u used untill u pull it up i don’t want all that shit in on my screen hide it

    8. 2010/06/11 at 23:52

      WebOS lost all it’s native Google Voice apps on the last API refresh. I can’t wait until there’s another one, I resorted to using YouMail for the time being on my Pre. YouView is nice, but it’s Text to Speech costs $$.

    9. 2010/06/12 at 00:40

      I get free turn by turn on my Sprint Pre…

    10. Jason C
      2010/06/12 at 06:40

      I use a Palm Pre, Nexus One, and iPhone 3gs a lot so I think I can add a bit to the discussion.

      Software Keyboard – Andriod may give you choices but the default keyboard for iPhone is a lot easier to type on.

      Notification System – Compared to the flexibility and the execution of the webOS notification, Android’s aren’t that good and then you look at iPhone javascript alter-inspired system and Android doesn’t look so bad again. webOS still wins by a mile.

      Updating – I don’t know who wins but is it not Android. “Warning: this update will wipe your device.” WTF.

      Apps – iPhone easily. Where is Kindle or Skype for Android? They might be coming but for today iPhone wins.

      Browsing – iPhone easily wins. It is faster and mplements more the the HTML5 specs (like SVG).

      Google Voice – Android easily but only because gDial Pro got killed on webOS with Google rolled out the latest arbitrary changes to Voice.

    11. 2010/06/12 at 17:03

      I’ve used a Palm Pre, Nexus One and the iPhone 3G. I do have to say I mostly agree with what’s being said in this post.

      However, I’d like to mention one more device, the Nokia N900.

      The OS in it, Maemo, is a good contender: In my experience, it is better than Android and iOS devices in several ways. It’s open (it’s open source afterall), it does multitasking like a desktop OS (and you can run dozens and dozens of apps without problems), has sync, navigation, good browser (plus it has Flash), has a good notification system, very customizable, has tethering, can work as a wifi hotspot…

      I’d dare to say that in openness, multitasking, customization, tethering, browsing and music it is at least as good as webOS. It does pretty good in gaming too.

      Where it is lacking in my opinion is apps. There are apps for it, but there are gaping holes in the catalog: For example, all the Twitter apps for it I’ve seen are pretty awful.

      Now if we just saw some more Maemo devices…

    12. Chris
      2010/06/13 at 08:10

      Wow. Quite biased. Sorry man, but it’s obvious you haven’t used an Android phone regularly. I know you said it in the article, but I could tell before I got that far.

      Android phones don’t need a task killer for one, it’s a myth. Anyone with a small amount of android development experience knows that.

      I don’t pay extra for tethering that’s built into my Android 2.2 phone. Not sure where you heard that from….

      I could go on, but others already have…

    13. Nid
      2010/06/13 at 13:40

      Err…have you tried running Windows 7 on a MacBook and compared the battery life between that and running OS X on one?! It’s 5+ hours on OS X vs 3 in Windows 7! So…ehmm, your “Battery Life; Winner: Bogus Category” is a load of crap! It certainly IS A VALID category, because battery performance is not solely a function of hardware, but most certainly of operating system and software as well!

      • 2010/06/13 at 14:12

        Well, seeing as the unibody macbooks integrate with their batteries in a way that no other notebook does (and a way that no version of windows supports) that is completely understandable since Apple optimized their OS to use their own battery technology. You would really have to look more into what is running in the background to and services available over just “battery life”. Linux on my laptop gets 2-3 more hours of battery life on my notebook than Windows does but that is mostly because 40-50% of the features and services that run in Windows don’t exist in Linux.
        The only way we could truly test this would be if you could install all three OSs on the same hardware. Otherwise everything is just speculation and opinion.

    14. Pingback: iPhone vs. Android?…What about webOS?! | webOSroundup

    15. 2010/06/14 at 01:13

      Very awesome post! Honestly!

    16. Pingback: Nokia Left Behind as Application Developers Abandon It for IPhone, Android (Diana ben-Aaron/Bloomberg) | Apple Secrets

    17. David
      2010/06/14 at 15:20

      I used a Palm Pre (sprint) and now I have an Evo 4G. Well first of all the hardware isn’t even a comparison, evo blows Palm Pre out of the water, and still blows it out of the water, but a lil’ less to the palm pre plus.

      I do agree that the notification’s on webos is best, and the multitasking is a little easier.

      but I’m way more happy with the android vs webos overall.

      Apps, I think Android is best, because the majority of them that are useful are free on Android.

      Browser, Supposedly with 2.2 it’s not webkit anymore it’s some sort of V8 javascript engine that they made for chrome which is suppose to be wicked fast. Only thing I’m hoping for is tabs. I don’t generally use android native browser because of the lack of tabs. I use Dolphin HD, but when HTC finally kicks into full gear and gets me 2.2 I’ll probably use the stock browser.

      and system management you honestly think android is awful?? Sure webos was getting better and better, but I had to restart that thing all the time because stuff would start acting goofy.
      also task killer isn’t really necessary, at least with the evo, the snapdragon 1 ghz processor is a huge plus.

      uhm… tethering? what are you talking about? Android does it for free and even asks you when you plug it in if that’s what you want to do.

      music player: how can you think android is worst than webos? that’s like my least favorite thing about webos, was that when you download a song from your email, it doesn’t go into your playlist, that you have to do it from a computer to get it on there.
      android you don’t. on top of that… isn’t cloud coming with a crap ton of awesome stuff, on how you can have your music/videos from your computer wherever you go?

      plus camera functions…you forgot about that, obviously quality is based on hardware
      but the video (which webos was super slow to get) sorta sucked, didn’t have LED light possibilities and if you had it going for awhile, it seemed to get bogged down (could be hardware I’m not sure if pre plus was better but evo 4g runs great… oh and 8megapixel with ISO tweaking abilities WAY better than Palm Pre)
      and whats with iPhone 4 not getting 8 mp camera? sure they decided to add in a bit of a better zoom, and a bit of a better ISO than evo, but still… I’d much rather have my… iunno what would it be… 20% increase in size? or maybe 30%

      anyway, overall I thought your opinions are intriguing tho. I like reading stuff like this so keep goin’!

    18. vijay
      2010/06/17 at 09:02

      Really good post. When I read this article in life hacker, I felt the same thing. webOS is not only Linux device, but it is having the DNA of old Plam OS (Garnet OS). That makes webOS is different than Android.

      I own apple iPhone 3G which I got in ebay for $250. It is good. I had G1 HTC, it was terrible phone which I ever seen on Earth. Android is not matured enough to in main stream yet. Google always give beta devices to test by users. I don’t believe in Google products. Android will stablize after 2 years, not near future.

      Apple phones are good but not openness, I don’t want to give power one fellow, I would like to encourage other companies which are good at mobile OS. That is webOS.

      HP bought Palm for 1.2 billion just for webOS and Patents. Nothing else. Understand the power of webOS.

    19. 2010/06/29 at 18:22

      Love your lateral thinking… I just made the same mistake as Lifehacker in my own iphone vs androidcomparison by leaving out webOS.

      I love to see variety in every industry and the webOS designers have definitely advanced the state of the art in many fronts. I just hope the would find a broader way to get to market and commercialize their innovation in a way that produced more choices of carriers and devices for consumers.

    20. 2010/07/02 at 11:32

      My take its the hardware first OS second, Android was not that great on the G1 but on the EVO its impressive.

      I have a N900 and I personally think Maemo / Meego is the best OS in the world. It beast all the categories above.
      I love the WebOS architecture and concept, but would feel more comfortable if it was fully open sourced.
      But the phone is bulky with a small screen making it much less attractive than an iphone4 for or droid incredible.

    21. aikorob
      2010/07/13 at 08:40

      In regards to the lack of apps for WebOS—-all of the Palm OS 5 apps are supported.
      After using Win mobile phones and 2nd gen iPhone……I am back to a Treo 680.
      Palm had the smartphone market sewn up because they were GOOD…..then they blew it!

      • one.m.davis
        2010/08/11 at 03:06

        As someone who had a Treo 600, 650, 680 and pro (nice form factor, but WM was “quirky” at best) I partially agree that Palm had the smartphone market sewn up because they were good.

        I personally would never have swapped my treo 680 for 1st Gen iPhone. But most of us that read lifehacker, engadget, etc (even more fo for blogs like this) are what I will call “tech-users”, the bulk of the market is not.

        The iPhone is cool (and good) and dragged non-smartphone users away from basic phones (old nokias) and also grabbed smartphone users.

        yes, I also agree palm blew it, but 2 reasons worth mentioning for this were, a) ignoring most of the world (webOS is basically a rumour in the most of the world) b) Going though (any) single telco, The treo was always availiable in GSM and CDMA, and also with phone contract or unlocked from palm, Losing this was a massive step backwards

        what do I use now?… A palm pre, it is amazing, it is much better user experience and better phone than the iPhone and Android phone I have used. (but these big screen smartphones are often so much more than phones) But, it is frustrating not getting all the cool apps that that others get (like being able to control a SONOS). To me, a smartphone is a device that is able to do far more than the creator ever thought of, and the key to that is apps, and a lack of apps really hurts a smartphone.

        I also am exited to see what HP do, dunno if I will still be with Palm by they time they do something cool, or if I will have to come back tho…

    22. Drayner
      2010/07/25 at 22:05

      Thank you for saying what i have always been thinking! I’ve been using webos for a year now, and it is clearly the best os out there. I am just hoping now that hp is going to utilize webos that it will gain popularity so I can get more awesome apps!

    23. josh
      2010/07/29 at 18:59

      This comparative rant is completely biased toward web os.

      Android is by far the best mobilr os out there. Pretty much every single thing you said android didn’t do or lost at, was a lie. I have a samsung moment. Upgraded from palm pre. I have had ipod touches and iphone’s. The only thing ipod touch or iphone has over android is the nusic player power. It is very loud and has customizable eq. The only thing palm pre has over android is the ease of switching between apps. All have apps, all are capable of playing music and 3d gaming and everyday stuff like that. By why is android better? Well, the open sourceiness leae room for potentially unlimited possibilities in functionality, custimization, etc.. for instance, with my samsung moment I currently have a truely 1 of a kind phone. I have a custom boot screen, got rid of the sprint logo on startup, i my phone is a mobile wifi hotspot, I have custom thems that I. Took apart to create a one of a kind theme that is absolutely the most awesome theme I have come across, you couldn’t even change the background in ios until 4. Palm is awesome, ios is awesome, especially 4, but android compared to them is like comparing a brick to a piece of clay. They are both the same thing, but the brick will always be a brick. A piece of clay can be developed into literally anyshape the user can imagine. Apps? Wow ios has 200k apps…. they are all retarded. A very few are even cool enough to dl. Palm has some good ones 2, but android actually has apps made by people who saw a need in there own device and solved the problem by making it do whatever they needed it to. 50k apps sounds small compared to ios but it is 50k apps that are usefull and make android so much better.

      Put it like this…. literally anything ios or palm can do, android either came stock being able to do, or there is an app for it. Can u say the same vice versa? Not even close.

      Android wins by miles as far as os, AND most android phones are faster than most palm and iphones.

      • one.m.davis
        2010/08/11 at 03:26

        I am glad that you like your Android phone and that is suits your set of priorities.

        One thing that concerns me about android PHONES is that they seems to be going the path that WM used to, and claim they were the best due to the size of the specs.

        I really hope that webOS has a bright future as it is a great OS. I’m not sure how much room there is in the “cool end” of the market, often there is only room for two sadly.

        But as I mentioned it comes down to needs a priorities. The pre suits me, for lot of reasons, size (for me almost 4″ screen = a brick in my pocket), physical keyboard (largely due to my palm treo heritage) and switching apps via cards just makes the device a breeze to use.

        It also comes down to mindset if you really think that Android wins by mile over iOS (and webOS) I think you should read this article.


        mind you, I expect you to still think that Android is best after reading the article…

    24. Juan Lozano
      2010/07/30 at 13:48

      In this comparison you should include “future OS updates”. I own a motorola cliq and eventhough my phone has less than 1 year a Froyo update is almost impossible. This is really sad since Froyo would improve the performance of this phone. Not only that it’s really dissapointing to see that users buy a phone with a two year contract and they will not receive update to the latest OS when the phone was released 9 months ago.

    25. Mike
      2010/08/18 at 02:56

      I think you’re about 75% wrong on battery life being a bogus category.

      Sure, the device itself is important, but if the underlying operating system disregards battery life then you’re just wasting well designed hardware resources.

      The operating system itself and the way it enables and encourages applications to not consume battery will give you far better results than the hardware.

    26. Pingback: iOS vs. Android vs. webOS | 1n73r.net « Mike Cane's xBlog

    27. Rurik Bradbury
      2010/08/18 at 11:47

      Where did Mark Hurd or HP commit to investing in WebOS as a phone platform?

      Whatever you say above, and however nice WebOS is (very nice IMO) it still appears to be doomed. Why would developers make apps for WebOS when they have 5 far bigger platforms already bidding for attention: iOS, Android, BB, Nokia, MS?

    28. Martin
      2010/08/19 at 04:51

      It’s super easy to call shenanigans on the LH chart. It’s obviously slanted against Android given that is:
      -A FOSS platform and therefor open.
      -It does multitasking, and I don’t just mean the saving and restoring of state, anything that you want to keep running just has to be created as a “service” and will keep running in the background.
      -It has an excellent notification system, that is easy to use and follow to the source of the notification
      -You sync with whatever mail box you want, it has a full fledged email client.
      -Tethering is available through many apps.
      -Android has many games, with openGL support even, it’s got everything the iPhone does there.

    29. zfox
      2010/08/28 at 07:56

      What do you mean that tethering was just added to iPhones? Tethering has been enabled by default on iPhone 3GS’ internationally, just not in the US.

    30. jeff
      2010/09/03 at 21:57

      Thank you for stating what should be obvious. Unfortunately most people choose iPhone as a social/technology crutch and are a case in point for herd thinking.

    31. BartC
      2010/09/09 at 02:26

      Coming from a Treo 650, I switched to a HTC Hero, mainly because I didn’t want to wait for a WebOS device to become available in Europe. I always liked Palm, because they know how to make something very functional, and simple to boot… they were just too late with the Pre (for me).

      Currently I got a Motorola Milestone, because I missed the physical keyboard on the Hero (and my wife liked the Hero). I’m glad I went with Android, since the lack of applications for WebOS is a serious dealbreaker for me.

      Had Apple come with the functionality in iOS 4 a good year earlier, then I might be an Apple customer now (though still missing the physical keyboard and real multitasking, and hating the closed ecosystem).

      I can’t deny that I like all 3 operating systems, but for me Android is the most interesting. I might try WebOS in the future, when the number of available apps increases significantly, although I might wait for a landscape slider model instead of portrait…
      the iPhone isn’t for me, though it’s the most responsive of the three (which can easily be explained by the lack of true multitasking).

    32. yacoobM
      2010/09/11 at 02:19

      I understand your point of view on all the operating systems, however nobody ultimately goes out and buys an operating system, they are buying a smartphone. I have used many devices over the years with different operating systems, but ultimately it was the quality of the hardware I spent my money on. I currently own jb Iphone 3gs that can do almost anything any other smartphone can do, it is reassuring to know that in 2 you guys will still be debating which is the ultimate os, i will still be using my 3gs because apple has really stepped up in how a smartphone should be built in terms of quality of product.

    33. 2010/09/25 at 01:59

      What blog platform are you using? I’ve been looking for a new one, and this seems much cleaner then wordpress.

    34. Me
      2010/10/04 at 14:29

      Actually, the OS has quite a bit to do with battery life. IE how many background processes are sucking juice, etc. This rant is full of flaws and bias but that’s the only one I’ll point out.

    35. Pingback: Found this very interesting read - PreCentral Forums

    36. WatchingHP
      2010/12/08 at 19:36

      webOS has this big thunder claim that it is the only true multitasker. The reality is 1) it can’t pull down web data and do phone audio at the same time, other than in an ATT WiFi environment 2) it wont open 2 copies of e.g email or SMS- it goes back to the miniaturized open card always, so you can’t really multitask during a conversation by pulling up lots of emails like you can on a computer 3) if you pull up 2 PDF files it works…. for about 1 or 2 minutes and then at least one crashes, usually on trying to increase the text size to read it on the 3inch screen 4) you can pull up Google Docs, but lots of them are VERY slow to pan around in, especially if you pull up 2 documents, so really the multitasking is a “feature level” CLAIM based on OS capabilty per se, but is NOT a “user level” EXPERIENCE for this type of business work. Now music and phone functions DO operate VERY well, automatically going to the phone and back to music when the phone gets used, and is very nice…. Which is why, until I tried to do these things, after getting the phone assuming multitasking meant businesss multitasking, I couldn’t figure out why Palm didn’t really really really push the multitasking… and then I realized they knew this all along and were stringing us up in the smoke house. As they did with Flash. As they are doing with the webOS version 2 roll out. Remember this HP: I ponied up about $100 a month in user fees for the privilege of using your device on a plan for a smartphone that I trusted you to keep up to date and as functional as possible. You promised Flash, pointing out that ihone didn’t have it, but you NEVER to this day have delivered. It’s part of webOS 2, or at least a beta Flash experience is reputed to work, but you in your corporate wisdom are denying me use… by not issuing the update. My girlfriend’s Android looks GREAT and the USER level experience is fairly “multitasking” capable… so you all suck me for a chunk every month. It’s NOT the carrier’s fault, it’s your glacial roll out hold your CARDS to your chest attitude that is killing your webOS. Did you get great patents for the Palm buy out price, because you are not making waves in the smart phone world…. so, again, WHEN is webOS 2 coming to our phones?

    37. JR
      2011/01/26 at 21:56

      What about Adobe flash support? Or am I missing something here? I am extremely tempted to jump from my iPhone 3GS to an Android or HP Palm phone when my AT&T contract expires. Disclosure: I work for HP.

    38. akarasuma
      2011/04/29 at 08:30

      I used to have a Palm Treo and I loved it until the day I dropped and broke it. After that I got a Blackberry, and as convenient as some features can be, the truth is I long for my good old reliable, super quick Palm OS.

      I’ve been trying to find out how webOS compares/differs from Palm OS, and whether I should get an iPhone, an Android, or a webOS smartphone when it’s time to update my phone. With webOS 2.0/3.0 coming out soon and the changes to both iOS and Android in the two years since you wrote this, I’d love to see an updated post when the time comes. Just sayin’.


    39. Leon Zap
      2011/05/16 at 12:36

      You can have rich games in Android. The gamesdo not have to be written only Java. if you wrote tha game using JINI or the NDK (native Development Kit) it can be written in C or C++ and will be blazingly fast. I’ve seen ports of Wolfenstein which is now available to the public to Android. Angry birds is written as a JINI port as well. How do you think were the developers able to make an Android version fast if it was Java?

    40. Pingback: iOS vs Android vs WebOS | Chris' Blog

    41. Badandy2021
      2011/07/12 at 17:00

      God , you’re retarded.

    42. Cdma
      2011/10/11 at 04:58

      I want a I want a smartphone this all ready has fruit taxes and has a large appsupport until 1 exists I will not buy a smartphone

    43. Cynic
      2013/09/02 at 23:43

      WebOS is absolute shit, which is why even HP had the sense to shutter it.

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