• WebOS 2.0 Wishlist

    by  • 2010/07/12 • Ideas, Software, Thoughts, webOS • 0 Comments

    I have been a webOS advocate since I first installed the emulator on my computer and saw just what the software could do. WebOS has seen some much needed updates over the past year but there are still some things that I feel are lacking or even completely missing as it is today. I just wanted to put together a wishlist of features I would love to see in webOS 2.0.

    Gmail integration – This is obviously something that Android does great and even Blackberry’s have great support for. WebOS however is lacking some key features when it comes to Gmail. Even if webOS simply got Gmail tagging and archiving down that would probably be good enough for my mobile needs. Gmail as it currently stands just leaves something to be desired on webOS.

    Google Navigation – One of my favorite features on any modern mobile platforms is Google Maps. When using an Android phone that experience is amplified 1000% by the simple fact that if I want to search for something I can get free turn-by-turn directions to my destination. Google has already said Google Navigation will be coming to more mobile platforms, let’s just hope webOS is one of them.

    Unified preferences app – It is great that you can have a whole page of the menu for preferences, but it really should all be combined in one app for device preferences. This not only includes sounds, notifications, screen brightness, and bluetooth, but it should also have things like email accounts, chat accounts etc. This way you can go one place for everything and not have to open up individual programs to find the settings for your email/chat/calendar/etc.

    Customize quick menu I was informed that this is possible just the same way you can reorganize the launcher menu. I had no idea but I feel like an idiot now that I never tried it. – This can be accomplished with an easy hack, but what if I don’t want my contacts on my quick menu? I have too many contacts to scroll through anyway. In order for me to find anyone I need to call I use the universal search feature. I just don’t understand why this feature hasn’t been there all along.

    On screen keyboard – I got used to the Pre’s keyboard faster than I thought I would. The keys are a little cramped but the layout is one of the best I have ever used. That being said, sliding open the Pre for all typing gets to be a hassle. The lack of voice recognition and on screen keyboard actually makes me prefer the Pixi’s form factor more than the Pre’s. If webOS had either speech recognition or on-screen keyboard the Pre’s form factor would be the clear winner.

    Speech to text – I typically am not one to like voice recognition software but sometimes it comes in really handy. If I want to place a call while driving, or do a quick search in Google or IMDB, typing isn’t always the easiest way to do it. If this feature doesn’t work well it could be a disaster. But if it works about as well as speech to text in Android I will be satisfied. Also voice activation for calls and voice announcements for who is calling would be a great added bonus.

    Swipe down action for cards – Swiping left and right is great, swiping up makes sense, but how about swiping down? I don’t exactly know what it could do but the option seems like it could be beneficial in some apps. The only thing that comes to mind would be on webOS printers. Swiping up gets rid of the picture/document you want to print, while swiping down prints. Maybe on phones swiping down can send information to another program like sending a picture in an email.

    More Gestures – There’s lot of potential for the gesture area and while forward, backward, and scrolling makes good use in apps, there is plenty more that can be done with the gesture area. Maybe a two finger pinch brings up voice command, or two finger swipe up to open the on screen keyboard.

    Video chat – Video chat is over-hyped and I am sure under used. But if HP can bring a true open standard, cross platform, and 3G usable app to webOS I think it may see a bit more use than just a check box on a spec sheet.

    Macro mode for camera – This could be a software or hardware issue, in either case, it is badly needed on all webOS hardware. Apps for scanning barcodes, OCR, and augmented reality suffer from no macro mode on the camera.

    Information on wallpaper/widgets – Widgets would kill the aesthetics of webOS. But not having any information available for my upcoming calendar appointments, unread emails, or messages really makes webOS inefficient for business users. If I want to check my schedule for the day I need to turn on the phone, unlock the phone, open the calendar app, and then scroll through my day. That requires a minimum of 1 button push and 2 clicks. Calendar information should be available either on the wallpaper itself (embedded text or widget) or be able to be added to the lock screen. I should be able to see what I need to be doing or working on with 1 button.

    More pages in menu – I know it is an easy hack, but the average user does not hack their phone. If webOS is going to be getting more great apps, 3 pages just won’t cut it. Consolidating preferences may help, but there needs to be more room besides scrolling down. If Palm has some good ideas about app organization (besides folders) I am all ears.

    This is just some of the things I have thought of over the past couple of weeks and honestly I am super excited to hear what Palm has in store for webOS fans. How about you, what are your much desired webOS 2.0 features. Please let me know in the comments.

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

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