What do you want in webOS 2.0?

Palm is expected to release webOS 1.4.5 shortly, but for many the big update will be webOS 2.0. Little is known about what’s included in the update and we’re not certain it will land this year. With CES in early January, webOS 2.0 coupled with new hardware would certainly make a big splash. As for me, it’s time to revisit the launcher. With the expanding selections in the App Catalog, it’s getting more and more difficult to organize apps. Dare I say, but borrowing folders from iOS would be a good start or perhaps using tabs. Regardless of what features you’d like to see in webOS 2.0, one thing we can all agree upon is speed.

New hardware aside, what do you want to see in webOS 2.0? Folders, widgets, HD Video? Sound off in the comments.


  1. Having just switched over to the Evo from the Pre (despite really loving the Pre) it has become obvious of the glaring holes left behind in WebOS. A camera that zooms would be nice, tap to focus on the camera screen, voice dialing, voice recognition in any app (like text messaging) would be great, as that is an awesome feature on Android. Facebook/ flicker/ twitter status updates integrated into the contact app is amazing.

  2. I use WebOS Quickinstall to add tabs. That’s how I stay organized. Adding folders like the iPhone would suck.

  3. Christopher Meinck says:

    I’m surprised at how much I enjoy folders.Tabs would be a viable alternative, almost reminiscent of Palm OS launchers. Anything to stop the left/right/up/down swiping to find apps.

  4. Christopher Meinck says:

    I think Palm has to be careful not to go too crazy adding features. I wouldn’t want them to get caught up in adding features just because it’s available in Android or iOS. I’d like to see them refine webOS, rather than mucking it up trying to win the feature race.

  5. I would like to see some space between the snooze & dismiss buttons when the alarm goes off. I’m to droggy early in morning to have to concentrate on being precise!

  6. Zooming camera (though that’s really something I’d rather see solved by hardware) and GPS that actually works on the Pre Plus…

  7. The Pre has turned out to be a big joke! It was a great idea and I have enjoyed it but Palm just can not deliver. Where the hell is the Flash software they have been telling us since last winter they were gonna be installing? Most of the Aps for Palm are completely worthless also… I am dumping it for a real phone in a few months. The EVO.

  8. Performance, performance, performance. webOS is too “sticky”. Quit an app, and for the next 10-15 seconds the interface will stop and stutter. When you run the phone app you can practically dial the entire number before the UI even notices. In general I’m good with the features of webOS but the whole user experience just needs to be refined so the thing feels less janky.

  9. Christopher Meinck says:

    @James You realize that the EVO doesn’t have Flash yet either right? Until it gets Android 2.2, it won’t have Flash.

  10. NeoteriX says:

    WebOS needs more maturity.

    Microphone and Camera APIs need to be developed so bar code scanning and voice dial/recognition applications can even be developed. The bluetooth stack needs more development as well, to help perfect problems with car systems and headsets, and also to provide bluetooth HID/keyboard support.

    Lastly, though a physical keyboard is great, an onscreen keyboard is still a necessity for when you want to quickly punch in a few numbers or letters without opening the phone up.

  11. I agree with Bob M. One word: responsiveness. When it comes to GUI responsiveness, I have to say WebOS really sucks. Some may blame the hardware, but I believe this is an OS issue. The UI should be given priority over all background tasks including app cleanup, garbage collection, and whatever else the device seems to be doing all the time when I’m trying to get something done. If this were fixed, I would be happy to recommend the Pre to anyone. Right now I’m hesitant because the user experience can be so insanely frustrating, especially as compared with other smartphones including PalmOS devices. Oh, and we need a better/revamped email app. The current one is pathetic when it comes to POP mail accts. Again biggest issue is performance.

  12. sapient says:

    I think faster response time is crucial. An app may take a few seconds to load and it is fine as webos allows you to multitask without any issues however the UI response time affects user perception a whole lot more.

  13. Craig Boudreaux says:

    My wish-list includes:
    Voice Memo
    Notepad app (writing on the screen)
    An actual ‘Universal’ search across all apps like PalmOS had
    Better Memo app with categories and password protected items for extra security.
    Better Task app with date/time based notifications
    Memo’s that sync with a cloud or desktop application
    Tasks’s that sync with a cloud or desktop application
    Flash support

  14. True hands-free with voice activation. Better blue tooth reliability (my headset keeps getting disconnected for some reason).

  15. James Cameron says:

    My sentiments exactly.

  16. someone who thinks you're not entirely informed says:

    It has Flash lite now. Which is better than Flash that was promised a long ass time ago, and about 5 missed deadlines.

  17. Michael says:

    No doubt about that: S-P-E-E-D. I just need more speed. Even if Palm tried to increase speed with the latest firmware update, the Pre is still too slow.I want my device to react fast and smooth, just like most of the Android devices and the iPhone do.

  18. Christopher Meinck says:

    My original statement is correct. Flash won’t be available until 2.2.

    You cannot purchase an EVO today and expect Flash out of the box. That won’t come until HTC releases 2.2. There is no timetable for that release and some have speculated December. You can visit sites like XDA to install Flash lite.

    Do you have the EVO? If so, what has your experience been with Flash lite.

  19. Sync to Desktop App is what’s needed.
    They left all their loyal users in a lurch the last time.
    We’re still waiting.

  20. With the delays in getting the Pre out the door in the first place… it’s hardware was already half a generation behind when it launched. The WebOS is fantastic, but as others have stated already: it’s a pig when it comes to sucking up resources.

    What I want to see in the next-gen Pre (Post? Apres-Pre?):

    – Faster CPU! The Snapdragon 8X72 is a dual-core 1.5 GHz chip. WebOS could run on it’s own dedicated core, for very speedy performance. Having numerous cards open with this processor should be a breeze. The OS should be snappy, and should never even be thought of. WebOS is so easy to use, that it I’ve gotten quite fast at all the common tasks. I should not have to pause, or wait for a scroll-list that is sputtering along, or an animation to finish. This one to me is absolutely critical to compete with the likes of iOS or Android.
    – Better battery life. I would happily suffer a little bit more width or thickness if it meant I could get a few more hours of video, web surfing, GPS use, etc… out of my Pre. Keep the removable battery!
    – Better screen. Let’s face it… the new iPhone 4 screen looks fantastic. I think they have nailed the sweet spot of not too big, and not too small… and the smaller pixel size looks amazing. Don’t re-invent the wheel: use the same tech as the iPhone. And a glass screen would be nice…
    – Optional on-screen keyboard. While I actually like the physical keyboard, my wife and mom (we all have Pre’s) HATE the small keys. Having an option of a on-screen keyboard would be the best of both worlds.
    – Better overall construction. I was the first one in the door at my local Sprint store on launch day (literally)… so I have an original Pre, with none of the “fixes” from slight manufacturing improvements over the lifespan of the product. But the “plastic-y” feel, and the flexing of the slider are all things that could be made better, with better materials and manufacturing. Palm’s proven that they can design a great phone… but don’t settle for 2nd best! Out iPhone, the iPhone! How about an Aluminum case… or even better… a carbon fiber case!
    – Better camera. I have always been quite happy with the Pre’s camera, but with vastly better silicon out there these days, it’s time to upgrade. I want an 8mp camera (are there 10mp mobile chips?) , that can shoot HD. What the heck? How about full 1080p HD? With the better processor and battery… it would be quite doable. A second LED for the flash would also be welcome… and could then double as a small video light (yes, I know the battery drain would be much larger… but it should be my option).
    – Removable memory. I was sorely disappointed that the Pre didn’t have this originally. If I want to store a ton of memory hogging music and video… I don’t have room for apps. Why should I have to keep trading off, when I should be able to just slip in my own 32GB microSD card, and be done with it? It would add minimal cost, and give the user the flexibility to increase their storage as high as they want to go. If you are adding HD video, this would make a whole lot more sense too…

    – Heading into the OS itself… the fact that I can’t easily add extensions to my phone numbers is ridiculous. Sure you can add forced pauses, but the number is hard to read on the display with all the extra characters. How about just letting me add “x5678″, and have the OS be smart enough to add a pause when it sees the “x”… and then dial the remaining digits. How nobody at Palm thought about this initially is baffling to me.
    – Let me choose the intervals for my alarms. If I want to set an alarm 6 hours prior to an event, or 17 minutes before… I’m out of luck. Forcing me into using a small set of options, doesn’t seem to follow the “freedom” motif that the Pre is supposed to project. To set the actual event time, I have to scroll through the clock. Why not just extend that to the alarms? Keep the pre-configured ones, sure… but add a “custom” option so I an have an alarm go off whenever I want before the event.
    – When I minimize a web page to a card, it eventually “gray’s out”. If I have more than one card with a web page, and they are all gray’d out… I can’t tell which one is which. The only way to find out… is to have the entire page reload. Quite a pain. Can’t they just cache the image of the webpage and “freeze” it? When I maximize the card again… it can go grab an up-to-date image.
    – Along the same lines, when I hit the “stop” button… most full browsers will just display what it has already downloaded. WebOS blanks the whole page, and I have to start over from scratch. I would like to see this pretty standard feature, implemented in the browser.
    – Also as previously stated here, there needs to be a better way to manage my large and growing collection of apps. I’m OK with either grouping by dragging into folders… or the old PalmOS “tab” method of grouping.
    – Better data connectivity with my computer. Oh, how I have longed for the day when I could open a “transfer” app on my phone, and just drag, say, a picture… from my phone… onto an icon of my PC… and have it copy the picture to my home computer! And how wonderful would it be to tap that PC icon, and find a folder full of MP3s, and just drag it onto my phone? Ideally, it would be cloud-based data transfers, using some sort of installed client on the home computer. I would be almost as happy with a Bluetooth data connection, and the same ease of use mentioned above. Why isn’t this doable?
    – Keep the platform as open to developers, as it is right now! That’s one thing Palm has done absolutely right…!
    – 802.11N
    – 4G capable. Enough said.

    And now for a couple that aren’t related to the OS or hardware per se… but still things I want to see:

    – Touchstone charging kit for the car. I’ve had to jerry-rig mine, but I can’t imagine my car without it now. I can leave it on the touchstone while talking on the phone, and it doesn’t run the battery down at all. I can leave the GPS on all the time, and run TeleNav, and it doesn’t drain the battery. Sure, I can pry off the USB cover and use the cigarette lighter adapter… but seriously… after using the Touchstone where you can just place it on to charge, and grab it to go… why would anyone want to go back? It would be awesome to have an “official” version with some variant of the “miracle” material on the bottom of the current Touchstones, that would grip the dash and hold the phone vertically… so it is visible while driving (making TeleNav a whole lot easier to use!).
    – Until I get my WebOS based tablet computer from HP… I would love to have a Bluetooth, fold up keyboard for my Pre. Of course, this would only be needed if there were a decent word processor / office suite for the Pre. How easy would it be to court users, if there was a fully functional word processor on the phone, ready to go, when you walk out of the store? The optimal solution to me? Have HP purchase Dataviz… and make Documents To Go work on WebOS. They were on the stage with Palm at the CES when the Pre was unveiled. Work has obviously been done… it shouldn’t take that much more work to complete it… especially with HP’s deep pockets and commitment to the WebOS. When that WebOS tablet does roll out, how many would they sell if it was a fully functional office suite right out of the box? If HP owned Dataviz, this is entirely doable.

    That’s all I can come up with right now… but it would make for one hell of a device if the next WebOS phone had all of the above! I’d sure stand in line for it… how about you?

  21. My wish list:
    1) Use the phone and features while USB is connected
    2) a Windows Explorer function to organize files on the Pre
    3) Better battery life
    4) removable Memory, I was shocked when I first learned it didn’t have it, when MP3 players have 180 gig, this should be an obvious requirement
    5) Palm Desktop software link, my original salesperson said the Pre would synch automatically to my Palm Software – NOT – spent hours downloading and backpedaling to get what I really needed to work
    6) I’m holding my breath on the Flash thing
    7) I agree with Craig B, Voice memo would be fantastic
    6) Speed, Speed, Speed

  22. Tony Cheung says:

    Virtual keyboard, a must for tablet and 1 hand operation.

    More language input support such as Chinese, Korean, Japanese…

    More payment options for app store and in all countries.

  23. Just bought my wife an Evo as an upgrade to her 3yr old Moto Q. I haven’t had much time to play with it since I live on one side of the country, work on the other and go home on alternating weekends. That being said I love both phones and my iPod Touch. WebOS an iOS are very intuitive platforms that offer amazing ease of use. Android offers amazing customization opportunities. While I am planning to move to the Evo in the coming months, I am keeping my options open to any newer, better phone between now and then.

  24. Some people will just never be happy- webOS is a great system. I agree that Palm should kept it unique and just try to refine it. My wife has a Hero but is always asking to use my Palm Pre. And I’m still using a 1st gen Sprint. Only complaints I have will be solved by hardware upgrades- a faster processor and more RAM. I’ve been able to patch everything else!

  25. I second that! WebOS really has allot going for it. Keep Palm unique!

  26. Panagiotis Govotsos says:

    The two things I’d like to see are enhanced core PIM functionality & web caching. The PIM apps included in WebOS, whie barely functional, are just that – barely functional. They are such a step backwards. My original Palm Pilot Pro had more functionality 13 years ago! No categories, search limited to a few fieds in contacts, no calendar searching, no invitations, no integration of calendar & contacts, etc. It’s unforgivable in a device that espouses connectivity so much. Palm has so stangled the API that we don’t even have the luxury of 3rd party development (Agendus, DateBk, etc) to fill in the gaps. Sure there are some fine patches that enhance functionality, but here again, lousy APIs shackle. Uber Calendar is wonderful, but the API requires multiple API calls to get the info needed to populate the calendar, and all calls are queued so nothing else can be done until al calls are resolved.

    I originally started using smartphones because I was tired of carrying both a phone & PDA. Even m old StarTac / REX 5000 clipon combo did more than the Pre currently does. I get so frustated with the PIM sometimes I actually consider carrying my Clie or Treo too to get a full PIM in spite of losing the phone integration.

    A minor thing, but a major irritant, is the lack of caching in the web browser. It is so annoying that when I swipe back to the previous page (even a static one), I have to wait for the page to get reloaded all over again. This is probably my greatest productivity waster. Overclocking allevieates a lot of the performance issues leaving this as a glaring inefficiency. These things are supposed to increase productivity, not hamper it.

    it’s a short list, but big irritants.

  27. eric colon says:

    i’ve had this prÄ“ for two months already and I can’t seem to even watch a damn music video yet because of ADOBE FLASH PLAYER has not been updated yet. If anyone knows anything about..when this supposedly flash player is going to be available, can you please give me a clue. I can’t watch any video at all. I thought Palm would be a cool gadget to have, but I guess I was wrong. I’m very disappointed. Ridiculous.

  28. Panagiotis Govotsos says:

    According to press releases, Adobe has completed Flash for mobile devices & released it to manufacturers. It’s now in Palm’s hand to actually get it out the door. Once this happens, the wireless carriers have to approve then make availabe to users the OTA update. Apparently, from changelogs, it’s not in 1.4.5, so the assumption is it will be in 2.0 – scheduled for Fall release.

  29. 1) auto BCC function in missing in email app. To keep my mail on desktop which i sent from mobile, i always have to forward the mails from mobile to my email ID.

    2) Putting a limit on email download. while roaming data charges are very high and if i don’t keep limit on how many KB of email i should download, my data bill comes horrible.

    Above 2 points are basic and i wonder why Palm is not coming out with a patch or update. Pl do something Palm…

  30. spectrauru says:

    The ability to add more card screens. Limiting us to just the three screens sucks. I would like to have screens organized by utilities, games, systems, work, etc. Move my applications to those screens. I hate scrolling and scrolling to get to the app I want.

  31. The email issue is on your side – you need to be using it as IMAP, not POP. I can’t remember if WebOS has IMAP functionality (I used to own one on sprint and just ordered a Pre Plus on Verizon that I should be receiving on Thursday).

    What network are you using with data roaming charges? I take it you are not in the U.S. or in a rural area in the U.S.?

  32. Textmaster says:

    As from my name, anyone that reads this and helped develope the Palm Pre Plus knows my one complaint. VIBRATE NOTIFICATION ON TEXT MESSAGES IS USELESS!!! (at least the AT&T version is) No matter if it is on vibrate or ring and vibrate, the buzz is so soft and short that you need to be standing completly still with the phone in your palm (no pun intended) if you want to feel it. The buzz lasts like…less than a quarter of a second (would that be a milisecond?)
    With the palm 680 it gave you a long buzz, and it was strong enough to jingle the change in your pocket! I had to up my text limit to unlimited because now I recieve “did you get my text?” messages which add up a lot when you text like I do.
    Why when I recieve a phone call, it vibrates multiple times so I can actually feel it. But not for text messages? Especially in this day in age when everyone is texting, why would Palm make it so you don’t realize you have one or ten text? You would think that would be an important feature as opposed to one they reduce to something you will never feel if you wear the phone. :(

  33. Textmaster says:

    I just read my text, so anyone know if that is something that can be fixed through some sort of update?

  34. Card screen? Do you mean a New Page on the Launcher?

    Launcher (top left) > New Page

    I think I misunderstand the statement. :/

  35. Software & OS

    AndroidOS level rock’n voice recognition
    Google Apps by Palm andor Google. Google Sky, Google Googles, Google Listen, Google TV
    Two additional volume and screen brightness settings: 1 higher and 1 lower
    Customizable Smart Profiles based on GPS location and docking stations
    Front facing camera APIs
    OCR APIs
    2nd locked screens mode for widgets maybe. Not sure exactly how that might work.
    Complete HTML5 compatible browser (so FaceBook & Google Docs 100% works)
    Gyroscope APIs
    Extensive BlueTooth & USB v3 APIs (which can connect game controllers)
    The most used Preware patches
    Face tracking software on front facing camera for the voice calls
    Front and back camera object tracking APIs
    Handwriting IME input
    Runs Flash, SilverLight, iPhone, & Android apps
    Multiple boot capability (Win7, Android, & WebOS, BlackBerryOS)

    My ideal hardware

    Keep what Pre already!
    3.7 inch or larger screen
    Non-block slider keyboard with numbers along the top
    HDMI output (or future spec) video output
    Front facing camera
    Dedicated camera button
    Dedicated voice command button
    Dedicated person button
    Uber-sensitive gyroscope
    Bose stereo speakers
    Mini optical trackball
    FM transmitter & receiver
    BlueTooth USB audio transmitter & receiver
    BlueTooth USB video transmitter & receiver
    Ultra-Wideband USB
    greater than 128GB of Internal Memory


    Smart card reader

    Now the same as above with 3, 5, 7, 11 inch screens. :)

    Sorry for going over board. Much of it is many years away versus just WebOS 2.0 specific.

  36. You’ll be back!!!!

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