Palm Releases New WebOS, None of My Problems Fixed

Tuesday, 29 September 2009 at 6:38 am Pacific USA Time.

Well, this is frustrating. Palm released a new version of their WebOS, which means my phone got updated, which is nice… except I can't believe it's not butter. I can't tell the difference AT ALL. None of the issues I was having or the complaints I had about the phone were fixed or changed.

I had emailed someone from Palm and told him my issues. He replied that nearly everything I had mentioned was on their road map for future changes. OK, so they know about all these, released a new version, and didn't fix all of these… so they're still on the road map. That's frustrating.

People are asking me what kinds of things did I want changed. Here are a few.

  • There is no control over what sound goes off when certain things happen. Every email account makes the same sound, which makes the same sound as any system notification. So you have an email is the same sound as you have a tweet is the same sound as you just plugged in your phone, low battery, text message, or any app that sends a notification. All the same sound. So you have NO idea how important anything is by sound, and I'm used to knowing that from having Windows Mobile and some neato apps for that. This means every time a sound goes off, I have to take the phone out and check what it is.
  • There is currently no way to disengage the EVDO internet. I can turn Bluetooth and WiFi on or off, individually. But not the internet. Which means that if the Palm sees email and twitter open, it will just check those all night, and play notification sounds every time something comes in. I get about 30 emails overnight, and none are worth being awakened. I'm used to Windows Mobile letting me say hey, turn off the internet, and even if email is something is open, don't use the internet… which means emails don't come in and sounds don't go off. I can't do that on the Palm right now, so every night, I have to go into each email account, one by one, and turn off its notifications.

UPDATE: Someone on Twitter told me I CAN turn off the data. I have to go into the Phone, then preferences, and then turn off "Data Usage." It worked. However, my complaint would now be that this is in an illogical place. The Pre has a menu where you can turn on or off WiFi, Bluetooth, and Airplane Mode. I would think that turning Data on and off would also go there rather than having to dig for that in a submenu of the phone app. So Palm, please put that in a more logical and easily accessible place. :)

  • For those of you wondering why I just don't turn off sound or put the phone in airplane mode, I'm in a biz where I might get emergency calls or texts at all hours. I need to hear those sounds go off, but I don't need a 2am notification that my horoscope email just came in. :)
  • There is no way for me to see what apps Palm thinks I have open… what's running now including what's running in the "background." So sometimes I get messages about having too many cards open, but I only see three, and I know people are running more than 3 things at a time. Sometimes the phone is slow, and I assume it's from running things, but I don't know what's open. This also means I can't force close something… like force close email so I can sleep. :) I can swoosh email away, and it'll still pick up email.
  • I don't know what apps are starting up when I start up the phone. I may want to stop running some of those, but have no way to see what's running automatically on startup.
  • There is no way to tell the Palm that a Facebook or LinkedIn friend is not someone I need to see in my contacts every day. Right now, Palm is automatically syncing with my 300 or so Facebook friends and 200 or so LinkedIn Contacts. Well, that SEEMS cool, but honestly, any of those people that I was in touch with were already in my Outlook and therefore phone contacts. So now, my contacts move nice and slowly when browsing or searching because it's checking 500 people I never contact rather than just the 150 I had in Outlook. I'd like a setting that only syncs the people I had in my contacts ANYWAY, and doesn't add hundreds of people. Evidently, nobody at Palm has ever added a Facebook friend they don't really know or stay in touch with. As an eBay educator and speaker, a LOT of people add me on Facebook just to hear what I'm saying… but I don't know them!
  • To some of you, that may sound like "who cares" because if you don't use those contacts, just don't choose them. But every time I go to write an email, and start typing my friend's name, it searches my contacts… and shows me 6 people who aren't "Caroline" because I have a bunch of contacts that have "car" somewhere in their name. Same for dialing by typing to search for contacts… I'm shown HEAPS of people I will NEVER email or call. I'd just like to be shown MY contacts, and then Palm should use things like LinkedIn and Facebook to connect to those people and keep their info updated.
  • There is no way for me to "calibrate" the touches on the Palm. Many times I THINK I'm clicking on something, the Palm sees that click as a few millimetres away… which has lead to fun things like deleting the wrong email, opening about 15 new "compose" emails each day that I have to then cancel, selecting the wrong text, opening the wrong app, etc… I would like a calibration tool that shows me a bunch of X's and has me click on it. Windows Mobile was great with that since their clicking was WILDLY precise… stylus-precise… I used to use my fingernail. The Palm seems to be designed for you to click clumsily with thick fingers, but being able to calibrate that would still be good.

On another note, and this is not Palm's fault, I find that many apps people are developing rely WAY too much on the phone being online. My navigation has to be online, but I can't use EVDO while talking on the phone. So driving and navigating at the same time are OUT, which is BAD. An RSS reader I downloaded connected to my Google Reader account. OK, that seems clever… until I noticed that it didn't keep ANYTHING offline. So I got on a plane, and had NOTHING to read. That is less clever.

I'm not always going to be online, and someday, when I can turn off just the internet, I may want to be offline a bit to save battery life. Apps should take that into consideration!

So Palm, I ask again for you to please soon release an OS upgrade that fixes what I'm talking about. I can't be the only person who'd like to set up different sounds for each email account, or different sounds for different notifications. I can't be the only person who'd like to turn off the internet at night, or force quit apps I don't even know are running. Please make these closer stops on the road map! Thanks!

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Categories: Just An Observation

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