I love my Palm Pre but I'm starting to think it's something of a dead platform that only me and a handful of others are on.
Here's the thing, if you have a fledgling OS then you need to get it out to as wide an audience as possible attracting both end users and developers. So what the feggin' hell are they doing at Palm HQ?
I'll never understand why they went into an exclusive deal with O2 in the UK. Sure, I saw an O2 advert for the Pixi promoting WebOS a couple of weeks ago but that single advert is all I have noticed. You'd be forgiven for thinking O2 were being paid by the likes of Apple to sit on WebOS and keep it hidden because the Pre isn't getting any of the O2 advertising budget whereas they were shouting about iPhones from the rooftops. "The iPhone - only on O2" - remember that one?
Mind you, y' can't blame O2 exclusively. What are Palm doing to address the shortfalls of the Pre? Take this article from PreCentral written in August 2009 naming a list of flaws and missing features, yet here we are nearly a year later and most of those flaws and missing features are still relevant. Come on Palm, where's a firmware update to address 'em?
WebOS is beautiful - the best mobile OS I've seen, better than iPhone, better than Android, better than Blackberry. Comparing it to Windows Mobile is like comparing Apple OS8 to Windows95 back in 1998-ish - there is no competition, yet like then the masses are buying devices with these lesser operating systems because they either haven't heard of the Pre/WebOS, want to stick with a bigger brand or established OS or still think Palm hardware runs cranky-old PalmOS.
WebOS seems to be becoming more reliant on the homebrew community than commercial developers. Installing Preware is a must just to get some basic patches in place for functionality Palm should have included three firmware updates ago. The App Store is a waste of time with crappy fart and quote programs being stuffed in there every day instead of anything actually worth looking at.
What do other users think? Check out PreCentral for a source of blinkered desperation. Most people airing their complaints on the forums there get shouted down with comments about how young the Smart Mobile market is and how there is plenty of room for WebOS. Maybe so, but it'll be those with a foothold in the market today who prosper tomorrow. Apple are in, so is Android. Even Microsoft is struggling with this one having peddled a pig of a mobile operating system with their brand stamped on it for so many years. WebOS needs to be taking off now if it's going to fly tomorrow. The trouble is, now HP own Palm you get the impression a mobile phone OS isn't what they're after. Maybe it'll make it to a tablet - I'd certainly like to see it on one, but who is going to buy it if the developers aren't there and Apple have already saturated the marketplace with the iPad?