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Old 31st October 2011, 02:20   #1
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Smile WebOS - Palm Pixi Plus

WebOS - rings a bell?

Do you remember?

Well, most of us would not.

The serious enthusiasts here might have followed the birth & the untimely sad demise of this Mobile OS.

Circa 2007 -

Palm in a bid to be a Phoenix - came out with this completely new OS for mobile phones - the WebOS.

Started with the Palm Pre, then Palm Pixi, then Palm Pre Plus, then Palm Pixi Plus.

Palm - VERY VERY SADLY - could not sustain it.
What they primarily lacked - was an ecosystem & the sheer number of APPS available by then on the Apple iPhone.

Fact is - they lost out to the BEST CEO of the Era -
(R.I.P Mr. Steve Jobs)
[I am not an Apple fan BTW - just admire the Late Mr. Jobs for his genius & skill & guts)

So its like you don't say Shane Warne is a pathetic bowler coz he was clobbered for sixes & runs.
He faced Sachin Tendulkar.
Period.
He got hit - not his fault. There was no other outcome possible.
It was THE Sachin Tendulkar. End of the story.
But that doesn't make Shane Warne any less a bowler.


Similarly though HP :
So they bought out Palm.
The Whole company.
& the whole world thought - WOW now will be the War of the OSes.

By then you had
iOS, Android, BB os, Symbian, MeeGo, Windows Mobile 6.5, Windows Phone 7 (non-Mango), WebOS & Bada.

OH MY GOD !

HP took waaaay too much time to get out the Pre 3, Veer & TouchPad.
PRECIOUS PRECIOUS time lost.
The fact that could not meet the high-end hardware requirements back then - did not help them either.

Hence - WebOS suffered the same fate as what MeeGo is suffering today.

A FANTASTIC product.
Pathbreaking,
Revolutionary,
Good, Complete, Better than the competition.

But ......


So why am I talking of WebOS ???....................
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Old 31st October 2011, 02:38   #2
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Default Re: WebOS - Palm Pixi Plus

Simple.

I could not resist the itch.

I somehow wanted to try it.
Wanted to know 1st hand - what was it like?

BB & Apple were never options for me. (please let us NOT discuss this)
Symbian was failing me miserably. (having tried the S60 3rd edition, S90, S60 5th edition & S60 ^3)
Windows Mobile had totally failed me & Windows Phone 7 was a half-baked OS.
Bada - wait, who, what ?!

Android - I already had. Was loving it. & intended to stick to it for quite sometime.
But...
I have multiple phones - & really wanted to experiment.


Besides - how many of us can really say - that we have USED WebOS.

Well I have - so I thought of writing about it.

How?

Well - I have a Reliance CDMA number.
Everyone knows the dearth of actual handsets in this network mode.

You either have the dual sim Micromaxx, Karbonn, Lemon etc. etc.

Nokia offers phones that are best kept in a antique museum (6275 etc etc etc)

Only Samsung offers decent phones - but NOT smart phones.

BB cdma is prohibitively expensive.

So - after much research, the itch to try something new and the adrenaline rush of going ahead with an experiment -

I ordered a Palm Pixi Plus - from the US of A - via Ebay Global Easy buy (free shipping)
for a meagre 4351 Rs.
Yes - 4.5k !

What's a Palm Pixi Plus?

Lets say - its the ultimate hardware dream.

Capacitive touchscreen with BRILLIANT COLOURS
+ FULL QWERTY (akin to BB keyboards)
Excellent build quality
Some revolutionary technology
Wifi, Bluetooth, Email, FB,, Contacts sync, Gmail, Gtalk, Twitter
Threaded sms view
2MP cam with flash
Memos
Document Editor,
PDF reader
Awesome battery life
GPS
8Gb inbuilt memory
Accelerometer
600 Mhz processor
Adreno 200 GPU

Full Specs here: Palm Pixi Plus - Full phone specifications


Now - this was a CDMA phone - with NO simcard slot. Network locked to Verizon.
& hardly any1 knew about the company Palm in 2011 & even few people were aware of WebOS.

So unlocking it was a ROYAL pain.
(but then that's a different story for a different time).


BUT - once that was through.

AWESOME !!!

I cannot describe how fluid & smooth the OS is!

All apps DO run simultaneously - all visible in cards on your screen.
Multi-tasking is the BEST I have ever seen.
The gestures & swipes are so simple, so smooth, so intuitive & innovative.
The keyboard while cramped is a pleasure to use & addictive for it's feedback.

Email & every possible account synced within minutes.
(only WiFi here - no internet over CDMA network possible).

The build quality - is one of the BEST I have seen in a long long time.
The screen literally makes you smile.

& to think - this is ALL in a 2007 OS & a 2010 phone !

Unimaginable !

Makes you wonder ... What went wrong !

Sadly - a LOT of things did.

While a lot of people in the know - made best of the opportunity of WebOS stores closing few weeks ago by buying up super cheap TouchPads & phones ...

Most of us will not even have a trace of WebOS in our memories.

This is my dedication to 1 of the better OS I have come across in a long time
(Like Ubuntu & JoliCloud & Android)


I can post a detailed review with pics & videos if anyone is interested.

But I would rather wait for some response than just keep rambling on.

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I would also love - if someone else could share their experience.

Any comments?
Questions?

Any apps to share?

Anyone else wishing to experiment?
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Old 31st October 2011, 11:08   #3
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Default Re: WebOS - Palm Pixi Plus

am also struck with an CDMa # and actually hate the CDMa phones , you review is welcome break. how did u manage to unlock and does this phone have a sim slot .
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Old 31st October 2011, 11:33   #4
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Default Re: WebOS - Palm Pixi Plus

When i was in school, Palm was kind of wet dream for me - used to drool over the pictures and ads which I got from magazines my relatives got me from abroad.

Sadly, when I was in a position to buy a smart phone, palm was no were to be seen.
Thanks a lot for this write up - please do share the pains you took for unlocking it.
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Old 31st October 2011, 11:53   #5
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Default Re: WebOS - Palm Pixi Plus

Great writeup doc, the palm os is indeed a nice well thought out OS, but unfortunately, did not survive the BB/Apple devices.

I would like to experiment with one too, but need Internet connectivity and would prefer it on GSM rather than CDMA. Would you know if its available for GSM? And how easy/tough would it be to get it unlocked here?
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Old 31st October 2011, 13:22   #6
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Default Re: WebOS - Palm Pixi Plus

I am also thinking about buying unlocked (software unlocked by seller on ebay) Palm Veer for my Wife. only thing i am not sure about is if 3G Video calls will work in India on it?
if somebody can answer, i would be grateful.
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Old 31st October 2011, 13:27   #7
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Default Re: WebOS - Palm Pixi Plus

Quote:
Originally Posted by rm_arjuna View Post
am also struck with an CDMa # and actually hate the CDMa phones , you review is welcome break. how did u manage to unlock and does this phone have a sim slot .
Yes - that is precisely how it began.

Unlocking :

Very difficult since it does NOT have a sim card slot.

The phone starts with an activation attempt - trying to connect to Verizon - ends up connecting to automated IVR activation of Reliance Customer Care - but no matter what you try - it FAILS.

Because the Hex ID of this particular phone is NOT present in Reliance's database.

I went to 5 different WebWorlds.
Most of them refused to even touch the phone & flatly told me forget about it.

One guy recommended a mobile shop repair guy - there began my 1st ray of hope.

Yes, I had ALREADY tried downloading custom ROMs or new software flash kits for the phone - but none of them really worked - since the phone would not be detected on the PC at all.

I lost a good 12 days trying every P&C.

Then started approaching a few 'known & trustworthy' mobile repair guys - who could unlock it.

Again - almost all of them flatly refused.
Some would keep the phone for 3-4 days & then return it back saying it's not possible!

I was losing hope & wondering if it was a big mistake to undertake this experiment & whether I should have been satisfied with my Nokia 6275.

But then there was 1 ray of hope.

A guy in Borivali. I stay at Sion.
I did go all the way - not once - but 13 times.

As he had a LOT of issues.
He in-turn had contacted one of his most skilled technicians & there was a LOT of things done to unlock it.

Not all of it is - how can I put this gently - entirely above the line.

It was a bit of experiment for even the skilled technicians as they had no experience with a Palm Pixi.
So I was quite involved with them during the whole process.

It involves 5 steps:

1. Finding the right ROM to flash the phone with & make the lock screen disappear - giving you access to a bare phone
2. Contacts in Reliance at the server level - where you can feed in 'manually' the HEX id & device codes for Reliance to accept the model number
3. A Reliance Handset Change Card (HCC) - costs 25 Rs. - but is VERY difficult to come across - I found it only in 1 store at Kandivali - after hunting through about 23 stores (some manually, some via phone calls).
4. Re-submitting your documents to Reliance for verification
5. Disabling of a particular security key from Reliance server which causes the phone to disconnect in 3 seconds. (This requires a letter from the customer authorizing it)

All this sounds simple - but it is not.
Neither is it entirely clean.

But it was an experiment - & the end result is EVERY bit worth it.

Now - the guy who did this for me - has got the hang of it & has unlocked 5 more phones of the same model after he finished with mine!


Quote:
Originally Posted by theexperthand View Post
When i was in school, Palm was kind of wet dream for me - used to drool over the pictures and ads which I got from magazines my relatives got me from abroad.

Sadly, when I was in a position to buy a smart phone, palm was no were to be seen.
Thanks a lot for this write up - please do share the pains you took for unlocking it.
Indeed! Palm was the stuff of dreams them! All that power in your hands.

All the actual pains - posted here. Just look up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalvaz View Post
Great writeup doc, the palm os is indeed a nice well thought out OS, but unfortunately, did not survive the BB/Apple devices.

I would like to experiment with one too, but need Internet connectivity and would prefer it on GSM rather than CDMA. Would you know if its available for GSM? And how easy/tough would it be to get it unlocked here?

Yes - but its MUCH better than BB - which is essentially thriving on the Indian herd mentality.

& it lost out to Apple on the apps & eco-system.

Nevertheless - I am not saying that this can be your mainstream phone.

But it's a good option at the price
&
Just sad about the demise of WebOS.

GSM version available with AT&T. With SIM Card slot.
I have seen it 1st hand - the guy who unlocked my phone - showed it to me.
He managed to unlock that as well.

Working fine.

BUT - I am not sure if GPRS is working on it.

Usually - as was the case with the 1st gen iPhone - GPRS does not work well on network locked phones that are unlocked here.
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Old 31st October 2011, 16:02   #8
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Default Re: WebOS - Palm Pixi Plus

I bought the Palm Vx in '01 and have been hooked on to the software ever since. Feel terrible about Palm abandoning its products & platform (no Palm desktop for Windows 7!!!).

BTW, you can get really cool CDMA phones + smartphones from cellwala.com. I recently purchased a Samsung Fascinate from them and the deal went by smooth as silk.
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Old 31st October 2011, 16:03   #9
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Default Re: WebOS - Palm Pixi Plus

Doc, can you please pm me the contact number for the Borivili chap? I'd like to see a demo of the piece and test the GPRS before buying a Palm.

Admire your perseverence. Looks like you're a die hard Palm fan.
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Old 31st October 2011, 21:16   #10
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Default Re: WebOS - Palm Pixi Plus

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
BTW, you can get really cool CDMA phones + smartphones from cellwala.com. I recently purchased a Samsung Fascinate from them and the deal went by smooth as silk.
Yes - Sadly no Palm Desktop.
Even HP could not push that through.

Hey - Seriously - thanks for the site.

Nice site - best part - dedicated to CDMA !

CDMA scene in India is pathetic.
Loved the site - layout, interface & options.

U really bought a 22k CDMA phone from an Online store !?!!!

It makes sense to some extent -
1. you are always online so best to purchase from an online store
&
2. Android + CDMA - ultimate combination. + Samsung = icing on the cake.

but ...

Just a small question :

Wouldn't it make more sense to shift to GSM using MNP ?
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Old 31st October 2011, 21:21   #11
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Default Re: WebOS - Palm Pixi Plus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalvaz View Post
Doc, can you please pm me the contact number for the Borivili chap? I'd like to see a demo of the piece and test the GPRS before buying a Palm.

Admire your perseverence. Looks like you're a die hard Palm fan.
Thanks.

PMed you.

I am not a die hard Palm fan.
I WAS a die hard Nokia fan.

But quintessentially - I really appreciate & promote GENUINELY good products
& never buy stuff because of the hype, marketing or herd mania.

I always like to dig deeper and find the core - if that is good - then I can ignore the packaging.

Hence my support for WebOS & Android.

P.S. : Perseverance is just 1 of the many bad qualities I have
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Old 1st November 2011, 00:13   #12
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Default Re: WebOS - Palm Pixi Plus

heh, this thread should have been made earlier. My summer project was to find out the state of affairs of WebOS and what HP should do about it

sadly, it turned out that its fans were more committed than the management, and it turned out to be the CEO's undoing.

I have a feeling that HP simply did not have the dedication or the agility to engage the smartphone market properly
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Old 1st November 2011, 01:12   #13
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Default Re: WebOS - Palm Pixi Plus

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post

I have a feeling that HP simply did not have the dedication or the agility to engage the smartphone market properly
Or anything. They were one of the first to release tablets (swivel laptop with touchscreen, I have one, broken), digital camera (I have one back in India), smartphone on windows mobile (I still have an ipaq pocket pc, sounds like an apple product now).

But none of it never took off.
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Old 1st November 2011, 02:22   #14
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
heh, this thread should have been made earlier. My summer project was to find out the state of affairs of WebOS and what HP should do about it

sadly, it turned out that its fans were more committed than the management, and it turned out to be the CEO's undoing.

I have a feeling that HP simply did not have the dedication or the agility to engage the smartphone market properly
Sorry. Just finished tinkering and managing to get it work properly last week.

Though I purchased the phone on 1st March 2011 !


Yes - fans were more committed than the CEO.

Same case with Mr. Stephen Elop of Nokia.

Another dim-witted, half-brained CEO who has no sense of direction and how to guide the company.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
Or anything. They were one of the first to release tablets (swivel laptop with touchscreen, I have one, broken), digital camera (I have one back in India), smartphone on windows mobile (I still have an ipaq pocket pc, sounds like an apple product now).

But none of it never took off.

+1 to that.

They were a reputed 'hardware' manufacturer.

With major components in place.

But they could never act in the right direction & probably kept changing focus too fast.

E.g their tablet computer - the TX series. Disaster when paired with AMD - Amazing when 'modded' to fit an Intel chip.

Ditto for the iPaq. Awesome keyboard ergonomics & concept.

Last edited by GTO : 2nd November 2011 at 14:15. Reason: Please use the EDIT or MULTI-QUOTE buttons instead of typing one post after another!
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Old 1st November 2011, 10:08   #15
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Default Re: WebOS - Palm Pixi Plus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Suraj View Post
really bought a 22k CDMA phone from an Online store !?!!!
16K for the Samsung Fascinate. Except for clothes, I shop for everything online. Extremely convenient, cheaper and wider choice.

Quote:
Android + CDMA - ultimate combination. + Samsung = icing on the cake.


Quote:
Wouldn't it make more sense to shift to GSM using MNP ?
I am actually moving from GSM -> CDMA for coverage.
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