HP/Palm announce Pre 2, webOS 2.0 [the competition]

webOS 2.0 review, Palm Pre 2

HP/Palm have officially announced webOS 2.0 and the Palm Pre 2. Dieter, covering it for our sibling site PreCentral.net, says:

WebOS 2.0 is without question the biggest webOS update we've seen since Palm first unveiled webOS at CES in January 2009. You could argue that the main features -- Stacks, Just Type, Exhibition, improved speed, and a bevy of developer tools are mainly evolutionary and you wouldn't be wrong. However, the sum of these updates adds up to an OS that is coming into its own. Rather than try to play catch-up with Apple's iOS and Google's Android, HP chose to bolster webOS' advantages over those platforms. webOS 2.0 is not a me-too operating system.

Odd, though, that HP/Palm dumped it in a press release, and once again right before an Apple event (though iOS and iPhone shouldn't have much, if any role to play tomorrow). The original Palm Pre and webOS unveiling at CES 2009 deservedly won best of show, and Palm out engineered Google at their own game last year -- creating a web-based, connected, mobile device. HP can solve the money problems, Palm can solve the carrier problems, but now they both have to solve the momentum problem.

Check out Dieter's webOS 2.0 in 10 minutes video, then come back and let us know what you think.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 27 comments. Add yours.

Sam says:

Launching apps with a 1 Ghz cpu still appears to be slower than the 3GS. As much as I like webOS, color me unimpressed.

usmc says:

A slider again, are you kidding?

Joe McG says:

The screen is 480 x 320. 2008 called, they want their technology back...

cardfan says:

Hard to believe HP wasted webOS 2.0 on this device and missed any marketing opportunities (press release??). The Pre should've been abandoned. All users on Verizon or Sprint wanted was a slab phone (like the iphone). Android makers filled that need. And Palm/HP still doesn't get it.
If there is a slab in the future, then the best thing to do was to wait and polish that OS some more...many features still look half baked such as music player. This pre2 will be more negative than positive in trying to rebrand. If that's even what HP is attempting.
This is DOA. Same 3.1" screen..same resolution from 2008. What was HP thinking? This is sure to build momentum for a palmpad..lol
HP should stick with microsoft. At least they require certain specs.

west3man says:

I'm mostly pleased. I think other models will have more impressive hardware specs. I will be there'll, when those get to Sprint.

Glenn says:

Seems like HP would have come out with a really knock you socks off phone. This is a so so update to the pre that will be out classed by current, and new devices just months away.

CJ says:

A quote from Mark Hurd, current CEO of HP:
"Everything we do must be for the customer. If it's not, then we need to reconsider why we're doing it."
I wonder when he's gonna start taking his own advice.

Bill Sprague says:

Yup, slider. Some of us don't have thumbs that do virtual keyboards very well. I may sell my iPhone 4 and get one just for the convenience.

west3man says:

Glenn, the o.s. is already ahead of the game in very real ways.
CJ: Mark Hurd is not the HP CEO and has not been for a couple months or so. He is at Oracle now. Google it.

CJ says:

@West
Then I guess HP needs to update their info. Check it: www.hp.com/hpinfo/execteam/bios/hurd.html

derrythe says:

Meh, I loved webOS. Got the Pre when it came out on Sprint. I dealt with the glitches and jitters I got when using it, but a year later scrolling through list was still stuttering, apps took forever to load, and God forbid you ever turn this thing off because it took 3-5 minutes to boot. Plus the hardware was cheap.
This does not make me want to switch back from iPhone 4, a year and a half and what have they done?

The Reptile says:

Software looks good, but then again that was never Palm's problem. Form factor and build quality killed the Pre and a lack of credible hardware killed the Pixi.
Hopefully, this is just a measure to remain in consideration until another handset come along. I don't see an updated Pre on anyone's short list.

Webvex says:

Steve was right yesterday. Mobile is a two horse race, and HP/Palm isn't one of them.

JNGold says:

I really think this is a "transition" or "holdover" device for HP. Kinda like when HP took over the Compaq iPap line of PDA's. This hardware was probably sitting around in Palm's engineering labs ready for 2.0. I think HP is hard at work getting kick-butt hardware ready for webOS 2.0. That being said, HP is in a precarious situation with the life of webOS hanging by a thread both in market and mindshare (both consumers and developers).

fasteddie says:

As a current Palm Pre owner, I'm so unimpressed. A hardware refresh on a feature lacking OS does not keep me part of a captive audience.
This has just caused me to hoist the white flag. I give up. I tap out. I can't take this anymore. I'm finally buying an iPhone and will pay Sprint the prorated $60 to escape my contract.

Jaime says:

@Fasteddie
Welcome to the dark side lol I'm on the same boat as you. I had a pre for about 3 months since launch day. I got fed up with the crappy hardware and got a 3GS which just felt and looked like a nice piece of quality. Now got the iPhone 4 and it is amazing. Just make sure you jailbreak to really make it enjoyable like with bitesms, 3G unrestricted, sbsettings, mywi, winterboard, and tons of other stuff.

SockRolid says:

@The_Reptile - "Form factor and build quality killed the Pre and a lack of credible hardware killed the Pixi."
I'm going to be nice and just say that build quality and lack of PalmOS development led to Palm's failure as an independent company. Palm did nearly everything possible to avoid improving PalmOS, short of burning down their headquarters building.
I know. I was a long-suffering Palm user. I had a Handspring Visor, Treo 180, Treo 600, and got a Treo 680 in December '06. Just one month before iPhone was first announced. Oops.
And how much did PalmOS advance during that 7 year period? Let me count the ways:
1. Color
2. Phone software
3. Teensy resolution increase
4. Chiclet keyboard support
I could say how much I wish Palm would, in fact, physically burn to the ground, but I won't.
But seriously, HP should consider arson.

frog says:

WebOS is the only platform that I'd consider when upgrading my iPhone - but that form factor isn't going to do it. Indeed I've never seen a vertical sliding QWERTY smartphone used by anyone in public...

kumquatsrus says:

@frog,
that's because the formfactor is unique and uncommon. doesn't mean some ppl don't prefer it over slab or landscape kb or bb style kb. at any rate, if you want a webos device, wait till ces 2011 in jan. for hp to announce the new phones (and tablet), one of which i imagine will replace your iphone slab with a v-kb. the pre2 was likely the last and only palm phone in the pipeline before hp picked up the comp.

APimpNamedGoldy says:

I have a palm pre now. I will NOT have Palm Pre 2.0. My next phone will be an iphone.
hate the form factor, old standards, small screen, laggy os, NO major apps and that's not changing soon. Bottom line webos 2.0 isn't even addressing my concerns. they are on some other stuff.

OrionAntares#CB says:

Nice stepping stone refresh to accompany their webOS 2.0 release. It's not a "super" phone but it does what it should for its market segment. Rather they do this Pre refresh than delay webOS 2.0 until after CES. It's a decent holder over design that will fix issues with the Pre classic and improve some on the Pre Plus.

Chris M says:

Lol POS. I would take an iPhone 3G (yes, 3G) instead of this... thing.
Note: I'm a former Pre owner

Nati says:

@ Chris M - Funny I would take a palm pre instead.
-3G owner