If you are netizen like me, you’ll notice a plethora of websites where Palm is dissed endlessly – and often for good reason. No innovation on their devices, no multitasking OS ( aka Garnet), a rehash of what worked for them etc…
And some of it is very legitimate. One cannot imagine why Palm has simply been unable to release their next gen OS for so long. And why in the iPhone era, we have to put up with the relative antiquated abominations that Palm insists on selling.
However, most websites and their avid readers (like the author here) focus on simply how Palm has not evolved to a multi-threaded OS like Windows ( and utopically, like the OS on the iPhone). And that was my point of contention, that I’d like to clarify today.
I have owned a Treo 700p, Treo 750 and very recently a Treo 800w. And in addition, I also have a Centro. What I am writing is based on my experiences as a very real user – as I am sure most of my readers also are. And unfortunately, when technical reviewers review any product, they tend to focus on the technical details and how they stack up against other available products – not necessarily on the day to day usability of the products.
Which brings me to my central point – Why am I still a Palm Fan? The answer can be captured in one word – usability. Yes, Palm OS is antiquated. And its single threaded. But you know what, it is not a resource hog (like Windows Mobile), is utterly responsive, allows for single handed intuitive controls, does not hog memory everytime an application is fired up (for those of you who have not used Windows Mobile – you’ll have to go to Task Manager every few hours if you have multiple apps open – because it just clogs your entire memory)
I travel a lot. And I entirely rely on my two cell phones to manage my life. One is a Palm. The other a high-end Windows mobile machine.
On my Palm, I can open and close apps as I want without killing the memory. On my Palm, I have Blazer which, even though its antiquated, is better than any browser in the market apart from Safari Mobile. (and it runs on EVDO). On the Palm, everything is one touch. And does not involve digging through menus. (Sadly on the Windows, I have to go to the menu when on a call to activate the Speakephone)
Yes, the Palm front-end has not changed in a long time. Yes, its not the most sophisticated OS around. But, as a user, its much easier to get things done on a Palm than any Windows handheld I have used.
And that’s why I am still a Palm fan. Because, it runs on the Treo – which frankly any business user will tell you – is a great platform to get work done. And its simple. It makes doing things easy.
So while I would love the jazz of the iPhone on the Treo, the plug-n-play of Windows Mobile, in my mind, the Palm OS remains a worthy competitior because its a stable dependable workhorse – something that I continue to want my phone to be.