I know, it's not officially dead yet, but it might as well be. Some would even say that webOS died within weeks of its release. The sad part is that it never really had a chance to show the masses what it was capable of.
I bought a Palm Pre second hand off of craigslist a while back. The price was good, and the hardware only had a few cosmetic issues, so I jumped on it. I was suitably impressed by the OS. It had all the slick visual flair of iOS, but with most of the functionality of Android. I still think the notification system was hands down one of the best ever implemented on a smartphone. Multitasking was handled through the sublimely simple "deck of cards" system. There were a few bugs at launch, but Palm worked rapidly to fix them. It still holds up well against Android and iOS today, despite being relatively stagnant in the feature department.
The hardware was a different story, though. The original Pre was a delicate thing. The screen on mine doesn't really ever seem to be fully locked when closed. The slider is pretty bad on the scale of various sliders I've used. The screen cover seems to be a fairly flimsy plastic. It had a pretty sordid reputation for problems. The battery life was also quite bad by smartphone standards. The only good thing it had going for it was the fact that it was pretty snappy performance-wise.
I think Palm's biggest problem was a lack of choice. They seemed to think that everyone loves portrait oriented keyboards, because that's all they ever made (excluding the Palm Pad, which has no keyboard). No slab devices, no candy bars, no landscape sliders. The Pixi was hardly the answer to Palm's problem, as it was basically just a slower version of the Pre with a smaller screen and no slider. I had hope that they would see this problem and fix it, but when they announced the Pre 3, a device that might as well be identical to the original Pre, I knew they were doomed.
HP's buyout seemed to be exactly what Palm needed. It was no secret Palm was out of money. It's also no secret that HP has quite a lot of money. The only product of this marriage was the Palm Pad and the Veer. The Palm Pad was too expensive and too buggy, and the Veer was basically just a shrunken Pre. HP obviously didn't know what to do with Palm, and most of the people that made webOS great had moved on to other companies.
So here we are, with a great OS about to die a slow death to corporate mismanagement and many bad decisions. Maybe it forced Android and iOS to get better, but that is the most that can be said of the end of Palm's legacy.
My blog uses admin comment approval. So I have to approve one of your comments before you can post anything. Thus, you will never be able to post anything here. That won't be changing. Ever. Those of you that keep trying despite this are just stupid. I do miss the machine translated/engrish fake post approval attempts though. At least those were amusing.