Little T in the Cog mobile

Archive for October 2011

webOS 3.0.4 for TouchPad released


HP just pushed out an update to the TouchPad - going from version 3.0.2 to 3.0.4. Wow, what a difference! Seriously, this is a massive improvement in "snappiness" and general smoothness when scrolling through lists, web pages etc.

The webOS Internals team haven't yet released all the patches and updated kernels for this version yet (it normally takes them a few days of testing to make sure everything works) but to be honest I don't feel I need the faster kernel - it honestly feels just as smooth running at 1.2GHz on 3.0.4 as it did running at 1.5GHz on 3.0.2 (and hopefully I might get a smidgin more battery life out of it too at the slower clock speed). There are a couple of patches that I miss but I can happily wait a few days for them now that a bunch of annoying bugs have been squashed in this update (improved browser speed and rendering, small changes to the music player app, much improved app catalog etc) and the best change - I can now connect my phone to the TouchPad via bluetooth and make and receive calls on it, great when I'm already wearing my headphones connected to the TouchPad as I listen to music on it at work :-)

When the updated overclock kernels get released this thing will fly!

I've got a Veer


I've replaced my trusty old Palm Pre with a new HP Veer. I bought it brand new in the box unlocked off ebay and had it shipped here to NZ for a very reasonable price - my guess is it's reasonable due to the fact that HP was selling these little phones for $49 to get rid of stock so some people grabbed a whole bunch and put them up on ebay!

This is the first webOS device that I haven't felt the need to overclock - this tiny phone packs an 800MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon backed up with 512MB RAM and with such a low resolution screen to refresh (the little 2.6 inch screen is only 320x400 pixels) it flies along much faster than my Pre Plus running at 1GHz (overclocked). Apart from the speed though it hasn't all been plain sailing - webOS seems to be particularly buggy on this phone with some random lockups and occasional touchscreen weirdness (usually after it's been running for a few days without a restart) and although I'm hoping HP will push out an update I'm not holding my breath as they said they were going to add touch-to-share to it as an over the air update many months ago and I haven't heard a thing. Even if Palm/HP release the update (which is meant to bring the webOS version in line with the Pre3 which is running 2.2 against the Veer's 2.1.2), something which is looking less likely as each month passes, then they might still have to get carrier approval to release it over the air to the devices and I hear that AT&T is none too pleased with HP right now due to them cancelling the Pre3 without notice mere days before it was meant to be released so are unlikely to devote time testing the update against a product that has been discontinued. So all up I'll be pretty amazed (but very happy!) if the Veer gets an update.

It's not all doom and gloom though, generally the phone runs well and I've been really happy with the battery life which has proven to be better than my girlfriend's iPhone 4 (not to mention it looks so damn cute that she says if she didn't already have the iPhone then she'd buy the Veer in an instant!). The keyboard is excellent, much better than my Pre and Pre Plus despite being a little bit smaller (the keys have a really positive, clicky feel to them) and the screen is easy to navigate in spite of it's tiny size.

So why did I buy this and not the Pre3? Well at the time the AT&T Pre3 hadn't been released (actually it still hasn't, not officially anyway!) and so I thought this was my last chance to get the most up-to-date webOS hardware before all the devices vanished, and the few that had made it out into the wild were going for over US$500 on ebay which was a bit rich for a device with pretty much no future. But of course now that I've owned the Veer about a month there are lots of Pre3's on ebay going for around US$200 which is a great price for a powerful, unlocked smartphone, even one with no future. It would be nice to have the latest and greatest, the last ever webOS device made.

Now all I have to do is justify buying yet *another* phone to my girlfriend...