WebOS 2.0 - Interface Continued Review


Another new feature for WebOS 2 is Just Type. Open the phone up and start typing or start typing when no app is active and a search box will appear and below it will instantly start appearing matching contacts, calendar entries and apps. Below this you can also tap for matching emails, bookmarks and browser history. The best bits are two new additions called Launch & Search and Quick Actions.

Launch & Search is an utterly brilliant addition. It basically provides shortcuts to online search engines, enabling you to quickly search google or Wikipedia, say, for the words you just typed. What makes it utterly brilliant, though, is that you can add the search functions of any other site. Simply navigate to any website that has a search box and the web browser will detect it and ask if you’d like to add the search function. Now just go back to the homescreen, start typing and you’ll see that a link to the website has appeared. Tap it once and you’ve instantly searched the website for what you just typed. It’s is utterly brilliant and works with our very own search engine!

As for Quick Actions, they give you one touch access to starting an email, SMS, or Facebook status update with the words you’ve just typed.

What makes both of these functions, and the whole Just Type interface, so great is that they’re fully customisable and open for developers. So you in theory you can have Quick Actions for Twitter, or even your blog, and search functions for all your favourite websites, and you can have the options appear ahead of the other options in Just Type if you so wish.

This open integration of other features is a theme that runs throughout the OS. From contacts and email to the web browser and media players, it’s all open and ready for third parties to tie into. It is up to third parties to use this facility but potentially you can have all the key functions of the phone integrate seamlessly with all your favourite online services. So if another new social network becomes the in-thing then you won’t have to wait for Palm to integrate support into its next firmware, the designers of the new service can develop it themselves. All this is in contrast to most other alternatives that have limited support for the big social networks – most notably Facebook – but aren’t necessarily open to others.

Going back to the problem of having no apps or widgets on the homescreen, on previous versions of WebOS this was particularly annoying as, once you opened the app launcher (bottom right icon) the apps were arranged in a fixed manner, so if your favourite app wasn’t on the first page, tough luck. New to WebOS 2.0 is the ability to rearrange your apps and add or remove pages, giving you more freedom to access your favourite apps quickly. There’s still no provision for widgets though.

The other key improvement for the overall interface is simply speed. While the improvements in the (lijnkout:https://www.trustedreviews.com/mobile-phones/review/2010/11/30/Palm-Pre-2-Review/p1 Palm Pre 2), that we’re testing the OS on, are largely due to it having a CPU twice the speed of previous versions, the new OS also helps out. This is because it now supports GPU acceleration, which helps all those slick graphically rich menu transitions and such like run smoothly.