webOS Wish List 6/20/2009 – How Far Have We Come?

I thought it would be fun to update a wish list created back in June, 2009. It’s interesting to see what’s been added to webOS since then, and maybe more interesting to see what hasn’t been added.

1. Add timed alarms to tasks: Currently, tasks are one of the Pre’s biggest weaknesses compared to some other platforms (Windows Mobile, with its Mobile Outlook, is a good example, not to mention PalmOS). And one of the biggest weaknesses of the Pre’s Tasks app is the inability to set timed alarms. As it stands, tasks reminders pop up at 8:00am and can’t be snoozed. This is particularly problematic because Outlook supports timed tasks, the Pre syncs with Outlook via Exchange, and therefore tasks are made very difficult to manage. Until the Pre matches up better with Outlook, it’s not much use (for me, at least) in managing my tasks.

- Nope, not yet. The webOS PIM apps haven’t yet caught up with those in PalmOS.

2. Enable syncing tasks with Google: This one’s fairly self-explanatory. Right now, I have no way of getting my personal (non-Exchange) tasks from Outlook to my Pre. That’s another black mark against the Pre’s tasks function that I’m hoping Palm will address sooner rather than later.

- Nope, not yet. Although, this is likely due to Google not releasing the Tasks API.

3. Improve autocorrect and add predictive text: The Pre’s keyboard is decent enough, as I’ve remarked before. I’m still slowed down considerably because of the lack of predictive text and functional autocorrect. Currently, the Pre only fixes obvious errors, and thus I’m slowed down considerably in entering text compared to my Windows Mobile and PalmOS devices.

- Nope, not yet.

4. Add scroll bars to long lists to show progress: Email and contacts on the Pre would be immeasurably improved if only there was some way to tell how far one has scrolled in a long list. I’d settle for a simple scroll bar at this point.

- Nope, not yet.

5. Enable search in email: Enough said, I think.

- Yes, partially. Senders, recipients, and subjects are searchable. Body text, however, isn’t.

6. Add collapsible sections in contact list: Contacts would be much easier to access if the list were collapsible, say alphabetically. Let’s say, as email accounts can be expanded and collapsed to show and hide folders.

- Nope, not yet.

7. Enable collapsing folders in email account folder lists: It’s great that one can show and hide the folder list per email account. Doing the same for subfolders would make complex email accounts (like my work Exchange account) dramatically easier to use.

- Nope, not yet.

8. Enable adding more app pages and the ability to categorize them: Hackers have exposed the ability to add app launcher pages, and so Palm just needs to turn on this capabilities. It would be great as well if pages could be named or otherwise categorized.

- Nope, not yet.

9. Add world clock and enable time zone adjustments for calendar events: This is basic stuff that would make the Pre much more usable by folks who travel. I don’t currently, but when I did the Pre’s current ignorance regarding time zones would have been a real problem.

- Nope, not yet.

10. Add horizontal on-screen keyboard: I hate virtual keyboards and would have been terribly disappointed if the Pre didn’t have physical version. But, there are times when a quick bit of data entry is needed in Web pages, and simple on-screen keyboard would be mighty handy.

- Nope, not yet.

11. LED notifications: The Pre’s notification system is one of it’s most important strengths. Having the center button or gesture area LEDs light up to indicate notifications would be a great addition.

- Yes, implemented.

12. Memo syncing: Memos don’t sync on the Palm, which is a huge ommission. I use Evernote, with its semi-workable WebOS client, and so memos are nothing but a convenience for me, but some folks don’t and the lack of syncing makes the Memos application a bit less valuable.

- Nope, not yet, although 3rd-party solutions are available.

13. Video recording: This, and the ability to upload to YouTube, would be welcome. I fear that the iPhone 3G S has the Pre beat on this score.

- Yes, implemented, and nicely.

14. Better copy/cut/paste: First, I find the current method of holding the orange key to move the cursor and the shift key to select to be difficult to use, particularly in selecting multiple lines. Second, it’s limited to editable text. Palm really needs to tweek this process and extend it to non-editable text.

- Yes, improved although with more room for improvement.

15. Extend Universal Search: I don’t want too many things in Universal Search; it’s great how fast and clean it is. But adding Calendar and Task search (after the Tasks app has been fleshed out) would be welcome. Note that I specifically do not want email included in Universal Search–I can’t imagine how they’d engineer things to avoid email search slowing things down and seriously cluttering things up. I’d be happy with having search within the email app itself.

- By adding Global Address Book support, Universal Search is probably just about perfect.

16. Visual voicemail: I’ve never had this before on a phone, and I don’t get that many voicemails, but I’d welcome this feature nonetheless.

- Nope, not yet.

17. Flash support: One word: Hulu. My kingdom for Hulu support, which as far as I know would require Flash.

- Support for Flash is built into webOS. Now we’re just waiting for Adobe.

18. MSN/Live Messenger support: My wife and I live by Windows Live Messenger, and I simply can’t wait until it’s supported on the Pre. And, I’m hoping that it’s fully integrated into Synergy.

- Nope, not yet.

19. Contact categorization: As Eve says in the comments, “I love Synergy but I don’t need some of my online contacts mixed with people I keep in touch with often. Please let me categorize!”

- Nope, not yet.

20. SMS forwarding: As Jorge says in the comments, “All good one’s but you forgot text (sms) forwarding. I do alot texting and need that more.”

- Yes, implemented.

21. Jabber support: As Kugreg says in the comments, “Jabber support. Should be easy since the library used for gchat and aim already supports it.”

- Nope, not yet.

22. Extend Synergy: As Remon says in the comments, “Extending the Synergy philosophy by letting you book an appointment either directly from the contact app or indirectly to a contact from the phone app. It is pretty common to talk with someone and arrange to meet. It should be natural to enter the appointment if the phone already knows who you are talking to.”

- Nope, not yet.

23. Custom lock screen: As Rune Bune says in the comments, “The Pre could also need a custom lock screen to show next calender events or any kind og widget feeds you would like. Then you just have to glance at the phone without unlocking to see the most basic info. Just like some apps on the iPhone.”

- Nope, not yet.

24. Flickr uploads: Jame has some great ideas in the comments. Flickr uploads would be a great addition to the Photobucket and Facebook support that’s already there.

- Nope, not yet.

25. Emoticons: Can’t believe I forgot this one myself, and thank again to Jame. I really miss the emoticons in text and chat from my Treos.

- Yes, implement, although not fully compatible with emoticons from other devices.

26. Home screen updates: I like the simplicity of the current home screen, but Jame says in the comments, “The home screen to summarize upcoming events and stuff for the day.”

- Nope, not yet, although having worked with webOS for almost a year I can say that I don’t really miss this capability.

27. Phone favorites: As Jame says in the comments, “And a favorites list/or customizable buttons for phone numbers on the home screen. Maybe favorites like the mailboxes in email.”

- Nope, not yet, but same as with home screen updates.

28. Skinning: Rune Bune mentions skinning in the comments, and the ability to create themes for the Pre would certainly be welcome.

- Nope, not yet.

So, while webOS has made some real progress, at least according to this wish list there’s still lots of room for improvement. It should be noted that many items from this list are available via homebrew, patching, etc., and that the ability to “unofficially” improve webOS remains one of its greatest strengths.


  1. Stephanie says:

    Permanent short-cut keys – The keys on the main screen are not necessarily condusive to my needs. I would like to be able to utilize other keys as my priorities change. Small but would be helpful.

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