I was thinking about the way webOS assigns each activity a Card and allows quickly moving from one task to another.
I was also thinking about what a miserable experience my Palm OS 5 LifeDrive has been.
And then I recalled what a joy my Palm OS 4 Sony CLIE S320 was to use.
How could it be that a Palm OS 4 device with 160×160 monochrome screen and a weak CPU was better than a more powerful larger- and color-screened LifeDrive?
Palm OS 4 allowed the use of Hacks.
And they were the Joy Juice of OS 4.
I could, for example, be in SmartDOC and need to quickly refer to something in MemoPad.
A stroke in the Graffiti area would call up MemoPad in a pop-up window over the SmartDOC document. How wonderful is that?
Another stroke, no matter where I was, could call up a tiny Calculator.
Another stroke would call up a list of the last ten apps I’d used (a feature that was added to OS 5 itself).
Yet another stroke would call up a display of special characters, such as the Copyright or # symbols, so I wouldn’t have to memorize the Graffiti strokes for those.
I also had one to call up the current date and time and battery meter.
Really, it was simply lovely the way I could move from one thing to the next. It was speedy and graceful. It didn’t get in my way and I could get things done effortlessly.
webOS will bring back some of that.
I’m especially excited by having more than one email open — from more than one account! — at the same time. Having multiple web pages open. And the wee Notifications area at the bottom to bring in live information.
webOS will bring back what’s been missing from Palm’s hardware: Flow!
Another reason for me — and you — to be excited about the Palm Pre!