Pre vs Android for reading newspapers

Discussion in 'Palm Pre and Pre Plus' started by leenman, Dec 24, 2010.

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  1. leenman

    leenman Unter-Geek

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    I've looked at a Pre and have been reading about the Pre 2. Looked at a few Androids.

    Overall, the Pre wins hands down for me, except for one problem: the Pre's browser doesn't seem to figure out where newspaper columns are and rejustify them as you zoom in and out, whereas the Android does.

    Am I right about that?

    If yes, then that's too bad, cause I really like the rest of the Pre, but not being able to read a newspaper without constantly fidgeting with the screen (moving back and forth, etc.) is a deal breaker for me.

    Also, when I go to the NY Times their site doesn't seem to recognize the Pre as a mobile device and just loads the whole paper. This is even if I type in the NY Times mobile address (The New York Times ). My Treo has no problem accessing the NYTimes mobile site. Am I missing something?
  2. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    I'm afraid I can't help you with this problem as I know next to nothing about the Pre but could you share why it wins hands down? I'm interested in both platforms but there's precious few WebOS devices out there for comparison.
  3. Varjak

    Varjak Newbie

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    I'd also think that reading on a 3.2 inch screen would be annoying compared to 4 inches or larger.
  4. leenman

    leenman Unter-Geek

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    My reason is simple (and maybe simplistic): getting around on the Pre is easier than Android. Palm has designed the OS and the phone's size so you perform most tasks with one hand just using your thumb. Android is a little trickier.

    Android has a wide vareity of phones to choose from and the hardware is superior to the Pre's. But I'm really interested in using a Smartphone for: information, reading, listening to music, and organization, and maybe some small amount of video viewing. And I want to get into and out of the task quickly.

    From what I can tell, Pre does these better in most cases. I agree with Varjak that reading on the small screen might get tiresome, but I don't plan to read books, just newspapers. Right now I do that on a Treo 680 and it don't really find it annoying.

    But if the Pre can't justify an article, then I would constantly have to fidget with it just to get through an article. No can do.
  5. leenman

    leenman Unter-Geek

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    Another thing I would really like is to be able to quickly look up a word. Would be great to have an on-board dictionary app open while reading (I don't like the web dictionaries I've seen). With Pre's card system, it would be a snap to find the word in the dictionary and get back to reading.
  6. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    I'm still waiting on HP to come out with some more devices. Both the Pre and Pixi are physically just too small for me.

    I hear so many good things about WebOS. Would like for them to produce some sort of 4" pop-tart for a more apples-to-apples comparison with Android devices.
  7. Hook

    Hook Hookette's edgy lately

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    I don't know a lot about WebOS other than what I hear. The impression I have is that multitasking in the Pre has programs running on cards you slide back and forth without leaving the programs. Please correct me, I'm sure I don't have a good grip on this.

    In Android, multi-tasking is also pretty straight forward. One program is in the forground but you can quickly switch to any other program by holding the Home button which makes a panel of other running and recently visited apps appear allowing you to swich to that. Repeat to switch back.

    I'm not sure I see a huge advantage in either way of doing things, although it may be slightly faster and one or two fewer clicks using the WebOS method.

    I'm not questioning your preferences, just actually trying to understand since I know so little about WebOS.
  8. leenman

    leenman Unter-Geek

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  9. tmedvick

    tmedvick Guy Smiley

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    To the main question, double clicking an article in WebOS should zoom you to the column width. I just tested it on my Pre. There are some sites that load inexplicably to the full site and not mobile. Enabling homebrew on the Pre is wise and with that, you can get a simple mod to change the user agent to iPhone. The setting for mobile site is on the server side, not the phone's. Also, there is a New York Times app available for the Pre (http://developer.palm.com/appredirect/?packageid=com.nytimes.reader

    Having used both now as my main phone, I would take WebOS over Android everyday and twice on Sunday. WebOS is the least in-the-way OS available today, and Android the most. Opening a task manager, finding the spare stuff that Android has opened, it just takes more energy from me to run Android. I find things like games shut down in the background when I leave them to do something else - this would never happen on WebOS.

    That being said, I made the change because the hardware for the Pre simply isn't up to a reasonable level. If the Pre 2 had been released, I would have been all about it. It hit the spots I saw as major shortcomings. Google's integration with Android is very nice, and it is nice to have a wider array of apps. I find I miss several apps which are not available on Android, so Apps are a bit of a wash.

    Trust me when I say, I know of no bigger WebOS fan than myself, and I could not bring myself to buy a Pre to replace mine when it faltered. I can't recommend a Pre until better hardware is out.
  10. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    HP, are you listening??
  11. Varjak

    Varjak Newbie

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    TM, I didn't realize your Palm Pre hardware failed. Didn't you also exchange at least one unit in the beginning? I thought you said the Pre was very robust? Since it only came out in mid-2009, I'd say less than two years is not a very good record.
  12. Hook

    Hook Hookette's edgy lately

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    Again, not trying to take this into a WebOS vs Android discussion, but you might want to ditch any task killer apps or at least stop using them. Android, like Linux, does a much better job of handling CPU cycles and killing apps can actually result in performance degradation. Here is just one of a number of discussions of this.

    Android Task Killers Explained: What They Do and Why You Shouldn't Use Them

    Don't know if that will help the gaming situation, I'm not much of a gamer --Angry Birds and Sudoku is about all I do-- but it should help with most everything else.
  13. leenman

    leenman Unter-Geek

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    tmedvick, thanks for the info aimed right at my questions.

    About the zoom, I want to press the question a bit more. Double-clicking zooms to the column width. Good. But, if the text is still too small that won't help much. What I found with Android is zooming in further and further would both enlarge the font *and* rejustify the text each time so it fit in the screen. I could do this multiple times on the Androd. I couldn't get the Pre (or iPhone for that matter) to do *that*. Can it?

    Thanks for the info about the mobile setting being server-side. Your fix sounds like it would solve that problem.

    Your specific reasons for liking WebOS over Androd are pretty much what I intuited. It just lets the device get out of the way. So I take it you feel the Palm Pre 2 now has the hardware that makes WebOS the better choice over Android?
  14. tmedvick

    tmedvick Guy Smiley

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    If you are on a mobile site, you can zoom in and the font will grow and the column will continue to justify. If you are on a full site, you will be scrolling into a fixed size column (so you will no longer see the full column). This is another facet of programming for the mobile web against the standard web. This is also true on my Epic.

    I am on Sprint, so I can't move to the the Pre 2, but, yes. For my purposes, the Pre 2 would improve on my experience with the Epic. I like the core experience with WebOS much more than Android.

    Varjak, I dropped my Pre off the roof of my car, so I don't really blame build quality on it's failure. It has a sporadic speaker issue, and can't be trusted for work - it is now my twelve-year-old's phone. I am typically rough on phones, my wife is the opposite of me and her pre has lasted very well, my son falls between us and his will not last a full two years. I argue less that the Pre is solidly built and more that it is as "solidly" built as most specimens from the genre. Warranty replacement of smartphones is part of the experience. Since I was past my year warranty, and Sprint offers a yearly upgrade, I could not reasonably replace my Pre with a new Pre. The screen, the camera, and the processor are simply unacceptable at this stage. If the Pre 2 comes to Verizon and I still am looking at 2 of my 4 lines being ETF-free, we may jump ship.

    Hook, I don't use a Task Killer often, I use the task manager sometimes. I brought down a Task Killer, but did not find battery life improvements, so I stopped using it. I have heard to expect good things when Sprint finally brings 2.2 to the Epic, but that hasn't happened. I have been avoiding writing a Pre vs Epic post until I get to see 2.2, but if it's not here by Christmas, I will be looking for some help.
  15. Varjak

    Varjak Newbie

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    Fair enough TM. I'd say most phones would suffer pretty badly if dropped from car-roof height!
  16. leenman

    leenman Unter-Geek

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    tmedvick, you sure about it being the same on your Epic? I could have sworn I went to csmonitor.com, which doesn't have a mobile version, and got the Android to keep rejustifying with each zoom, whereas the Pre would not on the same site. I'll want to check that one again.

    Thank you for your help with all this. Since you explained about the mod that makes the server think it's an iphone, I'm thinking if a WebOS tablet isn't too far off, then a Pre 2 with a tablet might just do the trick for me.

    Thanks again.
  17. tmedvick

    tmedvick Guy Smiley

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    I have double-checked, and you are right! I am less right. There is a setting available that reformats text on the Epic as you zoom in. I was unaware and had not enabled it.
  18. leenman

    leenman Unter-Geek

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    Ouch. I wanted to hear that I was wrong. For me, that will make it more difficult to go with a Pre. I guess I'll wait and see if the Pre 2 can do it. So close yet so far.
  19. tmedvick

    tmedvick Guy Smiley

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    I have double-checked and though it has been requested several times, this feature has not been patched onto the Pre's browser. Given the skill that the Pre dev community regularly displays, this suggests it is not coming anytime soon.

    I am seeing conflicting accounts that this feature (text reflow) is part of WebOS 2.0.
  20. leenman

    leenman Unter-Geek

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    tmedvick , thanks, this is just the info I was looking for. I guess the waiting game goes on.
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