I'm a Palm user. I have used webOS since the beginning and I can vouch that it is the freaking best mobile OS ever created. it is beyond the iPhone OS, it is beyond Meego, it is beyond Android.
It offers the best multitasking and management of notifications. I have 7 email accounts that I can fully manage on my Palm Pre - using IMAP. It works well with Microsoft Exchange, iCal. All my contacts from Facebook, GMail, Linked In are all managed through my contact app and updated automatically. One of my contact changes his phone number, the number also changes in my contact app. He adds a new email, I get that new email.
webOS plays video games as well as the iPhone and as a platform for development, is second to none. People have opened up to 50 apps and just stopped after that, not because the phone could not handle it, but because it was ridiculous to go beyond. I does real multitasking unlike many OSes like Android and the iPhone. Processes continue to run in the background, heavy duty ones like Flash and videos (YouTube) freeze not to disturb users.
It has been the best freaking phone I've ever had and the closest experience to a mobile desktop.
I know I'm in a minority. Most people look at me as if I was somekind of alien for supporting such an underdog. The company had it rough and in the course of marketing their phone made several mistakes that they could not afford to do.
They did not release their SDK in time for developers to take advantage of it. They used Sprint as a launch partner. They had a creepy ad campaign that did not explain the benefits of the phone.
Many people like to say that if people didn't buy the phone it's because it's bad. It could not be further from the truth. Palm was never able to figure out how to market their phones and differentiate them from the iPhone and Android.
It's got a ton of features that Android can't even begin to copy. Actually HTC copied a few like the universal notification, but still did not do it as well.
The card interface is the best freaking interface ever from a usability standpoint. Nothing beats it. There's not hidden widgets and processes working behind the scenes. If you want to kill and app or a process, you swipe the card up and it's dead.
Also no company has been able to do cloud updates as well as Palm with several carriers over several countries using CDMA and GSM devices. Palm has done a total of 15 updates sin ce June 2009 over the air, updating thousands of customers without a fault at least once per month seamlessly. Most Palm devices run the same OS at any time. Differences in releases usually have lasted no more than two months. Right now, all Palm users are on the latest release. No other mobile OS can claim that. Android is a mess. The iPhone requires you to use iTunes.
The accelerometer is faster than the iPhone's. Custom programming and modifications are easier than Android. You just switch to developer mode and start playing. There's not jailbreaking or complicated process. In fact, the homebrew community has been very strong and supportive of Palm. People say Android is open, they haven't played with webOS. The hidden virtual keyboard was unleashed within days of the Palm Pre,s launch.
Whoever gets Palm gets a sweet deal. They get best mobile OS ever created, and they get the an extensive patents portofolio that has been evaluated to be as comprehensive and scary as Apple's. Why didn't Apple sure Palm when they announcved the Palm pre? is is because Palms owns the proximity locator, the airplane mode, the initial search for contacts and a whole lot more?
I will stick with Palm and I urge people here who call themselves geeks and knowledgeable about technology to get their head out of the Android and iPhone cloud and look at the real future and most innovative mobile OS ever created. You guys call yourselves experts yet keep dismissing the best tech around. It's really the Betamax to the iPhone and Android's VHS.
I don't like Google, but my hopes are that Google snaps up Palm and use their OS instead of Android or merge the two taking the best from Palm to enhance Android. Android is poor and clunky after next to webOS. I've tried them all. I'm a mobile geek. I've even tried Meego/Maemo. Trust me on this webOS is where it's at.
I would be happy with HTC, although they are foreigners. With better hardware, no one would ever dismiss webOS ever again.
Palm invented the smartphone. It's not over yet.