Palm: OS X is too FAT to run well on phones

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Very amusing stuff. Palm is basically dissing Apple now. But if what they say is true then Apple might have more than a mere annoyance to deal with as they compete with Palm.



From Gizmodo's excerpts from newsweek article:





Palm's aging operating system, Palm OS, was originally created for a relatively simple personal organizer; it was then added to and patched up to do things like power a cell phone—a task it was never intended to perform. It was a bit like using a lawn-mower engine to build a go-kart, then adding a bigger chassis and turning the go-kart into a real car, then turning that into a plane, and then trying to make the plane fly to the moon. Palm needed a fresh start.



As for the iPhone:



It's much slower; Rubinstein and his team say that's because the OS X code is not lean enough to run swiftly on a mobile device's relatively tiny processor and small memory footprint. And you can only do one thing at a time.



Apple introduced OS X for its personal computers in 2001, but pieces of the system trace their roots back to the 1980s, when they were used in the operating software of computers made by Jobs's other computer company, NeXT. Palm sees an opportunity to come out with something newer, better and—perhaps most impressive to gadget geeks—faster. A lot faster. "We're already four times faster than the iPhone, and we're still optimizing," McNamee boasts.



Palm expects people will keep 15 to 20 applications open at the same time.
!!!!



Link to the gizmodo post: http://i.gizmodo.com/5130785/palm-os...well-on-phones



Direct link to the Dan Lyons' newsweek article: http://www.newsweek.com/id/178536/page/1
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    Believe it when I see it. WinMo has tried to manage multiple applications at once for a long time and anyone that's used that platform can tell you it becomes a pain. Of course, consider the source here (competitor) and I'm sure they'll do pretty much anything to generate some excitement for their new (admittedly) great product.
  • Reply 2 of 33
    olternautolternaut Posts: 1,376member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Satan Himself View Post


    Believe it when I see it. WinMo has tried to manage multiple applications at once for a long time and anyone that's used that platform can tell you it becomes a pain. Of course, consider the source here (competitor) and I'm sure they'll do pretty much anything to generate some excitement for their new (admittedly) great product.



    Yeah but this is Microsoft we are talking about. They basically tried to shrink the desktop into small mobile devices which simply doesn't work. Palm is taking a different approach with their WebOS platform and how they handle multitasking on tiny devices......in this case cell phones.

    I say in this case because wouldn't it be cool if WebOS came out on other devices say like MIDs, netbooks, and UMPCs.



    OS X: "Get out of my way noob!"



    WebOS: "HAHA shut up fatboy!"



  • Reply 3 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post


    Yeah but this is Microsoft we are talking about. They basically tried to shrink the desktop into small mobile devices which simply doesn't work. Palm is taking a different approach with their WebOS platform and how they handle multitasking on tiny devices......in this case cell phones.

    I say in this case because wouldn't it be cool if WebOS came out on other devices say like MIDs, netbooks, and UMPCs.



    OS X: "Get out of my way noob!"



    WebOS: "HAHA shut up fatboy!"







    good luck to Palm...hope they rule again!
  • Reply 4 of 33
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post


    Yeah but this is Microsoft we are talking about. They basically tried to shrink the desktop into small mobile devices which simply doesn't work. Palm is taking a different approach with their WebOS platform and how they handle multitasking on tiny devices......in this case cell phones.

    I say in this case because wouldn't it be cool if WebOS came out on other devices say like MIDs, netbooks, and UMPCs.



    OS X: "Get out of my way noob!"



    WebOS: "HAHA shut up fatboy!"







    Actually, if Palm tries to migrate their WebOS into larger devices, I think you'll see a problem: by crafting an OS designed to run well in a severely constrained environment, they've also had to forgo some of the oomph of "real" OS.



    So, right now and on current phones, they might be seeing some wins. But hardware only gets more capable; which means while Apple will be able to put more and more of the full power of OS X on each iteration of the iPhone, and already can do so on somewhat larger devices, Palm will be looking for ways to beef up what was only ever intended to be a phone operating system.



    Which kind of gets us back to the problem other handset makers like Nokia have had: how to bolt on parts to a system designed first and foremost to be small, simple and battery sipping, in a world where handhelds are increasingly expected to deliver desktop quality apps.



    At any rate, the idea that the Pre is "four times faster" than the iPhone is a bit of a non sequitur-- I don't think iPhone users are particularly bemoaning how slow and laggy their phones are.
  • Reply 5 of 33
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,195moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Actually, if Palm tries to migrate their WebOS into larger devices, I think you'll see a problem: by crafting an OS designed to run well in a severely constrained environment, they've also had to forgo some of the oomph of "real" OS.



    That's really it, they've cut down the OS to the point of it being a mobile OS whereas Apple is running a desktop class OS on a mobile. It has 2 benefits, the optimizations on the mobile end can be worked into the desktop so that it runs faster and the power and flexibility of the desktop maps straight onto the mobile.



    The convergence of desktop and mobile is where Palm will lose out because nobody really runs webapps on the desktop beyond widgets. You get custom Linux installations on routers and printers and they do the job better than running a full blown OS on them but they perform specific functions and there's not much room for growth.



    I suppose running 15-20 webapps is better than what the current iphone does - up to 8 webapps side by side - but I'd rather have a single proper app on a desktop-class OS than 15 webapps on a cut down system.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    At any rate, the idea that the Pre is "four times faster" than the iPhone is a bit of a non sequitur-- I don't think iPhone users are particularly bemoaning how slow and laggy their phones are.



    Typing is sluggish but the apps run pretty fast generally. I would love to see how Palm are running javascript 4 times faster than C code.
  • Reply 6 of 33
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,131member
    Rubinstein was a hardware guy if I recall correctly. I'm not to sure I'd place as much weight behind his "OS X is too fat" comment. Now if Bertrand Serlet left Apple and said that I might be inclined to take notes.



    I can't really think of why I'd want 18 apps running simulataneously on a phone. I'm more keen on apps simply using FSevents to be kept up to speed on what changes are made to the filesystem.
  • Reply 7 of 33
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Rubinstein was a hardware guy if I recall correctly. I'm not to sure I'd place as much weight behind his "OS X is too fat" comment. Now if Bertrand Serlet left Apple and said that I might be inclined to take notes.



    I can't really think of why I'd want 18 apps running simulataneously on a phone. I'm more keen on apps simply using FSevents to be kept up to speed on what changes are made to the filesystem.



    I don't think it's a great idea to have 18 apps open on my MacBook Pro. On account of the fatness, I guess.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post


    Very amusing stuff. Palm is basically dissing Apple now. But if what they say is true then Apple might have more than a mere annoyance to deal with as they compete with Palm.



    Palm's CEO Ed Colligan has dismissed the iPhone from its first introduction. He has never had anything particularly good to say about it.



    Quote:

    It's much slower; Rubinstein and his team say that's because the OS X code is not lean enough to run swiftly on a mobile device's relatively tiny processor and small memory footprint. And you can only do one thing at a time.[/i]



    This may be true to some limited degree, but mostly smacks of trash talk. Rubinstein has no access to OS X's developments and optimizations. So he does not know what Apple is working on in its labs.



    You do have to keep in context that iPhone OS and webOS use many of the same basic elements, UNIX, webkit, HTML, CSS, Javascript.



    Palm has been talking about delivering a new mobile unix based OS for many years now, still with at least six months to delivery. Apple delivered its mobile unix based OS a year and a half ago. A great demonstration is one hurdle. Delivery and execution are different hurdles.



    You really believe the better position is to have an unknown and untested OS that has promise. Than to have a proven OS that has been widely used and still under development.





    Quote:

    Palm expects people will keep 15 to 20 applications open at the same time.



    Running 15 to 20 web apps isn't the most astonishing accomplishment. Palm needs to cut down on the trash talk and just deliver.
  • Reply 9 of 33
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Here is an interview with Tom Conrad of Pandora about development on webOS. He mostly has praise for the approach, but also notes some limitations.



    TC: I think that there is a bit of a trade-off there, in fact I think when they first told us about their approach I was sceptical that you would be able as a developer to get a really great user experience with fluid presentation just using HTML/Javascript/CSS and so on in the Mojo framework... but I think for a certain class of application – when you think about an email application, or the contacts application, or something like Google Maps or Pandora – I think all of these classes of applications are really going to be fantastic to build and deliver on webOS. Anything like a medical encyclopaedia – anything sort of data and presentation-oriented I think will be very very easy to develop and have fantastic user experience characteristics. Even for multimedia applications like Pandora.



    I think the category of applications that is perhaps the least served by the webOS environment is the kind of really sophisticated gaming type of applications. Not so much things like Bejeweled or Tetris-



    TC: -you can make great versions of those type of casual games, but things that really sort of want to render graphical elements in real time – I think some of those kind of things would be easier to develop in a lower-level environment like C, or objective C like you have on the iPhone for example.




    Palm Infocenter
  • Reply 10 of 33
    janusjanus Posts: 17member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    At any rate, the idea that the Pre is "four times faster" than the iPhone is a bit of a non sequitur-- I don't think iPhone users are particularly bemoaning how slow and laggy their phones are.



    I certainly am. anything involving the keyboard seems to be a lag-magnet. I'll mash my way through 3 words and nothing appears on the screen, then they all explode on at once with 30 clicks in 1 second...anyone who has used an iPhone knows what I'm talking about. Makes it really hard to catch typos as you type



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    That's really it, they've cut down the OS to the point of it being a mobile OS whereas Apple is running a desktop class OS on a mobile. It has 2 benefits, the optimizations on the mobile end can be worked into the desktop so that it runs faster and the power and flexibility of the desktop maps straight onto the mobile.



    I could see this argument going two ways. On one hand, NeXT was originally working on frickin' 040 processors running at dozens upon dozens of Mhz. the iPhone is exponentially more powerful than the NeXT Cube. On the other hand, modern day OS X code doesn't seem to be a paragon of efficiency. The frickin' calculator app takes up more than 7 MB of RAM...



    Quote:

    I suppose running 15-20 webapps is better than what the current iphone does - up to 8 webapps side by side



    iPhone doesn't run the web apps side by side, after a certain amount of memory gets taken up by your current page, it shuts down that page and when you go back to it, it has to reload. This is not side-by-side operation.



    Quote:

    but I'd rather have a single proper app on a desktop-class OS than 15 webapps on a cut down system.



    So would I--on a desktop-class system. For a mobile phone in which I am doing basic messaging and information tasks, running 15 widgets that do what I want is a lot more appearing than one beautiful masterpiece app running at a time (and given their propensity for crashing, I'd hardly call Apple's apps masterpieces, even after 18 months on the market)



    I have loved my iPhone, and I still do. But Palm has made a better way, and assuming three rather large "if"s..



    -if Palm can survive long enough to make a GSM Pre

    -if Palm can pull it off and this isn't hypeware with a 30 minute battery life

    -if Apple doesn't have anything really amazing up their sleeve with iPhone 3.0 to crush the Pre...



    Then I will be getting a Pre and and using my iPhone as an iPod touch.
  • Reply 11 of 33
    I certainly agree that the iPhone OS is 'too fat' for the mobile platform it runs on right now. It hides slowness and lag by having fancy transitions, but the bottom line is it is pretty sluggish at times - settings, contacts, emails, the keyboard, are all lag hotspots. The hardware needs speeding up, or the software needs trimming down and be more optimised.
  • Reply 12 of 33
    shadowshadow Posts: 373member
    We are comparing a shipping version of the iPhone with a yet-to-be-delivered-after-six-months-in-US-only-with-one-provider-only-non-GSM-device. Although US remains the largest single-country iPhone market, the international shipments as a whole already exceed US shipments.



    One of the misinterpretations that keep showing up is that the iPhone can not run multiple applications at once. In fact, it does! The License and the public API do not allow third parties to do so, but there are exceptions, and I heard there are more exceptions underway. The big difference here is that Apple wants to control the process and would not allow the average Joe to hog all resources.



    I remember Palm executives commenting on the iPhone after it was announced but before it was launched: "We spend many years figuring out how to build a good mobile device. Apple is making good computers but there is no way they can make a good phone without years of experience in this area.". We all know what happened after the iPhone was introduced.



    When reading about Pre specs there was a comment that the processor alone is 2x times faster than those found in the iPhone, if running at the original clock speed. The processors in the iPhone is down-clocked for battery saving.



    The graphics chip was improved with iPhone 3G but the processor is the same. It is very naive to assume that Apple does not have a newer version in the Labs, no matter PASemi-related or not.



    This is only one of the various reasons the Pre will not be an iPhone killer.
  • Reply 13 of 33
    shadowshadow Posts: 373member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrochester View Post


    I certainly agree that the iPhone OS is 'too fat' for the mobile platform it runs on right now. It hides slowness and lag by having fancy transitions, but the bottom line is it is pretty sluggish at times - settings, contacts, emails, the keyboard, are all lag hotspots. The hardware needs speeding up, or the software needs trimming down and be more optimised.



    In fact, the fancy transitions, although handled mostly by the graphics subsystem, do add overhead to the processor as well.



    I remember all this talks for optimizing software when people were comparing Windows 3 and DOS. Everything was running 2x-3x times faster under DOS. Some were saying "Windows has long way to go until it gets as good as DOS is". Two years later, there were Zero optimizations for Widows in terms of performance, but there were tons of apps which had no equivalent under DOS, so the whole DOS vs Windows thing became largely irrelevant. The hardware was some 4x times faster, and nobody was complaining about the Windows speed anymore.



    At the time Pre ships, there will be 15000 - 20 000 iPhone apps, but Palm could argue:

    "You can run the 16 available Pre applications all at once! Wow!"
  • Reply 14 of 33
    irelandireland Posts: 17,521member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrochester View Post


    I certainly agree that the iPhone OS is 'too fat' for the mobile platform it runs on right now. It hides slowness and lag by having fancy transitions, but the bottom line is it is pretty sluggish at times - settings, contacts, emails, the keyboard, are all lag hotspots. The hardware needs speeding up, or the software needs trimming down and be more optimised.



    I've seen the lag on the Palm Pre, it's no faster than the iPhone at all. In fact, the demo of the first iPhone was smoother than the demo of the first Pre. We'll have to wait and see real world tests, but my hunch is this is simply marketing hype.
  • Reply 15 of 33
    olternautolternaut Posts: 1,376member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Actually, if Palm tries to migrate their WebOS into larger devices, I think you'll see a problem: by crafting an OS designed to run well in a severely constrained environment, they've also had to forgo some of the oomph of "real" OS.



    So, right now and on current phones, they might be seeing some wins. But hardware only gets more capable; which means while Apple will be able to put more and more of the full power of OS X on each iteration of the iPhone, and already can do so on somewhat larger devices, Palm will be looking for ways to beef up what was only ever intended to be a phone operating system.



    Which kind of gets us back to the problem other handset makers like Nokia have had: how to bolt on parts to a system designed first and foremost to be small, simple and battery sipping, in a world where handhelds are increasingly expected to deliver desktop quality apps.



    At any rate, the idea that the Pre is "four times faster" than the iPhone is a bit of a non sequitur-- I don't think iPhone users are particularly bemoaning how slow and laggy their phones are.



    Still though, at least as it it starts off WebOS seems positioned to do very well for handsets. They say they are continuing to optimize the OS so expect to see it run on different devices.....regular cell phones to start with.

    I'm just saying it would be interesting if down the road sometime if Palm is successful that they might be tempted to experiment with other types of devices.

    .......a PalmTouch (tm) maybe?
  • Reply 16 of 33
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post


    Still though, at least as it it starts off WebOS seems positioned to do very well for handsets. They say they are continuing to optimize the OS so expect to see it run on different devices.....regular cell phones to start with.

    I'm just saying it would be interesting if down the road sometime if Palm is successful that they might be tempted to experiment with other types of devices.

    .......a PalmTouch (tm) maybe?



    DAMN YOU KIDS AND YOUR TOUCHING!



    Anyway, it might be interesting, but I still wonder how an OS so optimized for such a heavily constrained hardware environment would fair against more powerful OSes, when the hardware constraints aren't there.



    Efficiency is good, except when it keeps you from being able to do certain things even when that efficiency isn't really necessary.



    I dare say an iPod OS would really scream on a netbook, but a netbook limited to an iPod OS is a terrible value proposition.
  • Reply 17 of 33
    thttht Posts: 3,036member
    Wow, Palm is trash talking now. They better pull through or there are going to be a lot of Palm fanboys who are going to get their comeuppance. It's one of those things that can comeback and bite you too if they can't do it too, let alone the competition beating you at it.



    I'm not surprised that Palm says it can run more applications. It should. It's running 2009 hardware which should be 2x to 3x times as fast as iPhone hardware in CPU and GPU and it likely has 2x or more memory. The iPhone is a 2 to 3 year old design. Even then, mobile operating systems such as Windows Mobile and Symbian can run 15 to 20 applications at the same time. iPhone OS X could do it too, but they choose not to.



    Also up for debate is what type of applications they are talking about. Webapps? Simple apps? SimCity, a web browser with 8 web pages, a video player?
  • Reply 18 of 33
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Janus View Post


    I certainly am. anything involving the keyboard seems to be a lag-magnet. I'll mash my way through 3 words and nothing appears on the screen, then they all explode on at once with 30 clicks in 1 second...anyone who has used an iPhone knows what I'm talking about. Makes it really hard to catch typos as you type



    The 2.0 update I agree their was a lot of keyboard lag. But that's mostly been solved with the updates. I wouldn't say this is a common problem, it depends on what you are doing at the time. If you are running an intensive app and suddenly switch to a typing app. Then yeah their can be some lag until the system catches up.



    The other issue is that like a computer. You do need to turn the phone off every once in awhile and do a hard restart to reset the system.





    Quote:

    On the other hand, modern day OS X code doesn't seem to be a paragon of efficiency. The frickin' calculator app takes up more than 7 MB of RAM...



    This is likely because OS X has binaries for both x86 and PPC. We already know Snow Leopard will significantly slim down OS X when it rids itself of PPC binaries.





    Quote:

    iPhone doesn't run the web apps side by side, after a certain amount of memory gets taken up by your current page, it shuts down that page and when you go back to it, it has to reload. This is not side-by-side operation.



    The Pre is still going to have to work under these same basic rules. At some point it will have to shut down some processes or run the battery down or crash or both.





    Quote:

    So would I--on a desktop-class system. For a mobile phone in which I am doing basic messaging and information tasks, running 15 widgets that do what I want is a lot more appearing than one beautiful masterpiece app running at a time (and given their propensity for crashing, I'd hardly call Apple's apps masterpieces, even after 18 months on the market)



    The developers who make these "crashy" apps for the iPhone will be the same developers making the Pre's apps. Why do you think it will all work so perfectly on the Pre?



    Quote:

    .

    -if Palm can survive long enough to make a GSM Pre

    -if Palm can pull it off and this isn't hypeware with a 30 minute battery life

    -if Apple doesn't have anything really amazing up their sleeve with iPhone 3.0 to crush the Pre...



    Palm should survive until we see the Pre.



    I believe Palm will deliver the Pre, but it won't fulfill all of these inflated expectations. The Pre will live in the same reality of every other electronic device. It will have its advantages and disadvantages.



    Apple will continue to have new and amazing ideas. I'm not sure why some people think Apple has stopped developing the iPhone. Their is no need to the iPhone to crush the Pre or for the Pre to kill the iPhone. The mobile phone market is huge and both the iPhone and Pre only need to do what they do well and both can succeed.
  • Reply 19 of 33
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    They are optimizing the OS for phones not other devices. They need to deliver the first device before they can begin to think about any other.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post


    Still though, at least as it it starts off WebOS seems positioned to do very well for handsets. They say they are continuing to optimize the OS so expect to see it run on different devices.....regular cell phones to start with.

    I'm just saying it would be interesting if down the road sometime if Palm is successful that they might be tempted to experiment with other types of devices.

    .......a PalmTouch (tm) maybe?



  • Reply 20 of 33
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    some years ago i needed badly opengl api for palm os... there existed nothing but wrappers made in garage... i did not call palm os lean...
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