To many, yesterday was just another Tuesday. It was just another sixth of June. In my house the sixth of June is both celebrated and mourned, for many reasons. One reason it is celebrated is because it is that June sixth was the day that my wife graduated from high school. I’m not too ashamed to admit that the only reason I can remember that the day she graduated high school is from one short string, “webos20090606”. This string is why yesterday I mourned.
I have always been a huge fan of Palm and have owned many, many, many Palm devices. Back in 2009, webOS was announced on June 6th. That day marked the day that I quit being a Palm fanboy and became a Palm addict. WebOS changed the way I looked at mobile devices and got me excited to enter the mobile arena. Shortly after doing so I decided I needed to get to know my device better and I discovered Developer Mode. As a nod to Konami Palm had included the option to unlock Developer Mode using a code made famous by the game Contra, “Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start”. The code was entered without spaces and you were given complete control over your Palm Pre (or Pixi). Some users like me found that was way too many characters to enter so we instead used the other option of “WebOS20090606”. As I was often bricking my device in one way or another it was a code I would end up entering after flashing my device back to stock.
Several years ago, Leo Apotheker decided to pull the plug on Palm (after it had been acquired by HP) and ruined everyone’s hopes and dreams for future Palm and WebOS devices. Shortly after that he was fired and replaced by Meg Whitman. She made some small attempts to help Palm users but ultimately open sourced much of the WebOS code and sold off another chunk of it to LG. WebOS still lives on as the operating system behind LG’s new line of smart TV’s but is no longer the WebOS we knew and loved.
So yesterday, I mourned. I mourned the loss of the first truly multi-tasking operating system, the original cards UI (and not just the cards that Apple and Android have now ripped off but also Card Stacks), Synergy and Just Type, I mourned my wireless charging with the awesome Touchstone, notifications at the bottom of the screen, Touch to Share, the massive homebrew community (and all their awesome patches) and more!
Android and Apple have both come a long way in ripping off many of the features found in WebOS but to this day they still do not hold a candle to the innovation and foresight that Palm had in their WebOS devices and operating system. I know the chances are slim that Palm will ever return to its glory but I hope for the day where I can one day begin celebrating 2009-06-06 as more than the day my wife graduated from high school.
Photo Credits: Lisa Brewster (@adora)