For A Mobile Platform, the Web Just Isn’t Ready

Palm/HP Pre 3Ouch…

…But Mr. Mercer insisted that WebKit would still leave WebOS underpowered relative to Apple’s software.

“If the bar is to build Cupertino-class software in terms of responsiveness and beauty,” he said, “WebKit remains not ready for prime time, because the Web cannot deliver yet.”

This is part of the sentiment that really stings in regards to WebOS and its failures to make more than a passing impression to mobile. As much as I don’t want to admit it, there’s some harsh truth in that statement. Not even just because mobile-optimized browser engines just haven’t evolved much (ok, JavaScript speed, yea, but there’s just not much happening outside of Opera’s server-side leanings and Webkit’s dispersion).

I liked WebOS, and even with the Pixi that I reviewed for Brighthand, I saw some of the speed issues. But, couldn’t deny that it was appealing. I felt like I was finally seeing the web being brokered into something more than speeds and feeds. And to some degree, that was the case. But, it was too far a push… for people, for developers (!!!), and for companies.

Nokia tried similar, though not as far reaching, with Widsets/WebRuntime widgets. I still love the idea. But yea, the web isn’t fast enough to be a compelling choice for this. Ok, not the web, WebKit… an engine used in (too) many mobile devices. It could be better. Maybe it should be. But if its true that a browser’s engine, if done well, could make the web a much more usable/connected/beautiful platform for all spokes in mobile, then maybe we see why its not been given that attention/fix at this point.

Shame that the beautiful stuff can’t also get beautiful attention and patience thrown at it. That ROI piece is a bugger.

I’d still rock a (GSM) Pre 2 or 3 as a backup just for kicks and a view of dreams that were aimed for, not just money grabbed at.