Palm webOS Vet Defects To Google's Android Team - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile
Commentary
5/27/2010
01:55 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
50%
50%

Palm webOS Vet Defects To Google's Android Team

Google was able to woo Palm's chief webOS user interface architect away and place him in charge of Android's user experience team. That's bad news for HP. Is it good news for Android?

Google was able to woo Palm's chief webOS user interface architect away and place him in charge of Android's user experience team. That's bad news for HP. Is it good news for Android?Matias Duarte was the mastermind behind Palm's webOS user interface. Say what you will about webOS's strengths and weaknesses, you can't call it an ugly OS. It is fluid, attractive, and (dare I say) fun to interact with. The idea of placing applications on virtual cards that can be flung off the display to close apps was sheer genius. Duarte was behind that.

Palm is on shaky ground right now. Though HP has agreed to acquire the company, its webOS has yet to find its footing with consumers. Palm needs to stick webOS into better smartphones and convince its carrier partners that the devices are worth selling.

Losing so key a figure in the webOS department is a definite blow to the company, though I suppose we could argue that Duarte's work is (mostly) done. The OS has been created, he's imparted his signature, and any changes moving forward will be evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Palm's problem is less its OS and more its hardware.

The bigger question is, what will Duarte do with Android?

Android is not the prettiest or most user friendly mobile operating system I've ever used, but it already does better than old and creaky competitors Windows Mobile, Symbian and BlackBerry OS. Google is much easier to master than its forebears.

The base level operating system of Android is a rather stark, and, well, robotic feeling. It isn't very warm. It could use some fluidity, better screen transitions, and more fun. I don't think it needs to be redesigned from the ground up, but stock Android could use a refresh at the very least. Items such as the settings menus and other deep-down controls/pages of the Android OS are plain ugly and interacting with them is not intuitive.

Perhaps Duarte could help with this. Google hasn't done more than confirm Duarte's new title, which is User Experience Director for Android. With Duarte on board, perhaps Android will gain some much-needed spit and polish.

[Via AllThingsD]

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
10 Ways to Transition Traditional IT Talent to Cloud Talent
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  11/23/2020
News
What Comes Next for the COVID-19 Computing Consortium
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/24/2020
News
Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends for 2021
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/13/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
Video
Current Issue
Why Chatbots Are So Popular Right Now
In this IT Trend Report, you will learn more about why chatbots are gaining traction within businesses, particularly while a pandemic is impacting the world.
Slideshows
Flash Poll