Snippet: Palm OS Simplicity ☇

Shared on February 22, 2013

Mike Cane responds to an earlier post by John Gruber that the iPhone wasn’t the first with a home screen featuring a grid of icons, and Gruber clarifies his original point:

I was a big a fan of Palm OS back in the day (I carried a Handspring Visor for a year or two back in the day), so I certainly didn’t mean to imply [here] that the iPhone was the first device to use a home screen that was just a grid of app icons. I’d still argue that the iOS “system” interface is simpler — fewer hardware buttons, for example — but the fact that Palm had something so brilliantly simple so long ago shows just how badly they bungled their evolution.

As a former Palm user myself (Palm Vx), I appreciated the attention to detail, both in hardware and software design. I felt it was the most Apple-like product not designed in Cupertino. What really hurt Palm in the long run was that everyone else was making well-connected devices, and Palm was playing catch-up—they were pushing Wi-Fi on an optional SD card for the longest time. Additionally, the last of the devices running Palm OS (not Web OS) felt like they were running a very outdated operating system, compared with everything else out there.

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.