Print 19 comment(s) - last by Wolfpup.. on May 30 at 3:52 AM

  (Source: flickr)
Martias Duarte leaves Palm to work on Android OS

Just when you thought that things had quieted down a bit on the Palm front, this interesting bit of news just came across the news wires. Earlier this morning, it was reported that Matias Duarte, the man who lead that team that developed the webOS UI, was leaving Palm. At the time, no one knew where Duarte was heading following his departure from the mobile firm that was recently acquired by HP.

However, All Things Digital is now reporting that Duarte is heading to none other than Google. Google confirmed that Duarte will join the company as the User Experience Director for Android.

Google is gaining quite a bit of momentum in the smartphone market and Android-based smartphones recently bolted ahead of Apple's iPhone according to numbers from marker research firm NPD. The company is also taking the fight straight to Apple and RIM with new features in Android 2.2 including native tethering/Wi-Fi hotspot, support for Adobe Flash 10.1, faster application performance, and over the air syncing for apps and music.

The addition of Duarte is a great boon for Google as its stock Android UI could definitely use a bit of polish. Some manufacturers take care of this themselves by developing their own "user experiences" such as HTC's Sense, but it would be nice to see a more sleek interface come straight from Google and Duarte seems like the right man for the job.

Duarte was on stage during CES 2009 to show off the Pre during its official unveil. At the time, Duarte poked fun at the iPhone's lack of a keyboard and user-replaceable battery. In the end, Palm's Pre (and it's little brother, the Pixi) ended up being a sales dud on both Sprint and Verizon's network. However, webOS has been the real star of the show and is destined to live on in future products from HP.

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By spathotan on 5/27/2010 5:12:19 PM , Rating: 2
WebOS is a great OS, overlooked by iPhoneites and the like. Alot of design elements in it are better than Android and iPhone but the package as a whole was weighed down by the devices and the company themselves. Its hard for a company to properly support and push a product when they dont have any money.

RE: Awesome
By Wolfpup on 5/30/2010 3:52:03 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I agree. The OS even around launch last year seemed more polished than Android, and does stuff probably better than Apple will even after next month. One of my bigger complaints was just the hardware-don't like the tiny screen, tiny keyboard, sliding design, etc. Seemed cheap and iffy.

I'll be very interested if they get better hardware combined with WebOS-if we had something like the Nexus One/Incredible, but with WebOS even...

I also have to wonder if they're planning on adding some Android support to WebOS, or even merging the underlying OS as much as they can. Seems like it MIGHT be possible to get WebOS able to run at least some Android programs, and might make things easier if they run the same underlying version of Linux (if they don't already). Heck, they might be able to make WebOS a nice front end/different ecosystem running on top of Android-best of both worlds. Maybe I'm making it sound too easy as the APIs are probably totally different, but...I don't know, maybe some potential there.

At any rate, I'm disappointed WebOS hasn't done more, as in most ways I still prefer PalmOS to the newer OSes for the basic PIM stuff and being a real PC. The new stuff is too restrictive, too poorly thought out and slow, etc.

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