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Palm App Catalog Glitch Locks Out WebOS Users

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the less-than-handy dept.

Bug 36

hazmat2k writes "Palm's App Catalog appears to have suffered a meltdown of sorts, with users of Palm Pre, Pixi, Pre Plus, and Pixi Plus handsets reporting that after having downloaded a new title — whether paid or free — no aftermarket software would run properly. The issue remained even after fully erasing and restarting the phone; in fact, the apps were still installed even after that process was completed. Core functionality — calls, messaging, and data — were all unaffected. Palm acknowledged the issue on its blog, and later said that it had been fixed."

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Will anyone notice? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32226972)

And eat my shorts slashdot !!

Important services unaffected (4, Interesting)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 4 years ago | (#32226992)

At least important services were unaffected. My iPhone drops my calls, sometimes won't handle data and when it hangs, no call gets in. If you're buying a phone it's nice that at least the important stuff still works, and that while I'm playing on my device I won't miss critical calls or messages.

Re:Important services unaffected (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32227438)

Why do dropped calls and data matter? I always thought that came second after being a trendy hipster.

Re:Important services unaffected (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32227508)

But the App Catalog is 100% Palm. AT&T is generally a pretty crappy network even while I was on a "dumb" phone I had dropped calls and missed messages. A lot of the failings of the iPhone (minus of course all the missed features that Jobs said no one wanted and therefore would be terrible to have in a phone like multi-tasking and the like....) can be blamed on AT&T. However, Palm's App Catalog is 100% run by palm, any failing there is purely Palm's fault, the iPhone faults you mentioned could be caused more by AT&T than Apple.

The important thing... (3, Insightful)

gmfeier (1474997) | more than 4 years ago | (#32227554)

I don't have problems with dropped calls on my iPhone 3G. Why? Before I purchased it, I made sure that AT&T coverage was excellent in the areas where I use it (and it is). If it wasn't, I'd have an Android phone now. Moral - Don't buy any phone if the coverage where you are mainly going to use it sucks.

Re:The important thing... (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 4 years ago | (#32227624)

You're assuming that I switched to ATT, because of the iPhone. I've service with them for more than 6 years in the same location and multiple devices ( sony, nokia, htc) and never had problems with dropped calls. Even at some places I knew the reception was poor while I was driving the cellphones manages to keep the calls connected. The iPhone tends to give up quite easy and drop the calls at the first opportunity it gets.

Re:The important thing... (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 4 years ago | (#32227954)

There's definitely something to the phone's firmware. The Pre had this issue for a while, that a weakened signal would drop quickly, whereas my previous phone would just go quiet for a second or two. I referred to the Pre's dropped calls as "missing a photon," something my friends picked up when the call unexpectedly ended, as that's about all it seemed to take to drop a call. Since the 1.4 update, it's gotten much better, and even in spotty areas, it at least tries to stay connected for a few seconds before giving up.

Re:The important thing... (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 4 years ago | (#32228558)

I could sit my wife's iPhone and my Nokia N97 3 ft apart on our home office desk, and she'd have 1 bar, and I'd have 7 (7 is the new 5, I guess). I'd call both phones from my desk VoIP phone, mine would ring, hers would go to voicemail. Sometimes nothing short of a phone reboot would change that.

That's not network, that's firmware and/or software.

Re:The important thing... (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#32235342)

My main issue with the iPhone was not dropped calls, it was calls coming in but the front screen not responding to the swipe to answer - it would take a good 5 or 6 swipes until it would answer it. The screen is clean and dirt free, and is responsive at other times in the same area so I do not think its a damaged or dirty screen that is causing the lack of response to input.

Re:Important services unaffected (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 4 years ago | (#32227586)

At least important services were unaffected. My iPhone drops my calls, sometimes won't handle data and when it hangs, no call gets in. If you're buying a phone it's nice that at least the important stuff still works, and that while I'm playing on my device I won't miss critical calls or messages.

Why is it that tourists like me never ever have problem with their iPhone when they visit the US? I never had any problems with my iPhone when I was down in the states. Is it possible that they apply QOS and give worse service to existing local customers who bitch and moan at the CSRs who cannot fix the problems anyway?

Or here is a thought, check out the service levels of carriers in your area before choosing one. If AT&T is so bad in your area, why didn't you just buy an iPod Touch and go with a simple talk and text phone for phone calls on another carrier?

Nobody is holding a gun to your head to go with AT&T or live in trendy San Francisco or New York.

Re:Important services unaffected (1)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229954)

So I was saying, "Gee, this is sad, iPad gets almost 1,000 comments about its closed nature and the Palm Pre can only muster 28 about the outage?"

It was worse than that. Looks like most of them are about lousy iPhone coverage!

So I should chime in. To keep this on topic, I can say that my Palm Pre's Sprint coverage didn't work at all where I live, and if I wasn't using it as a development device, I would have taken it back.

My iPhone works fine in the Pittsburgh area. It drops calls almost identically to Verizon phones in the same area. Sometimes it's actually a little better, other times it's a little worse. Pittsburgh is very hilly - its topography is similar to the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles - so truly excellent cellphone service is probably not feasible. But Verizon and AT&T are both about equally mediocre, with Sprint way behind. (I haven't tried T-Mobile in a while so I will ignore them.)

I think the real problem with iPhone is that AT&T didn't realize how geographically concentrated iPhone use was going to be, and did not plan accordingly. Last year, the AT&T network failed at South by Southwest in Austin due to the huge concentration of iPhones suddenly descending on the place. This year, no problem at all, because AT&T beefed up their network and things worked fine.

Now I wonder why on earth they couldn't do that for the Bay Area, since by now they know what they need.

So if you are in a random place in the USA, instead of NYC, the Bay Area or other hotbeds of iPhone use, your AT&T service is probably fine, as mine is.

D

I was kind of hoping for an quasi-Apple change (1, Redundant)

GilliamOS (1313019) | more than 4 years ago | (#32226994)

They always take their store down when they launch a new product or drastic changes. I was hoping Palm was doing the same. A minor inconvenience is all it was at best. Oh noes, I can't buy an app for 2-3 hours!!! zOMG call in the military!

Re:I was kind of hoping for an quasi-Apple change (3, Informative)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 4 years ago | (#32227072)

It was 'down' for more like 16 hours, depending where you live. Just rolling back the date made everything work fine. It had the appearance of simply being something like an expired certificate. No biggie, but inconvenient if you happened to want a new app this weekend.

Fragile Devices (1, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32227004)

This demonstrates how 'fragile' these devices really are (from a software/OS perspective). It's not like a tower that we can pop open, tinker futz and fuss until they're fixed. This also makes it clear that it won't take much to disable the software on a device - and possibly the networking & phone features - if some virus or malformed code makes its way to the device.

Re:Fragile Devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32227260)

>This demonstrates how 'fragile' these devices really are (from a software/OS perspective). It's not like a tower that we can pop open, tinker futz and fuss until they're fixed.
So basically when you have a software/OS problem, you cap open your tower, and tinker and fuss to fix the problem?
Insightfull indeed.

Re:Fragile Devices (1)

mdervin2001 (1146247) | more than 4 years ago | (#32227294)

When you really want to show the computer who's boss, you move the bits physically. Physical intimidation always works.

Re:Fragile Devices (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32227436)

You can pull the drive, test it on another computer, use a file manager to remove or replace files, etc. Surely I didn't have to explain that?

at least this had a fail safe that made basic stuf (2, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32227324)

at least this had a fail safe that made the basic stuff still work.

Re:Fragile Devices (-1)

r7 (409657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32227352)

Disappointing that Palm won't talk about the incident. Make you wonder what else they're not talking about (like WebOS security...).

The most likely root cause of this outage was WebOS' Achilles heel, its dependence on Javascript. This design flaw, putting so much behind an impossible to secure, single-threaded, shared-memory, programming language/environment has cost Palm a lot of development cycles and will continue to give Android the advantage IMHO.

Re:Fragile Devices (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32227404)

This design flaw, putting so much behind an impossible to secure, single-threaded, shared-memory, programming language/environment [...]

You say it like it's a bad thing.

Re:Fragile Devices (2, Insightful)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 4 years ago | (#32227496)

The most likely root cause is an expired certificate. I'd hardly consider that an Achilles heel.

Re:Fragile Devices (2, Informative)

El Royo (907295) | more than 4 years ago | (#32228082)

I don't believe this is a very accurate description of the problem. Here is the issue in a nutshell: You couldn't install or update apps from the App Catalog. Period. Everything else in the phone was unaffected. The beauty of the webOS ecosystem is that homebrew (encouraged by Palm!) was completely unaffected. You could still go open, tinker, futz and fuss with the phone all you wanted to through things like Preware or webOS Quick Install. Even if HP decided to shutter Palm tomorrow (which isn't going to happen with all the hype around tablets these days) the homebrew community would continue to thrive. It is an open Linux platform after all.

Webos (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32227142)

lol, webos. Reminds me of huevos, and not in a good way.

what is this palm thing you speak of ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32227250)

is it a corpse of a once well known and proud company ? maybe they should shoot it and put it out of its misery.

Re:what is this palm thing you speak of ? (1)

xigxag (167441) | more than 4 years ago | (#32227290)

Um, it IS out of its misery, And soon to be in a Happy-Place.

Class action (0)

XB-70 (812342) | more than 4 years ago | (#32227276)

It is long overdue that, when you pay a handsome sum for a product that includes a proprietary O/S and the company produces massive crap like this, they should be a) held accountable b) provide full recompense for the incredible amount of lost time that issues like this cause.

I have long advocated that, if you must have patent legislation, there should be a consumer side to it. You can't have it two ways. You can't make money by being proprietary while at the same time not being accountable for your errors.

Re:Class action (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 4 years ago | (#32227680)

the incredible amount of lost time that issues like this cause.

You couldn't install any new apps for between 8-16 hours depending on where you live. Besides that minor inconvenience, all previously installed apps worked fine, and the phone worked fine. Incredible amount of lost time? Really?

Misleading summary (5, Informative)

bluec (1427065) | more than 4 years ago | (#32227516)

after having downloaded a new title – whether paid or free – no aftermarket software would run properly

Not true. The software just downloaded would not run properly, but all other aftermarket software previously installed was unaffected.

A beam in your eye (1)

nanospook (521118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32227980)

If you ask me, Palm's WebOS has already screwed the pooch! My palm pre apps do not rotate unless I"m running a browser. if I want to read email sideways, I'm out of luck. If i want to look at any application sideways, none of them rotate. Why would palm come up with a late date new OS and not make that just part of the operating system environment so that all applications rotate? Seems shortsighted..

Maybe you should sit on it (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32229018)

AND ROTATE!

Re:Maybe you should sit on it (1)

nanospook (521118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32232354)

Rotate this * spanky ;)

Re:A beam in your eye (1)

HxBro (98275) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229266)

There are patches to turn email sideways and back again by rotating the phone.

Re:A beam in your eye (1)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229970)

Probably because the keyboard has a fixed location on the bottom of the phone.

The main reason for rotation on the iPhone was to make the onscreen keyboard less difficult to type with.

D

Who uses the Palm app store anyways? (1)

quickgold192 (1014925) | more than 4 years ago | (#32228028)

It's the huge selection of homebrew apps that make WebOS really attractive.

Palm App Catalouge Glitch Locks Out WebOS users. (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#32231730)

Both of them.

Re:Palm App Catalouge Glitch Locks Out WebOS users (1)

nanospook (521118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32232336)

Haha, ok someone mod this funny cuz it was!
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