Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Palm Pre's address book criticisms

No review of the Palm webOS is without a mention of how the address book is very hard to navigate. True to form (and thoroughness), Ars' review of the webOS has this to say:
"Good luck browsing the Pre's address book—as most reviewers have pointed out, it's a mess. The webOS expects contacts to exist as a collection of federated services that you query, not as a structured, browsable repository. So when you add contact services—Google, Exchange, Facebook, AIM—to the Pre, it dumps all of the contacts that it pulls from these services into one impossibly long alphabetical list (mine is about 450 entries)."
In the last year since I have had a Windows mobile phone, I have never once browsed through my Contacts/Address Book. If I want to call or text someone, I start typing their name or number using the keypad - if they are in my address book, their name shows up; if they aren't, o well! What I'm trying to say is "Navigating the Address Book" is a function that was absolutely necessary circa 1999 when phones didn't have an awesome search feature. We're in the 21st century guys - stop mentioning moot points in your reviews.

For my money, the fact that navigating the Pre's address book is so difficult is a definite step forward. Like all new paradigms, this one will take some adjustment but eventually, it is for the best. There are better things to do than navigate a list of 100+ entries... When you launch the Pre's address book, you're supposed to just start typing the name of the contact that you're looking for on the built-in keyboard, and let webOS zero in on the desired record. If you try browsing for the desired contact, then you're wasting your time, because the data is just not structured for this kind of discovery. Pre wants you to query a service, not browse a repository."

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