A webOS 1.2 Upgrade Experience That Couldn’t Be Much Worse

Posted Tuesday, September 29th, 2009 at 11:42 am

The following is a copy of what I just posted on the Palm Prē forums:

I woke up this morning to find that the webOS 1.2 upgrade had been pushed to my Prē automatically. I was happy, until the reboot finished and I saw:

Signed Out

You are no longer signed in to your Palm Profile on this phone.

If you plan to use this phone again, you can leave the files on your USB drive intact.

If you’re done using this phone, you can erase all your data on the phone and return to its factory default.

[Just Restart]
[Erase All Data]

The [things in brackets] represent buttons.

And I hit "Just Restart", and I wait about 8 minutes while the phone reboots, and then I see the same screen again. I’m effectively locked out of my phone.

Is there any way out of this that doesn’t involve blowing away all my data, files, apps, bookmarks, and other customizations? Hell, I had photos on there that I hadn’t offloaded! I had calendar reminders for upcoming events, and I can’t recall what they were – if I could remember all that, I wouldn’t need a calendar app!

How do I get out of this without losing all my data?

Obviously, this is a less-than-optimal user experience. Just as obviously, not everyone is experiencing this. But my satisfaction with the Palm Prē has been dropping steadily for the past few weeks, as I wrestle with the near-impossible text-selection and cursor-control problems and snarl at the interminable waits to open applications. This has just sent me into raging, livid territory.

If I have to nuke all my data, I doubt I’ll bother putting much of it back. I may actually migrate back to a Trēo, even though its web browser is nearly unusable for most of my purposes. Since I’m on a shared Sprint plan with my girlfriend, jumping over to the Android isn’t really an option, so I might just drop my smartphone altogether and use a netbook for my mobile computing platform. At least then I can run the OS of my choice, and set up the backup system of my choice to insure against data loss.

Right now, my phone is a brick until I either learn of a way to break out of this loop without losing data, or give up and decide to accept the loss.

Please, if you want a smartphone and you value your sanity, happiness, and data: Don’t get a Prē. That’s my heartfelt personal advice. You have been warned.

(And I so wanted Palm to succeed. Just a few months ago, I was so happy and hopeful. But the other big news today is the insanity of their app store approval process. Palm is screwing this up about as hard as they possibly could.)

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