WebOS Awesomeness

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Why do webOS users love their OS?

Multitasking
At a time when iOS still did not provide essential things like copy and paste, webOS proved that it was possible to have true multi tasking on a smartphone.
Cards
webOS' way to visualize multitasking apps are cards. The user does not even have one card per app, he is also able to stack, move and "snip away" cards, which makes multitasking even more comprehensive. There are numerous examples of how to make good use of stacks of cards.
Wave Launcher
The Wave Launcher—unfortunately not available on the TouchPad—allows the user to access his most important apps and the whole menu with a single move of the finger. It is visual eye candy and at the same time an extremely usefull feature.
Intuitive Gestures
The "Back" gesture and the "Snip Away" of cards is something you never want to miss again, once you have seen them in action. Most people with webOS practice will despair on iOS, Android and other devices, which do not offer these gestures.
Notifications
Although all other mobile OS implemented some sort of notification service, they are all still far behind the notification icons, bars and the handling of webOS notifications.
Synergy
Synergy allows the seamless integration of multiple web services. Addresses, calendars, tasks and everything else can be aggregated. The best example are addresses, where Synergy "magically" recognizes the same contacts and aggregates all the information in a single contact. On other mobile OSes you will rather have five entries with the same name instead of one entry with a sophisticated set of unique information with hints which systems those information were taken from. Moreover having linked all information it allows the user to "jump" media, ie it is easy to call somebody, who sent an SMS, to write an e-mail, to open the contacts …
Just Type
There are "search facilities" in most mobile OSes, but "Just Type" is a directly accessible single entry point for your whole device. You type what you remember from your contact and you will see all contacts matching that criterion. You type the initials of a contact and the contact is displayed. You enter something like "Call Thomas" and Just Type offers you to create an appointment, a task or whatever you like to do. This is far more efficient than launching an application, trying to find the "Add" button and then to enter whatever you want.
Keyboard & Shortcuts
While it is rather an advantage of the smartphones than of webOS, it still needs to be pointed out that the keyboard is naturally ten to hundred times faster than any type of on screen keyboard. webOS takes it even further and allows the user to use all the well known shortcuts like those for copy and paste on the smartphone as well.
Touchstone
Yes, the webOS smartphones were the first who offered inductive charging.
Exhibition Mode
Yes, webOS was the first OS that offered a usefull display while being docked.
Preware, Patches
Every other mobile OS has long tutorials on how to "root" the device. webOS is rootable by design. This allowed many passionate developers to create a multitude of usefull patches which allow the user to tweak his device to his personal preferences. Preware offers an easy way to manage the patches and moreover offers a lot of usefull apps which leverage the usability even further.
Community
The webOS community is really awesome. The guys from webosinternals, webosnation and other sites do an amazing job for keeping the "left behind" webOS users in touch and operational. You cannot thank them enough for all the work they do for free.
Enyo
The JavaScript framework Enyo which builds the foundation of webOS applications allows the user to easily create applications on his own. And besides being developed out of webOS it is possible to write an Enyo application once and to convert it to (almost) all other mobile OSes with a few commands.

Why webOS is considered to be "dead"

No new devices
Afther the ruinous reign of Leo Apotheker and the discontinuation of webOS hardware made by HP, most people said that an OS without hardware is dead, no matter what will be done. There are numerous insightful articles on webosnation about this judgement, but although there is no new hardware, the old hardware remains and while being not "bleeding edge" smartphones, they do their job.
Damaged Reputation
The above mentioned chaos lead to a perception that you cannot rely on an OS which has been let down so many times and whose ownership changed more often than its versioning.
Battery Life
It has always been an issue with all smartphones and with webOS in particular that the battery life is not the best. That's true - but if you are not too greedy, you can still use your webOS smartphone for 24 to 48 hours without recharging - but that's not what you expect from a phone, you rather want to load it once a week. Blame the hardware, not the OS.
Missing Apps
One of the most frequent complaints is the huge amount of apps that are missing on webOS. There are two sides to the story: Yes, webOS does not have certain music identification, cloud integration, chat service and other apps, which are very popular these days; that is sad. But it also does not have hundreds of thousands of useless, dummy, scamming, threatening and advertisement overkill apps like other OSes, which is quite a relief.
Slow
Many things seem to work slower than they could or should. True. But again: blame it on the hardware rather than on webOS.
No widgets
Widgets are usefull for giving the user an overview of what is going on. I miss them too. As they drain battery life, it would suffice though to at least have an option to place some according to your personal preferences.
Usability
Some things are not well solved like the cursor placement and movement, but this is nothing which cannot be corrected in future releases.

Why webOS is not dead at all

Whitby's Law
I once read a nice comment from Rod Whitby from webosinternals, which I loved so much that I keep paraphrasing it whereever it suits and which i love to call "Whitby's Law": If you have a device and an OS, which does what it is expected to do, you don't need to feel bad about it only by the fact that somebody else released a newer device with another OS.
Usability
Everybody who ever used webOS will miss its features on every other mobile OS. Many of those copied features from webOS, but nothing beats the original. Simple as that.