HP Sells the Palm Brand to Alcatel Onetouch (UPDATED)

According to a recent post over on WebOSNation website, HP has sold the Palm brand to the Chinese firm Alcatel Onetouch.

“We’ve been wondering for a while what is up with Palm.com domain, and it’s looking more and more certain that HP sold the brand and trademarks to Alcatel Onetouch. The first hints of this came from the teaser when the website started redirecting to mynewpalm.com, with a looping video of the Palm logo with the text “coming soon” and “smart move” beneath. “Smart move,” as it would be, is the slogan of Chinese smartphone manufacturer Alcatel Onetouch (a brand of Chinese electronics firm TCL). That’s not exactly a lot to go off of though, but it was enough to raise suspicions.”

The “coming soon” and “smart move” text and logo is actually a looping video file called “palm_animated5.mp4”.  Oddly, the video didn’t play on my iPhone 6 when I used it to surf to the mynewpalm.com website.  (It did work on my Mac with Safari 8.)

As a long, long time Palm fan boy I’m hoping that something good will come of the Palm brand.

UPDATE:

Upon further consideration, there are a few things that are still up in the air for Palm webOS fans.

1. I almost forgot that LG has purchased WebOS to power their line of Smart+ television sets.

2. I wonder what impact the sale of the Palm brand on LG, the Open WebOS project, and Gram (which is still online at gram.com) might be, if any.

3. What is to become of the HP/Palm webOS App Catalog store?  According to the WebOS Wikipedia page, the App Catalog site will go offline in 15 days on Jan. 15, 2015.

[Via WebOSNation.com…]

Installing Palm’s Tasks App on Your TouchPad

Yesterday, Ryan St. Andrie, of webOSNation.com, posted an article on installing the webOS Tasks application from a Pre or Pixi smartphone on your TouchPad tablet.  Tasks, unbelievably, is an application that never made it into webOS 3.0.  You can read the full story over on webOSNation.com.

The steps outlined in the article work well enough.  I did run into some *minor* problems while packing up the Tasks app for installation on my TouchPad.  The first issue was how to deal with the .jar webOS Doctor file that contains the Tasks application that I wanted to install.  The second issue was where do a copy the Task application to once I got it on my TouchPad.

Issue 1: Working with the .jar webOS Doctor file

webOS Doctor files, shipped as Java .jar files, are essentially hard reset files that allow you to reset and reload a clean copy of webOS on your device.  The article calls for opening the .jar file with a PC compression utility like WinRAR.  I’ve used WinRAR before…on my PC.  As I said, I’m using a Mac now.

Without thinking, I loaded up Parallels, launched my Windows 7 virtual machine, and was off to the races as they say.  But what if you don’t have Paralles, VMware Fusion, or a copy of Windows hanging around?  The solution turns out to be very simple; rename the .jar file to .zip!  (I didn’t come up with that myself.  I found the solution here.  Thanks, cazlar!)  I did go back and test the rename-the-file trick and it does work.  Sweet!!

Also, once you get the .jar-now-a-.zip file open, here is the path you have to navigate to find the Tasks folder.  I am going to assume that you are using the unlocked Pre2 webOS 2.2.4 Doctor file.

webosdoctorp224pre2wr.jar > resources > webOS.tar > .\nova-cust-image-roadrunner.rootfs.tar.gz > .\usr > palm > applications > com.palm.app.tasks

Issue 2: Moving the Tasks app

Once you have installed the repackaged Tasks .IPK file on your TouchPad, you have to move it to the Linux partition for Palm’s built-in webOS applications because Tasks is a system application and not a third-party application.

If you are reading the webOSNations article carefully, you will know that you will need to move the Tasks app folder from the path:

/media/cryptofs/apps/usr/palm/applications/com.palm.tasks

to:

/usr/palm/applications/com.palm.tasks

The thing that tripped me up was the screen shot that was provided was of the first path, not the second.  Just be aware of that when you go to move the com.palm.tasks folder.

After rebooting my TouchPad, Tasks was up and running in the webOS smartphone emulator on my tablet!

The entire process took about an hour for me to complete.  Times will vary depending on how much software needs to be downloaded, updated, or installed on your Mac, PC, and TouchPad.

[Via webOSNation.com…]

Rumor: HP webOS 1.4.5.1 Update On The Way

Call it a parting gift.  Call it a party favor.  Heck, it might as well be a case of Turtle Wax or a year’s supply of Rice-A-Roni, but HP is allegedly pushing out a very small maintenance update for devices running webOS 1.4.5.

HP webOS 1.4.5.1 weighs in at an underwhelming 1MB and is reported to a bug fix release.  I’ve been checking my Sprint Pre for the last two days and there has been no notice of a new patch in the Updates application.  I’ve also checked the HP Palm support website, and the webOS Updates pages for the Pre, Pre Plus, Pixi, and Pixi Plus for Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and Bell don’t list any updates.

Someone keeping watch over the Twitter @webOSdev account claims the update is real and that they are “just cleaning up some bugs.”  Hopefully, one of the bugs that will get fixed in the update is the annoying HTML tag error in the Contacts notes field that was fixed in webOS 2.x, but not in the 1.4.x software line.

I’ll keep an eye out for the webOS 1.4.5.1 update and let you know if it finally arrives on my original Sprint Palm Pre.  The Palm webOS 1.4.5 update was first rolled out for the Sprint Palm Pre on August 10, 2010.  Additionally, HP has not yet released the details of their “alternative plans” are for customers who, according to them, will not be receiving the HP webOS 2.0 update.

[Via PreCentral.net…]

Palm Updates (Beta) Facebook Client

The other day I posted that new mobile Facebook clients for iOS, BlackBerry OS, and Google Android had popped up in their respective app stores.  On Friday evening, Palm posted their v1.4.5 update to the beta Facebook client which now includes support for the Facebook Paces feature.

To learn more about how to install Palm beta applications on your webOS phone, hit the “Read more” link for some helpful information on how to get started.


Since this is a beta application, it doesn’t show up in the App Catalog – version 1.4.0 shows up there, which introduced support for multiple webOS cards for Facebook.  (Think of webOS “cards” as separate browser windows or tabs.)

To install the beta version of the Palm Facebook client, you must first install two pieces of software: WebOS Quick Install on your PC, and Preware on your Palm webOS phone.

If you are unfamiliar with Homebrew apps, or installing WebOS Quick Install, then head over to PreCentral.net where you can read all about Homebrew apps and for the download and directions for installing WebOS Quick Install (free PreCentral forums registration is required.)

Once you have WebOS Quick Install loaded on your Palm webOS phone, you are ready to install Preware, which is a fairly easy task when you use WebOS Quick Install.

After you have installed Preware and launched it on your webOS phone, you can search for Facebook and find the beta client.  You install apps in the Palm beta channel the same way you install applications in Palm’s App Catalog and you’re ready to rock-n-roll.  To check for future updates to the beta Facebook client, launch Preware on your Palm every now and again and check the Updates section of the Preware screen.

Sure, this all sounds really geeky and strange if you haven’t played with Homebrew apps on your Palm Pre or Pixi before, but it is really easy to do and opens the door to hundreds of great app that aren’t available directly from Palm.

Palm Pre Reaches EOL Status at Sprint

According to a PreCentral.net article posted today, the Palm Pre, the original HP webOS device, has reached End of Life (EOL) status on the Now Network.

“Today we’ve received word from a trusted Sprint source that the end is here for the original Palm Pre, with Sprint marking the device as EOL (End of Life). It’s not a surprise after it already disappeared from their site, but it’s still a blow: we still find that the largest and most loyal webOS contingent lives on Sprint.

Quantities of new Palm Pre phones in Sprint warehouses are very low (we’re talking hundreds of units here), so it shouldn’t be too much longer before the phone is completely sold out.”

With the Palm Pre gone, Sprint customers will only have the option of the original Palm Pixi should they want to use a Palm phone and stay with Sprint.  There has been no word as to whether or not Sprint will pick up the new HP Palm Pre 2 that has already gone on sale in O2’s network in France, and will be headed to Verizon and AT&T in the near future.

Personally, without a new high-end HP Palm or Apple iPhone on Sprint’s Now Network, I’m not sure how long I’ll be sticking with Sprint past the end of my 2-year contact that I signed when I purchased my Pre.  Sprint, you have until April, 2011 to pick up either the HP Palm Pre 2 or newer device or an Apple iPhone.  If not, I’m heading for Verizon or AT&T.

[Via PreCentral.net…]

Astraware Releases Tradewinds 2 for HP webOS

Whether you are new to gaming on your smartphone or have been around for a long time, you owe it to yourself to check out the games that Astraware releases.  These guys make some of  the best mobile games around.

Staffordshire, UK – November 11, 2010 – Astraware® and Sandlot Games® are excited to announce they are bringing the highly-acclaimed adventure trading game, Tradewinds® 2, to Palm® Pre™ and Pre Plus smartphones.

Astraware has recently released its first games for webOS™, and is delighted to work with long-term partner Sandlot Games to add to the range of quality games on the App Catalog by bringing one of its most popular franchises to the platform.
“Astraware continues to be a fantastic partner on a variety of platforms, bringing the best of our franchises to new users worldwide,” said Daniel Bernstein, CEO of Sandlot Games. “We look forward to the success of Tradewinds 2 on the webOS platform.”
Based on the PC game of the same name, Tradewinds 2 is an adventure trading game set in the Caribbean. Players are invited to navigate a fascinating new world and discover uncharted ports teeming with friends and foes alike. They can be a master commander, defeating pirates and plundering their vast hordes of booty, or they can play it safe by trading exotic island goods, gradually amassing untold wealth, power and influence.
“We’re delighted to work with Sandlot to bring Tradewinds 2 to webOS smartphones,” said Howard Tomlinson, CEO of Astraware. “Many long-time Palm users will know and love the Tradewinds games and we’re sure they’ll love the hours of in-depth game play, trading in goods, battling pirates and completing missions”.
Tradewinds 2 is available now for Palm Pre and Pre Plus running webOS 1.4.5 from the App Catalog on device. For more information about the game, visit http://www.astraware.com/webos/tradewinds2.

MotionApps Halts Sales of Classic, Turns Source Over to Palm [UPDATED}

[Editor’s Note: We have been contacted by MotionApps to let us know they are not closing down the company.]

MotionApps, the developer behind Classic, the Palm OS emulation layer for HP webOS 1.x devices like the Pre and Pixi, has halted sales and turned over the source code and the intellectual property (IP) over to HP’s Palm unit.

MotionApps has posted the following note to the Palm user community on their blog:

“We are sad to announce that Palm has removed Classic’s ROM from the new webOS 2.0 device ROM which will result in Classic not working if utilized with Palm’s new webOS 2.0.
This is contrary to our agreement with Palm and was done without our approval or consent. Based on this action, MotionApps will immediately stop selling Classic. However, as a courtesy to our clients, we will continue to support existing Classic customers on webOS 1.x for the immediate future.
Be that as it may, we believe in PalmOS and we want to do what we can to help Palm succeed in their future endeavors. So we decided to hand over the entire Classic source code and all of our accompanying IP to Palm so that Palm can do what they want to do with Classic and make it available with webOS 2.0.
Palm now has all the pieces to manage and control Classic’s future.
Thank you all who supported us along the way and who love PalmOS the way we do.
MotionApps Team”
A similar message appears on the MotionApps main website that simply reads:
“With the release of Palm webOS™ 2.0 MotionApps will no longer sell or support future versions of Classic.
We have decided to hand the entire source code and all accompanying IP over to Palm so Palm can assume full control of Classic’s future life and shape.
We had great time building Classic and supporting its vibrant community. Palm’s way of supporting MotionApps has become too disruptive for us and we no longer believe that we are in a position to provide our customers with the best product and service.
Our work is who we are so we respectfully choose to exit.”
So it appears that MotionApps, as a company, closing down along the decision to halt sales of Classic as a third-party application.
As a Classic owner, I’m sorry to see it go, however, I have received little or no utility out of Classic recently.  This is mostly to do with the fact that I am no longer using Palm OS apps on my original Sprint Pre.  I’m willing to bet that HP thinks that most of their customers will be in the same boat as me or, simply, they may just want to the cord with Palm OS.  Either way, it doesn’t matter, what’s done is done.
The interesting thing that will happen sooner or later is that all of us who purchased Classic for $30 will be forced to HP webOS 2.0 when is gets pushed out as an over-the-air update to our Pre and Pixi smarphones once our wireless carriers certify the new software.  What remains to be seen is whether or not a customer can decline the receipt of a major HP webOS upgrade like 2.0 and continuing using webOS 1.x and Classic.

Update:

MotionApps has contacted informed me they are not closing down, but, rather, simply halting the sale and further development of Classic.

“MotionApps, as a company, is not closing down along the decision to halt sales of Classic as a third-party application.

We are simply shutting down Classic as a product only to focus on other products and services that we are working on, some of which are public and some of which are yet to be released in the future.”

I’m glad to hear that MotionApps is staying in the software game and look forward to their new projects.

Palm Pixi Free on Sprint (Online Only)

The other day I reported that the original, non-plused Palm Pixi would be free on Sprint after a $100 mail in rebate.  I was on the Sprint website and noticed that there is an online only offer to receive the Pixi free.

To get the Pixi free, you must order the phone online with an accompanying new line of service or qualifying service agreement upgrade (read: extension).

If you are looking to make the jump to a webOS powered Pixi, now is the time to do it.  For more details, visit the Sprint website.

Astraware Releases Casino, Police Range for webOS

 Astraware has released another pair of their popular games for webOS this past week.  Joining Suduku and OddBlob is Astraware Casino and Police Range.

Astraware® is excited to announce the release of 2 new titles for the Palm® Pre™ and Pre Plus.  Astraware Casino and Police Range follow hot on the heels of Astraware’s debut webOS™ releases, Astraware Sudoku and OddBlob, which received an excellent reception from the webOS community on their release.

“It’s great to be launching these extra titles for the Pre,” said David Oakley, CTO of Astraware, “and the great feedback and interest we’ve had from the webOS community makes it exciting to be so connected with our userbase and their requests.”

Astraware Casino, already Astraware’s best-seller across a range of smartphone platforms, features 11 of the most popular casino games in 1 easy-to-use pack including Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, Craps, Roulette, Slots, and Blackjack.  The game includes instructions on how to play each game and has a fun awards system – the Souvenir Suitcase – with awards unlockable in each of the games!

Police Range is a fun target practice range where players can put their skill and accuracy to the test as they train on 2 different types of police practice range – Crime Alley and Target Practice. Online high score leaderboards add to the challenge as players compete against their friends and other players worldwide.

Both games, built using Palm’s PDK, require the 1.4.5 webOS upgrade to be able to run. Astraware Casino and Police Range are available now, priced $2.99, from Palm’s App Catalog on device. For more information and screenshots, visit: http://www.astraware.com/webos.

With New Line of Service Sprint Pre Drops to $49; Pixi Free

It is expected that Sprint will be dropping the prices for the original Palm Pre and Palm Pixi today.

The Sprint edition Palm Pre, complete with center button, will drop from $149 to just $49.  The Sprint edition Palm Pixi, you know, the one without Wi-Fi, will be free, zero, nada dollars.  Both new prices reflect the final price after a mail-in rebate.

If you are off contract and want to upgrade your phone without having to extend your service commitment, you will be able to purchase the Palm Pre for $349 and Palm Pixi for $299.

[Via PreCentral.net…]