• alcatel onetouch,  handspring,  hp,  palm os,  pixi,  pre,  touchpad,  treo,  web os

    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…]

  • lg,  web os

    LG To Release a webOS Powered TV

    Many of you know that I have a soft spot for all things Palm and so I was intrigued when I saw a report on the WSJ Digits blog reporting that LG plans to build a webOS powered television set.

    As you may recall, webOS was the last mobile operating system developed by Palm, Inc before it was acquired by HP in 2010 followed, quickly followed by the complete shutdown of the Palm unit and discontinuing of all webOS hardware sales.  LG acquired webOS from HP in February of 2013.

    What I find interesting about this is that LG is stuffing webOS into a TV.  webOS was originally designed to power smartphones and tablets.  I’m not saying that webOS can’t work on a TV, but I’m having a hard time envisioning the user interface.

    The primary interface for webOS was touch.  The primary interface for TVs today is a remote control.  According to the WSJ article, the unannounced LG TV is said to retain the webOS cards based paradigm for moving between open applications.  To me, that sounds rather clunky with a remote only type of interface.  I guess it could work if LG does something similar to the original Palm Pre which had a home button that, when pressed, would move you into card view for application switching.  Palm abandoned that idea with the Pre Plus, their second webOS smartphone.

    Interface features aside, webOS could have a second left as a smart TV OS.  It’s biggest problem as a smartphone OS was that, honestly, it was late to market compared with Apple iOS and Google Android ecosystems and failed to capture enough developers to really build out the application suite.  In TVs, however, I have to ask myself, how important is a third-party developer ecosystem?  I can’t see playing Angry Birds or Tweeting from my TV, so does it really matter if there is a large catalog of webOS smart TV apps?  I think the place where things like smart TVs, cable boxes, and media players (Blu-ray, DVD, et el) can be improved is in their software.  An “appliance” such as a TV with a slick user interface which made it easy to find the content I want to watch when I want to watch it would be a very nice usability bump.  Any such software should be able to tie together access to my HDMI attached cable box and media players and my streaming media services; Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Pandora spring to mind.

    Regardless of what we might conjure up in our minds, we will know in better detail where LG is taking webOS and smart TVs very soon.  LG plans on showing their webOS TV at the CES show in Las Vegas in a few weeks.

    [Via WSJ Digits blog…]

  • pre,  touchpad,  upgrade,  veer,  web os

    HP Releases a Minor Software Update for HP webOS

    It’s no joke, webOS fans, HP has release the smallest of mandatory updates for Palm’s smartphones and tablet computer.

    I received an email today from HP’s webOS Team letting me know that there is a minor update available for webOS to correct an expiring root certificate that allows our webOS devices to connect to HP’s backend servers for things like Backup/Restore and the App Catalog.  The certificate is set to expire on July 23, 2013.

    HP TouchPad w/ webOS 3 after the update
    Palm Pre w/ webOS 2.1 after the update

    HP TouchPads running webOS 3 will be upgraded to App Catalog version 5.0.3500.  HP and Palm branded smartphones running webOS 2 will be updated to 2.1.10000.

    The email contained directions for devices running webOS 2.1 and later as well as for devices running a version of webOS that was released prior to webOS 2.1.

    Full details on how to update your webOS smartphone or tablet can be found on the HP website.

    Anyone who plans to keep using their Palm webOS devices after July 23 of this year are encouraged to charge up your device and either install the automatic software update using the Software Update application or by manually going to the App Store and installing the App Catalog Update utility.

    The email is copied below:


    Mandatory webOS system update
    A certificate used on webOS devices expires on July 23, 2013. For the system to be able to use cloud services such as Backup/Restore and App Catalog the certificate needs to be updated.
    Beginning June 6th an automatic update to the Application Catalog has replaced the certificate. That means that if your device is running webOS “2.1” or greater you can have the certificate installed automatically by activating your device and accepting the update.
    If your device is running a webOS version older than “2.1”, or you want to manually install, go to the HP App Catalog on your device and select the app called “App Catalog Update”, download and install it on your system.
    To install the new certificate, download and install this application.
    After July 23rd, 2013, it will be necessary to take special steps to install this update. Details will be available on the HP support site (https://developer.palm.com/support/applicationupdate?sssdmh=dm13.346142)
    We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
    webOS Team

  • hp,  lg,  web os

    LG Acquires webOS, Assets and Employees

    You have *got* to be kidding me!

    “LG announced at this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, that it has purchased HP’s webOS Global Business Unit. The deal reportedly includes all of the patents, employees, and source code associated with the operating system originally developed by Palm.”

    webOS.  Now under new management.  (Again.)  So who knows what the fate of webOS Community Edition, Open webOS, and Gram will be.
  • android,  google,  tablet,  web os

    HP Announces the Slate 7 Consumer Tablet

    BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 24, 2013 — HP today announced the HP Slate7, an affordable Android Jelly Bean consumer tablet that provides customers with easy access to Google Mobile services.

    With a 7-inch diagonal screen and weighing 13 ounces, the HP Slate7 is an ideal trusted personal companion, featuring a stainless-steel frame and soft black paint in gray or red on the back. It also is the industry’s first tablet to offer embedded Beats Audio, for the best-sounding, richest audio experience available on a tablet.

    The HP Slate7 delivers the Google experience with services like Google Now, Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive and Google+ Hangouts for multiperson video chat as well as access to apps and digital content through Google Play.

    “To address the growing interest in tablets among consumers and businesses alike, HP will offer a range of form factors and leverage an array of operating systems,” said Alberto Torres, senior vice president, Mobility Global Business Unit, HP. “Our new HP Slate7 on Android represents a compelling entry point for consumer tablets, while our ground-breaking, business-ready HP ElitePad on Windows® 8 is ideal for enterprises and governments. Both deliver the service and support people expect from HP.”

    The HP Slate7 joins the recently introduced HP Chromebook as part of HP’s push to offer access to the Google experience.

    For $169 dollars, I’d buy one to play with, but the real question I have is: will it run Open webOS?

    Read more on the HP Slate 7 website.

  • hp,  pixi,  pre,  touchpad,  web os

    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…]

  • blackberry,  blackberry os,  blackberry q10,  blackberry z10,  pre,  rim,  web os

    BlackBerry Z10 Handsets Appear To Be Selling Out

    BlackBerry is attempting an Apple-like company turn around, which is by no means, an easy thing to do for any company.  A recent article said that BlackBerry doesn’t need to beat out iOS and Google Android hands down right now, rather the BlackBerry 10 OS needs to be able to hold it’s own to iterate and mature.

    Being a long time Palm fan, I have observed similarities between the transformation RIM is currently undertaking with BlackBerry 10 and the Z10 and Palm’s transformation from Palm OS and the Treo to webOS and the Pre and the launch of the Z10 in the UK is just another parallel.

    Writing for BGR, Zach Epstein writes:

    “Checks at 40 stores in Canada indicate sell-through of the BlackBerry Z10 smartphone is strong on its launch day, with numerous stores selling out towards the end of the day,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Sue wrote in a note to clients on Wednesday. “Z10 pre-orders reached record highs (for BlackBerry).” 

    “That’s the good news. Sue tossed some cold water on the report though, noting very short Z10 inventory across all of the stores he spoke with. “Supply appears limited, with stores allocated avg. 5-10 units/store for walk-ins and est. 20-30 units/store for pre-orders,” the analyst wrote.”

    Huh.  You know what other device was the best selling launch day device with sellouts across the board?  Well, yes, the last iPhone, but I was specifically thinking about the Palm Pre with webOS on June 6, 2009.

    The Palm Pre for Sprint was selling out all over the place.  Which is easy to do when each store received less than 24 devices each.

    We all witnessed Palm’s sad, slow demise, and I have to wonder if the new BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 are the new Palm Pre and Pixi.

    For BlackBerry fans and customers, let’s hope not.

    [Via BGR.com…]

  • android,  editorial,  google,  hp,  smartphones,  web os

    HP’s “Bender” Smartphone Prototype

    Last Friday many mobile new websites, including BGR.com, reported that HP has aspirations to build another line of smartphones.

    Today, BGR ran another story indicating that not only are plans underway to develop a new line of smartphones, that a test device, code named “Bender”, has already been created and is being tested.  The kicker?  The prototype device is said to be running Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) operating system.

    Huh?  After HP ingloriously put Palm webOS, Palm’s hardware, and people out to pasture HP is trying to jump start things again with an Android phone?  I’m sure this is very frustrating for WebOS’s fans.  HP said that they wanted to get out of the smartphone business when they shutdown production of the Pre3, Veer, and TouchPad – the last three webOS devices – and then making webOS open source.

    Then a year later, things are going gang busters again?  This seems totally inefficient to have a smartphone and mobile OS division up and running, shuttering things, and then rebuilding a hardware and software team to, essentially, re-inventing the wheel with a new hardware platform and Android ICS.

    To be fair, I can see why HP decided to go with Android over their in-house webOS hardware and software software assets.  Android, and Apple’s iOS, have gobbled up an insane amount of marketshare in the mobile space.  webOS, even in it’s hay day, back in 2009 when the original Palm Pre launched on Sprint, never achieved a significant foothold.  When I chose to switch from the Sprint Palm Pre to the iPhone 4S in 2011, webOS was below 2% marketshare.  If you are trying to become relevant in the smartphone space, you need an option that will draw customers, developers, and carriers to your platform.  webOS isn’t that platform.  Just ask Nokia, Research in Motion (RIM), and Microsoft about their efforts to increase their smartphone marketshare.

    But, seriously? This seems like a gigantic waste of time, money, staff resources, and momentum.  Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, and RIM have all realized that they need to control the customer experience “end-to-end” from the hardware and software, to the online software store, and ultimately, the customer experience.  This tight integration has propelled Apple and Google to amazing heights and others are trying to replicate it.  Palm, with webOS and their webOS device line up, offered the kind of solution that HP is trying to fabricate with Android and new hardware.

    If I was an HP shareholder, I would be furious at the opportunity costs associated with tearing everything down, and then, essentially, outsourcing the software development to Google, and ultimately, putting Google in the driver’s seat for the software development of HP’s new ‘gotta do it’ smartphone strategy.

    At the end of the day, the only thing that is clear for me, is that I won’t be replacing my iPhone 4S with a new HP smartphone.  I’ve made my peace with webOS and will remember Palm fondly.

  • homebrew,  hp,  touchpad,  web os

    webOS Homebrew: onTap Community Magazine

    Who expected that in August 2012 I’d be writing about webOS again?  Not me.  But once again the small but dedicated Palm webOS community has surprised me.

    I was playing with my HP/alm TouchPad and came across the ‘Homebrew Pivot’ patch from the webOS onTap Community Magazine project while browsing Preware.

    Once the small patch is applied to your webOS device, the HP App Catalog Pivot feed is modified to point at the onTap magazine feed.  You can download and install the Tweaks patch, also available in Preware, to enable or disable the onTap patch and toggle the HP Pivot feed with the onTap homebrew feed.

    Right now the onTap writing team is putting the finishing touches on their first issue and should be out in the next week or two.  I’ll be sure to post an update article when the feed goes live and the first issue is published.  The sample pages (see below) that have been developed by the onTap writing staff look just as polished and professional as did the content developed by HP.

    As a long time fan of Palm (and Palm support forums moderator and blogger and podcaster) and their products, I’m really interested to see what the editorial staff at onTap has, well, on tap, for us.  (Sorry, about the obligatory pun.)

    For more information, there are a number of places you can check out online:

    Website: http://www.webosontap.com
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/webOSonTap/
    Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/webOSonTap
    Google+: https://plus.google.com/103118434017670797778/

    webOS Nations Forums

    HP’s Pivot Spring issue

    onTap’s Place Holder on the TouchPad

    onTap Preview Screen Shots