• 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

  • hp,  pre,  touchpad,  web os

    HP/Palm TouchPad Unboxing

    My refurbished HP Palm TouchPad 32GB unit arrived yesterday afternoon.  About all I was able to do with it was unbox it and charge it up.  I’ve started playing with it today and I’ll be blogging more about it over the next few days, but for now, here are my unboxing photos.  They may not be sexy, but at least I have a TouchPad now.

    If you had forgotten that you purchased a refurbished unit, HP will remind you.

    Refurbished packing material is so unsexy.  The TouchPad is held in place by two foam blocks and the accessories are stuffed in to the slot on the left.

    At least the TouchPad is shipped in the same protective film that new units are shipped in.  If you’ve unpacked an iPad, it’s the same kind of plastic film.

    Here we have the TouchPad, the power adapter and sync cable (similar to the ones shipped with the Pre series smartphones) and a cardboard box that contains the getting started guides, and obligatory legalese documents.  The box reads, “Now comes the fun part.”

  • hp,  palm os,  pre,  tungsten,  web os

    HP WindsorNot webOS Smartphone

    I liked my original Sprint Pre, but I would have much preferred a device like the unreleased WindsorNot.  This is just another shadow of a device that we’ll never get to play with.  Sad, so sad.

    I was never a huge fan of Palm’s sliders, despite having purchased the Palm Pre, Tungsten T3 and Tungsten T on launch day for all three devices.  (I also built my own Tungsten T2 from OEM spare parts!!)

    On second though, the WindsorNot looks a lot like a Pre3 without the slider.

    [Via WebOSNation.com…]

  • android,  google,  hp,  touchpad,  web os

    My TouchPad is Spending Independence Day in Independence, KY

    You all know that I’m a Palm junkie.  I have at least two dozen Palm devices in my collection of mobile gear.  My latest acquisition is the ‘super natural’ HP/Palm TouchPad.  I wrote about Walmart.com having a stock of refurbished units for sale in their online store.  Well, fittingly enough, my TouchPad is spending the 4th of July holiday in Independence, KY waiting to complete it’s cross country trek from the left coast to the right coast.

    Android on Your TouchPad

    In other news, the CyanogenMod team, the folks who have been hard at working porting Google’s Android OS to the HP TouchPad, have posted a new nightly build of their Android port that has enabled TouchPad microphone support.

    Once I get my TouchPad and start playing with it, I’ll blog about my experience installing the dual-boot software and Android.  I’ve only done a little reading on the subject, as in I know its possible and talked to WyreNut about his experience installing Android.

    Stay tuned.

  • android,  google,  hp,  touchpad,  web os

    Refurbished HP TouchPad 32GB on Sale at Walmart

    Legacy Palm junkies (and I’m a card carrying member of that club) will be glad to hear that Walmart.com is carrying refurbished 32GB HP TouchPads via their online store.

    As you can see from the graphic above, the 32GB TouchPad debuted back in July 2011 at $600…wow…seems crazy now, right?  The TouchPad was a spectacular flame out going on sale for a brief six weeks before disappearing from store shelfs.

    The TouchPad ships with Palm HP webOS 3.0.x, and can be upgraded OTA to webOS 3.0.5.  However, if you are the adventurous type, Liliputing.com has an article about how to load Google’s Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.  A hack to be sure, and some things like the camera and built-in microphone may not work 100% reliably, but still cool none the less.

    I ordered my TouchPad today and should have it next week.  I was running the original Sprint edition Palm Pre all the way to the very end of webOS and HP’s Palm division.  It will be nice to have a webOS device that is functional again.  HP webOS 2.0 on the Palm Pre is just way too slow.

    Thanks to Mark for sharing the TouchPad on Walmart.com link!

  • hp,  palm os,  pre,  sprint,  web os

    webOS’ Final Years Chronicled

    As many of you know, I’ve always had a soft spot for Palm, Palm OS and even webOS.

    Last week, The Verge has posted a very good article on the final three years of Palm and webOS.  The article covers the period of time from the 2009 CES webOS and Pre introduction to the present as HP shuts down the webOS hardware division and pushes the webOS software out to the open source pasture.

    As a follow up to The Verge’s article, former webOS software engineer Josh Marinacci, now working for Nokia, chimes in with his observations and insider perspectives.

    If you are a webOS user or fan of Palm, you will definitely want to read both article.

    Pre to postmortem: the inside story of the death of Palm and webOS – The Verge

    webOS on The Verge – Josh on Design

  • hp,  web os

    Mace: Why webOS Really Failed

    Long time Palm veteran, and Palm/PalmSource vice president, Michael Mace has some interesting comments posted on his blog, Mobile Opportunity, about the lack luster performance of webOS.

    In the article, “Why Web OS Really Failed, and What it Means for the Rest of Us,” Mace makes reference to a New York Times article in which Paul Mercer, a senior director of software at Palm, was that webOS wasn’t ready for “prime time.”  As a Palm fanatic who waited in line for the Sprint Palm Pre, I can certainly say that webOS, while cool, did feel undercooked at times.  (I just recently switched from the Palm Pre to the Apple iPhone 4S.)

    Mr. Mace, however, has his own theories as to why Palm’s web-based operating system got into trouble.

    “If Paul says Web OS was unready, I’m sure it was.  But respectfully, I don’t think that’s why Web OS failed. I think the company’s business strategy was fundamentally flawed, in ways that would have almost certainly doomed Web OS no matter how it was built.”

    Mace, by trying to analyze what happened to webOS at Palm, and then later at HP, seeks the lessons that need to be learned by vendors trying to build, or rebuild, their faltering mobile strategies (read: Nokia and Research In Motion).

    The bottom line for companies building a new mobile OS is do they have enough money to build version 2 and 3 of their OS to make things right that didn’t work in version 1; and making sure that they have at one unique, “killer feature” that will draw people and developers to the platform before the bugs are all ironed out.

    [Via Mobile Opportunity…]

  • hp,  palm os,  rumors,  web os

    webOS Failure Related to Poor Management?

    A pair of articles (1, 2) from technology blog Electronista hints that webOS’ main difficulty in getting off the ground was related to poor management and inexperienced software engineers.

    According to the website rumors “suggested that Palm, and later HP, may have ultimately had hurdles at the corporate level, not just technical.”  “WebOS didn’t have either the needed management or engineers to bring it to completion.”  “This was compounded by a rush to finish the OS in nine months, which required taking shortcuts such as skipping proper APIs (app programming interfaces) until later, hurting the ability for third-party developers to sign on.”

    The article goes on to show that the exit of high profile, former Palm employees, such as the highly respected Matias Duarte, now batting for the Android team, accelerated the decline of the web standards based mobile OS.

    “The string of executive departures after the HP takeover are now believed to have gutted the webOS team. Matias Duarte’s jump to Google saw webOS lose its defining employee, one tipster said. The replacements were described as “fourth- and fifth-stringers.” Design VP Peter Skillman’s exit to Nokia had its own tangible impact.”

    Chuq von Rospach, who recently held the role of webOS Community Manager at Palm and then HP, states:

    “During my tenure at Palm/HP — just under three years — I had six direct managers, averaging about 5 months per, ranging from a first level manager to directors to a couple of VPs.”  “I reported to, or up to, eight different VPs in that time. One of my direct managers (the last one) and two of those VPs are still with HP. Does that give you a sense of how well things were going in the organization? Yeah, I think it does.”

    Mr von Rospach goes on by saying, “Most of the damage, he said, was “self-inflicted.” Palm had already been on the verge of collapse when it was bought by HP, and HP gave it the cash and logistical support it needed to survive. That it floundered a second time was the Palm team’s fault.”

    Palm was a really create company back in the 1990’s.  It’s sad to have had to watch is slow slide into a footnote in the book of mobile computing history.  Palm OS, was the iOS of it’s day.  Many years later, webOS was a good contender, it just wasn’t good enough.

    [Via Electronista.com…]