WebOS. How many of you actually know know about WebOS from its early days with Palm? Well I do. I have followed the growth of the once amazing operating software from the date that it announced along side with the Palm Pre on Sprint.
Mid-day on December 9th, HP announced the largest change to their mobile operating system, WebOS. It is now open source. This announcement has the power to bring life back to the web based platform. The main reason that this software was ground breaking was that it was the first mobile software that allowed the user to completely multitask. And this may just be the push needed for developers to work with it.
There is just one major problem: no one knows about it. Yes, developers and a limited amount of people who bought a Palm/HP phone/tablet, know about WebOS, but most do not. When it first arrived on the market, Palm did nothing to “sell themselves.” By that I mean they put very little money into advertisements or even letting people know about their product.
Not long after the Pre Plus came to Verizon, Palm got bought by HP. This was supposed to be the miracle WebOS needed to become popular. Unfortunately, HP followed directly in Plan’s foot steps. There was no word about any new products or software for months. Finally news came out with the news that the Pre 2 would be released. There was not even a public press conference. After its initial lunch over seas, HP brought the Pre 2 to AT&T and Verizon. The phone was not announce, just thrown up on their website with a cheap price tag.
All hope for HP and WebOS was given up until HP had a small, medium, and large press conference. This showcased the Veer 4G (AT&T), the Pre 3 (released in Europe but never made it state-side), and the TouchPad. Many, myself included, believed this would actually turn out amazing because I always felt that WebOS would work great on tablets. The odds looked even better when HP actually started advertising the Veer and Touchpad all over TV and the internet.
6 short weeks later, HP called off the entire WebOS project as a whole. Neither of the products were selling and stores were demanding that HP buy back the remainder of their stock. Everyone was still in a daze when HP announced their firesale on the TouchPad. The once over priced, dual core tablet, was not going for $99 (16GB) and $150 (32GB). This created a hectic race to find one anywhere. Needless to say, the TouchPad became one of the most sold tablets in 2011.
Since that time, the future of WebOS has been in the air. Meg Whitman had been hired as the new HP CEO and she was impressed by the software. So when she announced that the software will become open-sourced, there was a breathe of relief given by many.
So does this mean WebOS will become incredible popular? I do not think so. When first announced, it was ground breaking. Now it is out dated and slow compare to its competitors. The only good that will probably come out of it will be some code sharing between Android and it. Even HP does not plan to do anything with it until at least 2013; Windows 8 tablets are their main goal for 2012.
Since the announcement, some developers have ported it over to their Android phones. It looks nice and all but it still needs a lot of work if the general public would ever use it because there are hundreds of bugs since it was not built for a phone that has the standards and abilities of an Android device.
We will keep all you WebOS and ROMing fans out there’s to date on the continuous updates that are born from this situation.