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webOS: The Plan
View Poll Results: Would you regularly give money to a community effort to support and develop webOS?
No, Never 21 10.61%
Yes, I'd start giving right away 76 38.38%
Yes, but only after I saw some results 101 51.01%
Voters: 198. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01/11/2012, 01:33 PM   #61 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by marcedhk View Post

Again, you're not seeing it:
Sorry but what i see in most of this thread is pure fantasy.
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Old 01/11/2012, 03:38 PM   #62 (permalink)
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Sorry but what i see in most of this thread is pure fantasy.
I'm interested that you said "most" of this thread. Which ideas/approaches do you think are worth looking into fully?
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Old 01/11/2012, 03:44 PM   #63 (permalink)
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First, a public service announcement, please don't feed the trolls. They're goal is not to be a productive contributor to the thread. All they want is to feed their ego by being cynical and starting arguments. They're not worth the time.
Troll to you, realist to many.
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Old 01/11/2012, 11:20 PM   #64 (permalink)
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I'm interested that you said "most" of this thread. Which ideas/approaches do you think are worth looking into fully?
To clarify, I said most of the thread not most of the ideas or approaches. The ideas that i think are sound are basically all the people that disagree with you. Not to be a dream killer but i i don't think your plan is realistic. i just don't believe WebOS is ever gonna make a triumphant comeback to be a mainstream OS unless some well funded company decides to massively invest at the level HP refused to. I think without that it will be a niche OS like Ubuntu is to Windows. It will be for hobbyist and tinkerers and that's the best an open source effort will get. Thus i start from the position that a grass roots effort may be effective in helping to fund some open source development but that's a far cry from products, marketing, ads, mainstream companies on board and mainstream acceptance which honestly is more my thing.


I think the cart is way before the horse and most of the people in this thread are probably not the people, me included, which will effect the opensource effort. I've just seen way too many threads about stuff people want apps they want etc to think that that works. Sorry I'm one of the naysayers.
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Old 01/12/2012, 01:02 AM   #65 (permalink)
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You people are falling into the same predicament HP put you into, and now when you realize in 6+ months that WebOS will be nothing more than a feeler you will complain and blame every last organism you can find.
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Old 01/12/2012, 02:48 AM   #66 (permalink)
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Developing hardware is going to cost too much money for a community to get behind. I think a good idea would be to take a close look at Windows Phone devices. In order to stop the Android fragmentation Microsoft forces Windows Phone manufacturers to adhere to a very specific set of requirements on their phones. (Processor chip, screen resolution, etc.)

I think it would be a good idea to get webOS tweaked to run on that very same set of requirements. Ideally we would then be able to choose ANY Windows Mobile phone and be able to install webOS onto it. Lumia 900 with webOS anyone? HTC Titan II? etc?

The added benefit to this (aside from webOS) would be that anyone buying a competitor's device for webOS would not be helping the monopolies of iOS and Android. The more competition, the better. If Android gets very much more powerful (arguably its already too late) there will be absolutely no chance of ever having a successful webOS platform.
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Old 01/12/2012, 04:44 PM   #67 (permalink)
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WebOS already does. Compare the Pr3 to that of the Nokia 800. They're pretty much the same innards. 1.4Ghz Qualcom Snapdragon MSM8x55, Adreno 205 GPU, 512MB RAM, 480x800 pixel screen.

So really there's no reason that none of the WinPhone7 devices that have been sitting on OEM shelves could be flashed to WebOS.

The best bet for getting a new WebOS phone, assuming that the WebOS HP releases includes phone applications (or they can be borrowed & rebuilt from Android code), may be a KickStarter project to hit up the ODM that has the actual assembly lines making Lumia 800s or HTC Titans and hire them to churn out another couple thousand without the branding badges and flashed with WebOS. Or even blank, no OS, waiting on the open source version of WebOS Doctor.

Last edited by kigmatzomat; 01/12/2012 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 01/12/2012, 05:01 PM   #68 (permalink)
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In order to stop the Android fragmentation Microsoft forces Windows Phone manufacturers to adhere to a very specific set of requirements on their phones. (Processor chip, screen resolution, etc.)

I think it would be a good idea to get webOS tweaked to run on that very same set of requirements. Ideally we would then be able to choose ANY Windows Mobile phone and be able to install webOS onto it.
I like the idea of standardizing the specs, as the more device variations that we as a community try to support is the more work it needs, the more time it takes, and the lesser the overall quality of the end result. I'm not sure if Windows Phone hardware would be the best choice though, as a primary motivator for our hardware choice should be near compatibility to the hardware webOS is already running on. Does anyone know how Windows Phone devices fare in this regard?

There is a big challenge with this approach though, in that it is only going to appeal to the real hobbyists, techies, or really hardcore webOS supporters. Not only would you have to learn the steps involved to load webOS onto your device, you would be voiding your warranty by doing so. Even if things went perfectly, if your handset later suffered from the hardware failures that a certain percentage of even well made handsets typically do, what would normally be a simple return and replace at no cost to you may end up with you having to pay for repair or for a new device.

The basic idea however does point to a new possibility re hardware that we haven't discussed yet. For those who are convinced that getting involved with hardware development is out of our reach, how about this:

1) Research the various devices available from the second and third tier manufactures that are already using the same processor and chipset, and similar hardware to that used in our favorite webOS devices (TP and Pre3, I guess?).

2) Choose the manufacturers with the hardware that matches best, and contract with them to be our official hardware supplier. Under the agreement they would need to provide driver documentation and source code for the device components so we will be able to develop custom drivers for webOS.

3) Enter into a license agreement with HP to allow us to install webOS on these devices. This will involve a build of webOS which uses the custom drivers for the new hardware instead of those for the TP/Pre 3 components.

4) Since the devices are the standard products the manufacturer is already bringing to market, we would be able to order in quantities as small as is practicable when you consider cost of shipping, etc. This would allow us to do this on a preorder basis, where people place their orders throughout the month and then the order is placed with the manufacturer at the end of the month, and customers receive their devices 2 to 4 weeks after that.

So what do you all think about this approach?

Edit:
Just saw kigmatzomat's post - we're thinking along the same lines...
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Old 01/13/2012, 10:49 AM   #69 (permalink)
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Probably the biggest complaint that we keep hearing from both webOS users and those who were considering buying a webOS device but decided not to, is that webOS is lacking apps. Netflix, Hulu Plus, eBay, a mobile banking app for your bank, those cool language learning apps that you found on iOS and Android, but can't find a webOS equivalent that delivers the same features. For webOS to survive, something has to be done about this.

I don't believe it is an exaggeration to say that the app deficit was as big an obstacle to the sales of the TouchPad as the pricing strategy was. Even after the price cuts, and even after the unbelievable Firesale, the review sites that most consumers look at when making device buying decisions were still saying buyer beware if you want to be able to do much more than email, book reading, and web browsing. Many firesale purchasers justified their purchase with the knowledge that they would eventually be able to install Android, and that would give them the apps they needed if webOS didn't. This turned out to be a bit of a blessing in disguise, as webOS got before the eyes of many that would never have otherwise tried it, and many of them like it very much. But they still need their apps.

I for one have been very critical of HP's decision to launch without certain apps that I consider mandatory for any consumer aimed product. Why didn't they, how could they, why won't they - we've been blasting them left and right on this. Maybe one day we'll hear stories from the insiders which will give us some clarity on how some of these decisions were arrived at. Those things are not important right now though - what's important is finding a way to get the apps we need running on our webOS devices.

Approach 1: Paying developers to port apps
This is an approach that I for one had previously been advocating for the most, probably because I view it as what HP should have done from the very beginning, or done on a much larger scale if it actually did do some of it. There are very few problems in life that can be solved by just throwing money at them, and I think a golden opportunity to launch webOS on a firmer footing was missed by HP. From what I've read App development costs tend to run from a few thousand to a few hundred thousand depending on the complexity, with most apps being closer to the lower end. With that understanding, one can see how a few million dollars more from HP could have made a considerable difference at the outset.

Unfortunately though, that horse has already gone through the gate. There was a period of time during which people were speculating that webOS would be a strong third place contender, and a launch with a strong App catalog could have fed that narrative and been the impetus needed to get a lot more top tier App publishers to produce webOS versions of their most popular Apps. That time is over. Many developers whose support could have been "bought" back then cannot be bought now, as we are not in a position at this moment to make a convincing argument for sustained, long term growth of the webOS platform.

As a result of this, the only thing that paying for those apps to be developed could accomplish now would be convincing current users to stay with webOS, or to not bother doing an Android dual boot. This also applies to the idea of posting "app bounties" or cash rewards for the best new app in targeted categories - it's not going to spur growth.

What could spur growth however is approach 2, an approach that some have been resistant to in the past:

Approach 2: An Android App Player
Imagine a scenario under which you can open up the Amazon AppStore in webOS. You get access to the full catalog of Android apps. You download and install the apps to your webOS device, and apps run in a card just like regular webOS applications. The single biggest obstacle to webOS' survival and growth removed. No need to mess around with Cyanogenmod installs. No need to sacrifice user experience just to gain access to more apps. Imagine the attention that would once again be refocused on webOS. This could be a total game changer, and it's a lot closer than I had previously thought.

I had made a couple posts previously about Myriad Group, and their Alien Dalvik software, which allows Android apps to work on non-android operating systems. The idea then was to attempt to convince them to create a webOS version. What I didn't know until today, was that another company, Openmobile, has ALREADY created an Android App player for webOS, were already engaged in talks with HP about it, but Leo dropped webOS the day before the meeting was to take place. They claim that under their system Android apps run at the same speed as they would on an Android device, Android app developers don't have to repackage their apps or anything, it already works with Amazon's AppStore and can be made to also work with Google's App Market, and that they have 100% app compatibility. I have my doubts about the last claim, but even if it is close to 100% it would be remarkable anyway.

Here's the data sheet they have put out:
http://openmobile.co/pdf/Data_Sheet_ACL_for_WebOS.pdf


Openmobile say they have the app player working in a webOS emulator, but need to work with HP to finalize what needs to be done for it to work on actual webOS devices. This is not something that needs to wait on HP releasing open source webOS - this is something that they could work on getting done and onto our devices NOW.

So what can we do to get HP to make this happen?
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Old 01/13/2012, 01:31 PM   #70 (permalink)
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Openmobile say they have the app player working in a webOS emulator, but need to work with HP to finalize what needs to be done for it to work on actual webOS devices. This is not something that needs to wait on HP releasing open source webOS - this is something that they could work on getting done and onto our devices NOW.

So what can we do to get HP to make this happen?
If you find this out then be sure to let everyone know as I for one would love to see this happen.
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Old 01/13/2012, 05:25 PM   #71 (permalink)
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Bringing the Android App Store to webOS should be a LAST resort. It should only be used if HP pulls out ALL support of webOS.

It is going to be hard enough for HP to monetize webOS even without taking away the App Catalog. Enyo is about the only big selling point webOS has anymore. Android apps on webOS would kill the future of the operating system.

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Old 01/13/2012, 06:02 PM   #72 (permalink)
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Bringing the Android App Store to webOS should be a LAST resort. It should only be used if HP pulls out ALL support of webOS.

It is going to be hard enough for HP to monetize webOS even without taking away the App Catalog. Enyo is about the only big selling point webOS has anymore. Android apps on webOS would kill the future of the operating system.

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Understand your point but I disagree. HP will never make any significant money off the app catalog or Enyo. Apple doesn't make all that much money off their app store and they have 100s of thousands of apps - there's no way HP can make significant revenue that way. And charging developers for tools or access/licensing to Enyo will ensure that it does not develop any traction with developers.

It will take some time to develop but I would argue that HP should get Android apps working on webOS because it would eliminate the apps barrier that has dogged webOS since the beginning and isn't getting any better with Leopacolpyse and the uncertainty surrounding webOS right now. If webOS could run Android apps then OEMs would be more likely to ship it on devices and users would be more likely to want to install it on devices that ship with other OSes.

As for revenue opportunities, I imagine that HP could make money on webOS in the following ways:
1. Monetizing search (Mozilla makes all their money this way for example - they include Google as the standard search engine)
2. Monetizing links to online web stores (you could see them directing traffic to Amazon, for example, via apps and being paid for doing so)
3. Monetizing links to content providers (Netflix/Amazon video, for example)
3. Support contracts with OEMs who ship webOS devices (a la Canonical/Ubuntu)
4. Support contracts with enterprises or individuals

It won't be a lot of money but it could support the staff who guide the projects and keep webOS viable (Canonical and Mozilla both are viable ongoing projects with paid staff). Note that, other than #1, most of these revenue sources need time to be developed. Note that none of them amount to much money UNLESS webOS is a viable OS that has an installed base. The key is that HP needs to come up with a plan that will entice OEMs to sign up and ship devices - and probably the only way they can get interest is to have broad app compatibility. Without that, webOS will tail off into obscurity. Yes, it will be open source and motivated developers will be able to install it on devices shipped originally with other OSes, but fewer and fewer apps will be available for it and, as a result, fewer and fewer developers will be motivated to do the ports to other devices.

History offers a good parallel - in the early/mid 90's, IBM's OS/2 (v2.x and 3.x) was a viable alternative desktop OS when it had WIndows 3.1 support but, once Windows 95 was released, OS/2 no longer supported the latest Windows apps and it became irrelevant and died off (some OS/2 fans used it for years and told themselves they didn't NEED all those fancy Win95 apps - old Win3.1 versions of Word/Excel/etc were fine). HP should not make the same mistake. In HP's case, Android app compatibility doesn't even come at a significant cost since the infrastructure (Dalvik JVM, for example) is open source.
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Old 01/13/2012, 09:08 PM   #73 (permalink)
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Android apps would definitely provide an initial boost to webOS, but I'm just not convinced that it will not end up killing webOS in the long run.

The Android App Market will destroy all app development for webOS. What would happen if the Google decides that webOS using the App Market would be detrimental to Android? Could they change the api's and disallow access? Are the apps going to run well on webOS or will it be like an emulator? How do the buttons get mapped to webOS phones? Would virtual buttons get added to the bottom of the phone's screens? That would shorten the already small sized screens, what would happen if the phone is turned in landscape mode?

Possibly the only way an Android App Market would not kill webOS in the future would be if HP were able to work out a deal with Google where HP got a percentage of all the revenue that webOS users generated from buying and using Android apps.
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Old 01/13/2012, 10:28 PM   #74 (permalink)
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The Android App Market will destroy all app development for webOS. What would happen if the Google decides that webOS using the App Market would be detrimental to Android? Could they change the api's and disallow access?
Apparently, Google charge OEM's a per device fee to allow the devices to use the Google Market, so we don't have to worry about that. Also, as the rep said, their system also allows access to Amazon's AppStore (access to this is free), GetJar, and a lot of other app stores as well.

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Are the apps going to run well on webOS or will it be like an emulator?
They said 95% of native performance. For a vast majority of apps, including all but the most demanding games, that will certainly be good enough

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How do the buttons get mapped to webOS phones? Would virtual buttons get added to the bottom of the phone's screens? That would shorten the already small sized screens, what would happen if the phone is turned in landscape mode?
Stuff like that can be worked out though. You could make a particular button that isn't often used, or a key combination to bring up the soft keys - it's not that big of a challenge.

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Possibly the only way an Android App Market would not kill webOS in the future would be if HP were able to work out a deal with Google where HP got a percentage of all the revenue that webOS users generated from buying and using Android apps.
As mentioned above, it works the other way, HP would have to be paying Google. In any case, I think it's the opposite - Android Apps would help save webOS.
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Old 01/13/2012, 11:48 PM   #75 (permalink)
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Apparently, Google charge OEM's a per device fee to allow the devices to use the Google Market, so we don't have to worry about that. Also, as the rep said, their system also allows access to Amazon's AppStore (access to this is free), GetJar, and a lot of other app stores as well.



They said 95% of native performance. For a vast majority of apps, including all but the most demanding games, that will certainly be good enough



Stuff like that can be worked out though. You could make a particular button that isn't often used, or a key combination to bring up the soft keys - it's not that big of a challenge.


As mentioned above, it works the other way, HP would have to be paying Google. In any case, I think it's the opposite - Android Apps would help save webOS.
So not only would using Android Apps kill all app development for webOS, taking away revenue, it would also cost HP money for every device sold! No way that can save webOS. How will HP make money!? Furthermore, good luck trying to convince HP to pay up.

They don't own search engines, or ad machines, so they have to negotiate a deal to earn a portion of all the referred links, content, ads, etc... Okay, but HP doesn't own any content, so they have to use other people's services while also making money from them? I just don't see how its going to work.

If your dead set on Android apps maybe a possibility would be to put the App Market (Android) into the App Catalog (webOS). The price listed for the Android App Market in the App Catalog would be at least equivalent to how much HP would have to pay for using the App Market plus the fee Open Mobile is charging. That way HP wouldn't have to front anymore of their money.
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Old 01/14/2012, 12:29 AM   #76 (permalink)
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So not only would using Android Apps kill all app development for webOS, taking away revenue, it would also cost HP money for every device sold! No way that can save webOS. How will HP make money!? Furthermore, good luck trying to convince HP to pay up.
Now that I think a bit more about it, HP might be in a position to negotiate a better arrangement with Google than others have been able to. Thanks to the firesale, HP has a lot of webOS devices out there, and great majority of owners are still using them for webOS most of the time. There were reports that in the weeks following the firesale the ad revenue generated by webOS tablets came close to catching up with ad revenue generated by all the Android tablets (HP TouchPad Ad Revenue Reaches Android Levels in 10 Days | Android Community). The creation of an influx of several hundred thousand new users shopping in the Google Market, and generating ad views and clicks in Apps with advertisements would be a nice ace in the hole that HP could use to negotiate a more palatable arrangement re access to the Google Market, especially since HP could leave out the Google Market altogether and still deliver the vast majority of apps users want with access to the other App stores, which are all free.

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If your dead set on Android apps maybe a possibility would be to put the App Market (Android) into the App Catalog (webOS). The price listed for the Android App Market in the App Catalog would be at least equivalent to how much HP would have to pay for using the App Market plus the fee Open Mobile is charging. That way HP wouldn't have to front anymore of their money.
I think that could be a workable arrangement. I know that I would certainly be willing to pay for an App that provided access to Android apps and the Google Market within webOS, and I believe a lot of others would too - it's just a question of what these fees are and whether they will be reasonable.

It's important to realize though that we have a limited window of opportunity here. ICS on TouchPad is just around the corner, and if it delivers on usability we could see a lot of people drifting away from webOS. Also, from the clips from CES it looks like RIM is actually going to be on schedule for a change and have the Playbook 2.0 update out next month that will provide their missing email and calendar apps and provide Android app playability. With their currently drastic discounted price of $299 for 64GB models, I can see some current TP users being tempted to sell their used TP's on ebay, add a $100, and get a Playbook. Yes, the screen is smaller at 7 inches, but who knows how many might be willing to accept that compromise? We can't be dragging our feet on this, or we run the risk of ending up a day late and a dollar short....
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Old 01/14/2012, 02:06 PM   #77 (permalink)
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The creation of an influx of several hundred thousand new users shopping in the Google Market
That equals about a day's worth of new android users - not much of a prize.
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Old 01/14/2012, 03:37 PM   #78 (permalink)
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That equals about a day's worth of new android users - not much of a prize.
But, it is. Don't forget that Android activations were already at 550,000 a day during August when the TouchPad firesale began. That means that there is something about the user habits of TouchPad users as compared with the Android users which is resulting in disproportionately higher ad revenues...
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Old 01/14/2012, 05:31 PM   #79 (permalink)
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This thread fell a part a long time ago like I said it would. We will not be making the plans so quit making threads about it.
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Old 01/14/2012, 10:04 PM   #80 (permalink)
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This thread fell a part a long time ago like I said it would. We will not be making the plans so quit making threads about it.
Well its a good thing you don't have to read this forum if you don't want to.
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