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  1. dex4's Avatar
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  2. #3  
    Here is the article:

    Elizabeth Woyke



    HP webOS Developers Await TouchPad, Pre3 With Questions, Optimism
    Feb. 25 2011 - 4:07 pm | 0 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments

    HP and Palm executives at the February TouchPad / Pre3 / Veer launch
    These days, there may be no mobile developer as patient as a webOS developer.

    The two-year life of webOS, the operating system Palm created for its first Pre smartphone, has been marked by uncertainty. There were high points, such as Palm’s triumphant webOS preview at the Jan. 2009 Consumer Electronics Show. Late 2009, however, was overshadowed by Palm’s financial troubles. In April 2010, when HP acquired Palm, webOS developers were relieved the company had been saved, but wary about the changes the computing giant was likely to make to an operating system originally built for cellphones.

    Developers had to wait nearly a year to see the first real fruits of HP and Palm’s collaboration: two webOS-powered smartphones and one tablet. In the meantime, HP went through its own shake up, ousting leader Mark Hurd and, eventually, installing SAP’s Leo Apotheker as chief executive. The upheaval cast further uncertainty on the future of webOS.

    WebOS developers continue to wait, even now, several weeks after the introduction of HP’s webOS-based TouchPad tablet and Pre3 and Veer phones. HP says all three devices may not go on sale until summer.

    The disarray has annoyed some webOS developers, such as health software maker Epocrates and business software maker DataViz, who publicly left the platform. But the webOS developers that have hung on are incredibly loyal.

    Their devotion was evident at a recent webOS Developers Meetup held in New York City. The meeting, which attracted about 40 people, was part reunion, part networking event, part educational seminar for current and aspiring webOS developers. Attendees – many of them toting multiple Palm Pre phones – chattered about the upcoming webOS devices and the opportunities they presented for mobile application sales.

    Most people had only read about the TouchPad and new phones and were curious about the ways they differed from the earlier Pre and Pre Plus. A guest appearance – via Skype video – by Josh Marinacci, an HP employee who handles Palm developer relations, elicited dozens of questions.

    Popular topics included the porting of apps written via the original webOS software development kit (Mojo) to HP’s new webOS framework for tablets (Enyo). [Answer: mojo apps won’t need to be rewritten for the TouchPad but will require some tweaks to run on a bigger screen.] There was also interest in HP’s plans to move data between webOS phones and tablets. [Answer: devices will be bridged using Palm’s cloud service, Palm profile.] Some developers also wanted to know if they would have access to new webOS device features such as the TouchPad’s compass and gyroscope and “Touch2Share,” which synchronizes Web links between webOS devices. [Answer: application programming interfaces (APIs) for all three features will be released before the devices go on sale.]

    Marinacci could not answer – or declined to answer – questions deemed too sensitive, such as when exactly when the new devices would come to market, whether Skype and video streaming services would be available on the TouchPad and if applications written with Enyo would be exportable to other mobile operating systems, such as Google’s Android.

    The developers took the limitations in stride. Jonathan Ezor, a law professor and self-described “Palm power user” who organized the Meetup, characterized the night’s mood as hopeful and excited.

    Those emotions had been scarce for months among webOS developers, noted Ezor. “Last year, when it was clear that Palm was looking for a buyer, was scary,” he said. “There were two risks: that Palm’s acquirer would kill the Palm culture or kill webOS – or both.” Nearly a year into HP’s ownership of Palm, it’s clear that webOS is a valued asset, said Ezor. He also believes Palm has preserved its easygoing culture under HP, citing HP’s embrace of the longtime Palm hacker “Homebrew” community.

    Though fiercely loyal, these webOS fans are also pragmatic. Ezor concedes that by the time Palm was rescued, it had fallen behind competitors like Google and Apple in some regards. Some webOS developers were irritated that HP did not upgrade the U.S. versions of the Pre and Pre Plus with the 2.0 version of webOS when the platform was updated last fall.

    Adam Marks, a writer for the popular online Palm community PreCentral, said that Palm’s Pre 2 phone, which went on sale two weeks ago at Verizon Wireless, was probably originally designed to launch last summer. Marks has largely modified his Pre – “overclocking” its processor to run faster and downloading dozens of “patches” or homemade software fixes – to compensate for its shortcomings. “I’ve been waiting for two years for really great hardware,” admitted Marks. He plans to buy the Pre3 when it goes on sale.

    The prevailing attitude at the Meetup, however, was optimistic. “We don’t yet have the apps we need [for webOS to succeed], but we will,” said Ezor. WebOS, he contends, remains the “best environment” for developers due to its openness, low entry cost, responsive developer relations team and the ease of repurposing apps written on other platforms, such as Apple/iOS.

    HP’s backing will also open up new markets for developers, Ezor added. Medical apps, for instance, should benefit from HP’s extensive hospital business and large sales force. “HP will push all of this through the enterprise,” said Ezor.

    HP’s services infrastructure should also allow webOS devices to leverage cloud computing better than its rivals, according to Ezor. He believes Palm profiles will eventually go beyond saving basic information like a user’s address book and memos to include details like the state of a particular application in real-time. Such a feature would make it possible to swap webOS devices on a whim without fear of losing data.

    The possibilities have some webOS developers talking about the platform as though it is brand-new. “There’s a sense of ‘getting in on the ground floor’ with webOS now,” said Sean Ramlal, another Meetup attendee. “The funny part is that this is an operating system that’s already two years old.”
    If this helped you hit thanks.
  3. #4  
    Interesting article for sure. Nicely covered.
    Achill3s' Palm Pre: Modded and patched to death!!
  4. tommce's Avatar
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    This is a great article; realistic about the past & optimistic about the future.

    Sure I was disappointed about the lack of 2.x upgrade for my UK O2 Pre- but actually, patched & overclocked, it runs great and probably wouldn't do so with the upgrade.

    I'm really looking forward to a Pre3 - and a TouchPad if I can slip it under the household budget radar - and, as the article says, it feels like a new, fresh OS and set of gadgets which is surely what we all wanted from a buyout once it was obvious that Palm couldn't survive as an independent.

    -- Sent from my Palm Pre using Forums
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

    Arthur C. Clarke, "Profiles of The Future", 1961 (Clarke's third law)

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