August 2011: I ordered. HP canceled any new webOS hardware. My phone arrived.
webOS has many innovative features and has a community capable of developing this open system to even greater heights. I hope to see it continue as an option for the discerning mobile device user.
Those following along will recall that the development team had moved onto a new version based on React.js and that this had potential implications for LuneOS.
The Enyo team have just begun a private beta of the next generation Enyo. What we know is that with LG’s TV arm as their main customer, the focus remains on TV sized apps. Though increased support for mobile is planned, it is currently limited. Also, the framework will have a new name when publicly released.
This next generation of Enyo will be of interest to those currently building apps with the platform, but may also attract developers already experienced with ReactJS.
For those engaging with this testing phase, we’d be interested in any comments. The webOS Ports team will no doubt also be interested in any app demos built with it too. You can comment at webOS Nation.
In the early days, webOS was at the cutting edge of using web technologies, but performance was not as responsive compared to more traditionally coded apps. Since the days of legacy webOS, many improvements have been made in app development frameworks and their implementation to bring speed up towards that of ‘native’ apps or at least fast enough for the user to see little difference. Increasing speed, power and multi-core processors have also helped, though performance is beginning to plateau as the physical limits of current hardware is reached.
The first (proprietary) development framework for webOS was called ‘Mojo’. After the purchase by HP, the (Open-source) ‘Enyo’ framework was introduced to target more varied screen sizes. Version 1 ran on the webOS 3.0 HP TouchPad and was back-ported to phones. Version 2 became a cross-platform framework also.
Of course, we all know about the end of hardware at HP and the eventual sell off of all parts of webOS. Officially, the Open-webOS project is still maintained by LG & HP and LG’s Silicon Valley lab have continued to develop the Enyo JS framework. The part used to make the UI for mobile apps is called ‘Onyx’. To make apps suitable for Television screens, LG developed a new UI library called, ‘Moonstone’. Enyo itself has developed through version 2.5 to now stand at version 2.7 and LGSVL now looks to the next generation of Enyo (Forum comments). But this brings with it potential problems for LuneOS.
Since that announcement, where TCL encouraged the ‘Palm community’ to participate in developing a device worthy of the name, there has been silence. Now, some have speculated that we could see some kind of combined Palm/Blackberry wonder device, but so far only a Blackberry has been revealed. If you click the link, you can see the familiar keyboard style & this points up the difference between the two purchases: One is a license to manufacture a branded product including hardware & the software that runs on it. The other is just a brand name. Of course, nothing prevents TCL from making anything it wants & calling it a Palm device, but despite it’s recent travails, the Blackberry brand is a going concern with up to date & current technology. Palm is not.
In my search for TCL/Palm news, I of course visited the website & the image at the top of this story is from that site. My only change this time was to enlarge it. Note how the Blackberry logo has been added, then realise that the Palm logo doesn’t appear on their website & to my knowledge, never has.
Two years on from the 2015 announcement, this likely tells us all we need to know about the future of the Palm brand, but there is one optimistic spin that can be put on this: TCL own the Palm brand. There’s a lot more direct benefit from the Blackberry arrangement, but it’s a licensing deal & one that has resulted from Blackberry’s problems in selling it’s own product. TCL’s Alcatel brand has long been an affordable, no doubt profitable, but unspectacular also-ran in the mass market. The team-up gives TCL access to a technology leader, a respected brand & enables Blackberry to concentrate on software, letting TCL worry about selling product to the masses. If TCL succeed, some of the profit will return to Blackberry. If they fail or the deal turns sour for some other reason, they have another brand ready to be painted on a high-quality handset; A brand unencumbered by licensing fees or any other external requirements: Palm. But really, don’t hold your breath!
LG has had a few announcements at CES over the years and some of them have included webOS since the company unveiled it’s webOS smart TVs in 2014.
The televisions are now on to version 3 of the OS. Late last year we saw stories that webOS would appear on a video projector and in the last few days a refrigerator.
What did the CES presentation in Las Vegas have to offer? As ever, it was less than hoped (at least for webOS on mobile fans), but within the bounds of it’s presentation, what was shown was very impressive.
We send our best wishes to our readers at this time of year. To those that celebrate Christmas, other seasonal festivals or none at all, be of good cheer for webOS still seems to be here for another year!
News crumbs is where we briefly note stories that may have some interest to webOS users. In light of the season, this one will be a little ‘fatter’. Let’s talk turkey.
The start of this month saw the arrival of a new app for webOS. The occasional app still appears along with the various fixes and patches that keep the system running despite the time that has passed since any official, corporate support from it’s creators. These gifts are usually unexpected, so pleasant surprises. DianBao, a client for the Telegram messaging service, may have brought an additional gift. Singaporean developer and forum member, ‘mrrekcuf’ originally created the app as a prize-winning entry for a competition to make a Blackberry 10 app. To port it to Legacy webOS has also meant porting the Qt5 cross-platform application framework. It is this up to date version that has allowed many of the new features of LuneOS, including a modern browser. It remains to be seen if this development will lead anywhere, but if one thing could bring yet another lease of life to Legacy webOS, a new browser would be it. Comment thread.
At webOS Ports, the build servers will be down for the last few days of 2016. Don’t panic! It is only for maintenance and upgrades. LuneOS developers take note.
For those developing apps for LG webOS televisions, note that LG’s developer website will also be shut down just after Christmas. Again, it is merely to allow for a new, improved site! Here’s the announcement. From the 27th the new web address will be: webostv.developer.lge.com
Over the years, webOS enthusiasts have experienced highs and lows from the Consumer Electronics Show. At this time of year we look to the start of January to see what items of interest may be exhibited in Las Vegas. One such item is the LG Probeam laser projector. While only a slight step to a new product category, this at least shows LG’s continuing commitment to webOS in their audio / visual products. Comment thread.
Remember Classic? It was the PalmOS emulator you could use to run old Palm apps on webOS. Those who follow us on Twitter, may have noticed a few retweets when former editor of webOS Nation, Dieter Bohn announced a redesign of his current site, The Verge. He rashly promised a sticker for the first screen shot of the site on a Palm Pre. Alan Morford is not one to do things by halves.
That’s it for now. See you in the new year with an announcement about pivotCE.