If you’ve reloaded your feeds today, you may have noticed a slight change on your webOS app launcher. That’s right, it’s Preware’s birthday today! In celebration, the Preware icon has been changed to look, well, a little more festive. As we celebrate six years of what has certainly been a roller-coaster ride for the webOS family, let’s take a moment to reflect on just how much we owe to the homebrew developer community.
The webOS Ports team has been developing LuneOS for a long time now. It started after HP released webOS as an open source project in December of 2011. With monthly updates the LuneOS project now hosts a ton of awesome features as it draws nearer and nearer to daily driver status.
I wrote about testing apps for LuneOS several months ago. The TLDR version is there aren’t many current Enyo (think webOS 2.x and up) based apps that work with LuneOS. There are a LOT of Mojo (think webOS 1.x) apps for webOS out there but when HP open sourced webOS, Mojo was not included so that’s a no-go for LuneOS too. Bummer.
Will there be apps for LuneOS when it does reach daily driver abilities? Where will the apps come from?
You’ve announced the end of webOS cloud services and I couldn’t be happier.
So Alcatel (sorry, TCL) have confirmed what we knew – they bought the Palm branding. Unsurprisingly, they officially announced it at CES. What IS a bit more surprising is the announcement that they are somehow bringing back the spirit of Palm in the silicon valley and also engaging with “Palm’s very own community”.
I don’t know if that is meant to be those on webOS Nation and the other dedicated forums around the world or the various engineers of Palm’s past who have moved onto various projects including webOS TV, Android and Pebble watches.
TCL have wisely avoided use of the term, “In the coming months”, but, “The exact timeline of the rollpout of the Palm project will be communicated at a later date.”
I wish TCL/Palm well in their goal to be an innovative company. I suspect that to get the interest of the community of people who have stuck with Palm products for this long, their new devices will need to run PalmOS, webOS or something else; something new that’s equally innovative.
At the moment it doesn’t appear that webOS features in their plans. Perhaps their best bet for a community is to grow a new one around a genuinely ground-breaking product?
Here’s Derek Kessler’s article at webOS Nation.
Here’s the original press release from TCL.
Now that iOS 8 and Mac OS XX are out of the bag, I bet you’re wondering, “Wow isn’t call and SMS sharing incredibly similar to webOS’ Text and Call sharing feature?” Well, you’re right! After the release of iOS 7 and it’s “Card” Multitasking, which was almost instantly associated with webOS, and is one of the more impressive changes to iOS, and most of us were probably thinking when we first saw it was, “Wow whats next? Ditching the app interface?”, but of course Apple surprised us, although some of us were not as pleased, that now you can now share SMS and calls from your iPhone straight to your Mac or iPad. Sadly, the media have forgotten the fact that webOS had this back in 2011, and lets not forget that webOS was going to flatten out, only the interface be more paper-like, first as well.
Now along with Continuity, the other webOS-Esque feature included in iOS 8 is Spotlight. Now with the updated version of spotlight, it becomes more than something that can look for apps on your overcrowded iPhone, as it can automatically show you things in maps, the App Store, Contacts, etc. Although unlike webOS, you do not have the ability to write and send Texts and Emails, but I believe Apple is off to a decent start when it comes to webOS features that we know and love. Finally, iOS 8’s unobtrusive messages are starting to get to a point where webOS was, only rather than just resizing the screen, they disappear, but they do give you the added benefit of pulling down on them to respond, which is mighty handy if your in the middle of something and don’t want to keep switching back and forth, and I’m not going to lie, but I have caught myself swiping up on a notification on my Pre3 to reply after installing iOS 8. If only they would do something about those horrifying icons, introduced in iOS 7. Although, the story with iOS 7 is basically that it only has the “cards” feature which was taken from webOS’ core, although, I do admit that I would have greatly preferred if Apple had implemented other features from webOS right from the get go.
Overall, even though most webOS users seem to have a hatred for Apple, I think that if webOS doesn’t make it in the long run, iOS will become a decent replacement for it, as long as they revert UI, or give it more depth, but lets keep our eyes on the real goal, LG webOS smartphones, and more importantly, the webOS toaster.