If you’re an active member of the webOS community these days, you’ll know we’re a small, tight-knit group of friendly folks. Our three subgroups tend to be mostly free-time developers, advanced users, and those that are hanging on to the form factor/mobile OS despite its limited services and with little regard for the do-it-all-for-you modern devices.
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?
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?