More and more webOS –related jobs are starting to show up on HP's career website, including such positions as Senior Product Manager, various engineers, and designers. Some positions have just popped up in the last few days. Take it as a small sign that HP is still pouring resources and talent into the development of our beloved mobile OS.
The jobs appear to be located both in Sunnydale, CA and ShangHai, China. The job descriptions describe the webOS unit as a "fast-paced startup with big ideas, talented people, the software assets of Palm and backed by HP."
Update 10/42012 -- USA Today has released an update to the app catalog which fixes the issues!
Update 10/1/2012 -- We reached out to USA Today and they have told us :
"We are aware that there is an issue with the HP Touch app. We apologize for the inconvenience and assure you that we are currently looking into the issue and hope to have it resolved soon."
Last week, we began to notice that one of the most popular webOS Apps, USA Today, was no longer pulling in news feeds. Although sports and weather data is still updating, the photos are static and the news boxes are empty.
In July 2011, USA Today was touting the release of their webOS app saying, "We think it will be a winner with HP TouchPad users who want a best-in-class news app for everyday use."
Today, on their newly redesigned site, webOS is not listed as a mobile app option.
The timing of the outage might correspond with the release of USA Today's new website design, which happened a few weeks ago. Hopefully it is just an oversight and one of our go-to Touchpad apps will be back online soon. We'll keep you posted if/when we hear back from USA Today.
Looking for a good deal on an HP TouchPad? We've got a couple links for you to checkout. Of course, you can still buy brand new TouchPads on Amazon for about $300.
PC Connections Express and NewEgg.com both have refurbished 32GB Touchpads listed for $209 with free shipping.
These are factory-certified refurbished units that have the HP 90-day warranty. The NewEgg offer throws a protective sleeve into the deal.
Has it really been a year?
HP's tiniest webOS phone was released with mixed fanfare May 15, 2011 on the AT&T network for $99 and a 2-year contract. You could get it in black or penguin (black/white).
Of course the rest is history. The Veer was to be the prelude to the highly anticipated TouchPad and the flagship webOS device, the Pre3.
After all the dust settled (and my Pre2 bit the dust), I picked up an off-contract Veer for a hundred bucks and connected it to my prepaid account. I loved the speed and familiar webOS interface. The keyboard was even wonderful to type on. However, say what you will, I simply could not live with a screen that small. It was great to slide in your pocket and go, but torturous to actually use and read. In addition, the Veer suffered from some little tedius glitches and I moved on to another device within a few months.
Now, in all fairness, some folks love the small screen and still find it to be a great device. As for me, I'll keep it around for my daughter when she gets to Middle School, where I think it will serve her better.
The release of the HP Veer was a case study in dysfunctional advertising campaigns. We posted an article on May 12, 2011 noting the "Deafening Silence" coming from HP just days before the release. And, on top of that, HP could never identify the target audience or deliver a clear reason "why" to purchase the device.
In hindsight, behind some closed door of HP, webOS was probably already being shut down.
So Happy Birthday, Veer!
When HP announced to the world their commitment to make webOS open source by the Fall of this year, they gave us a little road map of how things would roll out.
Strangely enough, items on the road map have fallen into place exactly when they were promised – Enyo 2.0, UI widgets, etc. Next up on the timeline is something that many developers are anticipating – the release of Ares 2.0. According to HP, Ares 2.0 will be released this month.
What is Ares? Well, besides the Greek god of war, Ares is an online development tool for webOS that you run right from your browser. It offers a drag-and-drop interface, allowing for quick development and debugging of simple mojo apps.
Ares 2.0 will bring the development tool to the Enyo 2.0 era – great news for developers who are ready to start learning and developing for the platform.
Also, scheduled for release this month is Enyo 2.1.
If you are looking for a charging dock for your TouchPad, you won't find any on HP's website (try Amazon for about $30). But HP still offers a really good package deal on the three big accessories – the official case, wireless keyboard and Touchstone Charging Dock. You can still find this bundle on eBay for just $79.
[Source: HP's eBay web store]
Another sign of the webOS times…David Baxter with webOSroundup.com has announced that April 10 will be their final podcast and that the website will sign off.
webOSroundup has been a great website over the last few years with great content and a positive community. Obviously, the lack of webOS devices and apps puts a depressing damper on sites like ours.
David says, "It has been obvious for a little while now that WOR has not been able to keep up with the stories and news like we used to and rather than just languish and put up an occasional story from time to time we wanted to go out on our own terms and say thank you to each and every one of our fans…"
I can certainly understand that sentiment! My site, webOScenter.com, has been rather lacking in the content area as of late as well. With no new devices on the horizon (you DO need devices to have an operating system), it becomes rather frustrating to try to stay in the loop. There are some interesting things going on with Enyo and the community release of webOS. So, we'll continue to stick it out to see how this rolls.
Best of luck to David and the team at webOSroundup. Maybe one day in the future we'll have another wave of webOS to ride.
Their final podcast will take place at 9pm (Eastern) next Tuesday, April 10.
For all of "webOS is dead" articles out there, it's refreshing to hear from others, like me, who actually use this "dead" OS on a daily basis to get things done in our lives. We sometimes forget how amazing our webOS is. That is until we pick up our spouses iPad and try to switch between open applications – or need to refer to an email in our inbox while typing a new email.
Lukas Mathis has penned a great blog entry titled "Please Steal These webOS Features" from the perspective of an iPad user who loves his TouchPad. It's a great read.
[Source: ignorethecode.net ]
The official (and best) case for your TouchPad device is now affordable! Not sure how long this will last, but you can now pick it up at HP.com for just $9.99, with FREE SHIPPING.
This is the case that fits the TouchPad perfectly and can be used to 'stand' the device up in two different positions. It is also compatible with the Touchstone Charging Dock. Hit the link below for more info.
[Source: HP Online Store]
HP began rolling out webOS 3.0.5 update this week that includes several usability enhancements. The updates are listed below. Coming soon to a TouchPad near you!
- Faster switching between Day, Week, and Month views, and faster event display in Calendar.
- Faster scrolling when reading an email message.
- Email attachments are now saved with draft messages.
- Added sender photos and IM presence indicators in Email.
- Improved stability when watching video in the Web app.
- Improved handling of MP3s that are transferred from a computer using USB Drive mode.
- Added a dedicated view of contacts available for a video call, for quicker setup of a video call.
- New alert when video quality might be lower because of network issues.
- When typing, pressing the space bar twice inserts a period. This can be toggled on and off.
- Auto-correction can be turned off directly from the onscreen keyboard.
- Added support for HTTP Live Streaming.
[Source: HP webOS Blog]