Want the latest version of Android on your device? Sure, we all do, and despite HP having put the TouchPad out to pasture long ago, the modder community isn’t giving up hope. One brave soul over at Xda Developers who goes by the handle Jscullins can (and should) be thanked for bringing bargain tablet lovers a dose of CyanogenMod 10. It’s still a preview build lacking, among other things, sound and video acceleration, but if you absolutely have to get a buttery smooth UI on your tablet right now hit up the source link for the download. Or, you could just check out the video of it in action above courtesy of Liliputing. It’s probably safer.
HP’s plans to open-source webOS included mention of Enyo 2.0, a framework designed to spread webOS’ learnings to other platforms — to spread the love around, so to speak. The code foundation, while behind schedule, has just left beta: any developer with a mind to producing web apps can now create interface elements and whole apps using the technology derived from Palm’s legacy. Any reasonably modern browser will run the end result, whether it’s running Android, iOS or a full-fledged desktop release. We may never recreate the exact feeling of using an HP TouchPad on our iPads and Galaxy Tabs, but we know that some of its software design heritage will carry on.
Well, it looks like there’s still a few surprises left from HP’s brief foray into webOS hardware. As webOS Nation has discovered, the design firm Transparent House posted a brief clip of a device described as “WindsorNot” some eight months ago, which is very clearly a touchscreen-only webOS smartphone. As the site notes, that appears to be the very same device that had previously turned up in leaked photos under the codename “Stingray,” and it estimates that the phone has the same 3.6-inch screen as the Pre 3. Details are scarce beyond that, but you can look at the unreleased TouchPad Go (a.k.a. Opal) on Transparent House’s Vimeo page linked below.
Along with the Open webOS project (which will see HP release components to the community for developing future versions of the mobile OS), HP now says it will provide additional components from the current release of webOS residing on the TouchPad (version 3.0.5). These components will be a separate “Community Edition” and reside at opensource.palm.com. The full stand-alone package should be up for grabs by June.
“We are publishing this legacy code to provide members of our community around the globe the ability to work with legacy devices using the current platform,” reports webOS CTO Sam Greenblatt. “One of our core values is that as many components of future and legacy operating systems should be open to the community.”
Developers won’t get the full webOS 3.0.5 release, as it contains proprietary third-party software that HP can’t legally open source. What they will get are portions that fall within open source, though it’s so far unclear as to what those portions will be. This separate release is something of a “thank you” for supporting the mobile OS over the years.
“We value the contributions the webOS community has made over the past few years, and hope that this additional release will help you better understand the platform and create a constructive environment for moving forward as Open webOS itself is released,” he added.
Greenblatt also made a quick note about the Open webOS release commitments for March, saying that the Linux 3.3 kernel has produced a seventh release candidate that may be ready for release by the end of the month.
“We will stick to our schedule of releasing our abstraction layer and components in the next few days in anticipation of the release of Linux 3.3,” he reports. “You should be able to work with it on any standard Linux kernel (e.g., Ubuntu or Debian-based) for now.”
You may remember that during the TouchPad fire sale, a few slates slipped out with a rather primitive Froyo build on them. Well, HP doesn’t seem to know how the tablets hit shelves with Android on board, but its decided to release the source code for the OS nonetheless. Developers had previously called on the company to hand over the code, but the request was refused since HP had never intended for TouchPads to ship with Android, and thus were not obligated to abide by the open-source requirements. As a gesture of goodwill to the community (and under a certain amount of pressure from it) the former purveyor of all things webOS has reversed course though, and let the TouchPad-specific kernel loose on the internet for others to repurpose as they see fit. Hit up the source link to download it now.
HP’s Enyo framework is an essential ingredient for allowing new apps to work on webOS devices with different resolutions, but due to some sort of ethnocentric hiccup, v1.0 hasn’t officially reached all international webOS phones and tablets. Fortunately, WebOS Internals has prepared a nice little Preware install package that anyone, anywhere can enjoy. At this point, adding Enyo will only provide access to a few extra apps, but at least the world will be reunited in its preparedness for a glistening future, right?
Google, which commands the mobile market with its open-source Android operating system, now has a similar competitor lurking on the horizon: HP and its now not-so-doomed webOS.
After a brief meeting on Friday afternoon, HP president and CEO Meg Whitman revealed the company’s plans to contribute its webOS mobile operating system to the open source community. She said that HP will continue to play an active role in the development and financial support of the software while also contributing ENYO, the application framework for webOS, in the near future. Read more…
HP saw huge demand for its TouchPad tablet when it announced the decision to scrap the line and drop the price to $99. The tablet sold out in stores and at online retailers in a matter of hours and, ever since then, those that weren’t quick enough or lucky enough to snag one have been wondering if the $99 TouchPad might return at some point.
Well, if you didn’t cave a snap up a PlayBook after that device’s recent price plummet, you’ll be pleased to know that the $99 TouchPad is apparently going to return this weekend. TechCrunch cites an internal HP mail that says starting Sunday, December 11 at 6:00 p.m. Central time, 16GB and 32GB Touchpads will be available via HP’s ebay store (under ‘laptops’). However, there is one catch: They’re not brand new devices. Instead, HP is selling refurbs to those willing to shell out either $99 or $149 for the tablet.
Of course, supplies are limited, so when they’re gone, they’re gone. To that end, HP is restricting customers to two units each. There will also be an optional three-piece accessory bundle that includes a case, charging dock and wireless keyboard for $79 (estimated value is $199.97).
Though HP just this week offered developers a discount on TouchPads, it seems the future of webOS is still uncertain. Newly appointed CEO Meg Whitman has said that the company is still at a loss as to what to do with webOS. Speaking to a room full of HP employees, Whitman said it’s not immediately obvious what the company should do with the mobile OS it acquired last year. The Verge reports that Whitman was speaking at an all-hands meeting last night, apparently scheduled to make a decision on webOS. However, it seem the company will be putting off the decision once more.
“It’s really important to me to make the right decision, not the fast decision,” the Verge cites her as saying, adding that a decision on the fate of webOS would come in the next three to four weeks. Whitman said part of the reason for the delay was that she needed to first decide whether the company was going to sell or spin-off its personal systems group (the company ultimately decided to hang onto its PC business). While she offered no clue as to what her thoughts on webOS might be, Whitman did say that if HP decides to keep it, it’s going to do it “in a very significant way over a multi-year period.” Whitman conceded that this would be a very expensive proposition but assured assembled employees that “HP can make that bet.”
The news follows HP’s decision to offer webOS developers 32GB TouchPads for $150 each in an apparent attempt to keep them sweet. However, there has also been reports that HP plans to sell the OS off to the highest bidder. Reuters this week reported that the company wants to sell webOS in order to recoup some of the money it spent acquiring Palm. HP bought Palm for $1.2 billion in April of last year. At the time, HP was excited to acquire the webOS platform and then-CEO Mark Hurd was quoted as saying webOS was the reason for the purchase. Reuters this week cited sources that said Bank of America Meryll Lynch is advising the company on potential buyers. Interested parties are rumored to include Amazon, RIM, IBM, Oracle and Intel.