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4 years ago

The Palm Timeline

The Palm Timeline

by Derek Kessler Thu, 28 Feb 2013 1:50 am EST

The Palm Timeline

Palm Computing > US Robotics > 3Com > HandSpring > Palm > palmOne > Palm > HP > LG

To say it's been a long and winding road for Palm and webOS would be an understatment. In the span of two decades the company has changed names and hands at least nine times, as well as been split in two three times (PalmSource, HP engineering, LG) and recombined itself one and a half times.

We've put together a timeline after the break that pulls together all of the epic highlights from twenty-one years of Palm history. Join us after the break for a very long walk down memory lane.

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4 years ago

The Twitter 1.1 API and what it means for webOS

The Twitter 1.1 API and what it means for webOS

by Ryan St. Andrie Wed, 27 Feb 2013 6:23 pm EST

Twitter Hero

Twitter, that lovely place where we all send random 140 character snippets of news, thoughts, and rants. Love it or hate it Twitter is an important part of social networking and has played a very important part in the webOS community over the years. Some of this platform’s first great apps (think Tweed) were Twitter clients. Whether you’re following @webosnation for the latest and greatest in webOS news or one of the many awesome developers out there you probably use Twitter even if it’s just to spectate the conversations. Due to the popularity of this social network within the webOS community we have had the blessing of many truly great third party Twitter clients over the years. Unfortunately due to webOS’ current status of uncertainty developers abandoned our treasured platform in search of ecosystems with a pulse thus abandoning or removing their apps from the webOS App Catalog.

As time moved on Twitter slowly changed their API (software components developers use to access services in a nutshell) to “better” their product. When the API changed if a developer didn’t update their app said app’s functionality would break or cease to work altogether. One quick search through the App Catalog for Twitter will result in a graveyard of apps that have been abandoned. Several months back we composed a roundup of fully functioning Twitter clients that could still be had on webOS and unfortunately that list is about to get a bit smaller soon.

On March 5th (that’s less than a week away folks!) Twitter will begin what they call “blackout tests” for API v1 and fully retiring @Anywhere API altogether. According to Twitter’s developer site the first test will run from 9:00am 10:00am PST on March 5th. During this test they temporarily retire the old API to let developers know how their apps will be affected. After the first test more tests will be announced before, during, and after each test by @twitterapi. The eventual endgame is to fully retire the old v1 API for Twitter in the near future and apps need to migrate to the new API or they will be forever broken.

So what does this mean for us? In a nutshell it means that a lot of our favorite apps that developers have left behind will cease to function. So if you’re still using an app like Carbon, Bad Kitty, or Glimpse to access or interact with Twitter in anyway now would be a good time to move on. We have reached out to several developers on this matter and so far we know for a fact there are a couple of diehard developers that have either updated their app already or have plans to. Here is the short list that we have been able to confirm so far (we'll be updating this list if/when other developers update their apps):

We know that list is small but we are happy to see that there are still dedicated developers for webOS out there that are dedicated to keep their apps up to date after all that this platform has been through. We thank all of them for all their hard work and urge our readers to open up the App Catalog and buy all of these apps if you don’t already have them. If the app is free get ahold of the developer and see how you can go about donating to them or at least give them a huge thank you for their continued support of webOS.

Source: Twitter

4 years ago

CONTEST: Fitness Month Dream Device Giveaway! $400 value, enter NOW!

CONTEST: Fitness Month Dream Device Giveaway! $400 value, enter NOW!

by Rene Ritchie Mon, 25 Feb 2013 8:24 pm EST

Leave a comment below telling us what you got out of Mobile Nations Fitness Month and be entered for a chance to win the phone, tablet, or game system of your dreams!

It's February and you know what that means? Mobile Nations Fitness Month! That's when we all get together to get in shape, share tips and tricks and recipes for success, review amazing apps and accessories, give away great prizes, and have a ton of fun! This year we're doing it a little differently, though. We're doing weekly themes, and that means every week you'll have new and exciting challenges, and new chances to win!

Week 4: Balance!

That's right, it's time to bring everything together and work towards a balanced life! It's really hard to eat and sleep well, and exercise regularly, especially with as all the other things we have to do. That's why it's important to not only act healthier for a week or month, but to build healthier habits into your ever day lifestyle.

To round out the month, we'll be reviewing a bunch of great apps and accessories that can help you keep it together, and keep yourself on track with your nutrition, exercise and relaxation goals.

And we are also going to be doing the mother of all contests.

Contest: Win the fitness device of your dreams!

Leave a comment below telling us what you've gotten out of Mobile Nations Fitness Month -- how much you've improved or been inspired, what you plan to do to keep it up throughout the year, or even how much you simply sat on the couch and watched it all transpire around you! -- and you'll be entered to win a $400 gift certificate to put towards whatever phone, tablet, or even gaming system will help you keep up with your fitness goals!

Be it iPhone or Galaxy Note, Lumia or BlackBerry, Surface or Droid, iPad or Android tablet, Xbox or Wii, we want to help you bring it home!

Our usual contest rules apply, and only one entry per person, but you can enter once on all of our sites: Android Central, CrackBerry, iMore.com, webOS Nation, and WPCentral

So what are you waiting for? Enter NOW, NOW, NOW!

4 years ago

LG committed to open source webOS development, HP to pivot cloud services towards enterprise

LG committed to open source webOS development, HP to pivot cloud services towards enterprise

by Derek Kessler Mon, 25 Feb 2013 6:09 pm EST

LG committed to open source webOS development, HP to pivot cloud services toward

Following up on the surprise news this morning that LG is buying HP's webOS division, we were left with questions. How? Why? When? We spoke with HP SVP of webOS Martin Risau and LG North America VP of Smart TV Sam Chang about why LG purchased webOS, what they're planning on doing with it, and what exactly HP is doing here as well.

As we reported back in October (much to the chagrin of HP and LG), the two companies were working together for several months to produce a webOS-powered smart TV for LG. Chang said that "during this time we [LG] were very impressed with the technology, but also the people behind it. That's what really drove this transaction." The 'people behind it' are indeed an important part of webOS, and adding them to LG's roster brings a lot of talent and experience with webOS.

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4 years ago

Enable permanent "Just Type" quick-access status bar icon (LunaCE)

Enable permanent "Just Type" quick-access status bar icon (LunaCE)

by Adam Marks Mon, 25 Feb 2013 2:54 pm EST

This tip is only for HP TouchPads running webOS 3.0.5 and LunaCE 4.9.5 or higher

Just Type LunaCE searchWhile accessing Just Type to perform a search on your TouchPad is never more than a swipe and a tap away (by swiping up to minimize the current app and then tapping on the "Just type..." search bar), LunaCE--the homebrew update for the TouchPad by WebOS Ports based off the Open Source "webOS Community Edition" (not to be confused with Open webOS)--makes it even easier.  LunaCE gives you the ability to add a persistent icon to the status bar on the top of the TouchPad's screen that will give you quick-access to the Just Type search screen from almost anywhere in webOS. If you can see the Just Type iconicon on the top-right of the screen, you can access Just Type and won't even need to leave your current app first.

Note that LunaCE is currently in beta so you will need to go through the process to set-up the beta feeds in Preware, which can be found at testing.preware.org. In addition, you will need to have Tweaks installed on your TouchPad to toggle this new feature. Once you have both of them installed, you just need to go to the "Luna" section of Tweaks and toggle "Enable Search Icon" to YES in the "STATUS BAR" section to activate this feature.

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4 years ago

HP to keep webOS cloud services; LG open to maybe someday extending webOS beyond TV

HP to keep webOS cloud services; LG open to maybe someday extending webOS beyond TV

by Derek Kessler Mon, 25 Feb 2013 1:38 pm EST

HP to keep webOS cloud services; LG open to maybe someday extending webOS beyond

After today's news that LG is buying webOS from HP, there's been some lingering questions about what all is happening. We finally got a press release from HP, verifying that LG is indeed purchasing the webOS source code, documentations, websites, and the team behind the formerly-mobile operating system to make themselves a fancy new webOS TV.

The cloud services team, meanwhile, will be staying with HP and running the App Catalog and backup services for existing webOS customers. Additionally, Veghte told The Verge that HP sees this as "an opportunity to broaden our reach in delivering services to customers on a variety of platforms," and that they "can use this very broadly in our enterprise services organizations." For what it's worth, HP's been talking about utilizing webOS assets with their enterprise division for some time and nothing has yet seems to have materialized from it.

Contrary to this morning's report from CNET, HP will not be transferring ownership of the Palm patent portfolio to LG. Instead, LG will be licensing the patents, though unsurprisingly neither company seems prepared to comment on licensing term specifics. Additionally, LG claims to be committed to continued participation in the Open webOS project and open source development, but we'll have to see where that goes when their attention is going to be focused elsewhere (TVs).

For their part, LG CT Dr. Skott Ahn told The Verge that "In the short term, we'll apply this to the TV only. But in the future, wherever our plans take us, we'll consider an extension to other devices." Take that with a grain of salt, though. LG's not expecting to unveil their first webOS TV until CES in January 2014, and it could be much longer after that before they opt to bring webOS to other devices in their portfolio, assuming they do so at all. The webOS userbase and app ecosystem have been heavily damaged over the years, and another two or three years of delays will essentially be starting from scratch.

Additionally, LG seems to not be intending to offer that expansion into areas currently inhabited by their established Android wares, as in the phones and tablets that we so desperately want to run webOS. Ahn is quoted in the a combined press releases as saying that "the open and transparent webOS technology offers a compelling user experience that, when combined with our own technology, will pave the way for future innovations using the latest Web technologies," a sentiment that we certainly agree with, but it seems to us to be best suited to handheld devices and not larger scale applications like televisions. But we aren't the ones plunking down millions of dollars here.

Source: HP, The Verge

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4 years ago

Not with a bang but a whimper

Not with a bang but a whimper

by Derek Kessler Mon, 25 Feb 2013 9:58 am EST

Not with a bang but a whimper

This morning it was revealed that HP is selling its webOS assets to LG - including the source code, personnel, and patents - and that LG intends to utilize those assets to deliver a webOS-powered smart TV in early 2014. LG has no ambitions or intentions to bring webOS to their mobile space as they're perfectly happy with all of the work they've put into Android over the past few years. To be frank, we would have been more than pleasantly surprised to see anybody take up the mantle of mobile webOS development.

And so, the final chapter of mobile webOS began to draw to a close. There's always the work that the fine folks at WebOS Ports are doing bringing Open webOS to devices like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Asus Nexus 7, but as we've been saying since the full release of Open webOS 1.0 back in September, the open source release is missing a lot in the way of deep features. While Open webOS Professional Edition was supposed to fix that, at this point the only point we can expect to see Professional Edition is in January 2014 when it's running in some form on an LG television at CES.

The team at Palm and HP needed hundreds more working to bring webOS up-to-snuff feature-for-feature with the competition. It's simply wishful thinking to expect that WebOS Ports of any other webOS homebrew project will be able to produce a fully workable port of Open webOS that any sane person would be willing to use as their primary smartphone or tablet.

Moreso than HP abandoning webOS for Android, this purchase of all webOS assets by LG represents a significant turning point for this webOS community. Palm and webOS have changed hands so many times it's boggling to think about - in just the past four years, Palm saw a major cash infusion from Elevation Partners, launched a new mobile platform, got bought by HP, launched their first tablet, saw that tablet get brutally canceled, was split in two, shopped around, open sourced, and now sold to Korean electronics giant LG.

With LG offering no relief to those craving new webOS hardware, it's time to consider more seriously that this may very well be the end for webOS as we know it. There's no guarantee that webOS on LG TVs will have multitasking cards or rich notifications or universal search or Synergy data unification or any of the much-lauded features that made webOS the operating system that we can't help but adore. We've been suckers for webOS for over four years now, and that's not about to change. No matter what happens in the coming years, webOS will always occupy a significant portion of our gadget nostalgia.

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4 years ago

How do you feel about LG buying webOS? [poll]

How do you feel about LG buying webOS? [poll]

by Derek Kessler Mon, 25 Feb 2013 9:34 am EST

So, LG is buying webOS and putting it on TVs. We're still putting together our thoughts on the matter, but in the meantime we thought we'd go ahead and ask you what you think. So, here's a poll:

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4 years ago

LG purchasing HP's webOS division, licensing webOS for smart TVs

LG purchasing HP's webOS division, licensing webOS for smart TVs

by Derek Kessler Mon, 25 Feb 2013 6:41 am EST

LG purchasing HP webOS division, licensing webOS

According to a report this morning from CNET that has since been pulled (though we have independently verified) LG is purchasing the webOS Global Business Unit from HP, including all of its patents, employees, and source code. This news follows our exclusive report in October that LG was working with HP to develop a webOS-powered smart TV. Our sources tell us that LG now anticipates launching their first webOS-powered HDTV at CES 2014.

Palm, and by extension webOS, was purchased by HP just under three years ago for $1.2 billion, invested billions in launching new hardware and expanding the reach of webOS to PCs, and then abruptly cancelled hardware development before ultimately opting to open source the operating system.

Those joining LG will be positioned under the office of LG CTO President and CEO Skott Ahn and not as part of the television group. The arrangement might be similar to that the webOS GBU was put under in 2010, when they were slotted under HP's Office of Strategy and Technology incubator while the decision of what exactly to do with the OS was being made.

The end goal of LG buying webOS like this is the same as their partnership from last year: to make a webOS-powered television to replace LG's aging NetCast smart TV platform. We and CNET have seen no indication that LG intends to use webOS to supplement their Android smartphone business, though with LG coming in at fifth place in the global smartphone share rankings with less than five percent market share, nothing's impossible. LG at the very least has the experience and manpower in mobile they would need to bring webOS up to modern standards.

That said, as much as we would love to see webOS for mobile from LG, we doubt that's going to happen. With LG snapping up the majority of HP's webOS programming talent and dedicating it to their smart television endeavours, we would be shocked to see webOS hit LG's other endeavours. Even in fifth place, LG's managed to sell more Android smartphones and than HP did webOS devices.

Though, there might be some hope for other webos-powered LG products, as CNET quotes Ahn as saying "It creates a new path for LG to offer an intuitive user experience and Internet services across a range of consumer electronics devices." Read into that what you will, but don't put too much of your money on LG webOS smartphones and tablets.

We also would be surprised to see webOS as we know it come from anybody else to mobile. While HP might technically still own the operating system and the code has been fully committed to open source, without the resources of the webOS GBU to assist third parties in the development of webOS hardware (as they did with LG) it's just not all that likely a third party is going to produce webOS hardware. Granted, it wasn't all that likely before, now it's just less so. We still hope that the soon-to-be-LG employees of the webOS GBU will still be assisting the WebOS Ports team in their own efforts to bring Open webOS to more hardware.

Those of you with webOS devices, though, CNET says that LG will continue with HP's support commitments, though we have to wonder how long that will last - it's been 18 months since the last webOS device sales, and there's HP's homebrew connections to look after as well.

We have reached out to both LG and HP and are awaiting comment.

Source: CNET (cached)

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