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New LunaCE beta includes tall dashboard widgets, new keyboard layouts, better ca

Just last week the webOS Community Edition-derived LunaCE got bumped up to beta, and since then it's gone through a series up updates that have added new features. The alpha phase was all about stability and testing the processes, and it seems that the beta phase for LunaCE is all about expanding the features list.

As of the last update we gave on the homebrew LunaSysMgr replacement, LunaCE included - among other features - gesture-based card switching, tabbed card stacks, a title bar universal search button, and the ability to turn off the tap ripple. Since the beta, LunaCE's been steadily updated all the way to version 4.8.0, which has added a number of new features.

For international users of LunaCE, there are now a number of new keyboard layout options, including an umlaut-heavy keyboards Germanic languages. As was demonstrated several weeks back, there's now pinch-zoom card management in the beta. And, heeding the calls of webOS users since webOS 2.0 first hit the scene over two years ago, LunaCE gives TouchPad users the 'zoomed out' mini card management view, just tapping below a card shrinks the size of your cards so you can see more at once (for this reason we'd love to see a webOS Community Edition for smartphones).

One of the more tantalizing additions to the LunaCE beta is the 'dynamic dashboard height API', which we first saw pictured in early July. The new API allows developers to build notifications or dashboard widgets of more than the standard height, opening the window to a richer and more interactive notification pane. webOS homebrew developer garrett92c is already taking advantage of the new API, producing in the webOS Nation Forums a Weather Widget app that puts a tall widget into the notification pane that gives the temperature and conditions, sunset and sunrise time, wind speed, and humidity, all on top of a representative image of said weather. It's simple, attractive, and the kind of stuff we should have had a year ago from HP. But we'll take it from the homebrew community and WebOS Ports than not get it at all.

As before, LunaCE is still in beta status, so you'll need to enable the Beta testing feeds in Preware to be able to give it a go. Thankfully, there are instructions for that at testing.preware.org so you can get your beta on.