Remember when Palm was still very much alive, and competed against Android and iOS with its own webOS? After HP bought the company in 2010, they promptly ran the entire OS and ecosystem into the ground and sold it to LG. Now webOS is a mere shadow of its former self, continuing to exist on various LG electronics (mostly TVs).
If the LG Watch Urbane just isn't fancy enough for you, the manufacturer is going to up the stakes. LG just announced the Watch Urbane LTE on its home turf of South Korea, ostensibly to have something to compete with Samsung's Gear S. The Watch Urbane LTE includes the capability to make voice calls, essentially turning it into a wrist-mounted cell phone. It would be the first Android Wear device with stand-alone voice capability... if it were running Android at all. According to LG's (translated) press release, the Urbane LTE is using a proprietary operating system, just like the Tizen-based Gear S.
WebOS, the last and sadly failed initiative from the venerable Palm Inc., seems to have more lives than Mumm-Ra the Everliving. After getting a second chance when HP acquired the Palm company, then a third when LG tried it out on connected televisions, it looks like the Korean manufacturer is going to give it a shot at powering future smartwatches. The Verge spotted a WebOS smartwatch page on LG's development portal, which was then swiftly taken down.
The screenshots taken before the site was canned don't say much, but they say just enough. LG is an enormous company, much bigger than many in the west realize.
There are more than a few music players available for Android, but you could search the Play Store for days without finding one quite so full-featured as Music Player (Remix). The developer seems to have thrown every possible bell and whistle into the local playback app, and topped it off with a swipe-based interface and some impressive extras. It's available in the Play Store for $4.99, with a 14-day trial app available as well.
The core app is fairly typical as far as music players go, with some playlist management that's particularly interesting. The interface is based on swipes: swipe up from anywhere in the app to view the Now Playing screen, swipe from the right for your library, and swipe from the right for playlists and favorites.
In the increasingly crowded market for Twitter clients on Android, another big player is about to jump into the fray - Carbon. You may know Carbon from its days on WebOS, but now that HP's mobile operating system is little more than an open source zombie, Carbon's developers are looking for a new (and more profitable) home.
While the app is already available on Windows Phone 7, that version is styled quite differently from the upcoming Android version, shown in the video below.
As you can see, Carbon is an app with a rich (and unique) user interface, with lots of animated flourishes on top of some recognizable Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich design elements.
Remember back when an HP Touchpad was spotted running Android out of the box? Well, it would appear that after some cajoling, the CM team (in association with an attorney) have convinced HP to release the Touchpad's Android kernel source, along with a couple of other GPL components specifically modified for Android-powered Touchpads accidentally released to the wild. In addition to the kernel, HP released code to androidvncserver and i2c-tools. The only thing missing, according to Green (part of the CM team), is the Wi-Fi driver. Green explains this in an announcement on the RootzWiki forums:
I did some digging around and it appears that the wifi driver shipped with both webOS and with the Android are GPL, there are multiple evidences of that including the driver licensing string.
With its $99 fire sale price, the TouchPad finally hit the sweet spot. Units have been selling like crazy over the past week, but it seems as though one new owner got a little more than he bargained for. No, unfortunately HP didn't accidentally send him 100 units for the price of one, but he did allegedly receive a unit running Android 2.2, rather than webOS.
Making its way onto eBay, the TouchPad has already racked up 8 bids and is sitting at $685 with over 2 days still remaining on the auction, so people are obviously interested in the device.
WebOS may catch a lot of flack because it never really took off but it does, in fact, have some really awesome features. One feature was the card view multitasking, which has already found its way onto Android. Another cool thing it did was that wacky swipe-up-from-the-bottom launcher gesture. Well, folks, guess what there's an app for now. It's called Wave Launcher - and it's great.
Wave Launcher's beauty is in its simplicity, just like its WebOS predecessor. You simply touch the bottom edge of your screen and swipe up. As you swipe up, so does a bar of five or more applications for you to select.
Update: Thanks to commenter Xcom923 (below), I rebooted my phone and have it working! It's freakin' awesome!
Meet Itching Thumb, an absolutely amazing task switcher that's very similar to the one found on WebOS. There's not much I can say that rivals what's shown in the video:
For those who are unable to watch the video or who are unfamiliar with WebOS, it's basically a "card" system - similar to CoverFlow (but with a customizable style). These screencaps illustrate what I'm talking about fairly well:
Left: the cards are flat as you scroll; you can drag an app to the top of the screen to close it (shown).
I’m not exactly sure how this strange pairing was birthed, probably somewhere in a boardroom of extremely bored HP executives… but it looks like HP’s Tablet plus Printer combo is drawing closer to readiness for release. I thought one of the driving tenets of the tablet revolution was to obsolete printers, but obviously HP disagrees – hey, they’re the experts. The Zeen, as it’s appellated, is a 7-inch capacitive tablet which will be bundled in a $400 package with the C510 PhotoSmart eStation. While thankfully printing does not appear to be the Zeen’s sole raison d’être, it is certainly one of the devices included features, with a Printer and Coupon app appearing in the app drawer.