Keyboard-less webOS phone gets our hopes up

There are no shortage of black slab phones on the market. From the iPhone to Android to Windows Phone. Even RIM has the Storm. When Palm first announced the Pre, they said to expect a family of webOS devices. The family has been limited to the Pre and Pixi, both featuring physical keyboards. For the most part, the market appears to show a preference to slab devices. HTC EVO, Nexus One, iPhone and so on. Prior to HP’s big product unveiling, we outlined our hopes for Palm’s new hero phone. The Pre 3 looks to be a very attractive phone, but it’s not a major departure from the current form factor. If your target market are folks interested in vertical sliders, then it’s a grand slam due to the limited number of devices that share this design (Torch, ?). A tipster has sent PreCentral a photo of what appears to be an HP webOS phone in a slab format. Could it be? Is HP finally realizing that a large portion of users are demanding larger displays, without a cumbersome physical keyboard?

webOS slab phone

Not much is known about this mysterious new device, but we’ll keep our eyes peeled. This could be a start of the webOS family of products promised back in 2009.

Source: PreCentral

New HP webOS Ad Takes Walk On Wild Side

HP used the Grammy’s last night to preview the HP TouchPad and webOS among other
HP technologies. The “Anthem” ad uses the classic Lou Reed song “Take a Walk on the Wild Side”.

Thumbs up? Thumbs down?

HP Plans To “Make Things Right”

The exhaustive amount of feedback on blogs, Twitter and Palm’s own Facebook page saw a huge outcry from the webOS community in response to word that legacy devices (those prior to the Pre 2), would not receive an update to webOS 2.x. The Palm blog last night responded to the criticism.

“…ultimately it became clear that we would need to choose between supporting the past with over-the-air updates and ensuring that our upcoming devices would live up to your hopes and expectations for them. It was a difficult and, frankly, painful decision for us, and we realize it was a frustrating outcome for many of you.”

It’s still not clear as to when Palm (branding moves aside, this was a move by Palm) made this tough decision, but clearly the timing was not very well thought out. Yesterday should have been a day of positive vibes for the company, but was tarnished by the news. HP doesn’t have a solution yet to appease the community, but they are working something to ease the pain.

“We’re working on something that we hope will help make things right for you. We’ll be sharing the specifics with you when they’re ready.”

Our hope was that webOS 2.0 would help fix the sluggishness that’s present on current generation Palm webOS devices. It’s not clear if “making things right” will mean a webOS 2.0 doctor that allows us to update or perhaps some sort of voucher to purchase a future product at a reduced price. HP doesn’t have the answer yet, so anything on our end is just pure speculation. If I had to guess, a coupon for AppCatalog purchases might make sense. It would continue to stream cash to developers and customers having more apps would be less likely to flee the platform.

How about you? What are you expecting from HP that will “make things right”?

via Palm’s blog

HP Introduces HP Veer, Super Small Smartphone

The phone that clearly was the “Think Small” portion of today’s webOS event was the new HP Veer. It features Palm Pre styling with a slide out keyboard. The physical width and height are about the size of a credit card. The HP Veer features the following specifications and it will be available this spring. No word on carriers or pricing yet.

HP Veer

  • HSPA+
  • 802.11 b/g
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • 8GB Storage
  • 1GB RAM
  • Snapdragon 7230/800MHz
  • Accelerometer, proximity and light sensor

HP Pre 3 Introduced

HP today introduced the HP Pre 3, their new smartphone targeting professionals. The HP Pre 3 specifications are as follows:

HP Pre 3

  • Largest QWERTY keyboard
  • Gesture area
  • 3.6″ 480×800 WVGA display
  • 5-megapixel cmeara with autofocus, LED flash
  • HD Video
  • Front facing camera
  • Video calling
  • HSPA+ and EVDO Rev. A World Phone
  • 801.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • Snapdragon 8×55 1.4 Ghz processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • Available in 8GB or 16GB models

No word yet on carriers, or pricing. The HP Pre 3 will be available this summer.

Palm webOS 2.1 Getting Pushed Today?

According to a few reports, Palm has started to push webOS 2.1 to some devices. The update is far from being widespread, but it’s been seen on the Sprint Pre, a Palm Pre 2 and a Rogers Palm Pre 2.  No update here on an AT&T Palm Pre Plus, but that doesn’t leave us not hoping for some pre-event goodness.

webOS 2.1

Anyone else seeing the webOS 2.1 update?

via MobileSyrup and PreCentral

HP Ordering 6-7 Million webOS Tablets in 2011?

According to an article in DigiTimes, Inventec has landed an order to produce 6-7 million webOS based tablets  in 2011. They also happen to manufacture the Barnes & Noble Nook Color. This rumor comes from “industry sources” and DigiTimes has a less than stellar track record. That in mind, it certainly wouldn’t surprise anyone if HP Palm announced a tablet sometime in early 2011. There is no bigger stage than CES and Palm hasn’t disappointed over the past two years. In fact, one would say they’ve set a high bar based upon their previous announcements. A webOS tablet would certainly live up to the standard.

Those numbers seem a tad bit high, but HP did say they were doubling down on webOS. Building and manufacturing 7 million tablets would certainly reinforce that statement.

DigiTimes via Electronista by way of PreCentral

webOS Hacked To Run On HTC Hero?

According to one developer at XDA, they’ve managed to hack webOS to work on the HTC Hero. The developer hasn’t posted any screen shots, but has promised to post instructions “after school“. Oh those crazy kids. This should be interesting, but why not something more exciting like an EVO or EPIC 4G?

webOS on Hero

How you can support homebrew software development

Over the past weekend, HP/Palm hosted a developer conference in NYC. Traveling over 30 hours to take part was Rod Whitby, the gentleman behind webos-internals. If you’ve found yourself putting your Palm Pre (or Pixi) in developer mode and downloading Preware, then you’ve been using software developed by webos-internals. As you can imagine, it gets rather expensive to purchase new phones, which is required to offer support for the rather large homebrew community. To help support the movement and purchase of new phones needed, they are in the midst of a campaign drive. If you’ve found their software useful, you can donate here. The group has already started work on updating patches to work in webOS 2.0.

GSM Palm Pre 2 Now Available From HP

While we wait for the subsidized Verizon Palm Pre 2, HP has started offering the commitment free unlocked GSM Pre 2 through their online store. It will set you back a hefty $449, but for now that’s the only way you can get webOS 2.0 goodness in the states.

Anyone taking the jump?

via PreCentral