HP may not be selling very many HP TouchPad tablets anymore, but there are somewhere around a million of the discontinued devices in the wild and it looks like HP’s webOS team hasn’t forgotten about us just yet. The company has just released a software update for the TouchPad which brings performance improvements and a few new features.
Among other things, webOS 3.0.4 finally includes a camera application. The HP TouchPad has a 1.3MP front-facing camera, but up until now you had to download a third party app if you wanted to use it to take pictures. Now there’s a built-in app for that. The app only shoots video or takes photos in portrait orientation.
According to webOS head Ari Jaaksi, other changes include improved messaging and the ability to connect over Bluetooth to non-HP phones. The HP App Catalog also now loads more quickly and also allows you to switch between categories and other views more quickly.
WebOS 3.0.4 also brings support for OGG Vorbis music files and the ability to create online and offline status messages in the Messaging app.
HP has also added support for accelerometer events to Adobe Flash Player and improved Skype video calling performance.
The HP TouchPad can automatically download the 53MB update over the air — or you can force the update by going to the Settings panel on your tablet, selecting System Updates and then tapping the download icon once the tablet finds the latest update.
Warning: If you’ve installed Android on your HP TouchPad, the webOS 3.0.4 software update will overwrite the boot partition and remove Moboot. This means you won’t be able to boot Android unless you reinstall Moboot first. CyanogenMod 7.1 Android is still on your device, you just can’t access it without the Moboot software.
Fortunately it’s fairly easy to reload Moboot by following some of the instructions Android installation guide. Here’s the short version:
- Connect your TouchPad to a PC and tap the icon to enter USB Drive mode.
- Create a directory on the TouchPad called “cminstall” (without quotes).
- Copy the moboot_0.3.3.zip file to the cminstall directory.
- Exit USB drive mode.
- Restart your TouchPad from the Device Info app in the Settings panel.
- Hold the Volume Up button as your device reboots.
- Once you see a big USB icon on the TouchPad, you’re ready for the next step.
- Open a terminal and navigate to the folder on your computer where you’ve already installed Palm Novacom (and make sure the ACMEInstaller file is in the same directory).
- Type the following (without quotes) and hit enter: “novacom boot mem:// < ACMEInstaller”
Once you’ve done that your device should reboot and you’ll see lines of code run across the screen. Once that’s finished, the Moboot menu should load, giving you the option of booting webOS or Android.
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