HP TouchPad with Picsel Smart Office

HP’s webOS mobile operating system certainly looks like its on life support. HP canceled all hardware products using the operating system including every HP smartphone and the recently released HP TouchPad tablet. But the company insists that webOS software still has a future. It’s just not really clear yet what that future is.

HP has expressed interest in licensing webOS to another computer are smartphone maker. The company could also continue to use webOS on its own products, such as PCs or printers. But any way you slice it, while webOS never gained the sort of market share that Android, iOS, or even Windows Phone or BlackBerry OS has, there are a fair number of people with webOS devices. There are probably at least a million HP TouchPad owners alone.

So it’s good to see that at least a few big name developers are still writing apps for the platform. Splashtop has announced that it will soon release a SplashTop Remote app for the TouchPad.

SplashTop Remote lets you login to a computer remotely using a phone, tablet, or another computer. The company already offers iOS and Android apps, priced at $5 or less. Now a version for the HP TouchPad is in the works.

Meanwhile Picsel is developing Picsel Smart Office for the HP TouchPad. It’s due out in October.

Apparently right now there are enough webOS users that developers have decided its worth the time and effort it takes to code apps for the platform. But if HP doesn’t find a way to get webOS onto additional devices, it’s likely that in a few years most current webOS users will move on and developers probably will as well. But for now… webOS lives on.

via Engadget and webOS Roundup

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3 replies on “Maybe webOS really isn’t dead yet: Developers still writing TouchPad apps”

  1. I believe development on both those apps began before the s**t hit the fan. I saw Picsel demoed and Splashtop mentioned for the Touchpad before (and it would make sense for Splashtop, seeing how they already have a client for webOS phones). If you already started development on an app, then bad news comes that says you potentially have a dead-end for development, but then you suddenly get a potential market of a million people, you will finish that app.

    However, the developers I know are not writing new apps. They’re finishing up apps they already started, supporting apps they have in the catalog, and staying in a wait-and-see mode. They’re waiting to hear whether HP will reverse course and make webOS devices again, or whether HP will decide to allow Enyo on other platforms so they don’t waste their time writing for a dead-end platform.

  2. Correction: They’re just *completing* the apps they had in development before HP’s Board and CEO unilaterally destroyed the credibility of webOS as a platform.

    I can’t name one *new* app that’s been announced by anyone notable since the announcement in August. Hobbyist and amateur efforts? Sure. webOS is a great training platform for new and seasoned front-end web developers to learn how mobile works. However, the top-tier developers successfully recruited for the platform–you know, the ones that actually bring new users by quality and word-of-mouth–shut down new efforts almost immediately after it became painfully obvious that the Touchpad was failing and HP wouldn’t stand behind it after repeated promises of “doubling down” on a realistically potential Android-topping mobile OS.

    I was a webOS user from the first day when I stood in line at a Sprint store in June, 2009 for a Palm Pre and a developer for the first wave of devices up through the Touchpad, which I pre-ordered. I’ve never seen so many talented people build such a fantastic mobile platform just to watch it pissed away by bad hardware, bureaucracy, and just plain inept business practices as webOS has been.

    HP’s announcement is just the terminus of a long line of disappointments and missteps. Most developers for the platform left long ago when Palm was sold to HP and a vast, months long dry spell in new device announcements occurred–an eternity when new devices on competing platforms are announced almost bi-weekly. Those that remained behind were and are admirable; those that remain webOS-only after HP’s announcement last month are developers holding on irrationally out of emotional attachment to rather than sound business practice.

    Perhaps HP will polish up webOS 3.x to the point of converging the Phone and Tablet versions of the OS in order to sell it off to a company that can take the baton and actually do something befitting of it. That’s probably the best anyone can hope for anymore–and believe me, while I’d love to see it, we webOS users and developers have already been down this road more times than many would publicly admit.

  3. I had a 32GB TouchPad that was bought during the Great Firesale of 2011.  I’ve already moved on.

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