Sorry for not posting in a while but I have been busy here lately and I have not really found anything worth posting about.
Anyway, I recently bought a 32gb HP Touchpad from a friend of mine and thought I would post about my experiences so far. To begin with I ended up selling my Gtablet to one of my cousins so I managed to get the Touchpad for less than $60 dollars, not bad huh?
Here are some of the specs for the device:
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-CPU APQ8060 1.2 GHz OCd to 1.899 GHz
Battery: Rechargeable 6300 mAh battery
Storage: 32 GB internal storage
RAM: 1 GB Mobile DDR2 SDRAM
Display: 9.7in 1024×768 px XGA, 18-bit color, TFT LCD with IPS, LED-backlit
Input: Touchscreen[Capacitive] and resizable virtual keyboard
Camera: 1.3 MP front-facing webcam
Connectivity: Atheros Qualcomm Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Weight: 740 grams
The Touchpad runs WebOS 3.04 which is a Linux based operating system originally developed by Palm. One of the great things about WebOS is that a lot of the software available is licensed under the GPL and the Developer tools are built right into the OS. There is no root per say as the device has this functionality built into it. There are other methods of enabling the Developer mode but I thought that it was funny that the devs used the Konami code (from the Super Nintendo games) as a shortcut to enable developer mode:
On the a webOS device, entering ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A (upupdowndownleftrightleftrightbastart) brings up the previously hidden Developer Mode Enabler application. Opening the app and enabling it will require you to reset your device, after which you’ll be able to hook up to your computer and install Preware:
“Preware is a homebrew package management application for your HP webOS device. Users can install any package from any of the open standard package feeds on preware.org (or any other location that hosts an open standard package feed).
Preware is the most advanced installer currently available – it is the only on-device installer that can install kernels, applications, themes, and patches, as well as give access to over 1600 Linux programs.”
Here are some of the applications and patches I have downloaded from Preware:
F4 Phantom kernel v3.0.4-87 Overclocked to Min 1.242ghz/Max 1.728ghz
Add Launcher Tabs
Faster Card Animation
Increasw Touch Sensitivity and Smoothness
Max Blocker (Adblock)
Private Browsing (prevents history and cookies)
Unthrottle Download Manager
Remove Tap Ripple (needless bloat)
Muffle System Logging (Touchpad logs everything – too much)
Mojo Smooth Scrolling
Unhide Dev Mode Icon
Advanced Reset Options (Airplane mode, Luna restart, Device restart, shutdown, and cancel)
Glass Effect Suite (Theme)
Advanced Browser (browser with tabs)
I have used many Android devices/versions (1.5-3.2) over the years and I think WebOS is more of a complete mobile experience than Android offers as far as functionality and speed. The main problem with WebOS is the lack of applications and the apps that are offered are really expensive compared to their Android counterparts. There are a few other issues but these are mainly limitations of the applications. For instance, the Kindle app cannot sync magazine subscriptions but syncs books fine. The built in browser integrates flash very nice(much better than android as flash is built into the OS), renders pages very fast (pinch and zoom are fluid), but really does not offer very much else. WebOS also integrates Skype, google chat, and allows you to use your touchpad to make phone calls via bluetooth as well. There are a lot of great apps available on HP App catalog and the Preware repositories but like I noted above, they are quite expensive $3-$10 per app.
“There’s a new paneled email application a Growl-like pop-up notification system, support for Skype calling, compatibility with Amazon’s Kindle e-book store, plenty of cal / email integration courtesy of HP Synergy, a slick virtual keyboard, VPN support, wireless printing as well as Google Docs, QuickOffice, Dropbox and Box.net compatibility.”
The method is very simple to do and allows you to choose to boot into WebOS or Android from a bootloader. The release in Alpha 2 stage but I have found it to be very stable and it only a few bugs here and there. For instance sometimes whenever you reboot, the wifi settings will force close and become nonresponsive. To fix this issue, you must clear your wifi settings. To do this, just open up a terminal as root within Android and issue the following command:
rm -rf /data/misc/wifi && reboot
This will clear out your wifi settings and reboot back into Android. After this, the wifi will be working normally again. The Android port is nice and works fine but I enjoy using WebOS much more as the interface is much more fluid and it just works. Personally I would like to see HP decide to continue developing WebOS as this is an excellent open platform. Alot the issues I witnessed like buggy apps and high prices are due to the fact that there are not many applications available, officially anyway. If WebOS does end their development, I think Android 4.0 will fit this device nicely. Currently the Android port uses Gingerbread and it works but something still does not feel right on the device. It just does not have as much polish as WebOS does but then again the port is only in Alpha so I imagine it will get better especially since the ICS source has been released.
Here are some screenshots in WebOS:
And here are some screenshots of Android on the Touchpad:
More to come……