We’ve talked about Palm’s web WebOS in the past, and have many times said that it’s one of our favorite mobile operating systems. With WebOS 2.0 next in line, we can’t help but wonder where it will go with HP at the wheel.
For now, we can only look forward to features that look interesting. We will know for sure how well it all works when the device is released. That doesn’t stop us from taking a liking to some of the already announced features.
Have a look after the jump:
1) Just Type – It’s like a universal search within the OS and then some. The search reminds us of the Spotlight search we’ve grown used to, it will allow for results from search engines as well as your email. Also searchable is SMS. The real kicker is that it will be open to developers as well. This will allow for them to integrate the search into their applications, which can lead to new possibilities not available with iOS. With Quick Actions, this can become even more interesting. Typing in something like Pick Up Uncle Tom may take you to your calendar, the email you received from Uncle Tom telling you when he would arrive at the airport, and so on.
2) Stacks – This is how webOS does multitasking. From the looks of it, this is more like traditional multi-tasking than what we see in iOS. Stacks gets its name from its appearance, the applications that are running are “stacked.” For example, opening an email link will open the page in the stack. You can form stacks manually as well, which will put together applications you need to use with each other. It will be interesting to see how efficient and how battery-friendly this version of multitasking is.
3) Exhibition – Palm users may remember Touchstone, which was a charging dock that allowed users to place their phone without the need to physically plug in your Pre. Exhibition is designed to let users run Apps while the phone is on the charging dock. An example would be a slideshow of your photo albums or your calendar with your things to do for the day.
4) Flash Support – Some users don’t see a need for Flash support, and that’s okay, because they can use the iPhone. There is also Android, which has limited support based on your version of the OS. However, webOS offers Flash compatibility and lets the user choose whether or not they want the content to autoload or if they want to choose to allow Flash content before it loads.
5) WebOS Was Great, Shoddy Hardware Held it Back. We Hope That’s Not Case Again – WebOS was a great piece of software. Unfortunately, it suffered from poor hardware to accompany it. The unfortunate part is that some reports have already said that leaked tech specs are probably correct (the newly-announced Palm Pre 2, looks like those that were in some leaked photos a while back), and they weren’t necessarily impressive. Still, we hope that with HP’s backing and perhaps lessons learned the first time around, that future webOS phones will have great hardware to match the software.
6) Synergy – Synergy will allow users to connect to various services and social networks at once for easy switching and posting across the applications. This looks like one of the great applications for the busy user. The video above shows one such function in which two people can be using a chat client, when one suddenly has to head out. From webOS you can choose to continue the chat via SMS by simply clicking on that contact’s number, as they will all be linked together. It’s a small function, but it’s just a bit of what the feature may be used for when more application developers have their hand at the new OS.
7) Hackability – webOS was always very fun to hack. In addition, it’s been established that it’s very, very difficult, if not impossible, to brick your phone on webOS short of a hardware failure. Just in case of a major software problem, Palm always offered their webOS Doctor just in case you really screwed up.
So, Will it Be webOS?
We will be awaiting the arrival of the Pre 2, and hoping that the phone offers some of what we feel is missing from the other mobile operating systems. We won’t know for sure until it’s available, but if webOS 2.0 is the upgrade it looks to be, it’s sure to earn itself a strong following.
Our only hope for now is that it can fully deliver on the hardware end.