Can HP's webOS and TouchPad slow down the iPad?
Android tablets and RIM's PlayBook haven't put much of a dent in Apple's tablet success -- yet
Computerworld - More than a year after its introduction, Apple's iPad continues to dominate a tablet market that has grown crowded with a variety of would-be rivals. Most of these are Android tablets like Samsung's Galaxy Tab and Motorola's Xoom. (The Xoom became the launch vehicle for the tablet-optimized version of Android, better known as Honeycomb.)
The next challenger prepping to go toe-to-toe with the iPad is HP's TouchPad, which was announced and demoed in February; it is expected to ship July 1 -- along with a significant update to the webOS mobile operating system originally developed by Palm.
WebOS didn't see much out-of-the-gate success -- blame the limited launch with Sprint and an ad campaign that many found bizarre, including commercials dubbed "Reincarnation," "Go With the Flow" and "Read my Mind" -- and the platform languished a bit before HP bought Palm last year.
Initially, HP was quiet about its webOS plans, indicating only that it would bring webOS technology to other products such as its printers. (Palm Pre devices also got the operating system.) Then in February, a TouchPad announcement indicated that HP has plans for webOS that go far beyond printers and a single smartphone. HP has developed two new webOS handsets: the diminutive Veer, which launched earlier this year on AT&T, and the Pre3. More important, HP has developed a tablet version of webOS for the TouchPad and plans to bring webOS to PCs as an alternative to Windows.
All of which raises the question: Can webOS and the TouchPad succeed where others have failed in competing with Apple's iOS and the iPad? Going beyond the iPad, can the Veer and Pre3 gain a significant share of the smartphone market? And is webOS viable as an alternative to iOS, Android or BlackBerry handsets?
What webOS brings
Despite its small market share, webOS 2.x has a lot of innovative features.
WebOS doesn't include a home screen in the same sense as iOS, Android and the BlackBerry operating system. Instead, it includes a launcher with common applications and a pop-up view of all installed apps.
The primary display (when you're not using a particular application) is a view of app thumbnails known as cards that can be easily cycled through and selected. Screens from individual apps can be displayed as individual cards. In addition to simply displaying every active app or screen, webOS lets you stack cards together in the same way you'd stack pieces of paper together on your desk.
This approach is extremely intuitive, letting you immediately switch between commonly used apps and allowing you to organize cards for specific tasks that you want to handle together, such as emails and/or texts. It also offers much of the same functionality as Android widgets or the live previews of Honeycomb's home screen. By doing away with the home screen and focusing on apps and tasks, webOS focuses more on getting things done than on system navigation. (Story continues on next page)
More tablet info
The table below shows the most recently announced tablets as reported by Computerworld. Click a tablet's name in the leftmost column to read a news story or review with more information about the device, or view a larger table with more details about each product.
- Samsung to offer 3 new tablets starting Feb. 13
- Tablets remain tops in American gift-buying plans
- 'Phablets' are eating into the tablet market, IDC says
- Apple springs Retina iPad Mini on customers
- The puzzling Lumia 2520 tablet: Will it disappear when Microsoft buys Nokia?
- Dell launches four new tablets -- all on Intel chips
- Few use tablets to replace laptops
- New Kindle Fire HDX's tech support button could push IT to yell 'Mayday!'
- Kindle Fire HDX tablets show big push for business users
- Microsoft kicks off iPad buyback deal in latest effort to juice Surface sales
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- 4 Customers who never have to refresh their PCs again This paper illustrates a common theme: the combination of desktop virtualization and thin client computing helps organizations deliver an up-to-date user experience more...
- Mobile Devices: The New Thin Clients Get essential guidance for understanding the role thin clients plus virtual desktops play in the enterprise today.
- Taking Windows Mobile on Any Device Taking Windows applications mobile has many advantages, but the process of identifying a solution is complex. Learn how to solve this complex problem...
- PaaS - Powering a New Era of Business IT Why PaaS has suddenly become relevant and irresistible to many organizations. Dive into the opportunities and considerations associated with using PaaS from an...
- Redefine Your IT Operations: Remote Office IT Has Never Been Simpler Join us to see why PC Pro named Dell PowerEdge VRTX the "2013 Server of the Year." PowerEdge VRTX may be just what...
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have. All Hardware White Papers | Webcasts