Open webOS Might Have a Future Now

Phoenix Devices

We determined that we are not prepared to just sit back and hope for the best, so we began our preparations to adopt Open webOS when it is released, and we will continue from where HP left off. But what does that even mean? It means to address the inadequacies of webOS itself, it means to have a constant dialogue with the greater community of users regarding the inadequacies of webOS, and working on adding new features and fixing annoying bugs. And, ultimately, it means to increase the selection of devices that webOS can run on—first by porting it to desirable new hardware already available on the market, and eventually over the long term by working with an established manufacturer to introduce a line of custom webOS devices.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

If I were them, I’d pick just three Android tablets as targets for getting Open webOS running on them.

I’d like to see them target the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7″ (all generations), the Barnes & Noble NookColor, and the current 7″ Kindle Fire.


The Samsung tablets are sleek hardware. So is the NookColor. The Fire is the most popular Android tablet. And by early next year, people should be able to pick up any of these used for about US$99. That would be a very inexpensive entry point for people to experiment with Open webOS.

Update after the break.

Steven Troughton-Smith disagrees with my target devices:

And he points to this:

You probably haven’t heard of 1 or more of the following;

1. Hexxeh

2. OpeniBoot

3. iPhone Linux

4. Chromium OS [its been here for over a year]

5. iDroid

We managed to port Android to the iPhone 2G, 3G, iPod touch 1G and the 2G is a WIP. Why not iPad? Userland installations via a firmware exploit is possible too [pod2g is working on it for other devices].

This is totally possible and real.

Well that does change things a bit.

I still say go for at least one inexpensive 7″ tablet. People don’t want to risk bricking something that’s expensive.

And if webOS could run on a Retina Display iPad, that would be epic.


Filed under webOS

5 responses to “Open webOS Might Have a Future Now

  1. Rich Finck

    I would want something with a lot more horsepower than the slow as molasses TP I test drove way back when. I also think my Pre phone was a faster device. I believe the code also needs mucho work. The code was released way before it was ready.

  2. Get over it, WebOS is very, very dead. Pre 1/2/3 were decent phones, and WebOS SHOULD HAVE been developed solely for mobile platform.

    The only thing saving WebOS was the fact that the TP sold so many units, hence raising the ‘awareness’ of the WebOS platform and securing ‘customers’. However, I can still get MINT CONDITION units off local forums, ebay and the local paper whenever I want for roughly 180$ with Touchstones, keyboards, cases included.

    Even with preware and homebrew, the webOS experience is less than satisfactory on a TP. This revival debate is a case of a bunch of die-hard fans, desperately gripping to a software platform that never took off. I guess that’s a critique/opinion of the current programming mobile landscape (iOS versus android versus BB versus symbian, etc). WebOS is not popular or widely known and less used. The CM team and related members were nice enough to port ICS over to the Touchpad. That has now sparked a new interest in the now discontinued unit.

    Preware was a failure. It never took off like Cydia, even though it *should* have. The TP hardawre has also proven unreliable, faulty, and produced in a very *cheap* fashion, e.g. speaker hairline cracks, general case cracks, EVERY official case warping.

    • mikecane

      No one argues that the TouchPad hardware was sub-optimal. Why blame the software? And why shouldn’t it have a second (OK, maybe third? fifth?) chance?

  3. Why, WHY, would anyone want to run Android on an iPhone?

  4. Ravi

    webOS isn’t going anywhere on iPhones and iPads.

    You didn’t look at the ports carefully enough. AFAICT, no one has *any* GPU acceleration (2D or 3D) working on any iDevice with anything other than iOS (not even the original iPhone) No acceleration at all means a UI that might be slower than Android 1.0 (which, despite what you’ve heard, was accelerated in plenty of places), Retina devices would probably be slower than non-Retina devices (no GPU help in pushing around 4X the pixels), no video playback. bad battery life, …

    The only practical route forward for webOS is to be ported to devices with Linux-compatible GPU drivers (of which there are many, fortunately).

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