When HP announced the TouchPad at their press event, they also proclaimed it would be shipping with a new release of webOS their operating system based on Linux and web technologies. They’ve recently opened up their webOS 3.0 Developer Beta and are providing exclusive access to the new SDK which comes bundled with an emulator. The PreCentral blog has posted screen captures of some of the features in webOS 3.0 including a change from Google Maps to Bing Maps, a new spacious and glorious looking virtual keyboard and a very plain looking Messaging and Music interface.
Bing Maps has replaced the aging and old Google Maps app on webOS. Many webOS users complain about the slow functionality of Google Maps on their devices, hopefully this allows for the much needed faster interface as well as leveraging their existing partnerships for an overall better experience.
HP has also enabled the previously hidden virtual keyboard (all their currently available devices have physical keyboards) showing off a full 5 rows, complete with size adjustment and what looks like a button that moves the cursor to the next text field for input.
Both the Messaging and Music applications are very sparse looking, granted they are not filled up with any content. The Music player has a very minimalistic feel that provides straight forward and quick access to playback controls as well as playlist and song selection. The Messaging application uses their very popular Synergy service that integrates multiple IM services into one seamless view. Contacts on the left and content on the right, it’s very clean and concise.
The TouchPad is rumored to be available by June 2011 and coming in at a $699 price point puts it head to head with some of the competition including the Blackberry Playbook, iPad 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Hopefully webOS can shine through with the existing multitasking and integration features as well as building up their ecosystem and App Catalog.
HP announced the big brother’ of the Veer and the Pre 3 the TouchPad. As we reported earlier, the TouchPad is powered by a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor running at 1.2GHz. The tablet will sport a 9.7-inch XGA (1024×768) display and will be 13.7mm thick. The tablet will pack 1GB of RAM and will be available in capacities of 16GB or 32GB.
The usual Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass and a 3.5mm audio jack are also present. The tablet will also feature Beats audio technology which will be complemented by the stereo speakers. Sadly, the TouchPad will only have a single front-facing 1.3MP camera for video calling.
The TouchPad will run on webOS v3.0 and will feature tight integration with other webOS devices like the Pre 3 or the Veer. Users can read their messages received on their webOS powered handsets right on their TouchPad! The tablet will also be able to multi-task easily. At the event, the tablet was shown running a full screen streaming Flash 10.1 video without breaking into a sweat.
Many of the inbuilt apps of WebOS have also been redesigned to take the advantage of a bigger screen on the TouchPad. These applications include the Mail app and the Photos app. Users can comment on photos on Facebook right from within the Photos app.
Users can also share data between the TouchPad and any of the latest webOS running handsets by just touching them. Users can even answer calls coming on their Pre 3/Veer right from their TouchPad including video calls!
The size of the virtual keyboard can also be increased or decreased depending on the users preference. Accessories available for the TouchPad at the time of launch will include a case-cum-stand, keyboard and a new Touchstone dock.
The Wi-Fi version of the HP TouchPad will hit the shelves by summer this year, with the 3G and the 4G versions following. Sadly, HP did not mention anything about the price of the TouchPad.
The folks over at PreCentral have managed to get their hands on the specifications of the upcoming Palm TouchPad from HP. In all probability, the Palm TouchPad will be announced by HP at their ongoing event.
According to the leaked image, the Palm TouchPad will sport a 9.7-inch screen with a XGA (1024×768) resolution. The tablet will be powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz MSM8660 processor from Qualcomm.
The Palm TouchPad will feature dual-band Wi-Fi b/g/n along with Bluetooth and optional GPS. A 3.5mm jack along with a microUSB port for charging and connecting the tablet to the PC will also be present. The tablet will also house stereo speakers along with a notification LED light and a Home button. The tablet will also house a front facing 1.3MP camera for video chats. Other features of the tablet include an accelerometer, a microphone, Ambient light sensor and an eCompass.
The TouchPad will be available in capacities of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. It will be powered by a 24WHr non-removable battery, which according to HP will be good enough to power the tablet 8+ hours of use. This tablet from HP will be running on Palm’s WebOS and the Wi-Fi version of the tablet will be available by Q1 of this year.