HP Still Pushing Pre 2 Updates

Despite being relegated to certain death, HP is actually still providing software updates to webOS.

Although HP has squandered millions (actually, billions)  with their acquisition of Palm for webOS, developed and then torched their TouchPad in an attempt to hit billboard status, beyond all expectations, they are still working on webOS behind the scenes. The webOS-Internals team is reporting that the Pre 2, now almost a year old, is set to receive an update to OS 2.2.4 which almost brings it to parity with features of the rare Pre 3.

If you’re unfortunate enough to have both a Pre 2 and a TouchPad, this update will allow the devices to talk over bluetooth in order to share text messages, as well as phone calls. While using bluetooth is a good way to keep the data local, iPhone and iPad users have iMessage which syncs over iCloud in order to keep your messages up-to-date on all devices, which means you don’t need to be in close proximity of your phone. A much better implementation.

Amongst all the hullabaloo concerning mobile security, webOS 2.2.4 also implements encryption for the local filesystem. This likely means system databases and essential files are either stored within a real cryptfs or are encrypted separately. Not quite as handy as having the ability to remote wipe without running your own Exchange server, but it’s a step in the right direction for data integrity.

Hopefully some bugs were squashed and there’s more to the changelog than 5 features, but judging by the package size (46MB), it’s not likely. It’s still unfortunate that webOS is floating in limbo with HP, but it’s great to see that the webOS team is still looking at the future for current users.

TouchPad Firesale Makes HP Top Tablet Maker After Apple

When HP first launched the TouchPad, no one wanted it. However, when it discontinued it and tried to offload its entire TouchPad inventory in a firesale for just $99 a pop, everyone on the planet wanted one.

HP may have lost a ton of money in the firesale, but here’s some good news. According to a report by NPD, HP’s TouchPad was the most popular tablet after the iPad in the U.S tablet market, for the first three quarters of 2011.

HP TouchPad

While Apple sold close to 11 million iPads in the last quarter alone, around 1.2 million tablets were sold by all the other manufacturers combined, from January to October 2011.

Of those 1.2 million, HP managed to grab 17% share with the TouchPad, while the most popular Android tablet manufacturer, Samsung, captured a 16% share. I’m really surprised to see HP beat Samsung, but then Samsung’s tablet offerings were priced much higher than the TouchPad.

HP’s TouchPad firesale validated the fact that despite the tremendous popularity of the iPad, there is still a market for budget tablets. Amazon has already launched the Kindle Fire to capture a majority market share in that space.

Asus, Motorola and Acer trailed Samsung in the list. Hopefully, the coming year will be better for Android tablet manufacturers, considering that Android Ice Cream Sandwich tablets should be coming out soon.

HP’s TouchPad Go Comes Back For More Pictures

The HP TouchPad, the tablet that never made it far out of the front gate before getting axed, has spawned life to a little brother.

The rarely seen TouchPad Go, was given a solid time in front of the camera recently. Of course, it looks exactly like a TouchPad at first glance. It’s a 7″ webOS tablet, sporting the same 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and Beats Audio as the original TouchPad. Absolutely everything is known about this tablet, thanks to marketing slides that were leaked a few months ago.  What was never covered, is how the Go actually looks compared to the rest of the HP/Palm device line-up. For nostalgia sake, here’s a shot that will make any webOS fan cry.

A smaller form factor and some flash accessories won’t put HP back on the mobile map, unfortunately. It’s a shame that the TouchPad Go will likely have the same fate as the unreleased Pre 3 – stockpiled in a warehouse or selling like hotcakes on eBay and CraigsList. While many users are perfectly happy with their $99 TouchPad tablets, especially ones who have them running Android, the TouchPad Go will probably never be blessed with such satisfaction.

It’s truly unfortunate that HP may not even sell these devices to employees, developers or even let them go with the clear understanding of no support, no warranty and no care comes with a purchase. Looks like the 7″ tablet wars have dwindled to just a few competitors battling it out amongst themselves.

Source: Palmjoy

HP Updates TouchPad To webOS 3.0.4.77

Even though you didn’t get your hands on a webOS TouchPad, there’s nothing stopping HP from providing marginal updates to their defunct platform, right?

HP has just started pushing out the latest update to the their tablet, the TouchPad. It’s still webOS, although there are ways to get Android running on yours. It’s a small update, it brings the usual speed improvement, performance and stability updates, and fixes some rather huge gaps in the system (that you probably never cared about). You may have noticed that puny 1.3 MP camera on the front, but that there was no way of actually using it to take pictures; well fear no more. There is now a built-in Camera app to take care of your video and picture-taking requirements. Likely, the camera attached to your phone is more suited than the TouchPad, but it’s nice that HP has addressed this.

You also may have been having issues pairing your phone with the TouchPad — that’s because in their infinite wisdom, HP decided to disallow non-webOS devices from connecting. Well, they’ve also fixed that. You can now pair any device, smart or dumb phone to your TouchPad and use it as a phone. Thanks HP, holding and talking into a 10″ screen is exactly what I want to do. Instead, HP should have added the Bluetooth DUN profile for tethering or maybe OBEX-FTP for sharing files between devices. There’s no reason a modern mobile platform should be missing either of these. Shame on you, HP.

Of course some other minor additions such as OGG Vorbis support, and being able to actually toggle between offline and online while logged in to an IM service have been added.

These certainly are nice additions that most definitely make up for HP stabbing Palm in the back, abandoning webOS and shattering the dreams of many customers. Thanks for the bone, HP! Next time, do all your customers a favor and instead of shipping 2 or 3 devices with Android pre-installed, set it up for everybody and save yourself the PR nightmare.

HP TouchPad Go Marketing Material Materializes, You Still Can’t Have One

HP pulled the plug on webOS, completely liquidated the TouchPad in a fire sale and has been flopping around like a fish out of water when it comes to their CEO, but that’s not a big deal – the previously leaked TouchPad Go was ready to go to market. At least that’s what the product marketing slides and renders indicate.

PreCentral has been given official internal-use only documentation from the TouchPad Go. The images show off the hardware and design surrounding the 7″ little brother to the original TouchPad. Instead of cheap shiny plastic, the Go has a soft-touch rubbery coating, metal buttons replace the plastic chrome ones, and of course it’s in an entirely smaller package.

The regular bundle of ports, connectivity and buttons aside, there are very few changes to the aesthetics. The TouchPad Go adds a 5 megapixel camera to the rear of the tablet, manages to enable GPS for location-awareness, and also packs the newer induction coil that allows for both wireless charging and touch-to-share with the HP Veer or Pre 3. The rear camera is capable of shooting HD video (likely 720) and the measly 1.3 megapixel front-facer is best left for video chatting via Skype or Google Talk.

Chances that consumers will ever get their hands on the TouchPad Go are extremely slim. Many folks are already chomping at the bit to get Android on their TouchPads and with the recent push to smaller tablets, it’s a real shame that the TouchPad Go is unlikely to ever see shelves, even for another fire sale.

On HP’s Board, its CEO and its Future

HP has been in the news for all the wrong reasons this year. First of all, its board fired its CEO Mark Hurd over a sexual harassment scandal, which turned out to be something trivial. That was a huge mistake on the part of HP’s board, because Mark Hurd was probably one of the best CEOs HP could have had, and firing him made the stock tank.

After that it poached Leo Apotheker from SAP, who in an attempt to revitalize HP, announced that HP would be spinning off its PC business and would try to become a software company with the $10 billion acquisition of Autonomy, which by many analyst estimates, was overpriced.

Did I mention that it also killed webOS and organized a TouchPad fire sale which cost HP hundreds of millions of dollars?

Leo had always been a software guy, and coming from SAP, his strategy for HP would have eventually ended up with HP venturing into software. At least he was doing something to keep HP relevant in the impending future (which could arguably have been the right move, considering how well IBM had done after selling off the consumer PC business to Lenovo).

HP’s stock has dropped almost 30-40% since Mark Hurd’s reign, and apparently, its board is now in a state of panic. It seems to be considering firing Apotheker, and rethink its strategy. The markets seem to be cheering the board’s latest decision with the stock jumping almost 10% today. It may be right this time, but it is definitely the worst board I’ve ever seen. Even Yahoo’s board isn’t so temperamental and confused.

The next few months will be very instrumental in deciding HP’s future. The decisions its incompetent board makes will decide whether HP will live on for the next decade, or if it will fade away into obscurity.

CyanogenMod 7 (Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread) Running on the HP TouchPad

There were many reasons why people rushed to buy the HP TouchPad, whose price was slashed to $99 after HP discontinued webOS. The most important reason was the ridiculously low price. Who wouldn’t want to buy that type of great hardware for just $99? However, there was another very important incentive for people to buy a TouchPad – Android.

Soon after HP announced the TouchPad fire sale, some Android developers announced that they would start working on an Android port for the TouchPad. Since Google hadn’t open-sourced Honeycomb, they announced that they would be bringing Android 2.3 Gingerbread to the TouchPad.

Today, the CyanogenMod team announced that they have had some minor breakthroughs, and showed us some videos of CyanogenMod running on the TouchPad. They compiled Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread from source and have managed to get it running on the TouchPad. However, a lot is yet to be done. They haven’t been able to get the touchscreen working, but rest assured, the best Android developer team on the planet is working on it.

Here’s the video of CyanogenMod 7 (Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread)running on the HP TouchPad:

Here’s the official announcement by the CyanogenMod team on RootzWiki:

Hey Internet/RootzWiki–

Here is some (older) touchpad progress from Friday. The Cyanogenmod team wanted to share it with the public as a blatant publicity stunt to bring attention to our need for a few more touchpads (for developers currently working without them).

As you can see from this quick demo, we’ve been working hard and have made progress. Since this video was created last week, the build has been more “tabletized” (tablet tweaks added, etc.), lvm support has been added, and 2d hardware acceleration should appear very soon.

The touchscreen driver issue is now the focus of our attention.

Our ultimate vision is to create a *multiboot* solution where the end user will be able to boot into WebOS, Cyanogenmod, and/or other OSes. This appears to be very possible, and we have discussed several potential implementations with our new friends in the WebOS development community to make it easy for an end-user to set up.

For the moment though, we need about 4 tablets, as we have talented and experienced developers who cannot contribute effectively due to a lack of hardware. If you have an extra touchpad and are willing to help the cause, please let us know in the comments below.

A BIG CAVEAT– PLEASE DO NOT ASK FOR ETAS. For the uninitiated, this is the #1 rule for Cyanogenmod. It will certainly be a long while before our goals become reality. Our goals incidentally are not connected with any bounty– we are motivated to do it right, not do it fast.

And now the obligatory shout outs– Thanks to rootzwiki and all the devs and everyone else who are collaborating and contributing to this project. You know who you are, you.

The CM team
www.cyanogenmod.com

PS- Yes, this is gingerbread (Android 2.3.5). Everything you see, except for bootie the bootloader (a great kid’s show btw), was compiled from source.

Lenovo Throws Their ThinkPad Tablet Into The Mix

With tablets being the talk of the town recently, thanks to HP liquidating their TouchPad for $99 after killing off webOS, Lenovo has decided to finally announce and release their ThinkPad Tablet. Although Lenovo has had the IdeaPad series of tablets available for quite some time, the new instalment brings along the well-known “ThinkPad” brand and markets it directly to the the business crowd.

 

Built atop Android 3.1, it brings along corporate-centric software such as Documents To Go, Citrix Receiver and PrinterShare. The ThinkPad Tablet even goes to the extent of bundling McAfee’s Mobile Security package for Android in an obvious attempt to appeal to upper management. Full device and SD card encryption is supported, along with anti-theft software and remote device disabling.

With Android pushing the ARMs race, it should come as no surprise that the ThinkPad Tablet continues along with the trend.

  • NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual-Core 1GHz Processor
  • 1GB LPDDR2 RAM
  • 10.1 WXGA (1280×800) 16:10 IPS screen with Corning Gorilla Glass
  • 5 megapixel rear-facing camera
  • 2 megapixel front-facing camera
  • Up to 64GB of storage
  • Bluetooth, WiFi and 3G connectivity
  • Native USB 2.0 and micro-USB ports, full-size SD card slot and mini-HDMI output

The tablet also brings along 3 accessories for maximising productivity. The Tablet Dock is as it sounds, a dock that stands the device up to provide easy viewing angles and port extension. The Keyboard Folio packs a case and physical keyboard all into one. The Tablet Pen allows for fine-tuned pressure-sensitive precision on the capacitive multi-touch display.

The Wi-Fi-only version of the ThinkPad Tablet is priced unusually high. $499, $569 and $669 for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB devices, respectively. Lenovo plans to integrate mobile broadband into the next version of the tablets to allow for 3G connectivity.

It’s nice to see that ThinkPad continues its styling and design in the tablet instead of straying to provide an iPad look-a-like. Targeted mainly towards the business professional, a market where the only competitor is the BlackBerry PlayBook, the ThinkPad Tablet certainly has clear advantages over consumer devices. Both RIM and Lenovo have strong ties to the corporate world through existing products, and with HP no longer pushing their TouchPad, it’s become an even smaller space to compete.

HP TouchPad Running Android 2.2 and Android 2.3 Videos Surface

The HP TouchPad is currently the number 1 selling tablet in Amazon, and across all the retail stores in the U.S. Even though the tablet and webOS is dead, the $99 price is too tempting to give this tablet a miss.

As we had reported earlier, developers all over the world have already started working on porting Android to the TouchPad. There is even a $1500 bounty up for grab for anyone who manages to port Android to the HP’s dead tablet.

Now, two mysterious videos have surfaced on YouTube, which shows the TouchPad running two different  flavors  of Android.  In the first video, the TouchPad is running on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and the owner of the video promises to publish a tutorial on August 24th, which will allow other users to install the OS on their $99 tablet as well. In fact, the owner of the video goes ahead and states that he will release a working Honeycomb port for the TouchPad on August 26th. Sounds quite dubious to me, considering Honeycomb’s source code is still not available to the public.

Below is a video of the TouchPad running Android 2.3 Gingerbread –

In the second video, the TouchPad is shown running on Android 2.2.1. The owner of the video claims that his friend’s TouchPad shipped with Android 2.2 pre-installed. Yes, pre-installed! The most interesting part of the video is that the TouchPad’s boot logo is that of Qualcomm’s. Quite interesting huh? The second video can be seen here.

Hopefully, by the end of this month, we should see some partially usable Android ports for the TouchPad.

 

 

HP’s webOS Runs Faster On iPad 2 Than On TouchPad

Yesterday, Bloomberg reported that HP is looking into a sale or spinoff of its PC business and is discontinuing its webOS-based hardware program. An interesting move by the company, considering HP obtained it last year with the $1.2 billion purchase of Palm and relaunched on Pre smartphones and the TouchPad tablet just months ago.

TouchPad

According to This is my next, HP engineers had tested webOS on an iPad, discovering that the operating system ran “over twice as fast” on the iPad 2 as it did on the TouchPad for which it had been designed for. Surprisingly, webOS running as a web app within the iPad 2’s Safari browser proved to offer better performances than on the TouchPad.

In addition, The Next Web reports that the TouchPad hardware had already been designed when HP acquired Palm last year. Engineers were tasked with getting webOS running on the existing TouchPad’s design, and due to outdated hardware the webOS team lacked the ability to innovate and led to poor response from the market.

The hardware reportedly stopped the team from innovating beyond certain points because it was slow and imposed constraints, which was highlighted when webOS was loaded on to Apple’s iPad device and found to run the platform significantly faster than the device for which it was originally developed.

With a focus on web technologies, webOS could be deployed in the iPad’s Mobile Safari browser as a web-app; this produced similar results, with it running many times faster in the browser than it did on the TouchPad.

HP has discontinued the TouchPad, but is still available for purchase for  just $99.