Last week, we posted that AT&T might announce the white version of the HP Veer smartphone, along with the 4G connectivity. Now, AT&T finally announced the 4G variant of the HP Veer smartphone. HP Veer 4G comes with a touchscreen display as well as a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. This handset will be exclusively available on the airwaves of AT&T in the US.
There are no changes in the specs of this handset, except the 4G connectivity. HP Veer 4G is AT&T’s first smartphone to run the latest version of webOS software. The new AT&T billing will help the HP Veer 4G customers to easily purchase their favorite apps on the phone and have the cost added to their monthly AT&T bill.
HP Veer features a 2.57 inch touchscreen display with 320 x 400 pixels resolution, 800 MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Processor, WebOS, Slide-out physical QWERTY keyboard, 4G Connectivity, 5 megapixel camera with extended depth of field, geotagging, and video capture, Stereo Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR and A2DP and so on
Other features include a 3.5mm headset jack, 8 GB internal memory (~6.1GB available), Accelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, webOS WebKit browser with Flash support, GPS, Wi-Fi, Facebook integration, up to 5.0 hours of talk time, up to 300 hours of standby time and a 910 mAh battery.
HP Veer 4G will be available in both black and white colors. This handset will be available at AT&T’s company-owned stores and online from May 15th for $99.99 with a two years service agreement. HP Veer 4G comes preloaded with several popular apps including mobile hotspot, which allows the users to share wireless internet connectivity with up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices.
The Palm Pre was among the first handsets in the market to run the new webOS. The OS may have never gained considerable market share, but webOS is pretty good and in some respect better than iOS or Android.
Original Palm Pre owners must be feeling left out since developers hardly care about webOS, and thus there is a lack of apps for the platform. However, one awesome Palm Pre developer k3dar – has managed to get Android dual-boot on his beloved Pre.
k3dar has managed to get AOSP build of Android 2.3 Gingerbread to dual-boot on his Pre. Sadly, the port is nowhere near usable and people have even managed to brick their Pre, while flashing this ROM. The touch screen only detects single touches for now, and the Wi-Fi and the hardware keyboard are working properly. Otherwise, Camera, Bluetooth and all other important features are not working on this port.
Palm Pre owners should head over to this thread for more information.
Ironically, most people want webOS to be ported over to some latest Android handsets and not the vice versa. Hopefully, some developers will take this challenge and work on it!
A recent research report by Gartner pointed out that Android was likely to be the most dominant mobile operating system in the next 2-3 years, and would command almost 50% of the market worldwide by 2012.
Today, Gartner released another report which says that it won’t be that dominant in the tablet space. Apple’s iOS platform (which runs on the iPad and iPad 2) will be the dominant tablet OS for years to come. The iPad and the iPad 2 are the most popular tablets yet, and despite several attempts, Android tablets haven’t been able to make much of a dent in its sales.
Even with the launch of Android Honeycomb, the prospects of Android don’t seem to be very bright. The iPad currently commands an 84% market share worldwide. By the end of 2015, its market share is expected to drop to 47% with Android grabbing most of its share.
Android currently has a 14% share which is expected to grow to almost 37%. By 2015, webOS is expected to have about 3% and QNX is expected to have almost 10% of the market.
Compared to smartphone penetration, Google is expected to grow slower in the tablet space, mainly because Google will be trying to maintain greater control on Honeycomb to offer an optimal, uniform experience across all devices.
Check out the worldwide tablet research report by Gartner.
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.
Are you tired of waiting for Windows to boot up? Let’s say that you are on the road and you want to stop briefly at a wifi hotspot to check on directions or weather. What might take you 3 or 4 minutes in Windows, can easily be done in less than a minute in the Splashtop OS (operating system).
Previous to the latest version of Splashtop, you either had it installed from the factory, or you didn’t. Now Splashtop can be installed on many Windows laptops and netbooks.
According to the website:
If your device is not one of the currently supported platforms â€¦ , you can still install and try Splashtop OS you will be given a pre-boot menu with the option to launch Windows (default) or Splashtop OS.
I’ll show you how easy this OS is to install, but first, take a look at Splashtop in action:
The HP Pre 2 has been on select few U.S carriers for a small amount of time now and with the recent announcement of the Pre 3 and Veer, it seems that carriers are looking to clear house to make way for some of the new and upcoming smartphones. Getting new consumers and developers onto the platform is a good way to build a user-base for future devices, including the TouchPad which also runs webOS and pairs quite well with a Pre 3 and it’s Touch-to-Share capabilities
The Pre 2 is now available from Verizon for the low price of $49.99 on a 2-year contract. Unfortunately the original carrier that ushered Palm in, Sprint, is not currently offering subsidy on the Pre 2, nor are they actually carrying it. In Europe, it’s only available off-contract for a hefty price of £399 from HP or from warehouse retailers who will bundle it with a plan and give you an unlocked device. In Canada, Rogers is purported to be offering all current smartphones for their regular 36 month contract prices with an added $100 discount putting the Pre 2 available for the scoffable price of absolutely freeâ€¦with a 3-year contract, that is.
WebOS is one of the newest platforms to make it bigin the wireless world, with a growing App Catalog, a thriving grassroots following of homebrew and hackers alike. According to comScore reports as of January 2011, their research on the U.S Mobile Subscriber Market Share show that Palm (now rebranded to HP) had the lowest point change in subscribers and is trailing with a 3.2% share in the market. HP is slowly but surely gnawing away at the revival and their future of everybody having a smartphone in the palm of their hand.
The technology blog, BGR, reports that the first BlackBerry tablet is all set to be launched on April 10th 2011. The tablet, called BlackBerry PlayBook will be sold at retail locations for $499. Recent speculation about the features BlackBerry PlayBook will include, has increased its anticipation and the most recent announcement about it being able to run Android apps in addition to the BlackBerry apps has also surprised users.
However, a new war front started brewing today due to significant similarities between PlayBook’s OS and the WebOS that Palm introduced back in 2009. HP’s director of product marketing for their TouchBook commented that “there are some uncanny similarities” between the two OSs. Research In Motion, the makers of BlackBerry, have also issued a response to HP’s comment, explaining that “we set out from the ground up to define a user experience that we felt would delight our customers, and we landed in a place that may look like other competitive devices”.
RIM has recently been heavily criticized for not being innovative enough with its products and if the new PlayBook follows the same course, it may very well be the last nail in RIM’s coffin. The company, which at one time created world’s most popular smart phones, is struggling quite a bit to compete with iPhone and Android phones that give users more power and features. Moreover, with every technology company trying their hands on creating a tablet, the competition in this newly created niche is already fierce with no room for mistakes.
At the beginning of this month, HP announced a slew of new webOS based devices including three handsets and a tablet. The company also announced that the Palm Pre Plus won’t get the update to the latest version of webOS i.e. v2.1.
Now, in a surprise move, HP has rolled out the webOS 2.1 OTA (Over-The-Air) firmware package for the O2 branded Pre Plus handsets in the U.K as well as in Germany. Palm Pre Plus owners who love to tinker around with their phone can download and install the update manually as well.
The update has been confirmed to work on unlocked Pre Pre Plus handsets as well. Sadly, the update won’t work on CDMA based Pre Plus handsets.
The latest version of webOS will bring with it more than 50 changes on-board including voice dialing, better memory management and improved multi-tasking. Palm Pre Plus owners can download the latest version of HP webOS doctor from here. The software will then update your Pre Plus to the latest version of webOS.
It is still unknown whether HP/Palm will release a webOS 2.1 OTA update for the CDMA based Pre Plus handsets in the United States.
A new rumor says that HP’s new webOS tablet, which was unveiled on February 9 at HP’s webOS press event, will be priced at $699, which is quite close to the iPad, and less than what the Motorola Xoom is to be priced at. The pricing seems decent, but a lower price point would have helped HP a lot more if it really wants to make a dent in the iPad’s market share.
BGR‘s sources also point that HP will be launching the TouchPad by the end of June 2011, which should send it straight into war with the likes of the Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, Apple iPad 2, Blackberry Playbook and just about every other promising tablet announced at CES and even those which are expected to be unveiled at MWC.
The HP TouchPad is a very promising tablet which runs webOS 3.0. It offers very tight integration with webOS based devices like the Palm Pre 3. It comes with a dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor clocked at 1.2 GHz and offers 1 GB RAM. It also has a 9.7 inch capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels. It also comes with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS. It has a 1.3 MP front facing camera as well, for video calling. The Wi-Fi only version of the TouchPad will likely be priced much lower than this.
HP just dropped a biggie at their never-ending on-going event in San Francisco. The company said that it is thinking beyond todayand aims at bringing the webOS platform to other connected devices including printers, scanners, MFDs, cameras and PCs and laptops.
The company did not share any more details but, they did promise to share more details about this throughout the year.
It will be interesting to see as to how HP intends to implement a touchscreen OS on a PC/Laptop. I expect that webOS will be limited to only the touch based PCs and laptops from HP. On laptops, webOS will act as a great secondary OS when a user just intends to do view some pictures or check his emails.
WebOS is expected to arrive on PCs and laptop sometime later this year. It will be interesting to see if any of the latest HP PCs or laptops will be supported or not. The company definitely lived up to its tagline of the computer is personal again’ with this move.
Image source Engadget