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TouchPad Receives WebOS 3.04 Update

Touchpad Discount Despite the level of uncertainty surrounding the future of WebOS and HP's Personal Systems Group, the TouchPad has nevertheless received a new OTA update, making good on HP's promises to continue updating the device and the OS. Bearing version number 3.0.4 build 77, this rather surprising release brings about a number of improvements, including:

  • A native camera application (finally!)
  • Bluetooth pairing enabling non-WebOS phones to use the TouchPad as a speakerphone
  • OGG Vorbis audio file support

In addition to the major improvements seen above, HP has also seen fit to make the usual performance tweaks to the OS, alongside the V8 Javascript rendering engine and the Enyo framework. According to PreCentral's Derek Kessler, HTML5 video playback is now enabled in the browser. Numerous other users who have installed the update are reporting performance boosts across the board.

HP's Jon Zilber on the HP Palm Blog mentions additional changes include UI tweaks, accelerometer support in Adobe Flash Player, and improvements for Skype video calls. The 53MB over the air update began rolling out this morning.

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WebOS Updates

palmunlocker @ 10/19/2011 9:41:34 AM # Q
I was out for shopping today and checked out all the Android tablets currently in the stores. I must say that the TouchPad clearly distinguishes itself at first sight. The Androids all look the same or just too similar. I'll stick with WebOS as long as I get updates!
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The OS

linds @ 10/26/2011 11:14:05 AM # Q
The OS that just wouldn't die, will this be the last breath?

I just can't figure out how Palm got HP to purchase it for a billion bones?

RE: The OS
hkklife @ 10/26/2011 11:36:45 AM # Q
The OS/company/IP had MORE value 18 months ago than it does now.

I still maintain that if HP had bought Palm and immediately put the Pre 3 (and future smartphones) at the top of the priority list, killed the Veer, and been more aggressive with the TouchPad hardware specs, pricing & software optimizations, it could have stood a slight chance of carving out a small but dedicated niche in the market.

This is nothing more than the culmination of a long string of disastrous choices by Palm starting in, oh, 2002 or 2003 or so.

-No proper successor to the T3
-Piss poor quality control--flaky T|T digitizers and sliders, m505 Hungary vs USA units, SUDS, T3 SD card toasting, Treo 650 having less usable space at launch than the Treo 600 did.
-Lack of a reasonable migration path from Garnet to WebOS. And no, going from a 64MB Centro to a 128MB Centro to the Pre doesn't really count.
-No effort to migrate from PDAs to "PMPs" or "wi-fi web tablets" other than the horrendous LifeDrive
-Failing to ship a Cobalt device or make any worthwhile improvements to OS5
-Years of constantly changing connector standard, styli sizes etc, along with years of under-spec'd hardware.
-No real move to move beyond small stylus-based icons and UI. A slightly overhauled Palm OS UI would have been an ideal finger-friendly OS, especially if they had even bothered to try and move beyond SSS (small square screens). Don't even get me started on the loss of Graffiti 1.
-Not picking up Tapwave and their IP for pennies on the dollar and combining the best of the Zodiac with the Palm Inc-ified version of Garnet and their hardware.
-Constantly retreating backwards in screen, keyboard, and battery sizes instead of moving forward.
-Doing everything in their power to discourage users from using multimedia on their devices (no 3.5mm headphone jacks, no native MP3 capability on the T|T at launch, mono or staticky audio output, limited external and external storage, poor codec support, weal cameras, small screens etc)
-Not trying to leverage their smartphone-exclusive push from 2005 onwards to develop an OTA market/sync/cloud/app service. Garnet could've handled it.
-Leaving developers and users alike out to dry
-The debacle of MotionApps' "Classic" on WebOS, especially on 2.0 hardware.
-Even being the only real producer of Palm OS devices and the only producer of WebOS hardware, there was still horrendous fragmentation and widespread incompaibilities.
-Being beholden to the wireless carriers (especially Sprint). Look how well that strategy has done for you, HP/Palm! If they had hit the ground with AT&T GSM, unlocked GSM, Sprint and Verizon Pre in June 2009 (ie before the Android juggernaut arrived) we all might be singing a different tune!
-No "touch" wi-fi based WebOS device until the stillborn TouchPad. Not everyone wants/needs/can affford another monthly contract, especially in these trying economic times.

I could go on nearly forever but I am getting too depressed typing this...
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->Verizon Moto Droid + Verizon Palm Centro-> Verizon Moto Droid X2 + Palm TX

RE: The OS
HyperScheduler @ 10/26/2011 1:03:23 PM # Q
I always enjoy a good bullet-point list. Thank you for writing this.
RE: The OS
mijail @ 10/27/2011 7:32:07 AM # Q
Yep, good list, but even a bit too soft. The very fact that OS 5 existed as it did was bad enough. I still remember when I got my T3 and realized how horribly underwhelming the OS was... and how I regretted not getting a Zaurus instead.

I can only think that, like the whole of Apple in the 90's, they only kept going because the alternatives were crappier anyway.


RE: The OS
hkklife @ 10/27/2011 11:01:17 AM # Q
But the T3 was basically the pinnacle of Palm hardware and (arguably) of OS5 as well. It was the first device with the "new" Palm Inc. PIM apps and their last high-end device without NVFS (ie good performance).

I credit the T3 with making a strong showing for a pocketable large-screen device. Sure Sony had it earlier but those 320x480 Clies were behemoths and they used non-standard APIs for nearly everything.

All Palm had to do was keep tweaking the T3. A 2nd generation version (instead of the T5) could have had NVFS and a larger capacity battery and a 3rd-generation version could have had wi-fi, 128MB RAM and, say, 512MB of internal flash storage (instead of or alongside TX). This , along with a gradual reskinning of Garnet, could have made the OS more finger-friendly and paved the way to a smoother Garnet-->WebOS transition via a transitional "Touch" line of devices (which nowdays is nothing more than a warmed-over PDA or a smartphone without the phone)
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->Verizon Moto Droid + Verizon Palm Centro-> Verizon Moto Droid X2 + Palm TX

RE: The OS
mijail @ 10/28/2011 5:52:45 AM # Q
I didn't complain about the T3; I did complain about the OS.

The hardware was much more capable than past computers I had had not so long ago by then: a PowerMac from 1995 with 120 MHz CPU, 32 MB of RAM and 1 GB HD could still run Mozilla in the creaking Mac OS 9, meanwhile the T3 with a 180MHz CPU, 64 MB RAM and SD flash storage could run... basically the same kind of apps than a fscking Palm m100.

As long as I knew, understood and could find back then, Palm OS never tried to be more than an overgrown embedded basic OS. PocketPCs had ports of GCC and MAME and PC emulators running, and Palm OS had only excuses about why it could not do such things.

They deserved having their lunch pulled from under their self-shot feet.

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