Preware & WebOS Quick Install Practice Safe Patching
Two welcome new developments hit the webOS homebrew scene recently. First up: the WebOS Internals crew unofficially released their new AutoPatch feed for Preware into the wild for testing. AutoPatch, for those not in the know, is the culmination of Rod Whitby's original vision for an open standard for webOS patching and a lot of Eric Gaudet's (he of Virtual Keyboard fame) hard work, as well as contributions from the rest of the team. Once installed, AutoPatch will allow you to download, install (and remove) those webOS homebrew patches that have been properly packaged OTA direct to your device.
AutoPatch will be officially included in the next version of Preware's underlying Package Manager Service, and will include screenshots for patches as Preware already does for homebrew applications. In the meantime you can manually install the feed via Preware - you'll find it under the IPKG category, or else can just type 'autopatch' into the almighty List of Everything. AutoPatch also includes Eric's new Emergency Patch Recovery tool, which if need be can blast any modifications you've made back into cyber-oblivion.
Preware wasn't the only installer to receive updates, though: Jason Robitaille's WebOS Quick Install has now ratcheted up to version 2.72, with full support for webOS 1.2.1. Jay has made a Herculean number of modifications to WOSQI, but in keeping with the theme of this article the news that really interests us is that WOSQI's patching system has been completely overhauled to use the new Preware autopatch system. What does this mean for us, the end-users? Applying and removing homebrew webOS patches is now fully interoperable between the two installers, with less headaches for us all.
If you haven't yet tried patching your Pre, you really should give it a shot: there's a number (and that number is 73) of excellent modifications you can make, including the Virtual Keyboard, LED notifications, increasing the number of icons in the launcher, landscape support for Messaging, giving yourself an option to download rather than stream media files, and oh so much more.