I have to admit, when the HP-Palm merger was announced earlier this year, I was not optimistic. Frankly, I have long thought that the card metaphor developed by Palm and used by the WebOS interface is pretty much the best thing to happen to mobile devices. It just makes sense. It may not be the best supported platform, but it was the most well designed and most user accessible mobile platform. So, I was quite dismayed when HP and Palm merged, as I saw the end of the line for WebOS approaching like a speeding train. I was, therefore, stunned yesterday, to learn that not only will HP continue to support WebOS devices, but that they have even been developing a major upgrade for all WebOS devices, the WebOS 2.0 firmware, which is expected to be available for over the air download by the end of this year.
Not a lot of consumer-level details are available right now, but there is quite a bit of developer information, which gives you a glimpse into what you might expect from the new WebOS. Here is what we know:
- Stacks: Not only will you be able to create cards in the new interface, but you will also be able to stack or group related cards together, making it easier and more convenient to scroll through your open cards.
- Synergey: Palm’s Synergy Sync is one of my favorite features of WebOS. It takes contacts from numerous accounts and merges them into a single list. Now, developers will be able to access this Synergy information as well, allowing far more powerful synergy apps to be made available.
- Exhibition: This will allow information, including streaming stock tips, weather, or even RSS feeds to be displayed on the screen while the device is docked with the Touchstone charger.
- HTML 5 tools
- Node.js support, allowing enhanced Java-based apps
- and plenty more developer tools.
Frankly, I am really looking forward to this update, especially the stacked cards and integrated Synergy Sync. If you are excited about this as I appear to be, head on over to Palm’s website for all the latest information.