HP bursts into the smartphone market with webOS 2.0

19 Oct 2010

HP has updated its Palm webOS acquisition, renaming it as HP webOS 2.0 and including many new features.

The first device that will run this operating system will be HP’s Palm Pre 2 smartphone, which will be released in France and will be available in the US in the “coming months.”

This sees HP advance on Palm webOS, which it acquired 16 months ago. HP said in a statement that it will provide developers with “an unparallelled level of openness to integrate their applications and services.”

One feature includes multitasking capabilities, allowing users to manage multiple open applications using touch gestures. Stacks will group together open apps and will keep related items together.

It also offers HP Synergy, which connects the user to multiple web services. It allows users to connect to Facebook, Google, Microsoft Exchange, LinkedIn and Yahoo! Accounts and the information will be automatically populated into the phone.

The Exhibition feature will let users run apps designed for the Palm Touchstone Charging Dock. Once the phone is placed in the dock, Exhibition will launch, showing anything from today’s agenda to a slideshow of Facebook photos.

Exhibition will give developers the opportunity to have the feature display aspects of their app experience or create special apps for use when the device is charging.

webOS provides support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1, HTML5, Skype-to-Skype calls, VPN, expanded text assisting capabilities and Quickoffice for document viewing.

There will also be a unified messaging app, letting users chat over Yahoo! IM, SMS, MMS, Google Talk and AIM.

Facebook 2.0 will be added, letting webOS users Facebook IM through Synergy in the messaging app. There will also be support for Stacks and status updates.

The App Catalog, which includes a software manager for keeping apps up to date, has also been redesigned.