Saturday, August 31, 2013

Video: Palm webOS Pioneering key features are now borrowed by iOS, Android, and Blackberry.

WorldWide Tech & Science. Francisco De Jesùs.

Video: Palm webOS Pioneering key features are now borrowed by iOS, Android, and Blackberry.

Something that maybe you will remember with love, was written by our colleagues of the CalgaryHerald with an excellent description of every pioneering Palm webOS key features that are now replicated by rival mobile operating systems.


It has been two years since HP shelved the webOS mobile operating system it inherited from Palm, yet many of the key features of that pioneering smartphone and tablet OS are now standard features in iOS, Android and even BlackBerry.

I recently revisited webOS by using both an HP Veer and Palm Pre 3 smartphones, neither of which made it to Canada. Despite being left behind in 2011, I found both these devices to be useful and intuitive and the operating system to be both elegant and fast.

Looking at the mobile landscape today, it is clear that a number of webOS-exclusive features were too good to die with the mismanaged OS. They have been ‘borrowed’ by today’s biggest mobile players.

webOS had a very elegant way of pushing notifications on the homescreen of devices. The Palm smartphones that had an indicator light would pulse to notify users (not unlike how BlackBerry’s red notification light works).

For newly received messages and e-mails, webOS would flash the headers at the bottom of the screen and users could act on these by clicking to go to the message body or by swiping to the left to dismiss the alert for the time being.

webOS also allowed users to swipe down on the homescreen to toggle important controls such as Wi-Fi, Airplane mode, Bluetooth and even check the battery percentage.

These two features have, in some shape of form, been used in Android as well as iOS. This feature is called Window Shade (since you have to ‘draw’ them down or up to access them) or Control Center in iOS. Notifications on iOS and Android are variations of what webOS has used from the start.

webOS touted real-time multi-tasking where you could pause an application, open another, and then go back to the previously opened application without losing your place.

webOS handled this by using the ‘Cards’ paradigm with each app, page or instance, appearing as a card that could be moved around, accessed or swiped away when no longer needed.

BlackBerry’s PlayBook used a similar way to multi-task with an almost identical way to dismiss unused applications; BlackBerry 10 also has a tweaked version of this as well.

This style of multi-tasking will be one of the big features in Apple’s upcoming iOS 7 refresh ,and is an improvement over the way multiple apps are currently handled. Once more, the elegance and efficiency of webOS has transcended its roots and become the preferred way to handle multi-tasking on various mobile platforms.

Touch to Share
Long before NFC (Near Field Communication) was a buzzword for mobile commerce and sharing files between smartphones, webOS had a feature that allowed users of Pre smartphones to share websites, e-mails, photos and various other bits of data between devices.

Samsung’s S Beam feature is very similar although it uses an NFC chip instead of straight-up Bluetooth. S Beam makes it possible to share contacts, photos, audio and video files by simply touching two compatible devices together.

In the Apple world, the feature is coming to iOS 7 in the guise of AirDrop. AirDrop already exists with Apple’s notebooks and desktops, but will become even more useful when iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads can send files wirelessly to each other without requiring to touch each other.

Inductive Charging
The ability to charge your phone or tablet ‘wirelessly’ may seem common now for Nokia Lumia and Nexus 4 owners but this was introduced back in 2009 with its TouchStone charger and remained a feature of all webOS devices until the time that HP stopped making mobile hardware and relegated webOS to open source.

The only feature I don`t see replicated at this time by others mobile manufacturers, is the unique  Palm webOS Wave launcher.
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