Monday Brief: The Nokia Lumia 928, a Galaxy S4 vs HTC One camera shootout, BlackBerry Live, and more!
Monday Brief: The Nokia Lumia 928, a Galaxy S4 vs HTC One camera shootout, BlackBerry Live, and more! 4
The Great webOS Nation Giveaway: Who won a Verizon Pre3?
Maybe it took us a while to get this one judged. But we got it done! There were a lot of really really great entries for our 60 seconds for a Verizon HP Pre3 contest, which made judging who deserved to win one of these rare brand-new webOS smartphones more difficult than we'd anticipated. After sleeping on it for a while, it's time to announce the winners! You can check out the winning video entries after the break…
Phoenix ACL for TouchPad passes $35,000 Kickstarter goal with 10 days to spare
If you've been waiting to get Android apps running on your webOS-powered HP TouchPad (without having to actually install Android, that is), then you might just be one step closer to your desired future. Two weeks ago, webOS upstarts Phoenix International Communications partnered with OpenMobile to launch a Kickstarter campaign to finance the completion and release of the Android Compatibility Layer for TouchPad. The ACL's purpose is straightforward: to enable the running of Android apps on the TouchPad. The Kickstarter goal was $35,000 - not ambitious by Kickstarter standards.
Two weeks later, that $35,000 funding goal has been met and surpassed, with more than 575 contributors offering an average of $62.39 towards the project. 74 have pledged what amounts to a donation - less than $30 (though some pledge levels do promise swag like a Phoenix-branded LED keychain flashlight), while the rest pledged at least the $30 needed to secure a copy of the ACL on release. Sixteen others have pledged a backing of at least $90, securing access to the ACL one week earlier than lower pledges, 5 offered the $150 required for two weeks of early access, four are putting up $250 for the privilege of being a beta tester (paying to help sort bugs, really?).
Beyond that, a single donation of $500 secured a copy of ACL on a CD with a pack of swag, $600 for the swag pack and a new TouchPad with ACL, and one very dedicated soul pledged a whopping $7500 for a flight to New York, dinner with the Phoenix team, and a rare white 64GB TouchPad along with the requisite ACL and swag pack.
Now that the funding goal has been met, the pressure is really on for the Phoenix team. They've committed to an estimated delivery date of July 2013 for the ACL, and though the funding release for the Kickstarter campaign is still ten days away, we hope they're already hard at work on getting the ACL ready for release. Of course, Kickstarter in no way guarantees the success if any project financed on their platform, so it's going to be up to the webOS Nation community to hold Phoenix to their commitments. After all - it's your money.
Having met that funding goal, Phoenix has laid out their plans for the future of the ACL. Funding in excess of the $35,000 goal is intended to go to developing the ACL's next versions, including an update to replace the current Android 2.3 back-end with something based on Android 4.x instead and plans to release the ACL for the HP Pre3. We also hope they're planning on an Open webOS-compatible version of the ACL - as much as we love our old webOS hardware, the future lies with new hardware powered by the open source version of webOS, not in squeezing more life out of our beloved but aged webOS tablets and smartphones.
Jon Rubinstein returns: Former Palm CEO joins Qualcomm's board
When Jon Rubinstein came out of retirement from Apple to join Palm way back in 2007, little did he know the odyssey upon which he and Palm were about to embark. From launching the Palm Pre less than two years later, becoming Palm CEO, guiding Palm into HP's money-filled arms, launching the HP TouchPad tablet, and then watching as all the work he'd overseen got flushed down the toilet, Rubinstein's tenure at the lead of webOS was one of ups and downs, successes and utter chaos. So it was little surprise when, after watching webOS get a thin leash on life as an open source project, Rubinstein left HP in early 2012 for his second retirement.
Rubinstein returned to his Mexican beach villa and resumed the sipping of margaritas while browsing the web on his tiny HP Veer. While he left the door open to returning someday to tech, if anybody needed some time off after the webOS debacle, it was Jon Rubinstein. His schedule of siestas and cervezas is about to be interrupted, though we can't imagine it'll be on an all to frequent basis: Rubinstein was today elected to the board of directors of chip manufacturer Qualcomm.
While Rubinstein joined Palm's board as a very active and hands-on Executive Chairman with the goal of dragging Palm into the future of mobile computing, he's coming to San Diego-based Qualcomm while it's at the top of its game and firing on all cylinders. Rubinstein's addition to the board brings a new heft and decades of computing and mobile experience to the table. Besides webOS, Rubinstein is credited as being the man who made Apple's iPod possible from an engineering standpoint, and was a key player at Steve Jobs's NeXT.
It's not quite Silicon Valley, but it's definitely silicon. Welcome back, Ruby.
Disable Gesture Area LED when an app is active
When the physical button on the original Palm Pre was replaced with a virtual capacitive button on the Pre Plus, there was more than just a change to the physical appearance of webOS phones. While both the physical button of the Pre and the capacitive button of Pre Plus performed the same functions to minimize cards or provide blink notifications since webOS 1.4, the LED light of the Pre Plus would also light up any time an app was open and active on the device. This may be a nice reminder that the LED light also doubles as a home button, but it can also be quite annoying. All webOS devices since the Pre Plus has continued this functionality, with no way to disable it if you would rather not have the LED light up whenever you are working in an app.
Not willing to take no for an answer, the webOS homebrew community stepped up and provided a homebrew patch to fix this issue. All you need to do is install the "Disable LightBar" patch from developer Herrie and that default behavior of the LED will now be disabled. It will still blink for any app notification, it just won't light up every time you are working in an app.
Monday Brief: The mysterious AT&T XFON, a cheeky Windows Phone commercial, and more!
Clear phone call history
The Phone app in webOS maintains your complete history of every phone call that was ever placed, received or missed since you activated the device. If you are on a webOS 2.1 or higher, this data is also backed up to your Palm Profile so the call log will transfer over any time you activate a new webOS device. While the call log can be a helpful tool if you ever need to refer back to it, there are times where you may want to remove individual entries or wipe the entire log.
To clear the entire call log:
- Open the Phone app
- Tap on the icon to access the call history
- Swipe-down from the top-left to access the Application Dropdown menu and select "Clear Call History"
- Confirm that you want to clear the history in the pop-up dialog box
- If you have a large call log, you may need close the Phone app and then reopen it
If you don't want to wipe the entire log but just remove a single entry, that is a simple act of performing a swipe-to-delete on the call log entry and then confirming the deletion.
App Giveaway: Othello StockWatch
If you're an investor in this day and age, keeping up on your stock portfolio can seem like a daunting task. There's not just the day-to-day progress of your positions, but there are technical indicators and charts and news out the wazoo that you've got to track. Your options for that are plenty to, but we've got one you might want to check out: Othello StockWatch for the HP TouchPad. With autocompleting search, customizable charts, and sortable technical indicators, this app could be your best friend as an investor. Othello StockWatch is normally $1.99 in the App Catalog, but we're pleased to say that we have 50 copies to give away to 50 of you.
Contest: We have 50 copies of Othello StockWatch to give away. Just leave a comment on this post to enter. Contest ends next Sunday at midnight US Eastern Time, after which time we will select 50 random entrants to win. Please only leave one comment, multiple entries won’t count. Promo codes are only valid in countries serviced by the App Catalog, and users must be running webOS 3.0.4 or higher with the latest version of the App Catalog.
Last call! Verizon Pre3 60-second video entries close tomorrow
Consider this your final reminder.
If you want to win one of five brand-new Verizon HP Pre3 smartphones and are totally cool with putting together a video that's no longer than sixty seconds, then you should totally head to the contest post linked below for the complete entry requirements and to submit your entry (don't post it here). The contest closes tomorrow, so you'll want to get cracking on convincing us that you deserve one of the rarer birds of webOS.
Monday Brief: WWDC sells out, BlackBerry Q10 review and the Samsung Galaxy S4 has arrived