Jon Rubinstein: Validated, but Palm sale to HP was "a waste"
Given the chance to do things over again, former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein would not have sold the company to HP. When asked by FierceWireless about whether he would have done anything differently, Rubinstein said that he wouldn't "have sold the company to HP. That's for sure. Talk about a waste."
Quite. We're still rather bitter about the abrupt cancellation of webOS, so it's no surprise that the man who dedicated years of his career and his reputation to webOS would also be unhappy with how things turned out. But as we've seen time and time again, Palm was often a victim of circumstance and political carrier games.
The first step down the road to perdition for Palm was their launch partner: third place US carrier Sprint. Said Rubinstein: "We almost had deals with Verizon and with Vodafone, and in the last minute both of those guys decided not to go through with the deal, so we had a deal with Sprint," saying that it was "the best deal we could get at the time."
But all of that is in the past. What's Rubinstein up to these days? As we've previously reported, he's joined the boards of both Amazon and Qualcomm, which Rubinstein says are "uniquely positioned for the future of where things are going." He also spends some of his time helping out some 'small companies'. And, of course, taking time off and relaxing at his Mexican villa from where Ed Colligan lured him away years ago.
And as we've all noticed, a lot of what we love about and was pioneered by webOS has found its way into its former competitors, including yesterday's reveal of iOS 7. Rubinstein listed a number of features, including notifications on Mac OS X, multitasking cards (on, well… everything), Synergy contacts and messaging melding, over-the-air updates, and so much more.
Alas, if wishes were horses we at webOS Nation have a cavalry that would make General Washington proud. At the very least we can feel validated that our mobile operating system of choice was in fact years ahead of the curve, perhaps too far ahead.
HP to issue root certificate fix, ensure continued access to webOS cloud services
If you've been watching the webOS Nation Forums or the webOS community on Twitter, you may have seen the troubling reports that a vital "root certificate" on webOS devices is due to expire on July 23, 2013. This certificate is responsible for ensuring secure access to HP's webOS cloud services, including backup and the App Catalog, and once it expires, there's no accessing those services. It's a problem, a ticking time bomb, if you will.
We've been wondering if or when HP was going to fix the issue, and indeed had heard rumblings that a fix was in the works and due - wait for it - in the coming weeks. Today we got word from HP that the fix is indeed coming. In fact, it's due today, and it's coming in the form of an update to the the webOS App Catalog.
Updating one app to update a part of webOS isn't something new to HP. Back in 2011 they issued an update to the Maps app on webOS smartphones, that in addition to switching the mapping service from Google Maps to Bing Maps also installed Enyo framework support on the device. Granted, this isn't as much of a stealth update - the sole purpose of this update to the App Catalog is to install a new, later-expiring root certificate.
The App Catalog update is for webOS 2.1 and higher devices only. For those running older versions of webOS, you'll have to go into the App Catalog and manually download the HP App Catalog Update app.
Seeing as the update is to replace the certificate that expires on July 23, you'll need to do this before July 23. If you don't, it's still possible, but you're going to have to trick the system by setting your device clock back to before July 23, 2013 and then downloading the update.
Once you've updated with the new certificate things should continue to work for quite some time. In fact, we'd expect a shutdown from HP's webOS servers before the new certificates expire. So you should be prepared for that too.
Customize Compose Email view options with Email Mega Mix patch
The email app on your webOS smartphone does not offer you a lot of options on how to customize it to your liking, with your only options available are to set your notification sound, set an email signature or reply-to address, adjust your sync and retention timeframe, or choose your default mail folders. However, thanks to the webOS homebrew community you now have some additional ways to adjust your email app experience. Homebrew developers Momouton and anseld1986 have released the Email Mega Mix as a Tweaks-enabled patch that took many of the best email-related patches available and then improved on it even further.
While there are a variety of enhancements available in this patch, one section that you may find useful is the "Compose View Options." In this section, you can adjust six different tweaks for when you are writing or replying to an email. Three of the tweaks allow you to display or remove buttons on your email, while the other three will give you a pop-up confirmation screen depending on the action you want to perform. To activate any of these, just install the Email mega Mix patch (available in Preware or webOS Quick install) and then open up the Tweaks app on your device. Navigate to the Email section and find the "COMPOSE VIEW OPTIONS." Choose any or all of the following:
- Display Priority Button: Add a "!" button to toggle the importance level of the email, thereby marking it as "urgent" to the message receiver
- Display Discard Draft Button: Add a "trash can" button to quickly discard the current email, instead of having to needing to swipe down from the top-left corner to bring up the Email Application drop-down menu and select "Discard Message" or using the Meta-tap D shortcut
- Display Save Draft Button: Add a save button (it looks like an old school floppy disk) to save the current email draft. This just saves the current progress while still leaving the email up for editing
- Require Send Confirmation: Add a confirmation pop-up after you hit the "send" button to confirm that you would really like to send the email
- Require Save Confirmation: Used in conjunction with the "Display Save Draft Button" above, you can add a confirmation pop-up asking if you would like to save the draft.
- Require Discard Confirmation: Used in conjunction with the "Display Discard Draft Button" above, you can add a confirmation pop-up asking if you would like to discard the email when you tap the trash button.
Once you toggle any of these tweaks, you will need to close and then re-open the Email app for them to take effect. There is no need to restart the whole phone.
RSVP now for the Talk Mobile 2013 party in NYC on June 6!
** TICKET UPDATE **
We have maxed out our RSVP limit for today. Please come back to the site tomorrow at 12 Noon ET and we will be releasing a second wave of tickets. They're going fast, so if you missed out today be there tomorrow at 12 Noon ET. Can't wait to see you in NYC!
Mobile Nations, iMore, and the entire network have just announced Talk Mobile 2013 and while that's exciting, this might just be even more exciting -- we're throwing a giant launch party in New York City on Thursday June 6 and we want you to be there!
This is it, Mobile Nations, it's meet up time! I'll be there along with Georgia, as well as Kevin, Phil, Daniel, Marcus and a bunch of other Mobile Nations luminaries, and our special guests Cali Lewis and John P of GeekBeat.TV, and we want to see you there!
DJ MIA MORETTI will be supplying the music, and we'll be supplying an open bar (meaning this one's 21-and-up), snacks, and all the fun you can handle! Tickets are free, of course, but there is one catch...
They're going to go fast. Super fast. So fast that if you want to come, you really need to RSVP now as in NOW! Seriously, you don't want to miss this!
Not in the NYC area but still want to attend?
If you're not in NYC, we have a contest happening right now where you and a guest can win a trip for two to NYC to attend the event. All you have to do is jump over to talkmobile2013.com and enter your email address to sign up for updates. That's it. We need to get the winner booked this weekend, so the deadline for the contest is this Friday night at Midnight PT.
Presenting Talk Mobile 2013!
Come June 3, we're changing the smartphone conversation
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Mobile Nations is proud to present Talk Mobile 2013! Yes, the almighty #tm13 finally gets a name. And a few faces. And, more important, a voice. Several voices, in fact. Actually, millions of voices. Our voices. Your voices. We're going to do this together.
Talk Mobile has been a long time coming, and for good reason. Just watch the trailer above, this post'll still be here when you're done.
Born out of the old Smartphone Round Robin, in which we'd borrow each other's smartphones and write about our experiences, Talk Mobile expands on the principle that there's so much more beyond any one phone or tablet -- or beyond any one platform, for that matter. And so for the next several months, we're going to change the conversation a bit. You'll be hearing from the fine folks at our sister sites Android Central, CrackBerry, iMore and WPCentral. You'll be hearing from our peers, our colleagues, and other industry experts.
And, yes. We'll be hearing from you. Come next week -- June 3, actually -- when we roll out the first of the weekly discussions, you'll be as much a part of the conversation as we are. We've built a new commenting system for Talk Mobile that will span all of our sites and promote and recognize the best comments, so your voice will be heard across the entire Mobile Nations network.
So stay tuned. Next week, it begins. Point your browser to any of our four sister sites for posts each day for great conversation on the things in mobile that really matter. Hint: it's not specs.
And we're kicking things off with a launch party in New York City, open to the public, on June 6. Be sure to swing by TalkMobile2013.com to sign up, as we're giving away one trip to the Big Apple to hang with us for the night. (If you've already signed up, you're good to go.) And be sure to follow @TalkMobile on Twitter. And we've got a fancy press release if that's your thing.
Let's get the conversation started!
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! 3
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.