Google introduces the new Nexus 4 with Touchstone, er, Wireless Charging Orb and Android 4.2 [the competition] | webOS Nation

Google introduces the new Nexus 4 with Touchstone, er, Wireless Charging Orb and Android 4.2 [the competition] 38

by Derek Kessler Mon, 29 Oct 2012 7:08 pm EDT

Google introduces the new Nexus 4 with Touchstone, er, Wireless Charging Orb and

The worst kept secret out of Google's Mountain View campus was not about to be ruined by a hurricane. So with their New York City unveiling cancelled on account of Sandy threatening to inundate the metropolis with lots of water and a bunch of rain creating generally unsafe conditions for weary tech bloggers, they instead announced the new Nexus 4 smartphone built by LG through a press release. Our friends over at The Verge were able to go hands on with the Nexus 4 (along with the new Nexus 10 tablet), and there weren't many surprises after the phone had spent so much time getting leaked.

But there was one surprise, one that made us go all "Come on!" here at webOS Nation. That's the inclusion of inductive charging in the Nexus 4, by way of a magnetically securing angled desktop dock: the "Wireless Charging Orb". We agree, that name is nowhere near as cool as Palm's old Touchstone. Adding insult to injury, the charger was demoed by none other than former Palm design chief Matias Duarte.

Sure, inductive charging is nothing new. Electric toothbrushes have had inductive charging for years. The Palm Pre may have been the first smartphone to offer inductive charging, but it certainly wasn't the last. Today numerous manufacturers offer it, with a growing consensus settling around the Qi wireless standard. But to this point, none of these inductive charging solutions had offered the awesome simplicity and elegance of Touchstone. Hell, Nokia decided they needed an inductive charging pillow. Yeah, a pillow.

The Wireless Charging Orb (gosh that's a Googley name) does more than just charge - throwing a Nexus 4 onto the charger activates a new "Daydream" mode on the Android 4.2 smartphone as it charges, where it can display things like photos, news, and other at-a-glance info. Sound familiar, webOS fans? Yep, it's Exhibition. Though in all fairness, with Android 4.2 and Google Now backing it up, Daydream is likely to be leaps and bounds better than what Exhibition on even the TouchPad could accomplish.

Touchstone has proven to be a popular feature for webOS fans, with many even going so far as to modify their new non-webOS devices to charge off the old inductive pucks. Seeing as the Nexus 4 is a Nexus device, it's bound to be easily hackable and surely will be a target for Open webOS porting (though we suspect the WebOS Ports team will continue to focus on the older Galaxy Nexus). Could we finally have the inductively-charging modern webOS smartphone we've been waiting for in the Nexus 4?


Not only that, but the notifications in 4.2 are becoming more and more like webOS. The dashboard widgets used by some devs in webOS 3.x (which should have been more widespread, they were awesome) are very similar to the improved notifications in Android 4.2.

Oof! Right in the Touchstones! Ever since that webOS TV story, I've been dreaming of having another webOS phone.

I suspect you will be in a never ending dream.

Yeah, me too.

At first duarte wasn't sure if it was safe to copy palm stuff hence the half *** attempt at implementing cards. Now that he feels more confident that hp will do nothing its full speed ahead. Don't think he would have taken the chance with apple

it shouldve been called the Energy Orb IMO
Wireless Charging Orb is a bit of a mouthful.

but I like Daydream

It will be interesting to find out if the Nexus 4 can charge on a Touchstone--cross-compatibility would be a nice touch.

[the competition] aka [candidate for openwebos port]. :)

Duarte's influence on the Nexus design is actually a good thing.... He is actually creating new hardware that open webOS has a very good chance to run on....

yeah new hardware finally :-)

Can HP sue and get their money back, lol

its just a picture, but the Touchstone looks better to me

Actually I don't like Duarte. According to apple you supposed to innovate and not steal other's ideas. Even if he was involved in developing the touchstone and webos its still palms property, I think.

I would like him better if he would man up and say this is what I worked on at palm and now I am bringing some of it over to google

"According to apple you supposed to innovate and not Steal other's ideas."
...oh really? According to one guy, named Steve Jobs (to quote him directly), "good artists copy, great artists steal". Btw, Apple had invented very, very little. What they excel at, is giving things that have been invented by others, a great polish and a mainstream recognition.

Lastly - since when should ANYBODY care, what Apple has to say about anything? your opinion he should acknowledge his own past work at a previous company, just to make you like him. Good luck with that one.

Agree with laingman.

Stealing...or "adapting" another company's technology is nothing new, but they could've at least made an attempt not to (essentially) copy the Touchstone. For example, they could've made it a triangle or an angled rectangle...or even stop sign shaped.

On a side note...

This is not a good development for webOS (and HP). The more attributes of webOS that are taken piecemeal by other manufacturers/developers, the weaker (and less valuable/viable) it becomes (to vendors and consumers). This is especially true if there are (or have been) no significant developments, which I think would describe the progress of webOS. HP needs to start defending webOS as a whole or there might not be anything left to defend!

...there are no "good-" or "bad developments" for webOS - the thing is long dead and cold in the water. When some of you folks will get the memo, finally?

ANYTHING that makes Android that much closer to what webOS used to be, is a "good development", but for webOS USERS. Actually, since ICS, vanilla Android isn't half bad, and it starts showing Duarte's influence and brilliant ideas. So what, if many of these ideas were first broiught up in our belowed webOS, if I can get them implemented on a vibrant platform, I'll take it.

..just bring me also multitasking working in cards similar to webOS', and approx. 4" vertical slider, with high specs and around 720p resolution, and I would probably have my daily driver for a loooong time.

@ bushi.mich

Sorry...webOS is NOT dead. If it were dead, HP would have stopped all development of it; no Gram, no Open webOS, no cloud support (Palm Profiles) and no App store. AS OF TODAY, none of those are the case. Has HP bungled lots of things, yes. Is the popularity of the OS waning further as a result of other OS's popularity and lack of additional support and development by HP, yes. I'm guessing that no webOS fans are delusional to the point that they think magically ios and android are going to falter tomorrow and suddenly webOS is going to be a major competitive mobile OS. However...

My point was in regards to webOS as a viable product (in a general sense). This Nexus Orb strikes at the heart of one of webOS's unique attributes/benefits. Even as an open-source OS, by not defending some of the signature attributes of webOS (or expanding upon them), HP truly risks killing off what does remain.

Now that I think about it. The situation is kinda like early 19th century medicine. HP is trying to cure this pneumonia that webOS has the wrong way. They are putting effort in to "healing" webOS but they are doing it by allowing all of these leeches to grab on and bleed it dry.

...agree, although I would personally settle ideally for ~4+" 720p display as a sweet spot. Keyboard would be made that tiny bit bigger than Pre3's (not to say that Pre3's isn't already fantastic - it is), Screen would be very good size for a aminstream phone... what's not to like?

aahh well double posting, on Pre3...

Now we're getting to it.
Hey Matias, how about a slider keyboard 3.7" Nexus K with inductive charging and touch2share via NFC.
Give us something to completly feel home.
Just a daydream :)

....and come back back here and finish what you have started

I don't like you Duarte Mafias. Man the f*** up and admit you took the idea from webOS. What a douche. At this point Gram could sue the crape out of Google if they chose to.

The orb does not use the same technology as the Touchstone. Nobody smart would take that case.

In this world people are free to steal ideas. I say again IDEAS ARE FREE to be STOLEN. Like wireless charging because ideas are NOT protectable by intellectual property laws only the tangible expression of an idea, that would be like a writing down of an idea, a song, etc. or an invention, which is a tangible object not just the idea.

Now if they cloned a touchstone using the exact same tech, assuming that HP owned a patent to that charging technology then you can sue. But as far as i know this is base on the Qi standard of wireless charging and it is not compatible with Palm, and if it won't work with palm like a touchstone that's a hurdle in any claim that you've illegally made a device that is essentially the touchstone.

Another thing is, it's possible that HP got a license to use the a technology, say some wireless charging tech but doesn't own it and would have few grounds to sue anyone else. For example lets say i invent a new type of seatbelt and license that tech to every car, company except Ford. And Ford decides to clone it and make the exact same special seatbelt design. Well It's not for a licensee like BMW to sue Ford. I own the patent. I need to be the won suing ford. BMW just has a license from me.

Regardless, that Palm made a touchstone charger only prevents other people from making the same touchstone charger. It doesn't prevent people from making a different wireless charger using different technology and design.

And actually they clearly reference the Palm Touchstone.

See the video:

At least they credit Palm for it. Other who "steel" ideas usually don't to that...

Instead of hating the guy who brought a lot of the ideas to the table that webOS used in the first place that you probably love, how about you direct that anger towards HP who screwed up everything in the first place - and let webOS get to the point where it is now. Seriously, the childishness overall here just in the comments on this post is pretty sad. webOS is unfortunately irrelevant for all intents and purposes and being angry because the features that made it good are making it over to other platforms and making it better is not something to be angry about.

This is the best acknowledgement that HP had something desirable on their hands. Duarte knows it and delivers with this device. The best we can hope for is a port of webOS to this nice device, although personally I would prefer a keyboard.

interesting that LG build this for Google and webOS is being adopted for the LG Smart TV. Wouldn't it be great to get a webOS centric phone from LG?

to add to the irony o2(uk) are giving free lg TVs to first 100 nexus customers according to android central

oh Come on!!!!!!!!
And in the next android version: Amazing NEW feature that enables you to read and write an email in two separate windows!!

Um, do you really believe that? First, where do they say they were the first to ever have such technology? Second, you do realize that Palm were not the ones who introduced inductive charging right? Do you hear all the cry-babies who had inductive charging before Palm saying what you are? No, I didn't think so...

Well I was on my way to get this phone unlocked until they said no LTE (Verizon)! Now they just lost a wait, many customers!

Perhaps as a result of the LG + Gram / HP partnership for the smartTV project a deal was struck which enabled LG to propose a very similar looking device to the touchstone with Gram / HP's blessing. Possible yes?

ugh! Absolutely hate HP! Bunch of idiots.

First thing first!!!
... Can we port Open webOS to it?!...
Jajaja! This is just great to laugh in HP's face! As soon as they opened source webOS, everyone is just making money with it! Be that stealing, borrowing, implementing or whatever term you prefer to use.
I thought you knew better Meg. Big mistake!
I just hope that everything goes well on the Gram+LG joint venture, so that LG could give it a thought on putting it on smartphones. I would buy and LG webOS powered device (though not my preferred option -TV's are good priced though!).

HP to Duarte:

"you have designed an awesome OS, that we just pulled off the market. We'll probably fire you or make you work for a derivative company no one knows on an OS we'll describe as a Detour and hope everyone forgets."

Google to Duarte:
"Dude, you're awesome, your OS is awesome! Want to come here and finish it, and make lots more money and gets lots of recognition for designing the fastest growing OS in the world that sells like a million a day, and have some job security, dude?"


"Dude, I am so there!"

Wrong article

Great Article,thanks for the share.I got my CHOE Qi Wireless Charging Pad for Nexus 4,Samsung Galaxy S4 and Iphone 5 Black in Color from Amazon for $24
Works with any Qi-enabled device through an adapter or an embedded chip

Power Source: AC Adaptor plugs into charging pad

Freedom of Placement: No annoying magnets to align or secret spots to find in order to charge your device. The wireless charging pad is Qi standard, you can charge any Qi-enabled device today, tomorrow and beyond with a Light indicator to show charging status.
It works well with Nexus 4 smartphone.