Hands-on with webOS 3.0.4 [video] | webOS Nation

Hands-on with webOS 3.0.4 [video] 95

by Derek Kessler Tue, 18 Oct 2011 11:18 am EDT

Today saw the second update to the HP TouchPad, bringing the tablet up to webOS 3.0.4 (like the previous update – 3.0.2 – HP seems content to skip the odd-numbered versions). The update includes the typical speed and stability improvements, but it also packs a new camera app and expanded Bluetooth pairing capabilities.

First up, the camera: it’s essentially a port of the camera app from webOS phones. You can take photos with the 1.3MP front-facing camera, or you can take video. If you’ve used Skype video chat, you know the quality of this camera (spoiler alert: it’s not good).

There are no fun iPad-style effects or anything like that – you can take photos, and you can record videos. That’s it. Sadly, other parts of webOS have not been updated to support the existence of video recording – the only way you can share a video recorded on the TouchPad is via email, and you can only do that from the Photos & Videos app (Email didn’t have a Videos attachment option added to Photos, Music, and Documents). You can’t even upload to YouTube! So really the only use cases for the video recording capabilities of the TouchPad are for sending an email greeting to friends and family or for offloading onto your computer later.

Then there’s the expansion of Bluetooth support. HP enabled Bluetooth pairing with the HP Pre3, which allows owners of both devices to share text messages and phone calls with ease. While we can understand the support for text message sharing has to be built into the OS, why other phones couldn’t pair up over Bluetooth was always a question nagging at our minds. Question no longer, as the TouchPad with webOS 3.0.4 can now pair to any phone and act as a giant Bluetooth speakerphone. When hooked up with our Palm Pre 2, the TouchPad was recognized as a car speakerphone. The TouchPad recognized the phone as a phone, but unlike before where it would give unusable options for things like message sharing, it now only offers auto-connect and receive calls as options. In a word, it works.

There are two other updates we didn’t cover in the video, mostly because they’re pretty simple, but still welcome. Messaging now allows you to set a custom status message (whether it’s an option for Available, Busy, and Offline depends on the service). The App Catalog has also received a major speed boost that makes switching views and sorting a thousand times less annoying (plus a new softer spinner). Also a welcome improvement to the App Catalog is the option to sort apps from everything down to phone and TouchPad-optimized apps – an option the App Catalog actually remembers the next time you launch. The October issue of Pivot, however, still has yet to land.

So that’s webOS 3.0.4. As the x.x.4 numbering would imply, it’s a fairly minor update. Bug fixes, a few enhancements and improvements, and a new camera app. But HP’s continuing their work on improving webOS and shows no signs of letting up. Of course, it’d be nice to have some new devices to run it on too, but we’ll take what we can get right now.


Downloading as we read.

Testing commenting from my TouchPad...


funny, commenting on this site has always worked for me with the touchpad.

I know so e people will be happy that the scrolling in the browser was "fixed" and doesn't shift side to side anymore. You can still make it bounce, but when you've got a vertical scroll going it's smooth.

Ok, I just found something annoying, it took me a few tries to type "smooth" - autocorrect was correcting before I was done typing! F*** this thing is correcting me in mid-word! I wanted to explain I more detail, but anytime I type the smooth word it corrects me in mid word.

I can't reproduce the problem you're having with smooth. I've typed it 4 or 5 times now, and can't see any issue. Plus, I doubt there is anything special with that word, unless there is some kind of shortcut involved, or some ad is messing with the input (I got a Flash banner in my way at first, which was making the text focus act funky).
Are you using US English? Can you check the Text Assist User dictionary? Thanks!

Big Bug: This will be a big bug which will render many Touchpads useless. I also have this issue. As you type, it auto corrects the word and moves you on to the next word then when you go back to change the word how you intended it does it again. It is very quirky.

My Touchpad: 32GB, Stock OS, no patches or non-authorized updates. After the update, my Touchpad also will not charge in landscape mode (buton on the right) on the Touchstone dock with the HP Case/Cover.

i m glad they opened up the bluetooth connectivity for non webos phones. Is it the same for printers?

Guess not bad fora .0.1 update. Though, this has added nothing to my TP that I couldnt already do. I have been using the Camera app from a developer in the catalog, and my Sprint Pre connects just fine. Haven't used for messaging but not sure why I would either.

RE camera: i think this camera app is better than the other app that was made... thats my .02

yes! It is very much improved. Also it is no longer choppy.

My TP seems quicker even W/O the over clock.

I have been able to connect my Pre 2 since 3.0.2 and make calls on it.

No SMS though.

Yeah, same here. Not sure of the enhancement (if there is one).

I have been able to connect my Pre- since 3.0.2. If there is an upgrade in Bluetooth - that is if - it would have to be to connect to a non-WebOS phone. Am surprised Derek didn't know this.

I would have to agree. My Pre - has been paired to my TP way before this upgrade with no problem. Messaging didn't work, though...

So can text messages from non-webOS phones show up on the TouchPad now, or is it just for phone calls?

Just phone calls.

After pairing wiht my Epic 4G Touch, I was prompted on my phone to allow Hp Touchpad access to my messages. However, I dont see anyway to make it work.

somehow I can't pair my Sprint Epic 4g to the TP :( at least the TP can now see it, even though my Epic can't see the TP :(

Anyone else getting this error after the update?

Now, for some reason, when the Touchpad goes into sleep mode, it does not come back on pressing the home button or power button. I have to hit each multiple times to make it turn on.

Actually you can upload to YouTube, youtube gives you an email to upload to so just email them to that email and your in.

You also have always been able to upload to facebook as well. From inside the Photo/Video app you just have to click the 3 lines icon all the way on the right side at the bottom and pick add to album (you then just pick a fb album). Then it uploads the video or photo.

Not like it should be - but you are able to do it.

It IS a great deal snappier. And with the camera app, you can take videos.

Is it really, "a great deal snappier." Will try it when I get home and tell you if it is a placebo. I just want the stupid erratic pauses gone, like when I hit the keyboard is supposed to come up but takes a few seconds occassionally.

Mine feels OC even though it is not.

Wonder if we'll see some more apps show up now that this release is out (Zinio, for example).

I find this interesting regarding bluetooth pairing. I was able to pair my unlocked AT&T Pre plus with my touchpad and receive and make calls. Was I unique? However, the other person on the line heard a terrible echo. On my end it sounded great. I will update my touchpad and see how this paring works after the update.

I successfully paired my Pre- and was able to place and receive calls BEFORE the update. Is this really new?

Regardless, it's great to see updates! Now, how about some news on the path forward? Sell or not to sell? Come on, we're dying here!!!

Love live webOS!

Missed in this article is one of the best improvements to Notifications.

When tapping on an inbound e-mail notification etc., the necessary app instantly slides up from the bottom of the screen rather than going through the motions of minimizing your current app to card view and then opening the e-mail app in card view.

Nice UI enhancement!

all my preware installs seem to be broke and only fixed by uninstalling and reinstalling....BOOOOO

Oh no! That sucks. That's not how it was when doing updates on the Pre-...

the app catalog update is good to. And updates to messaging. Now it stays logged in!

First: Great to get a new update, love the improvements. WebOS is not dead yet, awesome.

Bug Discovered: The Touchpad (16GB and 32GB) no longer charges in landscape mode on the Touchstone dock with the HP case. Without the case it does charge in both portrait and landscape mode. It also charges with the case in portrait mode on the Touchstone dock, just not landscape mode (with the button on the right). Bummer.

Mine still charges in both landscape and portrait with case on (32GB) ??

Interesting. This morning (before update 3.0.4) my Touchpads were charging just fine with the HP case in landscape mode with the Touchstone Dock. After the 3.0.4, neither will charge in landscape mode WITH the HP case.

I appreciate your feedback.

They appear to have reduced the sensitivity of the sensor. It can charge in both orientations without the case. With the case on, you may only be able to get one of the orientations to charge. Or perhaps neither.

Mine still charges with the case on (16GB).

my 32gb still charges both ways also.


I am noticing a nice performance bump here.. it could be bc of the reboot but ive rebooted before and things still seem faster. This is a nice update.

Previous post says it doesnt change in landscape...not sure if that meant on the touchstone but mine is in landscape mode (as recommended) and charging fine on the touchstone. I always have it sitting next to my dual monitor setup at work as my third screen.

Yes, it does not charge on the Touchstone in landscape mode (button on the right) WITH the HP case on the device.

so far so good
took a while with the reboot, but seems faster now that the new OS is up
the camera on the TP is optimized for video conferencing & while low resolution, seems to work reasonably well ...I would like a macro capability ...maybe a magnetic adapter ;-)
mine seems to be charging fine landscape, using HP cover on the dock
good to see this upgrade!
just in time for my brother coming in with his IPads & kinder in tow

Hey Derek, great minds think alike, touchpad and olympus pen camera! Same lightweight combination I used on my trip to Europe.

3.0.4 just killed my touchpad. sweet. alert with palm.com/rom on the screen. thanks HP!

sucks. WebOS doctor should be able to recover your device, unless it was a problem with the HW in the first place... :-(

I can't seem to save pictures from the camera app. I can save video just fine. I don't have the word correction issue though. My Touchpad is charging in case as well in Landscape on touchstone dock. No issues with that.

Just one minor inconvenience/bug with the new camera app. When you rotate your device whilst using the camera the cross hairs and buttons visibly rotates but the app itself is still in portrait mode so you have to swipe from the side of the home button.

Also the update seems to have killed the FreeCam for TouchPad app?

The "Networking App" doesn't seem to be working now. This is the app that pops up when you connect to a network that requires an additional login. I'm at work and it was working this morning before the update. Now I can't get to the login/password page

Uberkernel had provided cifs and Samba connectivity. Now Uberkernel is gone and so is cifs, it appears. The mount commands via Xterm come back with "cifs filesystem not supported by the system". My purchase of Kalemsoft has just been wasted if this persists.

I don't suppose we can hope that there's now an ability to do ad hoc, DUN/PAN networking, huh? Just use the TP as a giant speakerphone, but nothing actually useful?

I still cannot access my work web page. CS keeps telling me that it will be fixed in the update. 2 updates and it still hasn't happened. anyone else have the redirect problem with web pages? going back to the login page?

Delete the cache on the browser, close and reopen the browser, then go back to the login page. If this does not work, repeat adding removal of history and everything should be fine.

Since my son wiped my TP I've been running it stock without any patches. The 3.0.4 update is super responsive, way more snappier than overclocked 3.0.2.

Anyone having a problem with the camera app (or the camera in general)? I have been unable to get it to work right. With the last release of Skype, it would never kick into video mode at all (the call would drop). With the new release, the video call connects, I see nothing from the other side and all they see is a really fuzzy picture (and neither can hear sound). (If you use Skype to make an audio call, it works fine...) The FreeCam app never shows anything. Is it just my TouchPad?

(I'm posting this on two other articles - sorry for the redundancy...)

Does anyone have a Pre 3 paired? Mine will no longer send SMS, it only "mirrors" them as per the option on the Pre3. The actual option on the Touchpad to receive SMS has been removed.

I can't believe they would take that out, it's one of the reasons I bought a Pre 3, so I can leave it down when I get home and not miss anything, if I have to check it for SMS, what's the **** point?

Have my Pre3 paired and can both send and receive SMS from Touchpad.

had my pre 2 paired before update, sending SMS, and the SMS option was there. After update, no dice. Treats like a normal phone. No more SMS... Can I downgrade to 3.0.2?

When paired with a Pixi Plus, but still no SMS. HP support had said SMS would be supported with this update, but it hasn't happen. :(

Messaging app shows the contact/mobile numbers but warning popup says phone not paired, even though it is, unless I'm missing a setting somehow.

I just BlueTooth Connected my iPhone 4S and it worked flawlessly. The setup connected super fast for both devices and the reception sounded excellent. Good job HP.

Kind of a slow update, but evertyhing seems to work just fine and maybe a little faster. Charges fine on touchstone with case in both orientations.

My original Pre minus always worked with the TP 32gb. I received and sent calls and worked great as a speaker phone. I look forward to pairing my future iPhone 4s.

A pity that Rubby went small instead of big, a la 4" screen size instead of the Pre, or Moxie, or Pixie, (watever), and the embarrassing Veer.

With SmartPhones, consumers have spoken, Bigger is Better!

great! Connected to my Atrix and I can make a call and answer the phone from the TP - can not seem to sms but the browser now sees my phone on the network via the Motorola Phone Portal app so I can text via that now!

no probs with camera or charging, snappier interface, cleaner with messages and notifications. had a little problem with wifi at first, however i just had the TP forget my freetether connection and taadaaa connected fine. in fact is connected right now. Blue tooth to pre - worked before no change there. no sms though.. not that big of a deal frankly. i seldom use texting anyway. always use gtalk.

Flash player doesn't seem to work anymore after the update: any flash-based embed won't show, youtube says flash isn't available, and this is confirmed by playerversion.com: http://twitpic.com/72ca93

Anyone can confirm ?

The update went smoothly. Only weird thing is that I had a warning after rebooting that said my disk space was low and that I would need to free some space to be able to download apps. That's what I did: that removed isn't displayed anymore, but Flash still doesn't work.

(Yes, I have Flash & JavaScript enabled in browser settings :))

You can no longer empty all your emails in trash. You must delete one at at time.

oh, no!! quick update/correction needed. this is awful.

Yeah, what happened to "Empty Trash" in email?

So with this update, can we tether to another device for WiFi over Bluetooth? Is that possible in a software update?

The linux kernel uses even numbers, both major and minor (x.2.x or x.x.2)to mean a stable release. They could be using that practice and odd numbers for development versions (only internally unlike linux).

Or it could be coincidence

I can't open the camera. Just stays at the opening card. It have to be something with the others camera app already in my touchpad?
please help.

My TP doesn't charge with the case on but does without. Anyone find a fix for this?

Mine is charging with the case.

do you have the cover folded back? It will charge with the case but not when the cover is folded back behind. It did before.

Before update, I was able to send SMS via my pre 2. Now, it says that my phone needs to be connected, which it is already. Interesting... Anyone... Anyone?

I noticed the the WebOS 3.0.4 update causes video issues on overclocked Touchpads. It will not play videos with the Uberkernal, Warthogkernal and the F4 Phanton kernal. I did not try it with the F15c Eagle kernal.
The video will work again once the kernals are uninstalled and rebooted. I tried each of them 2 times on 3 different Touchpads with the same results. Everything worked fine again after reverting back to WebOs 3.0.4...
Guess they all need to be updated for the WebOS 3.0.4.

The Bluetooth is beautiful...works perfectly, I've been using it with my phone all day. LOVE IT

I noticed the the WebOS 3.0.4 update causes video issues on overclocked touchpads. It will not play videos with the Uberkernal, Warthogkernal and the F4 Phanton kernal. I did not try it with the F15c Eagle kernal.
The video will work again once the kernals are uninstalled and rebooted. I tested these multiple times on 3 different Touchpads with same results. Guess those Kernals all need to be updated for the WebOS 3.0.4.

The update has made the Touchpad perform much faster than it did with Preware patches. Very happy with stock performance. Keep it going HP!

When you see the recent iOS5 launch as well as the Android ICS event, you really get the sense of how dead webOS is. With no platform events going forward there is no way that webOS will be a participant in the smartphone or tablet marketplace. Everything else moves forward at a rapid pace except webOS hardware and software.

Anybody else having a problem with the volume when using the TP as a blue tooth speaker phone? I cannot adjust the volume with either the TP or Pre 2 controls. It sounds like it is on full volume.

I'm having too many annoying occurrences and changed abilities and am ready to call, complain and go back to previous revision.


TP with the upgraded kernel for speeds of 1.5 crashed my TP... now doctoring... long process... no time to back up much..

Be careful may get back the TP to original settings and then do the upgrade..


Yeah, but it broke the Private Browsing patch! Total ****

Messaging app has always allowed a custom status message -- since 3.0.0, at least.

The change here, is that you can have a different status message -per account-, or direct specific accounts to be online, invisible, or offline.

Now if only I could configure it to have a different notification status for each account - I don't want a Skype notification, but if someone sends me a Yahoo message, I want to know about it.

How do I get that wallpaper you use? It's amazing...

Go to any store that sells tablets and take a close look. You'll see that all tablets look the same or very similar EXCEPT one: our beloved TouchPad

webOS 3.0.4 Card Stack problem
Management of cards and card stacks has changed/broken with the update. It appears you are no longer able to re-order stacks, unstack or stack cards. The ability to manage card stacks was a major plus for the UI ... is it gone forever? Am I missing a new setting?
Post relates to: HP TouchPad (WiFi)

I just tried management of cards. Didn't have any problem re-ordering or stacking.

Uberkernel would not work anymore after upgrading to 3.04 but still very fast. Downloaded updated Govnah today and reinstalled Uberkernel. Now works and even faster at 1.512 MHz.

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Both my wife and my touchpads appear to be a little buggy now. Perhaps it can be attributed to all the patches.
My touchpad locks up quite a bit now, and I am having a sound issue where the speakers have sounded like they were blown until I restarted.

The amazing free game Bug Village's splash screen is for the most part unresponsive now on both touchpads and it takes going to card view 3-5 times before it reacts to input.

On the plus side the sound driver doesn't need to be reset anymore. What's strange is that my 16 gig had to be reset 2-3 times a day, but my wife's 32 gig never once experienced the sound problem.

webOS 3.0.4 native support for "Music
You can add songs to a playlist from Album view.
OGG Vorbis and FLAC media files are supported."
Finally OGG Vorbis gets supported when are we getting this on 2.x.x for my Pre3? The TP music app is reasonably good now!