Hints of webOS Tablet UI elements - Exclusive | webOS Nation

Hints of webOS Tablet UI elements - Exclusive 84

by Dieter Bohn Mon, 24 Jan 2011 3:04 pm EST

If our blockbuster Topaz Spec leak wasn't enough for you, we have another leak of a document from last year. This one details suggests for webOS User Interface. While it's all preliminary stuff, there's enough here to hint at what some of the UI elements will look like on webOS slates.

Read on for the details!

New Gestures and Text selectors

First up, it looks like HP is planning on bringing more complicated gestures. In addition to the standard scroll, tap, and pinch to zoom, we also have:

  • Double Tap
  • Tap & drag
  • Tap & hold
  • 2 finger tap
  • 2 finger tap + drag

It's not clear yet what these new gestures will achieve, but we're gratified to finally see hints of the tap-and-hold gesture - presumably many of the interactions that previously required holding down the option key or tapping in the gesture area then pressing a key will be moved to pop-up dialogs.

One of those pop-up dialogs will likely be text-selection, which right now requires some finger/keyboard gymnastics. 

As you can see, these text manipulation pop-ups more closely match the standards on iOS and Android 2.3.

Virtual Keyboard

That webOS will be picking up a virtual keyboard should be a surprise to exactly nobody. What is interesting is that HP looks to have a small toolbar above the keyboard with some useful functions that can be slotted in:

  • Hide keyboard
  • jump between form fields
  • step through characters

Currently text selection requires holding down the Opt or Shift key on the physical keyboard, but even with whatever new text-selection paradigm comes on the tablet, it's nice to see that HP is trying to make things a little easier here.

Panel Interface

If you don't remember, Palm showed us a "preview" of a next-generation email application for webOS based on Enyo featuring a paned-interface with lists on the left and content on the right. It magically auto-expanded depending on the size of the screen. If you've used the Twitter app for the iPad, you know what we mean.

That interface looks to be coming to email for sure:

Pop-up dialog boxes

Similar to how the iPad handles certain actions, it looks like webOS will pop up standard dialog boxes like calendar creation and even map details in modal pop-up dialog boxes.

Map Improvements

File under "no-brainer:" it looks like we may finally get some real improvement to Google Maps. Unfortunately, the only genuinely new feature hinted at here is the ability to save place bookmarks.

Tabs and Pages

While webOS currently makes it easy to open multiple web pages in multiple cards, with larger screen real estate it probably makes sense to add tabs. No guarantee that the above will actually make its way into the web browser, but HP definitely has some clear ideas of what a default tab interface should look like.

Additionally, HP also has ideas for how a paged-interface should look - they've deprecated a page-curl for the turning page you see above.

Thanks Fudge!


We are finally getting news again! Everyday, I look forward to good news. Love it!


The drag handles looks similar to the ones they showed at dev day in NYC.

Interesting! Can't wait.

I like it... I like it a lot!

Killer boots man

This will look great on either of the sizes estimated. It may even make webOS more productive! Love the styling though.

looks awesome

This is all well & good, but WHERE are the PHONE LEAKS!!!!
I'm really not interested in ANY tablet, but I REALLY need to replace my Pre(-) SOON!!

If only I could +1 MILLION this...

At least a hint. Hell, just tell me Sprint will be seeing a new WebOS something soon - I'd almost be happy with that...

Battery Life. Build Quality. Just enough speed to make things smooth.

Make it solid and gimme gimme or I'm outta heah, sad to say, while I wait for WebOS to regain traction again...



so all this will happen in webos version 2.5? 3.0?

no, it'll happen "in the coming months" so "just wait"

or... "stay tuned."

My guess is this is what Enyo apps will look like - whenever it is released to developers.

Lol i like how HP is building hype.

yes yes, bring on the good stuff.Hope to see alot more good features.Not just in tablets but phones also.

I like the pop-ups for copy, paste, etc... Hope we see this soon!

This is really starting to shape up to look like an IPAD competitor, but it needs to be as cutting edge as possible.

the styling looks like a desktop flavor of some linux build.. i like it.. i hope there aren't too many intrusive pop up windows (cards wtv). i like the current expanding notification area which still allows access to whatever is "behind" it.

It only looks like that because it is in grayscale. It does remind me of Ubuntu 10+. In full color, I think it will look more like the webos we are used too, and less like Lucid Lynx.

what we are seeing in these screenshots are called "wireframes" and are meant to show the components and functionality, with an essence of the visual design (that is, the instantly-recognizable visual elements of the design language). this is typically done in interaction and user experience design to convey the functionality.

i believe u just summed it up well. thx pal... as many of us comment on this page with demands to see leaks concerning the new phone that are to be released, we should realize that although these details pertain to the tablet, they will most likely be features the phones sport as well.

sprint phone leaks, please!!

anyone wishing to be completely surprised on the 9th instead of knowing some of the plot twists before seeing the movie?

I'm not sure what to think yet...

I always snoop for my Christmas gifts so I know what I'm gettin'. ;)

...thats alot of work i just tellt hem what to get me.

I hate it when people shake their presents, especially if I bought it for them. I'd want to shout "STOP IT!" at them...but of course I can't.

Nevertheless, I wouldn't mind a tiny bit more info about the tablets, but would like to keep the phones in a black box so we can have something to look forward to on the 9th.

agreed. they can leak all the tablet stuff they want cuz im not going to buy it (not that i dont like it, i just cant b throwing that kinda money around on luxury items at the moment). the phones they drop will b plenty of a surprise for us im sure.

This is old info. Plus it's easy to assume what a tablet will look like. Phones will be the interesting parts of feb 9. That and what versions of webos will be running both tablets and phones. Im thinking somewhere along the lines of 2.5 and maybe 3.0 set to release in the fall?

WOW looks awesome!!

Optional drag bar... great news it shows that they aren't just porting webOS to a larger screen. They are making it relevant to the device.

"Optional drag bar"

Great news indeed


You guys getting these from Julian Assange?

precentral.net watermarks lol

I am struck by the number of times iOS or iPad have to be used to describe what HP is doing.


sprint? Anything sprint??? Ummm please?? Just a new HPalm phone... That is ALL...

I don't care how much I agree with your comment, please refrain from the use of all caps - and the overuse of ellipsis.

Read my ellipsis...

I get the caps thing but WTF?


Am I the only one that realizes this example is at 320x480 [Pre resolution]?


A Save button on a Palm tablet....I really hope no one gets any ideas from that mockup. Cancel is ok though. :)


Does 2.x support sending calendar invites? Does not look like it, given the event screen above ...

I've personally submitted this request to palm about a hundred times, each time before a major release and they've just been ignoring the feature request.

You cannot seem to be able to add attendees to a calendar appointment. This is a deal breaker for me. If they ignore the request yet again in 2.0, iphone on Verizon it is.

I agree a thousand times over. If this is targeted to be a truly competitive enterprise device. This feature must be included.

I have no idea if this is correct, but I wonder if that is a limitation of the Exchange Active Sync interface? My understanding is the iFauxn has the same limitation.

I am falling in love all over again.....

Great news. I'm excited about this but I need phone leaks and spec sheet. I did read an article about a leak stating new webos phones coming out are unremarkable

i read that as well. perhaps the person who made that claim only saw pictures of the phones. the pre doesnt look like anything special when its just sitting around. but then you open it and start using it and its a different story.

In the 'Create New Event' window, it would be nice to see an 'invite people' line.

Guys, I wish you would stop the leaks and let palm have its day... sure they give u a nice boost in site hits but its only temp.... if palm impresses people on Feb then the end result is more palm users which in turn means more devoted precentral junkies....

this has to be the works comment ever....keep the leaks coming!

this isn't a leak. it's controlled PR. notice how little bits here and there conveniently comes in as the ramp-up time gets shorter?

"oops oh my i seem to have carelessly left an important document with information in a place that someone could pick up"

no one will out-right go and admit these things, but it's part of the buzz-building process. just play along :) webOS has been so news-starved for so long, this excitement can only be good.

Thankfully, nobody is forced to read these articles.

"Starcraft 2: Tablet Edition" for webOS would absolutely seal the deal for me.

haha an RTS on a tablet? it could work. not with this model though. my duel-core pc cant even run that game at full settings (i will need a $200 video card for that)... i had a similar thought b4 though, Diablo 3 tablet edition :)

all the spec leaks and details of thwebos world has me nervous. I want a new webos device and everything looks real promising, but no mention or hints that any of it is going to make it to sprint. I'm going to be immune to the premier changes, but don't know what palm hp devices are going to make it to sprint. I really would hate to change carriers, and verizon and att is prett expensive compared to sprint. Guess we have to wait till feb 9th to find out. The suspense is killing me.

As far as the tablet is concerned, if you get the WiFi only version, you do not have to wait for Sprint. On the other hand, a WiFi only phone would not be much fun, so you would need to wait for Sprint.

Action Buttons?? Save, Cancel??? We have a back gesture for that, haven't we?

I'm starting to fear we will be missing a gesture area on the tablets :(

Did you miss the part about the new gestures?

From the way I read it, the new gestures are on screen, not in the gesture area below the screen. Actually maybe even another hint we might loose that gesture area??

Alright, reread, and I think you are correct that these gestures are likely for use outside of the gesture area.

the fact that there are only 3 buttons, Power,volume up,volume down, makes me think their will be a gesture area...

But I hope very much the gesture area will still be there, let me be clear on that :)

Just fearing all these promising leaks will end up with disappointment in the end.

I think the gestures area will stay. Just because I think 2 finger gestures mean you cant use your phone with one hand.


This whole consumer platform is completely off. Who makes this? I mean specifically what person makes this without understanding the market. So you blowing up applications that were developed not to just fit more information in to the application but to be smaller.

This is why these Palm owners believe their intelligent. What I'm saying I can't have you all this dumb to make my world work unless their paying you millions to invest and even then I need you to be more intelligent. Palm likely believes is pushing one over their people heads.

Mobile applications are meant to be smaller with information attached to them, today its an abundance of information. Palm has developed a platform to place small and physically smaller text into their applications. Now your going to release tablet to enlarge small amount of text and small text to a larger screen. Not to mention how many applications are ridiculously incomplete and too small for real productivity or enjoyment.

I must mention the fact that Palm believes in an older standard which is a composition of standards that I am happy to inform you has arrived at a New level. The days of uploading without upload information and singular channels of operation with incomplete tasks are over. Tell the queen the liberty bell is ringing.

huh? i've read and re-read your comments several times and i still have no idea what your point is.

Could someone translate this to English?

This whole halo level is completely rough. Who does this? I mean altruistically what person does this without considering the meat market. So you exploding applications that were designed not to just flip more confirmation in to the application but to be shinier.

This is why these Hand lovers believe their palm. What I'm saying I can't have you all this thumb to make my laptop glide unless their throwing you trillions to digest and even then I need you to be more palm. Hand probably believes is pulling one under their eagle wings.

Mobile applications are meant to be shinier with confirmation attached to them, tonight its an obtrusion of confirmation. Hand has designed a level to place shiny and mentally mushier text into their applications. Now your going to obese tablet to engorge small amount of text and shiny text for real conductivity or eroticism.

I just mention the fact that Hand believes in a folder standard which is a compote of standards that I am aroused to inform you has arrived at a New York. The days of uploading without upload confirmation and triangular paths of cooperation with untied shoes are over. Tell Prince the disco glitter is fading.

Ah, ha! Thanks!

Very cool. Had to expect some of these, but some of them are a little surprising. Digging the VK and the buttons on there that are original. All these leaks are making Feb 9th harder and harder to wait for. Once that day passes though, it will be tough to hold out for this thing to be released...

ok let's clear a couple of things up here:

1) the reason there is a "Save" button in the "Create New Event" screen is because it is a POPUP on top of an existing app/card. that's why there's a "Save" button there, not because the gesture area is going away.

2) the reason that iOS and the iPad comparisons & comments keep coming up is because, when it comes to user interaction, there are certain actions that just makes sense. for example, a pop-up menu is really just a more advanced version of the right-click in windows or command-click in OS X. the difference is that additional workflow (as opposed to single actions) can take place in said popup. since the iPad is out in the world and most people understand what that interaction is like, it's natural to reference that for ease of understanding. don't assume any judgment either way.

3) as these are wireframes, the more important takeaways are the INTERACTION CONVENTIONS, and not necessarily what's on those screens. for each convention, the designer has picked a task/app/screen to demonstrate the rules. for example:

3.1) the content of the "popup flow: 1st level" screen is just what we see today in calendars. but that screen isn't about calendar. it's about everything that's around it. it tells us that popup windows can be moved, so that they're not blocking something users might want to see. this thinking is in line with the webOS experience: holding multiple cards in one's hand and using information from one card to inform another (as opposed to iOS's you-can-only-have-one-card-at-a-time experience, using the same metaphor).

3.2) the map improvement screen is being used to showcase the convention of smartly using available space. the top row shows the expanded UI, while the bottom shows an alternative layout that uses less space. this may seem like a trivial thing, but it's important when you have to deal with different screen sizes. it shows that there are thoughts about the scalability of the UI.

I have a hunch that on January 25th, 2010, tonight, on the anniversary of the Pre Plus with Verizon, Pre Plus will be replaced by Pre 2.

Can I borrow your time machine pls?

that first screen reminded me of something...

HP. PALM. Whoever. Alarms in the clock app... Split the goddamn days up PLEASE! Would it kill you to have a tiny modicum of function to go with the (bland, but clean) webOS form?

checkboxes for example would be nice... You know, like i had on every phone since 2001... eyeroll

omg I came when I saw this!!!

I think also that these are controlled leaks. Why, all the sudden are leaks from last year popping up a couple weeks before the big event? I smell "fruit phones in bar" type thing going on which worked very well and is working very well now. People are hyped, hell i am. This thing is looking to be a very optomized device with some aweskme features and i really want to learn more ven more now. So far i am very umpressed. Dual core 1.2 gh? Thats 133 less mhz then my last laptop (2006-2008) ddr2? This thing clearly has nice speaks for such a small thin long lasting device. Sure its screen may not be a 1080p screen which is ok. I have no problem with the ipads screen. The.biggest gap will be what media will we get? Everyones going to want big name stuff like kindel, netflix ect. Cool interfaces are awesome for us but the general public needs to hear leaks of netflix, kindel, then brag about flash because the ipad doesnt have that :)

Flash won't be the problem - it is already availableon webOS2.

But I cannot understandwhy we longtime Palmusers do not get any leak about when the update will be available...it iabolutely boring!

I've always wanted tap & drag on webOS, especially for the browser. Go HP!

any word on a new phone?

It looks kind of Windows 3.0ish. They need to work on the graphics a little bit.

Ok, this stuff is getting me excited. I'm so glad I registered to be a developer way back. I got my invite to 2nd presentation on the 9th. I ended up not getting a launch Pre on Sprint thanks to contracts, but now it's time to play with some WebOS goodness!

So, like I said there won't be a new phone any time soon. Who cares about a tablet??!! It's Just a fad.

This is "PRE" Central. the user base interest is in CellPhones not tablets. Understood Pre was the 1st WebOS phone, but we're really losing focus here.

It's called Pre Central because it's much catchier than WebOS Central

Very cool stuff, looking forward to see these stuff in action!