How do you feel about HP not supporting older devices in Open webOS? | webOS Nation

How do you feel about HP not supporting older devices in Open webOS? 68

by Derek Kessler Sun, 05 Aug 2012 11:50 am EDT

How do you feel about HP not supporting older devices in Open webOS?

We had a few days to process the news that HP was officially not going to support the TouchPad and other older webOS devices with Open webOS. The announcement didn't go over well with the webOS Nation community, judging by the 150+ comments our article on the matter received. So we needled HP for more information about why they made this decision and they were certainly more forthcoming. The reasoning was understandable: it takes a lot of time to review and scrub the hundreds of thousands of lines of code they have to open source, and along with updating webOS with new components they just didn't have the resources to make porting Open webOS to the TouchPad a priority, even though they wanted to. That's why they did the webOS Community Edition instead, so at least there will be something for the strangely loyal webOS community.

So now that we've had some time to cool down and get a more complete answer from HP, as well as talk to the open source community about what they're going to do with the webOS Community Edition and Open webOS, how are you feeling about HP's decision to not support older devices like the TouchPad with Open webOS?


correct me if im wrong but even with open webos fully released, their technically not supporting webos on any other devices anyways are they? i thought and assumed they were just getting the source out there and it was up to the community anyways to port to other devices?

im not really fussed they wont support the old hardware because i never even expected them to support new hardware nm the old stuff so i feel it doesnt really matter regarding the news that their not supporting old tech.

I'll glady buy new hardware to run Open WebOS, My Veer and TP aren't irreplacable, but the OS is.


It is a bit sad for the TP, but the Phones are already very old and the hardware was bad the day they were released.

Phones were bad the day they were released, eh? What about Pre 3? IMHO, one of the best phones there is, and I did have few, and even few high end Androids.

I didn't read everything, but for what I understood Open webOS is just about the kernel and modules. Maybe some low level system services depending on the kernel, as well ?
If everything else is updated, that would be nice anyway, and most people won't notice it's different. I guess that's the webOS Community Edition.

A post to clear all that up would be nice, answering something along the lines: What features would be missing for the end user, between "Open webOS" and "webOS Community Edition" ?

By the way, I'm very curious and interested in the hardware they will target. I'm following other projects like Vivaldi tablet, and they bump on roadblocks over and over because hardware manufacturers don't release all the sources.
If any of those projects succeed in having some fully open source compliant hardware, everybody will benefit on that.

I really hope for a nice jacket pocket sized tablet like the Nexus 7, with SD slot and totally Open Source kernel. And a phone, in the case mine breaks.

[edited] I could tolerate the software bugs on the TP and lack of updates thinking that HP was focusing on OpenWebOS. Now I have to either wait for stable Android or sell this slow piece of crap.

Personally, my developer TouchPad, which is a stock 3.0.5, with zero patches, runs rings around my iPad 2 in just about everything except keyboard response time and startup time. (the iPad definitely loses on shutdown time) Also my iPad 2's search page has been completely broken ever since I got it, and no amount of work on Apple's part has been able to fix it.

My personal use TouchPad which runs 3.0.5 with all the normal patches, is overclocked, and has about two dozen Synergy accounts logged into it, is somewhat slower than the iPad 2, but not to an intolerable degree.

It helps if you don't have Skype turned on, and definitely don't use multiple accounts on the same provider for messaging.

When I used Skype on the TouchPad all the time, it was dog slow all the time.

Coming soon. Make things right. Its a marathon. SSDD

How do i feel? I'm excited. Getting another sexy Lenovo ultrabook and I feel great. I've "thought beyond." And no longer life with the anguish of being in the HP prison camp.

It sucks but at least they are still thinking about new hardware

Wouldn't it help to have some device...any device to actually run open webOS?

I was really hoping they'd support the Veer, Pre 3 and TP.

The fact that they wont really sucks for one major reason; there are people out there who bought a touchpad or a Veer (less so a Pre 3) and simply aren't technical enough to know about preware.

Open webOS should show up as an official update through the OTA update mechanism for (at least) these devices.

The people who put up their cash and bought brand new kit from HP deserve to have some of the bugs fixed at the very least.

Most of the people who bought a TouchPad paid about $99 and I think got their money worth. The people who bought a Veer will likely move on when the contract ends.

Getting Open webOS isn't likely to give them any new features so the upgrade would be fairly confusing for those who aren't technical.

I disagree. Judging by the difference in user experience between stock, and Homebrew-patched phones, the difference for end users is like day and night. I bet my money on it, that Open webOS would be the same. Alas, we probably won't know. And most of all, users would get a lifeline of a SUPPORTED (even if supported " only" by community) OS. Don't kid yourself that you will be getting ANY updates from HP, onto your existing devices. So Open webOS was realistically speaking, the ONLY way to possibly enjoy newer, updated, LIVING OS. Now, thanks to the morons from HP, that path is apparently closed (unless the great Homebrew community will find a way, will and RESOURCES, to work it around.

So there would be a big difference for those, who actually still give a shit about webOS. But since HP themselves doesn't and will not, hence the outcome, yet another display of arrogance towards their users.

Fecking Touchpad is getting a Fecking Android jellybean ported on it, thanks to the community effort of couple of hobbyists behind Cyanogen modmod, yet Fecking HP "doesn't have enough resources", cannot spare a team of few dedicated developers working full time on it, and has to "prioritize development to focus on the future of webOS"?! What a pathetic joke they are.

This really sucks! What is HP saying to their current & potential App developer partners? Here is an OS that had so much potential in the personal & business environment. Where does this leave us, the current WebOS user base? When my Pre3 dies or HP stops supporting Synergy, I will probably make the move to Android.

I have a ton of faith in WebOS Internals & Zero in HP to pull off a port to other devices. I would love to own a Galaxy S III or One X (now just $99) running OpenWebOS & the ability to run Android Apps via Open Mobile. For consumers, these days it's about the Apps & at some point in time we will no longer need an operating system to run those Apps.. Hardware is a different story. Where is the innovation HP? HP's Make It Matter campaign leaves a lot to be desired for the prosumer!

i tought the HP Pre3 deserves and updated version of webOS, open webOS would be great... but... now that we've seen the WindsorNot, i think they might have a version of webOS 3.x for the HP Pre3...

i hope HP and /or the community would bring open webOS to the Pre3 or TouchPad...


HP never really released the Pre3... hard to say there should be updated version for it.

I can see HP trying to update the Pre 3 even though out never launched.


i just dont care anymore. webos sucks on the tp anyways. and to clarify webos features does not sucks. the buggyness and slownes of webos on the tp sucks. ive been left with no choice but to use a hacked version of ics on my tp for the last 6 months so it doesnt matter to me anymore. hp has no idea how to keep current consumers happy and i dont believe they care either. fortunately for me and my wife we moved on to ios last november

So why are you HERE?

I installed Android on my Touchpad for the first time yesterday, that is how I feel about it.

I just hope there will be new hardware when Open webOS is released, otherwise it's useless even Open webOS supports old machines.


It's not shocking to learn they aren't going to update discontinued hardware. Pre, Pixi and the + phones weren't updated even when Palm/HP was still in the marketplace and fully staffed.

You know what: I'm cool with it. Why? Because I can comprehend what it takes to support something, and I understand that if they were to support those legacy devices, undoubtedly MAJOR sacrifices would have to be made where it really matters: real webOS.

The truth that it doesn't support legacy devices is not a fault to the current coders -- that's an original design flaw the original webOS failed to acknowledge.

Think about Windows: it supports all hardware from Windows 95 all the way through Windows 7.. you can upgrade from one version to the next without any problems. When webOS was first made, it never accounted for the various processors and other hardware it would eventually run on. In summary, it was never designed with future hardware in mind.

All I can hope is that this new open source route will account for this, and all future versions of webOS will have support for whatever legacy hardware it runs on. This will be difficult because of the current non standardized ARM processor market, but it will be no more difficult than it is for Google, Microsoft, or Apple.

If done correctly, this should be the last time we have to face this problem.

TL;DR: HP is doing the right thing. We don't want them to (literally) waste time supporting hardware that barely made it into the hands of anyone. We all want a better webOS. If you want a better webOS, this is the correct decision.

I am not looking for a whole new OS refresh to my existing Hardware (TP, Pre3). When I bought my Pre3 I knew I was buying unsupported Hardware, so I never had any expectation it will get anything other than what it already had. It was the best WebOS phone by far. I am still very happy with that. No regrets there. If my Pre3 breaks, I will probably buy another Pre3 from ebay !

The main software complain I have is the browser. If we can somehow backport the new browser that will be really cool. I have tried Enyo 2.0 on my Pre3 and TP. Pre3 not so great, but TP, fairly decent. So hopefully the apps might still come to existing Hardware.

Having said that both my Pre3 and TP is just about 1 year old, so I don't mind buying a new phone and a Tablet if it means I can wipe out the 'Droid' and install Open WebOS on it. So keep the good work going.

At this point, without any discussion of major manufactuer support from HP, what good is Open webOS honestly? And, the bigger question: who willl continue to go out of thier wayto support it?

Yes, I am a die-hard webOS fan. And, yes, I was disappointed with the announcement last week. However, my Touchpad runs Andorid 4 over half the time just because it has apps available that the HP App Catalog just can't and never will offer.

With each passing day, Open webOS seems to be coming nothing more than a niche within a niche.

What good? Open WebOS is fragmentation frosting. The ultimate in fragmentation, they have more o/s's than devices!

Lol, and now they will even have an OS without ANY hardware :-). How ridiculous they are...

if we would have an alternative for horizontal (slider)-physical keyboard phone. Or at least 3.x community Edition for phones, but now sticking on 2.x with our beloved Pre's keyboard is a bit odd.

I'd be happy to buy a new device with up-to-date hardware. They should concentrate on making it the best possible experience without the fear of having to support legacy devices.

i feeling down.

I bought today a Touchpad on Ebay! ;-)

They dont even fix facebook on the pre3.I would be pissed if I bought this phone in Europe What is there to multi task or swipe away if you have no apps? I get the quick office beta error everytime the phone reboots. How hard is it to remove that from the system?
I guess the answer is the android emulater. Thats gotta be coming with this new system to make it worthwhile.

I have an EU pre³ an fb just works fine. Quick office error? Never heard abt and i even installed the Tablet version that I personnaly find more usefull. Apps? I dont see how openwebOS support would change that as long as there virtually 0 app for it. You can uninstall QO from the manager, preware or delete every related file using Internalz Pro.

"...strangely loyal..." eh? Interesting choice of words. Anyhow, HP made the right call. Ever forward, webOS community.

There is no support for this product, and needs to be renamed because it is far from being open. HP is operating under the assumption if we build it they will come. There will be no interest in this product, due to the lack of feedback from potential consumers. It will be DOA, if it ever makes it to market, which I sincerely think is impossible from The Sinking SS HP.

I used to care, but I can't be bothered anymore.  They're not making new devices, they're not supporting their current devices, people are leaving the project in droves.  I loved webOS, but hoping for anything more is honestly grasping at straws.  There are still a few things that webOS does better, but those advantages are disappearing with each revision that the competitors release.  And webOS continues to fall further behind in the areas which it has always been behind on.

HP should offer periodic updates and bug fixes for touchpad just like they do for all the other hardware they sell.

Here is what HP needs to do:
1. Immediately announce the reference hardware for Open WebOS (i.e. whatever they are testing on now). The market uncertainty brought about by the lack of any future hardware is hurting Open WebOS every single day that they don't have that story out. It seems like HP Palm never got this -- don't leave your customers and potential customers in limbo for months on end.  Reference hardware should include popular hardware on each wireless carrirer's network in each of the following form factors: tablet, slab phone and (idealy) slider/ hardware keyboard. if they are not currently testing on all these devices, then that is a serious problem with WebOS that they need to address and announce immediately. If they make this announement, it will take much of the heat off them about support of legacy devices.

2. HP should not use any internal resources to create LSB 3.0 drivers, but they should contract with a third party driver company to at least support the TouchPad. This would not utiliize any HP resources and would be a relatively cheap solution.  Ideally, the resulting drivers would be open sourced, but they could be released as binaries if there were some licensing issues (I couldn't see why a chip vendor would not want to get LSB 3.0 support for their hardware -- they might even kick in some $$ to help fund the project).
That's it. Don't leave people hanging on what hardware to buy, make sure it is supported on all the carriers (unlike the orginal Pre -- ugh!), and throw some money to some hungry driver developers to add support for selected legacy devices. Announce that and most of the angst fo the WebOS user community will go away.

What makes you so sure, that they actually are testing it on ANY hardware?

I think Meg is dropping the ball:

if Open webOS is going to be anything beyond a hobbyist's OS, it has to run on existing devices.

If HP merly ships Open webOS, why would somebody like, say, ASUS decided to ship a tablet with Open webOS on it? But, if there is an existing customer base - oh, a million Open webOS tablets out there - then it may not be as big of a gamble to ship a new device.

HP, so you have limited resources. Stop making excuses and take care of the most ridiculously loyal customers on the planet. Here is what you do: finish shipping Open webOS next month, THEN go back and add support for existing devices one by one, starting with the newest, and go backwards. Either rewrite the closed source components as open, or, if you don't want to do that, pay someone like Qualcomm (TP CPU) to either open source the existing drivers or write new ones.

It took half a decade to make Noveau, the driver that powers NVidia video hardware in linux without a lick of code from NVidia corporation. It's still fairly less capable than proprietary drivers, and most cards don't run to their full utilization under Noveau, but desktops still appear.

HP isn't talking about just the CPU when they're mentioning closed source components (and even with that, the CPU is almost always a doozy), they're also talking about Audio, USB, Microphone, Sensors, Video, Power Management and WiFi. The same things tripping up CyanogenMod developers from delivering a 100% fully running ICS. They would have to spend manpower, resources, and most importantly, time in getting Open webOS to be 100% open source on the Touchpad. And do it before the majority of TouchPads are completely irrelevant in real world use or physically broken.

I believe them when they say they can't do it: what I don't believe is the mealy-mouthed approach to aim kernel development to SoC systems... it's a slap in the face for any tablet currently out right now: nevermind the Touchpad, this means that open source developers who want to make it work on Android, Apple or Windows RT Hardware are also ice-skating uphill too. I think Open webOS is dead on arrival, and if anything, parts of it will be used in other projects, but as a whole it's a waste of time. Maybe if enough interest is drummed up, Phoenix may be agile enough to hack Open webOS into a useable core for a ROM for these devices, but that maybe is expecting a lot (as I'll explain below.)

"But the Community..." I'll stop you right there. They aren't God. What's the first rule of homebrew and open source? "Don't ask for a deadline." Given a long enough timetable, could someone make Open webOS run on a Touchpad? Sure. Now cut the timetable to less than 2 years (i.e.: the window when any of us would care to install it vs. switching platforms and starting again), and throw in all of the obstacles that HP just introduced with it. Possible does not equal easy, and it certainly doesn't mean it'll happen anytime soon. The reality is our community is growing smaller, and either real-world pursuits, lack of time/interest, or outside factors will only make it worse. Just because the Community can put Open webOS onto Touchpad doesn't mean they should or that they want to. webOS-Internals obviously has a stake in it, but past them, will other developers care?

I'll let someone better versed in the hardware industry explain why that last sentence in your response will never happen.

Disclaimer: I'm a fanboy. I don't develop, work on, or do anything beneficial. My opinion is worth the contents of aether, being of no substance or real existance. And I stop being a fanboy today. I'm done with webOS Nation.

I've a TouchPad and a Pre3. Two devices that I absolutely use daily couldn't imagine myself without. I think the hardware is only okay, though. It's the operating system that I like and my biggest fear is that one day one (or both) of my devices will fail and I wouldn't be able to purchase a replacement. IF they can get webOS on the newer hardware out there ... specially one with a slide-out QWERTY thumbpad, I'll be go golden.

It certainly sucks that my Pre3 and TP will stay the same as the years progress, but I'm looking forward to replacing them with another webOS based system.

I have a Touchpad and a Pre3. You'd think I'd care a lot about them not bringing Open webOS to those devices.

I really don't care. It is understandable that they put the resources into the old TouchPad hardware. It is understandable that they don't put resources into a phone that they never really released.

What's not understandable is that there's no accompanying announcement of new hardware designed specifically for Open webOS.

Software companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon are creating tablets. Why wasn't HP, a hardware company, grilled about not creating a tablet?

If HP wants to talk about setting up Open webOS for the future, let's get HP to commit to that future.

Why? Because like many big companies, they have been captured and are run by corporate bureaucratic idiots, who don't know nor care about anything else then promoting their petty careers, and because of that they are going out of business FAST.

What will someone give me for my HP Touchpad and Palm Pre Sprint Phone. Touch Pad is in excellent condition and the Palm Pre phone is in very good condition display screen is near mint.
I love Web OS but if there is no support then it is time for me to move on.If it had a working SD card slot for extra memory then I would had put ICS on it.

The new HTC sense is a lot like web os with it's stackable apps.

The Sprint Pre hasn't had an update since May 2011. No new features, just some bug fixes. The 1.4.1 update was March 2010. There were no plans to update the Pre to 2.0.

I could care less. What I want to know is if webos will ever wind up on OEM hardware.

The best shot at that happening is the Phoenix project. Otherwise, doubtful.

They may not be able to officially support it, but I think HP should open source any and all webOS code it has a legal right to release so the community at least has a chance to try to port it. As is, there are large missing chunks of code, and things like phone support (just the webOS part, not the proprietary drivers) look unlikely to ever be released.

Well, I've had the CE system manager running on webOS 2. Unfortunately, due to not being able to rebuild the rest of the system at this time, I was not able to get it to a point where it could actually operate the whole thing. I and several others that put in time working on it that weekend were very close, though.

I can't guarantee that I (or anyone else who puts in time on it) will be successful at it, but I definitely intend to revisit that course, when we are able to build a whole system.

I really appreciate Enda being upfront about this. I wish HP would've said all of that earlier as that would've cleared the air. There isn't much in the way of hope for many webOS users, so these little bombshells really only cause more attrition when there isn't even a hint of empathy from the company that managed to crash and burn webOS. I'm excited about Open Source webOS as it could potentially usurp the mobile industry in a way none of us could imagine.

"I'm excited about Open Source webOS as it could potentially usurp the mobile industry in a way none of us could imagine."

Wow- You are an optimist! Listen, even if HP was releasing a fully-functional, state of the art DEVICE, it's doubtful that there'd be many takers, and the news would almost immediately be buried under an avalanche of Iphone 5 a couple of weeks later. Instead, HP is releasing an effectively useless version of an OS that literally no one on Earth cares about outside of this website, and even here the few remaining faithful are dwindling further each day. If one day open webos results in you being able to to continue using the software on some other device, consider yourself lucky. Just don't, you know, plan your life around it.

Where have you been? How did you think many of us sit here writing comments on a webOSnation article if we didn't seem just a little bit on the heavy side when it came to optimism? Of course I chose my words carefully -- "potentially usurp" is no guarantee. But think about it -- if its being built around mainstream Linux -- how would that not prevent many of us to try and port webOS to the latest and greatest Android tablets and phones? And too think those poor Android SOBs thought they were engulfing the Palm customer base. Nay -- they engulfed the webOS trojan that is about to let the webOS virus in... Moo ha ha ha! ;)

look the webOS people at HP have a limited amount of money, they don't run the company, every time I use my pre 3 I am reminded of all the innovation this phone has and the great people who obviously worked on it, and I will use it until it dies...then I'll run the spare one I purchased. The touchpad, well I have one of those too. Bottom line the webOS team at HP does the best they can.

I will buy new hardware as long as I can run webOS on it. I have tried android and iphone. But they can't do what my Pre2 does. So any new hardware with Open webOS is the way to go.

As I type this on my galaxy s2, I can't believe anyone would want to stay with older hardware anyway. The homebrew community will take care of that. I would rather see webos on my s2, than have to go back to using my pre2. People need to quit bitching and just be thankful there will even be an open webos!

"Positive thoughts and actions yield positive results"

Not to be a pessimist but, WebOS needs a really big player to survive. I thought HP was that player but they dropped the ball last year. The market is so competitive that even Black Berry is suffering. Without cool hardware to wow the layman who will fork out $500 on a device WebOS will always be the poor (smarter) cousin to the big players. As great an OS as it is, they lost what little market they had when they stopped making hardware. With that kind of track record would you still trust them with your money? Many here will but most out there won't.
I hope I am wrong but 3 years from now I'll look back at all my Palm/ HP hardware and wonder where it all went wrong. (but I'll still be using my Veer because I love it and have picked up a spare for when this one dies)
Typed on my Touchpad.

OK, so how about releasing a Community Edition for WebOS 2.x?

You could help us figure out how to get CE working on 2.x.

Captain - I can't take it anymore!

After I read the announcement, I thought about it a little. By the time openWebOS is released and most of the kinks have been worked out, the Touchpad will be almost 2 years old. The Pre will be almost 4. The Pre 2, about 3. All of them are clearly outdated. Besides, let's all be was NEVER about the hardware for most who stayed faithful to webOS (and if it was, then you probably also probably think a Yugo is a sweet ride).

I'm happy they made the smart decision to embrace the latest technology (or at least Linux standard chipsets) so they don't muck up "open"webOS with non-open drivers. Anyway, I'd much rather have openWebOS running on the nicest tablet (that supports the Linux standard) than to shoehorn it into my Pre2 and Touchpad, then overclock them both to the max. HP, at this point, would be bigger idiots to NOT look forward and just focus on old devices that they won't even support properly. And as for them supporting it all, HP doesn't have as much potential income coming out of this to justify the salaries of full-time developers creating open source software...which is the tradeoff of going OSS usually.

People should really be happy they're doing any of it at all. They could have just released the 3.0.5 code and washed their hands of the whole deal.

To me HP is wasting their time by not supporting at least the Pre3 and the touchpad. Without these they have no hardware capable of running Open WebOS. In general, software without any hardware to run on is useless. They just killed the only market that might care. Now we're talking about the few people that care enough to buy a new device and void its warranty. This is a market rapidly approaching zero.

Thanks HP, for killing Palm, and thanks for killing WebOS too. I don't know why you're bothering any more. I don't see that this is going to bring WebOS back to life.

Don't care. Mostly expected it. Only expected them to cover the touchpad anyways not phones. But i've moved on to different hardware. My old pre is in a box of other knick knacks somewhere not sure where exactly. Plus it never got the 2.0 so i never expected open webos, and it sits in a closet in case my current non webos phone dies. But in general i never expected support for most of the old hardware, i was only interested in a very very very unlikely port to my current device. Plus i never expected webos to be more then a tinkerers hobbby device so its not a big deal cause it wouldn't be my primary OS. But i never expected old hardware.

Open WebOS will have a hard time surviving. Compatibility with the HP Touchpad would have provided an instant user base.

Everyone will just move on to the IPad or an Android tablet. When kids are carrying IPads into half day summer camps, you know that any WebOS device will have a very difficult time grabbing the mindset of the population that counts for business growth.

Well like all things it was fun while it lasted.

Well, HP already screwed us two years ago. The fact that they didn't take that time to at least fix it, is sinply not excuseable. A two year old device should not be obsolete in terms of updates. And ever customer should not forget about that. There is no use for this open release if it doesn't bring us back our devices to a useful and forward looking state.

But what's most annoying is the constant "rational" talk about how it does not make sense to support those devices. As if I had to understand that it only wise to abandon my investments.

HP, all that rational not-be-wrong mid-level management talk will not get you back your customers, because, if there's anything that will make anyone choose HP over any other tablet manufacturer, it definitively not rationalism. And i always wonder, how people at a management position can be that stupid over and over. In printer updates as in this desaster.

Give some love and receive some. Or, make us pay and we make you pay. Just like that. Simple.

Just update the TouchPad browser, HP. Is that really so hard? That would ensure that TP buyers can benefit from web apps. Until that happens, I will not buy another thing from HP.

Countless HP printers
Palm Pilot VII
Palm Treo 650
Palm Pre
HPre 2 (still working)
HP TouchPad (just needs a new browser - hint, hint !)

The end of the line for me.

HP is tossing away its users/customers like its tossing its future hardware support for its legacy devices. Meg made it clear with the phones (pre), but the Touchpad?! I Was looking forward to WebOS on my next printer... If it is to ever happen. But, if they don't correct this I will never buy anything HP again! All who are here who care held hope & like myself assumed they had the Touchpad & its established customer base in mind. I would have no problem purchasing new hardware if they took care of what we all have already. This is worse than being throttled by at&t on my unlimited contract. It's just plan bad business. Touchpad 32gb Touchpad 64gb (white) . pre3 x2 and a whole bunch of printers