HP launches webOS Weekly App Hack Contest for Developers - Text to Speech | webOS Nation

HP launches webOS Weekly App Hack Contest for Developers - Text to Speech 35

by Tim Stiffler-Dean Wed, 05 Oct 2011 1:35 pm EDT

If there is one thing that can be said of the webOS Developer Relations team at HP, it's that they just don't want to quit making the platform better. Today, via the official webOS developer blog, the Dev Rel team has announced the first of many Weekly App Hacks for developers. This new contest looks to be one of a few ways that HP is continuing to show interest in the platform and keeping it alive, and is sure to attract a number of developers to try their hand at something new with their apps and possibly win some prizes. The premise of the contest is this; HP gives a topic and some guidelines once a week, developers build an app using those guides by a specific date, and the best app developer wins something cool in return (along with the glorious title of "App Hack Ninja").

This week the prize that's on the line is a 32GB HP TouchPad and great honor among your peers. To win this first webOS Weekly App Hack developers will need to create an app that focuses around some kind of Text to Speech feature. Apps don't need to be uber-complex or serve some amazing purpose (like become the next Siri app or cure disease in Botswana), but it should work well enough to be submitted to the app catalog and stick to the topic that has been given.

HP's Josh Marinacci has provided a bit of help to interested developers in the form of a PDK hybrid plugin and some example code, which you can download from the announcement post. There are plenty of areas that can be explored with this challenge, and we look forward to seeing what you guys can come up with. You have until 11:59 PM on October 11th to submit your apps to HP and qualify to win, so you'd better get started now before it's too late.

Hit the source link to learn more details about the contest and see some tips on how to build your own Text to Speech app this week, and let us know in the comments if you'll be joining in and fighting for the prize.

Update: Turns out HP forgot to strip out the binaries in the code they supplied, so things wouldn't really work all that well. They've updated the code here.


Siri should i buy a new iphone 4s? NO. Waste of your hard earned coin.

Thanks Siri

"Just Say"

"Just Talk"

webOS: Just Try

Winners to be announced at the next WebOs developers conference.

Conference Location: the lobby of the San Jose Comfort Inn (after the crowd from the complimentary Continental Breakfast clears out).

See you there!

How about giving away a Pre3 instead of a Touchpad? Now THAT would inspire many!

Who knows, that might be a prize for one of the next weekly app hack contests. They say there will be a few more after this one.

How about a white 64GB Touchpad instead?! ;)

yes, a panda would be a rather more special give-away for this. almost everyone who would enter this already has a regular touchpad.

That would be great, but would they manage to find one on eBay!

Well, I guess they have to try something to persuade developers to stay on a dying platform.

Holding a contest with a prize valued at $150?

Wow! Apple ushers in the next wave of speech technology. HP begs devs to hack up something to do with speech so they don't look like the utter fools they are. Just, wow!

And by Apple you mean Nuance, since they're licensing the tech from them?

Also this contest is text to speech, not speech to text.

WebOS is staying on life support. No one pull the plug.

I like to think of it as in remission. We have moved one of the cancers. (Apotheker) Should they bleep that out? Is that a bad word?

Dunno if they should bleep it out, but I see some potential here...

"Well I'll be Apothekered!"

"Apotheker you AND the horse you rode in on!"

"You got a nice rack - wanna Apotheker?"


Well played sir! POTD

Good one.

That made me laugh my motha'pothekin' arse off.

Siri, "why?".

We were saved from Apothekergeddon 2012!


What The Apotheker are you talking about?

Apotheker is the new Apotheker...


The contest is a breath of fresh air. It gives me hope.

Let's see ... text to speech, text to speech. Perhaps that involves audio. Which last I checked doesn't work in the emulator. So, you'd want a real device ... and ... also ... part of the contest is to get a real device ... and let's see ... HP bean counters couldn't be bothered to reserve a pool of firesale devices for developers ... just because ... that would have been too hard to think of. Okay.

Weird, just weird! It's like if you took your dog out back and shot it and then came back inside and announced "Hey everyone, I just shot my dog! But he's a good hunter so if you want to rent or buy his corpse from me that's cool! Just sayin'."

Then a month later you take the dead dog to the groomer to make him more presentable....

HP has completly lost it's mind as a company and although its great to see them doing things for webOS I have to ask "What's the point? You freaking shot this dog dead a month back, you idiots!!!"

...too bad really, I really did love that dog.

I even went so far as to buy an unlocked German Pre3 and activated it on AT&T. Astounding phone, I might buy another and keep it in the box for just in case.

Dear developer: welcome to Passive Aggressive Developer Relations Theater. You have been cast in the role of "The Chump". In scene 1, act 1, Queen Meg will present you with a riddle - how to help "maximize the value of webOS assets" by writing an app that plays audio, using an emulator that doesn't play audio, in order to possibly maybe have a chance to receive a device that plays audio, so that you may test your app properly later, and then sell it to five people. You may have to improvise a bit. :)

Dear HP, just give the darn TouchPads to webOSInternals. They've won this contest at least a few times over the past couple of years.

My Take. HP webOS Developer Relations Team: "We're going to have a contest to see who is smart enough to do what we here at HP are either unable or unwilling to put the effort into doing ourselves. In turn the winner will receive a small gift and we at HP shall reap great rewards for your efforts. Thank you very much."

That's a pretty strong "take" to have.

I created a hack to do get it to speak the content of the clipboard a few month ago. It requires SpeechDispatcher from WebOS Internals and access to the command line.


Yes I am grateful that HP still wants to continue developing webOS. But without an expanding user base even I, a die hard webOS fan, has to wonder what is the point? How many people are really going to want the functionality of webOS on their printer? I do not expect as some people do for HP to produce a multitude of different form factors of phones and tablets. HP are not Samsung or HTC at the end of the day. Apple have managed quiet well producing (memory capacities and colours aside) one model of phone and one model of tablet.

Give users a fully integrated webOS experience that was promised so I can seamlessly use and access my data across my different ICT platforms. HP's customers thought that their acquisition strategy over the last five or so years, including Palm, was to be able to push software-as-a-service on to a hardware ecosystem they defined. Meg Whitman has now stated "It's certainly the end of big acquisitions," when it comes to software. Maybe now HP should concentrate on hardware/software integration as well as restoring the confidence of end users and share holders. If they make any large purchases in the near future it needs to be a phone/tablet manufacturing specialist. If they buy anything but I could see a large up turn in sales of lumber as end users and share holders start knocking up gallows for the board...

I dont have a wrist-clock anymore, I use my pre to show me the time. Because the pre sits in the case in my pocket, looking for the time is not convinient as it used to be...

So, I dont think it could be done as an pure app at the moment, but I would wish a funktion for my pre2 phone, to tell me the time when it sits _in my pocket_ (and is locked). Activation could be by pressing the power Button a little bit longer than usual ...