Life on webOS and webOS only - getting comfortable with just the TouchPad | webOS Nation

Life on webOS and webOS only - getting comfortable with just the TouchPad

by Derek Kessler Sat, 23 Jul 2011 1:49 pm EDT

A few days ago Esteban's home was broken into and his computer, television, and game console were stolen. Thankfully, nobody was home at the time and he had his TouchPad with him. Now, the TouchPad is his only computer, his only source of digital entertainment, and his only gaming system. Join us as Esteban explores life on webOS and webOS only.

Throughout the last several days, I have attempted to download and discover as many useful applications and websites as humanly possible. Since I no longer have my computer, I have had to explore and find out what kinds of applications would best suit my current lack of a digital lifestyle and fit all of my digital needs in this HP TouchPad. Until now, my journey has led me through some really cool applications from the App Catalog, as well as realizing the power of the TouchPads browser and Google Docs.

Of course, most would be wondering what kinds of applications I have downloaded to make my life easier. Well, here are some from the last few days:

  • HP MovieStore
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Epicurious
  • Comics HD
  • Galcon Fusion

I have downloaded these for obvious reasons. On my Mac, I used Netflix and Hulu quite a bit, and I used my PS3 for playing some games at night. The HP MovieStore was a good release at the time because I needed some sort of video entertainment. The HP movie store is quite well designed and it runs smooth as butter. The selection of movies is limited, but I think it has enough to keep most people happy. The one thing I wish HP had added is full cloud storage of the movies, or at least an option to stream instead of download. With the TouchPad as my only device, 32GB doesn’t seem like much anymore. I would have liked the option to not store the movie on the device, as each movie is approximately 1.5GB in size. However, that would be my only complaint as of now because the movie store is a very well designed application that has, as of now, contributed to my nightly entertainment in the absence of my Netflix account on my computer and PS3. So, for those of you looking for entertainment options on a tablet, this is one of HP’s best options, and I find myself getting more and more comfortable with this tablet being the only entertainment device in my household.

I don’t read much, but I do like Sherlock Holmes books, and Amazon Kindle has provided me with a heavy list of free books that I can enjoy. I have used Amazon Kindle quite a bit throughout the last several days, and I have been enjoying it. I enjoy Amazon Kindle on my touchpad more than on any other device that I have used it on simply because of the way this tablet handles multi-tasking and notifications. If I am reading a book, and I get a call on my Pre 2, a new email, a new Facebook message, or anything else, the TouchPad doesn’t interrupt me. In addition, if I ever do want to deal with the notification, webOS multi-tasking allows me to simply exit the card I am on, switch applications, and seamlessly switch back to the book I was reading. This is one of those major features of webOS that people will not truly understand until they use it. It’s simply intuitive.

Folks, I love to cook. The Epicurious app makes my job a lot easier, and here I was using my Mac for my cookbook! When I get a computer, I will tell you now that I will no longer use it for recipes, and I will no longer use it to read, and I will use it a lot less for my entertainment. The touchpad really does just fine! As a cookbook, the TouchPad is awesome. I lay on the Touchstone in my kitchen (no silverware or cookware was stolen, thank goodness!), and I simply cook from there. Epicurious has an awesome shopping list feature that really helps me out too. In addition, I can filter categories and different kinds of dishes. In short, this app is for anyone that can eat.

The other apps on my list were simply gaming and general entertainment apps. Galcon Fusion is one heck of an addictive game, and I would recommend it to anyone. It’s a perfect time killer. I haven’t really read too many comics in my life, but I decided to give it a try with the Comics HD app, and it’s alright. It has given me a lot of simple entertainment.

One thing I really liked about my Mac was the Spotlight feature. For those of you unfamiliar with Spotlight, it is a very well-designed universal search. Spotlight will search everything in your computer, including text within a document, and it does so very rapidly. I loved Spotlight , as it made my life a lot easier, but you know what’s better? Just Type. While Spotlight will search everything, just as Just Type will, Spotlight can’t perform actions. I have had a Pre 2 for a while with this feature, but I didn’t realize how useful it really is until I used it excessively. I love the fact that to do pretty much anything on my TouchPad... I Just Type. This is the future of computing, folks. When you can perform almost anything with your home screen, it should make you smile. It’s a lot better than a certain competitor’s home screen just full of icons. It has made me miss my computer a lot less, as I have been able to find things easier than I would have on my Mac. Sure, the Mac can search more specifically, but if I want to search an email, a message, a contact, or anything else in my cloud connected world, Spotlight would not be able to handle it, but Just Type does a beautiful job.

Furthermore, I have really enjoyed the speed and responsiveness of the virtual keyboard on the TouchPad. It is very fast and works great! Many of you have been suggesting the hardware keyboard from HP, but honestly, this virtual keyboard is so good that I don’t think I will need the hardware aspect of it. I mean, can I switch the size of a hardware keyboard to make it fit on smaller spaces of my tablet or desk? No. But I can re-size my virtual keyboard to work well with whatever I am doing at the time. I have been able to type almost as fast as I type on a regular computer keyboard with the virtual one that HP has built. It does help quite a bit that there is a dedicated number row, that saves me tons of time.

Finally, I would like to comment on the raw power of the TouchPad’s browser, which I have used in gargantuan amounts throughout the last few days. I am around a lot of tablets and electronic devices for my job, and I will tell you now that the TouchPad has the best browser as far as smoothness, reliability and speed. I like the extra features of the browsers on Google tablets, but they don’t respond as well. Flash on the TouchPad works very well, the smoothest Flash experience I have ever had - better than even on my stolen Mac. I never realized how much I avoided Flash on tablets, but now, that is a thing of the past. I have been using Flash websites without worry that they will not function correctly, and I have been vastly enjoying it. It replaces my laptop well in this aspect.

For now, the TouchPad has really exceeded my expectations. I continue to use it with a lot of joy and I think it can replace my laptop for many uses. Perhaps some of you should try using the touchpad as a primary device. It has been great and it has shown me that my $600 for this tablet was well worth it. Now let me go make some lunch with Epicurious as my aid. Bon Appetite.