So, you just bought an HP TouchPad? Here's what you need next... | webOS Nation

So, you just bought an HP TouchPad? Here's what you need next...

by Derek Kessler Sun, 21 Aug 2011 11:11 pm EDT

You saw the news, you braved the lines, and you got away with an HP TouchPad for a ridiculous price. Lucky you! You have in your very hands the latest and greatest in personal computing technology, even if the company that made it wants nothing to do with it. That’s okay, you got a good deal. And now you’re wondering just what to do with this magical mystery device called the TouchPad. Here’s what you need to know:

TouchPad Tips and How-To’s:

We at PreCentral believe in education. It’s what makes a good user experience into a great one. That’s why we have an ongoing Tips series to keep you informed with little nuggets of information that’ll make using your TouchPad that much more easier and enjoyable (not that you won’t love it anyway). The tips range from the basic: like how to use Flash on the TouchPad, deleting multiple emails on the TouchPad, and copy/paste on the TouchPad to more advanced, like setting up as a network drive or rebooting the TouchPad.

There are dozens more TouchPad tips – with more added every week – in our PreCentral Tips and Tricks section.

TouchPad Apps:

You’ve got the basics down, your email set up, and Flash playing in the web browser. Things are good, and now it’s time for them to get great. You need apps. Here are some great apps you’re going to want to check out (if you open these links on your TouchPad, they’ll open right into the App Catalog!):

Facebook, Free: While Twitter might be on the rise, Facebook is still king. And the Facebook app for TouchPad is king amongst tablet Facebook apps. And that’s also only partly because it’s one of the only Facebook tablet apps (guess what the iPad doesn’t have). It also helps that it’s pretty darned awesome and takes advanatage of a lot of the unique features of webOS 3.0.

Other apps to check out: Spaz HD (Twitter), Graphite (Twitter, coming soon), and incredible! HD (Twitter, Facebook, foursquare, and more; coming soon)

Kindle, Free: You know what? You got a 10-inch color touchscreen Kindle for less than what a regular Kindle would cost you. And this Kindle TouchPad can do so much more than just read, but sometimes that’s all you really want to do. Thankfully, there’s a full-blown Kindle app available for the TouchPad, with a library of hundreds of thousands of eBooks ready for the downloading.

Other apps to check out: Paper Mache (Instapaper), ReadList (Read It Later)

Tea Reader, $1.99: If you’re a Google Reader user, you’ve likely tried the Google Reader website with your TouchPad, and while finding it adequately functional, there’s just something missing. Enter Tea Reader, which syncs with your Google Reader account and adds features like Instapaper and Read It Later integration, web view, and a TouchPad-tastic sliding panes interface.

Other apps to check out: NomNomNom (Google Reader), USA Today, L.A. Times Reader

AccuWeather, Free: It’s a simple weather app, but it works well and uses the TouchPad’s big screen well. AccuWeather quickly offers your current conditions, the detailed forecast for the next several days, a nice large radar view, weather alerts, videos, and more for locations all around the globe.

Other apps to check out: Weather Dashboard HD, WeatherBug, Aniweather HD

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, $9.99: You can play the cops or the racers in this fast-paced 3D racer. Move up the ranks to newer and faster cars with beautiful graphics and rich sound. It’s high performance gaming on a high performance tablet.

Other apps to check out: Radiant HD, Supersonic HD, Crosswords


Preware, Free: If you know webOS, chance are you know of homebrew. It’s not anything like jailbreaking on an iPhone – in fact it’s practically endorsed by HP. Preware opens your tablet up to a whole new world of apps from the Homebrew Gallery on PreCentral as well as dozens of patches that you can safely apply to your TouchPad to enhance its functionality. Oh, and it’s all free an open source. What’s better than that?

Other apps to check out: Glimpse, Camera

TouchPad Accessories

Chances are even though you probably didn’t spend a lot on your new TouchPad, you do want to get the most out of it and keep it safe. That’s why we at PreCentral has a comprehensive and growing selection of HP TouchPad accessories in our store.

Touchstone Charging Dock, $74.95: Quick, easy, and wireless charging with the Touchstone dock. This dock, which works both in portrait and landscape orientations, wirelessly charges your TouchPad through the magic that is inductive charging. It works just as fast as the wall charger and allows you to use Exhibition Mode on your TouchPad to display all manner of information from installed apps, be it your calendar, a photo slideshow, or the weather. And did we mention how easy it is to charge? Just set your TouchPad down on the Touchstone and it starts charging. When you need it, just grab it right off. It's mind numbingly easy and will change how you use your tablet.

TouchPad Folio Case, $44.95: A rubber folio-style case for the TouchPad, complete with a flap to cover and protect that big glass screen. The flap can be folded around back to prop the TouchPad up for typing or watching movies. All ports and buttons are accessible with the case on, and you can even charge on the Touchstone through the case back and flap. The inside of the case and flap are coated with a nice soft microfiber that helps protect the TouchPad and will even clean the screen a bit.

BodyGuardz Protective Skin for TouchPad, $27.95: You’ve probably already realized that both the front and back of the TouchPad are fingerprint magnets. You might have even put a scratch or two in that super-glossy back of the TouchPad. The BodyGuardz Protective Skins are here to help. This two-piece screen-and-body protective film puts a durable sheet of plastic between your TouchPad and the hazards of the world. It won’t take away the fingerprints, but it’ll at least help with the scratches.

The PreCentral store also has a comprehensive selection of TouchPad chargers, Bluetooth headphones, TouchPad pouches, and much much more.

TouchPad Forums, News, Twitter

Of course, there’s more to your TouchPad than just knowing how to use it, having apps, and a few accessories. There’s the vibrant webOS community – the best you’ll find anywhere – and the PreCentral Forums are at the epicenter of it all. We have more than 475,000 members, with hundreds more joining daily. You’ll find the most knowledgeable and helpful members of the webOS community right here, along with all the conversation you’ll ever need.

And, of course, you can come right back here to for all of the latest news of webOS, reviews of the best webOS apps and accessories, the hottest rumors, more tips and how-to’s than you can shake a stick at, regular podcasts, and the occasional epic rant. We’re not usually one to toot our own horn, but there’s a reason PreCentral is the leading webOS site and community on the internet: it’s because we’re dedicated to making sure you have everything you need to be an informed webOS users. And because we’re awesome.

You can also follow PreCentral on Twitter, where you’ll get all of our news plus additional commentary and occasional answers to your questions. But really, you’ll probably just spend all of your time in the forums, and that’s perfectly alright. We’re thrilled to have you here.

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