Tweaking Open webOS for phone-sized screens
Last week we showed you what Open webOS on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus looks like, as ported by the team at WebOS Ports. It's still a fairly early alpha project, and right now a lot of emphasis is being put on getting all of the things (radios, apps, etc) working. But there's some visual work to be done too - in particular getting Open webOS appropriately scaled to the screen.
As released to open source, the user interface of Open webOS 1.0 is formatted for larger screens, ideally at least seven inches diagonally with a resolution of no greater than 200 pixels per inch. The Galaxy Nexus has a 4.65-inch screen, with a pixel density of 316 pixels per inch. Without modification, Open webOS on the Galaxy Nexus is miniaturized, with everything about forty percent the size of what it is on the 9.7-inch TouchPad. Icons are tiny, menu bars are narrow, and text is minuscule.
Homebrew developer Josh Palmer (also known as @ShiftyAxel), a fixture in the WebOS Ports operation, decided to dedicate some time to fixing the user interface in Open webOS to be compatible with that of smaller-screened devices. He's posted a batch of images to Twitter showing off bigger app icons and a Just Type search bar, a more spacious app launcher grid, and a more appropriately-sized lock screen clock and unlock dragger. And for those of us who are fans of the more 'organic' user interface tweaks from the older webOS smartphones, Palmer showed off the return of the rounded screen corners and a bottom-docked notification bar (we hope it can include the stacked notifications from the TouchPad).
While it will still be a good while before Open webOS is fully useable on a Galaxy Nexus (or any other device), but we're still pleased to see this sort of progress being made along the way.