Tweaking Open webOS for phone-sized screens | webOS Nation

Tweaking Open webOS for phone-sized screens 17

by Derek Kessler Tue, 23 Oct 2012 8:14 pm EDT

Tweaking Open webOS for phone-sized screensLast 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.


Derek. please keep these updates coming. I can't wait to come back to webos. android is so blah. but I must say I have gotten used to a screen keyboard on a phone never thought I would say that.

I second Greg Mair!

I *LOVE* this! I see the beginning of a path that will lead to an eventual successor to my Pre 3 :) Keep up the great work, webOS Ports!

rounded corners rock, keeps me calm

those round corners should be avaible on tablets too, I dont get it why HP/Palm remove them from 3.0...

Wow, that REALLY IS exciting. Thanks so much for all your work, everyone!

I really wasn't sure what to make of this project when it started, but this really gives me hope that it'll see the light of day.

Please keep us posted! =)

Don't give Josh all the credit for the rounded corners or the notifications. Those were (are) already present in the code (even that that's in webOS 3.x). It's a simple variable switch. Everything else: great job, Josh.

we are getting to it - UI wise.

awsome now we are talking

This reminds me how important visuals are: While there's still a ton of work to do (as far as I know, not a single radio works yet, so it's not actually usable), people see this as an important advance.

Also, I red somewhere else in this site that both webOS Ports AND HP people are fixing things along the way. I thought there were almost no webOS programmers left in HP, I'd love to be proven wrong. If there's collaboration, this is great, great news!

Go Open webOS team!

Me have Hulk hands, want to smash screen keyboards that work bad with Hulk fingernails.

But the Pre3 keyboard still makes me calm and rational, though my hands don't change color and shrink, unfortunately!

Oh well, at least the min-I-pad will fit in my whitecoat pocket and not weigh a ton like this TouchPad I still use when not walking around the hospital.

and a big "thanks" to the Open webOS team for your work; I hope that by this time next year I can carry an OWOS mini tablet at work, and just have web versions of my med apps open.

and lets push for Ares 2 while we are at it! Then I'd be coding webOS medical apps again, too.

Excellent! As the invisible functionality is being worked on, it is nice to be able to see improvement like this. It definitely gives me more sense of progress and further hope. I'm seriously thinking of ditching Verizon so that I can get on a gsm network to be able to use Open webOS. Until then, my trusty Pre2 will have to keep me going.

Thanks ShiftyAxel!

Derek & Shifty,
Thanks so much for working on this and covering it.
We can use all the good news and hope that we can get.
A usable build of Open webOS on recent hdware with soft keyboard and gesture control would rock!!!
Please keep up the good work!

Please for the love of god, make an open webos watch with a touchscren and bluetooth to sync notifications like texts and email. I will write any number on this check just please make this for me and I will love you forever.

Great, I love those rounded screen corners !!! Looks so neat, so typically webOS, so appropriate with the card-metaphor etc. etc.

Why would a VZW GNEX not be possible?

good to see the progress being made
seems that there may be life in WebOs yet
targeting a Nokia phone for porting may be a good strategy
they have resurrected Symbian for their advanced camera phone & Windows has yet to master a mobile OS
too bad HP lacked the vision to see that mobile computing is the future & that WebOs is a jewel of an OS for mobile devices