webOS 2.0 details: Stacks, Just Type, Exhibition, and more! | webOS Nation
 
 

webOS 2.0 details: Stacks, Just Type, Exhibition, and more! 195

by Dieter Bohn Tue, 31 Aug 2010 4:08 pm EDT

webOS 2.0

webOS 2.0 is due out later this year and Palm has dropped some serious details about what's coming in the new OS to us. In addition to lots of goodness for developers in the form of new APIs and a SDK Beta download available today, we have the details on some user-facing features. Here's the short version:

  • Palm's multitasking 'card' metaphor is getting a refresh with Stacks
  • Universal Search is getting majorly beefed up with 'Quick Actions,' will be opened to developers, and rebranded as Just Type
  • Apps can have custom Touchstone at-a-glance views with Exhibition
  • Synergy is opening up to developers
  • HTML5 and Javascript support is much improved
  • Hybrid PDK/SDK apps will be fully supported

Palm's announcements today are primarily directed toward developers, so much of what you're going to see is about frameworks and not features - the killer user-facing features will come from webOS developers and (hopefully) from Palm themselves in future announcements. There's still plenty to dig into with the above features, though, so join us after the break as we get a peek into what Palm has planned for webOS 2.0.

Stacks

Palm is calling Stacks "The next generation of multi-tasking." With it, Palm is extending their card multitasking metaphor to support an even greater number of tasks. The idea here is simple: When you are doing multiple things on your phone, your cards are 'stacked' together in a small fan based on their association with each other. So if you get an email, reply to it, and then go back to tap a link in the original email, those three cards would be stacked together in a small fan separated from your other card stacks.

Developers won't need to do anything to enable stack functionality, instead webOS 2.0 will 'figure out' which cards should be stacked together based on activities. If you don't like how webOS groups your cards, Palm says that you'll be able to easily manage the cards in each stack and transfer a card from one stack to another.

Just Type

Palm is rebranding Universal Search as "Just Type" and we'll admit we're happy with the change: "Just Type" is a philosophy we've been espousing here for quite a long time and the goal here is to make that philosophy more obvious to new users. To that end, you can see in the screenshot above that Just Type now gets a permanent place on the webOS home screen.

Obviously, you can "Just Type" to initiate a search, however you can also tap that search box to start a search as well. It seems to us like having a persistent search box for "Just Type" would be pretty important if, say, there happened to be some hardware that lacked a physical keyboard to start a search with. That's just us speculating here (speculating like a fox).

The more exciting changes here are underneath the hood: developers can now open up their apps to Just Type searches, making them fully searchable from anywhere on the phone. Additionally, developers can create Just Type plugins for any service they can imagine - adding the ability to search specific web sites, use different search clients not built-into the OS, and more.

However the most exciting addition here are Quick Actions. This is another reason to rebrand Universal Search as Just Type - because it's no longer just about search. Just Type will be able to both search and initiate actions directly from the interface. So, for example, a developer could make a "Tweet This" Just Type action so users could type a tweet and send it all from the Just Type Interface. Sending emails, text messages, adding todo items, setting alarm reminders, making appointments... we imagine pretty much any text-based action could be initiated from the Just Type screen.

Quick Actions in Just Type might be the feature we're most excited about. Anybody who has experienced the power of Quicksilver on OS X knows that the ability to 'Just Type' some text and then perform any action you want with it should be pumped for this feature. There are so many possibilities here we worry that the UI could get overwhelmed with options.

Exhibition

We've seen hints of this feature before, but Palm's making it official: apps will now be able to have a 'dock mode' for when the device is set upon a Touchstone charger. Palm is calling the feature 'Exhibition' and at least as it was described to us it's simple and straightforward: an app can register an Exhibition view that will be displayed when docked.

Palm is going to create a few Exhibition views to get things started, but the idea is for developers to create things like stock apps, slideshows, clocks, and more apps that are designed to be displayed automatically while on the Touchstone.

Unfortunately, only one app at a time can be displayed here - we're not in Chumby-killer territory here (not that the Chumby needs killing). While we're excited about the what can happen here, we'll admit that forcing users to pick just one Exhibition app instead of letting you switch between them seems unnecessarily limiting. We'll see how it gets implemented, but we worry this is a killer feature hobbled by over-cautious execution.

Palm will obviously be tweaking their default lockscreen-timeout when on the Touchstone. We could see some interesting things happen here as developers vie to create the 'one true Exhibition app,' but in the meantime it will be a nice way to get some glanceable information from your Pre or Pixi while it's docked next to your computer or bedside.

Synergy

Palm was the first to get the "pull everything onto your phone" ball rolling with Synergy, which brings Exchange, Gmail, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Facebook, AOL, and a bit more into your phone and ties them all together without muddying them all up with each other. Since that time, most other smartphone makers have caught on and started offering similar features.

With webOS 2.0, Palm is opening up Synergy to 3rd party developers. They'll be able to offer their own services up to Synergy - for example by tying a currently non-supported IM service directly into Messaging and contacts. Palm suspects this could be big for regional carriers where social network services not called FaceBook are more popular. However it could also be useful for a corporation looking to get non-Exchange intranets hooked up to webOS.

For now, the new Synergy APIs will allow developers to hook into Contacts, Calendar, and Messaging. More webOS data types will come later. No word yet on whether or how Palm plans on tweaking the core Synergy functionality - we've been waiting for the ability to only sync selected Facebook contacts and for Twitter and Facebook to get deeper integration. Motorola borrowed ideas from Synergy, but they added "Most recent status update" throughout the OS for contacts. We think it's high time for Palm to do some borrowing of their own.

Javascript Services

Palm is making a transition from straight-up Java services to Javascript services with webOS 2.0. What does this mean for developers? It means webOS will be offering a framework that is more familiar to web developers and more in-line with Palm's web-centric philosophy with webOS.

Palm is standardizing on the Node.js runtime environment - a structure that should not only allow for faster data access but will also allow web developers to leverage more of the knowledge they've already built-up.

What does it mean for users? More speed, hopefully. When Palm first revealed that they'd be moving towards using more Javascript back in April, they emphasized that that it would allow for background operations to run more efficiently. Palm also mentioned the db8 database structure at that conference, but so far Palm hasn't made it clear whether or not that would hit in webOS 2.0.

HTML5

Javascript isn't the only place where webOS 2.0 is moving more towards common web standards - they're also adding significant support for the latest in HTML5 technology. They're adding enhanced canvas support, web storage (both local and session), geolocation, and Application Cache so HTML5 apps can work in offline mode. We are assuming that hardware-accelerated CSS transitions are also coming.

Another piece of developer excitement Palm revealed during their April Developer Day conference was Mojo Core, which is also definitely coming in webOS 2.0. What Mojo Core does is allow web developers to use the frameworks they're already using with their web apps and get them going on webOS with minimal effort. Whereas previously webOS developers needed to re-factor their code to work with Palm's Mojo framework, with webOS 2.0 Mojo Core will offer the basic webOS elements like scenes, views, etc programmatically to other coding frameworks. In other words: instead of completely rewriting web apps in Mojo, web developers can utilize Mojo Core to get their existing frameworks talking webOS' language more quickly.

Hybrid PDK Apps

You've probably heard of PDK apps in the context of the rich 3D games that you can get on webOS (like Angry Birds, Need for Speed, and more). "PDK" actually stands for "Plug-in Development Kit" and the idea is that it is meant to work like the Flash Plug-in on your browser: Intense native code running as a 'Plug-in' on top of standard web elements. To date, PDK apps haven't quite worked like that - the 'web' portion of most PDK apps have been little more than "PDK stuff goes here."

That changes with webOS 2.0, when PDK apps are genuinely able to act as plug-ins on top of standard webOS SDK code. So developers will be able to mix both standard webOS SDK elements with native PDK code - for example having a spreadsheet app that displays a 3D chart with the PDK while showing the regular data via the SDK. Both the web-based code and the native PDK code will be able to communicate with each other in dynamic ways.

webOS 2.0 SDK Beta available now

Palm has made the beta for the SDK for webOS available to developers enrolled in Palm's Early Access Program. If you're the developer type that's interested in getting your hands on the webOS 2.0 SDK, you should send an email to pdc@palm.com and request access to the Early Access Program. To be eligible, you need to be both a registered developer and have an app in the Palm App Catalog. If you're already registered with the Early Access Program, all you need do is log in to the Palm Developer Center and the SDK will be there waiting for you.

The Beta SDK is emulator-only for now, so developers can test out the new functionality there - when it will work on devices isn't yet clear.

What's Next?

The above isn't an exhaustive list of what we can expect in webOS 2.0. In fact, it's mainly a list of the sorts of things that developers need to know so they can start taking advantage of the upcoming features. We hope and expect that plenty of the other features Palm talked about at their Developer Day conference - from Camera APIs to Microphone access to speedy db8 & cloud sync to the improved App Catalog - will also land with webOS 2.0. There are plenty of other webOS features - like Mojo Messaging for Push notifications that are still MIA.

More importantly, with a big jump from 1.4.5 to 2.0 (not excluding the possibility of an incremental update in between), we hope that there will be more new user facing features beyond Stacks, Just Type, and Exhibition. If nothing else, updates to Email, Google Maps, Gmail support, and more are all sorely needed.

However even with the features above we can see webOS 2.0 changing the way we use our device: leaving more cards open, using Just Type to initiate a huge portion of the activities we do on our phones, and the added speed and functionality promised by these back-end changes should all combine to make the release feel new again. Given that HP has joined Palm in embracing the Homebrew community, we also expect that the community of developers will find more ways to extend webOS into places it hasn't yet reached.

195 Comments

Holy _______ :o I'm excited :)

GAH i just came... need new pants....

The only thing that I can say is this:
It better work with my current Pre.

*speechless*

must...have...

need...new...hardware

...My current 1st gen Pre is plenty fast. New hardware = $500 out of pocket. No thank you. I like my money, thanks.

If it doesn't work for the original Pre, I won't be having any of it.

I was told on Twitter that things should work just fine on current hardware.

As long as you've got Uber running @ 1GHz. No version of webOS runs good @ 500,

Sorry, I worded it weird (obviously)

I meant to say I want new hardware, not that I'll need it for 2.0, my 1Ghz is well prepped for it.

I actually enjoy webOS so much that I'll be willing to pay full price for a newer handset.

I'm ____________ right there with you. I don't hear anything I don't like here. But I still do see a number of issues which will hopefully be resolved with 2.0.

First off, let me just say that I love webOS and think it lays the foundation for the best mobile experience going. It really is a revolution. There are lots of things that could use improvement on every platform. As webOS is my chosen platform, I am acutely aware of what is awesome about it and what needs work. It's not like I'm jumping ship tomorrow because of the below. I just hope Palm reads this list and maybe takes some of it to heart!

Thus, I'm waiting patiently before getting too excited. Here are my seven fantasies that would make my go from liking my Pre to loving it.

1) PIM: I know this announcement is for developers, and does not speak to what Palm has in store for it's own software, but the simple fact of the matter is that Garnet remains the most useful PDA tool out there. Being a PDA is what any Palm device needs to be first and foremost, and the awful calendar, Synergy nonsense, and no native notes sync remains a black eye on an otherwise great tool. Also, tasks suck. Job #1 for Palm's own software development team should be to get PIM capabilities roughly on par with where they were on my old Treo 680.

2) Backup: I don't like how a restore of the phone (or a switch to a new one) is so painful. On my old Treos, I docked 'em, pressed the HotSync button and presto, my new phone was exactly the same as my old phone. All my messages, documents, applications (with their settings/saves), etc., were there. It would be amazing if Palm Profile were made more robust so that this happened after a Doctor or move. However, I recognize that a) bandwith is expensive and b) lots of people (like me) don't trust the cloud, so putting all that info up there should be optional; keyword encryption like Mozilla uses with Weave/Sync would make it so that even Palm employees couldn't nose around in our SMS logs. However, if even just USB functionality were opened up enough that a third party could release "Save/Restore 2.0 with Desktop Backup", that would be great. That would also enable desktop sync without worrying about Wi-Fi. Which brings me to...

3) Wi-Fi: If this is to be a business phone, it has to be able to connect with business networks, and that means PEAP. Please get PEAP working properly. My old Nokia E71 could connect to my work network and my shiny new Pre can't...

4) Backup: I don't care for Synergy at all, but lots of people do. That being said, if you're going to open up Synergy features to developers, for the love of Pete, make one of those Memos. Then maybe we could get decent memo syncing from a third party without needing our own app (and please see (1) above about making CANT apps not suck). Open Tasks for the same reason.

4) Synergy: Can there please be an option to un-Synergize? That is, to take all my contact information from my Exchange account and my personal account (I happen to use Yahoo!, but Hotmail or gmail or whatever) and whatever other accounts I have and make them the same. That is, a change to one hits my device and then percolates through to the other services I use. Some people might want separate address books for work and home. I don't. But I'd like to be able to set up categories and color code my contacts by them (again, see (1)) so that I could still keep them kinda separate.

5) Notifications: Notifications are definitely one of the things that webOS gets really, really right already. How about if a swipe-to-the-right clears (like it does now) but a swipe to the left brings up a new window with a "bother me again in..." option.

6) Back-swipe: Since it's inception, back swipe has been backwards. A swipe to the left is forward!!! When I'm turning a page, I start with my hand at the right, and then I drag it to the left. Even though I have a launch Pre, I still get this uncomfortable feeling every time I swipe to go back. Please make it an option to switch which way a swipe can be to trigger backwards or forwards.

7) Pinch-to-zoom: People like pinch-to-zoom, but actually, it sucks. They like it because they haven't used swirl-to-zoom. Clockwise swirls zoom in around the center of the swirl, counterclockwise swirls zoom out (you could switch that for our friends down under :P). Why is it better? One-handed operation. Don't take out pinch-to-zoom, but adding swirl to zoom would make one-handed use much more possible.

I hope to be _______ing ________ soon! With some changes in these areas I'll really be rearin' for 2.0.

"6) Back-swipe: Since it's inception, back swipe has been backwards. A swipe to the left is forward!!! When I'm turning a page, I start with my hand at the right, and then I drag it to the left. Even though I have a launch Pre, I still get this uncomfortable feeling every time I swipe to go back. Please make it an option to switch which way a swipe can be to trigger backwards or forwards."

Seriously??

hahaha, I got a good full laugh from this. Not because I disagree with the poster of that 6th point, but because I can understand the dilemma. Its funny, I never thought of the swiping that way. There definitely should be a patch for it, though I wouldn't use it. Its been working against some people's muscle memory or habits.

Good point, that was an interesting find.

When I turn my phone into landscape mode and try to scroll through a Web page vertically, I always swipe the wrong way at first, because Palm has switched the metaphor. To go "back" to the top of the page, you start with your finger at the top and pull down (as though you were dragging the page) which makes perfect sense. But I've been so trained by back being inverted everywhere else that this is totally jarring. At the very least, make it consistent!

So yes, seriously. For a device with as much "Zen" as the Pre has, this is, to my mind, a glaring interface glitch. Perhaps I am over-sensitive because human factors was my undergraduate major, but man oh man, does this one bother me.

Alright, I could see it making sense both ways. Just a funny quirk that obviously irks you. I don't like the word "salve" or "panties."

Speaking of human factors, which I've worked with in R&D, here's one in daily life that always gets me thinking...bathroom mirrors. You know how we all face a mirror in the morning and comb out the bed head or adjust a tie? The image that we take with us as being "ok, that looks good" and walk out into the world is opposite of what we actually look like since it's a freakin' mirror. We're all living a lie!! Video screen bathroom mirrors, people. We need 'em. There should be an app for that...and throw WebOS 2.0 up on the mirror while you're at it so I can scan a few emails while I brush my teeth.

lol ur back swipe comments, and pinch zoom comments are funny.... i can pinch zoom with one hand NO problem, i however agree with you though, would be nice if the user could customize things ALOT more than they currently can, example, only real gesture customization we have is advanced gesture.. also agree with the backup of our data, we should be able to backup to our pc, (we sort of can just by copying data from the "flash drive" portion to our computer, but i dont think that gets everything

Palm, if you're listening, can you have it so that a user can opt to have their card view, the way you show the "stack" view. I'd love to be able to flick my cards around as if they looked like a deck of cards. I can see far more open cards at once, instead of just 1.5

Looks great!

HOLY CANOLIS!!

That just happened. We are number 1....again.

Apple: This changes everything. Again.
HP: Think again, Apple.

Wow...this looks exciting.

"So if you get an email, reply to it, and then go back to tap a link in the original email, those three cards would be stacked together in a small fan separated from your other card stacks."

This is awesome, tbh. Very useful for rss apps, imo.

And what's that, a Touchstone mode? And here I thought they were phasing out the Touchstone because it burns up batteries.../s

it'll be interesting to see what devs do with Just Type. But what I'm looking forward to most is some improved default apps and features. The Calendar and Email programs in particular are just awful.

HP/Palm: Please keep the TouchStone and extend the functions.

I know, TS charging is sometimes slow. I know my Pre gets pretty warm during TS charging.

But I like the concept of the TS, the concept of Exhibition AND I just bought 2 TouchStones Docks with 2 Chargers / Power Supplies.

Is anyone else as excited about all of this as I am?

I like it, but I am not sold yet. If there is still only 10 hours of battery life and it takes more than 5sec to open up a text email than I am not sold. All of these other features are nice, but the core functionality still seemed lacking for me.

Well if the Java and Javascript engines gets optimized to be more CPU efficient, I would be surprised if we see no help there.

I can already picture webOS running with Uber 1G and what it would look like...

If your email is taking more than 5 sec to open then you need to get your phone looked at or maybe doctor it.

10 hours is par for the course with smartphones.

I can't wait for my Palm PAD running 2.0!

I am with you on this one. I won't buy a WebOS phone just yet, but I would love to try out the new OS on something that doesn't lock me into a contract.

I have to admit that I love my Pre Plus. I can't imagine going back to something that isn't webOS based. I had to get one phone replaced early on and I used my Treo 650 for a couple of days. It was torture! I couldn't handle using the old PalmOS.

I hope that I can always use a webOS phone. Don't want anything else.

Is it me or does "Stacks" seem like something that might overcomplicated a somewhat simple concept.

I'm sure it's a feature that can be enabled or disabled. From what I see it's like in Windows you can group windows from the same app into one taskbar button.

Nah, it's just you.:p I really do hate when I'm clicking a link and it opens up four cards down. This is cleaner and saves screen real estate.

yeah this will be an interesting feature. i encounter links in emails on a daily basis that link out to the web card. what happens when i'm done looking at the link and i want to reply back to the person who sent me the email. i certainly dont want to swipe up and end both the email and web, i want to end just the web. is there any potential in utilizing the swipe down? swipe up could be individually, swipe down for the whole stack. if anything though, have swipe up be the top card is the most logical solution for me right now.

swipe down from the screen brings a card to full size view when in "card view"

Depends on how they handle it.

If the sweep up to close closes the stack, then I can see it being nice but lead to lots of accidents (complicated). If it's just sweep to close the top card in the stack, then I can see it getting annoying (not complicated).

Tap and toss - Top card.
Tap, hold, and toss - Entire stack.

they will probably reserve the tap and hold to just moving things around. the article mentions the ability to move cards from one stack to another and i imagine organizing the stacks as well... guess we'll just have to see...

And maybe an UNDO gesture in case the user ACCIDENTALLY tosses an entire stack... I wouldn't want go through that!

If we're keeping the card metaphor going, the desktop should be called the "tableau", what they will be calling "stacks" should be called "cascades", the quick-launch bar should be called the "foundations", and there should be a "waste pile", where the recently used cards sit, face up (so to speak), to be cleared away as new memory is needed. If no new application has requested that RAM, the waste pile is still there to go back to and pluck an app out of, like cheating at solitaire.

Basically, the waste pile means, I'm done with this for now. You may clear it if you need it. To forcibly close an app, you toss it from the waste pile again.

If would work for apps like the recycle bin works for files.

I like cascades instead of stacks also.

But from a marketing perspective Stacks plays better and is more understandabale than Cascades.

Highly debatable. I personally hate the name stacks.

But, as I said, it doesn't much matter what you call it...

cascades is a winblows term, same with desktop(its called the home screen) i agree with the renaming of quick-launch, but foundations?? really??? why not the fua bar (sounds like foo bar XD)and the "waste pile" would just consume more ram, thus sucking our crappy 1300 mah batteries dry even faster (although they could make a paging system and keep it stored there if there already isnt one in existance, but still would use battery).... hp and Palm are trying to stray away from anyting windows, AS THE EVIL mr jobbs says... " the pc era is over" (personally i think thats a load of bull plop)

ps tableau just sounds silly XD "hey check out my background on my tableau" friend.. " shutup douch

joy!

Bam!!

HOLY


nuff said.

Hype meter for new palm phone rising.

I really like the new api's they are adding, like allowing Custom Im's to be added, kinda dont like the renaming of universal search, sounds a bit simple. Also hope there is a lot more to come (like push notification)

So since the SDK Beta is now available, does this mean we can expect webOS2.0 to be out by October?

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.

Any other opinions??

This is announced one day before I am eligible for an upgrade on Sprint... AWESOME NEWS! I was starting to lose hope that Palm was actively working on something new. HP/Palm, continue to improve the the world's greatest mobile operating system!

Alright, so my first thought was that this looks very cluttered. Maybe I am just resistant to anyone changing my beautiful, clean WebOS... Maybe it will look better on a larger screen. Still looks much better than iOS or especially Android.

yeah i can see that before you first reaction, but i actually welcome some functionality to a rather useless start screen. its nice to pick out backgrounds every once in awhile, but being uncluttered doesnt necessary mean that you dont have to do anything. the addition of the stack seems unobtrusive, and the just type form bar seems like a very smart idea that people will respond to. its always there. ios is just apps..apps apps apps. android has waay too much going on without any design sense. with all that muscle, google still struggles on executing cleanly.

this could be a good thing. hopefully they can still preserve the beautiful clean webos that it is now...

What about the other stuff like Bluetooth profiles and Audio APIs?

FINALLY! Palm news! Welcome back, guys. We missed you.

Really interesting. Really great to know they are not just trying to play catch up but really improve the things that already are distinguishing features. Great to know webOS has its own roadmap.

I would tend to believe all these things would be under NDA, I suppose they would leak anyway whenever devs get it. EDIT: Oh, ok, is up there super public on the developer web site.

nice but most of the new feat. Seem only to work on at least a pre plus... Sprint pre will defently be outrunned till we might get the voice recorder function...darn

I love how when Palm improves on their already awesome multitasking, they do it in such a way that the developers of apps don't have to worry about it. Hey apple, take some notes on that one.

woa... Pls come 1rst to sprint :) ........

from a Mexican Pre :P

Whew! I'm so excited and I'm not even a developer. WebOS 2.0 is now in the cradle and soon Palm users are gonna be rockin'. Keep up the great work HP/Palm.

Hmmm, with the stacks feature, I'm assuming they'll be putting a lot more ram and a faster processor in the new hardware to be able to handle all those open cards and application switching... Also, I agree with the analysis of always having the Just Type bar visible, just in case there's no physical keyboard... Exciting times.

yeah i feel ya on the hardware front. i hope we are not going to see a sequel where there's a lot going on in the OS, but the hardware is lagging behind. i welcome all these new features, and hope that the pair it with something that makes everything shine.

This is just a UI enhancement, it doesn't mean more or less cards/apps than you were using before, so why would it need a lot more RAM than the Pre Plus? And everyone knows the new hardware will have a faster processor.

i think its less about more or less and more about how its being handle. and 'just a UI enhancement' is life or death.

webOS 4 LIFE!!!!!!

Jeese! This kinda news seems to justify hanging on for the PRE 2! I am going to be watching things closely so I can return my Epic 4G within 30 days...

hmmmm. just type? sounds ok but i like my desktop clean. i dont want "Just Type" over my wallpaper all the time. Why does there have to be a box if i can "just type"? i even have my phone patched to hide the bar at the bottom becuase whats its point if i can just swipe up to open the menu?

a mobile device is meant to do more than just have one image as a background all the time. how much functionality is being wasted just to allow a picture of kittens to be there? i do have second thoughts about the just type bar, that will be just one extra thing to tap when im ready to 'just type.' now all i have to do is get to the card view and start typing. im wondering if i have to swipe up to get to the card view and then click on the just type form bar. we are trying to cut down on keystrokes and gestures!

Speculative answer is: it is there so you can touch it to pull up the virtual keyboard. It is there for slates and tablets. I'd rather see a gesture that opens that box and the keyboard.

I agree. I hide my launcher too. Maybe there will be a patch to hide this. lol. It is kind of unnecessary when its supposed to be JUST type. Not tap and type. lol. And its the same idea as universal search now so why not just add the features to universal search and change the name? I mean, I probably wont complain TOO much when its there but still...

And also, if this feature is for tablets, then keep it on a tablet. Why have it on my phone? And why have a tablet that does the exact same thing as your phone?

unfortunately most users (especially new users) don't realize you can just type. Most people don't know how easy it is to patch either. Some people you need to put stuff right in front of their face to get them to realize it.

I agree with the original comment. I love the simple UI design of WebOS and am worried about the "just type" box as well as the stacks (I'm can't see at the moment what benefit they'd be except to look fancy). Clearly some of the new features including the new functions in "just type" will be great. When I moved over from Winmo (which is a lot better than people give it credit) I was worried about losing home screen info. In fact it's never been an issue. I actually prefer the very organised layout of WebOS. Therefore I hope there's a way to get rid of "just type" box for those of us that already know that they can "just type". Maybe more time/money should be spent on training sales staff to show potential customers that they can "just type". In fact, if i'd wanted a bunch of search boxes and widgets I would have bought an android phone. Putting the "Just type" box on the home screen is just clutter. I think some of the points raised so far such as "it's probably to bring up a virtual keyboard" etc are valid. The simplicity of the WebOS design is impressive in how well it works.

I'm going to throw this out there. Perhaps the reason so many of the WebOS founding designers have left is because of the direction the UI design team was told to head by the new owners.

Hyped for the new features!!!! Will 2.0 make the Pre faster with its optimizations?

Correct me if I'm wrong but currently WebOS doesn't use the OMAP embeded GPU, right? So will 2.0 use it?

Let's go! And I'm so glad!

So now with Just Type and Quick Actions, the Keytoss and Command Line patches can be made public through the App Catalog.

Hey, the touchstone app thingy is neat and all, but what about those of us who use extended batteries and can no longer use a touchstone.

Palm needs to release a 'TDK'... sort of a 'touchstone developer kit' or program which would allow third party battery vendors to make touchstone compatible backs for their extended batteries!

There was a DIY Touchstone hack that showed how you could rig other phones like Droid to use the Touchstone. I would imagine it would be even simpler to do it for a Pre with an extended battery. It would just be a matter of pulling apart a Touchstone back and maybe extending the connection a little.

LOL theres mods for certain battery backs to get em to work with touchstones, its really not up to palm to make a ridiculous "tdk" not that any sort of thing would ever exist, HOWEVER palm/hp, should get off their @$$3$ and make a dang battery that actually lasts more than 6 friggin hours! seriously tho!

The #1 thing I want? A Virtual Keyboard that "just works" and is part of the OS, a la iOS. I have tried the patch, and still a bit buggy on my Pre plus...

I wonder if they don't mention Virtual Keyboard because that would be part of new hardware with no physical keyboard. So keep your fingers crossed that they might bring it!

Fairly easy to assume the search box is there to open a virtual keyboard. On a physical keyboard, Just Type is easy. With a virtual keyboard, there has to be a way to open the keyboard from the desktop. In apps and on web forms, the keyboard is opened by tapping in a text/search box. This just gives you the same functionalitly when you do not have any apps open.

idk if I'd like stacks or a just type search bar. Just type would be good for new users, but I hope I can turn it off. Everything else sounds incredible. I still want em to come through on push notifications tho

what are your views how 2.0 will be distributed? i suspect it makes a lot of sense for Palm/HP to sell it, not give it for free. Would we buy it? And it makes even more sense to launch it with new hardware (or why not increasing the clock speed in official kernel instead?). They must have been working with new hardware for 1,5 years now. I agree with Complex Pants that battery life needs serious improvement. My Treo 650 ran 5 to 10 days in a row w/o charge and a month when fully idle. That's battery life!

Sweet!

Not to be pessimistic but if palm doesn't come out with any new hardware this year I'm jumping ship! Pls for the love of GOD! come-out with a new phone already! They're killing us!

Increased functionality and performance, along with the surprise release of FLASH

Good, great, awesome!!! Can't wait! This opens up a whole range of new possibilities.

I just got the biggest grin in the world. I'm so excited or the release of 2.0...Stacks looks incredible, all the java script stuff that you guys (on the palmcast) have mentioned has me uber excited, better coding and scripting = better OS, and building off of webOS, the best OS out there, it just puts us even further ahead of cisco, err Apple iOS and Fragdroid.

thanks for the warning. I now have a geek boner on a busy city bus. My stop is coming up, I'm gonna have to think about my time with the Treo Pro to get it to go away. :)

I lol'ed.

In the past, what has been the lead-time between releasing an SDK like this and the actual release of the OS )and hopefully new hardware)? For hardware, I'm sort of hoping for something along the lines of the Blackberry Torch but with a more powerful processor, more memory, and WebOS.

This is great!!!! NO mention of FLASH!!! Love the renaming of Universal Search. JUST TYPE is very self explanatory, as well as STACKS, both are quite catchy too. I'm sure Palm's goal with the new apps STACKS and JUST TYPE is to increase consumer awareness of Pre & Pixi capabilities and kick ass in sales and device performance! Webos is number one!

mm if only apple didnt name their file-aggregating dock folder...STACKS.

So now with Just Type and Quick Actions, the Keytoss and Command Line patches can be made public through the App Catalog.

I'm incredibly excited... just might be what I needed to keep me waiting for more palm handsets. I love my pre plus but with verizon taking forever to release 1.4.5 im getting nervous about the lack of support for this under-appreciated OS.

Just a note since they don't mention it: I personally think those angled ("fanned") cards are a dead giveaway that webos 2.0 will finally have hardware accelerated graphics. It's one thing to be able to easily resize a "live" card but rotating them, especially the PDK apps is probably a lot hard. I doubt the current line of hardware could manage that trick on that many cards without some assistance.

Or I'm just a wishful thinker.

SPRINT PALM PRE AND SPRINT PIXI finally FREE at HP website

thats just another sign that the next webos device is coming very sooon

YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

yes, this makes it fairly obvious that new hardware is coming to sprint. Sprint probably turned down the pre plus to encourage people to upgrade to pre 2. It doesn't look like a sprint pre will handle stacks as it barely handles multitasking as it is. I only hope we don't get locked into a cycle of sprint getting new hardware, then verizon and att getting plus hardware a little down the line.

The timing of this announcement shows to me at least that they are pretty concerned about Pre users jumping ship for the Epic

Wow, very nice observation! hope it keeps some from switching.

So now with Just Type and Quick Actions, the Keytoss and Command Line patches can be made public through the App Catalog.

with HP giving away free phones with the purchase of a new computer, webOS is just gonna keep growing. I would like to see better functionality between the phone and the computer, especially if they're bundling them together.

Sweetness! Hopefully this means that Chapura can finally bring us sorely needed improvements to the Contacts and Calendar apps, if not full out replacements.

Oh so you don't want that Just Type bar? There's probably going to be a patch for that.
And I can't wait until I'll be using Quick Actions like "Preware update all".

and with custom searches we can find patches with the JUST TYPE

Looks like a nice update. Hopefully they find a way to shorten the amount of time it takes to restart/boot. Then I will be sold completely.Who am I kidding, I am already sold...but a shorter boot time would be nice ;)

I'd like to have a mode where all of the open cards are displayed on the screen at once instead of always having to go down the row to see what's open.

i think the new 'stacks' features seeks to address this, as it frees up a lot of that horizontal space, and condenses grouped and like cards together.

Yes, I believe it will help a lot, but wouldn't it be cool to have 9 apps showing at the same time in that tiny card view you get if you tap in the empty space below a card?

Kind of like how the browser window shows your bookmarks when you first open the web app? That would be neat, but I think the stacks would address some of that as well.

functionally it would be nice, but my understanding is that android does this exact same thing. as does apple's expose. what we have now on webos a tap below the cards, it expands out so the cards are smaller, which makes for scrolling across them much easier. if i have 11 cards open, i can scroll from one end to the other doing this.

the cards feature is both a blessing and a curse. while it does provide a neat, graphical way of displaying which apps are open and well, it is also graphically taxing to have this illustrated. anything involved the cards having to reorganize themselves from the card view into another grid-like view, i think that would welcome even more stuttering and hiccups than we have right now. and im wondering if there are stacks in the grid-like view, what would happen if i tapped on one of them? would it bring it back to card view or launch the top card? these are just some observations im seeing with having an expanded grid view. i would prefer it if we kept things smart, and not too fancy. webos is already flashy, which is nice to look at, but from a technical standpoint, which we can clearly is what happened to the pre, its definitely tough on the hardware if its not up to the challenge.

Double Post

And when your with me and my PreManiacs.. your in 4 Life Brother!!!!

I am so pumped about the stacks idea. hopefully we will never see the "too many stacks" error. lol.

seriously though this is freaking awesome news. Palm always had the best UI and why let it falter and copy cats come up.. keep the competition on their toes. Iphone users will be sad when they see this and immediately make some kind of crappy pro switcher app to resemble it.

for some reason when I look at the screen shoot I can't stop looking at the launch bar and the gap at the bottom - it can't be there by mistake something tells me there's a surpise coming ... well I hope so anyway :)

wow good eye! maybe its raised so the background icons can fit down there and still look good rather than pushing up the whole screen.

Nothing about supporting higher resolutions? Surely they're not going to run the PalmPad at 420 x 340

yessir!

No mention of mike API or any voice control features? This is the one area where webOS seems to be really behind the curve.

Aaaannnndddd....the wait for the Verizon upgrade begins...

Unfortunate they don

They have opened up the Synergy API to developers. So anyone can write a local sync app for people that don't feel that their data is safe in the cloud.

Ok, so am i the only one that thinks all of these features are designed more for a Pad then a phone?

Imagine the PalmPad on a TouchStone sitting on your coffee table in "Exhibition" mode scrolling family pictures (or bikini clad hotties, your choice), until you pick it up to check out your "Stacks" on all that expanded real estate? Or tapping the "Just Type" area to bring up the soft-keyboard to search your To Do's for the day (pad's have no keyboards) or to see what's on the T.V.?

HTML5, JavaScript, Hybrid Apps... All would look and function better on a larger screen.

Am I the only one concerned that these features, combined with the lack of new hardware announcements on a 15 month old phone, means the death of the WebOs phone? Or am i just being overly dramatic?

For the slate (I refuse to say "pad", and a tablet has a keyboard) I want side by side cards.

Are you being overly dramatic!

Perhaps, but i really do want to see a TouchStone on a coffee table with a PalmSlate (hmmm, doesn't ring the same as PalmPad) sitting on it scrolling pictures waiting to be used.

I think this is the wave of the future and will be the new Home Computer interface for normal mortals (read non-geeks). Geeks will always have a desktop or laptop (CompTops) around someplace, but most people just surf and type quick notes (facebook, twitter, email, etc.) anyway. Comptops are necessary only for programming and putting together large documents... and truth to tell, a PalmSlab (Slate/Pad let's compromise on Slab) with a keyboard could be used for even that.

Maybe it's just that i got my Pre from Sprint on Launch day (June 6th 2009) and i've had it now longer than i've had any phone. And i'm drooling over the Epic and the Evo... It's like going to a strip club and getting a dance from the finest thing you've ever seen and then going home to the woman you love and adore and who was beautiful in her prime but... but you still love her... *sniff *sniff* I WON'T LEAVE YOU BABY! I LOVE YOU WEBOS!!!!... *sniff*sniff* (I just wish that Android strip club would stop flashing all those hot new young things at me with their sexy stage names... Evo, Epic, Incredible, Tegra, Galaxy S [like we don't know what the S stands for], Droid X... Disgusting...)

1st, I'd like to say Im happy to hear something about 2.0. Even though I still don't even have 1.4.5 but whatever. In my opinion, this is exciting news. Stacks, however, seems like iPhones folders feature. Im sure Palm will use it better though. :) The just type is cool. However I don't know how I feel about the home screen search bar. I would much rather have it pop up once you start typing like it is now. If this is speculation that the next device will have no physical keyboard, I'm hoping otherwise. I don't like on screen keyboards. But I'd probably buy the new device anyway because Palm is awesome. lol. Other than that, 2.0 looks great. I cant wait to use it.

the iPhone's "folders' are for the launcher, not for open applications. You can't use them for task switching.

Sounds great! Will I be able to update my Pre Plus to 2.0, or will I need a new phone (that hopefully will be coming to AT&T before my May upgrade date!)

great things come to those who wait. ;)

What about:
(1) SD card?
(2) FULL local+SD backup+cloud?
(4) Desktop?

What about:
(5) Flash that been promised for months only to be given to Android first.

LOL, somebody validate Kinster please! He's got his emotional tin cup out, rattling some loose chance, please toss him a bone!!! Help him find the pride, to join the Android culture where he can celebrate his minor victories with others of his type. Dont make me bring Sally Struthers into PreCentral to deliver this message!!!!

I just wet myself a little.

I don't see any mention of flash, DRM, or codecs. Does that mean they aren't relevant to the SDK, or that there isn't likely to be any changes?

and yes, I know flash comes from adobe, etc. I was thinking in terms of things like flash+drm (aka Hulu).

just curious.

Hulu blocks mobile o/s's.

But porn....

You see magicians do this all the time...misdirection.. whats that you don't have 1.4.5? Oh we... LOOK OVER THERE ITS 2.0 AMAZING nothing up my sleeves.

All this looks and sounds exciting...but what hope is their if it takes 5 months after its release to make it on 2 of the major carriers in the US.
Sorry I'm bitter :-) But "This application cannot run on your current operating system." is getting old.

so you are satisfied with your pre hardware?

No...I don't think I mentioned anything about hardware. I still have some time left before I can upgrade my phone anyway so Palm Pre 2 doesn't solve anything for me. I would however like to head to precentral ... see a featured app and download it. Which I can't do now because whoever is at fault hasn't pushed 1.4.5 to my phone. I guess I was just trying to make a joke while pointing out the fact that neither palm nor verizon/AT&T make any statements about when they think we might see this update. Which in the grander scheme of things isnt terribly important...I just wanna play some Angry Birds.

I still need to remind the dev's a palm about the calendar, mail missing features...and docs need to improve as well as pdf.

But the sound of the improvements feels alright.

All of this dampness and turgidity over an OS update... and they say Android is the geek phone.

android is the phone for kids. Android as an o/s is pretty bland, but it does have a reputation for running on some pretty solid and well appointed hardware.

I wonder how the Just Type Bar will affect the Named Pages patches such as Sconix's Advanced Configuration for App Launcher?
Maybe it disappears when the launcher pages appear?

all hpalm needs to do now is remove the launcher icon from the quick launch bar! CAUSES ITS WORTHLESS!

i agree! give me another slot for an app

+1

Why? Seriously, please explain why it is worthless. FMI. (You can say FYI, why not FMI?)

its worthless because I never use it. the whole point of webos is to use the gesture area for navigation. Since day one I have never used the button. It sure would be nice to have an app of my choice take that space. At least give us the option of not having it there.

I concur. It was the first app i tried to remove from there. I'm upset that it hasn't been made an option in updates. It's a whole lot easier to swipe up than to use that button. For the same reason that they got rid of that useless ball in the stock pre's (which i have. The light is useful, the button is not).

You know you can swipe upwards from the gesture area to open the launcher from card view right? I've only pushed the launcher button once and it was a really, reeeeeeeeally long time ago.

+1

It's useful when using the wave. How else would you get to anything not on your quick list while using the wave?