webOS 2.0-running Roadrunner device pops up in app logs [Rumor]
Fair warning: file this one under "Crazy rumors we can't be sure will pan out but feel the need to share."
webOS developer Zhephree is an awesome dude and has created an awesome app with Foursquare. He’s also keen enough to check the app’s logs on webOSroundup's Metrix, presumably to see how many users had upgraded to webOS 1.4.5 (a good portion so far, it would seem). But that’s not what stood out to him. What stands out is an entry for the until now unheard of “Roadrunner” device and a spot for webOS 2.0 in the operating system charts.
Now we’ll be the first to admit that this is the first we’ve heard of any device called Roadrunner, though with webOS 2.0 (or 1.5 or whatever) set for release by the end of the year, and presumably new hardware in tow as well, we wouldn’t at all be surprised to find that the OS and/or hardware are being tested right now. And testing popular apps on that OS and/or hardware? Also not a surprising development. In fact, we’ve seen in the past new iPhone and iPod Touch hardware first outed by similar logs from iOS developers.
There’s not a whole lot more we can read from this, though it is worth noting that Zhephree’s logs did not show any new resolutions, just the 320x480 from the Pre and 320x400 of the Pixi. We do hope that any new webOS device will come with a higher screen resolution than what we have now, and there’s something at the back of our mind screaming “640x960 Retina display!”, which could very well report itself as 320x480 without diminishing the testing experience. We’re getting into pretty dangerous speculation area here, so we’ll stop while we’re ahead.
Of course, we should note that this is the sort of thing that’s possible to fake. It wouldn’t be easy, as Zhephree notes, but it could be done by somebody deliberately hacking the emulator, changing some fairly-deep settings on a device, or even modifying the openly-available code of the Foursquare app. In his own words:
Plus, the source for foursquare is open and on GitHub. Someone with the knowledge could easily download the source, modify the Metrix JS library I have included, and force it to post to my Metrix stats with whatever string they want. Granted, it would take some effort, but it's doable.
Then our only question would be the same one we keep asking of the developers submitting fake Flash apps to the Palm beta feeds: “Why?” So other developer type people: check your logs - is there a Roadrunner waiting there for you?
Source: Zhephree on Twitter; Thanks to everybody that sent this in!