The webOS Wish List: Default Applications | webOS Nation

The webOS Wish List: Default Applications 17

by Derek Kessler Sat, 19 Jan 2013 4:48 pm EST

The webOS Wish List: Default Applications

Way back with webOS 1.3.1 we got a surprise: the ability to set apps as a default app, letting you use third party apps as your default launcher, mapper, email, and the like. Only problem was, Palm and HP never got around to actually making the API for this public, so any app developers that included the code to allow their app to be listed as a potential default was denied access to the App Catalog.

That's a shame, considering there are a lot of apps that could have stood to have been nominated the default app in place of what was built-in on webOS. In fact, we'd imagine that the lack of default app support probably held back some development - why bother making a browser for a small platform like webOS if users can't even set things such that links automatically open it your app instead of the default one? Granted, that didn't stop homebrewers, but they shouldn't have had that roadblock in the first place - especially with a feature whose groundwork was so publicly outed in the Launcher app menu way back in 2009. All we ever officially got? The ability to choose between Maps (be it the original Google or the replacement Bing) and a built-in carrier-driven navigation app if there were one.

There are several replacement mapping apps in the App Catalog. There have been replacement browsers. There could be replacement email apps. The Google Voice apps could stand to intercept phone numbers and dial directly through the service. But that's not possible so long as the Default Applications option is locked down, but still peaking around the corner and taunting us with greyed-out options.

Have your own thoughts on this or any other webOS Wish List entry? We'd be disappointed if you didn't. That's why we have the comments, it's your place to say how incredibly right (or horribly wrong) we are, plus there's a poll! And we have little doubt you have your own ideas as to what ought be on the webOS wish list, and so there's a forum thread just for that where awesome webOS dreaming is the order of the day.


One thing you forgot though: there is a patch in Preware to set Advanced Browser as the default web browser and I created a patch on the forums to set Isis Web as the default web browser.

True, but people shouldn't have to install a patch to make it a reality.

I didn't say that that's the solution, I just said that you could've mentioned it in the article.

And as I recall, that patch for Advanced Browser was terrible (at least when I tried it)! Instead of just setting it as the default browser like one would expect, every link would first open in the stock browser, which would then trigger the link to be sent to Advanced Browser, and then it would close (toss off the screen) the stock browser card. All that... for every... single... link. Maybe it was fixed; I dunno, but that's what it did when I used it.

No matter what, WebOS is an incredible OS for installing almost any kind of patches, otherwise who knows what would happen.

Yeah, the patch thing is neat and fun. But even for me as an early adopter (got my Pre the day it was launched back in 2009) and as a highly experienced Linux user and developer (since 1995) the whole patch thing doesn't solve the problem. Even worse, every now and then a new megamix joins the feeds which combines 10-or-so other patches.

After hearing that webOS is going opensource I was quite excited and hoped to get fully functional webOS Updates for my Touchpad, my Pre 3, my Veer and perhaps even for the Pre(-). But then HP said "Ha-Ha!" again and left us with half-broken, half-baked Code for a Mobile OS that is stripped of nearly everything that made it competitive. We don't get even EAS with it.

The next "Ha-Ha!" in line might be Gram. "Listen, perhaps we bring a Smart TV with webOS. Really. Ok, we sucked at phones and we sucked at tablets but now we are trying to enter through the back door. Maybe we're lucky and maybe the API to that TV is so proprietary that good apps won't hit the other OSes before we build another webOS phone ... er... get LG to build one for us."

I don't know how long I stay with webOS. Perhaps as long as my devices last. But I'm definitely going to buy one of those Ubuntu Phones, once they are available.

Don't forget the Photos app! That's in need of some serious updating.
I'd like to see:

-Rotate pictures
-Upload to more services such as Picasa,, dropbox, etc (more of an Accounts issue)
-See filenames (maybe even edit filenames O_O)
-See more details (resolution, time & date taken, file size, etc.)
-Edit picture (crop, resize, etc.)
-Sort into folders and subfolders!

Most of this is basic functionality I still cannot believe was never added.

I was in on the Beta for the last 3 devices and the Photo's app was one that they did a LOT of updates to, but HP surprised everyone with early release and it became low priority. They knew there were a lot of items needed, but the teams simply had the rug pulled out from under them and had to release as-is. :( Was an 'interesting' time.

Oh don't forget selecting multiple pictures. Try deleting 30 or more pictures your child takes at one at a time. It takes a good while.

I agree, though sorting into folders is already possible.

I agree with Derek. I use universe browser and its very annoying when links open in stock browser

There actually *are* third party apps in the App Catalog that make use of "Default Applications" (associations with certain file extensions).
So it seems at least that is now allowed in the App Catalog.

+1 for this

even if setting default map app to google homebrew, there are still crossapp launch parameters that are in the way for a total maps integration. but fear not jan (72ka) is on the way fixing it.

Using the facilities for this is now allowed, although it's not documented anywhere other than a couple of developer forum posts talking about it.  
SynerGV 2 uses a similar method to supply links in the messaging app that you can tap to launch the application to retrieve voicemails or place return calls (Unfortunately, this is something that doesn't work on the phones because the phones messaging app doesn't recognize synergv:// as the start of a clickable link, like the TouchPad messaging app does .. so that's another feature that will have to be killed on phones, if I'm ever able to get S2 to work in a stable fashion on phones)
I don't think it can be attached to phone numbers, although I've honestly never tried taking over the "tel:" proto, not sure if that would have any effect or not.

That's what I never liked on early mobile OSes. None of them could handle replacement mappings properly. And every mobile OS seems to put up the same errors done by others before.

Andriod app support for WebOS....
And opera mini on WebOS.

I am using Palm Pixi Plus.. unable to get yahoo messenger ....may due to OS version. .. so a update on same mobile for webos will be great idea....