The webOS Wish List: Synchronized webOS Accounts
While we don't have all the details on what exactly Open webOS Professional Edition will include, we imagine the cloud services of Gram in way of webOS Account support are practically a given. What's webOS without the web, anyway? We had high hopes when HP revealed that webOS 3.0 on the TouchPad would support multiple devices on the same profile, overturning the rule of one devices per account from the days of webOS smartphones. And while that multiple device support was technically true, it was underwhelming. You could restore a new TouchPad from any device backed up to your account and download purchased apps from the App Catalog on devices using the same webOS Account, but the true multiple devices on a single account that we really wanted just wasn't there.
Take, for example, Memos. With a new TouchPad you could download all of your backed-up memos from your Pre smartphone onto the tablet, but any edits you made would only be stored on the TouchPad. Sure, the Pre might not be able to handle the pushing of edits back down from the cloud. But what about two TouchPads on the same account? Surely they could handle sharing a database of notes? Maybe, but for whatever reason the webOS Account system was never set up to handle that. Once you downloaded a backup onto a fresh device, you started a new branch, and there was no merging.
Memos are just one part of the puzzle. There are a number of webOS Account services that could have used this kind of synchronization across devices, including apps, Tasks, Calendar, Contacts, bookmarks, and more. This sort of multiple device support was only good for preventing somebody from having to purchase the same app twice for multiple devices, for everything else it was a disappointment.
To add to that sting, Apple unveiled almost exactly what we wanted for the iOS and Mac devices in the form of iCloud in early June of 2011. The TouchPad had been announced four months earlier, and despite having 'web' in the name of name of its operating system was severely bested in the web services category by iCloud.
Essentially, this Wish List entry is about iCloud, except for webOS. I don't necessarily want all of the bells and whistles that come with iCloud - I don't need my music and photos backed up in the cloud (though having the option to have them transferred to my computer by way of the cloud wouldn't be a bad thing, though that's another story). I want the continuous client. I want to be able to set down my TouchPad and pick up my Pre - or whatever devices are eventually running Open webOS - and have synchronized tasks lists, a cork board full of memos, and all of my bookmarks there waiting for me. And really, for a company like Gram that's going all focused on the cloud, this should be a no-brainer.
Have your own thoughts on this or any other webOS Wish List entry? We fully expect you to. That's why we have the comments, it's your place to say how right (or wrong) we are. And we have little doubt you have your own ideas as to what ought be on the webOS wish list, and so we've created a forum thread just for that - and an awesome discussion it has proven to be.