What features do you want Open webOS to "borrow" from the competition? | webOS Nation

What features do you want Open webOS to "borrow" from the competition? 104

by Derek Kessler Thu, 09 Aug 2012 10:26 pm EDT

What features do you Open webOS to

This month is supposed to finally bring the release of Open webOS 1.0. And while you won't be able to install it on pretty much anything, let alone your current webOS devices (at least out of the virtual box), that doesn't mean we aren't at least a little bit interested in what Open webOS will bring to the table. We're afraid that it's just going to be an open source version of webOS 3.0 with some updated back-end bits, but we'd love to be proven wrong.

We're sure you'd love for us to be proven wrong too, and honestly we're interested in how you want us to be proven wrong. At this point, webOS 3.0 is over a year old, and even at that time it was lacking in some feature areas. Sure, all of the big features were covered, but there were a bunch of small holes in need of filling. Since then those holes have grown substantially as competing operating systems have surged ahead on the features count.

So, webOS Nation, what do you want in Open webOS?



Before you all yell "TO BE ABLE TO INSTALL IT ON MY TOUCHPAD!", that's not the kind of feature we want to hear about. You know what we mean, and whining about not being able to install it on an 18-month-old devices isn't going to help.

Come on. FrankenPre with custom recovery tools. All the awesome tweaks to the OS. I won't be shocked to hear that this up and running on Touchpad, Pre, and even Android devices once the devs hack and disect it up.

so, can I say "I want it to be able to install on my Pre3"?

Seriously thinking, browser that is comparable to desktop browsers in features is most needed.

Email client also featuring things like folder, tags, email filters which is standard in desktop clients.

I think these should be the priority as they are what I use most on my TP.

yes to both. That's what adults need. A good browser can remove the need to download 100 apps.

My favorite feature, a device.

agree. Hardware is the only thing that matters. the rest is just hobbying until then.

I'd love to see a "Just Speak" function or something of the sort. I mean, HP paid $10 billion for Autonomy; I'd love to see the use-cases for that software on webOS.

Also, the native ability to mount USB drives (since it's already possible a la homebrew). Although, these aren't really 'borrowed.' But your final question, after all, was what we wanted to see in webOs, and those were just a couple on the list of many.

In China, WebOS device users have an app called Just Say, which is a simpler version of Siri. But currently it only supports Chinese, since the language recognition service only provides Chinese one.
Nuance just released NINA, which is also a natural language recognition and voice control SDK, so it might be possible for someone to dig into that and see what may come out.

I know. By iFlyTek, right? I work with you, Stuart :P

But I'd love these things shipped, instead of simply homebrewed or, in our case, 'Phoenixed.'

Apparently so....although we haven't seen a demo and since there is money to be made why haven't they ported this to English yet?


Both are vital missing features.

Fix the browser speed and broaden its rendering of web pages
Fix the audio bug
Make it possible so that a app can be created to annotate a pdf

I am OK with wanting this on my 13-month Touchpad since these are basic functional items. Also we could get a decent penetration right away for open webOS from the installed base and pick up steam. Seems like many additional folks dropped out of paying attention to webOS after the news dropped that open WebOS would not run on existing devices--we need all the users we can get.

I'd wish the interface would be as quick as iOS!! (be it scrolling, application loading , using applciations, keyboard..)

Also, @2Phresh, how to mount USB drives? (which package in homebrew)

@Derek, this isn't an 18 month old device and you too probably want to have it on your touchpad.

TouchPad was unveiled in February of 2011. 18 months ago.

...hmmm... According to that logic, TouchPad was already "six months old", on the first day, when it appeared on the shelves? I don't know, doesn't seem right to me.

please please stop being so apologetic for HP, they are SCREWING webOS users time after time again, and the answer is always the same: priorities, and need to focus on the "future". That actually is part of the problem - they are so focused on the distant, untold "future", that the PRESENT is constantly slipping between their fingers. Killing any possible "future", in the process.

but hey, whta I know, I was only right every single time, calling their mistakes before being vindicated by the realiity later.

anyway, for what it's worth - I always wanted widgets.

I'll have to find it. My Touchpad did a hard reset on itself the other day and I lost all of my Homebrew apps. I'll let you know once I find it. :) But it doesn't require any equipment. And it gives you instructions. Might be in the alpha/beta feeds in Preware.

> I'd wish the interface would be as quick as iOS!

Very good point indeed! It all bails down to having good drivers, that make use of the hardware acceleration. But also, the user experience is entirely dependant on how well the underlying browser (WebKit based) performs. With the absurd speeds and memory modern phones have, things have to be done very badly not to have good performance. And yes, I said phones, not devices. For me, webOS has to run on phones.

But, in the end, my main wish will be delivered: Be able to tweak my system and have fun with all you guys!

Improved or completely revamped "copy and paste" , perhaps a virtual key to mimic the way the Pre does it.. Under the hood improvements, such as better video playback in the browser, better browser performance in general, increased WIFi throughput. CyanogenMod's ICS has brought the browser, video, and WiFi performance, but it would be nice to see these enhancements in webOS. I would also like to see global OS integration of Box.net, Drop Box, SkyDrive, or any other user selected virtual storage so that the storage would be available to any application. Audio EQ with vertical sliders would be nice. ( 5 bands will suffice.)

Is TouchVol still in Preware?
Its a great app with EQ and volume settings, along with a nice 3d effect.

Definitely something that should have been built in

Yes, TouchVol is still available and that's what I use now. But I wish the sliders were labeled with their corresponding center frequencys and I wish the sliders were vertical like a traditional EQ. It's still a great app, though.

Heads up Derek, you may want to add the word "want" to the title.


It's all good. ;) The feature I would love to see is simple enough; lock screen like ICS where you can see local weather/ unlock to camera (or maybe unlock to another app like the browser or messaging app). I really hope it doesn't take the homebrew magicians too long to get open webOS on legacy webOS hardware. As I see it, it's when not if.

What I'd really like to borrow from the competition is a device to run it on.

Who are they releasing this to? Developers? To develop for what device? They're killing me with the roadmap to nowhere.

Anyway......I was really looking forward to the original Touch to Share features being fleshed out. The possibilities between the phone and pad uses seemed endless to me. No one has really taken this idea to the next level even though Samsung has copied it for their Galaxy line of devices.

USB Host Setup with Outside Power (Bable) in the forums. You will need to buy some parts off eBay to get it to work(under $40).

Official CJK support, display/input.


Ever since my Palm 680 had the ability to display my next few appointments when I turned on my phone, it became a requirement for me. I got the Palm Pre on launch day, but never could get past the fact I could have the information i wanted presented in front of me, instead of me having to go look for it.

I know that some apps have tried to hack their way into doing this, but it not native, and this type of functionality needs to be native.

I agree but there are coupleof patches for that and Agenda :)

I want a keyboard/text entry/auto-correct experience that doesn't suck. The keyboard experience is mostly why CM9 is the default on my TouchPad. I do LOVE the 5th row of keys, however.

Agreed! The webOS virtual keyboard/text entry/auto-correct sucks..

Also, if we could get a way to use android or apple apps, since we all know webOS apps are, and will continue to be, non-existent

Port the Dalvik VM, so we can get Android Apps in cards.

Put that OS on the Dell Venue Pro with a Snapdragon S4 and the HTC One X's screen and I would never switch phones again.

SwiftKey! The keyboard on the TouchPad is sorely lacking. Copy and paste improvements needed also.

Also, I would love to see threaded email. This would be great.

And I like the comments about a revamped lock screen.

I second SwiftKey (or Swype)!

no support to existing devices?, that is ugly.

I still get updates on my 7 year old laptop running 11 year old Windows XP. Since when is 18 months (13 months actually) become an aceptable support timeframe?

When the entire line was discontinued?

SMARTGLASS from xbox


An RDP client for Terminal Services that supports TS Gateway
A Citrix connector (borrowed from pretty much every other tablet)
Ability to pinch/zoom within those apps to control the inside of the RDP session or have mouse support
Decent business oriented note taking app with audio support, still and video camera capture
Support for an active and small pressure sensitive stylus and the speed to be able to sketch (yeah I know it would need Wacom style display hardware)
A programmable universal IR and Wifi controller so you could control apps on your PC, electronics such as Tivo TVs/audio devices etc using IR and use wifi to control apps on a PC and DLNA devices. A bit like Retune but a LOT bigger with the ability to plug in components for controlling software and programme remote codes etc (idea borrowed from the Sony tablet)
Able to have display synch with PC apps - like picture in picture but a plug in component in multimedia apps that is streaming from PC that lets you see what the PC is doing so you can preview/select files etc for streaming

most of the things you are describing are apps, not really a feature, probably the only thing you listed would be feature related would be IR, but then again that would be a hardware feature(and we still need to get some hardware) not and OS feature....

True but where is the dividing line between an App and software that is part of the OS (or provided with it)? The remote control in the Sony S1 is a Sony app that is built to take advantage of the hardware and no doubt relies on a whole pile of stuff in the OS to work - if you don't have an IR stack in the OS you wont get a remote control..... Same problem with the limited Bluetooth stack on WebOS - I cannot get an external GPS unit to work with it so I can use navigation.

Ok, so one thing that would be good on open webos would be apps.

Yep - apps that work out of the box - pretty much what everyone else has asked for. Beyond fixing the stuff that everyone also complains about (lag, poor browser, poor multimedia support, no worldwide App Catalogue) I LIKE Webos and how it works. Most things that are poor about it are poor hardware or poor bundled apps - it is just to run some apps you do need the drivers, software/hardware support and API for someone to build them. Would like to get some good ones built in with it to encourage someone to make the hardware for it.

A fully functional BlueTooth stack. I just want to be able to transfer photos like I could on my T|X

A better camera app. Reducing MP for pics I know I'm going to email.

Improved Gmail integration.

An alarm clock I can set to my 3 week rotating roster with an independent volume control.

Agreed on BT. It is stupid you cannot share items via BT.

I want to be able to push a notification to the back of the pile so I can leave it for later but still dismiss or select the other ones.

I'd like to be able to "push down" the card view and look at the "table"; a view for Android Dashboard-like widgets.
Then I'd like app developers to be able to add widgets to their apps, and I'd like there to be a widget view for exhibition.
Finally I'd like someone to port Dalvik over to it and for Amazon to start making devices running open webOS with their existing marketplace.
Too much?




Wanted a feature to bring up all the data/settings (saved while in use) in app back when i reinstall them back

More gestures — for the sake of efficiency.

Use (all) the edges for useful things. Let us be able to switch apps like on our phones, to zoom out (pinch) to go back in video/photo view, to get quickly to the top of the browser window as we also can do on our phone ...

I wish to have the Performance of Windows Phone 7 (a little 1GHz Single-Core is enough to let this system run like hell),

It is not from the competition, but I like to have the ACL from OpenMobile, to run Android Apps natively,

An Android-Style Security Lock Screen, where you have to enter a form to unlock the device,

Google Voice from Android 4.1 would be nice,

Pinch to zoom out and get an 'Card-Overview' like in HTC Sence or Android 4,

Google Navigator,

A better music player (on the webos stock player you cant even create playlists, which I could with my (I think) 50 Year old SonyEricsson D750i.

Google Chrome for WebOS

SIP supported VOIP.

and +2 to ACL.

Flash webcam support

the ability to run android apps at least in cards. This would make webos an instant contender. (once we have some hardware to run it on!)

why are so many people obsessed with running the open source version on their old hardware?? As much as you people paid to get a Pre3 or touchpad, you can get a nexus or an s3 soon to port it. Just saying. I still have my pre2 which I plan on upgrading once things get rolling with open source. The future is moving forward, not trying to use old technology... I would like to see an option to use android apps as well. I don't know if other phones have this, but via wifi or bluetooth, be able to push what is on my webOS screen onto my computer screen. Like sitting on the couch, then view the video or article on my tv that is connected to my computer! If people are that excited about loading webOS onto old devices, I have a treo 755p that still works great and in better shape than my pre2... LOL

Well for two things at least, first, I'd like to be treated seriously and as a valuable customer, and not like "unpleasant necessity," and collateral damages, as I am being treated by HP since they overtook Palm, and secondly, there are NO Android phones, in vertical slider form factor, with 3.6" screen or bigger- with reasonably high resolution, and even closely powerful processor.

Third, actually, could they at least PRETEND that they are making at least some effort, so I am not getting screwed by them YET AGAIN!

very true, plus HP had said that although it won't be running on some of the older devices, it will run on new ones. Now, right there, they just told us about a new device, but the big question is, will there be a company wanting to pick up webOS?

The ability to group icons together. The way iOS and Android 4.0 does. I'd rather have that, than a bunch of tabs.

Widgets for the background, like Android.

And of course, apps!

Android multitasks poorly, especially compared to webOS, BUT, Android has given the user the ability to clear out memory manually - for WebOS, this would be incredibly valuable, because we know that even after a card has been swiped up, its application still resided in memory - I'd love to see this Android feature in openWebOS!

In Android you're actually NOT supposed to clear out manually...

I've only find myself doing that on my Android "home phone" (i.e. X10i running on WiFi and Dell Voice) when an app is having issues.

Proper media/music/video support, that's all I'm asking really. Everything in webOS works fine for me except this.

Memory leaks, inability to index files properly, you name it. The music player in both webOS 2.x and 3.x has been an abysmal failure.

All those bugs fixed
(especially improved media indexer)

Rotation Lock (although it's in 3)
Proxy support
More synergy (twitter, gTasks, sync memos with Dropbox, etc)
Offline maps
Offline dictionary

A lot of stuff from patches

and some stuff I can't think of right now

tried posting twice already, hope this doesnt post 3 times.

hesitation free scrolling. (like my Galaxy S2)
better youtube support (play vid in same window, no default orientation)
Openmobile Android ACL
googlemaps navigation (ACL might take care of that)
interactive backrounds
better voice command
install on my S2

What about Silverlight support so we can watch Netflix?

No need to reboot every day!

Grouping of Apps. On the iPod Touch, you can put App launchers together in a group, under the Tab (screen).

I am not sure I am explaining this well, because I really don't understand Apple iOS terminology.

you can group apps in any order you like on any tab/main card, on webos.

I'd love a way to cycle through emails/tasks in the notifications area. For example right now I have 8 tasks and 2 emails but I can only see the top level task or email. I'd love to be able to flick left to cycle through them but flick right to dismiss the notification. That would be a great productivity enhancer!

Very cool idea, I'll second this!

Most of all a good and fast browser with full html5 support, webfonts and so on.

One profile shared to all phones. :-(

Best Regards... B)

working real bluetooth, beyond that i dont feel we need to steal anything from the other os's, not seen any feature i found must have, nothing on android id want, and ive only had the fruity product for less than a week (not liking it much tbh, beyond watching terrestrial uk tv on it]).

so er, bluetooth is all id want, beyond that its the usual app scenario, we NEED apps, which means attracting enyo devs, which they should have done in the first place, but i understand why they couldnt given the nutjob leo.

- Apps. Mainly Netflix and Hulu Plus, but also banking, and those awesome astronomy apps that exist for iOS.
- Hardware Accelerated GUI. It's the most frustrating thing to me when the UI gets laggy because the CPU is busy doing something in the background.

as many others have said, a User Interface as smooth and fluid as iOS.

Support for Classic.

A good way to backup data to PC--not cloud.

A PC interface for working with Contacts.

Give me the speed and simplicity of my Treos!!!!

Silverlight/HTML5 support


Get rid of the horrible lag.

Built in support for Windows audio & video files. Having to re-do all the music I had on my previous windows mobile phone was a pain!

I want whatever that companys program was that would allow android apps to run on a Touchpad.
What company was that and what ever came of that anyway?

As someone else has commented - actual hardware is the only feature of relevance at this stage of the game.

I like my Androids desktop/home screen setup. I realize cards when launched will cover them up but I have more than 5-10 frequently used apps that are often opened, checked, and closed. The wave bar is great for apps that I launch and leave open.

Wave style borders. (Borders that act just like the lower launch bar when pulling up the wave bar.) Forget this idea if edge sweeping is used somewhere else (full screen card switching I think? I've never looked into how that was implemented...)

Ability to deselect individual pictures to be included/excluded from the exhibition slideshow (exclude/include ability extends to every service.)

Add samba shares as a service like photobucket, box.net, etc. I'm not 100% sure what I'm talking about here. I just want access to my windows 7 shared folders and for the video, gallery, etc. apps to be able to view/use what is in them.

Profile syncing across devices. What I select/deselect for viewing on one device to also be selected/deselected on other devices. (Expand to include options, apps, etc.) Popup asking to save setting to profile or just to the device.

Multiple Users support. Apps are universal to all users on a device. Browsing, email, accounts, OS settings, etc. are not.

I think that's a large enough list of wanted features from me for now...

Global app catalog damit! I cannot buy a single app with my credit card.

Alright, so I have a major request that I think I will be the only one wanting, but here it goes anyway...... I want mouse and keyboard support so I can load it on my desktop, and I want a windows emulator, I would love to be able to replace Windows completely.

I know WebOS is not designed as a desktop OS, but anymore, neither is Windows, and I haven't found a Linux OS that is as pretty (UI-wise) as webOS in my opinion.

So this request being established - I want to be able to put webOS on a phone, or buy a webOS phone, and have it integrate with my webOS desktop.

So now I am done with crazy requests here is the list others will agree with:
Android App integration/support
Faster and smoother
Siri type functionality.
Free integrated GPS turn by turn spoken navigation
run on the nicest android hardware or equivalent incl. fast camera that is decent

By windows emulator I mean be able to run windows programs in webOS, games (call of duty, Diablo three, steam games, etc), MS Office, etc.

Oh and the nav maps should be offline.

I'd like touch to share to be smart enough to share more than web sites and launch what ever the top active card is regardless of app

- SD Card Support (you know, for when we install it on hardware that actually has SD cards)
- Ability to subscribe to CalDAV (or iCal) calendars on the phone, not having to rely on doing this in a Gmail/Yahoo/etc account
- The rest of the standard PIM suite: tasks and reasonable note-taking. I know there are good apps for those, but those should work out of the box, just like email, calendar, and contacts. And they should support syncing to major players that provide that sort of thing (RTM, ToodleDo, Google Tasks, Yahoo, and generic CalDAV for tasks; Dropbox, Box, Google Docs for memos)

+1 to Davlik
+1 to other suggestions of a full JVM
+1 to Citrix (I know, it's an app not an OS thing, but still)
+1 to ACL
+1 to silverlight support for netflix
+1 to better codec support
+1 to better copy-paste support (on the tablet anyway; it's pretty decent on the phones)

Borrow, huh? Better make sure whatever you "borrow" is not already patented by someone...which is just about EVERYTHING.

I would like to have :

- Skype
- Gtalk : voice and video
- Ability to run multiple widget on one single screen : Facebook, twitter, weather, clock etc.
- I love the cards and throwing away gesture to kill an application but I feel that Maemo 5 UI us bettter.
- Maps with navigation and spoken direction, infact the whole Navteq system

You can use Skype already on webOS. It may not have a separate app, but I use it with friends often.

I thought it was the other way around--that the other OSes are "borrowing"all these great features from webOS... ;-)

But one thing I would like to see is the integration of voice recognition tech to be able to dictate entries into various apps (such as email, messaging, etc.). I see people doing this with their iOS devices, and it looks like it could be really useful in some situations.

How about bringing songs on the device up in just type?

It hasn't yet been implemented in any competitor, but I would love to see some of the ideas (if they aren't patented) from 10/GUI:


A couple of mine:
- The ability to loope over text to set the cursor position (ala iOS)
- The ability to add words to the spell checker

I'm gonna be that jerk that says HARDWARE.

The first thing I'd really like to see is the ability to change standard apps 'the easy way' somewhere within the appropriate settings app. We're living in 2012 and although some companies with a fruity taste might think that they produce for dumb-as-bread customers, we are not that type of users who cannot handle their devices.

Another 2012 no-go is the lack of ability to change the mime type associations. I know what I'm doing, because I grew up with that kind of stuff and spent the major time of my 45 years tinkering with it.

In short, instead of 'borrowing' features from the competition, one should go at least one step ahead and add all that stuff that was left out because of 'our dumb-as-bread customers'. Maybe every webOS dev should adopt the last part of HP's Think campaign and should start to 'Think beyond'.

i just want Whatsapp.

Themagnifying glass cursor navigation and a split-keyboard!

What I would like to see is this: if HP won't support with hardware, then the new webos be easily installed in an iPad, a Galaxy tab, or any other tablet in the actual market. We all know how webos beats by a mile all those other Os's. All those tablets need is a real good WebOS!!!

How about text selection and cursor placement improvements? At least the original Pre had this where you could move the cursor left and right when you needed to place it in say the address bar or in the middle of a sentence, but TouchPad aggravated me with fat fingers trying to tap into a wall of text somewhere. If a word was highlighted it did have the "tabs" that allowed you to more easily move the highlighting cursor, simply providing that for casual text navigation would have been a great improvement.

Synergy extended to the phone app so developers can create plugins for services like Skype, Google Voice, Vonage, etc.

ability to use netflix

you guys do realize that just about everyone copied webOS to the point that there really is nothing about it anymore that makes it that different? I'm surprised HP hasn't sued Samsung on their Galaxy S3 for copying so much. If you're not sure what they did, perhaps you should read Rene Ritchie's article on Samsung. Even he noticed they copied items from the Palm Pre.

Well, despite the fact that webOS is gone in my book (I'll be moving along to another device very shortly for obvious reasons), I'll give my last 2 cents:

- a scrollbar to know how long pages are (yes, i'm aware there's something in preware, but it's not for everything and it entails not having a default phone)
- better copy/paste and the magnifying lens when placing the cursor. Simply pressing on the screen 54 times to get it in the right spot is annoying and holding the symbol key is irritating
- better on-screen keyboard. the touchpad keyboard is actually good, but I need it on the phone
- APPS APPS APPS APPS APPS. I'm really tired of everyone being able to do so much and I can't do half of what they do anymore. I travel alot and the airline apps are phenomenal when you need it. Last two flights I had delays and cancellations. Everyone else who had iphones were on flights to their destinations through apps, but I had to resort to calling an agent the old fashioned way.
- Have the ability to run not only Android but iPhone apps within cards. Link it up somehow so that Apple gets paid as they normally would, so there's no contention there. More money for them, they're not going to complain about.
- a GPS that works. Yea, don't get me started on this one. While I'm at it, turn-by-turn nav.
- get rid of Bing Maps and go back to Google maps.
- searchable email
- the ability to add contacts to calendar appointments (really guys? 3.5 years and still counting)
- Better bluetooth. It just doesn't work completely well, with various products that are built in vehicles
- a way to get all the developers back to start updating and making new apps. Did I mention apps?
- apps

I'm sure I'll think of something else....

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