YouTube brings HTML5 video to webOS two years too late | webOS Nation

YouTube brings HTML5 video to webOS two years too late 80

by Derek Kessler Mon, 17 Oct 2011 9:18 pm EDT

If you’re still running webOS 1.4.5 on your Pre, Pixi, or the Plus variants of each, you might have noticed something new in your browsing of the internet over the past several days: playable YouTube videos in the browser. We pulled out our old Sprint Pre and fired it up, and the completely stock webOS 1.4.5 install was indeed able to not only load YouTube videos in the browser, but also play those videos.

Playback was actually surprisingly good, even on the old beaten and abused Pre. Well, it was good so long as you kept YouTube set to 480p or below. Framerates looked to be right around 25-30fps, which is perfectly acceptable for a two-year-old webOS phone. It’s not all perfect, as the video does not respond to rotation, scrolling, or zooming while playing, and you’ve got to deal with tiny desktop-style YouTube controls.

For the record, this is not a part of the Trojan Horse Enyo update, as this phone hasn’t had the Enyo-packing Bing Maps update installed. We’re kicking it old school. So no, they didn’t bring Flash to the entire webOS line-up. We’ve got Flash on our HP Pre3, and it’s not anything approaching this good. So what is it? It’s HTML5, the magical web standard around which much of webOS is built. YouTube's newishg iframe embed code allows YouTube to serve you Flash or HTML5 video depending on the capabilities of the browser, so on the desktop you get Flash, while on a Pre you're given HTML5. Too bad it took over two years for YouTube to finally serve up a usable version to webOS users.

Thanks to all that sent in tips!



I know several users still on 1.4.5 (my wife is one of them...).
I wonder if she's noticed.

So can we get the HTML5 to work on the TouchPad? Would that perform better than it using Flash?

but, didnt google have a story about youtube using html5 like a few years ago, you just had to use a certain link or something...

...i actually prefer using the youtube app w/ the patch to download instead of stream, that i dont have to sit there and watch it stutter and pause along

I don't have my webOS touchpad in front of me atm, can it be done at ?

If not, then yes, somebody advise! :) Maybe we need to trick youtube into thinking we're coming from a Palm Pre? :)

If you're still running 1.4.5 you need help.

Ummm . . . Why? Works fine on a preplus with all the hacks.

for some it is the only option **** wad...

If you're still running 1.4.5 that's quite a testament to how amazing WebOS and the original Pre is.

I recently twoed (referring to the upgrade, of course), but had the same thought. Realized I could have used the 1.4.5 minus another year and been happy, which impressed me again with the original Pre.

But then the me that likes shiny things caved in.

I have been actively fighting not going to android or ios for the month since my contract was it. I can't see upgrading to a 2 or 3 if they're killing the operating system. There's too many good apps out there I'd like to play with.

But I've fought successfully so far!

I think there's a curvilinear relationship in the 'me-wants'. First it's bright, shiny, new and wonderful. Then you tweak it. Then it feels old and everything else looks better and better as you get close to contract renewal. Then, if you hold out, it becomes 'classic' and 'retro' and you realize you don't really need something else.

Then it becomes obsolete and you cave.

Repeat as necessary.


Besides, webos has the very best community. Have you lurked on those other forums?


And just in case I need to clarify, the "new shiny" was my very nice FrankenPre2. So slick.

Announcement for 2013: DocumentsToGo editing software released for legacy and "new" webOS-devices!
Announcement for 2014: HP/Amazon announces new webOS Tablets and Phones!

Damn, this was the ONE thing that was holding webOS back. If it weren't for this delay by Youtube webOS would have taken over the world.

Not the only one, but it certainly was one of the bigger things holding it back. But actually it should have been foreseeable. Palm was a small company and most of those companies that were needed to cooperate with them (Google, Facebook, Skype, Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Hulu, etc.) either did have no incentive to help them or even (like Google and Apple) had a reason to fear it and even dig a deeper hole to webOS.

Let's see what the future will bring. My family is rocking on the Pre 3 and Veer (some colleagues also got some Veers) and this will carry us for the next foreseeable future on webOS :)

Palm was a small company and most of those companies that were needed to cooperate with them (Google, Facebook, Skype, Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Hulu, etc.) either did have no incentive to help them or even (like Google and Apple) had a reason to fear it and even dig a deeper hole to webOS.

Not really. In fact, Google was excited about webOS and the Palm Pre at one point. webOS dug it's own hole. Here is a nice historical entry directly from

Thank you for the link.

Google mobile team != Google Corporation

Those people might have been excited but they only do what their superiors tell them to do. Also at that time Apple was the big beast and webOS and Android had small market share, at that time Google just wanted Apple to loose it's dominance (which it has by now). As soon as it was clear that Android was going to have a bigger install base than iOS they had no interest at all to support competitors.

Or how do you explain this?
From the article (from Google):
This is just the beginning for Google applications on Palm Pre. The good news is that since our applications are built using web standards along with Palm's MoJo SDK, we can iterate quickly and provide new functionality, often without requiring you to install anything new. We look forward to rolling out new features for our mobile applications at a rapid clip.

------> And they did basically nothing for webOS since the Motorola Droid was released.

Stop splitting hairs. This google mobile team != google is nonsense.

How do I explain why nothing happened for the pre? Jon himself explained it when he said "lower than expected adoption rate". The thing was not selling. Why would companies continue to invest time and money (lots of money) into a platform that consumers are not buying? Should they have just done it as a favor?

Consider Google's case specifically. They are an ad company at their core. They produce some really nice tech (in my opinion) that they give away in order to collect data that can be used for ads. This is how they make their money. Since webOS went nowhere, it is logical that support for webOS would be put on a back burner. No device sales, mean no data collected.

Consider the other big players that have dropped out of the webOS game. At some point, one must realize that webOS itself is the issue.

By the way, even Palm claimed they'd roll out features for webOS at a rapid clip...and did basically nothing over the past couple of years.

Keep making excuses for webOS if you want but its failure is its own doing.


The idea that Google or Microsoft or Apple or Hulu or Netflix initiated a conspiracy to starve WebOS of content due to FEAR is just laughable. The vast majority of these companies are platform agnostic, even if they put out their own hardware.

You know who undermined WebOS? WebOS, and by extension Palm and HP.

You know who starved WebOS of content? WebOS.

You know who "basically did nothing" for WebOS? WebOS.

It's time to stop acting like WebOS was the smart nerdy kid that got beat up and got its lunch money taken away by bullies. The other kids in the classroom were too busy studying and ace-ing their own tests.

Yep, webOS is the "Goth Chick" that sits in the corner pretending to be so much more than the other "simpletons" in the class. She's ignored by everyone because of it but then blames them all for her loneliness. At the end of the day however, no one really cares (except for the handful of other goth kids).

No offense to goth chicks.

So, I'm a Goth Chick? Well, despite having a 'Y' chromosome, I have been trying to figure out a Halloween Costume...maybe I could pull this off!?

Nobody said anything about a conspiracy or that Netflix or Hulu did anything out of fear of webOS.

But is it so hard to understand that neither Google nor Apple would do anything to help a potential competitor? Google provides software only for competitive platforms that they hardly can ignore (ie. iOS) and even there their features lack behind of what they deliver on their own OS. Is that "illegal" or a "conspiracy"?

No I guess it's just something that a lot of companies would do and are doing.

Please read my comments again and stop accusing me of things that I didn't say ;)

I was responding to a range of posts along the same lines as yours.

But responding to you, specifically, I wonder why "help" matters in the first place.

How much help did Apple receive when they took the smartphone world by storm? Google Maps was about the long and short of it, and that certainly wasn't what made the first iPhone successful.

Who "cooperated" to make Facebook successful? Or Android? Or Netflix? Or Xbox?

You control your own destiny. WebOS controlled its own as well. They just made horrible decisions at almost every step of the way after the release of the first Pre. Bad followup handset. Bad OS development. Bad marketing.

They only got worst once HP bought them.

Apple gets a lot of help and their constant free media attention gives them nothing but positive media exposure. After 15 years they have turned a music player into a tablet that is almost as advanced as the 10 year old Palm TX. Apple is already leading the pack in bugs. Its going to get worse. Because before they could flip the bird at everyone and say we aren't going to add this or that. Now they have to make the changes. This is a company that struggles to get the alarm clock to work right on a $500 device.

Palm made great devices but they dropped support over and over. I still have one and many of the best apps I got were developed by hacks for free.
Blackberry had to beat that dead horse BES server. Phones were syncing using active sync 10 years before apple even dreamed about it. So you'd think blackberry would jump on board. Nope had to use the BES or BIS. The browser on the BB sucked. Apps sucked but the BES was bullet proof. Blackberry has had remote wiping and setup for ten years did they really think no one else like microsoft for example might see the value of giving that away for free eventually on a new server. Did they not learn that netscape, apple, java, the US Attorneys, and everyone else will have whatever microsoft wants to take from them taken from them?
And HP sucks. We started using their garbage this year. The desktops and laptops are horrible. So what do they do they try to compete with apple in the tablet market by breaking onto the scene with a comparable device, no customer loyalty, palm customers still trying to pull the last couple daggers out of their back, at the same price break.
The bottom line is these clowns at the top want a get rich scheme on every gadget. They constantly stab users in the back. Bail on products instantly. They get fired and are handed $25million to leave the company. And they never learn.

"Apple gets a lot of help...."

Was wading through all of that text that followed to see if you could provide ONE example of the "help" Apple gets. Didn't see it.

"...and their constant free media attention gives them nothing but positive media exposure."

Don't they earn that attention by having the most popular products and being the most profitable consumer electronics company around in a prolonged period of economic freefall?

"After 15 years they have turned a music player into a tablet that is almost as advanced as the 10 year old Palm TX."

Yeah, I'm looking forward to the day iTunes and Safari get as advanced as PocketTunes and Blazer.

Then again, PalmOS was more successful than WebOS ever was. They sold, what, 3 million Centros alone - and that was at the very nadir! When did WebOS ever have 3 million users across all devices combined?

Nobody said anything about a conspiracy...Please read my comments again and stop accusing me of things that I didn't say ;)

But you said:

Palm was a small company and most of those companies that were needed to cooperate with them (Google, Facebook, Skype, Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Hulu, etc.) either did have no incentive to help them or even (like Google and Apple) had a reason to fear it and even dig a deeper hole to webOS.

That last part jumps out:

(like Google and Apple) had a reason to fear it and even dig a deeper hole to webOS.

Sounds like a conspiracy theory to me.

As far as the following line:

But is it so hard to understand that neither Google nor Apple would do anything to help a potential competitor? Google provides software only for competitive platforms that they hardly can ignore (ie. iOS)...

That seems a bit contradictory to your other statement. I would guess the platform they would fear the most would be the one they "hardly can ignore (ie. iOS)" and yet you've acknowledged that they've provided support for said platform. At the same time, you claim they fear webOS but somehow it's not a platform "that they hardly can ignore" and thus no support is provided.

So they ignore the thing they fear most but the other most popular mobile platform (and their biggest competitor) gets support? That logic seems...flawed.

Occam's razor would have me believe Google simply produces apps for the platforms that will give them the most bang for their development buck first and the rest can wait.

How do you get them to play in the browser and not in the YouTube app?

It was a SYMPTOM of what has always held webOS back: lack of third-party support.
When iOS was newly hatched, people were tumbling head over heels to support it and make new apps and make everything compatible. Our website doesn't work on Apple because iOS isn't smart enough? Better make an app for it!
When Android was a fledgling, a lot of people (if not as many as for Apple) also bent over backwards to make things for Android.
When webOS came out... people said 'nobody is doing anything so I'm not doing anything! booo!"

Sad but true. I wish it had been different, but really, the direction HP steered webOS in was fantastic. Up until the point where Apotheker decided to kill it on a whim. Ah well. My TouchPad is fantastic and my Pre Plus is still holding up super-well... and when either begins to give in, I suppose Android has been becoming much nicer every year since Google poached Matias Duarte from Palm.

+ 1 Million.. I wish people had shown same love to webOS as to crappy Android :( Hate the fact that now I will have to go down either Android way or iPhone way once my Pre dies (which is soon)

but but but who needs third party support when you have Adobe Flash!


Too many times in the forums, the diehards claimed you didn't need apps or third party support because you had a "real" browser and who needs 60,000 **** apps anyway, right?

And yet:

Ever consider that maybe there were some issues with webOS that caused people to stay away/leave. Remember some of the big names that were announced back in '09 that have since decided "nevermind"?

Thanks YouTube! This will make life better for hundreds (if not thousands) of webOs users.

I just accidentally gave you a thumbs down, sorry...

I gave him a thumbs up to balance it out :)

For TouchPad you can now enable HTML5 YouTube videos. Before it would serve them in WebM format and the TouchPad would try to download them rather than play them.

How do you set it to run using HTML5 on the TouchPad?

really, i never had a problem as in touchpad trying download vids from youtube

Ha! So glad you posted this. I noticed this new capability today on my Sprint Pre and thought I was going crazy. Ironically I discovered it while viewing the Galaxy Nexus video on androidcentral.

If I was given to paranoia I'd say that there was a conspiracy going on to hold webOS back. We know that's not true, of course, but all we needed was a few things to fall into place like this and who knows what might have happened.

Oh yeah, we needed to not have creepy advertizing, tv and movie presense, document editing, and HP to have burned in hellhell before they bought Palm.... To mention a few things.

"...paranoia I'd say that there was a conspiracy going on to hold webOS back. We know that's not true,..."

This might actually have some to do with the reason for Palm not making it to the scene like it could have.

Example: Apple (Steve J.) complained to Facebook (Mark Z.) about wanting to have the 1st Facebook app and not the Touchpad. So whats Facebook do, tries to tell HP/Palm (John R.) not to release.

I am willing to bet that if Apple did this with someone as big as Facebook, they were able to do this with others.

It's a good article but it does not support "a conspiracy". Jobs yelling Zukerberg because FB may have helped a new tablet with an app "before" doing one for an already established tablet (from a company that helped them in their early days, by the way) is one thing.

Saying that there was some sort of conspiracy (other than fierce competition) to somehow "hold webOS back" is something COMPLETELY different.

Fact is, webOS launched to much fanfare and with a decent list of "partners" but screwed up along the way.

forgive me as i did overlook the word conspiracy.

My meaning behind what I said was that it is possible that another company could have went behind the lines to another company and say don't develope for them, or wait till we release so we are first.

Didn't mean multiple companies getting together to team up and sabotage the smaller company.

So no, not conspire, but yes as the example that was stated could have been done more than once.

OK, I accept that it is "possible".

Having said that, my question becomes "what about the other multiple (hundreds of?) thousands of developers out there?"

I mean, back in 2009, Palm talked about the fact that there are so many HTML/JavaScript/CSS developers out there and they would flock to a mobile platform where their skills could be used. Who talked THOSE guys out of developing for webOS?

Perhaps and this could be a big perhaps.

A handful of big developers get the, in over simplified terms, the facebook treatment from Apple. Due to this we all know many companies (not all) might base their decision on what the bigger company does and follow suit.

Please don't mistake that I think this is what happened. I havent the slightest clue, but again this could be one of many possibilities.

Also on a side note, I am not saying that due to a handful of developers is the result of thousands of developers not developing for webOS, but I am willing to bet some of them did have this mindset.

Palm and HP kept trying to push WebOS into directions beyond what the public was ready for and what their hardware could support. And they were too good to go back and finish the basic stuff we all needed from day one.

Release, refine, evolve.

First icon title I read when they handed me my Galaxy 2, "Voice Recorder". I had to laugh.

Never said it was "the reason" but I did say it could have been "some" of the reason.

Interesting. Just tried it on my 1.4.5 Pre+ and got "Your browser does not currently recognize any of the video formats available"

Derek, you're sure this works?

Although this is cool -- would be helpful if I could choose to play in-browser or in-app.

Guess this is part of the slow 'death' of my EOL O/S ... even though in-principle, it's kinda cool (in-browser YouTube access).

Wouldn't this mean that when I tap on the video in that front page story with that David Guetta and Usher video that the video would play on my Pre+? It does not, it does show a message indicating the available video formats are not recognized by my browser. There is also a link to learn about FAQs about HTML5 video. This link fills the video block window with some information from YouTube on the YouTube HTML5 Video Player...something about an "opt-in trial" of HTML5 video on You Tube.

Oops, as I was typing this, cmahy was posting a similar experience. So, what gives?

Rockbeast -- FYI: I tried the same clip. At least we're consistently breaking.

oh it sucks on my pre - runing 1.4.5. its not worth it imo. also for those still hoping for hp to change their minds on webos check this out

I'd seen the same news but from an HP PSG vice president. If HP is going to keep selling tablets using any OS *BUT* the one they own (webOS), someone needs to remind me why HP would sell a tablet-friendly OS to a future competitor in the tablet market, e.g. Amazon.

I came to the P|C site today with one goal, to simply state that I ******* hate HP, and my anger towards said company will cost them around 100k a year, starting in 2012. Does anyone care? Probably not, including HP themselves, but I'm hoping that it might bring a bit of a smile to some loyal P|C users.

Good bye Enterprise HP, hello Dell.

Same here although my numbers are smaller, maybe around 15k a year. Anybody but HP at this point, unless the have a change of heart about webOS....


You were unfazed when they dropped Windows 7 tablets like a bad habit, then dropped Android tablet/printer combos like a bad habit, but now that they sank waaaaaay more money into WebOS than either of those and gave up as well, you're letting THAT affect a purchasing decision regarding PCs or printers?


Yeah, it's funny. Their post reads as follows:

"I hate HP because they no longer have webOS products. So I'm taking my business to someplace else...that doesn't have webOS products."

Funny stuff.

I can give you more reasons:
1. Terrible customer support. (hard to believe I know)
2. You ever try to navigate HP enterprise for Government? Give it a spin, it's ****!
3. Quality Enterprise workstations? Not so much. Just try to find a Workstation with updated Xeon's and modern graphics cards.

You go ahead and stay with HP. I'm taking our business to Dell where I can actually get what I want.

Now find another reason to giggle snarky.

Can't get WebOS at Dell. Meanwhile, those things would still be true if they stuck with WebOS, so your statement has less than no meaning.

^^^ This is why I find the comments to be funny. ^^^

Their customer support, enterprise for Gov't navigation and enterprise workstations are about the same today as they were before their webOS debacle. So, yes, it is very funny to me.

HP makes terrific touch screen tablet laptops. Love, love, love them.

No, you guys have it wrong. I've been buying HP products because I had a great enterprise rep who took great care of me and my business needs. Not only is that rep gone, there is no one to fill her shoes.

I had been waiting for all the promised webOS products but at this point it dosen't matter because no one at HP cares about retaining my business so I'm looking around at other companies and really like what I'm seeing.

The fact that they've killed my favorite operating system is only salt in an already red wound. HP is failing to meet my needs in many ways and my loyalty finally died when webOS was killed.

What was the "red wound" that was so bad? That a rep you personally liked quit or got fired?

You're not really stating HOW they "don't care about retaining your business".

So, I was randomly on YouTube (on my Pre) this morning bringing up a song I think is fitting to dedicate to webOS and all of our faithfuls. No, I did not get to see it in html5 as the webpage kicked me back out to the app, but please go out to YouTube and give it a play anyway.

Just search for "Bright Side of Life" on YouTube.

It's an oldie from Monty Python's Life of Brian that is just as well suited to be Life of webOS, but still thoroughly enjoyable.

Remember faithful community, always look on the bright side of life, *pursing lips to melodically whistle

should be called “webOS/2”

I could swear I noticed this way more than a week ago on an embedded video. But they say I have the crazies.

Also hard to say since YouTube links redirect to the app.

Palm Pre is still the best device of the entire family.

I love how Comments is where the most interesting discussion occurs. The forums are so heavily policed by the moderators that anything interesting is usually deleted or closed and anybody that says anything about a different platform is usually banned. It must be because traffic is down in the forums but number of moderators is the same so they don't have enough to do.

It's THURSDAY! I wonder what today's accessory special will be.

Better late than never, I am still rocking my Sprint Pre. :) Might to go the Galaxy Nexus if it comes to Sprint.

I noticed this odd phenomenon the other day. I thought my phone had issues with opening new windows so it just opened as is. I think it's ok but I couldn't view the whole video due to it's native video sizing.

An original Pre' user here...unfortunately I am experiencing no change w/youtube vid's...

I can't figure it out either on a 1.4.5 VZW Pre Plus. All search results and links still kick me to the YT App.

Anyone else find it hilarious that the mods are now closing threads about Android on the HP TouchPad? It's almost like the idea of TouchPad owners upgrading to Android undermines their deep denial about the death of WebOS.

It IS hilarious. The PreCentral forums is a reality distortion zone where HP killing webOS is just a rumor, Android is not being used on TPs to replace webOS, and iOS products simply do not exist.

It's a land of obscure plasticky mobile hardware unicorns that will mysteriously fulfill all mobile technology wishes for years to come. And, the forums are closely guarded by the moderators who will quickly tamp down any hurtful ideas that arise such as:

"HP is killing webOS"
"I'm thinking about getting an iPhone"
"This {webOS device] isn't working very well"
"How do you install Android on a TP"

In a year, there will be five guys in there having debates about when their spare Pre 2 and Pre 3's should be taken out of the freezer to be used and waiting for the final word from HP on webOS. ironic that people here used to complain about the Apple Reality Distortion Field.

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In their defense. I don't see how it's a low blow if they were slow at developing their prodcut with this version of HTML5.

you never noticed the ability to force YouTube to use html5 that was put in prob about 3 years ago?