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7 years ago

The webOS Wish List: CalDAV and CardDAV support

The webOS Wish List: CalDAV and CardDAV support

by Derek Kessler Wed, 19 Dec 2012 5:47 pm EST

The webOS Wish List: CalDAV and CardDAV support

With the recent news that Google is shutting down support for new Exchange ActiveSync and Google Sync connections in favor of open source IMAP, CalDAV, and CardDAV standards, we were given a brief scare here in the webOS Nation. While we're safe for now thanks to Synergy utilizing Google APIs instead of Exchange, we can't help but wonder if there might be a better way to go about it.

Google's recommending that iOS and Android users switch away from ActiveSync and use IMAP (or the Gmail app for those devices), CalDAV, and CardDAV, services that the two leading mobile operating systems support. Other mobile operating systems - like BlackBerry 7, Windows Phone, and webOS don't support the calendar- and contact-syncing protocols. They can still send and receive emails with IMAP, but email is a whole lot more difficult without access to your contacts and their email addresses.

BlackBerry 7 isn't going to get updated to support CalDAV or CardDAV - Google had to build a custom sync app for the aged operating system. Windows Phone will need a system update - and quick - to add in CalDAV and CardDAV support, as it's clear Google's not planning on making apps for Windows Phone as they did for iOS and Android unless the platform's marketshare picks up (one could argue that the lack of Google services on Windows Phone will perpetuate a vicious cycle with respect to consumer adoption and marketshare).

webOS, on the other hand, could be an easier fix. While a system update would be needed to correct a no-longer-functioning Google log-in option for webOS (again, that's not happening with the Exchange shut down), replacing it would be relatively easy and could be accomplished with a distribution in the App Catalog or through homebrew channels. Yep, that's right, we're talking about a Synergy Connector.

As Open webOS is based on open source software, is itself fully open source, and is all about embracing open source standards, it's actually surprising that CalDAV and CardDAV support wasn't baked in during the open-sourcing process. Thankfully, thanks to the existence of Synergy Connectors, adding support for both shouldn't be an overly complicated matter for both Open webOS and even webOS 2.x and 3.x. Since webOS 2.0, the operating system has included support for adding third-party synchronization services via Synergy Connectors, though it's rare that an app or service takes advantage of the option.

Our suggestion: Make a new complete package Google log-in Synergy Connector that combines IMAP email, CalDAV, and CardDAV (while also adding separated support for the latter two for other services). Build support into Open webOS and put the Synergy Connector up for free in the App Catalog. If that's something that HP/Gram's not willing to invest their time in, thankfully all three are open source standards and maybe somebody in the homebrew community will pick up the ball and run with it.

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.

7 years ago

webOS Ports hackathon on Wednesday to update Internals apps to Enyo 2

webOS Ports hackathon on Wednesday to update Internals apps to Enyo 2

by Derek Kessler Tue, 18 Dec 2012 9:24 pm EST

webOS Ports hackathon to update Internals apps to Enyo 2

Time to get your Enyo on, developers. webOS porting homebrew group WebOS Ports is staging a hackathon tomorrow to migrate a slew of WebOS Internals apps to the modern Enyo 2 app framework. The vast majority of the WebOS Internals apps we know and love, including standards like Preware, are built on the legacy Mojo framework (who would have thought that we'd be describing an app framework that's less than four-years-old as 'legacy'?), the exception being Tweaks, which is an Enyo 1 application.

Seeing as Open webOS does not have support for the old Mojo framework, Mojo being very nearly pure web code, constructed for smartphones like the Pre and Pixi, and not built for modern mobile needs, there's a need for the leading homebrew apps to be built on Enyo. After all, that Samsung Galaxy Nexus Open webOS port isn't going to be much good if it can't run apps like Preware or Tweaks.

So the WebOS Ports team has organized a hackathon kicking off Wednesday, December 19th at 3PM Eastern time (noon Pacific, 20:00 UTC) in the #webos-ports IRC channel with the goal of bringing as many of the classic WebOS Internals mojo apps up to modern standards. On the list for porting: Preware, Govnah, Lumberjack, and Tweaks. Additionally, there's a need for a file manager app, considering that none exist for Enyo 2 and really, that's something we've always thought should have been built into webOS (even if hidden away for power users).
 

Source: WebOS Ports

7 years ago

Reminder: Cast Your Votes in the 2012 webOS Nation Community Awards!

Reminder: Cast Your Votes in the 2012 webOS Nation Community Awards!

by James Falconer Tue, 18 Dec 2012 5:43 pm EST

WP Central

Quick reminder for everyone today, in case you missed the forums announcement opening up the 2012 webOS Nation Community Awards for voting!

We're running the awards right now through December 21st at noon EST. If you're a regular in our forums, you'll want to head over there right now and cast your votes.

There are 8 categories to submit your input on. All you need to do is enter the username of the member you think is most deserving, and tell us a little story on WHY the person should win. If you don't have a submission for a question, no worries, you can just skip that question. Easy stuff folks.

Take a minute and cast your votes!

Full details here...

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7 years ago

Building Palm 2.0: Assemble your webOS hardware dream team [from the forums]

Building Palm 2.0: Assemble your webOS hardware dream team [from the forums]

by Derek Kessler Tue, 18 Dec 2012 5:26 pm EST

Building Palm 2.0: Assemble your webOS hardware dream team [from the forums]

Let's say you have a few billion dollars burning a hole in your pocket (HP certainly doesn't). Being a good and loyal webOS fan, you decide that the best way to spend this money is to finance a brand-new company to purpose-build new webOS hardware. Really, what better way is there to spend billions of dollars? Okay, there might be better things to do with a billion dollars, but that's not the purpose of this thought exercise. We're venturing into the Twilight Zone here...

mattmers in the webOS Nation Forums proposes an interesting question: "If you could pick employee to be part of a dream webOS 'company' who would you pick?" Obvious names, like Jon Rubinstein (currently retired) and Matias Duarte (now at Google), are floated out there, along with a few more outlandish ones, like this guy named Derek Kessler (seriously, who would want that ass in their company?).

But it's an interesting question to ask, if you were building a new webOS hardware company, who would you be trying to woo to build your dream team? There are a lot of former Palm employees scattered throughout Silicon Valley and beyond, a good majority of which we expect likely have strong sentiments towards their old operating system, even if in spite of their feelings towards their former employer. And there are plenty of other non-webOSers out there that are looking for the next great opportunity.

HP and Gram aren't likely to be building new webOS hardware in anything resembling the new near future, so it's up to somebody else to do it. What better than a reconstituted Palm 2.0 (we've always had a soft spot for that name) to take up the Open webOS hardware mantle? And who better to lead it than… well, that's the question mattmers is asking.

7 years ago

Reminder: Get Your Video Submissions in for The Mobile Nations 2013 CES Experience!

Reminder: Get Your Video Submissions in for The Mobile Nations 2013 CES Experience!

by James Falconer Mon, 17 Dec 2012 5:53 pm EST

WP Central

Well folks, the response so far has been tremendous in The Mobile Nations 2013 CES Experience. The list of entrants is growing steadily, and we would like to thank ALL that have entered thus far.

That said, if you haven't submitted your entry yet, what are you waiting for??? If you're selected, you could join us and NVIDIA at CES 2013. Airfare, hotel and a pass to the show is all included… along with 'insider access' to some cool events, and even a few nights out with the Mobile Nations and NVIDIA teams. It's going to be a blast.

For all the details, check out the official post. Keep those submissions coming in!

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7 years ago

webOS Synergy Google sync safe from Google's ActiveSync shut down

webOS Synergy Google sync safe from Google's ActiveSync shut down

by Derek Kessler Mon, 17 Dec 2012 5:44 pm EST

webOS Synergy Google sync safe from Google's ActiveSync shut down

When Google announced last week that they were going to be shutting down support for new synchronization connections via Exchange ActiveSync, we were a little worried. Obviously that meant that webOS users wouldn't be able to add Google accounts via Exchange after the January 2013 shut down deadline, but what about the Google Account log-in option in Synergy, would that continue to function? Since we didn't know what Palm and HP built in to webOS to make the Google syncing magic happen, we had to ask.

It took a little while (Google had no clue what we were talking about, though that's not surprising considering that webOS probably isn't even on their radar anymore), but we've got our answer straight from HP:

"WebOS uses IMAP for accessing Gmail, and both Google Contacts API v2 and Google Calendar API v2 for Contacts and Calendar access. WebOS will not be affected by Google's decision to discontinue ActiveSync support for Gmail, Contacts, and Calendar on new devices."

So, breath easy Gmail-obsessed webOS users (this blogger included) - everything's hunky dory in Synergy land. The APIs utilized by webOS have been deprecated by Google as they've moved on to v3 of both the Google Contacts API and Google Calendar API, though we've seen no indication for Google that they'll be discontinued anytime soon. Then again, Microsoft was apparently caught off guard by Google's decision to kill Exchange support, so you never know...

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7 years ago

Modify your phone's "carrier string" text

Modify your phone's "carrier string" text

by Adam Marks Mon, 17 Dec 2012 5:29 pm EST

Edit Carrier StringThe "carrier string" is the bit of text on the top-left of your device that is visible when you are in card mode or looking at your device's lock screen, and shows the cellular carrier that you are currently connected to. So, unless you do any travelling or have roaming enabled on your device, this will always show the same thing, be it "AT&T" or "Sprint" or whatever your carrier is. Some of the first patches available for webOS have been to modify this carrier string, but most of those were another static (i.e. non-editable) string of text; one patch for webOS 1.x devices would even show the SSID of a Wi-Fi network you were connected to. Regardless, unless you were comfortable editing and manually installing .patch files, your options were limited to what you could choose.

With the development of the Tweaks app by WebOS Internals and homebrew developer Garrett92c's "Custom Carrier String" patch in Preware, you now have full control over what you can put in your carrier string text. Once you have both Tweaks and the patch is installed, you will see that the carrier string is defaulted to just showing "Palm". But load up Tweaks, tap on "Topbbar" section, enter your new carrier string in text box and then swipe back. You should be prompted to perform a Luna Restart and just select "Yes". Once the device loads back up, it may still say "Palm" for a few seconds and then your new text will appear. 

While you can obviously put anything in this next field, once suggestion would be to put in an "In case of emergency" number in here by putting in "ICE ###-###-####" (ICE is a common acronym for "In Case of Emergency". This can be helpful if you have a PIN or password set on your device because you don't need to get past the lock screen to view this number. So if there is an emergency and someone picks up your phone, they can immediately see your emergency contact number.  Or, you can just put in "webOS Nation rules". We won't complain!

7 years ago

Just Say is Chinese for webOS voice control

Just Say is Chinese for webOS voice control

by Ryan St. Andrie Sat, 15 Dec 2012 5:20 pm EST

Just Say is Chinese for webOS voice control

Whether you love Apple or not, it's hard to deny the impact they've had on the mobile industry and the technologies they've either created ro popularized. While Apple didn't create voice control or even Siri (which the acquired by buying a small developer), they pushed quality voice recognition and control to the forefront of the mobile experience - even if Google and Microsoft had beat them to the punch as far as the feature itself was concerned. Regardless of how good or bad the voice control offerings from Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft, and others are, it is blatantly obvious it is a much-desired feature by today's customers.

While we'd like to think that HP was working on voice control of their own for webOS, the untimely demise of webOS hardware put a kibosh on any such hypothetical plans. But, as is typical of webOS users and developers, the cancellation of hardware development and the future of the entire operating system being up in the air isn't something to slow them down - as demonstrated by a new Chinese app for webOS that's a sort of "baby Siri", known simply as Just Say.

Just Say (known as Wiri earlier in its development) seems to have all the makings of a good digital assistant even in its current beta status, albeit one for the Chinese speakers among us. This little bit of software can get your current weather, snag your location in the maps app, make calls, and even write a message for you. As to what else it is capable of doing, well, we honestly aren't sure - our Chinese is horrible and machine translation from Chinese is really difficult.

The app is available through the Chinese webOS forum Zoopda, which has filled a surprisingly large niche for Chinese webOS users (webOS hardware was never officially made available in China, despite the existence of localized Chinese-language webOS builds). Our friend and Instagrio developer @ionull was able to get us a copy of Just Say to try out, though there wasn't really much we could do with it, given our lack of understanding for both spoken and written Chinese.

Even with our Chinese language deficiency, Just Say still intrigues us. In a world where webOS apps and support for apps are dropping away every week, it gives us hope for the future to see apps like Just Say are being created. We wouldn't expect Just Say to be coming in an English version any time soon, but the fact that the service exists and works (aside from it sending up "What are you saying, crazy American?" errors when we try and speak at it) is highly encouraging not just for the future of webOS apps, but for the power of webOS as a platform.

Source: Zoopda; Via: webOSFrance

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7 years ago

Don't expect the LG webOS TV at CES 2013

Don't expect the LG webOS TV at CES 2013

by Derek Kessler Fri, 14 Dec 2012 8:08 pm EST

Don't expect the LG webOS TV at CES 2013

Back in October when we broke the news that Gram is working with LG on creating an Open webOS-powered HDTV, we were told by our sources that the plan was to unveil the next-generation smart TV at CES 2013 (8-11 January). With CES now less than a month away, we're being told that a reveal next month is unlikely, as much as Gram wants to start making money off Open webOS and LG might want to move on from the aging NetCast and controlling Google TV platforms. The CES 2013 target launch was an optimistic one and we'll admit that we were a little skeptical that it was going to happen so quickly. Unsurprisingly, HP/Gram declined to comment on the reports that they are working with LG on an Open webOS TV, let along whether or not said television will be launching at CES.

The work between LG and Gram is ongoing, though the leaks that were behind our October exclusive apparently spooked executives at the companies (though who exactly and to what degree they were upset by the leak isn't clear), prompting Gram to go further into lockdown/stealth mode. The plan was for Gram to have formally launched by now, but for the time being they're putting the public unveil of the new company on hold and focusing on their work on Open webOS and with LG.

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