Exhibition: at a glance [webOS 2.0] | webOS Nation

Exhibition: at a glance [webOS 2.0]

by Derek Kessler Tue, 31 Aug 2010 4:05 pm EDT


As we saw hinted earlier this month, Palm is bringing a ‘dock mode’ of sorts with webOS 2.0, and it’s not a dock mode like you might expect. Exhibition is a Touchstone-triggered app extension that displays at-a-glance information of your choosing while your phone charges. It’s pretty straightforward: you set the phone on the Touchstone charger, and Exhibition view is launch and your at-a-glance info is displayed.

What makes Exhibition interesting is that developers can build their own modules, and bake them into their apps. A few off-the-top-of-our-heads example: Calendar could display the day’s appointments (agenda view!), your to-do list could be pulled from Tasks, your Facebook photos could be shown in a slideshow, Top Stocks could display the current state of the stock market, or you could have a simple analog clock. Like the other enhancements coming in webOS 2.0, the possibilities for Exhibition are wide open, and while Palm is creating a handful of Exhibition modules, they want to leave it open to developers to truly exploit its potential.

There’s one caveat to Exhibition, and it’s one that has us somewhat disappointed. As of right now, Exhibition only supports one block at a time. This, of course, opens the doors for developers to build the be-all end-all Exhibition app that combines as much information as possible into one at-a-glance Touchstone block. Our hope is that Palm figures out how to have multiple Exhibition modules displayed at a time, either by having smaller/multiple-sized blocks (ala Android widgets), via a gesture-based cards-like row of modules, or some other Palm-brewed magic. Speaking of brewing, we reckon it’ll only be a matter of time before the webOS homebrew community patches things up so that Exhibition can be displayed when charging via cable as well.

Even with that bit of disappointment, we’re still pretty stoked for Exhibition. It’s one thing to rejuice your phone inductively via a fancy pants charger, it’s another for that charger to change the way you use your phone.