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HP releases WebOS 3.0 SDK

Mar 31, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

HP released its WebOS 3.0 software development kit (SDK), which takes advantage of new features available on the recently announced HP TouchPad tablet. Meanwhile, HP's new CEO Leo Apotheker offered more details on how HP plans to spread WebOS across multiple devices and establish partnerships with smaller companies to expand the Linux-based platform.

HP released the WebOS 3.0 SDK to developers who have signed up for HP's WebOS Early Access program, according to a Mar. 30 blog post by HP marketing manager Sean Lindo. The SDK release follows up on the Feb. 9 announcement of the TouchPad tablet equipped with WebOS 3.0. (At that same event, HP also announced the HP Pre 3 and lower-end HP Veer, but these smartphones instead run version 2.x of the Linux-based operating system.)

HP TouchPad
(Click to enlarge)

Generally speaking, WebOS 3.0 is to WebOS 2.x as Android 3.0 is to Android 2.x — it adds support for larger screen sizes and resolutions, thereby opening up WebOS to tablets and other devices beyond smartphones. Beyond that, the key enhancement is the "Enyo" JavaScript application development framework, which is designed to eventually phase out WebOS's current default Mojo framework.

Enyo offers faster app launching, more flexible porting between multiple screen sizes, improved HTML5 support, better event handling, and an easier object-oriented development framework, says HP. In addition, Enyo provides hardware acceleration, supports browser-based development, and makes it easier for to maintain and reuse code, according to the company.

In addition to opening up Enyo to developers, the SDK provides access to core WebOS features like Just Type, Synergy, and Exhibition, says HP. The SDK also references new UI components, layouts, and application examples. Other features are said to include guidance on app structuring, design, and navigation for the TouchPad, which is expected to ship this June.

HP seeks startup partners for WebOS, says Apotheker

At the TouchPad and WebOS 3.0 announcements, HP executives tipped plans to bring WebOS to desktop PCs. In early March, HP's new CEO Leo Apotheker offered more details, saying that WebOS would be offered as a fast-boot alternative OS on all of HP's Windows-based PCs starting in 2012.

On Mar. 29, at Tony Perkins' AlwaysOn OnDemand 2011 conference, Apotheker offered some more details about HP's WebOS plans, as reported by Chris Preimesberger in our sister publication eWEEK.

HP's Leo Apotheker (left) and moderator Tony Perkins

"We will be putting our WebOS on every PC we ship in the next year, as well as on our printers," Apotheker told Perkins and the AlwaysOn audience. "We see it as a legitimate alternative because it runs devices across the spectrum — PCs, tablets, smartphones, printers, everything — and runs them well."

This offers a big advantage for software developers, Apotheker said, because they can develop applications for any HP device using the same WebOS toolkit and platform. Touting the ease of use of the WebOS 3.0 SDK, he said that the Angry Birds game was ported to the operating system in only two days.

Apotheker also said that HP will be rolling out a new platform-as-a-service business for cloud system building, and will open a new applications store next year.

HP's CEO noted that while HP has traditionally partnered only with large established companies, the company now wants to collaborate with startups and smaller companies around WebOS development, says the story.

"We can't do all of this by ourself," Apotheker said. "HP wants to have a dialog with everyone in this room. We will continue to do three things: develop on our own, partner with other good companies, and buy good companies."

While he said he would continue to partner with Microsoft and other big companies, he added, "Big doesn't always move the needle. Smart moves the needle."


The Web 3.0 SDK announcement may be found on this HP Palm Developer Center Blog page.

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