Today's HP webOS event was all about letting everyone know that webOS is definitely here to stay and HP is putting in massive resources (human and monetary) to ensure that webOS puts up a decent fight. To this effect, three product announcements were made today; the TouchPad tablet, the Pre 3 smartphone targeted at professionals and the Veer, which is unlike anything out there today (except maybe the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini).

Information about what HP may be announcing today has been leaking out through various sources in the days leading to today's event. That a tablet and a successor to the Pre 2 would be launched today was a given. But seeing the devices and the whole webOS eco-system actually work together (and very well) was definitely a pleasant surprise. Plus the Veer announcement out of the blue was an added bonus, and a good one at that.

We'll first be talking about the device that was clearly the star of the show, the TouchPad. We will then look at the Pre 3 and Veer smartphones and wrap it up with other interesting announcements that were made today.

Say hey to the TouchPad
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  • Conficio - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    Thanks for a great amount of information.

    I'd like to know more about the built quality and feel of the devices. The current Palm devices out there feel rather plastic and flimsy. Any different with this series?

    I can see a lot of glossy plastic and that does not appeal to me. Even the stand has glossy plastic, a smudge and finger print magnet. The display of the Pad seems a rather glossy screen too.

    I also wonder if the Weer has GPS, it is only mentioned for the Pre 3. On a "professional" device the build quality ios even more important. And the glossy black does not look appealing there at all.

    And may be I should know that from the Web OS so far, but what is the app market like? Is it closed to a single vendor like Apple? What are the developer conditions (rules for acceptance, competing products, pricing, in app purchase of content, ...)? What is the dev platform like? Or is there an open market, where I can connect my device to HP, an OSS market and my carriers market and get them unified in one view on the device?
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    according to precentral the Veer does have GPS.

    While I like the idea of a smaller smartphone, I wonder if this is too small. It is about the same width and thickness as my HTC Diamond but a half inch shorter and with a smaller and lower resolution screen. I almost never need a stylus but am generally using a fingernail to press the screen as everything is small. On a capacitive screen that won't be an option. Also the battery is going to be tiny, the smaller screen should draw less power but still I wonder if battery life will be acceptable. I wonder if a Pixi 2 would have been overall more useful?
  • arswihart - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    I agree, it's a waste to go with the same form factor as the Pre, only miniaturized, and the screen being too small was already proven with the Pixi. A Pixi candy-bar style phone with the resolution of the Pre, or an iPhone form-factor slate phone with the resolution of the IPhone4 / Atrix, would have been a much better option next to the Pre3. This isn't going to do well unless it's free on contract at launch.
  • Suntan - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    Its fairly open. Costs nothing to submit an app and they are added to the marketplace after a day or two to review them. Hopefully HP continues the love that Palm showed app developers (millions given away in contests, half-off drives where users paid half price but devs still got full loyalties, etc.)

    Actually, the homebrew scene is just as active as the official app marketplace. I can install a homebrew modification that customizes the base functionality of the phone as simply as I can an official app. All OTA from a simple selectable list with no need to “root” anything.

    Personally, I’m a big fan of WebOS and if pre3 is truly shipping as a worldphone, I’m all over it. Don’t even get me started on the luxury of touchstone…

  • Dug - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    I like the uniform look. If HP or developers push out content that works well, they may have a very good chance. What they have shown so far is great and I would buy one right now over an iPad just for the multi tasking and clean look.
    What I hate about Android is the unclean look between all apps. Different backgrounds, fonts, touch functions, makes it seem very fragmented.
  • fogle112 - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    Is this feature limited only to transferring web addresses? It would have so much potential if it were more extensible. It would be so much better if pdf readers, e-book readers, document editors etc. that may come standard on the devices could use it.

    But, even beyond that has HP intimated any sort of api that could be used in the development of any application? Possibilities really open up if that is the case.
  • mythun.chandra - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    Although only the web-address transferring was actually demo'd, I am quite sure this functionality would cover other use-cases such as email, books (assuming it is purchased and the Kindle app is made available for the Pre 3) etc.

    HP is being very open on the development front. If you look at the webOS 2.0 overview article, almost all the new features have been exposed to developers via API's. I would be surprised if this one isn't.
  • synaesthetic - Friday, February 11, 2011 - link

    The Veer could easily replace featurephones as long as the price is right.

    I've always sort of imagined that as the top-tier smartphone market moves forward, that yesterday's superphones would become tomorrow's featurephones.

    Thus far it hasn't really happened, but if the Veer is CHEAP ENOUGH ($200-250 off contract), and Apple actually does put out their rumored "iPhone Mini" for $200 off-contract, I can definitely see these miniscule smartphones giving crappy and un-useful featurephones a serious run for their money.

    Now Sony, if you can make another Xperia Mini Pro, but make sure it has a decent CPU... and Android 2.3...
  • Penti - Saturday, February 12, 2011 - link

    It could be a create business phone, not everybody wants a entertainment device for work :)

    HP needs to start selling them through their distribution-system in all the world though. I can order a Pre 2 here in Sweden from their UK website. But can't get in in stores, on HP's own website and it's not even advertised at all that they sell it to Sweden. Distribution was really what Palm was missing. We couldn't buy the Pre here at all.

    Btw I'm sitting on a 260 USD Android now, a few years ago that would have been a feature phone. They already have replace feature phones and as I see it they need to disappear, makes no sense maintaing the code for those platforms. That 260 is with 25% VAT/sales tax included. There's Android phones now for 155 USD here, without a contract. I know it isn't custom to do in the US, but still it's already here. In the US to there is a few android devices from 150 USD.

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