First time was by HP after the acquisition and Palm more or less went poof, just about 4 years ago.
In fact, the original repositories are still available on GitHub:
The ship has long since sailed and android now is almost certainly better than WebOS ever was, but this does make me nostalgic.
I don't know if there's room in the market for WebOS to make any kind of significant resurgence, but considering how many people show interest in tools like React Native and Xamarin for mobile apps these days it might stand a better chance than 2-3 years ago.
It wasn't a duopoly at the time though the first public release of webOS followed Android's by just a few months, Symbian and LiMo/Tizen were still players in potentia, …. And between the innovative yet intuitive interface and web-based tech, many people were super excited by webOS.
The issue is the Spring exclusivity (distant third) hurt, Palm flubbed the original hardware quality-wise, and they didn't have the breadth (or balls?) to build a consumer-oriented version (purely software interface) and leave the hardware keyboard behind.
 though that also caused real issues wrt performances.
One could also (as was tradition) infinitely hack around most of the Palm Pre line to enable it in the end. Just before HP gave up the webOS ghost, it was a popular homebrew thing to do for a certain contingent.
As for the original hardware, it could have really used time when there really wasn't any time to spare in the competitive landscape.
I also had a (Developer) Pre 2 which was incrementally better, and while that was a nice piece of kit, the Palm Pixi was a horrible misstep (with its minuscule size and--gasp--magnetic headphone jack) I first witnessed at their unveiling in San Francisco. The Pre 3 was the only webOS phone that had a genuine shot left, but the HP Touchpad debacle pretty much sealed it. There was even a smaller HP Touchpad in the works at the time (fully working prototypes are found now and then) to diversify the line.
Using a Samsung C9 Pro now, which has a 6" screen with a useful 16:9 ratio, so it's wider than the phones now like the Note 8 which is 6.3" but a silly 18.5:9 ratio.
It will, with a bit of fiddling, run Nougat (see https://forum.xda-developers.com/hp-touchpad) but the various pieces of the support tools, ex. novacomm, are decrepit and compiling them on current Linux and toolchain didn't result in a working tool so you have to bodge around with old binary releases. Given how slow the device feels with Marshmallow and then Nougat, I will probably save my pennies for a newer tablet.
As to not booting, they're really hard to brick. They can however run down so that even the battery icon won't show. Try charging it using the original charger or other that can do 2A for a day or two then attempt a hard reset.
I continued using it as a glorified e-reader until the Apple Pencil--taking notes and markup PDFs is what finally made me switch. I wouldn't go back as iOS has finally surpassed what Palm/HP had half a decade ago, but it still holds a place in my heart. Kinda like the Amiga, Commodore 64, and BeOS.
I still have the webos partition and booted it after trying v8 and god how Swift it was(sic). Would love to see the LG version run here too.
I've always wondered why it has been so slow to be adopted for other phones and tablets.
I love my LG webos TV, overall I find the experience better than on my previous TV powered by Android..
Except that WebOS can't read mkv files and VLC is not available either :/
It is sad how app support can kill the usefulness of an US
It's model OLED55B7A
- maybe I am doing it wrong ? I doubt it since it should be pretty straightforward to plugin a HDD, click on video / watch.
- IIRC mkv is just a container, it might be that we are just playing different formats.
That being said according to this https://www.displayspecifications.com/en/model/f32a955 MKV should be supported.
I've got a similar TV and MKV works on mine.
My brother purchased the Pixie. It was kind of neat, too, but... that rubberized backing started pealing off and it started to get pretty gross.
Android widgets like Vista widgets, OSX widgets, or KDE widgets failed at their vision because it's usually easier to open an application when you want one.
The webOS card interface scales to tablet beautifully (I think it was actually better on tablet) and with some additions would scale to desktop as well.
The UI was successful (IMO) because it wasn't actually different. Someone (at Nokia IIRC) once compared iOS navigation to having a house where every door faced outside and you have to go outside to go around to the room you want. Android made the same mistake. Both have taken step after step to deal with the effects without really addressing the cause.
On a desktop, opening apps is secondary. You have a few favorites in your dock for quick access. After that, you either open your start menu or launchpad and go hunting else you Cmd-SPC and type the name. Once you have everything open, switching and managing applications is the name of the game with lots of tools to make this happen.
The default paradigm in webOS is the same. A dock of favorites with an app drawer plus JustType to find less-used apps. Aside from that, managing apps is front-and-center. Compare groups of cards to OSX horizontal spaces. You go from group to group and managing apps is the default. Once again comparing to OSX, webOS has a consistent menu in the upper-left and a settings menu in the upper-right.
Android and iOS now try to mimic this, but it's always a secondary feature. Home is default with app switching being someplace you go to to see your list of 100 "open" apps. Both have decided that users who are perfectly capable of using a menu on their desktop are incapable of doing so on a phone.
Another not really mimicked feature of webOS was its service integration. Having all your different accounts working together in one central place seamlessly is an experience nothing comes close to.
Even comparing to the web they were ahead. EnyoJS was/is a component-based framework. You could compare it to React with manual view updating (which is actually more powerful if less easy on the developer). This was in the backbone, knockout, early angular days.
The flaws of webOS were blatant and fairly fixable. They used Qt for the GUI, but didn't allow native apps to be built using it (and didn't have a native SDK until way after they should have). They use Qt's version of v8 and webkit which were terribly out of date and (as a result) much slower than they should have been. The underlying Linux OS never had even basic optimizations put in place. The hardware was sub-par and memory was too restricted at the time. There were also rough edges in the UI, but nothing worse than iOS or Android at the time.
Today, loads of phones have more than enough memory. The processors are fast. Web standards now have things like wasm or webworkers that make apps much more powerful. This is the time when webOS really could shine.
In a day of 4+GB phones running the fast processors of today, much better web standards w a web phone really is more relevant than ever.
I liked having the CPU/RAM usage widget in a small corner of my secondary monitor on Vista/Win7 as well.
I think the main point is that whether this kind of functionality is in a pull-down menu, a widget, or a gesture away, I like being able to specify a few things that I can access quickly without opening a fullscreen app.
But the OS itself uses Qt and Chromium to display any HTML5 content, as the project page from the linked article states.
This contrasts with, say, Firefox OS - it rendered directly to an OGL-ES framebuffer.
Or even finish the whole sentence before running off to make this comment?
The headstart the Palm folks had in Mobile OS/vision went into WebOS.
If I had the ability to run WebOS on a Pixel or Google device I would seriously consider it.
I tried converting to Android but every app I tried (and I tried dozens!) either had some critical missing feature or cost too much. And the work phone is locked down, so I can't put any personal info on it.
So I have a bump in the left pocket and the work phone on the right hip. A Google Voice number as my personal "cell" which gets forwarded to the work phone.
I imagine I'll die with a Treo in my pocket. They're reliable, but if one breaks they're $15 on eBay in almost new condition. Since one can still find the original Palms also on eBay, I expect to be able to find replacements for one of the last Palms made for a lonnnnng time.
I get the spying part, as long as we talk about the standard "needs a internet connection to do whatever a Smart TV does these days".
Or is there more to it?
The home screen/main menu shows ads on the left hand side all the time.
In my case, in Australia, it's often "BigPond Movies" which I'm not a subscriber to.
See for example this screenshot from a review...
Maybe a country specific thing or even outright prohibited in Europe.
I believe any solid grab for a more open handset os starts here.
"In its original form, the project was a repackaging of the SharpROM, the Zaurus's factory supplied kernel and root filesystem image. In order to make the Zaurus's OS closer to the needs of the developer community, the SharpROM was altered through the use of bugfixes, software additions, and even removals in order to make the package more open.
The OpenZaurus project was revamped completely, becoming Debian-based built from source, from the ground up. Due to the change in direction, OpenZaurus became quite similar to other embedded Debian-based distributions, such as Familiar for the iPAQ. OpenZaurus, in its current form, facilitates an easy method for users to build their own custom images. The efforts of Openzaurus, along with other embedded Linux projects, were integrated into the OpenEmbedded Project, which now provides the common framework for these projects."
The LuneOS project seems to be more of a viable spiritual successor to WebOS than WebOS itself, and has been under slow but active development since the split.
It is based on modern and open projects (where possible), with an android compatibility layer which should hopefully reduce app gap issues.
Good to see LG keeping it even tangentially relevant.
I recently got a LG TV with WebOS 4 for ~$700. Not the cheapest possible but by far also not a high end TV.
I was pleasantly surprised how well WebOS works and how nice the look of it is. Watching TV, Netflix, Twitch or DLNA streaming works great as well.
Some comments mentioned a cursor. But that's not the main input device, I usually use the arrow keys on the remote. I only saw a cursor on the (as usual on such devices) useless browser.
AndroidTV was good, but WebOS is mostly pretty great !
However, I wish my TV had shipped with AndroidTV instead.
While the experience is IMO slightly inferior, there are many video I can't watch with WebOS. On Android, I would just have to install VLC.
I just want an on/off button, a good panel, and a single HDMI input. The TV displays what comes in from the HDMI input.
From the searching I've done, apparently this is too much to ask for.
Where it becomes unavoidable is if you want certain features. Like my LG is the last generation of 3D TV, and one of the only TVs with Passive 3D on a 4K panel. I found that all 3D TVs were smart TVs, but if you're just looking for a panel, numerous brands will sell you a panel.
Also, note that smart TVs are only "smart" if you connect them to Wi-Fi. It's not like they have cellular radios. Don't give them Ethernet or Wi-Fi, and they'll do pretty much just what you want them to.
I'd love to be able to have picture modes that would remove all image processing to reduce input lag, and get the image as intended, especially when I'm using the TV's native resolution.
Perhaps around here: https://github.com/webosose/avoutputd/blob/master/src/video/...
It would be interesting if some kind of political rift propelled WebOS back into phones.
FirefoxOS had some potential, but the Firefox guys killed it and it was often viewed as bad Android (probably due to only shipping on crappy devices).
A premium phone with webOS could be a device that has the benefit of web apps, with the fallback of native (a big feature for a lot of important apps) with a compelling UI.
Still, if a talented team like at a place like Essential was to take a look at this... A mobile platform that is PWA first probably isn't too far off a future that iOS and Android would be considering too :)
There may not be a market for a straight-up Linux system with first-class HTML and JS apps anymore, but judging it based on FirefoxOS isn't really fair.
People love their rose-colored glasses.
It was really an early state of JS based applications that pre-dated a lot of current JS application development.
In some ways, the ability to build entire mobile apps only in HTML/JS still remains unique compared to iOS/Android.
Firefox OS used Web technologies more extensively than webOS. It was not only the app runtime, it was a lot of the OS parts too as you see on this chapter from the "Gaia from above book":
The native layer in Firefox OS was quite thin and a lot was delegated to web code running in the b2g process. WebOS took a different path.
Mozilla approach helped advance the notion that the web platform could do things that people didn't realize it could such as internal OS stuff. Still, this had the side-effect of adding a ton of APIs to Gecko making it harder for the team working on the desktop browser to maintain it. With the end of Firefox OS and the inevitable "purge of those APIs" from the source code we've reached a point where we can't recreate Firefox OS using a recent Gecko. While webOS could (with a lot of work from LG) be moved into recent Chromium due to its usage of the web runtime as just a runtime.
Had Mozilla approached a similar architecture, we could potentially still have Firefox OS going on. Unfortunately, even picking webOS and trying to replace Chromium with Gecko is quite hard as Gecko doesn't have a good embedability history.
I love this release by LG, it could lead to some really interesting appliances and maybe even a new Linux desktop experiment. I don't see it on phones anytime soon, LuneCE has more chance of shipping on phones than this release but I can see this replacing digital signage, POS stuff and even thin clients on desktop/laptop form factor.
But I said this in 2015..
"The web will eat up everything, watch." -
Enyo was/is truly a pioneer in the field of web technology. It still is and I believe it's magic is just being under utilized at the moment.
Though, haven't used my LG devices in years :(
I worked at Office Depot and got my hands on a few of the early Palm devices, Pilot, Tungsten3T and then then the European only Pre3. The integration with the Touchpad was underwhelming though and a real disappointment.
I would already be happy if webgl demos that keep being regularly posted here would run as smooth as my OpenGL ES native ones.
This is very exciting. I was saddened when Firefox quit its web OS initiative. Similarly when they removed the ability to create application shortcuts - chrome also seems to be de-emphasizing them.
I'm a believer in the web becoming the future of apps, and by extension the operating system. Apps are in a sense today's Flash - closed, proprietary, custom, prettier, faster. As the web catches up - it's getting there - its free, open standards and develop-once-guaranteed-to-deploy-anywhere characteristics will win out.
I'd say this reasoning was the main catalyst for Apple killing Flash, and why they only allow their own rendering engine on iOS (chrome on iOS, for example, uses the same internals as Safari).
In fact, the rationale for killing it seems an example of corporate waste: it had user base in double-digits in mid-size markets like the UK and a growing base in major non-North America markets. Why not let it grow outside of America?
It was also an OS ahead of its time, at least in terms of the UI. Where else can I pin a huge preconfigured icon to the main screen to quickly activate it when I'm in a rush? Where else I don't have to scroll through the endless list of tiny icons to find what I want?
I'm curious to understand the corporate motivation here... do they see specific use cases that the market is demanding that open source WebOS can meet?
That said, I do have a nagging feeling that the interface could be improved if it looked a bit more like Roku's. Some people complain that Roku's is archaic, but it's perhaps the most navigable I've come across.
And if I eant to go to 5 from 6 by pressing down I need to wait 15 seconds. If I don't wait it skips 1-5 range and lands on channel 1300 something.