Open WebOS 1.0 Coming in September

Illustration for article titled Open WebOS 1.0 Coming in September

When HP kinda, sorta killed webOS as a money making endeavor, they promised to keep it alive as an open source project, but offered little in the way of concrete details. According to The Verge they've partially pulled back the curtain, revealing that Open webOS 1.0 should arrive in September.

Along with news of the OS' rebirth, they also released the 1.0 version of their Javascript-based Enyo framework for Javascript app, and it contains parts of what will come in the 2.0 release. The 2.0 components will allow apps developed for webOS to run on other platforms and browsers. [HP via The Verge]

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I've got such mixed feelings about WebOS. BTW I use Apple devices (iPhone, iPad) but also bought a $99 Touchpad during the fire sale. I've had plenty of time with both.

I continue to believe that the WebOS UI is the closest competitor to iOS. It's clean, consistent, and intuitive. It really looks like a lot of care went into creating it. Given how quickly it was developed, it's pretty amazing. Android has been through many iterations and it still isn't as good IMO (purely from a UI standpoint).

But I also think there are fundamental problems with the way WebOS is coded, and certainly with the HTML-based 3rd party app framework. I've read articles about it. They had a great concept on paper that didn't pan out in practice, they took coding shortcuts, and what resulted doesn't perform real well and will never match iOS.

In summary, iOS and WebOS are both polished on the surface, but iOS is polished underneath the hood while WebOS is far from it. That's why even the latest update on my Touchpad "works good enough" but is FAR from the smoothness and responsiveness of iOS, and that really takes away from the joy of the experience. iOS makes you forget you are using a computer at all, while WebOS always seems to be struggling a bit.

I imagine the limitations really affect 3rd party developers which is part of the reason for poor support (the other reason being lack of installed base of course).

I suspect this is why no other company jumped at the opportunity to buy WebOS from HP. Too many issues underneath the hood.

But I'm still hoping for good things from this open source initiative.