Palm webOS Announced

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Palm announced its new operating system called the Palm webOS at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). With features such as support for multi-touch input and applications that can be built using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, this OS looks to merge what many do on the Web with what their mobile device is capable of doing.

Palm webOS

Palm webOS is the latest operating system to be used in Palm devices. It is built on the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript technologies that are used for the Web today. And unlike the Palm OS used in the Centro and earlier models, this is a multitasking operating system.

Palm webOS features the use of multi-touch and gestures in order to navigate and interact with content.

An information bar, similar to the slider-cabinet used on the T-Mobile G1, is used for system notification and interacting with the music player.

A launcher bar featuring five applicaiton icons sits at the bottom of the screen. Flicking from the bottom of the screen will show the application launch screen in a 3×4 icon grid. Applications continue to run in the background when the user switches to another.

The user interface (UI) uses the analogy of “cards” in order to describe interacting with content. Each application screen is essentially a card that can be pulled into or thrown out of view. When the user wants to move to another applicaiton, they just slide that “card” to the side to get to the other. The close a running application, the user flicks the card off the top of the screen.

PIM applicaitons such as Notes, Calendar, and Contacts are there. As is a Web browser and Music Player.

A universal search features is included, which can search the PIM apps, the Web, an Exchange Server, and more.

Synergy

Syncing with webOS takes place through a new process called Synergy. Synergy enables the webOS equipped Palm device to connect to local, Outlook, Google, and other PIM data, and then mange them from one area (but not merge them).

Other features of Synergy include:

  • Linked Contacts: a single contacts view that recognizes and then links contacts across several services.
  • Layered Calendars: A single view of all calendars that can show seperate “layers” for looking at multiple calendars.
  • Combined Messaging: a bit like threaded SMS but better; Synergy not only threads SMS, but also IM conversations with a contact in a chat-view. Status and presence notification is also enabled with this.

Third-Party Applications

Third-party applications have been a huge part of Palm’s history and webOS continues this. Some of the companies who were announced to have or be working on applications include Facebook,Google, Pandora, Yahoo!, and AOL.

However, there is bad news for users of Palm’s current devices: webOS does not have support for legacy Palm OS software.

Palm Pre

The first device running webOS was also announced today, the Palm Pre. This smartphone will be released later this year by Sprint. More information on this device is available in this article.

 

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