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webOS
LG WebOS New.svg
LG webOS.jpg
webOS running on an LG smart TV
Developer LG Electronics,
Previously Hewlett-Packard & Palm
Written in C++, Qt[1]
OS family webOS (based on Linux kernel)
Source model Source-available
Latest release 04.70.50 (TV)
3.0.5 (tablet)

1.4.5 (Pre, Pre Plus (US), Pixi, and Pixi Plus) 2.1 (Pre Plus (UK) and Pre 2) 2.1.2 (Veer) 2.2.4 (Pre 3) (phone) / January 12, 2012; 6 years ago (2012-01-12)
Marketing target Embedded devices
Platforms ARM
Kernel type Monolithic (Linux kernel)
Default user interface Graphical (Luna)
License Apache License
Official website Open-source website
Developer website

webOS, also known as LG webOS and previously known as Open webOS, HP webOS and Palm webOS,[2] is a Linux kernel-based multitasking operating system for smart devices such as smart TVs and it has been used as a mobile operating system. Initially developed by Palm, Inc. (which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard), HP made the platform open source, at which point it became Open webOS. The operating system was later sold to LG Electronics. In January 2014, Qualcomm announced that it had acquired technology patents from HP, which included all the webOS and Palm patents.

Various versions of webOS have been featured on several devices since launching in 2009, including Pre, Pixi, and Veer smartphones, TouchPad tablet, LG's smart TVs since 2015, LG's smart refrigerators and smart projectors since 2017.

Contents

HistoryEdit

2009–2010: Launched by PalmEdit

Palm launched webOS, then called Palm webOS, in January 2009 as the successor to Palm OS. The first webOS device was the original Palm Pre, released by Sprint in June 2009. The Palm Pixi followed. Upgraded "Plus" versions of both Pre and Pixi were released on Verizon and AT&T.[citation needed]

2010–2013: Acquired by HP; the launch of Open webOSEdit

In April 2010, HP acquired Palm; webOS was described by Leo Apotheker as a key asset and motivation for the purchase. The $1.2 billion acquisition finalized in June. HP indicated its intention to develop the webOS platform for use in multiple new products, including smartphones, tablets, and printers.[3]

 
HP executives demonstrating webOS devices in 2011

In February 2011, HP announced that it would use webOS as the universal platform for all its devices.[4] However, HP also made the decision[5] that the Palm Pre, Palm Pixi, and the "Plus" revisions would not receive over-the-air updates to webOS 2.0,[6] despite a previous commitment to an upgrade "in coming months."[7] HP announced several webOS devices, including the HP Veer and HP Pre 3 smartphones, running webOS 2.2, and the HP TouchPad, a tablet computer released in July 2011 that runs webOS 3.0.

In March 2011, HP announced plans for a version of webOS by the end of 2011 to run within Windows,[8] and to be installed on all HP desktop and notebook computers in 2012.[9] Neither ever materialized, although work had begun on an x86 port around this time involving a team in Fort Collins, Colorado; work was scrapped later in the year.[citation needed]

In August 2011, HP announced that it was interested in selling its Personal Systems Group, responsible for all of its consumer PC products, including webOS, and that webOS device development and production lines would be halted.[10][11][12] It remained unclear whether HP would consider licensing webOS software to other manufacturers. When HP reduced the price of the Touchpad to $99, the existing inventory quickly sold out.[13]

The HP Pre 3 was launched in select areas of Europe, and US-based units were available only through unofficial channels (both AT&T and Verizon canceled their orders just prior to delivery after Apotheker's (HP's CEO at the time) announcement.[14] Notably, these US Pre 3 units, having been released through unofficial channels, lacked both warranties and carried no support obligation from HP; as a result parts are nearly impossible to come by. HP announced that it would continue to issue updates for the HP Veer and HP TouchPad, but these updates have failed to materialize for the former, and the latter saw a final, unofficial release called "webOS CE" that contained only open-sourced components of webOS meant for what remained of the developer community rather than a conventional, user-centric update to the operating system. The last HP webOS version, 3.0.5, was released on January 12, 2012.[15]

In December 2011, after abandoning the TouchPad and the proposed sale of the HP Personal Systems Group, HP announced it would release webOS source code in the near future under an open-source license.[16] In August 2012, code specific to the existing devices was released as webOS Community Edition (CE), with support for the existing HP hardware.[17] Open webOS includes open source libraries designed to target a wider range of hardware. HP renamed its webOS unit as "Gram".[18][19]

In February 2012, HP released Isis, a new web browser for Open webOS.[20]

Growth and decline of HP App CatalogEdit

The HP App Catalog was an app store for apps for the mobile devices running webOS.

On June 6, 2009, webOS launched on the Palm Pre with 18 available apps. The number of apps grew to 30 by June 17, 2009,[21] with 1 million cumulative downloads by June 27, 2009;[22] 30 official and 31 unofficial apps by July 13, 2009;[23] 1,000 official apps by January 1, 2010;[24] 4,000 official apps September 29, 2010;[25] and 10,002 official apps on December 9, 2011.[26]

Subsequently, the number of available apps decreased because many apps were withdrawn from the App Catalog by their owners. Examples include the apps for The New York Times and Pandora Radio. After a Catalog splash screen on November 11, 2014 announcing its deprecation, the HP App Catalog servers were permanently shutdown on March 15, 2015. The number of functional apps remaining at that time is unknown but was probably much lower due to the imminent abandonment of the project.[27]

2013–present: Acquired by LG; open-source edition launchedEdit

On February 25, 2013, HP announced that it was licensing webOS to LG Electronics for use on its web-enabled smart TVs, replacing its previous NetCast platform.[28][29] Under the agreement LG Electronics is allowed unlimited access to the documentation, source code, developers and all related websites. However, HP would still hold on to patents underlying webOS as well as cloud-based services such as the App Catalog.[30] In 2014, HP sold its webOS patents to Qualcomm.[31]

As well as its use as an OS for smart TVs, LG has expanded its use to various IoT devices. As a starting point, LG showcased a LG Wearable Platform OS (webOS) smartwatch in early 2015.[32] At CES 2017, LG announced a smart refrigerator with webOS.[33]

On March 19, 2018, LG announced a open-Source edition of webOS.[34] This edition would allow developers to download the source code for free as well as take advantage of related tools, guides and forums on its new open source website to become more familiar with webOS and its inherent benefits as a smart devices platform. LG hopes that this will help its goal of advancing its philosophy of open platform, open partnership and open connectivity.[35]

FeaturesEdit

The webOS mobile platform introduced some innovative features, such as the cards interface, that are still in use by Apple, Microsoft and Google on their mobile operating systems iOS, Windows Phone, and Android, respectively.[36]

Logo history
Palm webOS logo
HP webOS logo
Open webOS logo
LG webOS logo
Feature LG webOS Open webOS HP/Palm webOS
Multitasking interface Line cards Cards
Gesture interface Magic Remote touch screen and physical keyboard
App store LG Content Store No HP App Catalog
Over-the-air updates Yes
Service discovery Connect SDK No ZeroConf / Touch to Share
Open source Partial[37] Yes Partial[38]

HP/Palm webOSEdit

 
Screenshot of Palm webOS Launcher (2010)

Multitasking interfaceEdit

 
The HP Touchpad tablet runs webOS. The 'card' multitasking UI is shown.

Navigation uses multi-touch gestures on the touchscreen. The interface uses "cards" to manage multitasking and represent apps. The user switches between running apps with a flick from left and right on the screen. Apps are closed by flicking a "card" up—and "off"—the screen. The app "cards" can be rearranged for organization. webOS 2.0 introduced 'stacks', where related cards could be "stacked" together.

SynergyEdit

Palm referred to integration of information from many sources as "Synergy." Users can sign into multiple email accounts from different providers and integrate all of these sources into a single list. Similar capabilities pull together calendars and also instant messages and SMS text messages from multiple sources.[39]

Over-the-air updatesEdit

The OS can be updated without docking to a PC, instead receiving OS updates over the carrier connection.

NotificationsEdit

The notification area is located on the bottom portion of the screen on phones, and on the top status bar area on tablets.

On phones, when a notification comes in, it slides in from the bottom of the screen. Due to the resizable nature of the Mojo and Enyo application frameworks, the app usually resizes itself to allow unhindered use while the notification is displayed. After the notification slides away, it usually remains as an icon. The user can then tap on the icons to expand them. Notifications can then be dismissed (sliding off the screen), acted upon (tapping), or left alone.

SyncEdit

By default, data sync uses a cloud-based approach rather than using a desktop sync client. The first version of webOS shipped with the ability to sync with Apple's iTunes software by masquerading as an Apple device, but this feature was disabled by subsequent iTunes software updates.

Third-party applicationsEdit

On HP webOS, officially vetted third-party apps are accessible to be installed on the device from the HP App Catalog.[40]

As HP webOS replaced Palm OS, Palm commissioned MotionApps to code and develop an emulator called Classic, to enable backward compatibility to Palm OS apps. This operates with webOS version 1.0. Palm OS emulation was discontinued in WebOS version 2.0.[41] MotionApps disengaged from Classic in 2010, citing HP Palm as "disruptive."[42]

Another source of applications is homebrew software.[43][44] Homebrew apps are not directly supported by HP. Programs used to distribute homebrew webOS apps include webOS Quick Install (Java-based for Desktop computers), and Preware (a homebrew webOS app catalog, which must be sideloaded to install). If software problems do occur after installing homebrew programs, "webOS Doctor" (provided by HP) can restore a phone back to factory settings and remove changes made by homebrew apps and patches.[45]

LG webOSEdit

Smart TV featuresEdit

LG has redesigned the UI of webOS, whilst maintaining the card UI as a feature called "Simple switching" between the TV apps. The other two features promoted by the company are simple connection (using an animated Clippy-like character called Beanbird to aid the user through setup), and simple discovery.

PlatformEdit

Underneath the graphical user interface, webOS has much in common with mainstream Linux distributions. Versions 1.0 to 2.1 use a patched Linux 2.6.24 kernel.[46]

The list of open-source components used by the different releases of webOS, as well as the source code of and patches applied to each component, is available at the Palm Open Source webpage.[46] This page also serves as a reference listing of the versions of webOS that have been publicly released.

In 2011, Enyo replaced Mojo, released in June 2009, as the software development kit (SDK).[47]

HardwareEdit

 
The LG Watch Urbane running LG webOS 2.0 (based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat)
webOS version Type Device Release date Ref.
HP/Palm webOS Phones Palm Pre

Pre Plus

June 6, 2009

January 25, 2010

[48]
Palm Pixi

Pixi Plus

November 15, 2009

January 7, 2010

[49]
Palm Pre 2 October 22, 2010 [50]
HP Veer August 18, 2011 [51]
HP Pre 3 August 18, 2011 [52]
WindsorNot Canceled [53]
Mako [53]
Tablets HP TouchPad July 1, 2011 [54]
HP TouchPad Go Canceled [55]
Sapphire [53]
Twain [53]
LG webOS Televisions LG smart TV models Varies [56][57]
LG smart laser projector [58][59]
Refrigerators LG smart fridge models [60][61]
Watches LG Watch Urbane LTE April 27, 2015 [62][63][64]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ "HP webOS Developer FAQ". Palm, Inc. 
  3. ^ Bajarin, Ben (June 30, 2011). "HP Is Committed to Its 'webOS' Platform (and It Should Be)". Time. TechLand. Time Inc. Retrieved November 27, 2013. 
  4. ^ "HP snubs Windows, plans to integrate webOS into PCs". Digital Trends. February 9, 2011. Retrieved June 14, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Thanks (really!) for the feedback". Hewlett Packard. 
  6. ^ "HP Breaks Promise: webOS 2.0 Upgrades for Palm Pre and Pixi Not Coming". Brighthand.com. Retrieved February 13, 2011. 
  7. ^ Hardy, Ed (November 20, 2010). "HP Commits to webOS 2.0 Upgrades for All Palm Smartphones". Brighthand.com. Retrieved November 27, 2013. 
  8. ^ Hollister, Sean (March 14, 2011). "HP TouchPad coming June, webOS for PC beta by year's end". Engadget. AOL Inc. Retrieved November 27, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Apotheker Seeks to Save HP's 'Lost Soul' With Software Growth". BusinessWeek. Bloomberg L.P. March 9, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Developing and Distributing with HP: Developer Program Details". palm.com. Hewlett-Packard Development Company. 2010. Archived from the original on December 1, 2010. 
  11. ^ "HP Confirms Discussions with Autonomy Corporation plc Regarding Possible Business Combination; Makes Other Announcements". Press release. August 18, 2011. Retrieved August 18, 2011. 
  12. ^ "HP kills webOS, spins off PC business to focus on software". AppleInsider. August 11, 2011. Retrieved August 18, 2011. 
  13. ^ "$99 HP TouchPad Selling Out During Fire Sale". PCWorld. Retrieved August 7, 2017. 
  14. ^ Fried, Ina (August 22, 2011). "HP: webOS Still Coming to PCs and Printers, Pre3 Launching in "Limited" Markets". AllThingsD. Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved August 24, 2011. 
  15. ^ Ziegler, Chris (January 12, 2012). "HP TouchPad updated to webOS 3.0.5". The Verge. Retrieved August 7, 2017. 
  16. ^ "HP to Contribute webOS to Open Source". HP.com (Press release). Hewlett-Packard. December 9, 2011. Retrieved December 10, 2011. 
  17. ^ Paul, Ryan (August 3, 2012). "HP releases more Open webOS code, including System Manager and core apps". arstechnica.com. 
  18. ^ Hesseldahl, Arik (August 15, 2012). "Meet Gram, HP's New Name for the Company Formerly Known as Palm". All Things D. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  19. ^ Musil, Steven (August 15, 2012). "HP spins off webOS business, rebranding it as 'Gram'". CNET. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  20. ^ Kessler, Derek (February 14, 2012). "HP releases Open webOS' new browser Isis, JavaScript core, and Enyo UI widgets 34". Retrieved April 20, 2015. 
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  22. ^ Barletta, Bryan (June 24, 2009). "Palm Pre App Catalog Reaches 1 Million Downloads". Medialets, Inc. 
  23. ^ Bohn, Dieter (July 10, 2009). "Palm Pre Homebrew: 31 Apps. Official App Catalog: 30". PreCentral.net. Smartphone Experts. 
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  26. ^ Touchpad breaks 1,000 app milestone. webOSNation.com, December 9, 2011.
  27. ^ Pre to postmortem: the inside story of the death of Palm and webOS
  28. ^ "Gram working with LG on an Open webOS TV". webOS Nation. October 24, 2012. 
  29. ^ "LG Electronics Acquires webOS from HP to Enhance Smart TV". Press Release: February 25, 2013. Hewlett-Packard. February 25, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013. 
  30. ^ "HP offloads Palm webOS assets to Korea's LG". BBC News. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  31. ^ Qualcomm purchases Palm patents from HP USA Today January 24, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2016
  32. ^ Patel, Nilay (February 25, 2013). "HP emerges as big winner in webOS sale". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  33. ^ "LG at CES 2017 - LG InstaView™ Door-in-Door® Refrigerator". LG Global. January 6, 2017. Retrieved September 13, 2017. 
  34. ^ Michael Larabel (March 19, 2018). "LG Announces webOS Open-Source Edition". Phoronix. Retrieved March 20, 2018. 
  35. ^ "WEBOS ENTERS NEXT PHASE AS GLOBAL PLATFORM UNDER LG'S STEWARDSHIP". LG. March 19, 2018. Retrieved March 20, 2018. 
  36. ^ "Jon Rubinstein: OS X and iOS 7 borrow features from webOS". Engadget. Retrieved August 7, 2017. 
  37. ^ "Open Source edition home page". Retrieved April 3, 2018. 
  38. ^ "Open Source Packages". Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
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  42. ^ MotionApps. October 25, 2010.Classic's Got a Brand New Home! MotionApps Hands Classic Over to Palm
  43. ^ Precentral (precentral.net). Homebrew Apps
  44. ^ milominderbinder (precentral.net) January 22, 2010. Getting Started: Homebrew Apps, Patches, and Themes with webOS Quick Install.
  45. ^ "HP webOS Doctor". HPWebOS.com. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
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  49. ^ Mies, Ginny. "Meet the Palm Pixi: The Newest webOS Smartphone". Network World. Retrieved 2018-06-24. 
  50. ^ "Palm Pre 2 WebOS 2.0 smartphone". Retrieved 2018-06-24. 
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  55. ^ "TouchPad Go | HP - The Verge". www.theverge.com. Retrieved 2018-06-24. 
  56. ^ "LG webOS TV Smart+". LG.com. LG Corporation. Retrieved August 28, 2016. 
  57. ^ Archer, John. "LG's WebOS Smart TV System Just Got Even Better". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-06-24. 
  58. ^ "LG has released an affordable laser projector". The Verge. Retrieved 2018-06-24. 
  59. ^ "LG combines webOS, lasers, and lumens into another reason to replace your TV". The Verge. Retrieved 2018-06-24. 
  60. ^ "LG's new smart fridge features a transparent 29-inch touchscreen". The Verge. Retrieved 2018-06-24. 
  61. ^ "LG put webOS and Amazon Alexa on a fridge". The Verge. Retrieved 2018-06-24. 
  62. ^ Byford, Sam (March 1, 2015). "Our first look at LG's new webOS and Android Wear smartwatches". The Verge. Retrieved August 28, 2016. 
  63. ^ Benson, Matthew (June 23, 2015). "Watch Urbane LTE impressions: LG's little known webOS experiment". Android Authority. Retrieved August 28, 2016. 
  64. ^ Reed, Brad (March 5, 2015). "I can't believe I'm saying this but… webOS looks like a great smartwatch platform". BGR. Retrieved August 28, 2016. 

External linksEdit