Sunday 5 February 2012

Editorial: Why WebOS does have a future!

HP's decision means webOS could end up more open than Android

   Finally, WebOS has a future; it was announced WebOS would be maintained as an open-sourced platform. This is precisely the reason why the platform will have a relatively successful future, even if it doesn't grow to become the biggest ecosystem in the world.

   For anyone who has ever used the platform they will know it is simply a pleasure to use; it's fun, it's interactive and it's nice and simple. Lets start with the fun aspect; WebOS has gestures and they are great. swipe up to minimise an app and then just flick it off the screen to close it. It is just such a nice satisfying feeling and there's something about interacting with a screen that is fun and makes the whole process more immersive, which is exactly the reason I would much rather use my tablet to browse the internet than use my laptop. (This is also where the Blackberry Playbook excels; it's just fun to use.) This fun aspect is something the OS has over Android and even iOS.

   Secondly, WebOS is going Open Sourced so anyone can use it, so maybe a manufacturer will pick it up and make a couple of devices for it and we'll see how they sell. But, even if that doesn't happen WebOS will run on the Linux kernel so the OS can be utilised by enthusiasts and undoubtedly it won't be long before there is a commonplace dual boot option for WebOS/Android devices. This will grant us the possibility to mess around with WebOS on ourAndroid tablets and phones and it may gain some traction from the custom rom community. After all, Linux does always have a small group of enthusiasts and WebOS can always be kept alive by them at the very least. 

   But, sometimes people just get bored; just like Android has surged into fashion, it might surge straight back out and WebOS can assist iOS and WindowsPhone fill the potentially gaping hole left in the market the hypothetical crumbling of Android marketshare.

    Hypthesising aside, WebOS has already quite clearly influenced RIM and their QNX/Blackberry Playbook OS with the flicking apps of the screen to close them, touch sensitive gesture areas, to name but a few.

   Either way I really wish WebOS the best, Palm really made a great operating system and it's such a shame that Palm and HP both failed the software, but hopefully there is still a future.


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