Tag Archives: webos

WordPress Launches First Visual Editor App for WebOS

WebOS is the most underrated mobile operating system on the market.  It has everything but a large user-base.  So, it seems a bit strange that WordPress has chosen it to be the first recipient of their new visual editor app.  Android, with the largest market share, would have been a no-brainer, iOS would have seemed logical, and Windows Phone would not have been a major surprise (Microsoft has been know to throw some money the way of developers for things like this), but it landed on WebOS.

WordPress already has rudimentary apps available for Android and iOS, but they lack the power and functionality of the WebOS release.

The WebOS WordPress app uses sliding panes to navigate between various sections and editors.  You can easily edit text, add media, and get a preview of what your post will look like before publishing it to a website.  You can not only moderate comments on your posts, but also get notifications when new comments arrive through the WebOS’s native notification system.

The app supports both WordPress.com hosted sites and self-hosted sites also.  WordPress for webOS is a free app and is available for the HP TouchPad through HP’s App Catalog.  You can watch a walk-through video below.

Add Pad App for HP WebOS Review

Add Pad by Dragongears is one of those little apps that you never knew you needed, but now that it’s on your smartphone, it’s indispensable. Add Pad can simply be described as a notebook that adds up. Any number encountered in the text is added to a running total shown in the bottom right of each note.

The top level screen shows the total values for each note.

Add Pad

The uses are myriad. You can use it to keep track of mileage for expenses or what you spend your cash on. I personally find it excellent for is calculating how much wood I need for little garden projects. It’s not perfect, as when I need four uprights, I have to enter the number (70 in this case) four times, but it does make it very flexible. The only other mathematical function supported is minus, so -10 will subtract 10 from the total.


Add Pad lets you set different units for each note and whether the unit comes before or after the number. The notes can also get coloured marks so that can be used for basic categorisation, e.g. business or personal.


Available now for HP Palm WebOS devices from the App Catalog. If you’re quick, you can get it for free.

HP Promotes TouchPad to Europe

At a press conference in Cannes,  HP touted the forthcoming TouchPad as being “better than number one” and announced a few of the European TouchPad flagship partners.

HP’s senior VP for the Personal Systems Group in EMEA, Eric Cador said, “In the PC world, with fewer ways of differentiating HP’s products from our competitors, we became number one; in the tablet world we’re going to become better than number one. We call it number one plus.” That’s pretty big talk, but HP aren’t no. 11 in the Fortune 500 for nothing (Apple is no. 35).

Key to getting the TouchPad to “1+” will be getting developers on-board and a wide range of apps and Mr Cador announced that UK partners will be Sky TV, The Guardian newspaper and music streaming service Last.fm. According to HP, there will be “thousands” more at launch.

When asked about the competition in the tablet market, Eric Cador said, “Only one company plays in both the consumer and business and world. We tend to talk about technologies. But the way the user is going to look at tablets means it’s about experience. The way the corporate is going to look at it is to say that its employees, who are also consumers, have got to like it and it’s got to be secure. We’re going to deliver that. Beyond that, it’s about marketing and branding.

He’s certainly not wrong there but there’s a huge hill to climb to get anywhere near no. 1. There’s no doubt that the iPad is the current king of the hill, but there’s no clear no. 2, though Samsung, Motorola, htc and RIM are all going to take a shot. If HP can get developers on board, their business links are going to make them a strong contender.

Pricing and release date was not disclosed for the TouchPad. The Veer smartphone was released in the US earlier in May and the Pre 3 is expected June. No UK launch date has been announced for either phone.

Further reporting at The Telegraph.

Mr Cador also said that “only one company plays in both the consumer and business and world. We tend to talk about technologies. But the way the user is going to look at tablets means it’s about experience. The way the corporate is going to look at it is to say that its employees, who are also consumers, have got to like it and it’s got to be secure. We’re going to deliver that. Beyond that, it’s about marketing and branding.

Drum Kit Apps for WebOS (HP Palm Pre)

Even in the absence of any real musical ability, sometimes it’s fun to bash away on a drum kit. Most of the various application catalogues for smartphones have little virtual drum kits so you can drum away whenever the urge to jam comes on. The HP App Catalog for WebOS (that’s the Palm Pre series, the Pixi and the Veer) has a selection of drum kit apps, so here’s a quick round up of the offerings – Natural Drums, Drummer, Music Instruments and AudioScape.

Natural Drums lays the instruments out as they might be in real-life with a cartoonish top-down view, as you can see from the screen shot. It has the fewest number of kits with only two, switching between acoustic and electronic, coming with 8 instruments in the former and 7 in the latter. There’s no discernible lag between hitting the screen and the sound coming out, and multitouch is supported, so you can hit several things at once. This is my drum kit of choice and the best bit is that it’s free.

Natural Drums - Acoustic
Natural Drums - Electronic

In comparison with the other apps, Drummer is simply a bit dull and not as polished as the other three. The kit is laid out in uninspiring grey 2 x 4 grid and seems to be only capable of two multitouches at once. The simple layout may suit some who just want to get down to making noise. On the plus side, there are three kits available, Acoustic, Synthesized and Warped. Currently on sale in the App Catalog for £0.99 which doesn’t compare well with the free alternatives.


Music Instruments takes the drum kit app and turns it up to 11, with lots of percussion instruments including the infamous cowbell, gong, triangle, tambourine, castanets and xylophone in addition to drums, bongos and cymbals. All the instruments are photorealistic which looks great and works well when there are only one a few instruments shown. However, I find that some of the instruments are too close together on the drum kit to bash with confidence. Multitouch is supported – I was able to test up to four at once and there’s no lag that I can hear. There’s a lot of noise here for no money. More cowbell….

Music Instruments
Music Instruments

Finally, AudioScape is more of a sound machine rather than a pure drum kit. As you’ll see from the picture it lays out the instruments in a 3 x 3 grid with an abstract background pattern. Not sure if it was just me, but I could only get the first six instruments of any set to work. There is a plethora of drum kits including Acoustic Drums, Bongos & Congas, Distorted Drums, Electro Drums 1 and Electro Drums 2. There are also sound boards for Animals, Body Noises, Electric Guitar, Guitar, Piano, Sound Effects 1 and Sound Effects 2. And you can even make your own sound boards by transferring sound files across to the Pre via USB. Multitouch is supported and I was able to produce four noises at once. Another free bargain.


Overall, Natural Drums is my favourite for a bit of jamming. Good looking interface and an app that does what it sets out to do, and do it well. Music Instruments is pretty cool too, with lovely graphics and an unequalled range of percussion instruments. AudioScope is a good app, but it is more of a sound machine and may appeal more to a younger audience who can never get enough of cows mooing and dogs barking. Bringing up the rear is Drummer which is simply eclipsed by its rivals in terms of both features and price.

Reviews carried out an HP Pre 2 running WebOS 2.1.

Poster for WebOS and the HP Palm Pre

As regular listeners to the podcast will know, the Geek News Central website is powered by WordPress. Until now, I’ve always used the web interface to write posts. “It works” is about the kindest thing you can say about it.

Browsing the Palm App Catalog, I came across Poster for WordPress, an app that allows blogging from the Palm Pre and other WebOS devices. It had lots of good reviews so I paid up and downloaded Poster.

Poster can link to multiple blogs and obviously the first thing to do is to setup accounts for the WordPress sites that you want to access.

After setting up access to Geek News Central, Poster shows the last five posts on the site. More can be loaded if needed.

This is entire blog post is written entirely in Poster. You can embolden, italicise, underline and do all three. You can insert pictures or in this case, a screenshot of Poster’s editing screen.

Poster Screenshot

When uploading images, there a four preset sizes you can choose from. Of course, hyperlinks are there too – here’s a link to the App Catalog. This doesn’t quite work perfectly in-line as the image or hyperlink seems to go at the end of the text. Not a problem if you write and edit linearly. However, if you are like me and write before editing in the pictures and hyperlinks, it’s a bit of a pain.

All is not lost as Poster offers three editing modes – Visual, Visual without images and HTML. So in this instance, you can swap to HTML view and then copy’n’paste to move stuff around.

Work in progress drafts can be saved to the blog but once the post is ready, tags and categories can be set before finally changing the status to Published and uploading it. The tags and categories are downloaded from the website itself so everything connects up.

Although I haven’t explored the app further, it also looks like you can work with comments, which could be pretty handy for the active blogger.

Overall, I’m impressed by this app and provided the end result – the post on GNC – is good, this app comes highly recommended.

Poster for WordPress by Gabriele Nizzoli is available from the AppCatalog for £1.59.

Update – I was pretty happy with way the post came out but to be upfront with the review, I added in a few extra links using the web interface and made one correction to the formatting.

Palm & WebOS 1.4 – We’re Getting There

Late last week Palm pushed out an upgrade to its WebOS operating system for the Palm Pre and Pixi phones, taking them to version 1.4.  In the past few weeks, Palm has taken a fair amount of flak, primarily from analysts but also from users.  Its performance in Europe hasn’t exactly been stellar though it seems to have done well enough in Germany and even the US numbers weren’t as good as expected. 

However, with WebOS 1.4 I feel the phone and the platform is really getting somewhere and Palm is starting to get it right.

First of all 1.4 was pretty much released simultaneously to all phone users.  Previously, there were weeks between the CDMA version coming out and then the GSM version being released.  As a GSM owner, nothing irked more than a new version coming out on CDMA and everyone talking about features you couldn’t yet have.

Secondly, not only are bugs being fixed, but new features are being added.  For example, in addition to video recording, there is now video editing on the phone.  Brilliant for taking videos of the kids,  removing the rubbish parts and forwarding to the grandparents.  I played around with the video recording over the weekend and it’s surprisingly good.

Thirdly, the WebOS is ready for Flash, which is coming Real Soon Now via a download from the AppCatalog.   And by the way, the browser scores 92/100 on the Acid 3 test.

Fourth, the AppCatalog is filling up nicely (albeit there still aren’t paid apps in Europe yet either.  That’s coming RSN too.)  I’ve got to the point where I’m only waiting on two apps to be released before I can leave the legacy PalmOS apps behind and one of these is already available in the US.  The other – DataViz’s Documents To Go – is hotly anticipated by many Pre and Pixi owners.

Fifth, Palm Synergy might be Palm’s unique selling point tying on-line calendars, contacts and email back to the phone and merging them seamlessly, but it’s also encouraged others to think similarly.  For example, RSS readers that sync with Google Reader (Feeds Free), finance apps that link with an online version (ClearCheckBook), info organisation (Evernote),  task tracking (Outline Tracker) and so on.  I love being able to do stuff when I’m out and about on my phone and then have access to exactly the same information when I sit down at my desk.

Finally, multitasking.  WebOS has always had this but the ability to have more than one app open at a time is the only way to go.  Right now, I have Tasks, Feeds Free (an RSS reader), Tweed (a Twitter client),  DrPodder (a podcatcher), Email, Videos and Outline Tracker, all open at once.

For awhile there, I was really kind of “take-it-or-leave-it” about Palm and WebOS.  I’d felt a little let down that the features and programs I’d been used to on my Treo 680 just weren’t there.  With the release of 1.4, I’m feeling better about the Pre and what it can do for me.  We’re getting there.