HP Needs to Stock Up on WebOS Apps

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2011-01-20 Print this article Print


Other enterprise management features that HP already supports in other platforms are likely to make an appearance. You can expect support for Office applications, encryption, file sharing and peer-to-peer communications. There's no word yet on whether you'll be able to beam messages between devices as you could with Palm organizers.

Some sources are reporting that HP will be offering significant amounts of cloud-based storage-perhaps as much as 50GB-that users will be able to share between WebOS devices. This will eliminate the need to keep separate copies of media such as photos, music or e-books on each device as you do with Apple's devices. On the other hand, it would mean that you would have to have some sort of wireless connection when you wanted to access this material, which kind of leaves out using material in the cloud when you're on an airline flight, for example. With luck, there will be a way to download the content you're going to need on your flight before you take off. 

Until someone actually gets to use the device, we don't know for sure whether it will sport features such as the iPad's accelerometers that let the screen change orientation when you move the device. There's also no word on whether Amazon will offer a version of Kindle for the new tablet, although it's hard to believe it won't. 

It's also not known what HP and Palm have in mind for a WebOS app store. Without a healthy supply of applications designed for this platform, HP's tablet will find competing against the iPad and the various Android tablets very difficult indeed. Right now the existing supply of WebOS apps is pretty limited. But will HP have a plan in place to make a large number of widely diverse applications available when the device ships? HP isn't saying, and there's been a dearth of rumors in that area, which makes one suspect that application support may be lacking, at least initially. 

It's worth noting, however, that HP has been down this tablet road before. Its Windows tablets may not have set the world on fire, but they've been steady sellers for a very long time. One has to believe that this experience will count for something. Right now, however, we just don't know what that might be.

Wayne Rash Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazineÔÇÖs Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.

He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.

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