HP announces Palm Pre 2, WebOS 2.0

In a press release, HP announced today the next iteration of the webOS mobile operating system developed by Palm, webOS 2.0, and revealed the Palm Pre 2 handset. Palm was bought by HP earlier this year after their desperate effort to save the company with the Palm Pre and webOS. After failing to satisfy the market, HP acquired the company and has integrated Palm’s operations with their own. This announcement solidifies HP’s non-entry into the mobile handset world, at least directly; I doubt we’ll see Palm phones with the HP brand emblazoned on the battery cover. The Palm Pre was critically acclaimed as a very good piece of smartphone hardware, and the announcement of a fully supported Palm Pre 2 is good news for the general mobile community. The full press release is below.

HP Introduces webOS 2.0, the Next Generation of Mobile Innovation

Coming first on new Palm Pre 2 in France, the United States and Canada

PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct. 19, 2010

 

HP today announced HP webOS 2.0, the most significant update to the platform since its launch in 2009 and a substantial step in HP’s vision to transform how people think, feel and connect.

The first device to run webOS 2.0, HP’s new Palm Pre 2 smartphone, will be available Friday in France from SFR and is scheduled to be available in the coming months in the United States from Verizon Wireless and in Canada.

“With webOS 2.0, we’re advancing the innovations we introduced 16 months ago, expanding the features that make webOS great for consumers, enterprises and developers,” said Jon Rubinstein, senior vice president and general manager, Palm Global Business Unit, HP. “We’ve made tremendous strides since the platform launched, and now we’re taking our biggest leap forward with powerful new features that make it easier to get more things done with your webOS device.”

webOS 2.0 offers consumers compelling application experiences not available on any other platform, while providing developers an unparalleled level of openness to integrate their applications and services. The next generation of webOS makes it easier to get more done:

  • True Multitasking – Pause a game, tap an email notification, check your calendar, read a restaurant review, send an email reply, then switch back to the game without closing anything.(1,2) webOS lets you easily manage multiple open applications and notifications using natural touch gestures. New in webOS 2.0, Stacks logically groups together your open apps so they work the way you do. Whether you’re reading email or planning a night on the town, Stacks keeps related items together so managing multiple tasks is even easier.
  • Just Type – Start an email, create a message, update your status, search your favorite websites – all before you’ve even opened an app.(1) With webOS 2.0, whenever you want to do something on your phone – whether it’s emailing, texting, searching or almost anything – just type. And Just Type is open to developers, so they can integrate with the search function and add their own user-customizable shortcuts, called Quick Actions.
  • HP Synergy – webOS was the first mobile OS to connect you seamlessly to multiple web services. With the Synergy feature, you just have to sign in to your Facebook, Google, Microsoft® Exchange, LinkedIn and Yahoo! accounts and your information automatically populates your phone.(3) webOS 2.0 will extend the support for Synergy so developers can easily plug new Messaging, Contacts and Calendar application sources directly into the core webOS experiences.(4)
  • Exhibition – A new way to use your webOS phone, Exhibition lets you run apps designed specifically for the Palm Touchstone Charging Dock, turning charge time into useful time.(4,5)Set your phone on the dock and Exhibition launches automatically, showing you anything from today’s agenda to a slideshow of your Facebook photos. Exhibition will enable developers to display aspects of their existing app experience or create specialized apps for use when users have their webOS device in charge mode on the charging dock.
  • Adobe® Flash Player 10.1 Beta – With version 2.0, webOS now supports a beta of Adobe Flash Player 10.1 in the browser, which provides access to rich, Flash-based web content.(6)

webOS 2.0 also includes many more new features, including the following:

  • Favorites – With webOS 2.0, you can tag your favorite contacts so they appear as favorites in Phone and Contacts views. When you search for them by name, they instantly show up at the top of the Contacts, Email, Messaging and Phone apps. Favorites make it simple to get in touch fast.
  • Skype Mobile™ (Verizon Wireless only) – For Verizon Wireless customers, webOS 2.0 supports Skype-to-Skype calls and messaging while in the United States to anywhere in the world, and low-rate calls to international landlines and cell phones.
  • Text Assist – webOS 2.0 offers greatly expanded capabilities to spell check, auto correct, set up macros and customize the dictionary.
  • Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite – An all-new document viewer from the leading provider of mobile document viewers offers support for Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents and provides integration with a variety of services, including Google Docs and Dropbox.
  • Facebook 2.0 – Available via the Palm App Catalog, Facebook 2.0 will support Facebook IM via Synergy in the Messaging application,(4) as well as Stacks, status updates via Quick Action and the Exhibition feature.
  • Browser – The browser adds support for more HTML5 features, including geolocation support. OpenSearch plug-in support makes it easy to add your favorite websites to Just Type web search.
  • Messaging – The unified Messaging app in webOS 2.0 adds Yahoo! IM and buddy management. Customers can now connect to their buddies through SMS, MMS, Google Talk, AIM and Yahoo! IM.
  • VPN – webOS 2.0 supports the most popular ways to connect to a corporate network, including IPsec and Cisco AnyConnect mobile-optimized VPN, which supports SSL (TLS and DTLS).
  • App Catalog – The redesigned Palm App Catalog makes finding and discovering great apps even easier.(7) And the new Software Manager helps you keep your apps up-to-date.
  • Launcher – A redesigned app launcher lets you add, label and reorder launcher pages.
  • Phone – The webOS 2.0 Phone app lets you easily dial your favorites and offers reverse area code lookup and Skype Mobile integration (Skype Mobile for Verizon Wireless only). Accounts – The new Accounts app provides a single place to manage all your Synergy accounts.
  • Bluetooth® keyboards – webOS now supports Bluetooth keyboards and Bluetooth SPP peripherals, enabling applications such as barcode readers and realty lock boxes.
  • A host of developer features – In addition to Exhibition, Just Type and Synergy APIs, webOS 2.0 adds Node.JS, enabling developers to create services in JavaScript. They also can now use the webOS Plug-In Development Kit (PDK) to combine C/C++ with web technologies in a single app.

More information about the features of webOS 2.0 is available at www.palm.com/softwareupdate.

Introducing Palm Pre 2

HP also introduced the Palm Pre 2 smartphone, the latest evolution to the Palm Pre lineup. Pre 2 is the first Palm phone with a gigahertz processor and features a 5-megapixel camera, a glass screen and a sleeker, streamlined design that still gives users the ideal combination of a vivid touchscreen and a slide-out keyboard.

More information about Palm Pre 2, including features and specifications, is available atwww.palm.com/Pre2.

Availability

Palm Pre 2 featuring webOS 2.0 will be available Friday in France from SFR and is scheduled to be available in the coming months in the United States from Verizon Wireless and in Canada. The webOS 2.0 update will be delivered to existing customers in the coming months, with exact timing to be announced at a later date.

Developers will be able to purchase unlocked UMTS versions of Pre 2 in the United States to use as a canvas to build the next generation of webOS applications and services. More information about the purchase program will be available at http://developer.palm.com/devdevices.html.

About HP

HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. The world’s largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure to solve customer problems. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com/.

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24 Comments

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I just hope they added a touchscreen keyboard so I can surf in landscape without having to rotate and slide the keyboard out to type something in.

now I know what to ask Santa for Christmas!
I felt in love with webOS when I first saw it in action and I got really sad when HP bought Palm... but now I see that HP finally made a move up developing the next Pre and webOS 2.
I really hope that a developers community will soon spawn again around the new webOS... been waiting for the perfect smart phone and now here it is. In your face iPhoney, AnnDroid and WindOS Phoney7!

Maybe I didnt read this correctly but I cant see it, is 2.0 coming to the orignal Pre and Pre Plus?

I hope so because I know own a Pre Plus, and I absolutely love it, and want all that extra functionality hehe

The hardware is amazing and so is the software, like someone else said, its only the marketing that let it down.

Sucks they don't have Windows Live Messenger. Not that it's a deal-breaker, but still. Anyway the more competition, the better.

WebOS is great, but they really need to do some different hardware. Not a chance I'd buy a phone like that. Plus, they need to distance themselves from the "mom phone" that Verizon plagued the original Pre as being thanks to poor marketing.

blahism said,
Welcome to Kin 2.0..

ummm, the pre has been out for 1 1/2 years now, and the orginal pre was at the time the fastest selling device sprint has had.

reidtheweed01 said,

ummm, the pre has been out for 1 1/2 years now, and the orginal pre was at the time the fastest selling device sprint has had.

A lot has changed since then.

Will the developers come back? Is there enough support from Sprint to try a "Redo"? Will HP be consumer friendly enough to make it happen? I can't imagine AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile giving these the light of day without a SERIOUS incentive from HP

blahism said,
Welcome to Kin 2.0..

So much fail in that statement. The Pre 2 will not even be close to the Kin fiasco. Seeing how quickly the first Pre sold, I think the Pre 2 will sell just fine. Nothing great, but not an utter failure like Kin. I actually think that of all the smartphone OS's to date, WebOS is by far the best looking. Android has to have custom UI layers on top to make it look attractive in my opinion.


They have a really nice OS and would be nice to see it take off...as someone said hopefully HP can take it somewhere...but how can you compete against the big 3 (iOS, Android & WinMobile). Nokia is also trying to figure out the same thing last time I read about them..

Probably one of the best mobile OS's out there, shame that Palm coupled it with poor hardware, hopefully HP won't make that mistake with v2.

I honestly don't know what to think of the phone hardware itself. WebOS 2.0 seems really nice though.

Never seen a Palm Pre in the Netherlands... Oh well...