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Palm introduces WebOS 2.0 to developers

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Palm WebOS 2.0

Just before Apple gets ready to launch it’s new iPods and possibly more, Palm has decided to show what it’s working on for it’s next version of WebOS. So far Palm is only show a few features for developers, but they hold a lot of promise for the OS.

The first big change for WebOS 2.0 is the new way of multitasking. Don’t fret, there’s still the cards metaphor, but now those cards can be organized into Stacks. Stacks allows cards to be placed on top of one another for separate workflows. The best about the Stacks feature is that while the cards can be manually organized, they are made naturally based on what you open at what time. So a site that was emailed to you would be kept in the same stack as email, or a link from a tweet kept in the same stack as your Twitter client. It’ll make it much easier to switch between tasks, and reduce the amount of cards you need to search through to find something.

WebOS 2.0 will also improve upon the Universal Search function. The feature is now called Just Type, and will be able to search anything on your phone and on the web. Developers will be able to hook into Just Type so you can search within apps as well. Just Type will also have Quick Actions that allow you to do certain tasks like sending a tweet, updating a Facebook status or search within a website without ever having to open to the app.

Exhibition is pretty straight forward, and it’s a wonder why it wasn’t added earlier. The feature will use the Touchstone, and allow developers to show information on the screen while the phone is on the charging station. It can basically turn the phone into a Chumby or a Sony Dash while it’s sitting there charging. Palm will build in some Exhibition modes, Facebook slideshows, daily agenda and an alarm clock are given as examples, but it’s hoping developers will add more.

With WebOS 2.0, developers will be able to tap into Synergy. This will let developers tap into your contacts list, or add there own services to Synergy. It basically gives developers access to the Contact, Calendar and Messaging apps so they can use them how they wish. Sounds like it could be useful to those who use any number of services not already included in Synergy.

The rest of the updates are largely of interest mainly to developers. The upgrade to HTML5 is important as it will bring features like geo-location to websites. Since WebOS apps are built on web technologies, it would make them more powerful. The PDK will bring C/C++ plug-ins to apps, which will be great for games and other more powerful apps that can’t run on HTML5 alone. There’s also improvements to the Javascript in WebOS 2.0, which Palm says will strengthen support for background processing.

Keep in mind these updates are just those for developers, so we don’t even know everything that will be forward facing for users. With these updates, however, it looks very promising for when we do finally see those features. Hopefully Palm can keep pushing and make even more improvements with all that HP money it has now. Then all we’ll need it an awesome phone or two, preferably with the rumored 960×680 resolution. Please, Palm make a WebOS 2.0 phone with specs at least on par with, or better than the iPhone 4. I’d do everything I can to switch to such a phone, I promise.

Read [Palm] Via [Gizmodo] and [Engadget]

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