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HP's Core WebOS Enyo Team Going To Google 106

benfrog writes "The core of HP's Enyo team (responsible for webOS's HTML5-based app framework) is heading to Google. What they will be doing at Google is unclear right now, but everyone is speculating that they might be active in developing something webOS-based for Android."
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HP's Core WebOS Enyo Team Going To Google

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  • by xrayspx ( 13127 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @11:41AM (#40109463) Homepage
    I'd love to see the UX design team go start working on Android. WebOS is still hands-down the best mobile OS I've used day-to-day. The functional UI + ease of rooting were huge advantages for WebOS. Too bad it got saddled by Palm's historically bad record of actually like, selling phones, to people... Android feels so hacky, and IOS, while pleasant enough, is too much of a limiting walled garden for me. I like being able to use VNC over an SSH tunnel, for instance, or get a terminal on my phone.
    • by Windows Breaker G4 ( 939734 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @11:55AM (#40109573) Homepage Journal
      As someone who got a touchpad figuring it would be kinda gimicky on the firesale, 1000 times this. Work gave me an iPad2, what did I continue to use instead of the iPad every time? The touchpad. And it wasn't because of the apps on it, it's the UI. WebOS is fantastic, I hope the cards model is something Google picks up on
      • really webos team, your damn browser doesn't have a useful ad-blocker, like every other goddamned civilized browser? (yeah, that's a cheap slam against IE, deal with it...)
        It's a real eye-opening nightmare when I have to resort to using a browser with no ad blocking. Probably why my parents don't use the web as much as we do.

        This is not acceptable.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          There are multiple AdBlock patches in Preware that you can add. They don't give you personalized control like AdBlockPlus, and it's not ideal, but they block the ads just fine.
          • by xrayspx ( 13127 )
            It should be pointed out how easy it is to load code from alternate sources by rooting. KONAMI CODE = done. I spent a few minutes looking at the PITA/Benefit analysis of rooting my Android phone and decided to leave it alone.
        • Ads make the world go round on the web. It's how things are paid for, this is like complaining that a gas station won't let you avoid paying the gas tax for road up keep. Yes some sites go overboard, but really by and large, no matter if we like it or not, sites are paid for with ads. Do you have a better suggestion?
          • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @12:22PM (#40109831) Journal

            Blocking Ads is a result of too many sites trying too hard to "monetize" a site. It is what I call the "rule of assholes". The Rule of Assholes goes like this: Any thing that is legitimate and good can be ruined by assholes. In fact, that is my definition of what an Asshole is; they ruin it (for normal values of "it") for everyone else.

            Ads done right, are unobtrusive and might even ad value to a site. However Assholes come along and splatter and plaster the most annoying adverts all over negligible sites. Worse is the fact that often times they don't even vet the advertisers so that they become a vector of malware payloads, and ruin it for everyone else. The result is that you HAVE to run your browser with AdBlock enabled just to have a reasonable surfing experience.

            You want to run ads on your site? Sell banner/ad space yourself, serve it yourself and most adblock software won't bother blocking your adverts. It costs more in time and energy, but that is the cost of all the assholes in the world ruining things for everyone else.

            • by Artifex ( 18308 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @12:49PM (#40110065) Journal

              often times they don't even vet the advertisers so that they become a vector of malware payloads, and ruin it for everyone else.

              This and the fact that third party ad server response can significantly delay page loading is why I pretty much only whitelist sites that handle ads in house. Once a site sells space to a network that partners with other networks (which most do), it becomes anyone's guess what will come out.

            • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

              Well said, i only run an ad blocker because of all the intrusive ads (especially those with video and/or sound)...
              When it was simple static banner and text ads i didn't have a problem.

            • by sdnoob ( 917382 )

              that they become a vector of malware payloads,

              and that is the main reason everybody should be browsing with at least an adblocker (the less technical, and with noscript for those who can handle it) in addition to their antivirus/antimalware software.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by TheLink ( 130905 )
            Yeah my suggestion is do NOT install adblockers for everyone. People who can't figure out how to block ads by themselves should get them.

            The ones who can figure out how to block ads and choose to block them typically aren't the target market for those ads, so there's no real loss to the advertiser (and in fact the wise advertisers might prefer it that way since they may get charged if the ad is shown or if the person accidentally clicks on the ad).
          • by Anonymous Coward

            sites are paid for with ads.

            Ads pay for nothing. We do, via higher price products to pay for the ads and the middlemen who make them. And we pay again with our time and attention.

            Unsolicited ads are just the web's really crappy micropayment system and I for one would jump for joy if they died.

            The idea that ads or insurance pay for anything at all is one of the biggest scams ever perpetuated in the modern world.

        • The curse of WebOS (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Junta ( 36770 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @12:28PM (#40109913)

          WebOS has a beautiful UI strategy, for alerts and multitasking. It however had crappy apps....

          • by xrayspx ( 13127 )
            Yeah, massive dev buy-in problem. The apps that were there were OK, but there weren't very many overall. That was really the both the first and last nails in the coffin. When they launched, it was $100 to publish an app, so if you wanted to give your app away for free, it cost you. jwz has a couple [] of good posts [] about the app posting nightmare. Besides, why maintain apps for three different mobile platforms when IOS is already widely adopted, and Android is winning the footrace for second place?
      • IMO, the playbook has a better interface (although VERY similar) than WebOS.
      • Not just the card model, but the 'swipe' ui is fantastic. Swipe up to go to the settings/apps/etc, swipe left and right to access other programs. It's the only UI/OS I've seen that can work without a single physical button.

        Android looks to be transitioning away - they've went from 4 physical buttons to 3 software buttons but they're still buttons.

      • I indeed found the Cards model 100% gimmicky. Requires a full screen redraw every time you want to switch apps, including cutesy animations for just a bit more delays. Looks nice the first handful of times, makes you want to beat some sense into the damn machine afterwards.
        Apart from those Cards, I'm not sure I noticed anything much to justify all the hoopla about WebOS. Sold my Touchpad and got an Android Tablet.
        Best thing that can happen is those guys get mixed into the Android team and enrich it.

        • I don't know what you mean with gimmicky. Application windows (or cards) can be perfectly dealt by using openGL surfaces, for example, if the "window/card" subsystem does so. Being the hardware capable - and this one is, - it is just a matter of letting OpenGL perform the matrix transformations and show the card reduced.

          Which is pretty much what MacOS and some Linux window systems do.

          • Gimmicky because the cards look cool, but using them requires lots of full-screen redraws, whereas a start menu a la win7 provides the same functionnality, in a much faster/resource efficent, if less cute, way. Hence gimmicky: it provides no functionality but only a "oh, shinyyyyy !" effect.

            • Actually, I find them quite useful. Like having the windows showing up their contents even when in miniature mode in mac os, or that bad copy of aero in win vista/7, when it works.

              I cannot think how start menu on win7 is useful at all, unless when it is set to look like winXP, the new versions are terrible.

    • by EXrider ( 756168 )

      and IOS, while pleasant enough, is too much of a limiting walled garden for me. I like being able to use VNC over an SSH tunnel, for instance, or get a terminal on my phone.

      I'm not arguing that iOS isn't a "walled garden", but there are apps out there that will allow you to tunnel VNC (or even RDP) over SSH. I use iSSH [] and it's freakin awesome. I've used several other SSH apps, but iSSH so far is the best IMHO.

      • by EXrider ( 756168 )
        Oh, and iSSH will tunnel X11 too.
      • by X.25 ( 255792 )

        I'm not arguing that iOS isn't a "walled garden", but there are apps out there that will allow you to tunnel VNC (or even RDP) over SSH. I use iSSH and it's freakin awesome. I've used several other SSH apps, but iSSH so far is the best IMHO.


        That is a joke, right?

        • by Anonymous Coward

          How dare you suggest I should pay someone else for their work in putting together a great system?!

          • that isn't a problem .the problem i shouldn't be forced to pay for it whne there are great free version that do the same thing better that the only reason i cant use is because the device manufacterer don't like the gpl or other simmiler licence. i am fine paying for app but don't force me to only use the pay apps when there are better free alternatives avalible.

            • While you're checking around for software, see if you can find an app that capitalizes sentences for you.

              And maybe a spell checker for good measure.

              • Yes because attacking someone's grammar instead of the substance of their statements is always a good move that shows good faith discussion.
        • by hawguy ( 1600213 )

          I'm not arguing that iOS isn't a "walled garden", but there are apps out there that will allow you to tunnel VNC (or even RDP) over SSH. I use iSSH and it's freakin awesome. I've used several other SSH apps, but iSSH so far is the best IMHO.


          That is a joke, right?

          That's the price of a few Starbucks Lattes, and I spend a lot more time with ssh than I do drinking a latte.

          But yeah, I agonize over whether or not I really want to pay $9.99 , $1.99, or even $0.99 for an app that I'll use every day, but think nothing of buying an $8 drink after work that I'll enjoy once. Since I'm paid by the hour, the few minutes I spend reading the reviews to decide if I really want to pay $1 for the app costs me more than just buying it and trying it out.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            ... Since I'm paid by the hour, the few minutes I spend reading the reviews to decide if I really want to pay $1 for the app costs me more than just buying it and trying it out.

            And thus, an entire world of shitty $1 apps is born and continues to survive.

            Oh, and about you being paid by the hour - there is somebody out there that will do things cheaper. Like spend time with your mother or raise your children. Seriously, your method of pay cannot be compared to your time off. That's apples and oranges.

        • by EXrider ( 756168 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @12:27PM (#40109897)
          No, $10 is totally reasonable and worth it for me, since it's a tool I use almost daily as a sysadmin. The developer actually provides support too. I've personally exchanged email with him when I was trying to get a proprietary VT100-based warehouse inventory app working on it and he helped me sort it out in a later update. It is one of the few apps I've actually paid for though. I don't mind paying for an app if it's reasonably priced, of good quality and well supported. Something that was NOT the case when I had a BlackBerry, where apps were rarely priced below $30 and totally blew anyways.

          If you want SSH for free, you could try that SSH Mobile app I guess. Or, if you don't like the walled garden you can jailbreak and hope you don't come across any rouge free apps. But for me, the handful of admin apps I've purchased have totally paid for themselves by not having to drive back home or into the office to solve issues that required some minor intervention.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            So you're comparing the same free applications on Desktops (TightVNC, RealVNC, PuTTY, etc) to the $10 from the store ($3 of which doesn't even go to the dev, who could use that to make the product even better) - some of which have similar support? The developer and APL would like to thank you for throwing away your money.

            Nice argument.

            Congratulations, you prove that people like to throw away money on that ecosystem.

          • by ryanov ( 193048 )

            If you want SSH for free, you could try that SSH Mobile app I guess. Or, if you don't like the walled garden you can jailbreak and hope you don't come across any rouge free apps.

            Are the red apps more dangerous or something? Or is it apps that wear lipstick?

            • by EXrider ( 756168 )
              Yep, rogue app icons will be tinted rouge so you can identify and avoid them entirely. I shall patent this idea and sue the fsck out of anyone that infringes upon it!
      • I have to admit iSSH is a damned fine app. In thirty years of buying software, it sits near the top of the I've purchased.

    • The problem with that is, most of those features that make WebOS easy to use are probably copyrighted. Then again, with HP opensource [] WebOS, Google might just be able to incorporate it wholesale into Android.
    • Bring me some of that gesture loving that makes me miss using my palm pre!
    • I'd like to see every "UX designer" on the planet hung, drawn and quartered.

      If WebOS is any good it sure as heck isn't down to that bunch of latte-sipping fops.

      • by xrayspx ( 13127 )
        I cringed, having written "UX design" for the first time while not specifically making fun of someone, but I couldn't think of a better way. I mean, the Android "UX" needs be friggin "Designed". Whatever else they did wrong, WebOS was fantastic from an end user perspective.
        • What's wrong with Android? If it's that options aren't grouped together logically, the most commonly used menu items are seven levels down and terminology is inconsistent the you want a human factors engineer/ergonomist.

          If you think buttons should react when pressed by sparkling like a crystal being scanned with a laser - no, make that two lasers, one red working from left to right and one green working right to left - then I guess you can find your local Starbucks.

          • by xrayspx ( 13127 )
            I mean things like the card & stack model of multitasking / app switching. The way the Palm mail app worked with several accounts, which was better than anything I've used on Android, and better than the IOS
            • Having not used any of those things I can't comment with certainly, but it seems those would be the kind of issues that would be beyond the comprehension of most UX fucktards.

              • by xrayspx ( 13127 )
                Absolutely right, that's why I hesitated to even say the words. Clearly though, someone "designed" the "user experience" to such a degree of polish on Palm, and it's a shame to lose it down the memory hole of ex-smartphones:

                Video [] showing card based task switching. It's important to note that these aren't launching, things in cards are apps that are actively running. Also, by throwing away the card, it quits the app, that simple. In Android, some apps have a quit menu item, some don't. By using the "
    • by amRadioHed ( 463061 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @01:34PM (#40110561)

      Uh... Matias Duarte, the guy behind the Web OS UI, already switched over to Android about 2 years ago. Gingerbread was the first release his changes started to make it into, and the major UI overhaul in Honeycomb and ICS were largely influence by him.

      • by d3ac0n ( 715594 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @02:17PM (#40111177)

        Yep. Mathias Duarte is the single reason I went Android over iOS when coming from webOS. He is slowly but surely "webOS-ifying" Android. Taking the very best UI elements from webOS and merging them slowly into Anrdroid. Expect to see the software button lessen and lessen and more Gesture based UI elements to come in. Eventually even the card metaphor may make a comeback. Full and Proper multitasking FTW!

        • Expect to see the software button lessen and lessen and more Gesture based UI elements to come in.

          That's already there. Example one: notification drawer swipe down to open (been there since forever, though), and now in ICS you can also remove notifications by swiping them off to the side. Example two: Chrome Beta, where swiping left and right from the edge of the screen switches tabs; and in the tab list, swiping aside is used to close tab. Example three: task switcher in ICS. It's pretty much webOS cards, except stacked vertically. Again, swipe aside to close.

      • by AuMatar ( 183847 )

        That isn't exactly a great recommendation for him. Putting Ics on my nexus s made it much slower, removed usability from the browser, provided no useful new features, an ugly theme, and added pointless annoying eye candy. If that's what the teams about, keep them the fuck away from Android.

      • by xrayspx ( 13127 )
        Good to know, hopefully he can continue to improve things. I don't have a phone that will be getting ICS and don't want to deal with the hackery to get it installed with an unsupported build, so I can't comment. But yeah that's definitely a good sign.
  • by gpronger ( 1142181 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @11:43AM (#40109487) Journal
    I think the bigger picture here is the further erosion of HP. From one of the stellar tech companies only a few years back, to right now in an impressive tail-spin. If you have talent, and you want the opportunity to see it to fruition, are you going to choose HP or Google?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      HP is dead. The only thing they have left is there desktop business they tried to get out of. Their server software is horrendously over-complicated and is just a terrible java enabled GUI on top of open source projects you can get for free (as evident by the fact they sent people to a recent conference to look at puppet to replace their current server automation software underpinnings which was CFengine2). Their servers are terribly overpriced with not nearly as good a warrantee as even Dells. Their person

      • Having had two midrange HP printers have formatter boards kick the bucket after just a couple of years, I'm not even sure what kind of printer company they will be. They were once my first choice, but now.... They're fading fast.

      • HP is destined to go right back to being a Printer company.

        . . . you mean right back to selling oscillators out of a garage . . .

        • I think that's what they lost. the level of innovation that happened in the garage, and through the '90's was impressive. And then they dropped their focus on innovation to become another run-of-the-mill, PC company and quickly crashed-and-burned.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        HP printing gear is rebadged Canon hardware and the software comes from HCL. Xerox has taken this direction too, except the decision to rebadge Canon gear hasn't been officially taken yet because they still belive HCL can deliver the hardware projects they took over.. HCL has two buildings in Chennai within yards of each other: one for the Xerox work and one for the HP work.

    • HP is already gone. "Further erosion" is uninteresting. But if this guy can give Android a decent UI, that will be something great.
      • Re: Further Erosion - Hey, I was just trying to be polite ;>)

        Re: Android - Exactly. My guess is that there's a 'bit' of financial consideration in jumping ship, but anyone with talent has a strong desire to see their stuff in action; who knows the outcome with HP at this point.
        • Yeah, it's depressing to watch a once-great company continue its descent into irrelevance and pointlessness.
          • I'm familiar with HP on the instrument side before it was spun off to Agilent. At that point in time, it was an impressive organization. Strong focus on innovation, ethical, and a solid program for employees. On these three points, I believe the current rendition of HP is batting zero.
  • Plea to Google (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jejones ( 115979 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @12:06PM (#40109681) Journal

    For heaven's sake, PLEASE adopt the WebOS UI. It is easy to use and intuitive. Let the Android UI die the death it overwhelmingly deserves.

    I recently went to the local Sprint store to ask whether the batteries on my wife's and my HTC Evo 4G need replacement. In passing asked the tech what things I could do to extend battery life, in particular how I could avoid leaving apps running. Here's what I was told: "If you leave an app by hitting the 'home' button, it will keep running. If you leave it with the back arrow button, it will shut down." I've been training myself to do that, and what a proctalgia it is, especially with the web browser and apps that invoke it! (Do I really have to back all the way out of the sequence of pages I've viewed, potentially reloading graphics or Flash animations?) With WebOS, it's easy--if an app has a window, it has a process. Flick the window up and off the screen, and you're telling it to shut down.

    • by jomcty ( 806483 )
      In ICS you can flick away running apps from the task list.
    • You might consider installing a custom rom such as ClockworkMod []. The stock rom on the Evo is loaded with bloatware. Properly written apps should suspend themselves even when running in the background on Android. Carriers aren't always so careful. Don't blame Google for what carriers do to Android. If you want a real android experience, either flash CWM, or buy a nexus. My partner's nexus lasts easily a day and a half with moderate usage (~1hr browsing / day). My Galaxy S flashed with ICS has similar
    • by AuMatar ( 183847 )

      As an Android dev, that's wrong. The app remains running no matter how you leave it. It is only paused, not destroyed

    • by SpzToid ( 869795 )

      Flick the window up and off the screen, and you're telling it to shut down.

      You've also just described Harmatton, the linux OS behind the Nokia N9. Check out the 2nd thumbnailed video from the left, on the bottom of this page []. FWIW Microsoft paid Nokia a billion dollars to bury this phone and OS so no one can choose it over Nokia's newer WP7 phones, like the Lumia 900 with very similar hardware, albeit with lighter specs. (no front-facing camera, no 64GB option, so you're stuck at 16GB with no expansion on W

    • On android 4.x at least, the process is simpler.
      From the home screen (or another app, if you forget). Hold home, if vibration is on it will vibrate twice. The task switcher will come up. Swipe an app's thumbnail right or left to kill it.
      Most previous android phones could do pretty much the same thing, but IIRC it took an extra button press somewhere. It's been a while since I've run Froyo or Gingerbread on my Vibrant (same generation as your Evo).
      Third-party roms are great.
  • Did anybody else read that as "WebOS Enya team"

  • Android inside webOS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WillyWanker ( 1502057 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @12:19PM (#40109795)

    There's been talk of adding an Android emulation layer to webOS that would allow devices like the Touchpad to run Android apps. My guess is this meeting might have something to do with this. Hopefully. WebOS is an amazing platform but the lack of apps has all but killed it. Being able to run Android apps side-by-side with webOS apps would literally breath life back into the OS and allow it to move forward as a serious mobile contender.

  • I reluctantly "upgraded" to an android phone, from a Palm Pre, only because the palm pre was wearing out (which is pretty much the only reason I upgrade my phones every 1.5 years). After 6 months, I wanted to go back to the Pre. Yes, apps were limited, but I dont use most of the apps on android anyway. I use email, messaging, and web 90% of the time, and WebOS integrated my communications so seamlessly and it multitasked so intuitively that I didnt much care that it did not have a million apps. And it h

    • What do you mean by wear out? I find it hard to believe your phone would be unusable after only 1.5 years. I go over 2 years with all my phones and only replace them if I want something new, they still work fine after that time.

      • The original palm pre was poorly engineered, the slider was a mess and flex cables were a prominent point of failure (had some issues with power managment too). further revisions improved the design but early adopter certainly got sub-par hardware. The pre plus addressed some of the most notable quality issues. The pre 2 improved further and the pre 3 was a completely new and much more solid design. Pixi phones were simple and tough. The touchpad had some problems with the housing (brittle plastic, hairline

        • by ryanov ( 193048 )

          It's incredible to me how much better made the Palm Pre Plus was than the Pre. Mine has been dropped and has tumbled and is cracked in a bunch of places but holds together. My girlfriend had one that cracked when I opened the battery cover (yes, properly) and the cracks travelled until they hit the screen.

  • by GodfatherofSoul ( 174979 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @12:57PM (#40110163)

    I was hoping a non-Google/Apple machine would get behind WebOS to push it as a 3rd option to those gorillas. Assimilation of the tech team probably eliminates that possibility.

  • Perhaps they'll be developing Android compatibility for WebOS.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun