Phoenix Devices hopes to keep webOS alive, port it to existing hardware


After the failure of the HP TouchPad tablet and Pre and Veer smartphones, HP discontinued all of its webOS hardware last year. But the company didn’t kill off the operating system. Instead, HP has started to convert webOS into an open source project, and Open webOS is due out later this year.

Then what?

It’s not actually clear. HP may or may not ever release another device running the operating system, and if HP hasn’t committed to using the operating system how can we expect any third party companies to adopt it as an alternative to Android, iOS, or Windows Phone?

Enter Phoenix International Communications — a team of volunteers interested in picking up where HP leaves off.

Phoenix Devices logo

The Phoenix team plans to do a couple of things with webOS once the source code becomes available.

First, they plan to port it to run on existing hardware. In other words, not only will you be able to run open webOS on your aging HP TouchPad tablet. But if the Phoenix team has its way you’ll also be able to run it unofficially on the latest Asus, Samsung, or HTC phones or tablets.

They’re also hoping to tweak the operating system and improve on the software that HP offers.

In other words, Phoenix could become sort of a CyanogenMod for webOS.

But the team also has grander goals. Eventually they’re hoping to work with hardware makers to offer devices with custom versions of webOS.

There’s no guarantee any of that will happen. But it’s good to see that there’s at least a small group of independent developers interested in doing something with webOS once HP goes through the hard work of getting it ready to release as open source.

via webOS Nation

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since 2006. Brad has also worked with NPR, WHYY, PRI, and AOL.

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  • scriptfoo

    “Shut up and take my money!” The card-metaphor, JustType, and clean interface are its greatest overlooked features. The responsiveness (pinch-zoom, screen rotation) are more responsive than comparable Android tablets. HP was sitting on a gem and gave up too easily.

  • mjones95

    HP is controlled by a bunch of IDIOTS namely Meg (the clueless) Whittman & Ray (the Fu*K- UP) Lane. This guy is the main reason HP is so Dysfunctional!

  • rdority

    I haven’t even Seen a Touchpad yet (except online), but judging from the powerful demo videos and some of the incredibly favorable and supportive reviews/comments on Amazon’s website, it’s pretty clear to me that WebOS is incredible, something to behold!

    I’ve been SO bored with the desktop OS’s that clearly seem to have reached a plateau and the more recent mobile OS battles that don’t really seem to have gone very far.

    It would appear to me that WebOS is nearly everything, some of the big players should (and clearly could NOT) come up with!

    Just goes to show that the Big players rarely have the answers!

    A well organized, devoted team can succeed, but Useful Ideas, Powerful New Concepts and Creativity come from the mind, which belongs to the individual.

  • rdority

    I agree with you when you say.. ‘HP was sitting on a gem and gave up too easily.’ Truly.

  • rdority

    Interesting.. I’m just now discovering the Touchpad and WebOS. Amazing one guy can become so powerful within a company or even a country, heh?

  • Thomas Lee Mullins

    Are there any updates since 2012 when this article was posted?

  • Thomas Lee Mullins

    I am checking the Phoenix company. http://www.phxdevices.com/