HP webOS 3.0 will be the first version of the HP/Palm mobile operating system designed for tablets. It’s what the HP Touchpad will run when it’s launched. The company showed off a number of features and third party apps for the platform during yesterday’s introduction of the Touchpad. And HP has also released a preview of the software developer kit for webOS 3.0.

Developers can get access to the SDK preview by emailing pdc@palm.com. What’s interesting is that the tools allow you to write resolution-independent apps. That means you can create an app that will work on devices with small screens like the HP Veer smartphone or large screens such as the Touchpad.

The operating system also features some tablet-friendly optimizations, including an on-screen keyboard which is resizeable with small, medium and large options so that it takes up no more screen real estate than you need. Notifications now pop up in the top right corner near the status bar, and you can tap the notification icon to see a list of the latest notifications.

The web browser features a new toolbar with forward, back, bookmark, history, and URL buttons. And the email app now features a multi-panel view which shows a list of messages or contacts on the left and the full message on the right.

HP demonstrated a video chat application yesterday which takes advantage of a front-facing camera and PreCentral reports that Skype video calling support is in the works.

As far as third party apps, Amazon has announced it will bring a Kindle eBook app to the platform. QuickOffice will let you view Microsoft Office documents, and possibly edit them as well. Time Inc is developing magazine apps for titles which could include Time Magazine, Sports Illustrated, People, and others. And Roxio will power a video store to let users rent or purchase movies on webOS 3.0 tablets.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...

4 replies on “HP releases webOS 3.0 SDK: webOS for tablets”

  1. “What’s interesting is that the tools allow you to write resolution-independent apps.”

    Is this possible in Android, iOS, or QNX? Just wondering. Libraries like wxWidgets and Qt have provided this capability on the desktop for the better part of a decade. Is this concept only now coming to the mobile sphere — where it’s so much more important to start with?

    1. Android – yes. iOS – no. Not sure about QNX. I’m not sure this capability is more important in the mobile sphere. For example, on iOS, the limited number of devices, coupled with the fact that many of the devices share a single target resolution, makes it unnecessary to design an interface that adapts seamlessly to different resolutions. The only difference is that interfaces in iOS need to be altered for universal apps that run on both iPhone and iPad.

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