The webOS mobile operating system from HP and Palm is designed for phones with touchscreen displays, so the company doesn’t really have to change things too much to make the OS work on tablets. But things are different on higher resolution displays, so the company plans to launch the HP Touchpad tablet with webOS 3.0 — a new version of the operating system designed for tablets.

We’ve gotten a few glimpses of the tablet features in webOS 3.0, but now the folks at PreCentral have gotten their hands on a leaked copy of the software developer kit for the operating system which includes an emulator. They’ve posted a video and a number of photos of the new operating system.

The app launcher and search features aren’t all that different from those in webOS 2.x for smartphones, but there’s a new software keyboard for tablets.

Notifications have been moved to the top of the screen allowing you to view all your notifications at a glance or dismiss them with a swipe.

The web browser looks a lot like a desktop browser, with a bookmark bar, URL bar, and navigation buttons. But there’s also a new menu that slides out from the side of the screen when you want to view bookmarks, history, or other data.

You can find more information about updates tot he contact, email, calendar, music, photo and other apps at PreCentral. Suffice it to say, the entire operating system and all the core apps have been given a visual refresh to play well with larger screens. Everything looks great — but HP’s success with webOS tablets will likely depend on the company’s ability to attract developers to the platform, which could be tough since the HP Touchpad faces such fierce competition from iOS, Android, and BlackBerry 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...

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