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Palm Delivers Dev Preview of WebOS 2.0

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Palm Delivers Dev Preview of WebOS 2.0

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The first beta of Palm's next major mobile OS permutation, WebOS 2.0, is available to developers today through the early access program.  Palm says WebOS 2.0 is their response to iOS 4 and Android 2.2.  This is the first release since Palm was acquired by HP.  A public release is scheduled to arrive before the year's end.  

When Palm first launched WebOS, applications were made using extended Ajax.  In WebOS 2 the ability to create native libraries is now standard, so developers may combine web technologies with C/C++ components in an application through PDK plugins.  Identity aggregation is another focus for version 2.  Developers will have more utilities to interact with the aggregated data from cloud services and social networks, and then integrate that data into applications.

JavaScript and HTML5 support have been improved in this release, and developers will now be able to use node.js to write JavaScript apps for WebOS.  Palm has also opened its Synergy APIs so developers can tinker with the synchronization system features in the address book, Exchange, emails, SMS messages, social network accounts, and Google Calendar.  External developers will also be able to write connectors for Calendar, Contacts, and Messaging APIs in WebOS 2.0.

'Stacks' is probably the biggest new feature in 2.0.  WebOS had multitasking in the previous version where tasks were shown as cards that could be slid around the screen.  Stacks allows you to group those tasks together like a poker hand.  You can rotate through both single tasks, and stacked tasks for greater organization.

                                                              The "Stacks" feature

There's also a new feature called 'Exhibition' that lets developers display a special view when the device is docked in a charger or any other docking station.  WebOS is also renaming its universal search feature to "Just Type".  In 2.0, Just Type will have more than just search.  Users will also be able to perform quick actions like tweeting, emailing, adding appointments, and more.

More powerful multitasking will probably require significantly powerful hardware.  HP's secret WebOS tablet could be the first device to run WebOS 2.0.

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