HP released the webOS 3.0 SDK around three weeks back to kick off the Early Access Program. A good number of developers must have been approved for the development of apps on webOS 3.0 that will feature on the HP TouchPad and future HP devices. One developer has leaked the SDK so those out of the circle can get a peek into what the HP TouchPad platform will bring.
Here’s what the people at preCentral found. Keep in mind that the emulator is Beta and features and functions may change in the final version of webOS 3.0. Performances cannot be compared to the real world scenario because of significant differences in driving hardware prowess and interactivity mode (touchscreen vs. mouse).
The launcher retains some inherent qualities of webOS. The home screen includes a top menu and Just Type search box with Quick Launch dock at the bottom. The Home button brings up the tabbed launcher with All (all apps in alphabetical order) and Favorites. Swipe or tap titles to switch tabs. You can rearrange and delete apps from the launcher in edit mode. Device menu is as before on the right.
Tapping on Just Type brings up recent searches, possible results, and associated Quick Actions. The virtual keyboard looks great and even offers preferences – QWERTY, AZERTY, and QWERTZ layouts (English, French, and German), a Prefs button, and Clear. More options are available with other keys and combinations.
HP TouchPad now has a notification area at the top of the screen next to the device menu. Notifications occur in three modes – icon (with sound and vibration if set), message preview + icon, and pop-over notification that does not interrupt your current actions.
Similar enhancements have been made in the Browser, Email, Contacts, Calendar, Exhibition, Maps, Messaging, Memos, Photos and Videos, Quick Office, System Preferences and other functions to improve the user experience. Read the details on preCentral.
On a side note, Gartner has predicted that sales of HP tablets will touch 3 million in 2011 and go up to almost 9 million in 2015 (3% of the tablet market then). Apple will still be leading followed by Android. Predictions are not the most reliable numbers, especially when made for 4 years down the road. Still, Gartner’s methods are scientific and logical.