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HP webOS 3.0 Review

Posted: , by John V.

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Core apps:

For any veteran webOS users out there, they’ll easily recognize that most of the core apps with webOS 3.0 employ some of the same characteristic layouts found with their smartphone counterparts. Again, some might expect to find a totally revamped look with its core apps, but instead of doing that, HP has done a great job in refining them.

Specifically, it’s most evident with the email client because at a first glance, any veteran webOS user will immediately see its general resemblance to the one used by webOS smartphones. However, after absorbing it in, we like how HP manages to incorporate its resizable three panel layout to better give you visibility on what’s most important with you. Conversely, it’s still missing out on some desired features that increase productivity – like threaded conversations and the ability so select multiple emails for deletion.

The email client
The email client
The email client

The email client


The messaging experience can be equally smooth or erratic depending on the mood of webOS 3.0, but as we already know, the layout of the on-screen keyboard is more than ideal. However, there is the odd bug or something when it comes to the auto-correct feature because after intentionally typing something incorrectly, it’ll naturally correct us by replacing the word. Strangely enough, the replaced word is underlined and is indicated as a misspelling, but upon hitting it with our finger, it actually suggests replacing it with an incorrect word. Odd to say the least, it’s undoubtedly a bug that can frustrate some people.

The Messaging app
The on-screen keyboard

The Messaging app

The on-screen keyboard


Synergy is represented well with the Contacts app since it’ll display all the usual pertinent information regarding each person – plus it’ll link to other profiles that include things like Facebook, Google, and Skype.

Contacts app
Contacts app
Contacts app
Contacts app

Contacts app


Similar to our dislike of the amount of dead space found with the homescreen of webOS 3.0, we’re feeling much the same about the Calendar app as well since it’s a direct up-scaled version of what’s used by webOS smartphones. Obviously, there are three calendar views available, but they could’ve better organized its layout to take advantage of the unused space.

The Calendar app in webOS 3.0
The Calendar app in webOS 3.0
The Calendar app in webOS 3.0
The Calendar app in webOS 3.0

The Calendar app in webOS 3.0



Web browser & Multimedia:

As a whole, the web browsing experience is tolerable enough to accept mainly due to its functional and easy organization – but still, it’s sometimes dampened by some sketchy performance issues. Nonetheless, Flash support aids in keeping the experience firmly intact to what’s found with a desktop based browser. So yeah, we’ll accept it at its current state, but we’re surely waiting to see how much better it can get with future bug fixes.

Web browsing
Web browsing
Web browsing
Web browsing
Web browsing
Web browsing
Web browsing
Web browsing

Web browsing


If there’s one app that perfectly sums up the blemishes we find throughout webOS 3.0, it has to be none other than the Photos & Videos app. Blatantly, it struggles to keep any momentum with its operation since we experience unnerving things like delays, lock ups, and general choppiness when browsing through multimedia content. Still, we dig its ability to populate images from our Facebook photo albums, but it doesn’t help that it’s limited in functionality – meaning, it lacks any serious sharing or editing functions.

The Photos & Videos app
The Photos & Videos app
The Photos & Videos app
The Photos & Videos app

The Photos & Videos app


Besides Android’s Honeycomb platform, there aren’t a whole lot of eye-catching looking music players out there. Without a doubt, the conventional looking presentation with the webOS 3.0 music player isn’t surprising by any means, but at the same time, it would’ve been great to see some minute distinction to separate it over the pack.

The webOS 3.0 music player
The webOS 3.0 music player
The webOS 3.0 music player

The webOS 3.0 music player


Lastly, instead of launching a dedicated app, clicking on the YouTube icon in the app panel essentially points us in the direction of the YouTube web site, which works well, thanks to the TouchPad's full Flash Player support.

4 Comments
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posted on 06 Jul 2011, 07:51

1. fsjon (Posts: 119; Member since: 03 Sep 2009)


A word with regards to the auto-correct, I think it is a great implementation with webOS...a little different than the rest of the mobile OSs. It notified the users that WebOS has auto corrected a word for them, and gives the users to change it back to what they originally typed. I see this to be quite handy especially if you are typing in names or weird slang that corrected to a traditional word. Personally, I do not see this as a bug, but an extended function of auto correct.

posted on 06 Jul 2011, 12:40

2. snowgator (Posts: 3188; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Now, for a sports analogy:

It is said you can tell how good a Quarterback in the NFL will be by how much he improves from his first year starting to his second. There is so much to learn at that position, both book knowledge and game day experience, that he will either show great improvement after having a full season under his belt, or will be buried by the demands.

I am very interested to see how the Touchpad responds after it's first season is in the books. If this is the player to actually look good setting next to the iPad, then we will know as they roll out more tablets that are improved after gameday experience and stat sheets are learned from. Or, they will be benchwarmers and out of the league in three years. That would be devastating to WeBOS and HP.

posted on 06 Jul 2011, 16:27

3. m.d.92 (Posts: 2; Member since: 11 Mar 2011)


I've gotten the chance to play around with the TouchPad for the last couple of days now. While it's great to see webOS being utilized on a larger screen, I can't help but feel that webOS 3.0 itself is still very beta-ish. In addition to the problems mentioned in the above review, you'll notice other - although not as critical - glitches and issues when going through various apps, settings, etc. Some of button layouts in the user Preferences, for example, aren't as uniform in appearance as some of the other option settings on the device. And again, while these kinds of problems are very minor, they seem like a bit of a throwback when compared to something like iOS.

I think it's just sad that HP, having made release dates for its devices so ambiguous and having had so much time to tweak webOS, delivered such a mediocre user experience. With the possibility of HP allowing other companies to use webOS, I'm hopeful that players like HTC could integrate 3.0 with its Sense interface.

posted on 07 Jul 2011, 08:26

4. Azure Viper (unregistered)


There IS a way to select multiple emails. Just click the folder icon on the bottom of the middle pane. Review should be amended.

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