What to Expect From webOS 2.0

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When you truly believe in a product, you do whatever it takes to ensure its success. Despite whatever shenanigans are going on around you, you simply keep your head down and keep going. This is what Palm has been doing and today they’ve revealed a few things about to expect from webOS 2.0 with an early preview release for developers.

It might be too soon to say but the best multi-tasking smartphone UI just got better. While most of this pertains to developers it’s easy to glean what it means for the end user once webOS 2.0 reaches Palm (and maybe HP) devices by the end of the year. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s new.

How do you make the card metaphor that much better? By putting related cards into a ‘stack’, of course! For instance, if you open an attached image in an email, it will open up a new card within that specific stack. You’ll even be able to manage stacks by dragging and dropping cards where you see fit. Sounds like an ideal way to manage lots of apps.

Just Type
Universal Search is so 2007. Palm’s universal search is now simply Just Type. What’s really neat about this is that developers can tap into it so that users can search within apps, whether the information they’re looking for is stored locally on the device or on the Web. “Quick Actions” allow you to text, email or update your status without ever having to launch an app.

Users with a touchstone charging dock will soon have dedicated apps, like stock updates, slideshows of photos, your calendar, sports scores, etc.

Palm is opening up their cloud-like service Synergy to allow developers to access things like contacts, messages and calendars to integrate their own services. For instance, you may soon be able to keep track of your favorite team’s schedule from the webOS calendar. Awesome.

Support for HTML5 continues in webOS 2.0 with the following highlights:

• Enhanced Canvas support, including image data and gradients
• Support for Web Storage—both local and session storage
• Geolocation support, allowing websites to access location information with the user’s permission
• Application Cache, which lets websites cache resources on the device for offline use

Javascript Services and PDK Plug-ins
Node.js is being built into webOS 2.0 allowing developers to build things in JavaScript. Palm’s PDK will come out of beta when 2.0 is released and will merge web technologies and C/C++ for lightweight but powerful apps.