HP TouchPad. Bing!

Our pal Derek over at PreCentral has shown off some screenshots from the webOS 3.0 emulator today received today from an anonymous source.  It sure looks like great news for webOS fans, and a few things there will make Android fans do a double take. 

We're not about to sit here and say anyone copied anyone else -- there's only so many ways to do things right, and it looks like webOS 3.0 is doing most of them.  There's a nice full screen browser with a minimalistic navigation and control area at the top, and the virtual keyboard looks nicely spaced and doesn't force capitalization on you when you don't want it.  The chat application looks very nice.  It's a multi-pane interface with a big area for your message content, and we assume that your buddy list will populate the left pane.  Google has done the same for the native Talk app in Honeycomb, and it works wonderfully.

The quick settings area brings up an interesting thought -- you can see the influence Matias Duarte had on both webOS 3.0 and Honeycomb.  They aren't exactly the same, but there's plenty of similarity there (check out a comparison after the break).  This isn't a bad thing, because they both look great.  Easy access and functionality combined with sleek looks is something fans of both platforms can appreciate.

The last thing worth noting, and it doesn't come as a surprise considering HP's strong relationship with Microsoft, is that webOS 3.0 is using Bing for their maps application.  Love it or hate it, HPalm will make for a strong partner for Bing maps, and Derek speculates that HP may partner with Bing in the search space as well.  Anyone who has used both Bing Maps and Google Maps knows it's their loss, and I wouldn't rule out a tablet optimized webOS 3.0 version of Maps direct from Google if the market is big enough to justify it.

All in all webOS 3.0 is looking like a nice upgrade for the platform, and even I am curious to see how it runs on HP's new TouchPad. [PreCentral]

webOS menu      Honeycomb menu

     webOS quick settings            Honeycomb quick settings