Android Central

You may or may not have seen HP's plans from last month on open-sourcing webOS. We did, and had a few words to say ourselves. HP has now good on releasing a roadmap for its open-source release and is fully open-sourcing the Enyo application framework. But what does all this mean for the Android crowd? In the short term it means you'll be seeing at least a few webOS apps made available for Android. In the longer term it means you're likely to see a day where the tables are turned and you can install webOS on Android tablets (instead of the other way around).

We'll tackle the apps thing first -- HP this week released the source code for the Enyo application framework. At its core Enyo is based on web tech like everything webOS (whereas the Android framework is based around Java). As an application framework, Enyo is the language webOS developers use to build their apps and serves as an intermediary to raw web code. The user interface trademark of Enyo is the use of sliding panels, both popping in from the sides and stacking up for adjustable multi-column interfaces. In that regard it's not that different from the Fragments concept introduced for app development for Honeycomb.

Going open-source means that developers who have written in Enyo can compile apps to be loaded in a browser or on web app-supporting operating systems with little issue. In fact, it's already happening -- multiple webOS Enyo apps are available through WebKit-based web browsers and at least one, an Instapaper client called Paper Mache, is available now in the Android Market. Of course, there's some tweaking that'll have to be done to make things nice and smooth, but apps like Paper Mache look and behave (minus the lag and jitter) exactly as they do on webOS.

The second major announcement was that HP is dumping their custom kernel and coopting the standard Linux kernel for use in Open webOS. This is the basic principle behind Android's kernel by making the switch webOS will gain support for a wide breadth of hardware. Where there's Cyanogen for the Android Open Source Project we certainly expect the same to happen with webOS. The question is … will anybody want to install it?

Derek Kesser is editor of


Reader comments

Want webOS on your Android tablet? HP hopes so


I just hope webOS stays viable. I loved my Pre minus and I miss the functionality of the operating system. The hardware sucked!!!

I was a Pre minus owner as well. Loved the OS design, but yeah, hardware sucked and the app selection was so sparse it was pitiful.

I really the miss the ease of multi-tasking the most. It's so much more of a pain in Android, and it's not full multi-tasking like webOS. I have to grit my teeth and hold back the tears every time i want to switch apps now in Android.

The other things i miss most:
1. Pull down for currently available wifi connections, without having to navigate through the settings menu.
2. Dedicated mute switch.

Use a ROM that has that feature built in...or one that you can make your own shortcut to certain areas of "settings"'s not touch....CM7 is great...

you couldn't "pull down" in webOs, you could tap and it would come down but you wouldn't pull down like you do in Android, which is much much better. Anyway, because Android is the way it is all you need to do is download an app, such as widgetzoid, and you can have whatever shortcuts you want in your notification window.

I want a hybrid of the two! the push notifications on webos were much better then android. someone comments on FB for example you get notified. you could have an actual chat. not like android where you get notified, in time.

and the fact google, and MMS and all your chats with any particular person, were all in one thread. so you didnt need google talk, or FB chat or any extras texting mumbo jumbo. just one place for all of it.

No. My Touchpad sat collecting dust until CM9 Alpha was released. WebOS was a good overall OS concept but the implementation in specific apps was brutal (browser, email, maps, etc).

no thanks. Bought a touchpad during the fire sale and didnt like webos at all. Sold it on ebay for twice what i paid for itso it worked out in the end.

If android apps worked on webos then I would use webos daily. Right now I have cm7 on my touchpad and go back and forth between the two quite often. Yes cm7 has some of the nice things webos has but they are implemented differently and not as gracefully, plus cm7 is still too buggy. I am waiting to see how cm9 looks and feels.

I would do this too. What I really want is WebOS on capable hardware with the app selection of the Android Market, then I'd be in love.

Sorry webOS started the decent into death for me Christmas 2010 when I got a htc EVO 4G. Don't get me wrong I fell in love with webOS when that first card poped up on my screen, it was one of those moments when your like yes this is how multitasking on a phone or any portable device should be. I was a phone junkie from than on. I was just sick of waiting for Flash update which was promised only to be told it was never going to happen. And like alot of poeple the hardware was just not there. The camera didn't even have focus... But now that I have had a chance to play with ICS ROM(DECKS ALPHA 5) on my EVO 4G alot of that stuff I was missing from my pre- was there. And that along with my wavelauncher app it's almost like having webOS but it's Android. However I well note the card/pannel view or whatever you want to call it is no where near equal in true multitasking greatness webOS had where you could actually watch applications loading simultaneously in the background instead of just a picture of the app the last time you used it like in ICS, which don't get me wrong is still pretty sweet. Than notifications with actual controls like music remix was pretty nice but I think Android is catching up in that department. Any way I already moved on and just don't see me doing this. But we'll have to wait and find out.

Thats how I feel. Android is catching up. all that webos needed was some better hardware, and the app selection android has. thats why i hope some hybrid ROM comes out of this

I'd probably use it. They'd need to merge some Dalvik functionality so I don't lose my Android apps, but I always liked WebOS, maybe even more than Android. The implementation or the hardware (or both) sucked, and it ran like crap, but the OS concept was amazing. With the whole dev community working on the fundamentals of the OS and a standard Linux kernel, it should be exactly what I want.

Yes! I finally replaced my Pre- with an Evo 3D a few months ago, and I still miss WebOS. Don't get me wrong, I love the new phone, and I don't miss the Pre hardware at all. But if I could have WebOS on this phone, I'd do it in a heartbeat. WebOS provided a more polished, unified experience. Modifications were much easier: Install patch/theme, restart Luna. That's it. No need to backup and restore all my data just to update to the newest version of a custom ROM. Modifications were modular, rather than bundled into a custom ROM, so I could pick and choose and customize it exactly how I wanted. Overclocking was just as easy: install kernel patch, restart phone. Everything was exactly how I left it. Not this ridiculous process of: backup with Titanium, restart, Nandroid, verify Nandroid, Wipe cache, wipe system, wipe dalvik, install rom, wipe cache, wipe dalvik, restart, restore from Titanium, remove and re-add widgets that don't restore properly after reboot.

I definitely have to agree with you on that point the patching through webOS quickinstall or preware was very easy to do and even easier now from what I've been reading, since before you would have to uninstall all your patches before updating to newer version of webOS. You'll get over that soon enough though. It took me a while to even work up the courage to root and install aftermarket roms but unrevocked and rom manager made it pretty easy(though not as easy as simply typing upupdowndownleftrightleftrightbastart or webos20090606 to get developer access). They always warn you like "yo this could bone you after trying this method" :-) But I've come to accept that it's not as unified and besides diversity leads to more company's innovating so there is a good side to it. Which reminds me I may have to change my screen name if I change phones soon. I used to go by JPreUser( see the pattern simple and kinda corney). I still do over at

Amen. Too much garbage involved in tweaking/flashing Android that seems unnecessary. WebOS was so much easier. Very Novice people could understand it and enjoy the benefits. Restart Luna, ahhhhhh the days. I cant wait for the WebOS Internals crew to make it what it should have been from the beginning.

ICS is the first step toward webOS for Android. Once you go ICS and beyond, it will be very hard to go to webOS in its current form.