HP's App Catalog
The App Catalog is the equivalent of Apple’s App Store, structured a little differently. When you first open the App Catalog, HP Pivot pops up. It’s a monthly online magazine built into the interface that spotlights new programs and provides information on using the TouchPad.
Beyond that unique feature, the App Catalog is a straight-to-the-point shopping hub. There is no fancy artwork. Everything is sorted into categories in a column-based browser.
To buy an app, you simply click install and a prompt appears for your credit card information. HP currently only accepts MasterCard and Visa as payment methods, which is an inconvenience for those who prefer PayPal or American Express.
The one thing lacking in this review, which is also lacking in everything being written about webos, is the mention of what I consider one of the standout features of webos: The openness of the platform. With preware installed (free), you have access to thousands of patches and homebrewed apps as well as linux applications. It is possible, for example, to run a full Debian Linux in a chrooted environment (without any cracking or jailbreaking), giving access to OpenOffice, and all other x-server Linux software out there. HP/Palm is the only tablet OS developer that actively encourages the homebrew/open source community in its efforts. As a developer, it is not only the ease of development that is compelling but the huge amount of expressive and creative freedom you get. With the Apple appstore, the walled garden may protect consumers well, but also creates a completely controlled and often repressive and capricious environment for a developer. This openness is the secret sauce behind much of the loyalty of webos users. The os is a joy to use, a joy to explore, and a joy to create new code in. And unfortunately, most reviewers can't or won't take the time to understand this extremely compelling aspect of the OS.
Thank you again for the best review of the touchpad I've seen yet.
Thanks again, Andrew!
HP just announced the $100 off sale from this last weekend is now permanent.
"Effective immediately, the HP TouchPad 16GB Wi-Fi will now be available for $399.99 and the HP TouchPad 32GB Wi-Fi will now be available for $499.99"