WebOS resurrected on Android devices

Hewlett Packard (HP) may have effectively walked away from its (Palm) webOS platform, but the open source OS is finding a new life on Android hardware.

Indeed, an early build of Open webOS 1.0 was recently spotted running on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone and now a developer by the name of Steven Troughton-Smith is working on a port of Open webOS for the popular Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet.

Obviously, both of the above-mentioned devices ship with Google Android as the default operating system.

However, as Liliputing’s Brad Linder points out, the OS can be replaced with alternate software on either the handset or tablet – if you unlock the bootloader.

As expected, the build for the Transformer Prime is still in its extreme early stages, with little more than boot and the webOS lock screen enabled. Nevertheless, Troughton-Smith is said to be making fairly rapid progress.

”It’s likely that in the coming months we’ll see Open webOS ported to run on even more devices,” Linder opined.

“While there aren’t as many third party apps available for the platform as there are for Android or iOS, some folks prefer the webOS user interface, development platform, or just the challenge of porting open source hardware to run on various devices.”

Meanwhile, Jerdog of XDA Devs noted that the resurrection of webOS on Android tablets and smartphones both epitomizes and actualizes the notion of open source development in the developer community. 

”We have software – in this case a mobile OS – that the manufacturer no longer wishes to or is capable of supporting and improving. Then, you have a group of developers who see the potential of said software.

”And after a lot of hard (often thankless) work, we have the makings of another alternative for the mobile community. This is the crux of what makes XDA what it is. We look forward to seeing where this project goes,” he added.