Video: Introducing webOS – the Android app

Hewlett Packard (HP) may have reduced its support for the wayward (Palm) webOS platform, but as we previously reported, the open source OS is now finding a new life on Android hardware.

For example, an early build of Open webOS 1.0 was recently spotted running on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone, while a talented dev by the name of Steven Troughton-Smith is coding a port of Open webOS for the popular Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet.

And now the folks at Phoenix Devices are working on a utility that allows users to launch webOS as an app from an Android device. A pre-alpha version of the app can be seen in the video above running on a Samsung Nexus S smartphone.

However, as Liliputing’s Brad Linder points out, about all you can do is launch webOS at this point in time. 

“It crashes if you try to do much more than that. But eventually the solution could give phone and tablet users the best of two worlds,” Linder explains.

 “You’d be able to run popular Android apps in the Android environment, but switch to webOS any time you want to switch to the user interface and apps designed by Palm and HP.”

In the meantime, Phoenix Devices has released the source code for the work-in-progress, which is open to code contributions from members of the community.

As Jerdog of XDA Devs recently noted, 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.