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20 October 2010, 14:00

HP Palm officially announces webOS 2.0

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Palm Logo HP has officially announced the launch of version 2.0 of its webOS mobile operating system, considered to be Palm's response to Apple's iOS 4 and Google's Android 2.2. The latest version of the proprietary-but-Linux-based mobile OS features built-in support for Adobe Flash 10.1 for viewing web content in the included browser and improved multi-tasking support, which the company calls "true multitasking". Users can easily switch between open applications without needing to close current apps by viewing running programs using a "card stacks" view that displays open apps in the order they were last used.

HP has added several features aimed at developers, including new APIs, the Node.JS runtime environment, HTML5 enhancements and a number of webOS Plug-In Development Kit (PDK) updates. Other changes include a universal search feature known simply as "Just Type", messaging and email improvements and various productivity app updates.

Zoom HP's Palm Pre 2 runs webOS 2.0.
The company also announced the next generation of its Palm Pre smartphone, the Palm Pre 2, which will ship with version 2.0 of webOS. The latest webOS-powered phone features a similar design to the previous Palm Pre and Palm Pre Plus smartphones and includes a 5 mega-pixel camera with LED flash, a 1 Ghz CPU, 16GB of on board storage, 512MB of RAM, a built-in GPS receiver, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR and an HP Touchstone Charging Dock compatible back cover. The Palm Pre 2 will be available on French GSM mobile carrier SFR on Friday the 22nd of October and on US CDMA carrier Verizon "in the coming months".

HP announced the acquisition of smartphone manufacturer and WebOS creator Palm, for approximately $1.2 billion, in April this year. Palm's mobile platform WebOS uses the Linux kernel and open source WebKit browser. The acquisition includes Palm's portfolio of over 1,500 patents, built up from 1996 when the Palm Pilot was released, through the release of the Treo mobile phones and on up to the current generation of Palm Pre and Pixi mobile phones.

More details about webOS 2.0 can be found on the HP webOS 2.0 introduction page and in a post on the Official Palm Blog. A short video walk-through of webOS 2.0 is also available on YouTube.

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