HP WebOS Bows Out…And Then There Were Four

In a seemingly unexpected turn of events, HP announced that it will be killing off their WebOS product. For those unaware, HP’s WebOS is a fantastic mobile operating system that just never caught on with the public, mostly because of a lack of relevant hardware and a scant ecosystem.

The software overall was both beautiful and innovative and pioneered the card multitasking view that we now see in Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango). In a statement taken from the computer giant via their press release:

…HP reported that it plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward. 

The fate of WebOS is both tragic and heartening. The idea that a platform so inspiring and innovative could so easily fail is a scary proposition for the mobile industry, however, it leaves really four major players left in the smartphone game (Windows Phone, iOS, Android, Blackberry). It’s my belief, and this is opinion, that the mobile market might only be able to sustain three major players and a few other small ones, so with WebOS leaving the game it leaves Windows Phone as the fourth and up-and-comer of the bunch, with Blackberry continuing to cede market share.

Windows Phone still has a long way to go before it can pull down the numbers of it’s major competitors (iOS and Android), but the Mango update brings it up to par with features and functionality and at this point, it’s just a matter of getting the word out and getting devices into peoples hands. One thing Windows Phone has in its favor is a thriving app market and ecosystem and a solid hardware manufacturing base. For WebOS. It’s a shame. You will be missed…kinda.

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Microsoft Opens Up Windows Live to Windows Phone, Android and iOS

Microsoft’s Windows Live team has just announced changes to their Windows Live development platform that not only brings better integration to their own Windows Phone product, but to Android and iOS devices as well. According to the official Windows Live blog:

…we’ve made it easy for developers on modern mobile platforms such as Windows Phone, Android, and iOS to easily integrate the ability for users to access their information such as contacts and photos from Hotmail, Messenger, and SkyDrive in their favorite mobile apps and devices.

We’ve streamlined the process for doing this in the following ways:

  • Lightweight application setup process which requires no server-side code.
  • Mobile optimized sign-in and user consent experiences
  • Providing code samples which illustrate the key steps in building a mobile application that access a user’s cloud data

The entire blog post details the three ways in which this whole process becomes simpler and even promises more by the way of sample code to assist developers to tie-in better to the massive Windows live user base. 

As we move further to the cloud-based world that Microsoft, Apple and many other tech giants are leaning toward, it’s reassuring to know that Windows Phone will be moving right along with them, although, based on Windows Phone’s already stellar cloud integration, this doesn’t really come as a surprise.

Which Smartphone Platform is Right for You?

This is a Windows Phone website. I make no excuses or apologies for that. It’s my chosen platform and the one which, I believe, makes the most sense for the most people, but I do understand that there are users out there who enjoy the ability and flexibility of chosing a platform which suits their needs.

I originally ran across the video below on WMPoweruser and thought that the host of the video did a pretty fair job of describing each platform and his own preferences without getting into an incendiary war about which is best. So, if you are having difficulty figuring out which smartphone platform is right for you, then check out this guys video and it may help.

Just a few things, however, I would like to clear up before hitting play. In the video, he mentions how great the iPhone is for music and podcasts. Personally, I believe Windows Phone’s music player is hands-down the best option out there. Podcast’s on Windows Phone still lack a native download capability on the phone, but will be coming soon in the Mango update later this fall. Also, the idea of customization comes up and while it’s true that Android lends itself to be fully customizable, Windows Phone’s home screen is a great way to personalize your phone to your needs with the help of tiles and live tiles.

As for me, I will continue to push Windows Phone as the superior platform as I’ve tried each of the others and feel Windows phone is the best combination of hardware and software. Please feel free to sound off in the comments below about your choice of smartphone and why it’s right for you.

Windows Phone Music Player Comes to Android…Sort of

If imitation is the best form of flattery then Windows Phone should be flattered because Android now has a music player, by developer Federico Carnales, that looks similar completely copies the Zune music player found in the Zune HD and more recently, Windows Phone. Check out the video below, posted originally on Engadget, to see what I mean.

I’ve long held the belief that the Zune music player is by far and away the best music player experience on any device, including iOS. I would hope that this new app for Android only encourages more users to try out the real thing by picking up an actual Windows Phone device.

Source: Engadget