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WebOS, webos 3.5
305 tablet
145 Pre, Pre Plus US, Pixi, and Pixi Plus

21 Pre Plus UK and Pre 2 212 Veer 224 Pre 3 phone / 12 January 2012; 4 years ago 2012-01-12 Marketing target Embedded devices Available in English US, Spanish, French, Italian and German Platforms ARM Kernel type Monolithic Linux kernel Default user interface Graphical Luna License Apache License Official website wwwopenwebosprojectorg

WebOS, also known as Open WebOS or LG WebOS, previously known as HP WebOS and Palm WebOS, stylized as webOS is a Linux kernel-based multitask operating system for smart devices like TVs and smartwatches It was formerly a mobile operating system Initially developed by Palm which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard, HP made the platform open source, at which point it became Open WebOS The operating system was later sold to LG Electronics HP still held many patents related to WebOS In January 2014, Qualcomm has announced that it has acquired technology patents from HP, which includes all the WebOS patents

Various versions of WebOS have been featured on several devices, including Pre, Pixi, and Veer smartphones, TouchPad tablet, LG Smart TVs since 2015, and smartwatches including LG Watch Urbane LTE and the Audi smartwatch


  • 1 History
    • 11 Palm
    • 12 HP
    • 13 Growth and decline of HP App Catalog
    • 14 LG
  • 2 Features
    • 21 Multitasking interface
    • 22 Synergy
    • 23 Over-the-air updates
    • 24 Notifications
    • 25 Sync
    • 26 Third-party applications
    • 27 Smart TV features
  • 3 Platform
  • 4 Hardware
    • 41 Phones
    • 42 Tablets
    • 43 Televisions
    • 44 Watch
  • 5 See also
  • 6 Notes
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links


Logo history Palm WebOS logo HP WebOS logo Open WebOS logo LG WebOS logo


Palm launched WebOS, then called Palm WebOS, in January 2009 as the successor to Palm OS The first WebOS device was the original Palm Pre, released by Sprint in June 2009 The Palm Pixi followed Upgraded "Plus" versions of both Pre and Pixi were released on Verizon and AT&T


In April 2010 HP acquired Palm; WebOS was described by Leo Apotheker as a key asset and motivation for the purchase The $12 billion acquisition finalized in June HP indicated its intention to develop the WebOS platform for use in multiple new products, including smartphones, tablets, and printers

In February 2011 HP announced that it would use WebOS as the universal platform for all its devices However, HP also made the decision that the Palm Pre, Palm Pixi, and the "Plus" revisions would not receive over-the-air updates to WebOS 20, despite a previous commitment to an upgrade "in coming months" HP announced several WebOS devices, including the HP Veer and HP Pre 3 smartphones, running WebOS 22, and the HP TouchPad, a tablet computer released in July 2011 that runs WebOS 30

In March 2011 HP announced plans for a version of WebOS by the end of 2011 to run within Windows, and to be installed on all HP desktop and notebook computers in 2012 Neither ever materialized, although work had begun on an x86 port around this time involving a team in Fort Collins, Colorado Work was scrapped later in the year

In August 2011 HP announced that it was interested in selling its Personal Systems Group, responsible for all of its consumer PC products, including WebOS, and that WebOS device development and production lines would be halted It remained unclear whether HP would consider licensing WebOS software to other manufacturers When HP reduced the price of the Touchpad to $99, the existing inventory quickly sold out

The HP Pre 3 was launched in select areas of Europe, and US-based units were available only through unofficial channels both AT&T and Verizon canceled their orders just prior to delivery after Apotheker's HP's CEO at the time announcement Notably, these US Pre 3 units, having been released through unofficial channels, lacked both warranties and carried no support obligation from HP; as a result parts are nearly impossible to come by HP announced that it would continue to issue updates for the HP Veer and HP TouchPad, but these updates have failed to materialize for the former, and the latter saw a final, unofficial release called "WebOS CE" that contained only open-sourced components of WebOS meant for what remained of the developer community rather than a conventional, user-centric update to the operating system The last HP WebOS version, 305, was released on 12 January 2012

In December 2011, after abandoning the TouchPad and the proposed sale of the HP Personal Systems Group, HP announced it would release WebOS source code in the near future under an open-source license In August 2012, code specific to the existing devices was released as WebOS Community Edition CE, with support for the existing HP hardware Open WebOS includes open source libraries designed to target a wider range of hardware HP renamed its WebOS unit as "Gram"

In February 2012 HP released Isis, a new web browser for Open WebOS

Growth and decline of HP App Catalog

HP executives demonstrating WebOS devices in 2011

The HP App Catalog was an app store for apps for the mobile devices running WebOS

On 6 June 2009, WebOS launched on the Palm Pre with 18 available apps The number of apps grew to 30 by 17 June 2009, with 1 million cumulative downloads by 27 June 2009; 30 official and 31 unofficial apps by 13 July 2009; 1,000 official apps by 1 January 2010; 4,000 official apps 29 September 2010; and 10,002 official apps on 9 December 2011

Subsequently, the number of available apps has decreased because many apps have been pulled from the App Catalog from its owners Examples include the apps for The New York Times and Pandora Radio The number of remaining functional apps was unknown When factoring out abandoned and/or non-functioning apps that remain in the App Catalog at present, the number is projected to be substantially lower WebOS users lost HP App Catalog access after the 15 March 2015 shutdown of the HP App Catalog servers; this was notified by a Catalog splash screen on 11 November 2014


On 25 February 2013, HP announced that it was licensing WebOS to LG Electronics for use on its web-enabled smart TVs Under the agreement LG Electronics is allowed unlimited access to the documentation, source code, developers and all related websites LG Electronics licensed WebOS from HP to enhance its smart TVs, replacing its previous NetCast platform However, HP will still hold on to patents underlying WebOS as well as cloud-based services such as the App Catalog As well as its use as an OS for smart TVs, LG has expanded its use to various IoT devices As a starting point, LG showcased an LG Wearable Platform OS WebOS smartwatch in early 2015


Screenshot of Palm WebOS Launcher 2010

The WebOS mobile platform introduced some innovative features, such as the cards interface, that are still in use by Apple, Microsoft and Google on their mobile operating systems iOS, Windows Phone, and Android, respectively

Feature LG WebOS Open WebOS HP/Palm WebOS
Multitasking interface Line cards Cards Cards
Gesture interface Magic Remote touch screen
physical keyboard
touch screen
physical keyboard
Synergy No No Yes
App store LG Store No HP App Catalog
Over-the-air updates Yes Yes Yes
Wireless recharging Yes
Service discovery Connect SDK No ZeroConf / Touch to Share
Open source No Yes Partial
  • LG Watch Urbane LTE
  • some LG smart TVs
  • Galaxy Nexus
  • Nexus 4
  • Nexus 7
  • Raspberry Pi 2
  • Raspberry Pi 3
  • HP TouchPad
  • Palm Pre
  • Pre Plus
  • Palm Pixi
  • Pixi Plus
  • Palm Pre 2
  • HP Pre 3
  • HP TouchPad

Multitasking interface

Navigation uses multi-touch gestures on the touchscreen The interface uses "cards" to manage multitasking and represent apps The user switches between running apps with a flick from left and right on the screen Apps are closed by flicking a "card" up—and "off"—the screen The app "cards" can be rearranged for organization WebOS 20 introduced 'stacks', where related cards could be "stacked" together

The HP Touchpad tablet runs WebOS The 'card' multitasking UI is shown


Palm referred to integration of information from many sources as "Synergy" Users can sign into multiple email accounts from different providers and integrate all of these sources into a single list Similar capabilities pull together calendars and also instant messages and SMS text messages from multiple sources

Over-the-air updates

The OS can be updated without docking to a PC, instead receiving OS updates over the carrier connection


The notification area is located on the bottom portion of the screen on phones, and on the top status bar area on tablets

On phones, when a notification comes in, it slides in from the bottom of the screen Due to the resizable nature of the Mojo and Enyo application frameworks, the app usually resizes itself to allow unhindered use while the notification is displayed After the notification slides away, it usually remains as an icon The user can then tap on the icons to expand them Notifications can then be dismissed sliding off the screen, acted upon tapping, or left alone


By default, data sync uses a cloud-based approach rather than using a desktop sync client The first version of WebOS shipped with the ability to sync with Apple's iTunes software by masquerading as an Apple device, but this feature was disabled by subsequent iTunes software updates

Third-party applications

On HP WebOS, officially vetted third-party apps are accessible to be installed on the device from the HP App Catalog

As HP WebOS replaced Palm OS, Palm commissioned MotionApps to code and develop an emulator called Classic, to enable backward compatibility to Palm OS apps This operates with WebOS version 10 Palm OS emulation was discontinued in WebOS version 20 MotionApps disengaged from Classic in 2010, citing HP Palm as "disruptive"

Another source of applications is homebrew software Homebrew apps are not directly supported by HP Programs used to distribute homebrew WebOS apps include WebOS Quick Install Java-based for Desktop computers, and Preware a homebrew WebOS app catalog, which must be sideloaded to install If software problems do occur after installing homebrew programs, "WebOS Doctor" provided by HP can restore a phone back to factory settings and remove changes made by homebrew apps and patches

Smart TV features

LG has redesigned the UI of WebOS, whilst maintaining the card UI as a feature called "Simple switching" between the TV apps The other two features promoted by the company are simple connection using an animated Clippy-like character called Beanbird to aid the user through setup, and simple discovery


See also: WebOS version history

Underneath the graphical user interface, WebOS has much in common with mainstream Linux distributions Versions 10 to 21 use a patched Linux 2624 kernel

The list of open-source components used by the different releases of WebOS, as well as the source code of and patches applied to each component, is available at the Palm Open Source webpage This page also serves as a reference listing of the versions of WebOS that have been publicly released

In 2011, Enyo replaced Mojo, released in June 2009, as the software development kit SDK



  • Palm Pre
  • Palm Pixi
  • Palm Pre Plus
  • Palm Pixi Plus
  • Palm Pre 2
  • HP Veer
  • HP Pre 3


  • HP TouchPad
  • HP TouchPad Go


  • Some LG Smart TV models


  • LG Watch Urbane LTE

See also

  • List of smart TV platforms and middleware software
  • Enyo
  • Mobile platform
  • Access Linux Platform



  1. ^ "QtWS15- Bringing LG webOs and Qt to millions of smartTVs" 
  2. ^ "HP webOS Developer FAQ" Palm, Inc 
  3. ^ Qualcomm purchases Palm patents from HP USA Today January 24, 2014 Retrieved February 22, 2016
  4. ^ "Exclusive: The LG Audi smartwatch runs webOS!" 7 January 2015 Retrieved 8 January 2015 
  5. ^ Bajarin, Ben 30 June 2011 "HP Is Committed to Its 'WebOS' Platform and It Should Be" Time TechLand Time Inc Retrieved 27 November 2013 
  6. ^ "HP snubs Windows, plans to integrate WebOS into PCs" Digital Trends 9 February 2011 Retrieved 14 June 2013 
  7. ^ "Thanks really! for the feedback" Hewlett Packard 
  8. ^ "HP Breaks Promise: WebOS 20 Upgrades for Palm Pre and Pixi Not Coming" Brighthandcom Retrieved 13 February 2011 
  9. ^ Hardy, Ed 20 November 2010 "HP Commits to WebOS 20 Upgrades for All Palm Smartphones" Brighthandcom Retrieved 27 November 2013 
  10. ^ Hollister, Sean 14 March 2011 "HP TouchPad coming June, WebOS for PC beta by year's end" Engadget AOL Inc Retrieved 27 November 2013 
  11. ^ "Apotheker Seeks to Save HP's 'Lost Soul' With Software Growth" BusinessWeek Bloomberg LP 9 March 2011 Retrieved 9 March 2011 
  12. ^ "Developing and Distributing with HP: Developer Program Details" developerpalmcom Hewlett-Packard Development Company 2010 Archived from the original on 2010-12-01 
  13. ^ "HP Confirms Discussions with Autonomy Corporation plc Regarding Possible Business Combination; Makes Other Announcements" Press release 18 August 2011 Retrieved 18 August 2011 
  14. ^ "HP kills WebOS, spins off PC business to focus on software" AppleInsider 11 August 2011 Retrieved 18 August 2011 
  15. ^ "HP Web OS -High connectivity, stability and security" Hewlett-Packard Retrieved 10 March 2011 
  16. ^ Fried, Ina 22 August 2011 "HP: WebOS Still Coming to PCs and Printers, Pre3 Launching in "Limited" Markets" AllThingsD Dow Jones & Company Retrieved 24 August 2011 
  17. ^ "HP to Contribute WebOS to Open Source" Press Release: December 9, 2011 Hewlett-Packard 9 December 2011 Retrieved 10 December 2011 
  18. ^ HP releases more Open WebOS code, including System Manager and core apps on arstechnicacom by Ryan Paul Aug 3, 2012
  19. ^ Hesseldahl, Arik 15 August 2012 "Meet Gram, HP's New Name for the Company Formerly Known as Palm" All Things D Retrieved 17 August 2012 
  20. ^ Musil, Steven 15 August 2012 "HP spins off WebOS business, rebranding it as 'Gram'" CNET CBS Interactive Retrieved 5 December 2012 
  21. ^ Kessler, Derek 2012-02-14 "HP releases Open WebOS' new browser Isis, JavaScript core, and Enyo UI widgets 34" Retrieved 2015-04-20 
  22. ^ Barletta, Bryan 18 June 2009 "Palm Pre Prepared For The Spotlight" Medialets, Inc 
  23. ^ Barletta, Bryan 24 June 2009 "Palm Pre App Catalog Reaches 1 Million Downloads" Medialets, Inc 
  24. ^ Bohn, Dieter 10 July 2009 "Palm Pre Homebrew: 31 Apps Official App Catalog: 30" PreCentralnet Smartphone Experts 
  25. ^ Werlinger, Robert 1 January 2010 "App Catalog Hits 1000 apps" WebOS Nation Retrieved 27 April 2012 
  26. ^ Bohn, Dieter 29 September 2010 "WebOS surpasses 5,000 apps" WebOS Nation Retrieved 27 April 2012 
  27. ^ Touchpad breaks 1,000 app milestone 9 December 2011
  28. ^ Pre to postmortem: the inside story of the death of Palm and WebOS
  29. ^ "Gram working with LG on an Open webOS TV" webOS Nation 24 October 2012 
  30. ^ "LG Electronics Acquires WebOS from HP to Enhance Smart TV" Press Release: February 25, 2013 Hewlett-Packard 25 February 2013 Retrieved 14 June 2013 
  31. ^ "HP offloads Palm WebOS assets to Korea's LG" BBC News Retrieved 26 February 2013 
  32. ^ Nilay Patel 25 February 2013 "HP emerges as big winner in WebOS sale" The Verge Vox Media Retrieved 6 January 2014 
  33. ^ "Open Source Packages" Retrieved 6 April 2014 
  34. ^ a b Byford, Sam 1 March 2015 "Our first look at LG's new webOS and Android Wear smartwatches" The Verge Retrieved 2016-08-28 
  35. ^ a b Benson, Matthew 23 June 2015 "Watch Urbane LTE impressions: LG's little known WebOS experiment" Android Authority Retrieved 2016-08-28 
  36. ^ a b Reed, Brad 5 March 2015 "I can't believe I'm saying this but… webOS looks like a great smartwatch platform" BGR Retrieved 2016-08-28 
  37. ^ a b "LG WebOS TV Smart+" LGcom LG Corporation Retrieved 2016-08-28 
  38. ^ "Devices" WebOS Ports Retrieved 2016-08-28 
  39. ^ "Palm Unveils All-new WebOS" Press release Palm, Inc 8 January 2009 Retrieved 27 May 2009 
  40. ^ "HP webOS official website" Palm, Inc Retrieved 14 June 2013 
  41. ^ Derek Kessler 25 Oct 2010WebOS 20, MotionApps drops Classic PalmOS Emulator in Palm's lap
  42. ^ MotionApps 25 Oct 2010Classic's Got a Brand New Home! MotionApps Hands Classic Over to Palm
  43. ^ Precentral precentralnet Homebrew Apps
  44. ^ milominderbinder precentralnet 22 Jan 2010 Getting Started: Homebrew Apps, Patches, and Themes with WebOS Quick Install
  45. ^ "HP WebOS Doctor" HPWebOScom Retrieved 6 January 2014 
  46. ^ a b "Open Source Packages: HP webOS open source compliance" openwebosprojectorg Retrieved 28 October 2013 
  47. ^ Jesse Mendoza 30 March 2010 "HP Rolls Out WebOS 30 Beta with Enyo On Board" 

External links

  • HPWebOScom
  • Open WebOS
  • WebOS Developer Center
  • WebOS Source Code Downloads
  • WebOS Internals Wiki

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