Recent news of HP’s decision to spin off their $40 billion PC business has caused quite the stir in the tech community. While the company will still continue to manufacture and sell printers (those are part of a separate division), this means that their desktops, laptops and mobile devices are now being sold off in droves. Most notable among these devices is the HP TouchPad, the tablet with Flash support which was released on July 1, 2011. When news of discontinuation surfaced less than two months from their release dates, retailers started offering fire sales of the TouchPad for $99. The strategy has convinced HP to continue manufacturing TouchPads through October and will offer software updates for the webOS platform. This has propelled the TouchPad to become the #2 selling tablet in the US, according to industry claims.
With multitasking, faster processor speeds, more RAM, and superior email, chat and wireless functionality, the TouchPad could be a viable low-cost alternative to the iPad 2 if more apps were available. At $99 though, the price point is attractive enough for interested tablet users to dive into the fray.
For those of you who have recently gotten your hands on one of the coveted TouchPads, here are a few of the apps currently available which can turn your new webOS tablet into a real news-creating machine.
Inglorious Apps has created an application which best utilizes the features of webOS — multitasking, integration, and beauty. Glimpse is designed to maximize your productivity by allowing you to perform multiple tasks simultaneously in a split-screen interface. Type an article while viewing a YouTube video, view your tweets while checking your calendar, or listen to a podcast while you check your Google Reader. You can mix and match the services you utilize easily and flawlessly.
Quickoffice is a leader in mobile office applications for the mobile professional. Their Connect Mobile Suite is a webOS application that allows users to view Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF files. One main gripe users have about the application is the inability to edit documents, but recent news from Quickoffice promises that document editing is coming in the near future as a free update.
Because of Skype’s partnership with HP, TouchPad devices are able to make video calls natively without installing any external applications. Because of how webOS integrates messaging functionality, you can also switch between text and video chats from within the same program.
Spaz HD is the open source go-to Twitter client for the webOS platform. With multi-account support, a three-column view, and a baked-in URL shortener, Spaz lets you keep a bird’s eye view over your Twitter presence. Did I mention that it’s free as well?
Like the screenshot says, TapNote for TouchPad provides easy, elegant access to your notes from anywhere. Notes can sync automatically to Dropbox, and the specific TouchPad enhancements (a bottom toolbar and better cursor selection) are a nice touch. The app is available for $5, but a free version is available as well.
The popular web software used by millions of people worldwide also has a webOS application. The WordPress for webOS application is available in eight languages, includes the ability to view WordPress Stats, and works with both WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress blogs. The app also utilizes webOS’ multitasking features to allow you to edit and compose multiple posts at once.