Getting started with your TouchPad – Hello WebOS!


Congratulations, you’ve bested hordes of other people and managed to grab a decent tablet for $99/£89!

Now what?

Well its time to get introduced to WebOS, a different kind of mobile operating system. Different because, like you it can do more than one thing at a time.

What does that mean in reality? A simple example would is having a streaming music site like grooveshark or Turntable FM running in a browser and than launching a twitter App. In other tablet platforms, the music would stop as you had ‘switched tasks’, in WebOS the music will keep on playing.

What that means is that WebOS is more flexible as it allows you to do many things at the same time.

Opening, Browsing and closing apps

To run an App, bring up the launcher by clicking the launcher and touch the app you want to launch.

Managing currently running apps couldn’t be simpler simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen or push the button. This will bring you to the ‘card view’ which will enable you to swipe through your running apps, to select and fullscreen an app, just touch it.

If you want to kill an app just bring up the card view and swipe up, simple and effective!

Notifications

These are short messages that tell you that something has happened, be it a chat message, email or a reminder that an app update is available. Unlike other systems, WebOS features non intrusive notifcations that wont interrupt what you are doing. In the top right hand corner is the notification area, this will contain any and all messages.

A notification will typically tell you what app it is from and contain a small message, to read a notification, simply touch it and to launch the app touch the notification again. Another helpful hint, if you have multiple notifications, for example multiple emails you can swipe through each email notification meaning that you can stay on top of your inbox.

Installing Apps

If you have used any other mobile app store, this is much the same except the App store is called the App catalog. It does have one small difference, you can install multiple apps at the same time! Just click on each install button and away you go!

Stacks

Keeping track of information is hard, in the real world I keep related items together, technology however seems to think that keeping related stuff sepearate is the way to go. Which is why Stacks is so refreshing, if you click a weblink in an email, it launches the web browser (so far so normal) but instead of containing the page within an app (ala iOS) it ‘stacks’ it on top of the email you are reading meaning that you dont lose track of it!

Just Type

See that search bar at the top of the screen, if you touch it you can do the usual things of searching for emails, sites etc But you can also add other search engines, like wikipedia! If a website has a compatible search function, a small notification will pop up and you will be able to add it to Just Type. Another feature is quick actions, you can write emails, facebook and twitter status right from the Just Type bar, simply start writing and then click the appropriate app! Its a real time saver.

These are just some of the great features available in WebOS.

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