HP webOS vs Apple iOS | webOS 3.0 vs iOS 5, Features, Performance
HP webOS and Apple iOS are both well known mobile operating systems available in modern smart phone devices. webOS is the successor of the famous Palm OS, it’s currently owned by HP. iOS is the mobile operating system of Apple, however the operating system is available in many of Apple’s innovative products today. Latest versions of the two operating systems are webOS 3.0 and iOS 5.0 respectively. The following review will touch upon their differences and similarities.
HP webOS is a Linux based proprietary mobile operating system initially developed by Palm Inc., and later owned by HP. The webOS allows applications to be developed using web technologies and hence has acquired the prefix “web”.
Initially, webOS has organized the applications using a concept termed ‘cards’; all open applications can be moved in and out of the screen by swipe of a finger. One advantage over the other competitors is the minimum closing of applications in webOS, facilitated by the cards. Applications can be quickly launched, and switching between applications is also very convenient.
One should agree that webOS is ergonomically well designed. The touch screen of webOS allows an array of gestures, mostly meant for one hand operation; this is very significant since webOS is intended as a mobile operating system. Users can launch the quick launcher with a slow swipe up, while a faster swipe up will bring up the launcher (more like a grid of all applications installed). HP webOS also supports common and intuitive gestures such as tap, double tap, left and right swipe, and etc. As these gestures are also common with other mobile platforms users will find migrating to a device with webOS effortless.
With the more recent versions of webOS, a concept called ‘stacks’ has been introduced. Users can organize applications, which are likely to be used simultaneously, into one stack. A possible case for the usage of stack is a user making an appointment in calendar while reading an email; in this scenario the user can group calendar application and email application into one stack.
A much talked about feature with the release of webOS 2.0 is ‘Synergy’. Synergy allows users to connect their many online accounts into a single place. Users can sync their many web mail accounts and social networking accounts into one list. Synergy has also combined with the contact list and messaging applications of the platform. For e.g. messages sent to a single contact can be viewed in a single list.
Designers of webOS have given great thought to the design of Notifications. In webOS, notifications pop’s up at the bottom of the screen. In a mobile device, notifications are something that users deal with more often. The ability to reach these notifications without much effort is facilitated by webOS.
HP webOS has supported Flash from its early stages. Currently, the web browser of the platform named ‘Web’ also supports flash. The web browser rendering is reportedly similar to that of Chrome and safari.
Additionally, webOS has search functionality called “Just Type”. It allows user to search for anything anywhere; search in all the content of the phone. Like its competitors, webOS supports email, audio video playback, a PDF viewer, and many more utilities. Users can get additional functionality by downloading free and paid officially accepted 3rd party applications from the ‘App Catalog’; the online application store for applications supported by webOS. Applications that are not supported by HP are called ‘Homebrew’; the warranty for the device will be cancelled, if such applications are installed in a licensed device.
As the operating system supports localization, webOS can be identified as a mobile operating system ready for the international market.
Currently, webOS is available in phones as well as tablets. HP Pre2, HP Pre3 and HP Veer are phones, which has webOS installed, while HP TouchPad is the tablet device, which has webOS as its operating system at the moment. Phones with webOS installed have a QWERTY keyboard, while the HP TouchPad has a virtual keyboard.
Apple iOS was initially designed and meant for the much famed Apple iPhone. However, as Apple became more innovative with its devices the operating system is now available on iPad, iPod Touch and Apple TV. However, this article will mainly focus on the versions available in iPhone and iPad in order to reduce scope creep. It’s also note worthy to mention that iOS has undergone a series of releases, and as a result has the ownership for great many features. The article will there for focus on the core features as well as the latest features of the platform.
Apple iOS is a proprietary mobile operating system derived from Mac OS X. Apple develops both operating systems as well as devices. This is an operating system with a well managed application eco system closely guarded and controlled by Apple. Applications that are made available in the App Store for download by iPhone/iPad users are tightly screened by Apple. Therefore, users can be at ease that their devices will not be contaminated with malicious applications.
Devices with iOS primarily facilitate a multi-touch screen for user input. The screen facilitates an array of gestures such as tapping, pinching, reverse pinch, swipe and etc. The responsiveness of the screen is of good quality in almost all devices as one would expect from a pioneer in multi-touch technology.
The home screen of an iOS is managed by “Springboard”. It displays the applications installed in the device in a Grid format. The bottom of the screen includes a dock, where users can see most recently used applications. Searching was made available from home screen since iOS 3.0 and users can search across media, email and contacts in their phone.
Apple iOS supports multi-touch displays. In fact, iOS is the pioneer in multi-touch technology. Gestures such as tap, pinch, swipe left & right are available for iOS. The release of iOS 5 introduced advanced gestures such as closing four/five fingers together to return to “Springboard” are also introduced.
With introduction of iOS 4, a concept called “Folders” were introduced. Folders can be created by dragging one application on top of another to create a folder. The folder can contain a maximum of 12 applications. This was similar applications can be grouped.
During its early releases, iOS did not allow multitasking for 3rd party applications as it was assumed that allowing the feature would drain too much battery. After the release of iOS 4, multitasking is supported for using 7 API’s allowing seamless switching between third party apps. Apple claims the feature is offered while not compromising battery life or performance.
Earlier versions of iOS used to block the entire screen with notification alerts. The release of iOS 5 has demonstrated a less intrusive Notifications design. As of iOS 5 notifications are aggregated on top of the screen to a window that can be dragged down.
FaceTime is what iOS calls video calling. FaceTime can be used with the phone number on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch (4th generation). A Mac with iOS installed need to use an email ID for using FaceTime. However, FaceTime may not be available in all countries.
Since early versions, iOS included email clients, calendar, camera, photo viewer and more. Safari is the browser included in iOS. These features are common in most mobile operating systems. Apple manufactures phone models such as iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and tablet versions such as iPad, iPad 2 with iOS installed. Most of these devices boast of high quality displays such as retina display with a high pixel density, 2 way cameras, video chat and a large number of applications and games built for them in the App store.
What is the difference between WebOS and iOS?
The main similarity between HP webOS and Apple iOS is the fact that both are proprietary mobile operating systems. Devices with both operating systems are manufactured by the respective owners of the operating system; webOS by HP, and iOS by Apple. While webOS is a Linux based operating system, iOS derived from the much famed Mac OS X (which is Unix based). Currently both operating systems provide more or less similar features with webOS introducing video calling with the webOS version in HP TouchPad. Considering the user friendliness of the user interface design, webOS can be considered better with its card concept, easy navigation between applications and nicely designed notifications. The biggest difference between the two operating system would be the cost to own them. While latest devices with Apple iOS closes to nearly $650 with a data package, the latest devices with webOS can be obtained for $450 at the moment.
webOS vs iOS
• Both HP webOS and Apple iOS are proprietary mobile operating systems.
• HP webOS is based on Linux kernel, while Apple iOS is based on Mac OS x.
• Devices with webOS have a relatively lower cost of ownership than that of iOS.
• Applications for webOS can be downloaded from “Palm App Catalog”, and applications for iOS can be downloaded from Apple App store.
• The number of applications available for iOS and the developer community around is greater than that of webOS.
• Considering the user friendliness, if design is considered, webOS is better designed.
• Both OS’s allow many touch gestures, but iOS supports advanced touch gestures.