Earlier today, I gave a quick overview with some initial impressions of the HP TouchPad. You know, goof around with it a little. But the apps I held back on. Why? Because I wanted to give a little extra love to the apps. So, let’s get to it: There is an app store. There are over 6,000 apps – and 300 TouchPad-specific apps available right out the gate – that handle a variety of needs. But here are a couple extra pointers…
Check out Pivot Magazine. You’ve seen tablet versions of magazines by now. Right? Well, starting with the first few downloads your tablet makes, you’ve got a fully functional digital magazine specifically made for the TouchPad. It sits on the front door of the HP app store with lifestyle stories and app recommendations throughout. I dig what I’m seeing so far. Then again, I’m a little nerdier than some. Actually, let me show you how Pivot – and the app store – work together. It’s a pretty promising start...
No need to JailBreak it! There is a great, supportive homebrew community out there that’s been creating a bunch of apps for webOS phones. Now that Tablets are part of the equation, I can’t wait to see what they do here. HINT: Just go to PreCentral.Net for a great intro to homebrewing, webOS-style. LEGALESE: Sure, you’ll be able to download a ton of cool, free stuff – but be aware that many of these apps can push devices beyond their intended limits. On webOS devices, there is a webOS Doctor program to restore your unit to factory defaults. So, if you want to much around with your machine be careful -- but if things go south, you can download webOS Doctor here.
It does support older apps. While older apps will get updated and more tablet-friendly apps show up on the scene, there are still legacy apps made for webOS phones. They will run. What it will do is emulate a Pre2’s screen on the TouchPad’s screen. A little trippy, I know, but it works.
Don’t forget to Flash. Obviously, there’s more content – and more apps – on the way, but don’t forget that a number Flash-based sites that function like apps. Doesn’t sound like a big deal? Well, let me put it this way: I’m not having to deal with empty black boxes on my browser any more. And have I already mentioned that the TouchPad can run Flash games?
General app tips.
Manage the cards you’re dealt. It’s addictive to have a ton of apps open, jumping between browsing the Web, getting Map directions while listening to music, checking Facebook and Twitter…you get the idea. Remember: Just because you can have 10 cards open and stacked by preference, doesn’t mean you should. This is just common sense. Do you keep a million programs open on your computer at all times? I’m going to guess the answer is, “Probably not.” If you have a gang of apps open, it consumes system resources. Want to see exactly how far you can push the TouchPad? Check out this tech torture test from webOSRoundup!
If you already own a webOS device, getting your account transferred from phone-to-TouchPad was a snap. I entered my webOS account info and it loaded all my settings (down to email signatures) – and apps – in a matter of minutes. No work required on my end. BUT, you might be getting the phone-versions of some apps if they haven’t been updated.
Socializing. I’ve been kicking around the Spaz HD for Twitter and Facebook apps. They are both free and well worth downloading. I honestly think that the TouchPad Facebook app is probably the best tablet implementation I’ve seen to date. And, yeah, I know that I could be a little biased on that call. Just putting it out there.
I'm going to come back at you with more recommendations and tips (namely I'm working up my collection of favorite apps -- and games -- as I'm writing this) soon. So stay tuned...