Pairing the HP TouchPad with iPhone 4S: Caller ID heaven

Summary:The HP TouchPad may be an orphaned device, but HP released a new update to webOS that improves the tablet. The ability to pair any phone with the TouchPad is awesome.

When HP first announced the HP TouchPad, long before it became a relic, one of the nicest features was the ability to pair it with the Pre 3. The duo could work together to let phone calls and text messages on the phone get picked up on the tablet, too. Unfortunately, the Pre 3 was cancelled along with the TouchPad, so it was figured that gadget collaboration was doomed. To our surprise, the webOS update yesterday enabled this ability, allowing the TouchPad to be paired with almost any phone. I immediately paired my tablet with the iPhone 4S, and I can attest to how well it works. It is particularly useful for Caller ID.

When word came out that this feature would be part of the webOS 3.0.4 update, many asked why anyone would want to take calls coming in to the phone, on the TouchPad? It is primarily a convenience factor, but it really shines to use the TouchPad as a Caller ID device for the phone. I have already come to depend on leaving the phone in my pocket, and when a call comes in seeing who it is on the TouchPad in my hand. I can decide to fish the phone out of my pocket or not, or take the call right on the tablet.

Once the TouchPad is updated, pairing the phone is easy. Go to the Bluetooth settings and pair the phone as you would any peripheral. Once paired you have the options to make the phone auto-connect in the future, and to accept incoming phone calls on the TouchPad. That's all you need to do to get this feature working. Having phone calls appear on the TouchPad works with just about any phone, but receiving text messaging on the tablet depends on the phone's Bluetooth implementation. This does not work on the iPhone 4S, sadly.

The webOS update includes other new features, a camera app for use with the front-facing camera on the TouchPad for example. There are also lots of performance enhancements to the TouchPad. I was running my tablet overclocked to 1.5 GHz prior to the update, along with a lot of performance-enhancing patches. The TouchPad after this update runs just as fast as that, without all of the patching and overclocking.

I recommend all TouchPad owners grab this update and apply it as soon as possible. Those who have patched the OS as I did should run the Emergency Patch Recovery app found in Preware immediately before updating the OS. This removes all patches and sets the system back to factory condition for a smoother update process.


Topics: Hewlett-Packard, iPhone, Mobility


James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.