BlackBerry PlayBook has me excited about the HP TouchPad

BlackBerry PlayBook has me excited about the HP TouchPad

Summary: The entire time I have been using the BlackBerry PlayBook I have come to realize how much of the webOS interface that RIM has borrowed. Seeing the PlayBook in action has me excited about the upcoming HP TouchPad.

SHARE:

The BlackBerry PlayBook is impressing me the longer I use it, primarily due to the nice hardware and the good user interface. The UI in particular is very intuitive and very well implemented. The entire time I have been using it I have come to realize how much of the webOS interface that RIM has incorporated into the PlayBook. Seeing the PlayBook in action has me very excited about the upcoming HP TouchPad tablet.

Don't get me wrong, I think the RIM interface is very well done and while it uses some of the same methods found in webOS it is unique in many ways. I love how the running tasks show up in a bar that can be swiped left and right, and I love how closing an app is as easy as swiping the "card" up off the screen. I also find it useful to swipe left and right on the screen within an app to switch to the next app. This works well in practice, and it is very similar to the webOS method of representing tasks as cards on the screen.

I spent a couple of hours with the HP TouchPad earlier this year, and the most impressive thing about that session was seeing how HP has converted the webOS interface to fit the bigger tablet screen. Displaying tasks as cards is particularly good on the tablet screen, and the ability to stack tasks together in card view is really handy. This is lacking in the PlayBook interface, and I believe it is a major difference.

BlackBerry PlayBook tasks

BlackBerry PlayBook tasks

HP TouchPad

HP TouchPad cards

HP TouchPad notifications

HP TouchPad notifications

The notification system in webOS has been quite good since the launch of the platform, and it is nicely updated for the TouchPad display. It is possible to triage email without going to the app, a very useful method for those of us buried in the inbox all day. I knew when I first saw the HP TouchPad that I would almost certainly like to use one, and having seen the similar methodology in practice on the RIM PlayBook has me convinced that is so.

I am as excited about the impending launch of the TouchPad more today than ever, and it is in part thanks to the BlackBerry PlayBook. That's not the intent of RIM, but it does confirm its good move in copying parts of webOS for the PlayBook.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Hewlett-Packard, Mobile OS, BlackBerry

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

Talkback

35 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook has me excited about the HP TouchPad

    Thanks for keeping us updated on all of this. HP is really interested in getting into the game, as evidenced by the TouchPad, and on another level, the Slate (see review/comparison of Slate to iPad here:
    http://trial-technology.blogspot.com/2011/04/has-ipad-met-its-match-maybe-not-yet.html

    I think that the (full OS) Windows devices will become the hottest competitor to the iPad. It can actually become a computer replacement, as opposed to just another supplemental piece of technology. I look forward to seeing this heat up over the coming months.
    litigationtech
    • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook has me excited about the HP TouchPad

      @litigationtech sorry but I don't think Windows tablets will compete with mobile tablets in general, much less the iPad. They've been around for years without gaining traction.
      JamesKendrick
      • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook has me excited about the HP TouchPad

        @JamesKendrick Some say that Android will dominate, but they will have to overcome a massive Apple app market, fighting on Apple's playground. Until recently, although there has been a Windows touch interface available, there hasn't been any decent hardware to support it. If rumors of touchpad interface improvements coming from MS are true, Windows already has the following, at least in the legal and business.

        It will be fun to watch, and we're in for some real good stuff, regardless of how it works out. Keep us updated!
        litigationtech
      • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook has me excited about the HP TouchPad

        @JamesKendrick Windows Tablets didn't compete because they were too expensive and having that technology at that price was a luxury... I honestly believe that the Windows tablet would have taken off years ago if they hit a $600 price point.
        slickjim
        • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook has me excited about the HP TouchPad

          @litigationtech Apple was over 100,000 apps on their Market when Android hit 2.0 and they took off fast there... Now it doesn't even matter because there are competing Apps on each platform.
          slickjim
      • Just depends what you want to do...

        @JamesKendrick
        You're not telling us theres no market for a gadget with direct usb, sd, etc. Gadgets you can save your media files to on holiday etc. I'm interested in the android for those reasons, hp web os, and potentially win7 tablet.

        And I do have a company ipad but dont use it for the same reasons. I cant be bothered with secure apps for email and the extra password layers, and I cant be bothered loading media via itunes from my home pc. In the real world the iPad has many shortcomings...... but journalists, and buyers, are very keen not to admit.

        ps I have an older hp tablet and it is big and bulky. Better hardware, touch screen (in place of stylus only) and the format would have been better. And regards app market... how many do we really use? I have maybe twenty that I use but less than 10 are used often. I think we'll see a lot of better apps in years to come, but fewer overall. A better, more productive family of apps.
        johnmckay
      • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook has me excited about the HP TouchPad

        @JamesKendrick yes you right i also think that. <a href="http://www.iaaou.org/inner/belford_university.htm">Belford University</a>
        bradyroy
      • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook has me excited about the HP TouchPad

        @JamesKendrick i really like you comment and i also see that before you comment you doing a big research which is very appreciable. <a href="http://logocraftivity.com/">Logo Design Pros</a>
        bradyroy
    • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook has me excited about the HP TouchPad

      @JamesKendrick Apple hadn't told people that they wanted tablets yet.
      jgm2
      • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook has me excited about the HP TouchPad

        @jgm@... I agree with you. thanks for sharing. <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/in/olwauniversity">Olwa University</a>
        bradyroy
      • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook has me excited about the HP TouchPad

        @jgm@... Great work you done a great job, <a href="http://studentsofrise.com/">Rise University</a>
        bradyroy
    • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook has me excited about the HP TouchPad

      @litigationtech
      The other day, I played with the ASUS 12.1" Windows tablet at Best Buy. It was an awful, awful experience! Horrible!

      Now, don't get me wrong -- I love Windows 7...on a desktop. On a tablet, the Windows UI feels clumsy and antiquated (blame Apple for this).

      The Windows UI was designed for mouse and keyboard, not touch. No matter how MS tweak the UI to accommodate touch, the UI will never feel right. MS need to *completely* overhaul the Windows UI for tablets.

      I just don't understand how Windows users put up with a less-than-ideal tablet interface. They must somehow convince themselves that the Windows app advantage is worth whatever compromises they must make. The correct term for this is "self-delusion".

      Oh, and the ASUS tablet hardware? It feels like a brick. Horrible, truly horrible.
      reng2010
      • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook has me excited about the HP TouchPad

        And it's not only the Windows UI that needs to be overhauled. Existing Windows apps were also designed for mouse and keyboard -- they need to be revised accordingly. The entire Windows app ecosystem will not find a home on tablets.
        reng2010
  • Have you enabled four and five finger multitouch iPad gestures?

    Your blog article highlights certain additional hand and finger gestures which enhance the usability of both the RIM and HP tablet OS capabilities.

    I was just curious if you had enabled those much reported additional finger gestures on your iPad yet.

    My own experience after enabling those optional developer features on my first gen iPad was, for the most part, beneficial. I truly used those added multi-touch features and enjoyed the added convenience those gestures provided. I still would be using them except that I discovered that by adding them, AirPlay "broke".

    Since I use AirPlay features quite often in concert with my iPad and Apple TV2, I was shocked to discover that they no longer worked when those gestures were enabled.

    However, now that my iPad 2 unit has arrived and I can output my iPad content thru the HDMI cable/Apple adapter method to my HDTV, I may enable those additional features on my new iPad 2.

    Then again, I do enjoy the AirPlay capability so I may wait until an official iOS upgrade appears which includes those gestures (and keeps AirPlay functional), before I start using those gestures again.
    kenosha77a
    • LMAO

      @kenosha7777

      So much for "just works", eh?
      SonofaSailor
      • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook has me excited about the HP TouchPad

        @SonofaSailor

        To be fair, the documentation indicated that this bit of code was just for developers to "get a feel" for incorporating those extra gestures into applications. As it stands, the code was not meant to be released to the general public. (for obvious reasons .. or those reasons should be obvious to you now that you now "the rest of the story".)

        As it stands, all the released features for iOS have always worked for me on my two iPads.

        So .. I guess you never had experiences with beta or developer code that resulted in "unexpected" behavior?
        kenosha77a
      • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook has me excited about the HP TouchPad

        @SonofaSailor Owning a Macbook Air I can assure you it..."just doesnt work all the time"
        jhughesy
  • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook has me excited about the HP TouchPad

    James,

    I think you may have hit upon the main thing for both the HP and the RIM tablets - they will appeal most to current platform users. RIM will sell a bunch of tablets to both enterprise and consumer BlackBerry users. HP will sell TouchPads to WebOS users.

    I also think that HP as the better chance of converting users to WebOS with the TouchPad than does RIM of converting people to BlackBerries. But that remains to be seen for sure.
    jglopic
    • Assume nothing my friend.....

      @jglopic
      Most folk I work with are not tied to any particular format or company. Some of my colleagues are tied to the Apple myth no matter how I point out it's complete pants where we work. Personally I'm looking for something I can get files onto directly, and get onto the company network. I dont care if it's ipad, android, blackberry, win 7 tablet, or hp web os. So long as it fires up really quick like ipad & android, does what I want without endless passwords, and is reliable on wifi (personally 3g is redundant with mifi, and no longer a 'must have' unless you're on the road an awful lot). So far my ipad is in my drawer, and I'm looking to the acer transformer, unless the company passes a Playbook to me.
      johnmckay
  • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook has me excited about the HP TouchPad

    Me too, James, me too.

    think it's real, or just another phantom promise?
    dalspartan