How the HP TouchPad can deal with lack of apps at launch

How the HP TouchPad can deal with lack of apps at launch

Summary: While the lack of apps for the HP TouchPad will be a concern for prospective buyers, there is one thing HP can do for the launch that makes that less of an issue for consumers.

SHARE:

The HP TouchPad launch is only a couple of days away, which means we are that close to more reviews of the webOS tablet than you can shake a stick at. Most of those reviews, and rightly so, will spend a lot of ink dealing with the lack of apps available in the market for the TouchPad. Apps are the tools that extend the usefulness of a tablet out of the box, and there aren't going to be many of them available compared to rival platforms iOS and Android. While the lack of apps will be less of a problem as time goes by, there is one thing HP can do for the TouchPad launch that makes that less of an issue for consumers.

The lack of apps will be a less significant problem for users if the TouchPad is able to do most of the tasks users want to do on the tablet right out of the box. If a new TouchPad owner is able to take the slate out of the box, fire it up and do the things that matter, the lack of apps will not be perceived as such a big negative. Here are the things that the TouchPad needs to do to appease most buyers from day one.

  • Email. The webOS platform has been good at handling multiple email accounts, and the TouchPad email app looks ready to deliver a good email-handling experience.
  • Web browsing. The TouchPad browser must deliver a desktop quality browsing experience. The unique ability for the TouchPad user to have multiple browsing sessions running side-by-side in separate "cards" is an advantage over most of the competition.
  • Calendaring. The webOS platform has always been good at handling multiple calendars and presenting them in an intuitive form, and the TouchPad must expand on that given its larger screen.
  • Contacts/ task management. The TouchPad must interact with cloud-based contact systems, and integrate those into the system in a useful form. The ability to add task management to the contacts/ calendar system will go a long way to making the TouchPad a useful tool out of the box.
  • Twitter. Many of us do it, and apps are much better for most than the web site.
  • Facebook. Same as Twitter, millions of us use Facebook and a tablet is a great method for interacting with the system.
  • Video player. We all like to watch streaming videos from time to time, and the TouchPad needs a good media player to make that easy.
  • Ebooks. Tablets make good eReaders, and the TouchPad needs Kindle/ Nook capability out of the box to provide an instant popular feature for the tablet.
  • PDF handling. Many folks deal with material in the standard PDF format, and the TouchPad needs to have a good method for accessing this material on the go.
  • Office doc handing. Office document creation would be a useful tool, but as that might take some time to implement properly, the TouchPad could get by with just document reading out of the box.

The ability to handle these tasks can go a long way to letting new TouchPad owners do a lot of typical tablet work without the need for third party apps. While a robust app store is essential for the long-term success of the webOS platform, HP can buy some time to make that happen if TouchPad buyers can do a lot with the new tablet, right out of the box.

If you are considering the HP TouchPad, which functions do you consider important to handle out of the box?

Topics: Hewlett-Packard, Mobility, Tablets

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

Talkback

61 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: How the HP TouchPad can deal with lack of apps at launch

    You really don't have idea of the number of TouchPad apps that will be available at launch, so, if I were you, I'd just wait for July 1st and talk later :)
    NuttyBunny
    • RE: How the HP TouchPad can deal with lack of apps at launch

      @NuttyBunny Todd Bradley with HP stated there will be about 300. I guess he would know. http://www.precentral.net/todd-bradley-talks-touchpad-how-hp-driving-success
      jjacobs3
    • RE: How the HP TouchPad can deal with lack of apps at launch

      @NuttyBunny what James is saying is valid. Whether HP has 300 TP apps, or 3000, there's going to be some time between where it is today and where it needs to be to negate its detractors. <br><br>FYI: Bradley & Kerris say 300+ TP apps at launch, www.webos-blog.de says 3000+ TP compatible today.
      nhavar
    • RE: How the HP TouchPad can deal with lack of apps at launch

      @NuttyBunny Met with an HP PSG Sales Manager this morning and he said 7,000 apps at launch. But who knows...
      pdakin@...
      • RE: How the HP TouchPad can deal with lack of apps at launch

        @pdakin@... I bet he's lying his ass off. But 7000 is nothing for as long as WebOS has been around, and it is severely lacking big name apps.
        JoeHTH
    • RE: How the HP TouchPad can deal with lack of apps at launch

      @NuttyBunny How long has WebOS been on the market? It has no developer support and never will. Even if it had 3000 apps, that's tiny, especially considering a 7-8 month old WP7 is about to pass 25,000, and that's 3-4 months before the Mango update hits with all of the APIs needed to create truly compelling apps. Not to mention that WP7 is adding a slew of brand name apps every single day.
      JoeHTH
      • RE: How the HP TouchPad can deal with lack of apps at launch

        @JoeHTH How long has WebOS been on the market? It has no developer support and never will. Even if it had 3000 apps, that's tiny, especially considering a 7-8 month old WP7 is about to pass 25,000, and that's 3-4 months before the Mango update hits with all of the APIs needed to create truly compelling apps. Not to mention that WP7 is adding a slew of brand name apps every single day.
        JoeHTH
  • Needs Kindle App

    My wife has a Pre. She likes it in spite of the slow processor. She's hinted about an e-reader for Christmas. I might spring for the TouchPad but only if it gets a Kindle app before Christmas. Otherwise, she'll probably get the Amazon hardware.
    markh@...
    • RE: How the HP TouchPad can deal with lack of apps at launch

      @markh@... It is supposed to have the Kindle app already. That was one of the apps that they showed off when they announced the Touchpad.
      aliensrreal
      • RE: How the HP TouchPad can deal with lack of apps at launch

        @aliensrreal correct. There is a Kindle app ready for launch day.
        nhavar
  • RE: How the HP TouchPad can deal with lack of apps at launch

    How about support for SD Card, given that all these devices have limited storage, support for external storage will help their cause in business environment
    krishnansriram
    • RE: How the HP TouchPad can deal with lack of apps at launch

      @krishnansriram integrated box.net and dropbox for expanded storage. No need to transfer little easily lost chips back and forth between machines.
      nhavar
      • RE: How the HP TouchPad can deal with lack of apps at launch

        @nhavar I disagree, cloud sharing does not replace the ability to expand the local storage to hold large files. Streaming large media files off the net each time you wish to use it isn't practical nor cost effective.
        .ray
      • RE: How the HP TouchPad can deal with lack of apps at launch

        @nhavar I personally prefer having the SD Card option if the internal storage is low.
        athynz
      • RE: How the HP TouchPad can deal with lack of apps at launch

        @nhavar <br>My Android has 32gb but I added a 32gb sd card.<br>Much easier to load movies, music, documents and other items...<br><br>Cloud storage is nice but they will also store locally to allow quick access and then periodically sync to the cloud.<br><br>All in all, the SD option is a win. <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/wink.gif" alt="wink">
        rhonin
      • RE: How the HP TouchPad can deal with lack of apps at launch

        @nhavar

        lol@people who are replacing PHYSICAL storage with cloud solutions altogether. There is a place for each and SD cards are far from being replaced by those services. It's a valid point, and an EASY win on the iPad which will likely never offer SD card support out of the box.
        Playdrv4me
    • SD Card access is a FAIL and looks back to the late 90's

      @krishnansriram

      SD Cards are simply the wrong way to go. It will always end up adding complexity for little real gain over just having the memory on the device or the cloud.

      Android for example is still based on archaic drag and drop for media transfer. From Google's own web-site:

      <i>"Getting photos off your phone is a huge pain, so most of us don't even bother."</i>

      This is true of Android and not of iOS. Part of this is the added complexity brought on by the SD card nightmare. SD Card failed to mount. SD Card Busy. Error 99. SD Card not unmounted properly.

      Dude. If you have an SD Card on the device, it is an immediate FAIL.

      That said, if you are going to advertise an SD Card slot, it better work and work flawlessly. When the device ships.
      Bruizer
  • Message has been deleted.

    zabu61
  • RE: How the HP TouchPad can deal with lack of apps at launch

    I am looking at is now the the ISTE 2011 Convention. The multitasking and Flash capabilities are excellent. It hits all the requirements in this article and more. If you want silly apps...this is probably not for you. If you want a portable productivity tool...this is it. I'm ordering one Friday! HP is hinting of deploying WebOS on all their machines next year. Since your profile is cloud-based, it will sync across all of your devices.
    mark@...
  • RE: How the HP TouchPad can deal with lack of apps at launch

    They better have Netflix, HULU Plus, and HBO Go apps at launch.
    LP212