Thursday, June 30, 2011

HP launches its webOS driven tablet tomorrow; like Android tablets, the Touchpad will have few apps available day one, though USA Today & Zinio are ready

Giant computer maker Hewlett Packard will be launching its own tablet starting tomorrow, and based on the early reviews it appears that you won't have wait in a long line if you plan on snagging one.

Since HP didn't send TNM a review copy I will not be providing readers a look at the new tablet – and this is probably a bit of a mistake on HP's part as the usual players are giving the Touchpad a thrashing today. But whatever, this isn't a hardware site, what concerns TNM is media.
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But like all the recently released tablets, save the iPad 2, what has been missing is a solid app catalog, and an easy way (like iTunes) to access that catalog. Based on the the David Pogue review for the NYT, we know that there will be around 300 webOS tablet optimized apps available for early buyers of the tablet. Obviously that is a very modest number, but as Pogue correctly points out, that is still more than the total number of Android apps currently tablet ready, an astounding fact, if you ask me.
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Based on HP's own site for the Touchpad we know that Time Magazine, NPR and USA Today will all have apps available tomorrow, as well as a Facebook app, which actually gives HP a bit of a leg up on Apple. Zinio, too, is ready to go with a webOS app, something I'm sure their publishing partners appreciate.
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But the one thing I want to see, hands-on, is Pivot, HP's own digital magazine that will act to promote the company's app catalog.

One of the few to mention Pivot in their review was Jason Snell of MacWorld: "One clever thing HP is trying: It’s created a digital magazine, Pivot, and embedded it inside the HP App Catalog app. Think of an airline magazine entirely about webOS apps, and you’ve got the idea. It’s an outside-the-box approach to encouraging app discovery, and while I have no idea if it’ll work, it’s certainly worth a try by an upstart platform looking for a way to show off its apps."

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