As sort of a weepy footnote to follow yesterday’s announcement in which HP let us know that there would be no more development of WebOS, a report now claims that WebOS runs literally twice as fast on the iPad… suggesting that the hardware, not the software was the weak link in the TouchPad’s chain. An interesting article at TheNextWeb talks about how the TouchPad hardware was so bad that the development team didn’t even bother to refine past a certain point.[quote]The hardware reportedly stopped the team from innovating beyond certain points because it was slow and imposed constraints, which was highlighted when webOS was loaded on to Apple’s iPad device and found to run the platform significantly faster than the device for which it was originally developed.[/quote]
Do I buy it? Not entirely. While the iPad hardware has certainly shown itself to be up to the task, I find it hard to believe that the entire WebOS running within Mobile Safari is going to be faster than running on native hardware. But I’m not quite ready to side with John Gruber of Daring Fireball, who asks “why haven’t indie hacker jailbreak types gotten, say, Android running on an iPad, too?” Android and WebOS have entirely different availability, and Android has already been installed on the iPhone, so installing it on the iPad is really just a matter of course (if it hasn’t been done already). But WebOS wasn’t open source and it seems that HP would be the gatekeeper for under-the-hood information which would enable an iPad install. Like Gruber, however, I think WebOS running twice as fast in emulation is a pretty tall tale.
What does HP have to gain by making the claim, especially if it isn’t entirely accurate? It’s unclear, but with the future of WebOS being pretty dark, we may never find out.