HP SVP Jon Rubinstein came through on his promise to clean up the HP TouchPad.HP just pushed out WebOS 3.0.2 to TouchPad owners, and I’m glad to say that it is the update we were all waiting for.
The update addresses most of the various problems, performance issues, and bugs that plagued the TouchPad when it was released.
To sum it up, it just works better.
Among the most important changes HP made to WebOS 3.0, the overzealous switching from portrait to landscape has been fixed.
Before, the TouchPad would switch orientations whenever it felt like it.
Another big change is the inclusion of performance enhancements that make scrolling much less “laggy” and delayed. These scrolling and cursor-speed improvements alone make WebOS 3.0.2 feel much more responsive than WebOS 3.0.
One glaring problem I had when I reviewed the TouchPad was that with even a few apps open, the TouchPad started to drag its feet.
While HP is releasing another souped-up 4G TouchPad soon, as of this update, a hardware bump is not as much of a necessity as it once was.
Watching YouTube videos through the web browser was instantaneous. Screen taps register without any delay. Even with several cards open, The TouchPad performed amiably.
As good as the Messaging app was when I first used the TouchPad, it was sluggish to use. Now, it’s a lot faster. Dragging columns is fluid, just like it should be.
Also, the Facebook app is now bearable to use under WebOS 3.0.2.
But, even with the new performance updates, watching video on the TouchPad is still pretty poor. Some videos I loaded on didn’t play, while others played but suffered from frame rate issues and were hard to control via the timeline scrubber.
A few other updates include the addition of a Calculator app and a Clock app (with alarm), an improved music player, a much more precise cursor, speedier Just Type searches and auto-correct, and some security updates.
There’s no arguing that most of these tweaks, updates, and improvements should’ve been included when the TouchPad launched a month or so ago, but I guess that’s just the “beta culture” we live in.
Ultimately, the most important takeaway from this update is that HP is trying. Its employees are working their assess off trying to polish WebOS on the TouchPad.
They may not be as quick as Apple in patching vulnerabilities or fixing bugs (2-4 weeks, generally), but they’re doing their best and they’re dedicated.
Even while the TouchPad boasts no giant app catalogue or svelte supermodel-thin looks, we now know that we can expect great things from the WebOS team at HP going forward.