WebOS is a mobile operating system which was originally developed by Palm for its mobile devices, and was subsequently acquired by HP. HP released a tablet last year called the HP TouchPad which was based on WebOS (I guess not many remember it now). With the not so great response that it received for the tablet, HP decided to discontinue all hardware which ran WebOS, but continued development on it as an open-source operating system, though they may be planning to introduce Android based tablets in the near future.
Because of its inclusion into the open-source world, WebOS did make the odd appearance here and there, before it sank into oblivion. It appears now, that Phoenix International Communications, a volunteer based team is holding up the torch for WebOS, and have managed to port the open OS to a Samsung Nexus S 4G, as you can see from the screenshot above. Interestingly, way back in late August last year, there was also work of Samsung wanting to buy WebOS out and resurrect it as a a standalone competitor to Android and iOS. But nothing has been heard since.
Of course, this is a very, very early attempt, and the ported product is said to be horribly slow on the device, but it is encouraging to see that there could still be hope. If this project does see success, we may well be able to run WebOS optimized programs from within the WebOS Android app (an emulator may be the more appropriate word here) without having to reboot the system.
Check out this short video which demos the early WebOS app running on the Nexus S.[youtube video_id=”pwJYIOPCYCs” width=”620″ height=”400″ /]