/// TouchPad Needs More Apps, Reboot To Rival iPad
A small army of multitouch tablet computers has been launched this year to take on Apple’s iPad, which has managed to sell 25 million units and attract 90,000 tablet-specific apps in just about 15 months, and is already in its second generation, the iPad 2. So far, none of these contenders has gained any significant traction with consumers or app developers. [ See post to watch video ] Now, the world’s largest PC maker, Hewlett-Packard, is entering the fray. On Friday, it will start selling the TouchPad, a 10-inch tablet with a slick, distinctive software interface. The TouchPad starts at $500, the same entry price as the iPad 2. I’ve been testing the TouchPad for about a week and, in my view, despite its attractive and different user interface, this first version is simply no match for the iPad. It suffers from poor battery life, a paucity of apps and other deficits. The TouchPad comes in two versions, with 16 or 32 gigabytes of storage and, at launch, offers only Wi-Fi connectivity, though a model with a cellular data option is planned. The TouchPad presents running apps as ‘cards’—when you tap one, it fills the screen and is ready to use. Clever Interface I like the interface a lot. Instead of a screen full of app icons, the main screen of the TouchPad’s operating system, called webOS, presents running apps as “cards”—large, live rectangles that you scroll through in a horizontal row. When you tap a card, it fills the screen and is ready to use. To minimize it, you just swipe up on the bezel surrounding the screen. A second swipe takes you to a screen from which you can launch or download a new app. To get rid of a card, you just flick it upward, and it disappears. Multiple cards can run in the background. And these cards are clever.
TouchPad Needs More Apps, Reboot To Rival iPad