PhoneGap webOS Updates

1 BY markus

With Version 1.6.0, PhoneGap for webOS now supports the compass sensor found in the HP TouchPad. The initial work to enable the functionality in Phonegap was done by Markus Leutwyler, a webOS Developer Relations team member, and HP officially contributed to the project.

PhoneGap is an HTML5 app platform that allows you to author native applications with web technologies and get access to APIs and app stores. PhoneGap on webOS allows cross-platform developers to code for one API for device functions such as accelerometer, compass and geolocation while PhoneGap takes care of calling the webOS specific implementations.

Here is how you can receive a current compass heading with PhoneGap:

function onSuccess(heading) {
  alert('Heading: ' + heading.magneticHeading);

function onError(error) {
  alert('CompassError: ' + error.code);

navigator.compass.getCurrentHeading(onSuccess, onError);

Check out the source code of compass.js to see how we enabled the functionality.

We also updated the API documentation to not only include the new compass functionality but also specify which other device specific APIs can be used on webOS. The current version of the documentation is on github and will be incorporated into the next release of PhoneGap.


Meet the team: Enda McGrath

5 BY enda

Enda McGrath

Hi fellow community members, I’m Enda McGrath.

I’m excited to be leading our developer relations effort and I want to thank you for being the best developer community in the world, bar none. It has been a privilege working with you over the past several years and I look forward to the next chapter. Time and time again I am amazed at your loyalty, the awesome apps you publish to the catalog, the new widgets being submitted to the Enyo gallery, and the contributions from the open source community (among your many other attributes).

For those of you that I haven’t worked with in a support capacity, I look forward to meeting you and getting as much feedback as my inbox can handle.

I first joined Palm at the end of 2000 when they acquired a startup I was working at, ThinAir Apps. At the time I was an application developer creating 3rd party apps for PalmOS, the most successful of which was for Since then, I’ve filled a few different roles as the company has evolved, and I’ve enjoyed every one of them.

About 6 years ago I found my home in Developer Relations as a Developer Technical Support engineer and eventually rose to become head of DTS. Initially I worked on the Folio project and then the conception and birth of webOS. Here in Developer Relations, the people on the team are amazing; many of the engineers come from the community and are passionate about webOS (as are the marketing folks who do equally great work).

We have started hiring again, too, so check out our current openings if you’re interested in joining the team!

As you can see, I’m excited, the team is excited, and we plan to build on our vibrant and passionate community. Together we will achieve something special… here is to the future and the promise it holds!

New App Reporting Available

3 BY Roy Sutton

We are pleased to announce two new additions to the Developer Center. The first is an upgraded reporting system for app downloads that provides better visibility and analytics. The second is a new option for those developers who wish to set a privacy policy for their apps.

The new reporting system provides the ability to compare downloads to updates as well as show developers the number of active devices with their apps installed.

Developers can filter by installed version number and date range. Reports can be grouped by day, week or month. At release, there will be about two weeks worth of data in the new system. These improved reports should make it easier for developers to keep track of their app downloads.

With the new privacy policy option developers whose apps collect personal data can now include a URL that points to their privacy policy. The URL is entered in the Tax/Legal section of the app submission process. Additionally, developers can specify a company privacy policy by editing their account details and including a link to the policy in the Company section. Developers should review the applicable laws to see if a privacy policy is required.

We’re always striving to improve the developer experience on webOS. If you have suggestions you would like to share with us, please visit our forums.

Topics  Announcements

Enyo at the RVA Hackathon

0 BY Jeremy Thomas

This past weekend (April 20-21) fellow Developer Relations member Roy Sutton and I were proud to represent Enyo at the RVA Hackathon in Richmond, VA. This was a free, 24 hour event for developers of all kinds to come together and work on various projects. The event started on Friday evening and lasted throughout the night and into the next evening.

On Saturday morning, we teamed with Arthur Thornton – a name familiar in the Enyo community and creator of several popular webOS apps – to take on the task of helping him create an audio identification app. The goal for the day was to create an Enyo-based application that would successfully run on the TouchPad and could be easily packaged for multiple platforms.

Things got started as Arthur began setting up the server required to perform the back-end audio fingerprinting/matching, while Roy and I worked on the core functionality. By lunchtime we had the server responding to service calls, local databases created, and much of the core functionality working. After some chicken tacos, we powered on for a few hours: adding missing features, fixing inevitable bugs, and chugging copious amounts of Red Bull. A couple hours before the event was officially over, we had an app that could record audio, match the audio fingerprint, and save that item to your history.

The only real technical issue we experienced was with the free audio-fingerprinting service that was used, which failed to match as many songs as we expected. However, there are other paid audio-fingerprinting services available that promise more success, so this issue could be resolved without too much of a headache.

When it was all said and done, we had a working proof-of-concept that took around eight hours to complete. I’m once again surprised by how quickly an Enyo app can come together. So, what are you doing with your day?


Topics  DevRel Team, Events

April Code Releases for Open webOS

4 BY Roy Sutton

As April draws to a close we are pleased to share more code for Open webOS. This month’s scheduled release includes support for Node.js as well as updates to Enyo and Ares.

In addition, we are pleased to announce early delivery of the System Manager Bus (which was originally scheduled for July) and a release of three policy components based on our Platform Portability Layer. We’re happy to be ahead of schedule in getting this component of the Open webOS platform into your hands.

Node.js is a JavaScript platform for deploying event-driven applications. It also forms the backbone for writing services in Open webOS. The code available from this release includes the bindings necessary to access the System Manager Bus.

The System Manager Bus, also known as Luna-service2, implements the Inter-Process Communications (IPC) mechanism used by Open webOS. Included with the release are utilities for monitoring and debugging. More information is available here. We were pleased to have this piece ready ahead of schedule so we’re making it available to the community.

The three system policy components included in this release are Powerd, Sleepd, and Storaged. Each is implemented using our Platform Portability Layer and demonstrates how to interface to system devices. More information is available on the Systems Policy Components page.

The Enyo team has been hard at work. This latest release of Enyo includes a number of new features including the new List widget. Also, the Ares 2 repo is now public. Head over to for more on both Enyo and Ares.

Finally, as with other Open webOS components, you can find all the source online and detailed information at the project Web site. Keep the feedback, pull requests, comments, and ideas coming. Open webOS is already a better platform from the contributions the community has made!

Developer Center Updates

2 BY Roy Sutton

A few astute developers may have noticed a couple of new features in the My Apps section of the Developer Center Web site. This last weekend we rolled out some changes to make it easier for developers to monitor their apps and generate promo codes.

The first change allows developers to see app reviews for their apps within the Developer Center. Developers can view the reviews by version, date, or rating. With this new feature developers will be better able to monitor user sentiment and quickly determine if updates are producing the desired effect.

Customer Review Screen

The second change allows for shorter promo codes. These new ‘printable’ promo codes are easier for users to type than the traditional ‘secure’ promo codes. Developers can now choose the type of promo codes they generate depending upon how the codes will be distributed.

We continue to work on the Developer Center to improve the usefulness for developers. We know how important good tools are for engaging and retaining customers. We look forward to introducing even more features in the future. If you would like to discuss the new features please visit this post in the forum.

Topics  Announcements

Sam’s Blog: March Progress

4 BY Sam Greenblatt

Today is a very exciting day for Open webOS. The Linux Standard Kernel (LSK) version 3.3 was released today by Linus Torvalds. When you read the release notes you will see some very significant functionality that we did not have in webOS. It incorporates new functionality such as the TI C6X and all ARM and Intel Chips. It also implements Open vSwitch, which is a more scalable kernel feature to prevent buffer overflow on TCP/IP v6.

Read more

Meet the team: Fred Patton

6 BY Fred Patton

“Meet the Team” is a series to help you get to know your webOS Developer Relations team. It’s a friendly and fun behind-the-scenes look at the people whose main mission is to serve and champion webOS developers everywhere.

This time, I chat with myself. Meet Fred Patton, Head of Developer Relations and Editor-in-Chief of the webOS Developer Center.

Read more

Topics  DevRel Team

Sam’s Blog: A Community Release

11 BY Sam Greenblatt

We are very excited to announce that we will be publishing additional components from the current release of webOS for the TouchPad, version 3.0.5, at In future discussions, we will refer to these components at as the “Community Edition.” Look for this effort to be completed in June. (Note that this release is not directly related to our Open webOS project, which remains dedicated to open sourcing an up-leveled version of webOS.)

Read more

Enyo Hackathon and a New Blog!

1 BY Fred Patton

The big news of the day is the new Enyo blog, hosted at Today, you’ll find news about Enyo 2.0b2, which includes the first set of UI widgets. Read the blog for details.

Have you signed up yet for the March 4th Enyo Virtual Hackathon? There will be live physical presences in NYC (hosted at Pivotal Labs’ NYC headquarters), Dallas, Indianapolis, San Diego, and Oklahoma City, but you can also participate virtually from anywhere! Should be a great time. Big thanks to the NYC webOS Developer/Enthusiast Meetup group for putting it together. Awesome job, guys!

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