Good news for fans of that washed-up smartphone dinosaur, Palm. The company has today released the beta version of its new webOS 2.0 SDK. The operating system includes a number of powerful new features that should, at least in theory, make it a serious rival to the new iOS, Android, Windows 7 and the new Symbian^3 platform.
Key new features of webOS 2.0 include a revamped multi-tasking system, known as Stacks. Expanding on the operating system's existing playing cards-inspired user interface, webOS 2.0 now allows users to group related cards (which each represent an app) into stacks, to reduce clutter and make it easier to switch between different tasks.
Palm has also improved the power of its Universal Search feature, which has now been renamed Just Type. It lets users create emails, perform web searches, update status, etc., without having to launch an app. This is done using a new tool called Quick Actions.
Other new features of webOS 2.0 include a feature called Exhibition for running apps on the TouchStone dock, improvements to Synergy, and a number of HTML 5 enhancements. If you want to learn more about these, and other new features, take a look at Palm's introduction to webOS 2.0.The new webOS SDK is currently available to developers who sign up to Palm's SDK Early Access Program.
My heart tells me that webOS is a platform that deserves a lot more attention from mobile developers. But my head says it's pretty sure that this won't happen, and that the Palm platform will finally succumb to the might of the more fashionable operating systems from Apple, Google and BlackBerry.