All You Need is a Decent Browser

If you happen to have an HP TouchPad you’ve probably noticed there aren’t a lot of compelling native apps. Additionally, HP (like Apple) does a pretty good job of shipping the device with applications that will cover 60% of everyone’s needs.

In the case of the TouchPad, it shipped with; Adobe Reader, Amazon Kindle, calculator app, calendar ap, photo & video app, music app (with native streaming), messaging app, map app, an office suite, a nice email client, and a decent web browser. To round it out, I installed the WordPress app, WebOnEx, and PreWare.

By far, the most useful app isn’t an app. It’s a feature of WebOS – ‘Just Type’ – the empty text field that’s always awaiting your next query. It’s like OS X’s Spotlight – or my preferred Quicksilver – turned into a primary focus of the OS.

Like Quicksilver on the laptop – I use it to initiate web searches or launch specific documents. For web searches – WebOS is smart enough to provide you with a list of search vendors/types (Google, Maps, Wikipedia, Amazon, sites you’ve visited). I’ve changed my default to DuckDuckGo.

Either way – all of these searches open in the same browser. A Webkit-based browser that; supports tabs, bookmarking, and can send links to email. While it doesn’t support @font-face and gets confused by some complex javascript – I can do my banking, check email, shop Amazon, and catch up on my favorite sites amazingly comfortably.

Which brings me back to HP’s App Store. No – there isn’t the selection that’s in the Apple or Android stores. And that’s a reminder that you don’t need an app – just a decent browser.

And that you should be working.