HP officially launched Palm’s webOS 2.0 operating system today — alongside the Pre 2, the first device on which it will ship — while at the same time rebranding the platform to HP webOS. Many of the features of this significant upgrade to webOS 1.4.5 were already known thanks to a host of leaked information, screenshots, and even videos, but HP and Palm had a few new capabilities reserved for the launch as well. Perhaps most interesting to consumers will be the Skype support that Verizon customers will enjoy, as well as the tighter Facebook integration, which employs Synergy to route FIM conversations through the Messaging client.
Other additions or enhancements include:
– Stacks: organizes cards into groups for easier multitasking
– Just Type: initiate messages, searches, status updates, etc. without even launching the particular app
– Enhanced Synergy: expands syncing capabilities to outside applications and services
– Exhibition: allows devices to run custom apps while docked.
– Flash 10.1 Support: beta in-browser full Flash a la Android
– Quickoffice: Microsoft Office-compatible document viewer with cloud-syncing
– VPN: connections to a corporate network via IPsec and Cisco AnyConnect protocols
– Phone: more options on dialer plus reverse area code lookup and Skype integration
Additionally, users will see changes to the browser (better HTML 5 support including geolocation), messaging app (adds Yahoo! and buddy management), app catalog (redesigned, adds a software manager for updating), and launcher (more customizable), as well as support for Bluetooth keyboards, a text assist feature, and enhanced favorites capabilities.
webOS 2.0 will come pre-loaded on the Palm Pre 2 when it hits Verizon in the next few months, during which time period all existing devices are also promised an upgrade.