HP Palm webOS Operating System

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Introduction

Palm débuted its new mobile operating system webOS on the Palm Pre multimedia smartphone. The phone was launched in the USA on 6 June 2009 with Sprint, in the UK on 16 October 2009 with O2. The Pre functions as a camera phone, a portable media player, a GPS navigator, and an Internet client (with text messaging, email, web browsing, and local Wi-Fi connectivity).

Tutorials

Videos here.

webOS Software Update Information for O2 Europe

Details of the changes made to each release of webOS can be found here [1]

There are similar pages for Germany[2] and Spain [3]

TouchPad - Force Restart

  • Press and hold down the power button
  • Press and hold down the centre button for approximately 15 seconds

At this point the unit should reboot

TouchPad - Force System Wipe

  • Press and hold down the power button
  • Press and hold down the centre button
  • Press and hold down the volume down button

You will then get a warning message on screen warning you that you device will be completely wiped, along with a 6 second countdown. If you change your mind just let go of the buttons within the 6 seconds.

After the wipe the unit may appear to be unresponsive, if so:

  • Plug in the power/place on TouchStone
  • Press and hold the power and centre button

TouchPad - System Logging: How To Minimise

The following depends on having a Skype account.

  • Under 'Apps' click on 'Phone & Video Calls'.
  • Select 'Phone' then 'Dialpad' and type ##5647# (aka ##logs#) and tap the 'Call' button. This provides access to the logging features.
  • Tap the 'Clear Logs' button as there iss no reason to keep them.
  • Follow this by tapping 'Change Logging Levels...'
  • Select 'Minimal Logging'.
  • Click 'OK' then 'OK' again.
  • Finally swipe away the card.

Locking/Unlocking The Pre

The Pre can be set to lock the screen to prevent accidental phone calls, this is done in the "Screen & Lock" section.

Different intervals can be set and it can be manually locked by pressing the power switch (top right of the handset).

To unlock the screen either slide open the handset or press the power switch and swipe the padlock symbol towards the top of the screen.

Official App Catalog

Lots of good stuff here already. On the Pre, go to the 3rd Launcher page and press on 'App Catalog'.

Data Transfer

There does not seem to be a way to be able to transfer contacts from an old sim card or phone to a Google account or on to the Palm phone itself. The only way in which it can be done at the moment is to re-enter the contacts manually into the Palm handset, however after you have done this, the contacts will appear in the contacts page of your Google account once they have been saved onto the phone.

Data Syncronisation

The Palm Synergy feature brings your online accounts together on your phone in one simple, logical view. Any changes you make on your phone or on the online accounts are updated automatically in either location. Sync your phone with Google, Microsoft Exchange, Facebook, or back up to your Palm profile account. Or set up accounts with all three!

One after market option for syncing contacts directly from a Microsoft Windows environment to a webOS phone is provided by CompanionLink.

Headset - Palm Supplied

This really falls under the category of RTFM (Read the flipping manual). There are two features on the headphones supplied with Pre which while not earth shattering are nice to have. On each earpiece there is a nice shiny chrome circle, these are actually magnetic to help stopping taggling. This I discovered after about two months of ownership. The other is where the wires from each earpiece merge is a about inch long moulding, and on this moulding is a little press switch the length of the whole moulding. While in the Pre's music player you press the switch once the music will pause, another single press will start it playing again. Press the switch twice quickly there player will jump to the next track. This I discovered after almost five months of ownership!!!!!

Music

Plug in the Pre to a PC via the USB cable; create a new folder on the Pre called 'music' and then copy your .mp3 albums in there. Take out the cable and launch 'Music'. It will take a few seconds for it to scan all the files and sort them. Check out my Linux shell script to embed ll the ID3 tags including album cover art!

Photos

Plug in the Pre to a PC via the USB cable. Select 'USB Drive' and then copy the content of 'DCIM' to your computer.

How To Turn Off / Mute The Camera Shutter Sound

  1. Flip the mute button
  2. Go to System -> Sounds & Ringtones -> System Sounds -> Off

Videos

Plug in the Pre to a PC via the USB cable; create a new folder called 'videos' and then copy your .mp4 files in there. Take out the cable and you are good to go... launch 'Videos' and enjoy! :-)

Encoding Videos

Make the movie...

HandBrakeCLI --quality 1.0 --input myvideo.avi --maxWidth 480 --output myvideo.mp4

Create a screenshot...

mplayer -nosound -ss 120 -vf screenshot -frames 1 -vo png:z=9 myvideo.mp4

Tag the movie...

AtomicParsley myvideo.mp4 --title "Show Name" --TVShowName "Show Name" \
--TVSeasonNum 1 --TVEpisodeNum 5 --artwork shot0001.png

Email

Type in your email address and password then click OK. It will most certainly fail first time, but choose Set Manually and put in your IMAP (or POP3) and SMTP settings.

If you can, always use IMAP as the option - because this will mean that any messages you have looked at on the Pre will be there when you access your emails from your laptop or desktop.

Here are the settings for setting it up to access a Windows Live Hotmail email account:

   * Mail type: POP
   * Incoming Mail Server: pop3.live.com
   * Username: your full email address
   * Password: your password
   * Port #: 995
   * Encryption: SSL
   * Outgoing Mail Server: smtp.live.com
   * Use Authentication: ON
         o username: your full email address
         o password: your password
         o Port #: 25
         o Encryption: TLS

If it does not work first time, disconnect from your WiFi connection (if you are) and try again.

Alternatively, get your GMail (Google Mail) account to check HotMail and use that instead... or get HotMail to forward your mail to another POP or IMAP account.

Developing Applications

If you intend to develop applications for the Pre you will need to install the Mojo Software Development Kit, this requires you to register at the Palm SDK Site.

There is no native SDK for Linux or Apple users so you will need to install VirtualBox. For a guide on installing on Linux and Apple click here. The Linux guide is squarely aimed at Ubuntu/Debian users but can be installed under Gentoo with tweaking.

Pre - Taking A Screenshot

On the keyboard hold down the "FUNCTION" (Orange square) key + "SYM" key + "P" key. Nothing will appear to happen but if you navigate to the 'Photo' folder you will see a new section called 'Screen captures'

TouchPad - Taking A Screenshot

  • Hold down the centre button
  • Press the power button

Installing Applications

Zagg Invisible Shield

Tips

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_QEBpcgVwM
  • If you have purchased the full body shield, then do the back first. This learning experience (and boy is it one!) will prepare you for the more important front.
  • Getting the actual shield off it's paper sheet is the first hurdle. Start without wet hands, find a good point, pull up a tiny bit, leave it, then wet hands and just GO FOR IT when pulling the rest off.
  • Put plenty of spray on both hands, phone and shield.
  • Don't be worried if you see that the edges are not sticking... do the middle of the back nicely, make sure there is some spray on the edges, then leave it for 7 minutes to go tacky. Now use the cloth to push down the edges as best you can. Still don't panic. Then, cup the phone in your palm (as per youtube video) and hold it there for a few minutes. Change position, and use your fingers to hold the phone on the edges... it will start to take hold and the longer you can do this (I held mine for 15 minutes walking round the room!) the better.
  • Wrap the back of the phone 'in' the supplied cloth, then put another lint free cloth around it completely and put it in a small box to keep the slight pressure on overnight.

Any bubbles or strange marks on the cover will disappear after 7 days. The shield will also lose the slight stickiness and become very smooth and shiny :-)

Tips And Tricks

Stuck In Headphone Mode: How To Fix The Bug

A common problem on the Pre is when the phone is stuck in headset mode, meaning that when you remove a wired headset plug from the socket the phone speaker is not reactivated. This is due to a small switch becoming clogged with dirt picked up in daily use.

There has been created a software patch called 'The Ghastly Headset' which you can find here, but it is a pain to have to use it.

The best solution to the problem we have found so far to to actually fix the problem using the following products:

  1. Servisol Aero-Klene 50
  2. Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA)
  3. Cotton Buds

The following steps should cure the problem

  1. Turn off the phone and remove the battery
  2. With the supplied straw squirt a very small amount of Aero-Klene 50 in to the headset socket and leave to soak for three minutes I once again emphasise a small amount.
  3. Then insert a cotton bud in to the socket, ou will probably need to pull off a certain amount of the cotton to get it to fit. Rotate the cotton bud several times and then remove.
  4. Repeat step 2 with the Isopropy Alchohol (IPA), and again a small amount
  5. Repeat set 3
  6. Once the above steps have been completed leave the phone for 10 minutes in a warm spot to ensure evaporation of the cleaning fluids
  7. Replace the battery and turn on the phone
  8. Once booted plug in the headset, start the music app and start a track playing, remove the headphone and un-pause the track and with luck and a fair wind the problem should be sorted
  9. If you are unlucky and the problem is not sorted repeat the steps above with the addition of plugging and un-plugging the headphones while the cleaners are soaking in. If you can get a small can off compressed air you can keep the inside of the phone dust free which should help.

The headset problem is likely to reoccur, it has done for me so it is a case of repeat when necessary.

Note: Meta-Tap

Palm has defined a new term for when you hold down a finger/thumb in the gesture area and press a physical key. That term is “meta-tap", so now instead of saying “hold in the gesture area and press the [x] key” you can say the shorter “meta-tap + V” for paste.

Access USB Mode When You Have A Dead Screen

NOTE: This only applies to devices running Palm webOS 1.3.1 upwards (hopefully the GSM version will be available by the end of November '09).

If you have been left with a dead touchscreen after 'modifying' your Pre leaving you unable to access the phone the following is a workaround.

Attach your Pre to the computer with a USB cable

Press the following key combination - Option + Sym + U (for USB) and the Pre will mount as a USB drive.

Calculator

More advanced functions on the calculator (i.e. square root) are available when you press the spacebar on the keyboard.

Caps Lock

Press the Shift key twice.

Delete an Application you installed

In the Launcher menu, hold down the Orange key and tap the application.

You’ll then have an option to Delete or Cancel. Press the on-screen Delete button.

Mimic Arrow Keys

Miss arrow keys on the keyboard? No problem! By holding the orange keyboard shift, and swiping your finger up/down/left/right you can mimic arrow controls.

Tab

To tab from one field (user name) to another (password), isn’t possible... yet. A lot of people claim hitting the Enter button will work, but it doesn’t for most web forms.

Num Lock/Function Lock

Press the Orange button twice.

Saving Pictures from the Web

Hold down the orange key and tap the picture you want to save, a list of options will appear on screen.

Speed Dial

Open 'Contacts' from the launcher

Start typing in the name of your contact, when it appears click on it

Click on the menu (ie. 'Contacts' at the top left of the screen) and click on 'Set Speed Dial', tap the phone number, tap a key

Select the phone number from the list, then select from the following menu the key you want to use for the speed dial

Now when you hold down a key for over 2 seconds the finder will appear then disappear and the dialer will call the speed dial number

Text - How To Highlight, Cut, Copy and Paste

Highlighting

Insert your cursor where you want to start highlighting.

If necessary, follow the Arrow keys instructions above for easy cursor placement.

Hold down shift and drag your finger on the touchscreen along the direction you want to highlight until you have selected everything you want.

Cut & Copy

Highlight the text you want using the above steps.

Hold your finger against the gesture area to the right or left of the middle button so that the middle button glows.

Press the letter C on the keyboard (to copy) or the letter X (to cut).

Paste

Insert the cursor where you would like the text to be inserted

Hold your finger against the gesture area to the right or left of the middle button so that the middle button glows.

Press the letter V on the keyboard.

Text - Uncapitalising a Letter

When you start typing a word as the start of a new sentence webOS automatically converts the first letter to a capital. However if you want it to be lower case you just need to press the backspace key once and it will revert to lower case.

Papercuts

While we love the Pre and webOS, it is still a young system and occasionally you will find little niggles... these are called papercuts.

  • If you have a personal account with O2 (non-business) to retrieve your balance you are required to send a blank text to 21202. Unfortunatlely the Pre does not allow you to send a blank text, so you need to a at least one character to your text message.
  • If you want to resend a text message, you can't. FIXED/UPDATE The new version 1.3.1 of the webOS software will fix this.
  • Using rsync to transfer files to the Pre does not behave as it should. Files keep getting transferred depsite being exactly the same.
  • If you want to add or change some text (in a text message, notes or whatever) you have to tap the screen to place your cursor, because there are no 'arrow keys'. Tapping in exactly the right position is almost impossible. FIXED/UPDATE - By holding the orange keyboard shift, and swiping your finger up/down/left/right you can mimic arrow controls. Nice!

Upgrading From Pre To Pre Plus

Stage 1 - Backup And Prepare

  1. Copy all your files from the USB drive on the Pre to your computer.
  2. Perform a phone profile backup using the Backup app.
  3. Write a list of all your downloaded free and paid-for apps.
  4. Shut down the Pre.
  5. Remove the battery and take out the SIM card.
  6. Place the SIM card in the Pre Plus and install the battery.
  7. Plug in the USB cable to the wall power socket.

Stage 2 - Bootup And Update

  1. Turn on the phone.
  2. Sign in to your Pre Profile, and confirm Yes to 'new phone'.
  3. Sign in to any web services such as Google or Email accounts.
  4. Let the phone reboot.
  5. Check what version of WebOS you have on the Device Info app. It will probably be 1.4.1.
  6. Turn on WiFi and sign in to your home or office broadband internet connection.
  7. Run the Updates app and update to version 1.4.5 of WebOS (as of 12 September 2010).
  8. Reboot the phone.
  9. Most of your free downloaded apps will be there, but not the paid-for ones.
  10. Do not panic. Palm keeps a record of the apps you have already paid for!
  11. Just go to the App Catalog and download them again for free :-)

Stage 3 - Hack And Tweak

  1. Download WebOS Doctor for the Pre Plus here.
  2. Download WebOS Quick Install here - Home Page
  3. Download the Novacom software here.
  4. Install the Novacom software.
  5. Put the phone into Developer mode by typing upupdowndownleftrightleftrightbastart.
  6. Reboot the phone.
  7. Attach the USB cable to the phone and then your computer.
  8. Choose Just Charge.
  9. Start the Novacom software.
  10. Start the WebOS Quick Install java software.
  11. Click the third button on the right (Blue Down Arrow).
  12. Choose WebOS Internals Feed (Pre) from the drop-down list at the top.
  13. Select Preware from the list.
  14. Click Download.
  15. Click Close.
  16. Click Install.
  17. Close the WebOS Quick Install software.
  18. Stop the novacom software.
  19. Detach the USB cable.
  20. Reboot the phone.
  21. Start up the Preware app and install the UberKernel (Palm Pre/Pre+) and Govnah apps.

Upgrading From Pre Plus To Pre 3

Stage 1 - Backup And Prepare

  1. Copy all your files from the USB drive on the Pre to your computer.
  2. Perform a phone profile backup using the Backup app.
  3. Write a list of all your downloaded free and paid-for apps.
  4. Shut down the Pre.
  5. Remove the battery and take out the SIM card.
  6. Place the SIM card in the Pre 3 and install the battery.
  7. Plug in the USB cable to the wall power socket.

Stage 2 - Bootup And Update

  1. Turn on the phone.
  2. Sign in to your Pre Profile, and confirm Yes to 'new phone'.
  3. Sign in to any web services such as Google or Email accounts.
  4. Let the phone reboot.
  5. Check what version of WebOS you have on the Device Info app. It will probably be 2.x.x.
  6. Turn on WiFi and sign in to your home or office broadband internet connection.
  7. Run the Updates app and update to version 2.2.0 of WebOS (as of 12 September 2011).
  8. Reboot the phone.
  9. Most of your free downloaded apps will be there, but not the paid-for ones.
  10. Do not panic. Palm keeps a record of the apps you have already paid for!
  11. Just go to the App Catalog and download them again for free :-)

Stage 3 - Hack And Tweak

  1. Download WebOS Doctor for the Pre 3 here.
  2. Download WebOS Quick Install here.
  3. Download the Novacom software here.
  4. Install the Novacom software.
  5. Put the phone into Developer mode by typing upupdowndownleftrightleftrightbastart.
  6. Reboot the phone.
  7. Attach the USB cable to the phone and then your computer.
  8. Choose Just Charge.
  9. Start the Novacom software.
  10. Start the WebOS Quick Install java software.
  11. Click the third button on the right (Blue Down Arrow).
  12. Choose WebOS Internals Feed (Pre) from the drop-down list at the top.
  13. Select Preware from the list.
  14. Click Download.
  15. Click Close.
  16. Click Install.
  17. Close the WebOS Quick Install software.
  18. Stop the novacom software.
  19. Detach the USB cable.
  20. Reboot the phone.
  21. Start up the Preware app and install the apps!

Video Camera App: webOS 2.x

In the video camera app there is a icon displaying a hand, this turns on and off the image stability feature.

How To Delete All Contacts From Pre

For Hugh

  1. Get into Pre (see below Pre Terminal from Windows)
  2. Delete Contacts
  3. Exit

Taken from the web page - http://asymptomatic.net/2010/01/16/2845/remove-all-palm-pre-contacts

First, use WebOS Quick Install java program to open a terminal into the Pre.

Second, at the shell, I got an interactive session with SQLite, opening the contacts database.

sqlite3 /var/luna/data/dbdata/PalmDatabase.db3

Third, add the library to the sqlite3 client (Note the dot in front of "load").

.load /usr/lib/sqlite3_palm_extension.so

Fourth, I deleted everything in the table.

DELETE FROM com_palm_pim_Person;

Last, come out of SQLite.

.quit

Close the terminal window, close WebOS Quick Install, stop novacom, unplug the USB cable and reboot the Pre phone.

Pre Terminal From Windows

Install the NovacomInstall MSI for Windows in section below.

Open up a Windows Command Prompt.

Start > Run > cmd

Navigate to the following directory.

cd "C:\Program Files\Palm, Inc"

Start the terminal session.

novacom.exe -t open tty://

When you have finished, close the terminal session.

exit

Close the Windows Command Prompt.

Novacom For Windows

https://www.dropbox.com/s/0sdsopxx99wfezn/Preware/NovacomInstaller_x86.msi

Wallpaper Sizes

Pre, Pre+ Pre2

320x480

Pre3

485x808

TouchPad

1024x1024

Useful Links

Palm Pre Official UK web site.

Your Palm Profile Edit and Change Your Palm Profile.

Palm Blog Palm's Official Blog Site

PreCentral Source of advice and Homebrew applications.

Palm Pre Blog Source of technical specifications.

Butterscotch.com Lots of information from Jay Goldman (The Mobile Guy) and the team.

Developer Official Palm Pre App Development Web Site.

WebOS 101 Intended to help those looking to develop applications (apps) for Palm's webOS based devices.

webOS Internals Wiki site with advice for building your own apps.

Wikipedia Wikipedia Page.

Tips & Tricks PDF

Palm, Pre and Synergy are registered trademarks of Palm, Inc.