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First leaked look at HP Palm’s webOS Topaz tablet

TopazWell that didn’t take long. Earlier this month at CES, HP exec Todd Bradley not-so-subtly hinted that a webOS tablet would be introduced February 9. Today, we’re getting a thorough first look at the ecosystem HP plans to introduce in a few weeks.

Engadget first published internal images from a “trusted tipster” this morning, revealing HP Palm’s Topaz tablet: a 9-inch, button-less device featuring a front-facing camera, microUSB port, and multiple speakers. The site also claims that Topaz will run on an unknown 1.2GHz processor and will most likely launch in September.

But that’s not all. It’s been assumed that February 9 will introduce multiple devices, and the event’s invitations read “Something big, Something small, Something beyond.” So it’s only fitting that the “something small” be a 7-inch tablet. “Opal” is also projected to make an appearance the ninth, and Engadget’s insider says it will be sized comparably to the Galaxy Tab, except “smaller and wider.” It will most likely launch after Topaz.

The same anonymous source also says HP could possibly unveil a feature called Tap-to-Share. It sounds a lot like the Bump app, and will let users share content by tapping two devices together – the difference being that it will be able to transfer songs, apps, websites, or documents between phones, PCs, slates, or tablets. The insider also got his hands on an HP survey, which revealed more about what we can expect to see in the tablets and other pieces of the “ecosystem” on February 9: the ability to answer smartphone calls on a tablet, access to your music library via Wi-Fi or 3G connections, and “true multitasking” that allows users “to run ‘up to 20 applications simultaneously.’”

All the hype in the world can’t dismiss the competition HP’s going to be up against though: The Xoom, PlayBook, and of course, the iPad 2 are all looming in the near future as well.

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Molly McHugh
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Before coming to Digital Trends, Molly worked as a freelance writer, occasional photographer, and general technical lackey…
HP’s $99 tablet officially no more, Best Buy to offer $150 32GB TouchPad Nov. 1

The dream of obtaining a $99 HP TouchPad is officially dead. Hewlett-Packard sent out notices today saying the company's supply of TouchPads is spent, and there will be no more shipments from the HP online store.
“As you signed up for updates on the HP TouchPad, we wanted you to know that we are officially out of stock. Some retailers will have some stock available, but our online inventory is depleted,” the notice said. There may be a slight discrepancy though as the TouchPad page on the HP site says a limited supply of units will be available in the coming weeks.
The company has succeeded in its aim to liquidate its inventory by dropping the 16GB WebOS-based Touchpad down from $500 to $99, drumming up widespread consumer fervor and causing the tablet to sell out everywhere. A deal like this probably won't be happening again for quite some time. However, there is a silver lining in the message as some retailers do have HP TouchPads still in stock.
Today Best Buy announced that the HP TouchPad will be available for sale online beginning Tuesday Nov. 1, and Nov. 4 in-store. The retailer says it will be offering the 32GB for $149.99. The bad news is that you have to buy a computer to get the TouchPad deal; your choice of HP or Compaq Laptop, Desktop or All-in-One.
In recent Hewlett-Packard news, the company's shiny new CEO Meg Whitman reversed Apotheker's decision to cease PC production. Tablet PCs will still continue to be produced as Whitman believes that is where the company should focus, and they will be powered by the Windows 8 operating system. The CEO says the new tablets will make their appearance sometime next year.

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HP to release Windows 8 tablet in 2012, future of webOS uncertain

Hewlett Packard will continue to produce tablet PCs, and they will be powered by the Windows 8 operating system, the company said during a call with market analysts on Thursday. The future of its webOS mobile OS remains uncertain. 
"We’re at the beginning stages of a new segment," said HP Chief Executive Meg Whitman. "I hardly think that we’re too late, the work we’re doing with Microsoft is extraordinarily compelling, ultraportables are compelling."
Prior to the analyst call on Thursday, Whitman announced that the company will not sell or spin off its PC business, the so-called Personal Systems Group (PSG), a move that HP's previous CEO, Leo Apotheker, said was a possibility prior to his ousting. In the official announcement about the decision, HP did not specify whether tablets, along with desktops and laptop computers, would remain apart of the company's production portfolio. 
According to Whitman, HP's first Windows 8 tablet will launch sometime next year. 
The company also plans to reduce the number of products it manufactures, says Whitman, to give greater focus to producing a small number of quality computers. 
"One of my observations is that HP tries to do a lot of things," said Whitman. "And I am big believer in doing a small number of things really, really well -- set them up, knock them down, set them up, knock them down."
WebOS, the mobile OS HP purchased along with Palm last year for $1.2 billion, may be among the products cut by HP, as it streamlines its business. Earlier this year, HP liquidated its inventory of the webOS-based TouchPad tablet by slashing the price of the device down to as little as $99.
"I think we need to be in the tablet business," said Tom Bradley, executive vice president of the PSG, as quoted by the L.A. Times. "And we are certainly going to be there with Windows 8, and so we are going to be make another run at this business.... We're going to make a decisions about the long-term future of webOS within HP over the next couple of months.
"And as soon as we make that decision we will let you know on that. Because many people have said to me, 'Well, isn't the webOS decision just completely tied to [PSG]?' The answer to that is actually no. WebOS has obviously used in the PSG business, but also in other businesses that we have. So it's actually -- we have to make a more holistic decision around webOS."
[Pictured: HP TouchPad]

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Apple iOS 5: Everything you need to know
Apple iOS 5 Notifications

This Summer's WWDC even held plenty of noteworthy announcements, notably the introduction of iOS 5. The new operating system is due for the iPad, iPhone 3GS, 4, and 4S, as well as third- and fourth-generation iPod Touch this fall--October 12, to be exact. iOS 5 addresses old customer complaints while also bringing some innovative surprises to the table, chief among which is its new Twitter integration. But the upgrade isn’t all play and no work: Notifications, Mail, and Safari are just a sampling of Apple’s built-in apps that got a retouch. Here’s everything you need to know about iOS 5.
A questionable “leak” this morning revealed a new look for the iOS notifications. The image showed off a bar atop the phone’s home screen that read “2 new mentions,” tying in the possibility of Twitter integration. While both upgrades turned out to be true, the notifications update is likely the most necessary and heralded of iOS 5. The pop-up alerts that took over your display and rolled one notification in after another has been a common gripe among iPhone users, and Apple has taken notice. Now your notifications are cleanly, clearly, and discreetly collected in the Notification Center. By swiping from the top to the bottom of your device, you can pull up the Notification Center and access any alerts. An “X” icon lets you dismiss them. The biggest improvement may be in how you view notifications when the screen is locked: They are displayed in a list and by “type,” meaning each has an icon for the function they are notifying you about (i.e., missed call, text, app, etc).
Find My Friends
At the iPhone 4S event, Apple focused on the next-gen handset but also offered a few details about iOS 5, including the new Find My Friends built-in app. Remember those Boost Mobile commercials where a moving dot would indicate where your contacts were? It’s something like that but with a major privacy upgrade. You can set time controls on the app, forcing it to shut off at the end of the day, or only activating it during certain hours. From the sounds of it, Apple intends for this feature to be used when you’re trying to locate family members in a crowded location, or checking up on your kids.

Obviously you have control over whether Find My Friends is recording your movement, but we’re uncertain whether iOS 5 will come with the application opting you in or not.
Twitter integration
This was the other feature we caught wind of this morning, and also one of the most likely new upgrades to hit iOS, but it’s a welcome additional nonetheless. Apple has deeply integrated Twitter within iOS 5, and makes what’s already a simple service mind-numbingly easy to use. iPhones will now have single sign-on service, and outside Twitter clients can pull your login information from here so you won’t have to deal with the hassle. Better yet, native Apple apps now work with Twitter. The Contacts, Camera, Safari, YouTube, Maps, and Photo apps all instantly connect with the microblogging service, meaning by simply tapping you can instantly share content via Twitter. Of course, this largely will be used in junction with Twitter’s new photo sharing service, and your Photos will now have a “Tweet” option for auto-updating your feed.
On the surface, the notable improvements are rich-text formatting, paragraph setting controls, and the ability to drag addresses to email contact lines. Users can also flag emails. Among the other new upgrades are S/MIME support, a built-in dictionary courtesy of iBooks, a dual keyboard so users can type with both thumbs.
Safari has undergone a pretty major revamp that will make mobile browsing a much more intuitive process. Of course Apple’s focus has long been using the phone via apps, and for this it’s been occasionally lambasted for abandoning the browser and forcing users to exist within its developers’ iOS-approved software. Safari will now include tabs for iOS on the iPad – for the moment. True, it seems like tabbed browsing could easily crowd the iPhone or iPod Touch’s screen, but it’d be a welcome option.

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