A few days ago we were finally able to announce WordPress for webOS to the public. It’s a neat app made solely for the new HP TouchPad. Most of the work was done by Beau Collins, a great developer based in Seattle WA. My contribution to the project was mainly to make the app as suave as possible, and coordinating the launch.
It’s hard to design for a platform that barely exists. UI Guidelines gets updated while you’re working on conforming to them. I didn’t have a device myself, so most of my testing was done in an emulator and webkit-powered browsers. That’s the other thing about webOS, the name implies that it’s web-based – and it pretty much is. It uses web technology for almost every aspect in the app building process. For instance, changing the font size in a particular element within the app is as simple as writing a few CSS rules. Altogether, this enabled me and others working on the app to iterate very quickly and build powerful features in a very small timeframe.
WebOS is struggling with performance, and avoiding things that are heavy to render (such as box-shadow and text-shadow) makes a lot of sense to speed things up, but it’s annoying to have some of the most powerful rules taken away from you when working with web technologies.
As we release new revisions of the app, I’ll keep you posted about development tips and pitfalls from a designer point of view.
Find out more about WordPress for webOS here: webos.wordpress.org