Mobile // Mobile Devices
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8/2/2011
10:04 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
Commentary
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HP Updates TouchPad OS, Prices Drop

HP pushes webOS 3.0.2 out to the TouchPad tablet, in its first major software update; retailers Amazon and Best Buy drop prices.

HP promised to deliver a software update to the TouchPad by the end of July to fix a large number of problems and bugs the device had when it shipped. Though it didn't make its self-imposed July deadline, the over-the-air update went out on August 1.

The foremost reason for the update is to boost system performance, stabilize the operating system a bit, and address a bunch of glitches. HP also made sure to include a number of small feature updates, as well.

According to the lengthy changelog, the calendar offers quicker Just Type event search and creation, as well as improved handling of meeting cancellations. Email now offers faster scrolling, nicer-looking emails and the images contained therein, and fewer headaches when it comes to managing more than one email in the draft and outbox views. For all the budding touch-screen typists out there, you'll be happy to know that webOS 3.0.2 improves the speed and accuracy of auto-corrections.

As for the TouchPad's handling of multimedia, webOS 3.0.2 makes improvements to music playback when the tablet is being used for other tasks (i.e., it skips less). The TouchPad also handles album art with more aplomb. The photo application makes it easier for users to set wallpapers/backgrounds, and is better about handling individual photos and albums.

The Web browser receives some improvements, too. HP indicates that the browser now has better support for scrolling within Web pages, improved HTML5 Web video playback, and better auto-correct within the browser.

Last, webOS 3.0.2 includes a bunch of security updates, which HP didn't describe in detail.

Haven't picked up a Touchpad yet? Good news, it now costs $50 less than it did at launch. According to HP.com, the 16-GB Wi-Fi version costs $449.99 and the 32-GB Wi-Fi version costs $549.99 after a $50 "instant savings."

HP's website indicates that this $50 savings is available from July 29 through September 10. If you're worried about the price skyrocketing back up to $499.99/$599.99, have no fear. If anything, the TouchPad will see another price drop on September 10 if HP hasn't moved a significant number if them by that date.

Amazon and Best Buy had already discounted the TouchPad by $10 (as of July 15). Now, Amazon and Best Buy are both selling the TouchPad for $10 less than HP's price points, meaning the savvy shopped can pick up the 16-GB Wi-Fi TouchPad for a mere $439.99.

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