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HP Pivot Repackages App Store For TouchPad Tablet

Monthly digital magazine aims to help TouchPad owners peruse new webOS applications at their leisure.
Slideshow: HP Tablet Announced
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: HP Tablet Announced
HP on Thursday announced webOS Pivot, a brand-new take on how to market and advertise applications to its customers. Pivot will offer original content from established tech publications and present it in an "entertaining and informative" manner through a dedicated magazine just for the TouchPad tablet.

The Pivot monthly is meant to complement the App Catalog. The App Catalog is HP's app store for its webOS devices. HP hasn't been as successful as some of its competitors--Apple, Google, Microsoft--at convincing developers to create applications for webOS devices. There are still fewer than 10,000 apps available to webOS devices, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve a little attention.

TouchPad owners will still be able to jump into the App Catalog to search for apps, but with Pivot they'll be able to read about them in-depth, get solid opinions on them from the press, and explore them in a way not yet available from other app stores.

According to HP, Pivot will include editorials, columns from "notable guest writers", feature stories about apps/topics, in-depth reviews, and tons of pictures of the apps in action. The content in Pivot will be aimed at different regions and countries; the publication initially will be available in English, French, German, and Spanish. The publication will be updated over the air automatically each month for all users.

While the end user will receive a visually appealing way to learn about applications, there's a much more important audience HP is catering to with Pivot--developers.

Pivot won't just showcase apps, it also will showcase app developers. By giving developers a platform through which they can talk about not only their apps, but themselves, it shows that HP is serious about reeling in more developers. After all, what company doesn't want to have its products--and the team behind those products--given a spread in a magazine? It provides a nice incentive for developers hoping to stand out from the masses.

"Pivot brings app discovery to a new level for customers and developers alike," said Richard Kerris, VP of webOS worldwide developer relations, in a statement. "We want our partners to experience webOS as the growing platform of opportunity, and we're investing in new ways to help market their applications on our platform."

This sounds like a great idea that will surely impact the way TouchPad owners discover and learn about applications, but HP still has a long way to go for it to succeed.

The TouchPad, which goes on sale July 1 for $499 and $599, hits the market late, with leaders and followers already established. The device, while appealing, has to convince the masses that webOS is worth leaving Android or iOS behind. webOS hasn't been a successful smartphone platform. Can it be a bigger success as a tablet? We'll find out soon enough.

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