The TouchPad and Software

[sc:mobile-category ]Of course with the TouchPad being so new, its not too surprising to find its app store a little sparse on software.  However even I am amazed at how few applications are actually available for the TouchPad.

In several places in the OS, HP has included links to the store to find new providers (like for accounts and VOIP) however they do not actually have any in the store so blank results are returned.  It just feels so wrong to to have placed something there from HP to ensure a result was returned.

I have so far downloaded and am using the following:

  • Facebook
  • Angry Birds HD
  • WordPress
  • AccuWeather
  • Amazon Kindle (Beta)
  • BHomePro (Purchased)
  • Canadian Weather
  • FreeCam
  • KalemSoft Media Player
  • Opera’s Bookmarks (Purchased)
  • PPTP VPN
  • Solitaire
  • Spaz HD (Beta Preview 2)
  • TuneInRadio
  • Weather Dashboard HD

Big apps missing that I use from the catalog include:

  • Official Twitter
  • IMDB
  • Poynt/Flickster/other local services app

Also strangely missing form the build in TouchPad apps is a camera app, the front facing camera is apparently only there for video chat.  Since the 3.0.2 update, several camera apps have been released so this is taken care of now at least.

The biggest grip I have with the TouchPad software in general so far is that, with the exception of Maps, there is no support for Microsoft services.  This seems really strange to me since HP and MS have had a very close relationship for decades and HP leaving these services out just seems odd.

I am still looking for the Live Messenger support, SkyDrive support, Bing search (ok, I’m not actually looking for that Winking smile).

The HP app store software is reasonable, not great by any means but functions.  My biggest grip is that once you have purchased an app, it’s price changes to Free.  So you can’t really tell the difference between a “Free” application and one you have already purchased.

The update service needs some work on the TouchPad, you have to manually open the software manager and then wait until it checks to see if there are any updates, then do the updates.  This should be a background process with a notification message so you know there are updates waiting for you.

Facebook

The Facebook app is pretty standard, I won’t go in to do much detail, but if you use Facebook, it will work.  IM is missing and updates don’t always seem to come through in a timely fashion, but I found that with pretty much any Facebook client that is the primary web site.

Angry Birds HD

Yes it’s free and it’s Angry Birds.  Nuff said.

WordPress

The WordPress client is nice, functions well and has even been updated since the  initial release.

AccuWeather

I’m not using this much anymore as “Canadian Weather” and “Weather Dashboard HD” have replaced it.

Amazon Kindle (Beta)

Ok, this is BUGGY in the extreme.  It’s been updated once but it still has some major issues.  And it’s SLOW to boot.

BHomePro (Purchased)

This is a DLNA/uPnP client for streaming media to the TouchPad, initial versions were pretty bad and couldn’t find my DLNA server, but recent improvements have made a major improvement in the software.  I purchased the app and don’t regret it, the developer has been updating it regularly and one day it should do everything I want.

One thing that is disappointing (but not surprising) is the lack of support for any media format that the TouchPad doesn’t play natively.   Perhaps in a future release…

I have been having an issue with this app saving it’s preferences and have been working with the developer on a solution, but its a minor issue.

Canadian Weather

If your not in Canada, this app won’t do anything  for you (unless you want to know the weather in Canada of course).  It pulls data from Environment Canada (the federal weather department) and displays it in a nicely formated page.  It’s free and support multiple locations.  What more could you want?

FreeCam

Since HP decided not to include a camera app on the TouchPad, this is just a basic camera app, nothing fancy but unlike many of the other camera apps, it’s free.

KalemSoft Media Player (Purchased)

As noted above in the BHomePro section, the TouchPad has limited support for video formats.  The major one missing is AVI files, which pretty much excludes 99% of my video collection.  KalemSoft has a PC side service that supports multiple formats, include AVI, and streams them to the TouchPad for playback.  The video quality is a little low but it does work as advertised.

Opera’s Bookmarks (Purchased)

As I’ve mentioned before, Opera is my primary browser on my PC and I use the sync service to keep my bookmarks etc available to all the PC’s I use.  This little app downloads your bookmarks from the Opera Link service and gives you a way to browse and open them.

Editing is not supported (no a big deal) and it’s only the bookmarks, so the SpeedDial links are not included, but a handy tool if you use Opera.

PPTP VPN

One of the big issues I had with the VPN support on the TouchPad is it really only supported the Cisco VPN solution.  HP released PPTP support a few weeks ago to help correct that issue, but I have to admit I can’t get it to work.

The connection is established, but no data will move through the VPN it looks like DNS is failing somewhere but there isn’t enough detail in the VPN client on the TouchPad to get any useful troubleshooting done.

Solitaire

It’s free, I downlaoded it, it’s Solitaire, what more do you want?

Spaz HD (Beta Preview 2)

Spaz HD is the Twitter client I’m using on the TouchPad.  It’s been updated and work quite well so far, but I’m not a huge Twitter user.

TuneInRadio

This is an internet radio client, it’s awesome.

Weather Dashboard HD (Purchased)

I have to say that when I saw the TouchPad’s presentation mode, weather information seemed like a natural fit.  HP didn’t include such a service but Weather Dashboard HD fills in this gap quite nicely.  It also gives you the current weather details in the notification area on the TouchPad which is kind of nice.

The only issue I have with it is that it supports both metric and imperial, but when you select metric, it doesn’t convert the forecast description from imperial, only the current temperature.  A minor issue overall.

Greg

Greg

Greg is the head cat at JumbleCat, with over 20 years of experience in the computer field, he has done everything from programming to hardware solutions. You can contact Greg via the contact form on the main menu above.

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Greg

Greg

Greg is the head cat at JumbleCat, with over 20 years of experience in the computer field, he has done everything from programming to hardware solutions. You can contact Greg via the contact form on the main menu above.

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