HP announces webOS 2.0

HP has today announced the next incarnation of its recently-acquired webOS platform, touting the update to 2.0 as the most significant change since the operating system’s launch in 2009.

WebOS 2.0 will have superior multitasking ability, says HP, allowing users to check email while their game is paused or add a date to a calendar while reading a restaurant review, all using touchscreen controls.

The updated version also includes an interesting feature called Just Type, which allows the user to begin typing and automatically start an email, text message, Facebook or Twitter update, or search the net without opening any applications. We’re not exactly sure how it recognises exactly what type of thing you’re doing, but this feature is open to developers for further integration into applications.

The Synergy feature allows automatic population of contacts to your phone via Facebook, Google, Yahoo, etc.

The Exhibition feature allows Palm Touchstone Charging Dock apps to be run on the webOS phone. HP believes this will turning charging time into more useful time, allowing users to check their agenda or Facebook photos while the device is charging.

WebOS 2.0 also features tagged favourites, text assist, Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite, VPN, Bluetooth support, and a redesigned App Catalogue and launcher.

HP was also keen to highlight that webOS 2.0 supports Flash 10.1, something that many Apple rivals began to point out after it pulled support for Adobe’s product earlier this year. This effectively amounts to HP saying that webOS 2.0 is better than iOS due to supporting Flash.

The updated operating system will launch first on the new Palm Pre 2, which will go on sale in France, Canada, and the US. The new phone will launch this Friday in France, with releases in the other regions expected over the next few months.