HP Announces webOS 2.0 and Palm Pre 2

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HP is making things more official now since its acquisition of Palm with an official announcement for both webOS 2.0 and the Palm Pre 2. Initially, webOS showed us so much promise: it is intuitive, elegant, well-designed and has all the features that a modern smartphone OS should have. Unfortunately, the lackluster hardware that came in the form of the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi didn’t do it justice. Hopefully the second iteration of the Pre will fix that.

According to HP, webOS 2.0 will come packed with a number of new features (but we already knew that based on all the leaks we’ve seen). There will be a new browser that supports HTML5 features, a completely redesigned App Catalogue, additional features to unified messaging and mobile-optimized VPN.

When can we see the new OS? Well, it is launching with the Palm Pre 2 this Friday in France with SFR. The United States and Canada will have to wait for it in the coming months.

However, given its early release in Europe, we’re hoping that we get it in North America much sooner than later. We know that it will be coming to Verizon Wireless, but the carrier and Palm aren’t giving us a time frame or pricing.

The Palm Pre 2 bears a striking similarity to its predecessor, but with a few minor enhancements. Instead of the scratch prone plastic screen, HP decided to outfit the new smartphone with glass. It’s also the first Palm handset with a 1GHz processor, which will definitely help webOS 2.0 fly. Additionally, the Palm Pre 2 has a 5MP camera for photos. And yes, it still has a slide-out physical QWERTY keyboard, though I’m hoping it’s a little more tactile than the mushy plastic nubs that came on the first phone.

For more info, check out the press release on the following page.

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