This is it boys and girls — the event we’ve been anxiously awaiting ever since Hewlett-Packard announced its intention to acquire Palm, Inc. for $1.2 billion last April. $1.2 billion is a lot of scratch, and you can be sure that HP didn’t have the Pre 2 in mind when it took control of the struggling cell phone maker last year. But we’re reasonable, as we hope all webOS fans are, and we’re definitely willing to give HP a pass just this once… provided, of course, it has something special to show us at today’s event. Will HP answer the call and unveil some drool-worthy webOS-powered gear, or will its new efforts be lost amid the tsunami of tablets set to come crashing down on the market this year? Hit the break for our live blog of today’s “Think Beyond” event, which starts at 10:00AM PST / 1:00PM EST, and don’t forget to refresh the page for all the latest action!
3:04PM:That’s it guys! Time for us to go check out HP’s new webOS gear first-hand.
3:03PM:Finally, HP is very committed to making webOS a premier platform for developers.
3:02PM:HP is fully committed to investing in webOS and building a global ecosystem.
3:01PM:Bradley is closing with three things: first, webOS is a truly differentiated platform.
3:00PM:Rubinstein is now back on to thank the entire HP and Palm teams for all of their hard work and dedication. He started his career at HP and he couldn’t be happier to be back.
2:59PM:HP is now showing its new ad spot “Everybody On.”
2:58PM:HP is truly focused on bringing an all-encompassing product to market with webOS — and we’re impressed with its vision.
2:56PM:HP sells two PCs and two printers per second — that’s a pretty huge potential market for webOS.
2:55PM:HP will also be bringing webOS to the PC this year. Woh!
2:55PM:webOS, this year, will hit new devices as well as “form factors you haven’t seen before” this year.
2:54PM:Todd Bradley is back on stage now to talk further about the future of the webOS platform.
2:53PM:Uh oh… Angry Birds sighting…
2:52PM:Time, Inc and HP are aligned in their vision of where the tablet industry, and of course the publishing industry, are going. They’re looking forward to a continued fruitful partnership, says Rothenberg.
2:49PM:TIME Magazine, Fortune and other Time, Inc. titles will be available right when the TouchPad launches.
2:48PM:Rothenberg is now demoing a variety of titles on the TouchPad. First we saw People, and now TIME Magazine. The experience looks very smooth and interactive, but we don;t see any innovation here.
2:45PM:Time’s TouchPad apps will feature one-off purchasing and subscription options right out of the gate, which is nice to hear.
2:44PM:Randall Rothenberg, Time, Inc Chief Digital Officer, is now on stage to talk about developing for the webOS platform.
2:43PM:From gaming to the ever-popular publishing industry — it looks like HP will be the latest company to try to save publishers. A loud video clip is now showing us all the capabilities, which look oddly familiar.
2:40PM:TouchPad will offer the best tablet gaming experience on the market, says McArthur.
2:39PM:Over 500 developers will be on hand at HP’s dev event tonight to learn about all the new tools HP will make available alongside these new webOS products. There will be more opportunities than ever to succeed.
2:37PM:Next example, a 14-year-old developer who built a Google Voice app for webOS.
2:37PM:Now he’s talking about Selfaware Games, which is now developing a version of its new game, Fleck, specifically for the TouchPad.
2:36PM:Example of a developer success story: Facebook. Users voted the webOS Facebook experience the best among mobile platforms.
2:35PM:WebOS developers and partners are now uniquely positioned to take advantage of HP’s inevitable market dominance.
2:34PM:HP’s mission is to build the largest base of connected device users in the market.
2:33PM:Now Rubinstein is back again. HP SVO of Applications and Services Steven McArther is now invited up to talk about developers and partenrs.
2:32PM:He guarantees that HP’s laptops actually “feel” the way music feels to artists in the studio. We assume he’s trying to say that will transfer over to the TouchPad as well.
2:31PM:HP wants to “own music” because computers (and soon tablets) are the default home-audio device.
2:30PM:The mission of Beats by Dre in HP products is to reproduce this new high quality sound as closely as possible in portable devices.
2:29PM:Iovine is really going off on a tangent here, but we think the gist of his speech is that the recording industry is changing rapidly and sound quality is improving immensely.
2:26PM:Rubinstein is now back on to talk about Beats audio technology, and he’s introducing Interscope CEO Jimmy Iovine who is coming up on stage.
2:23PM:Now we’re hearing about Qualcomm’s power efficiency with the new dual-core Snapdragon processors. It uses the most power efficient architecture in the market.
2:22PM:And the TouchPad will be one of the first devices to feature Qualcomm’s new dual-core Snapdragon chip.
2:22PM:What you see in the Veer, Pre 3 and TouchPad will be the latest in Qualcomm’s innovations. Pre 3 will be the first 1.4GHz Snapdragon-powered smartphone.
2:20PM:Jacobs is going on to discuss the development process for its upcoming Snapdragon chip family, and he can’t wait to see how HP features its upcoming chips in new webOS devices.
2:18PM:Last year Qualcomm shipped 399 million chipsets across smartphones, tablets, eReaders, etc. That success allows the company to invest heavily in R&D and HP’s forthcoming webOS devices will feature cutting edge chips that feature the latest and greatest Qualcomm tech.
2:16PM:Qualcomm is very proud to have been chosen to power the first wave of HP’s webOS devices.
2:16PM:Rubinstein is calling the TouchPad the most exciting devices he’s worked on. It will be one of the first devices to feature Qualcomm’s latest processors, and Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs is now on stage to talk about their partnership.
2:15PM:TouchPad will be available this summer in Wi-Fi only. Cellular versions will be available after that.
2:14PM:“All the other tablets have been limited so far,” says a DreamWorks exec in a short video. Now he’s selling the TouchPad features while Rubinstein takes a break.
2:12PM:HP partnered with DreamWorks to have popular titles at launch on the TouchPad.
2:11PM:Rubinstein is now back on stage and the demos are over.
2:10PM:The TouchPad and Pre 3 both feature NFC. When tapped together, the devices will share information instantly. The demo we saw pushed a website from the TouchPad browser to the Pre 3 with just a tap. Too cool…
2:08PM:Now we’re seeing a live demo of a video call, which started as a voice call — all piped through the TouchPad while it’s tethered to a Pre 3.
2:06PM:HP is partnering with several top magazine and newspaper partners, and it will have a custom Amazon Kindle app as well.
2:06PM:Next up is a Sport Illustrated magazine app, which sports some nifty interactive features. More details on TouchPad-centric development will be announced tonight.
2:04PM:No we’re seeing some third-party apps that have been made with the TouchPad in mind. Armageddon Squadron II is the first demo, a flight simulation game that was built in just a few days with the new SDK.
2:03PM:The app displays comments and supports comment-posting for Facebook photos as well.
2:02PM:The Photos app also has a great integrating printing feature that couldn’t be more seamless. HP’s printing solution for webOS “just works.”
2:01PM:The new Photos app also has integrating social networking features, of course. It features integration with cloud-based photo services as well.
2:00PM:Now we’re seeing an integrated Twitter feature that allows users to Tweet right from within the universal search function. WebOS will now support plug-ins for things like universal search!
1:59PM:Seen above is the XL keyboard.
1:58PM:Ver cool! The webOS virtual keyboard can be resized according to the user’s preference!
1:58PM:The TouchPad has a great notification system that can be pulled up from the upper left corner of the display. Notifications are all grouped together and can be dismissed with a swipe or acted upon with a tap.
1:56PM:Page rendering is just like desktop browsers — it also renders very quickly.
1:55PM:The webOS browser on the TouchPad supports both Flash and HTML5 video right within the browser UI.
1:55PM:Of note, webOS features a unified inbox or accounts can be viewed individually.
1:53PM:It does sport a great drag feature, which allows users to drag to hide and/or reveal the message list seen on the left-hand side of the display.
1:51PM:Now we’re seeing the email UI, which is very reminiscent of the iPad’s email app.
1:51PM:Thanks to the latest version of webOS, the TouchPad supports stacks, which allow like-card to be grouped into one, well, stack.
1:50PM:It also includes the same launcher, of course. It adjusts to the orientation of the device, just as apps do.
1:49PM:The TouchPad’s workspace, or the home screen, is living just as it is on webOS phones.
1:48PM:Now he’s showing us that messages — even SMS — sent to a webOS phone are displayed on the TouchPad. It can even make phone calls via Bluetooth. Very cool!
1:47PM:He’s showing the Touchstone exhibition mode, which displays pertinent info on a device’s screen as soon as it’s docked.
1:45PM:HP’s Sachin Kansal is now on stage to demo the TouchPad.
1:44PM:The TouchPad will also have a bunch of nifty accessories available at launch — a Touchstone dock, a case/stand, etc.
1:43PM:TouchPad is also a powerful work tool. It comes bundled with Quick Office and features the best virtual keyboard in the space. It also is compatible with all of HP’s printers out of the box.
1:42PM:Synergy will connect the TouchPad with webOS phones, automatically linking contacts, calendars, etc. Very smooth.
1:41PM:The TouchPad will feature the same great multitasking UI and the same flick gestures.
1:40PM:Rubinstein says his competitors are copying webOS but no one has yet come close.
1:40PM:“The TouchPad is screaming fast,” Rubinstein says.
1:39PM:It also has a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor!
1:39PM:“The TouchPad is all about you” — it’s 1.6 pounds, has a 9.7-inch display, supports video calling with a 1.3mp webcam, and 16GB or 32GB of storage.
1:38PM:And here’s the HP TouchPad
1:37PM:Other changes have been made as well, as was detailed in the recent leaks.
1:37PM:The Pre 3 has a sliding hardware keyboard, Qualcomm CPU running at 1.4GHz, comes in two flavors — HSPA+ and EVDO Rev. A world-capable — and has the same amount of RAM as the Palm Pre 2
1:37PM:HP has also made some changes to its Touchstone technology. When phones are placed in the dock, they will automatically even expo mode.
1:36PM:The Pre 3 will be available this summer, though no pricing has been announced.
1:36PM:It will come in two versions — an HSPA+ version and an EVDO version. It also has a 1.4GHz processor!
1:34PM:He’s now announcing the Pre 3 — a business phone that you don’t want to leave at work.
1:33PM:It’s compatible with HSPA+ and it has 8GB of storage. It also has a 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor and it will be available in early spring.
1:32PM:The Veer looks like a Pre but it’s the size of a credit card. It has a 2.6-inch touchscreen — yikes.
1:31PM:Customers want a phone that has the power of a large phone but can fit in your pocket; something powerful, but small — the HP Veer is apparently that phone.
1:30PM:Verizon’s Pre 2 will be available for pre-order tomorrow — he snuck that one in there and moved on immediately.
1:30PM:webOS 2.1 takes the original unique features of the OS and makes them even better.
1:29PM:webOS continues to stand out because HP constantly works to improve the platform according to the needs of consumers.
1:27PM:Rubenstein is starting out by explaining Palm’s Synergy solution. Cloud sync will be a huge focus of webOS moving forward.
1:26PM:Bradley is now inviting HP’s Jon Rubinstein on stage to introduce the new products.
1:24PM:But no one has built a solution that allows users to seamlessly connect these mobile devices to this cloud-based content. That will be one of the focuses of webOS.
1:23PM:There is also a huge increase in the amount of cloud based content being accessed by these devices.
1:23PM:Bradley says very few people own just one mobile device these days. Most own three or four.
1:22PM:HP got great talent and a promising new OS when it acquired Palm. It will now look to combine those things with its size and capabilities.
1:20PM:HP says the size of the connected devices market is about $160 billion right now — and it’s only the early stages.
1:20PM:HP ships 120 PCs and 120 printers every minute.
1:20PM:HP serves over 1 billion customers around the world right now, in over 100 countries and with over 100 partners.
1:19PM:“HP has a rich tradition of innovation that matters.”
1:18PM:HP’s products are the building blocks of its long-terms strategy, which will enable connected experiences.
1:18PM:Bradley is talking about experiencing things for the first time — and HP is looking to create amazing experiences, and firsts
1:16PM:Lights are dimming now and HP EVP Todd Bradley is on stage.
1:16PM:Hopefully whatever HP announces today doesn’t take as long to launch as this event is taking to start.
1:09PM:It’s also worth noting that this room is absolutely packed. Looks like we’re not the only ones excited to see what HP has in store today.
1:09PM:Ok, the music is mellowing out a bit now. Hopefully HP will kick things off shortly.
1:08PM:(Of course we’re joking, by the way. We wouldn’t dream of messing with the Moss.)
1:05PM:Look at Moss, so unsuspecting. He has no idea what we’re cooking up…
1:03PM:It looks like most of us are seated now… as hard as it is to stay in your seat with minimal house pumping on the Herbst Pavilion sound system.
1:00PM:Walt Mossberg just knocked our brand new MacBook Air off of our lap and onto the ground. We’re still alive and kicking though. Time to start plotting our revenge…
12:55PM:It looks like HP is getting ready to let us into the main room now… Here we go!
12:48PM:Ok guys, welcome to the live blog! Most people have funneled inside at this point and we’re just waiting for word on when things will kick off. Assuming no delays, we’re just over 10 minutes from finding out exactly why HP staff t-shirts say “webOS, now in S, M, and L.”