Continuing with my explorations in the webOS 1.4.5 SDK, I’ve picked out a couple of other useful calls to the PalmSystem object. Both can be added to the “hello world” example I started in part one, and they’re really quick.
A common requirement for mobile apps is the ability to respond to device orientation. I’m still digging around to see where you can hook into these events, but in the meantime here’s a simple call which is quite useful:
This tells webOS to let your app rotate along with the device orientation, switching from portrait to landscape as necessary. It’s a high-value one-liner call which should serve most orientation needs.
You can also specify a “locked” orientation with different strings in place of “free”. Options are: up (default portrait), down, left and right. So if you have a side-scroller game that would benefit from horizontal presentation, just use:
Step one: Make a web app and test it in Chrome or Safari.
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
Save this into a new folder (using a folder name of “hello” in this example) as index.html. This will become your app folder. You can test your app in Chrome or Safari by simply opening this file in your browser. Not terribly impressive, but hey, it’s a start.
I’m a big fan of Palm’s webOS. It’s based on open web standards, and Palm is doing everything I was expecting Apple to do with their iPhone when it was released (you may remember Steve Jobs saying “the web is the SDK”). Palm’s new OS is top notch, easy to develop for, and the developer relations folks are hard working and are very responsive.
It wasn’t a tough decision to go to their recent Developer Day conference, and right before I was about to shell out my $25 (seriously, only $25 for a conference, what a steal) I got a ping from Greg Vena, Dion Almaer and Ben Galbraith asking if I’d like to give a talk for the conference on Canvas, CSS and any other HTML5 graphics goodies I wanted to cover. Free registration? A chance to bend the ears of Palm’s engineering team while showing off some mobile webkit tricks? A free goodie bag which included an unlocked developer phone? Oh, hell yes.
If you missed the conference, Palm has a page up with videos from all the talks: