HP to address TouchPad issues with software update

The software update will be delivered over the air

Hewlett-Packard is trying to address buyer concerns related to sluggish software performance on the TouchPad tablet with a software update, which will be delivered over the air, the company said.

"We are working on our first software release, which will improve many of their concerns with regards to performance," said Leslie Letts, an HP spokeswoman, in an e-mail.

The company declined to provide a specific release date for the software update, but said it would be provided "in a timely manner," Letts said.

Some buyers interviewed last Friday expressed concerns about performance, especially long load times for some applications and the poor browser. Some buyers also were concerned about the TouchPad's weight, saying the device was difficult to comfortably hold in one hand compared to tablets such as Apple's iPad.

The TouchPad weighs about 1.6 pounds (740 grams), which is heavier than the iPad 2 at 1.32 pounds, or the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which is even lighter at 1.24 pounds. The TouchPad includes a 9.7-inch screen and comes with WebOS 3.0. Gadget enthusiasts or developers were among the early TouchPad buyers who were curious to see how webOS would perform.

HP hopes to put webOS, which is already in some smartphones, into printers and PCs. The company has said webOS devices will be tightly integrated so documents, contacts and other data can be easily shared.

Some users also said that the number of applications available in the WebOS store were not enough. The number of apps designed for the TouchPad wasn't available, but HP said on its website that thousands of apps are available, with "bazillions to follow." The tablet can run webOS applications designed for smartphones.

Early TouchPad reviews were mixed, with many reviewers noting the software performance problems that buyers have since complained about. An HP internal memo reportedly written by HP's Palm unit chief Jon Rubinstein, and leaked to enthusiast site PreCentral said that most of the issues pointed out in reviews were known and would be resolved through the over the air update. The e-mail also painted webOS as a work-in-progress, with the potential to turn into "the real thing."

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Agam Shah

IDG News Service
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