Check out this video of webOS running as an Android app

When webOS was laid to rest by HP after its acquisition of Palm, many of us wept for what was once a nice OS. It was a tad ahead of its time, but bad hardware and little developer support (due to low market share) eventually rendered it almost dead in water. Once the full guillotine came down, though, HP was nice enough to release the latest source code to the development community to do with it what they wish.

While nothing meaningful has come from it yet, many folks are hard at work on reviving webOS through the Open webOS project. The road hasn’t been smooth — in fact, it’s been nothing but bumpy. But we understand how hard it is to port an entire mobile OS to devices it was never intended to run on, and for that we can’t fault any of the developers hard at work on the task. Hell, we applaud them for sticking with it for so long.

An interesting new project is showing progress, though, and it has our eyes peeled for the time being. It’s being headed up by a group of volunteer developers who call themselves Phoenix International Communications, and the team is looking to get webOS up and running on the Nexus S 4G in the form of an APK. Yes, you read that right — they are attempting to wrap webOS into a single APK.

The project is in pre-alpha 2 status right now, and it most certainly shows. If I didn’t know any better I’d think the Nexus S had a 200MHz processor with 30MB of RAM. It’s slow to the point that it’s virtually unusable, and anyone trying to use this thing as a daily driver might as well take traditional torture as an alternative.

But progress is being made, and this method of emulation is quite interesting. If webOS can be emulated smoothly inside an APK it could widen compatibility by a boatload and make it as easy as pie to switch between two different operating systems.  We don’t expect it to be quite that simple, though, so we’ll do our best not to get ahead of ourselves. Go ahead and check things out in the video embedded above.

[via Liliputing]

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  • Guest

    Does this mean webOS could be a replacement for the stock launcher one day? That would be AMAZING! I would pay for that handsomely in the app store.

  • Abhijeet Mishra

    Hopefully OS like Sailfish (Jolla) and Firefox don’t lose steam and die like webOS, we need more free and open source and functional OS along with Android.

  • https://plus.google.com/102290060063255149992 Alek Tritt

    Too slow to even watch. It hurts.

  • Jonathan DeJesus

    ???

  • tical57

    Web os was great and it was a little small, but the pre was the best phone out at the time.

    • Thomas K

      I struggled with decided to stick with Sprint and bet on the Pre/webOS, or jumping ship to Verizon and bet on Android with the OG Droid. Ended up going with the Droid, but I still think the Pre was a beautiful device and I absolutely loved webOS.

    • http://www.phandroid.com Quentyn Kennemer

      My sister made me jealous flaunting her Pre around. I wasn’t really a fan of the overall hardware but webOS made it look so damn delicious. I ended up sticking it out with Windows Mobile until Android came along, though.

  • Rdfry

    The pre was a dud

  • Shawn_Locke

    So they’re working with a phone that has a cracked screen?