Just over a week has passed since HP slashed the price of their TouchPad and announced their departure from the mobile hardware industry. That means that those of you who were lucky enough to place your order in time or pick up the few loose ends in retail locations should already have your webOS tablet – or it should arrive sometime this coming week.
If you have received your 'Pad, you've likely realized that it is a fingerprint/scratch magnet and it's one slippery piece of hardware. Also, there is a considerable amount of lag in even the most basic use. Kidding. Out if the box, the lag is so unbearable (in my experience, at least) that it is barely usable. I've spent the last 30 hours or so tinkering with mine and there have been cases where the TouchPad completely locks up – pressing the power button had no effect and the display remained lit. The only thing that could be done was to let it sit and sort out the issues on its own; this usually took about 15-20 minutes. Besides completely locking up on me, the dual-core tablet was plagued by intermittent and inexplicable lag.
I checked System Updates and found that there was indeed an update; I had been told before that the update should solve the majority of software hangs and other intermittent problems like random reboots and jumpy transitions. After 8 hours of failed attempts and downloads, the update finally completed. It did fix some of the problems, but the TouchPad still suffered from lag that should not be happening on such a powerful device. Still, start by performing this update, no matter how long it takes.
So what's a guy to do for his new $100 (or $150) tinker toy? I took to the Interwebz and found a solution. (Google works wonders! No … really, use it!) To make a long story short, I found an article on ZDNet by James Kendrick that does a great job of explaining the problem and correcting it. Kendrick explains that there “is so much event logging in the background that it seriously impacts the TouchPad’s performance, as it is constantly doing things it doesn’t need to do.” To fix this and to put a little more pep in the your new tablets's step:
This is only half of the process. The second half is a little more complicated and will require a computer (it does not matter what operating system as the program works on Windows, OS X and Linux). You will be installing Preware – think of it as a Cydia for webOS, except HP endorses it. If you are wary of installing unauthorized, third-party software, read no further. Let me also add that PhoneDog is in no way responsible for any damages to your device; continue at your own risk. To install Preware, go here and follow the simple instructions, then return to this article.
At this point, you should be able to open the Launcher on your TouchPad and find the Preware app (the icon with a penguin sitting in a cardboard box. After opening Preware, download and install the three following packages (the bold text are the directories in which the packages can be found):
After this, you will be asked to restart Luna. Select “Ok” and reap all of the benefits of your now speedy TouchPad. I have been using this since about midnight last night and it would be an understatement to say that it feels like an entirely different tablet. Kendrick states, "HP really shot itself in the foot by enabling all of this performance-clogging background activity by default," and he's absolutely right. After disabling, the software is now fluid and the tablet can perform as it was meant to perform.
Also, if you're daring enough there are options within Preware that will allow you to overclock your TouchPad and enable features that would not otherwise be available. And if you want to take webOS multitasking to the next level, I suggest buying Glimpse from the HP App Catalog. It may be five bucks, but it's a split-screen multitasking app like I've mentioned in the past and totally worth it.
Let me know how Preware has helped you in the comments section below. And as always when tinkering with your gadgets, be safe, read slowly and enjoy!