HP open sources Enyo framework, makes webOS-style apps possible for iPhone, iPad

HP has made good on releasing a roadmap for their webOS open source initiative and, as part of it, have fully open sourced the Enyo 2.0 application framework. But what does all this mean for the iMore crowd? In the short term it means you'll be seeing at least a few webOS apps made available in the App Store and in your browser. In the longer term it means you're likely to see a day where webOS is compiled to run on other hardware, though if that's possible with Apple's locked-down designs is another question entirely.

We'll tackle the apps thing first. At its core Enyo is based on web tech like everything webOS (whereas the iOS framework is based around Objective-C). Going open source means that developers who have written in Enyo can compile their apps to be loaded in a browser or on webapp-supporting operating systems like iOS and Android with little issue. In fact, it's already happening - multiple webOS Enyo apps are available through WebKit-based web browsers -- like Safari -- and at least one, an Instapaper client called Paper Mache, is available now in the Android Market. Of course, there's some tweaking that'll have to be done to make things nice and smooth, but apps like Paper Mache look and behave (minus the lag and jitter) exactly as they do on webOS.

The second major announcement was that HP is dumping their custom kernel and coopting the standard Linux kernel for use in Open webOS. This is the basic principle behind Android's kernel by making the switch webOS will gain support for a wide breadth of hardware. Where there's Cyanogen for the Android Open Source Project we certainly expect the same to happen with webOS. The question is… will anybody want to install it?