Switching from webOS to BlackBerry

webOS to BlackBerry
By Jared DiPane on 22 Aug 2011 10:52 am EDT

As many of you already know we recently found out that HP has halted webOS, a decision that has probably left a lot of webOS fans out in the wild wondering what their next move was going to be. While this decision from HP does not render your current device useless, it does open eyes to realize it is probably a good time to decide what your next steps may be, and transitioning to a BlackBerry device is a great choice for you webOS users. While some may chose to switch to Android, iOS, or even Windows Phone, let's take a deeper look into how easy of a switch it would be for you to grab a new BlackBerry device and move from one platform to another without any loss in productivity.

Picking the right hardware

BlackBerry Devices

Many webOS users love their device, they either love the sliding form factor that the Palm Pre brought to the table, or the candy bar style that the Pixi had, and guess what, both form factors are available from BlackBerry devices. The new BlackBerry 7 devices are the most current in the line up, all of them only a week or two old, so you aren't transitioning into old hardware, and all of them running the best OS we have seen to date on BlackBerry devices.  Check out our reviews of the new devices below, and figure out which of the models makes the most sense for your life.

As you can see, the BlackBerry Torch 9810 is great for users who want a device with a slide out keyboard, while the Bold 9900 has a glorious keyboard right there for easy access at all times, and the Torch 9860 gives you a large screen with no physical keyboard, allowing you to try something a bit different. 

Moving your information from your webOS device to your new BlackBerry

Desktop Manager

Sure, the BlackBerry Desktop Manager may not be the greatest thing ever, it does require you to use your computer to move information back and forth between devices and such, but it is great for aiding in the migration of data from one device to another. The BlackBerry Desktop Manager will allow you to first plug in your webOS device, and then select that you want to pull the data, such as contacts, calendar events, etc from the device, and then you connect your new BlackBerry device and it will push the data to that.

Another way to easily transfer information is via Google Sync. Many of us use Google services now-a-days, and if you currently have your information stored through your Google Account the set up is even simpler. Simply point your BlackBerry browser to m.google.com/sync, download the application and input your username and password. From here you can chose to sync your contacts and calendars, either one or both. After saving your settings it will ask if you wish to sync, clicking yes will pull your contacts and calendar right to the device, and anytime you make a change, either via web or on the device it will sync across all views.

Finding those applications you used to use everyday

Blackberry AppWorld

We all know one of the greatest parts about any platform are the applications, and once you get comfortable using an application you kind of grow attached. Luckily a lot of BlackBerry developers are dedicated to what they do, they love the platform and understand the inner workings, so there are tons of great applications out there, you just need to find the right one for you. There are a few outlets available on BlackBerry to find new applications, the first is the CrackBerry Store. It's quite simple to navigate, the applications are broken down into categories for easy searching, and if you are looking for something you can't find through the category search there is a search feature for keywords as well. This can be viewed via the web, and also easily browsed from your phone by downloading the app store via this link from your BlackBerry browser.

In addition to this option, users can browse and download tons of applications while on the go through BlackBerry AppWorld, which comes pre-installed on your device. You will need to set up a BlackBerry ID, a simple process which you are guided through, and you can chose to use a credit card, or PayPal for your application purchases. AppWorld can be browsed via a PC by heading to this site, or can be browsed directly from your device, and is home to tons of applications which are as well broken down into categorie that can be browsed, as well as showing a carousel of featured applications for you to browse.

Coupling your new device to a new BlackBerry PlayBook

Bold / PlayBook

Odds are you have already heard of the BlackBerry PlayBook, (read our review) whether in a good way or bad way, you know what it is, and probably some basics of what it does, but there is much more to it. The BlackBerry PlayBook is a great "continued phone" type experience for BlackBerry users, and while RIM continues to work behind the scenes to upgrade the OS, and bring more features and functionality to the device it is an amazing piece of hardware.  Many webOS users loved the added features that were involved when using a TouchPad along with their existing device, like the tap to transfer information, and many other things, and much like that combo the PlayBook makes a great companion to your BlackBerry device.

The BlackBerry Bridge allows users to bond their BlackBerry device to their PlayBook and view and edit information that is on the BlackBerry right from the PlayBook. Users can respond to emails, chat via BBM, browse the web, update notes, and more all without needing to touch their BlackBerry device. While we wait for the much anticipated updates to hit which will bring an Android Player, native e-mail, and much more to the device, in its current state it is still an extremely useful piece of hardware, and for those looking for something extra, a bigger screen, something a bit easier to work on, the BlackBerry PlayBook fits this void perfectly.

Using the CrackBerry forums to aid you through the transition


We all know that there is no way we can cover ALL the information you will need to make your transition smooth, some will run into some various issues, come up with unique questions along the way, but fear not, we got you covered. The CrackBerry forums have over 3 million members who are always willing to help answer questions, and work with users to get their problems solved. The forums contain tons of useful threads already, but don't be shy if you search and come up dry to create a new post with your question. Check out some of our helpful forum areas below, along with some great threads to check out.

As always, it is definitely a good thing to know the rules around the forums, while we like to have a lot of fun in there, we need to keep it controlled. CrackBerry.com is a family friendly environment, and we take that very seriously.

In addition to the helpful posts in the forum, you will probably want to run through our BlackBerry 101 classes and How To Videos which cover just about any and everything that you can think of.

So, now that you know the move can be a rather easy one, and we are here to support you 100% and welcome you to the CrackBerry Nation, will you be leaving your old webOS device behind in favor of a brand new BlackBerry device? We would love to hear from you, so be sure to let us know if you will be making the switch!

Jared DiPane Jared DiPane "News Writer for Mobile Nations
Father | Husband | Chipotle Addict"
319 (articles) 6102 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Switching from webOS to BlackBerry


If they do send one out trying to bring them over to the RIMpire they won't come. They'll think if they switch to BlackBerry they will lose their grasp on the English language just the like people that post for RIM on twitter.

It seems that Windows will do whatever it takes to get developers on their side. Nice work.

Switching back to BB with Verizon 9930 in a few days. Was a BB 8330 Curve user two years ago before Palm Pre +. While I liked touch screen, app development never followed through. Also had handset issues, now on 4th unit. RIP WebOS.

I was reading an article last night that focused on how RIM should be banking on the fact that their data apps use less kb than any other OS. That is a great bang for the buck for anyone on a data cap (I.E. 2GB). If webOS users consider that, RIM will benefit big time!

What is the thought about RIM as farfetched as it may be buying webOS from HP. I love QNX no doubt just wondering any thoughts and Kevin if you're reading I would love to read your thoughts on this question.

This is probably too expensive for not enough gain. I'd be significantly less shocked if Microsoft bought it. Even Apple/Google probably makes more sense because they have the cash and could get some developers on their side. RIM would be criticized for not having a good strategy to put it to use. Apple would be praised for bringing new technology into house.

RIM is fortunate to have a far more powerful OS in QNX. Of course, they need to develop and refine the OS to run on smartphones. The GUI will be similar to the PlayBook but designed for a smaller screen.

There would be nothing to gain with RIM buying webOS. However, RIM should be looking to acquire webOS developers to assist them in building the best smartphone environment :)

Most importantly: you'll have the familiar feeling of being on a slightly alternative and less attractive OS. One that the media likes to forget about and all your friends thought died years ago.

This is meant as a tongue-in-cheek joke. I'm a huge BlackBerry fan/user, I just can't avoid the comparison to WebOS/Palm.

Wow, I've seen all sorts of folks trying to lure webOS fans to their operating system. Even Mobile Nations is pushing Windows Phone 7 as the best route for webOS fans & developers. I find that odd since Windows Phone 7 is also struggling for survival. Heavy weights like Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, HTC, and Microsoft are behind Windows Phone 7 but it is clawing for its piece of the smartphone pie. Windows Phone 7 fans are now hoping that webOS users and developers will cross the fence, but I think BlackBerry OS has much, much more potential, especially the QNX based OS 8.

I know Microsoft is doing its best to bring Windows Phone to the masses, and the latest upgrade is certainly better on paper than its predecessor. Indeed, what was Microsoft thinking to release an OS in 2010 that didn't support multitasking??? They certainly couldn't do it right in Windows Mobile over the course of several years, so they ditched it. My Windows Mobile 6 phone used to spend several minutes showing me that darn spinning gizmo -- I couldn't receive calls or use the device until I removed the battery!

Nevertheless, pressures from every other mobile OS forced Microsoft to reconsider. Do these folks in up in Seattle really know what they're doing? Do they even know what customers want? Certainly their latest attempt to add multitasking to the mix of "upgrades" isn't necessarily going to do the trick. It needs to be easy to use, it needs to work well, and it needs to be fast and transparent.

RIM has demonstrated their ability to deliver on a powerful OS platform, robustly engineered yet refined hardware, effective & efficient GUI with well-engineered gestures (and even bezel gestures that are fairly intuitive). No other in the mobile space has that much of a lead in these three areas. Apple's iOS needs a major revamp and re-write to compete with the PlayBook's much superior QNX engine. The PlayBook's gesturing is also more intuitive. It's not to say that Apple isn't in the game. They have broken new ground and need to be commended for their contributions. Indeed, many of the webOS development team came from Apple. They also broke some new ground. Now, RIM is doing the same with the PlayBook and with the new QNX based smartphones like the rumored Colt.

Folks rave about webOS's card system of multitasking. It looks pretty, however, even HP can't pull it off with ease. The TouchPad runs a 1.2 GHz dual core processor (faster than the PlayBook) yet it crawls under the poorly written webOS kernel. Yes, RIM has duplicated this in the PlayBook, but they have a solid multitasking, multithreaded, multiprocessing kernel engine behind the fancy card-based task switching. RIM does it right with QNX. Hey, even BlackBerry OS 7 can brag about its very capable multitasking abilities -- it's fast & very efficient!

webOS folks, HP was never really committed to the mobile space. They bought webOS on a whim and they didn't give it a chance to flourish. I agree that the space is getting crowded with iOS, Android, and BlackBerry capturing the bulk of the market share. Some crumbs are available for Windows Phone 7, but there was little left for webOS. Without a powerful engine, the webOS GUI will die. QNX is that engine, and RIM is now defining a new UI for their smartphones based on the QNX-based Tablet OS in the PlayBook.

Looking at the way things are going for RIM anyone that decides to join BB from webos might be looking for a new OS soon....

lol agreed.

And since HP touchpad 16gb is now being sold for $99 because of HP clearing their webOS devices, I'd its a much better deal than getting a playbook at full price

It's $99 because it is a dead end. No new development, no new apps, no support. HP rushed the TouchPad and it shows: poor hardware, incomplete software that is also very buggy.

The PlayBook is getting really nice updates every month, there is a growing collection of apps, and it's supported. PlayBook hardware is better engineered too.

PlayBook has promise. TouchPad has been hanged by HP. RIP.

incorrect information. HP discontinued making webOS "DEVICES", they said they will continue to support WebOS and will provide future updates

Also, the fact that you can soon port android to WebOS make it a very tempting deal( Honeycomb stable beta coming out 8/24)...when that happens, you'll have a $99 hp made tablet with a faster processor (1.2 dual core) than playbook having access to android app market...if you don't think that's a good deal, you might wanna your you know what out of RIM's you know what, take in a fresh breath of air and reassess.

In a few months of availability, the TabletOS application support (without AIR SDK) has caught up with what Palm had with WebOS over 2+ years. There are lots more games, patches and Real Estate Apps for every city in Preware granted, but watch out. I don't want Android on any of my devices, especially Norton Antivirus for Android.

Should I even dare to respond to this? If the PlayBook and new BlackBerry 7 smartphones aren't enough to convince you that RIM has more than just a pulse, you've been living somewhere else lately.

Indeed, RIM's future is very bright with the most powerful mobile OS, the best engineered phones (see recent Consumer Reports article on Smartphone Reliability, where BlackBerrys came out on top), and a huge following of loyal followers. Let's not forget their armies of BES customers too (governments & businesses everywhere around the globe).

RIM just released three great new smartphones which are getting very good reviews everywhere. This will certainly tame the stock analysts and buy RIM some time to get their QNX superphones out early 2012. When this occurs, they will be in a very enviable position. RIM is also planning at least two more smartphone releases this fall.

Tell me if this isn't a sign of great health! Ask anyone, RIM has a very exciting future ahead! They've also recently transitioned from a smartphone company to a leading mobile computing company as well. Much greater market, even more customers.

Things are looking brighter for RIM, for us as loyal BlackBerry fans. With the new BlackBerry 7 phones out I love the fact I been told by Android and iOS lovers they impressed with the new OS7 phones. I love the direction we are headed.

I'm not sure yet which phone will remplace my pre, but i'm seriously thinking I will take a blackberry phone, because I like to have keyboard on my phone, but I hope that more game will come come to BB, because I like to play game on my phone and I see on app world that not a lot of great game are avaible.

I have a vendor that works for a company owned by HP. They HATE HATE HATED the little Palm phones they were supposed to use. Now everyone is excited that they can "officially" use other phones......

Thank you for this post. I am one of those thinking of switching. I like the slider but AT&T is no good for me, so it will probably be a 9900 or 9930 (need that keyboard). Will probably check it out at both Sprint and T-Mobile (at the end of the month) to see what kind of pricing and discounts are available. Sprint looks better for not slowing down your data, but T-Mobile's most recent promotion appears cheaper ($50).

I looked at the link to the Blackberry Desktop but it's for Mac. Glad to see the data transfer can be done without Outlook. I looked and Outlook would represent a $139 (or $109 @newegg) purchase just for essentially a one time use. Any idea when this new version of Blackberry Desktop that supports V7 devices will be out for the PC?

Regarding HP and WebOS, the impression I have is that HP thought WebOS would jumpstart their interest in becoming a tablet contender. Too bad their CEO pulled the plug on the hardware. But then what would you expect of a software CEO put in charge of a hardware company? In Hollywood they would call this bad casting. It's very sad when you think about all the missed opportunities and potential.

I had an original Palm Pre and hoped for better for WebOS, but alas it was not to be. I jumped to Android and did not like it. I am very happy with BlackBerry, it does what I need it to. If I want apps and games there is always the iPod Touch. WebOS users will like the hardware and software of BlackBerry, give it a try. The new Torch 9810 is the way the Pre should have been built.

I had a Palm Pre for less than a year. I was okay with the OS, but the hardware was D.O.A.: after several months I couldn't make a proper phone call using the handset, due to issues that could never get resolved. I've used a Blackberry Bold 9650 ever since. I've never understood the criticism of the BB's form factor, or maybe I'm just weird. I just think the Bold looks serious and cool. The keyboard is great, and the apps are more than sufficient. I'm looking forward to upgrading to a 9930 soon.

smart move crackberry...lets get those webos guys over to the greatest device out....Go RIM
great choice and i agree

As a now former Palm Pre Plus, Palm Pre 2 and Palm Pixi Plus user I would say I never really experience any major hardware problems with the Palm phones. I loved the Pixi form factor so I might get me a Bold 9930 when I have the money. I just need to sell the Pre 2, a Pixi Plus, and my Droid X as soon as I can. I am currently using a Storm 2 and I have basically a love hate relationship with this phone since it is a refurbished phone I got in a trade for my Pre Plus. I have other BlackBerry phones they are just so old and will be my backup phones. I just wish the Torch 9810 wasn't exclusive to AT&T because I think I like the slider form factor.

I'm new to Blackberrys. I really want to make the leap from Palm Pre to Torch 9810, but I want to know if it will do 2 things: 1. tether to my (Mac) laptop, and 2. store and launch frequently used webpages from the homescreen. (I think it does)
As to why the Torch, It's the trackpad, really. Or more specifically, the slider plus trackpad plus large screen form factor. The slider, when opened, places the trackpad near the center of the device where your thumb naturally falls when holding the device in one hand. Other devices with a trackpad at the bottom pretty much require you to hold the device with two hands to use it. And for devices with a touchscreen only (iPwn, Evo-il), you spend a lot of time trying to stretch your thumb all over the screen to reach virtual buttons etc, or again, holding it in two hands. You can get a Bold, but you give up screen size.

1. yes you can tether it to your mac. 2. yes you can save web pages on your home screen as icons, you can also do this with contacts voicenotes and music files.

As a Sprint and Pixi user, HP obviously abandoned some old Palm fundamentals with it's February announcements. I bought a Playbook and it has been great, even use Freetether to my Pixi over wifi. I've moved on to Crackberry from Precentral (which used to be TreoCentral) and though there is no homebrew community as there is for WebOS, the BBOS and TabletOS are plenty capable on their own merit. We installed patches on WebOS because HPalm didn't see the need to make WebOS as useful as PalmOS was in some aspects.

Former Pre and Centro user here, loving my new Torch 9810. Very similar feel to the Pre - which I loved - but with the battery at near zero life and WebOS at end of life, it was time to move on. My other half has a galaxy, my son an iphone, and neither of those phones tickled my fancy... but I love my Torch :) It's the perfect replacement. I actually wish I'd done this sooner!