Using the Touchstone with your HP Touchpad

Ever since I heard about the idea of the Touchstone charging dock, I wanted one. I read about a mod for my HTC EVO 4G a while ago to make a Touchstone work for my phone, and wanted it then. I finally got the opportunity to use one when I got a Touchstone dock for Christmas. After using it for the last few days, I really like the simple act of just setting my Touchpad on the dock and walking away. There’s no need for special guides, or lining up the ports a certain way that seem to take forever to get just right while worrying about breaking something because the ports are so darn small. I’m glad I don’t have to worry about that.

I’ve used the Touchstone with both Android and webOS over the last couple days. When you set your Touchpad on the dock in Android for the first time, you get this little box that pops up and asks you what program you want to open by default when you do this action. The only 2 programs that I had that will auto open on the dock are alarm clock apps. I really don’t want to open an app that shows me the time every time I set it on the dock, and there is no option to not do anything. After searching the market for a while I did find a couple of apps that could help me with this, both of them requiring you to buy them. One is called NoDock and I didn’t bother trying it out because I already had another app that would do what I wanted it to. This other app is called Tasker, and it is kind of a pain to set up, but once I got it to where I wanted it, it works like a charm.

In webOS there are so many more options for what to have your Touchpad do when you set it on the dock. It has a feature called Exhibition Mode that auto opens when you set it on the dock. There are a lot of different apps that are made to be used in Exhibition mode. You can choose from any number of options including slide shows of your pictures, up to date news articles from News Republic or Appy Geek, a bunch of different looking clocks, and many more choices. One of my favorites is called Mood of Beskydy Mountains and is a simple slide show of images that were taken in the Beskydy Mountains in the Czech Republic. Another one I like is called Star Wars Weather. If you follow this link, you will see what this app does for yourself. When you open up Exhibition Mode from the settings tab, you will find a link at the bottom that says “Find More…” that will take you to the App Catalog and show you all available Exhibition Mode apps. All told there are 98 apps that show up as having some feature available to be used in Exhibition Mode.

WebOS brings out the full potential of a docked Touchpad, while in Android I am relegated to finding a way of making the stupid popup box go away. Hopefully now that there are more Android tablets in people’s hands, developers will see the need for some apps to be used while docked. Until that happens, I am content to have webOS’ Exhibition Mode to fill that hole.

[HP Touchstone]

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Bryan Faulkner

Bryan Faulkner is a former associate editor at Pocketables. He loves to find new ways to use his tablets while working as the Tech Director at his local church. Mixing sound from the iPad is his newest obsession. He currently has a pair of HP TouchPads, an iPad 2, a decommissioned HTC EVO 4G, and a Samsung Galaxy Note II to tinker with.