Apple iOS vs. HP webOS

What's the Difference?

Apple iOS and HP webOS are both mobile operating systems that offer a user-friendly interface and a wide range of features. However, there are some key differences between the two. iOS, developed by Apple, is known for its seamless integration with other Apple devices and services, such as iCloud and iTunes. It also has a vast app store with a plethora of applications. On the other hand, webOS, developed by HP, focuses on multitasking capabilities and intuitive gestures. It offers a unique card-based interface that allows users to easily switch between open applications. While iOS has a larger user base and a more extensive ecosystem, webOS offers a refreshing and innovative approach to mobile operating systems. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on individual preferences and needs.


AttributeApple iOSHP webOS
DeveloperApple Inc.Hewlett-Packard (HP)
Initial ReleaseJune 29, 2007June 6, 2009
Latest ReleaseiOS 14.5.1 (May 3, 2021)webOS 3.0.5 (August 2012)
Programming LanguageObjective-C, SwiftJavaScript, HTML, CSS
Open SourceNoYes (Open webOS)
DevicesiPhone, iPad, iPod TouchHP TouchPad, Palm Pre, Palm Pixi
App StoreApp StoreHP App Catalog
Market ShareApproximately 27% (as of Q4 2020)Discontinued
NotificationsBanners, Alerts, BadgesNotifications Center

Further Detail


When it comes to mobile operating systems, Apple iOS and HP webOS have both made significant contributions to the market. While iOS is exclusively used on Apple devices, webOS was initially developed by Palm and later acquired by HP. In this article, we will compare the attributes of these two operating systems, exploring their user interface, app ecosystem, multitasking capabilities, customization options, and security features.

User Interface

Both iOS and webOS offer intuitive and user-friendly interfaces, but they differ in their design philosophies. iOS follows a more minimalist approach, with a grid of icons on the home screen and a bottom dock for frequently used apps. On the other hand, webOS features a card-based multitasking system, where each app is represented by a card that can be swiped away to close or rearranged for multitasking purposes. This card-based interface provides a more visual and fluid experience, allowing users to easily switch between apps.

In terms of aesthetics, iOS has a consistent and polished look across all its devices, with smooth animations and a focus on simplicity. On the contrary, webOS has a more playful and colorful design, with its unique "Just Type" feature that allows users to search or perform actions directly from the home screen. This feature gives webOS an edge in terms of convenience and speed.

App Ecosystem

One of the key factors that contribute to the success of a mobile operating system is its app ecosystem. In this regard, iOS has a clear advantage over webOS. The Apple App Store offers a vast selection of high-quality apps, ranging from productivity tools to games and entertainment. Developers are drawn to iOS due to its large user base and the potential for monetization through in-app purchases and subscriptions.

On the other hand, webOS struggled to attract developers, resulting in a limited app catalog. While it does have some popular apps, the overall quantity and variety are significantly lower compared to iOS. This lack of app support has been a major drawback for webOS, as users often rely on third-party apps to enhance their mobile experience.

Multitasking Capabilities

Both iOS and webOS offer multitasking capabilities, but they differ in their implementation. iOS introduced multitasking with the release of iOS 4, allowing users to switch between apps and perform background tasks. However, iOS limits the types of tasks that can run in the background, prioritizing battery life and performance.

On the other hand, webOS was praised for its innovative card-based multitasking system. Users can easily switch between apps by swiping left or right, and the cards provide a visual representation of each running app. This allows for a more seamless multitasking experience, as users can quickly glance at their open apps and switch between them effortlessly.

Customization Options

When it comes to customization, iOS has traditionally been more restrictive compared to webOS. Apple has always emphasized a consistent user experience across its devices, limiting the ability to customize the home screen and system settings. However, with recent updates, iOS has introduced more customization options, such as widgets and the ability to change app icons.

On the other hand, webOS has always been known for its extensive customization options. Users can personalize their home screen with different wallpapers, rearrange app icons, and even create custom gestures for launching specific apps or actions. This level of customization gives webOS users more control over their device's appearance and functionality.

Security Features

Security is a crucial aspect of any operating system, especially in the mobile landscape where privacy concerns are prevalent. Both iOS and webOS prioritize security, but they take different approaches. iOS is known for its robust security measures, including hardware encryption, app sandboxing, and strict app review guidelines. Apple's closed ecosystem also helps in preventing malware and unauthorized apps from being installed.

WebOS, on the other hand, also incorporates security features such as data encryption and app sandboxing. However, due to its smaller user base, webOS has been less targeted by hackers and malware developers. While this may provide a false sense of security, it is important to note that webOS lacks the same level of scrutiny and regular security updates as iOS.


In conclusion, both Apple iOS and HP webOS have their own strengths and weaknesses. iOS offers a polished user interface, a vast app ecosystem, and strong security measures. On the other hand, webOS provides a unique card-based multitasking system, extensive customization options, and a more playful design. Ultimately, the choice between these two operating systems depends on individual preferences and priorities. Whether you prioritize a wide range of apps and a consistent user experience (iOS) or value multitasking capabilities and customization options (webOS), both operating systems have made significant contributions to the mobile industry.

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