Installing Preware on the HP TouchPad is Easier Than You Think

I decided to take a few minutes today and post about what I learned while installing Preware on my HP TouchPad.

Earlier this week I posted a brief overview of the 3 reading apps that you can find in the  TouchPad AppCatalog. As the week passed I kept getting messages about how this or that feature could be improved if only I would install Preware and use one of its features.

I kept holding off on Preware becuase I had looked at the instructions and I found them intimating. They looked complicated, and given my (bad) luck with hacking I didn't want to risk it. But finally last night I did install Preware and the experience was much less painful than I had expected.

I thought it would be useful to write a brief post that explained some details and offered a simple set of instructions. I hope it will help someone get over being nervous about installing Preware on their TouchPad.

I'm going to be basing this post on the instructions I found here.

First and foremost: What is it? Preware is an app store. It serves much the same purpose as Amazon Appstore Android Market, iTunes, or any other.

Is it risky, or do I have to hack my TouchPad? Installing Preware on your TouchPad is no more risky than installing any other app. And no this isn't (quite) the same as hacking. It's much less risky and arguably it is authorized by HP (Preware can supply apps from the official Palm App Catalog).

So how do I install it? It's a little complicated, but it doesn't take that much work. There are a number of complicated ways to install it but I'm going to explain the easy way.

1. First, you'll need your TouchPad in front of you. Go to the home screen and click on the "Just type" bar. Use the onscreen keyboard to enter this code:

webos20090606

Press enter. You should see a menu option for " Developer Mode" with a switch.  Switch it to on. After you switched it on you can go ahead and close this menu.

2. You're going to need to plug your touchPad into your computer for the rest of the steps. When you plug it in, don't put it into USB mode.

3.  Now download webOSQuickInstall.  This is a Java app and you will likely need the latest version of Java for this to work (that shouldn't be a problem). Run it. It might prompt you to install drivers  for the TouchPad; let it install the drivers.

4. Installing the drivers might take a while.

5. Once they are installed, you will see a menu that looks something like this. Click on the globe button on the right.

6. A new menu will pop up. When it does, select the Applications tab. Scroll down the list of apps until you get to Preware. Install it.

7. Once this is done (assuming it didn't throw any errors),  you should be able to find Preware listed as one of the apps on your TouchPad. Click on it to run it (just like any other app). Please run Preware once just to make sure it installed okay.

8. You can go ahead and close that menu on your computer and unplug the TouchPad now.

I hope the instructions above helped. If you have problems then I would recommend finding some help at www.precentral.net. That's where you'll find the experts; I'm just another TouchPad user.

At this point you should be ready

10 thoughts on “Installing Preware on the HP TouchPad is Easier Than You Think

    1. There’s a Preware app called TouchVol that will allow you to crank up the volume and adjust EQ settings. It’s a great app.

  1. Unfortunately, I didn’t find this easy at all. If I don’t put my Touchpad into USB mode, my computer doesn’t see it. Then, am I supposed to download WebOSQuickInstall on my computer or my Touchpad? I would “assume” the Touchpad but a) the instructions don’t say; and b) how do I get it to the Touchpad when the computer doesn’t recognize it??? These instructions assume a level of knowledge that, if I had that, I wouldn’t be here looking for help!

    1. Hello CM,

      Assuming that you haven’t found a solution to you problem yet… here are a few clarification.

      For the installation of preware you don’t need “your PC or Mac” to recognize the connected touchpad, the webosquickinstall file will automatically download and install the novacom drivers to recognize the connected device (only when in developer mode, hence why you have to turn on developer mode).

      Also you don’t need to move or copy anything to the touchpad everything is run on the pc or mac…

      Hope it helped. :)

    1. For those having issues installing the Novacom Drivers, use this universal java installer, it launches an MSI for Windows instead of using Java to copy which seems to be an issue with Windows 8.1 and administrative privledges.

      anyway, https://code.google.com/p/universal-novacom-installer/downloads/detail?name=UniversalNovacomInstaller-1.3.jar&can=2&q=

      that will solve the problem and the WebOSQuickInstall will launch without prompting to install drivers!

  2. It won’t recognize the touchpad, even while plugged in. I installed the drivers, including the universal driver, and it won’t pick up the touchpad while plugged in. It is in developer mode, and not in USB mode, but it still won’t recognize it. Is there a computer glitch, cord issues maybe, or might it be blocking it somehow?

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