By Amy Berryhill, CRN
As HP (NYSE:HPQ) gears up to launch its TouchPad tablet on July 1, the company is unveiling a new monthly magazine called HP WebOS Pivot to highlight certain WebOS applications.


HP WebOS Pivot will be a component of the HP WebOS App Catalog and will focus on specific applications as determined by editors, writers and app experts. HP will use WebOS Pivot to organize and curate apps around particular topics and to educate users on how to get the most from their apps.

Drawing in developers will be important as HP looks to grow the number of WebOS applications available to TouchPad customers. And while developers are likely to follow the customers wherever they may be, a product that rewards certain applications with free publicity could help make HP stand out from the crowd.

“It’s really a great idea as a differentiator. There are so many tablets with such similar specifications, so something like this is a great marketing tool so to speak,” said Gurpreet Kaur, a tablet analyst at Gap Intelligence, a San Diego-based research firm that covers HP.

In addition to content from journalists and photographers, WebOS Pivot will feature “columns from notable guest writers sharing their perspectives on digital culture, feature stories focused on applications around specific topics, and in-depth reviews — all accompanied by vibrant photos and illustrations on HP TouchPad’s brilliant screen,” HP said in a press release.

Perhaps the most important element of Pivot is its full integration with the HP WebOS App Catalog, meaning that a user can purchase and download an app directly from the editorial content.

“It’s definitely attractive to developers because they have a chance of getting highlighted. For consumers it is useful too — I don’t really want to go to an app store and search through 10,000 apps,” said Kaur.

Each month, new content will be pushed to all HP TouchPad customers, who will initially be able to access Pivot in English, French, German and Spanish. WebOS developers are likely to look longingly to Pivot for promotion of their apps when the HP TouchPad launches next month.