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PreCentral: Touch to share


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Touch To share

Touch-to-share was a concept that was introduced at the Think Beyond event with the unveiling of the Veer, Pre3 and TouchPad. The concept was that you could use a near field communications-type technology to share data between your devices simply by touching them together. While touch-to-share was ultimately going to be expanded to include a lot of different types of data, even giving developers the ability to access it in their apps, touch-to-share currently only lets you share web pages between devices and doesn’t appear that it will be expanded any time soon. And unfortunately, while the Veer has the hardware requirements to allow touch-to-share, it never received the software update to take advantage of this functionality; so, you will be required to have a Pre3 and a TouchPad (or two of each device) to access it.

So how does touch-to-share work? All you need to do is place the back of the Pre3 (where the HP logo is) on top the home button of the TouchPad and let it sit for a second or two. You will know that the touch-to-share was activated because a giant ripple will emanate from the home button on the TouchPad, and then one of a few things will happen:

  • If Bluetooth was not turned On on either device, you will get a notice saying that you will need to turn Bluetooth on in order to take advantage of this feature and give you an option to turn Bluetooth on. Once on, try touch-to-share again
  • If the two devices were not already , they will automatically get paired together and you will get a pop-up on your Pre3 asking to allow messaging access to share your text messages across the devices. Regardless of the answer to this question, your devices will now be paired together and you can access touch-to-share.
    • You can also (such as allowing messaging or phone calls between devices) later or even open up the Bluetooth app and a device from your list if you want permanently delete it from your list of trusted devices.
  • Assuming that you now have Bluetooth turned on and two devices paired together, if you have a webpage active on the screen from the stock web browser on the Pre3 and/or the TouchPad when you touch the two devices together, the URL of that site will be sent to the other device and the stock web browser will launch and open that page. Unfortunately, it will not send your position on the page or any other data that you may have filled in on the originating device. It simply sends over the website address

While this is not a feature that is probably used often, it is convienent when you are reading a site on your phone and decide that you would rather read it on the larger screen of your TouchPad, or if you are reading a site on your TouchPad but have to leave the house and you can quickly transfer that site to your phone. And, until HP or someone within the Open Source webOS team expands touch-to-share, this is all that we will be able to use touch-to-share for.

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