HP Keeps WebOS, Google Launches “Currents” E-reader App, Victory For Samsung Against Apple, Jawbone Offers Refund For UP

Breaking news from your editors at Fast Company, with updates all day.

HP Keeps webOS, But As Open-Source. HP CEO Meg Whitman has finally decided what to do with the expensive appendix that is webOS–its once-promising mobile operating system, which was the true jewel in its purchase of Palm. WebOS will remain HP property, scotching rumors it may be bought up by another mobile tech player, and instead it will “enable the creativity of the community” by contributing it to open-source access. The goal is to “accelerate” the platform, says HP’s press release. –-KE


–Updated 2:00 p.m. EST 

Skinny Panasonic Android Phone Due Next Year. Panasonic is letting a trim new Android phone loose in Europe in March 2012. It’ll feature a 4.3-inch OLED display, and the first images, like these that The Verge grabbed, show its D-shaped shell is pretty skinny indeed. —NS

Spotify Guns For Pandora With Radio App. On music streaming service Spotify’s new Radio app, you’ll be able to skip as many times tracks as you want, and program in unlimited channels, Spotify explains in a blog post. The app also has a smarter discovery feature, and will be available to subscribers and free users. Spotify cofounder Daniel Ek introduced the app at the LeWeb conference in Paris today. —NS

Watson Turns Patent Troll Sleuth. Jeopardy winner “Watson” is being recruited to do a little patent troll hunting. The IBM supercomputer will scour medical records and databases and soak up and analyze information related to drug discovery, matching discoveries and patents to their appropriate owners. —NS


–Updated 7:50 a.m. EST

Gmail And Google+ Get Spiffy New Features. Gmail and Google+ are getting a few touch-ups that could make sharing and organizing contacts easier. Gmail will sport labels on emails indicating which Google+ Circles senders belongs to, and a “Share” button in emails, to share attachments. Meanwhile, Google+ is getting a facial recognition feature called “Find My Face.” Google+ facial recognition stays off by default (Google seems to have learned that lesson from Facebook’s privacy snafu), until you opt in and turn it on. —NS

Google Launches “Currents” E-reader App. Google has taken the lid off its e-reader app for iOS and Android. It’s available for free download now, and features 180 editions from scores of early launch partners (yes, including Fast Company!). Currents is less information-dense than the company’s sister service, Google Reader, but wins some serious points for its glowing good looks. —NS

Early Aussie Victory For Samsung Against Apple. In Australia, the temporary ban Apple obtained for the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been lifted, and the tablets will hit the shelves in time to greet the holiday shopping rush. In the U.S., a California court recently struck down Apple’s initial plea to ban Samsung products until the copyright fight had been resolved, but Apple will have a chance to appeal again. Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, the copyright battle rages on. —NS

Jawbone Offers Apology And Refund For Flawed UP. Jawbone has issued an apology for malfunctioning UP wristbands, and is offering customers a refund for their purchase even if they choose to keep it. Jawbone’s health and sleep tracker wristband and its partner iOS apps were eagerly anticipated pre-launch, but some (of us) were a little disappointed when we finally got our hands on the thing. —NS


–Updated 5:30 a.m. EST

[Image: Flickr user Wiertz Sébastien]

Yesterday’s Fast Feed: Twitter 3.0 Has Arrived, Somali Terrorists Launch Twitter Feed, Microsoft And GE Team Up For Health Care IT, and more!