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Comments on: Palm Rejects NaNplayer from the App Catalog

nanplayer rejected app catalog palm Oh, the angst. Last week we previewed NaNapps' sharp-looking webOS music player, NaNplayer, which promises a lot of great features currently unavailable in the stock Palm Music application. Unfortunately for the developer, Blubble, it seems Palm aren't quite ready to accept it into the App Catalog yet: the app has been rejected for the time being, owing to its use of the undocumented webOS file indexing API - despite the fact that Palm's own app uses exactly the same API.

Before we grab the pitchforks and flaming torches and descend upon Sunnyvale, however, it should be noted that there are technical consequences that arise from the use of undocumented APIs. For instance, it's logical to assume that being undocumented means that the API has not been fully developed and is still subject to change, potentially breaking NaNplayer with any future updates and leading to unhappy customers. That said: this is not great PR for Palm and their fledgling App Catalog, which is in dire need of stocking up and has until now been getting the benefit of the doubt in comparison to another certain fruit-named company's draconian policies.

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hypocrisy

jca666us @ 9/10/2009 2:35:41 PM # M Q
bad when apple denies apps but good when palm does it??

ok...

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hypocrisy.. not really

ssid12 @ 9/10/2009 5:48:39 PM # Q
If you read Palms explanation (caught it over on engadget), it makes sense. They aren't blocking NaN player for good and are happy for it to stay in homebrew. A refreshing attitude compared to your Apple fanboy dreams. Not surprised to find Jac*ss try to jump on any potentially negative news..

http://www.engadget.com/2009/09/10/palm-responds-to-nanplayer-rejection-we-are-happy-for-it-to-co/

RE: hypocrisy.. not really
jca666us @ 9/11/2009 4:20:15 AM # Q
ssid12 - here's what Palm could also have done - in a way to be proactive:

Nanplayer, you're using an API that will change substantially in the future.

Your app can go in the App Catalog as-is - but will need to be redeveloped and rereleased at the same time this API is updated.

Reply to this comment

Updated, with response from Palm

Tim_Carroll @ 9/10/2009 5:52:08 PM # Q
Developer Community Manager Chuq Von Rospach has responded to the situation on the Precentral forums, with the following post:

We have gotten a lot of feedback about NaNPlayer which is great. We love that people are excited about the application, and that developers are able to be creative on the webOS platform.

We reached out to JC (the developer) and discussed our reasons for not accepting the application at this time, but we also wanted to be open with you about this.

NaNPlayer is using APIs that are currently private because they will change significantly in a future release. Although we aren't able to support the functionality that JC needs right now, we are listening to the community to help prioritize which APIs and features we put into webOS.

While we can't accept NaNPlayer into the App Catalog right now, we are not rejecting it, and we are happy for it to continue life as a homebrew application until we get to the point where we can release public, supportable APIs for the functionality that it requires.

Thanks for your passion, and we can't wait to enable even more fantastic creative applications via an expanded set of public APIs.

Chuq Von Rospach
Palm Developer Community Manager


RE: Updated, with response from Palm
twrock @ 9/10/2009 6:12:35 PM # Q

While we can't accept NaNPlayer into the App Catalog right now, we are not rejecting it, and we are happy for it to continue life as a homebrew application until we get to the point where we can release public, supportable APIs for the functionality that it requires.

Pretty smart solution. The developer hasn't completely wasted his time, the app can be released and installed right now ("legally", I might add for our #1 resident Apple fanboy), and Palm can even "give it its blessing" without having to take the risk of getting the blame if/when that API change happens to break the app. Amazing how something can work out well when a company doesn't have to have ALL the control over EVERYTHING.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?
RE: Updated, with response from Palm
twrock @ 9/10/2009 6:24:34 PM # Q
Wow, look at that. Palm even let in a third-party Google Voice client:
http://tinyurl.com/rx2wj7

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?
RE: Updated, with response from Palm
Tim_Carroll @ 9/10/2009 6:29:27 PM # Q
^^ Heh. You need to refresh the PIC front page more often, Ron. ;)
RE: Updated, with response from Palm
twrock @ 9/10/2009 6:32:32 PM # Q
Don't laugh at your elders; we just slow down as we age.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?
RE: Updated, with response from Palm
jca666us @ 9/11/2009 4:47:13 AM # Q
Sorry; posted in the wrong section...this site really needs the ability to retract a post.

>Pretty smart solution.
A smart solution for a company with limited resources. Ideally if Palm has a beta program for future webos updates, they could add this developer to their beta program and he would be able to make updates to his s/w in order to be proactive with changes in the api.

No need to exclude the app unless webos is updated and the app breaks. Then Palm can remove it from the App Catalog at that time.

>The developer hasn't completely wasted his time, the app can be released
>and installed right now ("legally", I might add for our #1 resident Apple
>fanboy), and Palm can even "give it its blessing" without having to take the
>risk of getting the blame if/when that API change happens to break the app.

Except this developer is not part of the App Catalog, but consigned to being a homebrew app.

Palm's decision seems awfully draconian, even by Apple's standards, on this issue.

Amazingly enough, I just read a quote from the author of the app. (on PreCentral) as I was writing this reply:

"Palm had the opportunity to make this happen very easily. I would
be happy to even release the app as a free trial in the meantime
and promptly update it when necessary. My suggestions for a solution
were simply brushed off by a marketing guy without further
consideration.

I, as well as other developers, can be patient and wait for Palm
to get things in order. I wonder how many thousand of potential
users will just opt for other platforms where they can get the
apps they want.

They may promise "months, not years", but opportunities slip
by very quickly in this industry. Within that time span, there
will be two new Android phones on Sprint with thousands of
apps available. Let's hope Palm doesn't miss the boat."

RE: Updated, with response from Palm
twrock @ 9/11/2009 5:33:18 AM # Q
jca666us wrote:
Palm's decision seems awfully draconian, even by Apple's standards, on this issue.

You're right. Apple's way of dealing with people accessing undocumented API's is much softer.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?

RE: Updated, with response from Palm
jca666us @ 9/11/2009 5:52:21 AM # M Q
The standard of denying an app - not in using undocumented API cas
RE: Updated, with response from Palm
jnuneznj @ 9/13/2009 1:48:53 PM # Q
@twrock:

Actually Apple has allowed use of unpublished API in the past and I am not sure if they will now seeing that a few of the devs who were told they needed to fix it before the launch 3.0 made a big deal about it. Apple was straight. Make it 3.0 compatible or it falls off the App Store.

I agree with Palm's decision. They should not be spending time managing compatibilities for unpublished apps. Also devs can not be trusted to make a change when needed. All this affects the users overall experience which is Palm's goal.

Reply to this comment

Another Song For Palm: Kissing In The Wind

Tim Carroll @ 9/10/2009 6:46:30 PM # Q
On Chuq's decision to respond via Precentral: I gotta admit I'm a bit miffed.

I emailed Palm's Developer Community Manager (one would think such a title involved actually responding to the community) with a list of questions regarding this hours before Precentral even posted their first story.

Response? Nothing. Nada. Zip. I get the answers I was looking for not first-hand, but rather third-hand via the Precentral front page.

It's nice to know where you stand.

Palm, I'm singing to you today...

**************************************************

We've gotta try not to let this thing die
I love you so much but it's making me cry
'Cause every ounce of loving I give
You use a stick to beat me with
Is it curtains, finito, dusted and done?
Dead in the water, over before it's begun?

Do I make you happy?
Do you need me?
Can you live without my sweet lovin'?
Are we still in love?
Do we want it enough?
Or are we just kissing in the wind?

I thought I knew you like the back of my hand
I love you so much but where do I stand?
When Cupid's aim is true and his bow finely tuned
He never fails to leave you with an exit wound
So even when his arrow scores a direct hit
You go from head over heels to arse over tit

Do I make you happy?
Do you need me?
Can you live without my sweet lovin'?
Are we still in love?
Do we want it enough?
Or are we just kissing in the wind?

--Hot Leg, Kissing in the Wind
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWYCKbpI2c8
Sometime PIC blogger
Treo 270 --> Treo 650 --> Treo 680 --> Centro
I apologise for any and all emoticons in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.

RE: Another Song For Palm: Kissing In The Wind
Gekko @ 9/10/2009 7:22:54 PM # Q

i wouldn't take it personally. you might have caught him during feeding time.


RE: Another Song For Palm: Kissing In The Wind
twrock @ 9/10/2009 7:46:06 PM # Q
http://www.palminfocenter.com/comments/9891/#154614

Now really Tim, this has got to be a no-brainer [the cynical twrock repsonds]. I can just imagine Chuq mulling this one over:

"Hmm, I could work quickly to to answer Tim Carroll over at PIC where no matter what I respond some little jerk of a commenter is going to twist it all around and do their best to try to make me look bad, or I could get it out over at Precentral where quite a few people who actually own a Pre and generally like the device hang out. Oh dear me. What should I do?"

Oh, and another thing. Please don't do that to us again. "You go from head over heels to arse over tit"? Are you kidding me? Who comes up with this stuff?

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?

RE: Another Song For Palm: Kissing In The Wind
Tim Carroll @ 9/10/2009 8:10:54 PM # Q
Gekko: does it last 22hrs? 'cause that's how long it's been. I still haven't even got a "sorry, we've posted our public response" or anything. Just silence.

Ron:
Y'know, I'm tempted to become one of those little jerks myself at times like this. I must admit exactly the same thoughts crossed my mind.

But that's no excuse. Giving Precentral exclusive advance notice and a hands-on preview of a new device is one thing, but not even bothering to respond to our questions is quite another.

What I find particularly egregious is that no other company has problems talking to me. Pandora? Pivotal Labs? Phone interviews, friendly responses to emails. Tealpoint, Normsoft, Dataviz? They're not ignoring me, even though they don't have much to publically share. Facebook responded to my queries on a webOS app very quickly. Qualcomm today have sent me a full spec list for the Pixi processor.

But Palm themselves? The company this entire site is built around? They seem to just not care about PIC lately.

There's something rotten in the state of Denmark.

(And in answer to your question "who writes this"? The British. Specifically, Justin Hawkins, one of the greatest rock musicians to have graced the face of the Earth and a man completely unafraid to wear lycra catsuits. Boo to you :P )
Sometime PIC blogger
Treo 270 --> Treo 650 --> Treo 680 --> Centro
I apologise for any and all emoticons in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.

RE: Another Song For Palm: Kissing In The Wind
hkklife @ 9/10/2009 8:53:32 PM # Q
Tim;

NOW do you (and DarthR) see why I'm so damn cynnical w.r.t. all things Palm? Whiny as they may sound at times, my bleatings over the years of "Palm doesn't care about ______" weren't just conjured up out of thin air. Palm picks & chooses a very short list of "favorites" (hardware specs, formfactors, marketing efforts, devloper partners, and yes, media outlet partners) and sticks to them verrrrrry closely. This isn't the first time that PIC has gotten the shaft from them. But Tim, rest assured that this isn't a recent issue. Don't let get to you....coming from the most Palm-loyal of those "little jerks", I wouldn't expect anything otherwise.

Palm's never bothered to link to PIC on the Palm mobile portal in Blazer, for example, despite repeated requests/reminders from Ryan. I think they did link to PIC once in the early days of the Palm Blog (maybe around launch time of the Centro?) but otherwise, they've always been much more favorable to Brighthand and especially the Smartphone Expert site family.
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: Another Song For Palm: Kissing In The Wind
ssid12 @ 9/10/2009 11:17:55 PM # Q
The bottom line is that Palm probably does track palminfocenter, and the most "vocal" commenters here are very anti-Palm. If I was running Palm, the last thing I would do is give an exclusive to a site that has so many negatives commenters. Where would the positive buzz be for them? While I think PIC's coverage of Palm is top notch and is probably the first site I go to, to get concise Palm related news, I do find the vocal minority anti-Palm comments off putting. This used to be a site where you could get tons of advice on how to improve your Palm device and I have nothing against constructive criticism, but Palm-bashing is annoying.

For the record, I was a longtime Palm user and I currently own an iphone, but I am ready to jump to a GSM Palm phone as soon as it becomes available.

RE: Another Song For Palm: Kissing In The Wind
twrock @ 9/10/2009 11:31:40 PM # Q
There you have it. ssid12 said it so much better than me and without all the cynicism.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?
RE: Another Song For Palm: Kissing In The Wind
Tim Carroll @ 9/10/2009 11:47:31 PM # Q
I'm not crying for exclusive information; that's delusions-of-grandeur stuff and I'm under no illusions as to PIC's place on the ladder of blogs. I do, however, find it a bit rude to be totally ignored.

Part of me is embarrassed and wishes I hadn't posted this, because in the end we still got the information we wanted and I'm sure Chuq has a lot of stuff on his plate and has better things to do with his finite time than nursemaid uppity bloggers, especially when Palm is gearing up to revamp the App Catalog.

The other part of me, though, insists that I shouldn't be. A simple acknowledgement of our existence is not asking very much, even if it is "Here, we have responded publicly in this forum and that will serve as our official statement."

On negativity: yes, I too think it goes a bit over-the-top sometimes, and has been responsible for driving away some of our most insightful and helpful commenters (David Beers springs to mind). But them's the breaks on the Internet, and I personally feel that if Palm were a little more open with us it could do much to negate the criticism.

But hey, who am I? Just a Palm fan who blogs mainly for fun. So maybe I'm nuts to think I'm worthy of being responded to. I dunno.

I'm off to the real world. Cyberspace has depressed me enough today.
Sometime PIC blogger
Treo 270 --> Treo 650 --> Treo 680 --> Centro
I apologise for any and all emoticons in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.

RE: Another Song For Palm: Kissing In The Wind
Gekko @ 9/11/2009 4:13:00 AM # Q

"Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." - Galatians 6:7
RE: Another Song For Palm: Kissing In The Wind
jca666us @ 9/11/2009 4:39:11 AM # Q
>Pretty smart solution.

A smart solution for a company with limited resources. Ideally if Palm has a beta program for future webos updates, they could add this developer to their beta program and he would be able to make updates to his s/w in order to be proactive with changes in the api.

No need to exclude the app unless webos is updated and the app breaks. Then Palm can remove it from the App Catalog at that time.

>The developer hasn't completely wasted his time, the app can be released
>and installed right now ("legally", I might add for our #1 resident Apple
>fanboy), and Palm can even "give it its blessing" without having to take the
>risk of getting the blame if/when that API change happens to break the app.

Except this developer is not part of the App Catalog, but consigned to being a homebrew app.

Palm's decision seems awfully draconian, even by Apple's standards, on this issue.

Amazingly enough, I just read a quote from the author of the app. (on PreCentral) as I was writing this reply:

"Palm had the opportunity to make this happen very easily. I would
be happy to even release the app as a free trial in the meantime
and promptly update it when necessary. My suggestions for a solution
were simply brushed off by a marketing guy without further
consideration.

I, as well as other developers, can be patient and wait for Palm
to get things in order. I wonder how many thousand of potential
users will just opt for other platforms where they can get the
apps they want.

They may promise "months, not years", but opportunities slip
by very quickly in this industry. Within that time span, there
will be two new Android phones on Sprint with thousands of
apps available. Let's hope Palm doesn't miss the boat."


RE: Another Song For Palm: Kissing In The Wind
abosco @ 9/11/2009 6:35:43 AM # M Q
You're alright, Tim.
RE: Another Song For Palm: Kissing In The Wind
Gekko @ 9/11/2009 6:41:57 AM # Q
RE: Another Song For Palm: Kissing In The Wind
gfunkmagic @ 9/11/2009 5:07:19 PM # Q
First of all I'd like to say that I really like Tim articles here on PIC. They are always insightful and interesting and they keep me from still coming back to PIC occasionally after soo many years. However there are a few salient points that others here have already made that I would like to expound upon.

In regards to Palm apparent lack of interest in responding to Palminfocenter queries. The unfortunate truth is that this is a story born out of the Precentral forums and that is where Palm first responded. NaNaplayer has long been in beta in the homebrew forums there and it was Bubbles who posted the thread there about the app rejection. So it would seem obvious the Palm would make it a point to respond in the forums at Precentral first. Why Palm has not responded to PIC queries is another question. Most probably imo it is because there is a large community at precentral and there is none here anymore. I myself am a very old time poster here from yester-year... but the forums and community here died long ago. I realize that Ryan always maintained that the front page of PIC is what drove the traffic here, but the lack of development of a real community is unfortunate. As a result, the biggest and most important Palm news/forum site these days is TC/PC. Couple that with a some really bad front page posters here and lack of adequate moderation on part of the admin, and it makes sense why PIC just isn't as important as it used to be. Its sad because this was the first place I used to frequent long time ago, but most of the old quality posters long ago disappeared leaving what you see today...
--------------------
Gaurav

Current devices: Treo 650 + Axim X50v
Device graveyard: Palm Vx, Cassiopeia E100, LG Phenom HPC, Palm M515, Treo 300, Treo 600

Moderator, Treocentral

RE: Another Song For Palm: Kissing In The Wind
Tim Carroll @ 9/11/2009 8:23:36 PM # Q
Bosco, Gaurav, thanks for the kind words. I try. :)

Gaurav, it is true that this story began with Blubble's post in the Precentral forums. After that, though, I made a point of reaching out to him personally via email so that any story I wrote wasn't just based off a public forum post. (For the record, I think he's a very nice guy and I'm sorry that his app and all the hours that went into it can't be accepted or charged for at this time.) And I made a point of contacting Chuq direct with polite, reasonable questions about their App Catalog policies, rather than simply complaining to Palm's feedback channels as the Precentral thread suggested.

I don't think it's too much to ask that I get some response. Responding to Precentral first is fine, and I'm very pleased that Palm are making an effort to reach out to that community. But I still think it would simply have been polite to at least return my email, even if it was just to say "Here's a link with the answers to your questions."

Competing with Precentral in the blogging game is very tough sometimes. As you've pointed out, the forums there are a hive of activity nowadays, to the point where they've become their own news-generating machine. It's a massive asset for them, especially in regards to all the homebrew developers that hang out there.

However, since they are techincally a competitor to us, I do my best to make sure that stories here aren't simply re-linking to Precentral forum posts. I make a conscious effort to reach out to other channels for information - so emailing or phoning developers directly, and monitoring and participating in the webOS-internals IRC channel, and doing my own (very) small part to keep the wiki updated.

It's my belief that all of us Palm fans are better served by having more than one source of information to turn to. I'm disappointed that Palm themselves don't seem to agree. By completely ignoring us at PIC and making Precentral their default outlet to the online community they're giving PC the full package: they've got a lock on both official and unofficial news, which in some ways (and this is an extreme analogy, but I can't think of another one OTOH) is slowly strangling the life out of the rest of the online Palm community. Palm Infocenter, for example.

That really can't be good for Palm.

(FWIW: Precentral's popularity is well-deserved; Dieter and his crew have put in an amazing effort over the last year to gain it, and I have nothing but respect for them and very much enjoy reading the site myself. I don't want to come off sounding whiny or petty or jealous, even though I realise that I probably will.)

P.S. Ryan does plan to break out the electro-shock paddles and revive the PIC forums eventually. Once he does, I hope to see you there. :D
Sometime PIC blogger
Treo 270 --> Treo 650 --> Treo 680 --> Centro
I apologise for any and all emoticons in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.

And while we're posting bad, twenty-year-old love songs....
Tim Carroll @ 9/11/2009 8:31:45 PM # Q
Gekko: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2C5TjS2sh4

Oh, what an era for hair.

RE: Another Song For Palm: Kissing In The Wind
Gekko @ 9/11/2009 8:34:51 PM # Q
(eyes popping)
Tim Carroll @ 9/11/2009 8:56:23 PM # Q
Blinkin' flip. There really is nothing hotter than rock chicks with guitars. /ogle

Well, actually, that's not entirely true. William Shatner on rock climbing is a tough competitor:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU2ftCitvyQ

RE: Another Song For Palm: Kissing In The Wind
twrock @ 9/11/2009 9:10:18 PM # Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhRMeiyret0&feature=related

(I couldn't find a good "original", but Sandler adds his own sweet touch.)

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?

All's well that ends well: Another Update From Palm
Tim Carroll @ 9/16/2009 4:41:50 AM # Q
Chuq finally got back to me yesterday, and we exchanged sweet nothings. All is forgiven...

For those who are still interested, here's the questions I asked and Palm's responses:

Q:Does Palm have a policy spelled out for the use of undocumented webOS APIs by third-party developers, or is this an unofficial rule-of-thumb applied on a case-by-case basis?

We have a policy, but it's not fully published because we're still looking at various cases and refining it. But one core requirement: if you need to use a com.palm.* appID to unlike (PIC note: I think he meant "access") the private APIs or private busses, then that's a non-starter for getting in the App Catalog. That's a fairly easy way to tell which side of the fence an app is on.

Q:Is there an intention to eventually document and allow access to the file indexing API?

We don't plan on allowing access to the file indexing API, but we do plan on implementing a replacement for it and making it available. That's why we're not allowing access now, because we know it's going away for something we think is better.

Q: Does Palm intend to replicate Apple's "no duplication of core functionality" policy with their iTunes App Store? i.e. locking out third-party apps that may compete with their own?

No, we don't intend on locking out apps that duplicate functionality; the functionality of NaNPlayer had nothing to do with the rejection. It was the use of private APIs.

So there you have it...
Sometime PIC blogger
Treo 270 --> Treo 650 --> Treo 680 --> Centro
I apologise for any and all emoticons in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.

RE: Another Song For Palm: Kissing In The Wind
twrock @ 9/16/2009 6:13:04 AM # Q
Yeah, well, I don't care what Chuq says. I prefer to call it a massive conspiracy against PIC and Tim and anyone else I can think of to add to that list.

Tim, stop being such a wimp and stand up for yourself! ;-)

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?

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