MobileInfocenter

So Where's the Palm Pre webOS Facebook App?

palm facebook When former Palm chief Ed Colligan invited Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg onto the stage at CES in January, to regale the tech press with tales of the social networking company's awesomeness, there was little doubt in most of our minds that there would be a native Facebook app for the Palm Pre, in addition to the Synergy integration with webOS's PIM databases. (Yours Truly was confident enough to predict exactly that in February.)

But the Pre launched without such an app, and months have gone by with no positive omens - apart from an early homebrew program, in FriendsFlow. Meanwhile, the iPhone is about to receive its third iteration. So what gives? PalmInfocenter reached out to Facebook for iPhone developer Joe Hewitt to ask whether or not he was involved in a webOS app. His response:

"I get asked this question a lot, including by Palm. I can't really comment on what Facebook and Palm might do together in the future, but I am an iPhone developer and so I will continue to concentrate on our iPhone offerings"

Intriguing: if Palm is chasing Mr. Hewitt's talents and was rebuffed, does this mean they've since approached someone else? Undeterred, we next approached Facebook themselves. Director of Communications Brandee Barker was happy to tell us:

"The integration of Facebook with the Palm Pre local address book has been very successful and we look forward to doing more on this platform. Generally, our goal is to enable the development of a Facebook application and integration on every mobile platform. There are several mobile platforms that we don't yet have an app for, including the Palm Pre, Symbian s60 or Google Android among others. Users can still access Facebook on their device through our mobile site that is optimized for touch screens and the Palm Pre at x.facebook.com."

To apply our own interpretation: Facebook are happy to work with Palm on such an app, but won't be doing the heavy lifting themselves... which leaves only Palm themselves to turn to for information.

We've emailed Developer Community Manager Chuq Von Rospach for a comment, to see if we can tease out any details of such an app being developed by either Palm or a third party. We'll update the story as soon as we receive a response, but the bottom line seems to be: native Facebook on webOS is not happening anytime soon. Bummer, poke addicts.

Update: Mr. Von Rospach has responded to our incessant harrassment of him on Twitter (with graciousness and patience). Palm does not wish to "set expectations by accident" and thus has declined to comment.

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So, what you're saying is

loftwyr @ 8/26/2009 10:19:44 AM # Q
You don't actually know anything but you needed fodder for the trolls?
PalmPilot Pro -> Palm 3 -> Palm 5 -> Palm 505 -> Palm T3 -> Treo 700p -> Pre (ordered)
RE: So, what you're saying is
CFreymarc @ 8/26/2009 11:01:04 AM # Q
Either that for the Facebook execs were not willing to go though the secret society initiation ritual to get the native Pre SDK.
RE: So, what you're saying is
jca666us @ 8/26/2009 3:00:19 PM # M Q
Or they found the SDK lacking - or the installed not high enough to consider developing for.
RE: So, what you're saying is
SeldomVisitor @ 8/26/2009 3:16:44 PM # Q
It is unlikely Palm would reveal "the installed". But maybe the lack of revelation would be sufficient to put off a major developer house.

RE: So, what you're saying is
freakout @ 8/26/2009 4:55:57 PM # Q
You don't actually know anything but you needed fodder for the trolls?

I'm saying that everyone is curious why there is no native app, and this is all that the major players are willing to say about it. Palm's silence on the issue is the troll fodder, not my story.

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That's what you'd call 'ironic'

Tuckermaclain @ 8/26/2009 11:25:42 AM # Q
Palm made the biggest deal about the Facebook app which IMO was about the stupidist thing to put on a Palm since "Gaydar" and now it's not available!!!

I wish Palm all the success but I have to laugh.

RE: That's what you'd call 'ironic'
LiveFaith @ 8/26/2009 1:28:36 PM # Q
I think you forgot all those "Compact Mirror" apps for the monochrome Palm Pilots ... those may take the cake.

Seriously, with such a good browser, I would not want to be limited by the Web2 FB app anyway, if it functions like the Palm OS version. Not a great big deal with a real browser.
Pat Horne

RE: That's what you'd call 'ironic'
cstamper @ 8/26/2009 1:39:02 PM # Q
...or for the new Palms, or even for the iPhone. $0.99 for a mirror app? I think not.

It's a generation obsessed with the dumbest things. ;-)

RE: That's what you'd call 'ironic'
freakout @ 8/26/2009 6:05:15 PM # Q
Gaydar!! that was one of the first stupid apps I installed on my Treo 270. Still hilarious. I hope it's Classic-compatible. :D
Reply to this comment

A bit off the subject

linds @ 8/26/2009 11:41:37 AM # Q
What are you going to sell here at PIC if the Palm Pre has it's own app store and Windows Mobile is now less then 10% of the market share? The Palm Pre classic emulator will only take you a certain distance into the future?
RE: A bit off the subject
DarthRepublican @ 8/26/2009 5:59:46 PM # Q
Cases? Batteries? Homebrew apps which for one reason or another don't make it into the App Catalog?
Screw convergence
Palm III->Visor Deluxe->Visor Platinum->Visor Prism->Tungsten E->Palm LifeDrive->Palm TX->Palm Pre
Visor Pro+VisorPhone->Treo 180g->Treo 270->Treo 600->Treo 680->T-Mobile G1->Palm Pre
http://mind-grapes.blogspot.com/
RE: A bit off the subject
freakout @ 8/26/2009 6:06:20 PM # Q
I don't mean to reveal Ryan's uber-secret plans, but maybe I can give you a hint:

Lolcatz.

Lots. And lots. Of Lolcatz.

:P

Reply to this comment

My comments

cstamper @ 8/26/2009 1:36:01 PM # Q
I thought the facebook app was like, included in the OS (ROM)?

Wasn't it supposed to be? Didn't they talk about it at one of the confs?

RE: My comments
jca666us @ 8/26/2009 6:35:06 PM # Q
You thought incorrectly.
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I Hate Facebook

Gekko @ 8/26/2009 5:00:08 PM # Q

Oh, Facebook. You cyberland of rampant narcissism and wasted time. What started out as a social networking site for college kids has somehow turned into a cesspool of self-absorbed way-too-old-to-be-****ing-around-on-Facebook adults who think that the rest of us actually give a shit about what they're drinking, eating, thinking, reading, watching, and/or are listening to every five minutes. They post their top 5 records, movies and TV shows. They post "25 Random Things About Me" lists. And they tell us constantly what they're "fans of." One person is a fan of "grilled cheese." I kid you not. What have we come to when grilled cheese has its own Facebook page? Someone clearly has way too much time on their hands.

I think I've figured out Facebook's major appeal. It offers uber-narcissists an opportunity to have their proverbial 15 minutes every five ****ing minutes!. The site is overcrowded with attention-starved grown-ups essentially screaming "look at me... look at me!" all day long. They change their profile photos as often as I change my underwear, and they've somehow convinced themselves that their lives are infinitely interesting all the time. The "audience factor" is just way too attractive to these folks. It's drunken karaoke without the booze and the bad singing, but with all the requisite self-indulgence.

Case in point the "What's on your mind" section, formerly the "status" box. It's full of pretentious, inane ramblings like "Bob is making some soup," "Annie is dry-heaving right now," "Louie is sitting in traffic, pondering the meaning of life," "Joe is hungry," "Debbie is tired," "Maggie is perplexed," "Phil's ass hurts from yoga," "Archie's dreaming of Tulsa," "Seth is a fan of Fellini," "Leslie is drinking her morning OJ," "Dan is contemplating a nap," "Ellen is feeling empowered," "Jack is boarding a flight home from LA," "Susie is feeding her brain!" Oh...my...god. Somebody please get me an ice-pick to jab into my skull.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andy-ostroy/i-hate-facebook_b_178867.html

RE: I Like Facebook
freakout @ 8/26/2009 5:11:56 PM # Q
I used to think exactly the same thing. And it's true that it leads to an inanity overload at times. But it's an excellent private photo-sharing service and provides a new way to communicate with the people you care about. (personally I have two different friend lists on Facebook: one for the people I actually care about and another of the masses, that I look at every other month. if that)

If you're really annoyed by the mundanities of your Facebook Friend's lives, you really should just block them and be done with it.

RE: I am ok with Facebook
abosco @ 8/26/2009 6:16:16 PM # Q
Very well-written article.

I was a freshman in college just as Facebook was getting popular. Let me just come out and say it. It was a way to scout ass before you went after it. And it worked incredibly well, and all was good in the world.

I can't blame them for the decision to open it up to more than college students. They've become huge and very profitable. But I use it less these days. What was once a repository for photos of my nights with college sluts is now something that I have to maintain at a PG rating for fear of an employer gaining access. My profile is locked down tighter than a nun.

One of the benefits of Facebook? I found out freakout has a hot sister. Not kidding.

First person to find Gekko's Facebook gets $10. Swear to god.

-Bosco
m105 -> NX70v -> NX80v -> iPhone -> iPhone 3G

RE: I Hate Facebook
freakout @ 8/26/2009 6:37:25 PM # Q
^^^ Arrrgh! (shields eyes)

I did NOT just read that.

RE: I Hate Facebook
CFreymarc @ 8/26/2009 7:38:25 PM # Q
Only $10?
RE: I Hate Facebook
alandrew @ 8/27/2009 2:16:04 AM # Q
I would agree that FB can be over bearing and people will always take what they are given and run it into the ground, but fB has connected many people back together again from way back....which is kinda cool to know you can communicate with anybody you may know at any time in some way.....i see fb as my additional contact list or a way to communicate with my friends only who actualy give a damn about me and my life ?

Dellusions of attention grabbing adults is very sad and FB is full of these crazy individuals....but hey its fo anybody who wants to use it...take it or leave it...its what you make of it.....

But being obsessed to FB is kinda weird !

GSM Unlocked PRE PLEASE ! WE ARE STILL WAITING !!!!!!!
Treo600>>Treo680>>Centro>>Pre

RE: I don't know Facebook
SeldomVisitor @ 8/27/2009 3:44:29 AM # Q
Interestingly, the ONLY Facebook page I've ever visited is Palm's! During the Claus Campaign!

As with incessant chatting on a cell phone while driving (to whom about what!?) I never saw the utility in Facebook's "Here's who I am in detail! Impressed!?"

I don't think that's because I'm an old fart...


RE: I Hate Facebook
nastebu @ 8/31/2009 5:59:32 AM # Q
I'm agreeing with Freak, but only on the off chance that I, too, get to see a picture of his hot sister.
Reply to this comment

Why is this necessary?

thegreatmrrico @ 8/27/2009 5:48:08 AM # Q
Why is there a need for a facebook app? With the browser, the main site opens the same it would on a computer. Everything works, including chat...

No need even for the mobile site, the main site still loads pretty quickly.

Why would having an app be beneficial at all?

RE: Why is this necessary?
freakout @ 8/27/2009 5:51:32 AM # Q
Integration with the webOS notification dashboard. Plus, the full site is optimized for a desktop experience, whereas a native app could feature a specialized UI for mobile use.

Not to say the browser experience is bad, just that it could be better.

Reply to this comment

Updated with brief, unofficial comment from Palm

freakout @ 8/27/2009 4:36:29 PM # Q
in case you missed it.
RE: Updated with brief, unofficial comment from Palm
SeldomVisitor @ 8/28/2009 3:55:05 AM # Q
Lol! Great thorough response "We have no idea when the Facebook application that we said would be there on launch will be ready, if ever".

Reply to this comment

FriendsFlow

sommere @ 8/27/2009 7:21:18 PM # Q
What makes you say FriendsFlow is early alpha? It is very usable. 5000+ users have used it, including 2000+ yesterday.

It may not be perfect, but its not early alpha anymore.

RE: FriendsFlow
freakout @ 8/27/2009 7:28:01 PM # Q
My mistake. We'll update. :)
Reply to this comment

Interesting timing ...

CFreymarc @ 8/29/2009 7:10:32 PM # Q
So why did this "there is no" article come out the same week that Facebook released a major update to their Facebook app for the iPhone?
RE: Interesting timing ...
freakout @ 8/29/2009 7:40:51 PM # Q
You're right, it's no coincidence. reading all the articles about it got me thinking. And I wondered if anyone at Facebook could tell us about possible webOS apps. hence, the hard-hitting piece of investigative journalism you see before you. :P
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