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Palm Adding Paid Apps to the Catalog Soon

webos palm app catalog In an announcement sure to be welcomed by developers who like being paid for their work, Palm have begun taking submissions for their "Palm App Catalog e-commerce beta program". According to the press release and the Palm Developer Network blog, the beta begins in mid-September for United States users. Like the iTunes App Store, the split for paid apps sold via the App Catalog will be 70/30 (developer/Palm). Payment will be accepted via Visa or Mastercard credit cards.

Palm expects to launch the full developer program in the US this fall and more specifics on the program are still being worked out. Further information can be found on the Palm Developer Network Blog and we've posted some of the bullet points after the break.

"We're rolling out the submission process and e-commerce capabilities of the Palm App Catalog with careful consideration for both the developer and customer," said Katie Mitic, senior vice president, Product Marketing, Palm, Inc. "We want every part of the Palm webOS experience to be the best, and a strong e-commerce model is key to a thriving developer community, great apps and an excellent customer experience."

All developers can submit both free and paid applications today for evaluation by Palm. Details of the program are the following:

  • You can charge a one-time fee for the download of your application.
  • Initially, the user base for e-commerce will be limited to the United States.
  • Developers will receive 70 percent of revenues generated through application sales (less applicable sales taxes).
  • webOS users will pay for their application purchases using credit cards and will download apps directly to their webOS device.

Acceptance Criteria

Palm will accept apps into the beta test program based on the following criteria:

  • Apps should be useful and engaging to users.
  • They need to have an appealing design and user interface aligned with Palm UI guidelines.
  • They are written specifically for webOS and not delivered through the browser.
  • They leverage webOS platform and device capabilities, for example, notifications, multitasking/background processing, location services, accelerometer.
  • They have acceptable performance and response time on the device; apps with slow UI response or sluggish performance will be rejected. Applications that consume excessive power on the device will also be rejected.

How To Submit Apps

Follow these instructions to submit your webOS apps for evaluation to become part of the Palm App Catalog e-commerce beta program:

  • Send an email to catalog.ecommerce.beta@palm.com. In the subject of your email put your company followed by the name of your application (e.g. subject: My Company My Application).
  • In the body of your email, include the following:
    • Your Palm webOSDev user name.
    • Whether the app will be free or paid; if paid, indicate the price (minimum of US $0.99).
    • A description of your application.
  • Attach the application package (.ipk file).
  • Send a separate email for each application.

Submission Guidelines

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Palm's walled garden

gmayhak @ 8/18/2009 11:04:37 AM # Q
"Applications that consume excessive power on the device will also be rejected."

Before investing a lot of time and money on that full resolution, high frame rate killer app. better get permission ;-)

Gary
Tech Center Labs

RE: Palm's walled garden
CFreymarc @ 8/26/2009 12:01:44 AM # Q
What secret society do I need to join to get access to the Pre native SDK?
RE: Palm's walled garden
SeldomVisitor @ 8/26/2009 4:06:15 AM # Q
CFreymarc wrote:
What secret society do I need to join to get access to the Pre native SDK?

Palm.

Reply to this comment

unfortunately heading in the Apple direction

pmjoe @ 8/18/2009 12:06:24 PM # Q
In fact, this sounds even more restrictive.

"A strong e-commerce model is key to a thriving developer community [...]" No. Openness is key to a thriving developer community.

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
jca666us @ 8/18/2009 3:41:46 PM # M Q
What do u expect - they're ex-Apple folks.

Of course they'll copy what works.

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
freakout @ 8/18/2009 4:07:31 PM # Q
No. Openness is key to a thriving developer community.

Good thing that Palm don't seem to care about allowing alternate channels of software distribution then: http://www.webos-internals.org/wiki/Application:Preware
http://www.precentral.net/homebrew-apps

Heck, PC Mag went as far as to call webOS "the most open mobile platform on the market": http://www.pcworld.com/article/169039/palm_pre_is_the_most_open_mobile_platform_on_the_market.html

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
jca666us @ 8/18/2009 4:47:12 PM # M Q
PC World?!?! Yeah, Ok - they're about as credible as you are (not at all).

HOW is webos any more open than android?

The android OS is free for use by anybody!

How do you get "more" open than that?

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
freakout @ 8/18/2009 5:12:31 PM # Q
I didn't say I agreed. But the author's contention is:

But an unexpected part of the SDK kicks Pre into Developer Mode, which opens Pre's Linux to remote login. Once in the Pre's command shell, you discover how robust and open the Linux OS at WebOS' base really is. I think that once Pre developers get into the SDK, they will fall prey to the allure of the command line, shell script, and C. There isn't another mainstream mobile phone that is as effectively rooted at the factory.

(Did you RTFA? I'm guessing not.) All things considered, I'd say that Android is the most open platform. That doesn't take away from the point, though, which is that it's very easy to access the lower layers of webOS if you want to.

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
abosco @ 8/18/2009 6:10:16 PM # M Q
If that is true, then why haven't we seen that yet?
RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
jca666us @ 8/18/2009 6:48:42 PM # Q
Shhh Abosco - let freak remain in his deluded state.
RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
jca666us @ 8/18/2009 6:57:52 PM # Q
>I didn't say I agreed. But the author's contention is:

However, *you* posted the link.

The author's contention is humorous at best - why mention C - can the SDK be accessed via C?

>(Did you RTFA? I'm guessing not.)

Don't guess - I read the article and disagreed with it.

>All things considered, I'd say that Android is the most open platform.

>That doesn't take away from the point, though, which is that it's very easy
>to access the lower layers of webOS if you want to.

Is it accessible via the SDK?

Will Palm support such tinkering in the App Catalog?

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
freakout @ 8/18/2009 7:14:21 PM # Q
bosco:
If that is true, then why haven't we seen that yet?

We have! You've seen the Doom port, the Nintendo emulators etc. As bhartman mentioned in another post, the homebrew Terminal app works using a plugin that lets Mojo talk to the back end: http://www.webos-internals.org/wiki/Application:Terminal

As Rod Whitby told us:

Palm have kept things very close to a normal Linux distribution, and therefore all things have "just worked" so far.

http://www.palminfocenter.com/news/9834/more-pre-hacks-and-inner-details-revealed/
RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
jca666us @ 8/18/2009 7:43:17 PM # Q
Freak,

I believe bosco was indicating why haven't we seen these things in the app catalog.

As for terminal:

>>Terminal relies on a custom written plugin developed from **community >>research**

>>Status

>>This is early-alpha software. Consider yourself lucky if it works at all.

Not something quite ready for primetime - and by "community research" - not officially sanctioned by palm.

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
freakout @ 8/18/2009 8:16:38 PM # Q
I believe bosco was...

I believe he's a big boy and can speak for himself.

As for not being "officially sanctioned", who cares? You can freely install whatever software you want from elsewhere. Palm ain't gonna stop you. TCPMP was never "officially sanctioned" for Palm OS so far as I know, and that hasn't stopped users from enjoying its multi-format playback delights.

Do you even know what you're arguing about anymore? I don't think you do. My point is that webOS is effectively open for users and developers to do whatever they want with it, Mojo's current limitations notwithstanding. Yours seems to be that software takes time to fully develop, and that Palm can pick and choose what to sell in their own software store. Well no ****ing shit, Sherlock. Please, share more brilliant insights with us! I've heard water is wet. Can you confirm?

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
jca666us @ 8/19/2009 4:45:32 AM # Q
>I believe he's a big boy and can speak for himself.
I believe your a big dummy who lacks reading comprehension.

>As for not being "officially sanctioned", who cares?
Because if it subverts the App Catalog - at some point Palm will care.

>Do you even know what you're arguing about anymore? I don't think you do.

Lol - you need to read your own commentary before criticizing mine - all it illustrates is your weak initial argument.

>My point is that webOS is effectively open for users and developers to do
>whatever they want with it, Mojo's current limitations notwithstanding.

Except that it's not open for "whatever they want" if it's to be published within the App Catalog. That's MY point.

Your article is regarding the App Catalog getting paid apps.

>I've heard water is wet. Can you confirm?

I've heard you have brain damage - can you confirm???

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
freakout @ 8/19/2009 5:43:25 AM # Q
Your article is regarding the App Catalog getting paid apps.

Thanks so much for explaining my own piece to me. This *comment thread*, however - before you came along and hijacked it with your usual pathetic stalker rubbish - was about openness being key to a thriving developer community. I couldn't agree more.

Except that it's not open for "whatever they want" if it's to be published within the App Catalog. That's MY point.

Which brings me back to "who cares"? Again, there are already legitimate alternate distribution channels available for webOS apps. For some bizarre reason you contend that Palm will eventually shut them down, despite their having a long history of allowing it on Palm OS.

Apple seem to have brainwashed you, little fanboy. Multiple distribution channels are the norm for mobile computing platforms, not the exception. Run along now and bother somebody else, would you?

(who am I kidding? You'll be back for another incoherent last word. You always are. But I'm done responding. I've said my piece.)

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
abosco @ 8/19/2009 12:00:39 PM # M Q
Oh, I wasn't aware that's how the homebrew apps are being created. That's interesting to know. However, I disagree with you on the Palm support issue. If this isn't officially sanctioned by Palm, then it won't make it into the app catalogue anytime soon. And although the multiple distribution channel has it's benefits, volume is not one of them. Apple has shown us (and everybody else sure has raced as fast as possible to catch up) that a single distribution method can be enormously effective. If Palm gave all of these homebrew apps the OK and put them up officially on the app catalogue, I think it would do wonders for the platform. Until then, it seems to be relegated to an obscure jailbreak-type status.

By the way, I got suckered in and bought the TomTom app for iPhone. Holy shit. Phenomenal (and it should be for that pricetag)!

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
freakout @ 8/19/2009 5:02:28 PM # Q
^^ It does look pretty damn good. TomTom for Palm OS has always been a favourite. I hope a webOS TomTom will be released one day. I'd rather pay the big one-time fee and store my maps locally, rather than subscribe and get them OTA.

As for app distribution, I'm kinda torn. On the one hand, the App Catalog's shelves are so bare right now it's tempting to urge a free-for-all. On the other, one of the problems with third-party apps on Palm OS was that there was a lot of buggy crapware out there that turned people off the whole concept. Setting the bar a bit higher for Palm's own shop is probably a good idea.

I dunno. You tell me, as someone with access to a much bigger store: how difficult is it to find diamonds amongst the turds?

On app exposure
freakout @ 8/19/2009 5:55:22 PM # Q
Precentral's homebrew download counter shows 39,164 apps downloaded today. Dodgy maths suggests that would make for about a million app downloads a month. (of course, I'm pretty sure that includes updates) Not too shabby, really, especially with only 140 apps in the gallery.

http://www.precentral.net/homebrew-apps?order=created&sort=desc

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
jca666us @ 8/20/2009 4:37:05 AM # Q
>As for app distribution, I'm kinda torn. On the one hand, the App Catalog's
>shelves are so bare right now it's tempting to urge a free-for-all. On the other,
>one of the problems with third-party apps on Palm OS was that there was a
>lot of buggy crapware out there that turned people off the whole concept.

Depends on Palm's audience for the App Catalog - if they're going after consumers, a one stop shop - as the iphone has shown - is the way to go.


RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
jca666us @ 8/20/2009 4:46:04 AM # Q
>Thanks so much for explaining my own piece to me.

You're welcome :)

>This *comment thread*, however - before you came along and hijacked it
>with your usual pathetic stalker rubbish - was about openness being key to
>a thriving developer community. I couldn't agree more.

However, it's more BS you're spewing.

It's only open if Palm sanctions it - otherwise, it's an interesting experiment.

>Which brings me back to "who cares"? Again, there are already legitimate
>alternate distribution channels available for webOS apps. For some bizarre
>reason you contend that Palm will eventually shut them down, despite their
>having a long history of allowing it on Palm OS.

The alternate distribution methods allowed alot of poorly written and poorly debugged software to be pushed out. I recall having to reset my IIIC or my M505 at least once or twice a day - because of buggy third party software.

The idea behind a central clearinghouse - is to improve the quality of all apps made available (you do recall there are development guidelines for the App Catalog).

>Multiple distribution channels are the norm for mobile computing platforms,
>not the exception.

They *were* the norm, but they were never wildly successful. With Apple's App Store there has been tremendous growth in 3rd. party app sales.

That's why we have Blackberry, Palm, and (soon) Microsoft are copying Apple's app distribution model.

Freak, if it wasn't working, no one would be copying it.

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
abosco @ 8/20/2009 6:11:22 AM # M Q
I dunno. You tell me, as someone with access to a much bigger store: how difficult is it to find diamonds amongst the turds?

I've been surprised by the quality and accuracy of the reviews within the app store. For example, when Facebook first came out, it was missing a lot of functionality, whereas Myspace was a better overall app. Despite Facebook having a more faithful userbase (and more downloads), it got worse reviews. It wasn't until the company actually put together a good app that it began receiving favorable reviews, and now the app is very high quality.

I've found that finding good FREE software is like wading waist-high in filth. But the star reviews are brutally honest, especially with free software. Amazing free stuff like Shazam and TapTap are constantly well-reviewed and in the Top 50.

Finding good paid apps is simple. Read online reviews, just like for a PC. Within days of Quickoffice and D2G's release, in-depth reviews followed. So overall, finding good apps is hardly a problem. I would, without a doubt, rather have the problem of too many apps than not nearly enough.

By the way, TomTom is freaking out of control. $99 and 1.2 GB is a tiny price to pay. How I ever lived with Google Maps alone, I will never know.

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
bhartman34 @ 8/21/2009 9:20:35 AM # Q
jca666us wrote:

However, it's more BS you're spewing.

It's only open if Palm sanctions it - otherwise, it's an interesting experiment.

>Which brings me back to "who cares"? Again, there are already legitimate
>alternate distribution channels available for webOS apps. For some bizarre
>reason you contend that Palm will eventually shut them down, despite their
>having a long history of allowing it on Palm OS.

The alternate distribution methods allowed alot of poorly written and poorly debugged software to be pushed out. I recall having to reset my IIIC or my M505 at least once or twice a day - because of buggy third party software.

The idea behind a central clearinghouse - is to improve the quality of all apps made available (you do recall there are development guidelines for the App Catalog).

*snip*

>Multiple distribution channels are the norm for mobile computing platforms,
>not the exception.

They *were* the norm, but they were never wildly successful. With Apple's App Store there has been tremendous growth in 3rd. party app sales.

That's why we have Blackberry, Palm, and (soon) Microsoft are copying Apple's app distribution model.

Freak, if it wasn't working, no one would be copying it.

jca666us:

I don't think anyone can argue that Apple's distribution method hasn't "worked" in the sense of generating a lot of app downloads. That seems self-evident to me. There are still questions about Apple's method, though:

1) Is a closed system the best way to move apps and build an app ecosystem? (Just because Apple has moved a lot of apps in the App Store, that doesn't mean it's the best way to go.)

2) Is a closed system best for consumers? Sure, the system seems to be working for Apple, but what's good for Apple isn't necessarily good for users.

3) Is such a system best for developers? The fact that many developers have embraced the App Store means that they see money to be made there. Fair enough. But recent events have shown us that there are lots of potential apps out there that Apple won't allow in the store, and that these decisions are not always about app quality/stability, etc. Sometimes, they're preventing developers from adding features that they plan to include (for a premium) on future versions of the iPhone or the OS, and sometimes, they're interested in protecting AT&T. IOW,, the fact that developers make money off of the system doesn't mean it's really got their interests in mind.

As for the WebOS platform:

As Freak points out, Palm can't control what developers do with WebOS, because it's got Linux at its core, and Linux is open. One could mak the same argument, of course, about Apple's BSD (IIRC) -based OS, but Apple has done a much more thorough job of locking things down. There is essentially no equivalent to the "jailbreaking" process that you have on the iPhone on the Pre. (Compare the jailbreak process on the iPhone to getting into Dev mode on the Pre.) The Pre was essentially intended to be opened up and explored.

Naturally, these are not things that "average" users will do with their Pre, but I would argue that "average' users probably don't have jailbroken iPhones/iPod Touches, either.

I've noticed in this thread a tendency to believe that there's a stark line being drawn between homebrew apps and App Catalog apps. That's a false dichotomy. Many, if not most, of the apps that are currently homebrew will be in the App Catalog once it opens up. The only exceptions I'm certain will be made are for apps like MyTether, which does something that Palm has already stated that Sprint will not allow. (I would actually be astounded if the developer of MyTether tried to get it into the App Catalog, but if they did, it wouldn't get far.)

Even some of the carrier-based app rejections might go away, once the Pre ends up on different carriers. It's a safe bet that not all carriers would prohibit tethering with the Pre. For such a carrier, MyTether might not even be relevant.

The bottom line is this: Like Apple, Palm can't prevent developers from exploiting the OS to its fullest and getting things accomplished to the fullest extent of the hardware. However, unlike Apple, Palm doesn't seem much in the mood to even try. If they had the Apple mindset, they wouldn't have allowed such easy hacking on the Pre, and wouldn't be accepting of the homebrew community's efforts.

It should be an interesting thing to watch, but I just wanted to make the point that just because Apple is being successful with its distribution model, that doesn't mean that it's the only worthwhile model out there, or that there aren't serious problems inherent in the model that Palm could avoid (and a few that they already seem to be avoiding).

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
freakout @ 8/21/2009 5:00:33 PM # Q
^^ Not wanting to sound like I have a giant man-crush on you* or anything bhart, but your patience and politeness in explaining things logically to the troll-bot is really something. Don't know how you do it! My own manners dissipated into the ether a long time ago...

bosco: cheers for the info.

*maybe just a teeny little bit...

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
twrock @ 8/21/2009 9:37:34 PM # Q
bhartman34 wrote:
2) Is a closed system best for consumers? Sure, the system seems to be working for Apple, but what's good for Apple isn't necessarily good for users.

Put perfectly. I find it amazing how people are completely willing to relinquish control to a single company for everything. Like that's never going to come back and bite them.

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

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
freakout @ 8/21/2009 10:00:46 PM # Q
While we're on the subject, who's read Apple's response to FCC's GoogleVoice-gate investigation?

It's here:
http://www.apple.com/hotnews/apple-answers-fcc-questions/

It's full of outrageous, flat-out lies and misleading furphies. The sheer gall it displays, in expecting anyone with a gram of intelligence to swallow it, is stunning. Techcrunch just posted a comprehensive debunking:

http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/08/21/the-simple-truth-whats-really-going-on-with-apple-google-att-and-the-fcc/

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
twrock @ 8/21/2009 11:39:21 PM # Q
Yes, I have been reading about that little bit of game playing. Fun stuff. Although I'm not believe everything I read on either side of this one, here's at least one comment that I can totally agree with:
This isn't about [Apple] protecting users, it's about controlling them.

Yep.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?
RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
jca666us @ 8/22/2009 4:34:24 AM # Q
Freak,

Apple is attempting damage control here.

The response is well written - if typical - business response.

>Techcrunch just posted a comprehensive debunking:

Techcrunch has posted a comprehensive opinion - based upon on a version of Google voice (just not the iphone version Google submitted to Apple).

From the article:

"I haven't used the Google Voice app for the iPhone specifically, because it never launched. But I have been briefed by the Google team on two separate occasions on how the app would work over the last couple of months. Also, I've demo'd the Blackberry version of the app, and now use the Android version of the app."

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
twrock @ 8/22/2009 7:58:23 AM # Q
Engadget reports on yet another installment in the "what will these phone OS makers reject next, and who is spreading the BS around about it".
http://www.engadgetmobile.com/2009/08/21/google-refutes-usa-today-report-on-blocked-skype-application/

I did enjoy this "jab" at the end:

Of course, even if Google had rejected the [Skype] app outright [which they said they did not], users still could have installed the software through other avenues, as the Android Market is only a suggestion -- not a mandate -- for how consumers should acquire apps on Google's platform.

What, you mean some companies control how you acquire apps?!! No way!

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?
RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
jca666us @ 8/22/2009 8:12:14 AM # Q
One point of misdirection from Apple - Google voice has not been rejected - it just hasn't been accepted yet :)

I figure with the FCC heat, Apple will approve it within a week or so.

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
jca666us @ 8/22/2009 12:28:15 PM # Q
bhart:

>1) Is a closed system the best way to move apps and build an app
>ecosystem? (Just because Apple has moved a lot of apps in the App Store,
>that doesn't mean it's the best way to go.)

We've had several years of open distribution systems (Palm is a perfect example here) and it *may* give users greater flexibility, but an App Store distribution method give users greater *convenience*

>2) Is a closed system best for consumers? Sure, the system seems to be
>working for Apple, but what's good for Apple isn't necessarily good for
>users.

I'd guess 40 million plus consumers would disagree with you. I'd agree, with the scrutiny Apple's approval process has gotten recently, that there is certainly room for improvement.

>Sometimes, they're preventing developers from adding features that they
>plan to include (for a premium) on future versions of the iPhone or the OS

Give me an example of something specifically where they've done this?
AFAIK, the only restrictions there are on apps., are those that duplicate built-in functionality.

>sometimes, they're interested in protecting AT&T.
As part of AT&T's agreement with Apple, there are caps on data consumption via 3g (as you see from apps. that will only operate over wifi, but not 3g).

>IOW,, the fact that developers make money off of the system doesn't mean
>it's really got their interests in mind.

Hahaha...please...Apple has Apple's interests in mind...every other company is exactly the same.

>As for the WebOS platform:

>As Freak points out, Palm can't control what developers do with WebOS,
>because it's got Linux at its core, and Linux is open.

I never disagreed with that - what I disagree with is the fact that until Palm has a published standard for building and distributing binary packages with compiled code, these experiments with linux are just that - experiments.

The fact that Mojo doesn't support something other than Javascript indicates that level of support isn't ready.

>I've noticed in this thread a tendency to believe that there's a stark line
>being drawn between homebrew apps and App Catalog apps. That's a false
>dichotomy.

If the homebrew apps are written within Palm's guidelines, all is well. If they're not, then a "stark line can be drawn".

>However, unlike Apple, Palm doesn't seem much in the mood to even try. If
>they had the Apple mindset, they wouldn't have allowed such easy hacking
>on the Pre, and wouldn't be accepting of the homebrew community's efforts.

However, what alternate distribution models will do is water down the effectiveness of a single distribution method.

The fact that Apple has had issues with this distribution method (in addition to phenomenal success) shows that it isn't easy.

However, the fact that everyone is attempting to copy this distribution method indicates that regardless of the downsides, it is worth attempting.


freak:

Difference between you and bhart - he can actually elaborate and write well - you're still a Palm apologist and a *hack*. Ever get a job in the IT industry, or are you still working in a restaurant?

*chuckle*

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
bhartman34 @ 8/23/2009 12:41:51 AM # Q
jca666us wrote:
bhart:

>1) Is a closed system the best way to move apps and build an app
>ecosystem? (Just because Apple has moved a lot of apps in the App Store,
>that doesn't mean it's the best way to go.)

We've had several years of open distribution systems (Palm is a perfect example here) and it *may* give users greater flexibility, but an App Store distribution method give users greater *convenience*

We're talking about two different things here. Having a single distribution channel might be more convenient for users (since there would only be one place to go), but that says nothing about whether the system is open or closed. You could easily have a single distribution channel that's open rather than closed. An open system, by definition, would bring about greater application diversity (all other things being equal, of course).


jca666us wrote:

>2) Is a closed system best for consumers? Sure, the system seems to be
>working for Apple, but what's good for Apple isn't necessarily good for
>users.

I'd guess 40 million plus consumers would disagree with you. I'd agree, with the scrutiny Apple's approval process has gotten recently, that there is certainly room for improvement.

It's the Apple approval process that's at issue here, though. Apple's App Store is successful because a) the phone itself is popular, and b) even with the exclusions, there are a lot of apps available in the App Store.

There's also the issue of accessibility. Given two different options, most people will pick the most accessible one. You could call it the "IE Effect". More Windows users run Internet Explorer than Firefox, simply because that's what comes with their computers by default. Similarly, it's no surprise that the App Store is more popular than any other iPhone app distribution channel, simply because it's the one channel that all iPhone users know about and have easy access to. But that has nothing to do with whether or not the distribution channel itself is optimal. It's the most popular simply because it's the easiest to find on the phone. But by certain measures, when it comes to app distribution, 40 million users can be wrong.

jca666us wrote:

>Sometimes, they're preventing developers from adding features that they
>plan to include (for a premium) on future versions of the iPhone or the OS

Give me an example of something specifically where they've done this?
AFAIK, the only restrictions there are on apps., are those that duplicate built-in functionality.

Easy. Before the 3.0 firmware came out, there were apps that enabled copy & paste on the iPhone, but they were only available for jail-broken phones because Apple didn't let them into the App Store.

In fact, Apple's SDK (at the time, at least) specifically prohibited background processes in non-Apple apps, which prevented anyone from putting an app in the App Store that did any background processing, which excluded a whole suite of applications that developers could do, but were prevented from releasing in the App Store. This was an obvious attempt by Apple to prevent developers from stealing their thunder and enabling advances not yet available on the 2.x firmware.


jca666us wrote:

>sometimes, they're interested in protecting AT&T.
As part of AT&T's agreement with Apple, there are caps on data consumption via 3g (as you see from apps. that will only operate over wifi, but not 3g).

>IOW,, the fact that developers make money off of the system doesn't mean
>it's really got their interests in mind.

Hahaha...please...Apple has Apple's interests in mind...every other company is exactly the same.

I think you're missing my point here. It is in Apple's interest to be AT&T's lackey, at the moment. Other than AT&T's influence, Apple couldn't give a crap less whether people use wifi instead of the 3G network.

jca666us wrote:

>As for the WebOS platform:

>As Freak points out, Palm can't control what developers do with WebOS,
>because it's got Linux at its core, and Linux is open.

I never disagreed with that - what I disagree with is the fact that until Palm has a published standard for building and distributing binary packages with compiled code, these experiments with linux are just that - experiments.

But you've got it backwards: It's the Javascript -based apps that are an experiment, not the Linux-based apps. The Linux apps are well-established. The experimental part is getting the Javascript-based source to interact with the Linux subsystem. But you don't necessarily have to use the Javascript layer. Write a plug-in, and you can interact with the Linux subsystem directly.

jca666us wrote:

The fact that Mojo doesn't support something other than Javascript indicates that level of support isn't ready.

Maybe. Maybe not. It might indicate that Palm prefers that developers don't use whatever functionality the Mojo layer doesn't support. There are legitimate reasons to prevent developers from doing certain things. The easiest example is the 1.04 update that Palm released that closed the installation-by-email hole. Many people complained at the time that it was a bad move because the Pre had few enough apps as it was. But the security implications of such a method are obvious. That doesn't mean that someone with sufficient knowledge can't re-enable that installation method. (I suspect it would be fairly trivial, if you wanted to, since the e-mail app's code is open.), but clearly, it's not something Palm would want to allow through Mojo.

jca666us wrote:

>I've noticed in this thread a tendency to believe that there's a stark line
>being drawn between homebrew apps and App Catalog apps. That's a false
>dichotomy.

If the homebrew apps are written within Palm's guidelines, all is well. If they're not, then a "stark line can be drawn".

Do you know that, or just suspect it? I have read the development guidelines from Palm as posted on their dev site, and I don't see anything that says that apps that don't follow their guidelines won't be accepted into the App Catalog. The documentation on the site has more of a, "Do this and you'll make your users happy" flavor to it. In fact, the end of the application checklist says:


If your application embraces all of these values, it will delight your users and will be an outstanding citizen on the webOS platform.

Not only does it say nothing about blocking apps that don't follow the guidelines, but it makes it fairly clear that your app will see the light of day, even if it doesn't follow the guidelines.

I'm certainly not saying that every homebrew app will make it to the App Catalog. As I said earlier, I can certainly see things like MyTether being blocked from the official catalog. Hell, I could even see Google Voice apps being kept out of the official catalog. (I doubt Sprint wants people to be making free VOIP wifi calls any more than AT&T wants their users to do it.)

jca666us wrote:

>However, unlike Apple, Palm doesn't seem much in the mood to even try. If
>they had the Apple mindset, they wouldn't have allowed such easy hacking
>on the Pre, and wouldn't be accepting of the homebrew community's efforts.

However, what alternate distribution models will do is water down the effectiveness of a single distribution method.

If that happens, it's an Apple problem, not a user problem. What will happen, with multiple distribution channels, is that most apps will go to the App Catalog (where developers can make money), while the other apps will go to the other channels. It will be just like the Apple model, except that the other channels will be out in the open, rather than underground, and users won't need to go through any technical steps to get them to work. (There's already a homebrew Quick Install app to install homebrew apps that's all-GUI.)

It doesn't really matter to users whether or not the App Store distribution method is diluted. As long as the apps are easy to access, users don't care.

jca666us wrote:

The fact that Apple has had issues with this distribution method (in addition to phenomenal success) shows that it isn't easy.

I think the problems Apple has had have been mostly self-imposed. They want more control over the software ecosystem than is healthy for the platform. Again, I'm not saying the distribution system is unsuccessful. I'm saying that Apple has deliberately stunted the diversity in the applications available for the iPhone, and done so in a way that's not to the benefit of users.

jca666us wrote:

However, the fact that everyone is attempting to copy this distribution method indicates that regardless of the downsides, it is worth attempting.

I think this is another case in which the "innovation" is more myth than reality. Apple may have been the first to put such an app store on a handheld, but all the Apple App Store really is is a link on the phone to an e-commerce site. Linux distros have allowed remote install of applications for years before the iPhone was a gleam in Steve Jobs' eye. It's not a new idea. What Apple was able to do was to capitalize on the faster speeds now available to mobile downloads.

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
SeldomVisitor @ 8/23/2009 4:06:45 AM # Q
In the beginning Palm said (paraphrase):

== "All applications must be certified by Palm. Applications can be
== downloaded from anywhere. Payment for non-free applications
== will be done on the developers' web sites."

Now Palm says:

== "All applications must be certified by Palm. Applications can be
== downloaded from the App Catalog.. Payment for non-free applications
== will be done on the App Catalog site."

That second sentence leaves out "only" because I do not believe Palm has readdressed the idea of "download from anywhere" for free applications; that has become ambiguous.

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
freakout @ 8/23/2009 4:45:12 AM # Q
bhartman:
Hell, I could even see Google Voice apps being kept out of the official catalog. (I doubt Sprint wants people to be making free VOIP wifi calls any more than AT&T wants their users to do it.)

FYI, I was curious about this myself and emailed Sprint PR a couple of weeks ago to ask, along with some general questions about their third-party app policies. Never got a response. Read into that what you will.

Google themselves were only willing to say "we're investigating the possibilities but at this stage it's only official on Android and Blackberry".

Troll-bot:

you're still a Palm apologist and a *hack*. Ever get a job in the IT industry, or are you still working in a restaurant?

Bwahahaha! Nice try, troll-bot. Your stalking algorithms should have already deducted by now that I really couldn't care less what the denizens of the Internet think of me, especially when they're so hilariously off-target. Where do I submit a bug report?

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
twrock @ 8/23/2009 4:50:59 AM # Q
So can you give us any links to what Palm actually did say so that we can see a real quote instead of your interpretation of what you believe Palm meant when they said whatever it was they really said? I'm having a hard time figuring out the point in discussing something someone didn't say.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?
RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
twrock @ 8/23/2009 4:52:43 AM # Q
(My request above was for SV, not freakout.)

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?
RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
freakout @ 8/23/2009 5:16:17 AM # Q
Correction: digging back through my emails, the exact Google quote was:

We have built Google Voice mobile applications for the Android and Blackberry platforms. We hope to support other platforms in the future, but we have nothing to announce at this time.

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
jca666us @ 8/23/2009 6:31:36 AM # Q
>We're talking about two different things here. Having a single distribution
>channel might be more convenient for users (since there would only be one
>place to go), but that says nothing about whether the system is open or
>closed.

I see, but over time we'll see if things remain truly open. Now there are application guidelines; as the App Catalog gets further developed along, I'm certain there will be further restrictions.

>You could easily have a single distribution channel that's open
>rather than closed. An open system, by definition, would bring about greater
>application diversity (all other things being equal, of course).

I don't believe any distribution method will be truly open - the second someone develops a virus, or a porn app, there goes your "truly open" out the window.

>But that has nothing to do with whether or not the distribution channel itself
>is optimal.

How would you make it more optimal?

>But by certain measures, when it comes to app distribution, 40 million
>users can be wrong.

How? The users are just consumers of the distributed apps.


>Easy. Before the 3.0 firmware came out, there were apps that enabled copy
>& paste on the iPhone, but they were only available for jail-broken phones
>because Apple didn't let them into the App Store.

Actually, you're talking about Clippy. Clippy actually violated Apple's development guidelines.

Developers should know what they're getting into when they download the SDK and agree to Apple's Terms.

>In fact, Apple's SDK (at the time, at least) specifically prohibited
>background processes in non-Apple apps, which prevented anyone from
>putting an app in the App Store that did any background processing, which
>excluded a whole suite of applications that developers could do, but were
>prevented from releasing in the App Store.

Actually, the call required to enable background processing for an App. is undocumented - using it is in violation of Apple's terms for using the SDK.

>This was an obvious attempt by Apple to prevent developers from stealing
>their thunder and enabling advances not yet available on the 2.x firmware.

Actually, the official party line is that enabling multitasking drains the battery quite quickly.

Seeing as how long the battery lasts in the Pre, I'd believe it.

I'd also speculate that Apple needs some sort of multitouch gesture for switching between actively running apps. (similar to the Pre's swiping).


>I think you're missing my point here. It is in Apple's interest to be AT&T's
>lackey, at the moment. Other than AT&T's influence, Apple couldn't give a
>crap less whether people use wifi instead of the 3G network.

And you're missing my point - it's already been established that AT&T has imposed limits on 3G data consumption by Apps. That's why the limits exist; **beyond that** AT&T has no say what goes on in the App Store.

>...
>Maybe. Maybe not. It might indicate that Palm prefers that developers don't
>use whatever functionality the Mojo layer doesn't support.

I'd say "Maybe" - the performance improvement is enough that Palm would definitely want to support compiled apps.

Since Palm can't co-opt xcode the way they co-opted itunes, the likely delay is putting together a solid development environment.

>I have read the development guidelines from Palm as posted on their dev
>site, and I don't see anything that says that apps that don't follow their
>guidelines won't be accepted into the App Catalog.

If the App Catalog will allow any POS to be accepted, then it should be named the crApp Catalog - guidelines don't mean much unless there is a method of enforcement.

>Not only does it say nothing about blocking apps that don't follow the
>guidelines, but it makes it fairly clear that your app will see the light of day,
>even if it doesn't follow the guidelines.

Not yet does it say it; I'd wager the enforcement is coming.

>I'm certainly not saying that every homebrew app will make it to the App
>Catalog. As I said earlier, I can certainly see things like MyTether being
>blocked from the official catalog. Hell, I could even see Google Voice apps
>being kept out of the official catalog.

So then, there will be a means of enforcement :) so the App Catalog won't be a "free for all"...

>It doesn't really matter to users whether or not the App Store distribution
>method is diluted. As long as the apps are easy to access, users don't
>care.

It's the poorly written apps - available through alternative distribution methods - that will dampen the Pre's "user experience" - then users will care.

>I think the problems Apple has had have been mostly self-imposed. They
>want more control over the software ecosystem than is healthy for the
>platform.

Over time, we've seen restrictions get lifted. Over time, I don't doubt that more will be.

>I'm saying that Apple has deliberately stunted the diversity in the
>applications available for the iPhone, and done so in a way that's not to the
>benefit of users.

65,000 apps? No diversity? OK :)

>I think this is another case in which the "innovation" is more myth than
>reality.

>Apple may have been the first to put such an app store on a handheld...

Is that not innovation? :)

>but all the Apple App Store really is is a link on the phone to an e-
>commerce site. Linux distros have allowed remote install of applications for
>years before the iPhone was a gleam in Steve Jobs' eye. It's not a new
>idea.

It's easily to look at an innovation after the fact and rip it apart. To be the first to make it a workable solution is much more difficult.

From dictionary.com -> Innovate

"to introduce (something new) for or as if for the first time"

Sounds like the App Store. :)

RE: unfortunately heading in the Apple direction
jca666us @ 8/23/2009 6:33:48 AM # Q
>Where do I submit a bug report?

Send it to your mother...

PIC Commenting: The Documentary
freakout @ 8/23/2009 7:16:48 AM # Q
(Read in David Attenborough documentary-narration voice)
And here, viewers, we see a perfect example of the troll-bot's parodic style. Let us marvel at the way it deliberately misinterprets arguments:

First, a commenter makes a perfectly valid observation:

I'm saying that Apple has deliberately stunted the diversity in the applications available for the iPhone, and done so in a way that's not to the benefit of users.

Which is, of course, true: alternate media players, web browsers and anything else that "duplicates functionality" is forbidden in the app store, along with a veritable cornucopia of other applications. The troll-bot, however, is programmed to ignore reality in such cases where it would undermine its own incoherent rantings:

65,000 apps? No diversity? OK :)

Note how it appends what is known as an "emoticon" to the end of its automatically-generated distortion. This is so that later on, when its misinterpretation is pointed out, it can use the "I was just joking" defence, and thus continue the cycle of endless bullshit.

Fascinating.

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