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  1.    #1  
    HI, I JUST FOUND THIS ON THE NY TIMES, FYI, TAKE CARE, JAY

    October 6, 2009
    Palm Seeks to Unclog App Bottleneck
    By JENNA WORTHAM
    Realizing that more apps sell more cellphones, Palm has a plan to encourage developers to write more software for its phones.

    Currently, Apple has more than 85,000 applications for the iPhone. More than 10,000 applications are available for cellphones running on Android, Google’s mobile operating system. Palm has about 100 apps for its Pre and Pixi smartphones.

    On Monday evening, the company announced that software developers could either submit their programs for review to appear in Palm’s App Catalog or immediately distribute their applications directly to a Web-based third-party storefront. Palm said it hoped the wider distribution, which is expected to begin in December, would entice developers to build apps that run on Palm’s WebOS operating system. Developers can also pay for advertisements, in the form of priority placement, in Palm’s catalog.

    The new initiative will also favor open-source developers, who do not have to pay a fee to get into the program, although they have to pay $50 to get distribution through the app catalogue.

    “We’re solving a pain point for developers,” said Dion Almaer, co-director of Palm’s developer relations team. “This program will give developers an opportunity to get applications out as fast as they can create them.”

    Palm hopes to provide an alternative to Apple’s lengthy and opaque approval process, which has provoked frustration among developers hoping to get their applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch published in Apple’s App Store. They have also been frustrated by the difficulty customers have finding apps in Apple’s store.

    Palm has been slow to encourage developers. The company released its software development kit a month after its Pre phone went on sale on June 6. A payment system for the Palm app store — important for developers looking to create a lucrative business around Palm software — was still not available until Monday.

    Katie Mitic, senior vice president of product marketing for Palm, said the company was “very excited” about the App Catalog’s progress; Palm has been releasing about a dozen new applications a week.

    “We are not competing in an apps arms race. We’re focused less on numbers and more on mobile experiences,” said Ms. Mitic. “We’ve been taking a very deliberate and methodical approach to rolling out our program, which we believe will drive better apps, better discovery and a better business for developers.”

    The stakes are high for Palm, which has been trying to reverse its flagging fortunes and reclaim its status as a leader in the smartphone industry. How the company nurtures its developer community could be a decisive factor to help the company face the fierce competition, said Michael Gartenberg, vice president for strategy and analysis at Interpret, a market research firm based in Los Angeles.

    “One of the key differentiators that all mobile platforms are going to have in the future are the apps, but also the services available to developers,” said Mr. Gartenberg. “Palm is hoping they can present a good venue for developers to stake out their claim in what is becoming a rapidly crowded market.”

    Some developers who are writing programs for the WebOS platform are enthusiastic about the potential for the Pre and other Palm phones, like the new Pixi.

    “We’re in this for the long haul,” said Seppo Helava, the lead designer of Self Aware Games, a company that develops applications for mobile phones. “We think the ability to do background processing combined with the phone’s GPS features enables the kinds of games you can’t create on any other platform right now.”

    Mr. Helava said he was impressed with Palm’s developer program.

    “Rather than being this big monolithic black box that doesn’t really tell you anything, Palm has a really different and valuable way of dealing with their developers,” he said.

    Ben Galbraith, co-director of Palm’s developer relations team, said, “If we get this right, we could open up a channel to success on our platform.”
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group
  2. #2  
    This is good news; however, I must admit that when I initially read the title I thought it was addressing the app limit on the phone itself. Whoops.
  3. #3  
    thanks for sharing the article, great to see Palm get a mention in the media.
    As was told to me when I copied and pasted an article a couple of weeks ago, you may want to consider posting a link and a small teaser here, rather than the full story to avoid copyright infringement. (doubt it would be an issue, but who knows?)
  4. corpx's Avatar
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    #4  
    Wait, open source programs also have to pay $50 per app to get in the catalog? ***?

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