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  1. Cringer's Avatar
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       #1  
    What to do about WebOS

    What to do about WebOS

    I promised our faithful WebOS fans a post that is all their own to lament the state of the world for their platform -- and here it is.

    Firstly, I should point out that the revenue generated from NewsRoom puts it in the "hobbyist" category. We have been making mobile applications professionally for over five years, but the sales since the advent of the iPhone have been decidedly down. We still think this particular product is awesome but effort put into it at this point is more a labor of love rather than one that can pay the bills.

    In fact, the revenue generated by WebOS doesn't even move the needle anymore. Actually, that suggests that it ever did. Even when NewsRoom was regarded as a top-selling application on the platform, it failed to even come close to returning our investment.

    There have been a number of rather vocal comments by users who have no shortage of explanations for this, usually starting with not enough features or that we selected the wrong price point. With that in mind, you should know that virtually the same product at the same price point sells far, far more on Android. This isn't so much because Android has more users, it's because Android adds more users. The strange reality in the mobile application world, is that new sales tend to be driven by new subscribers not existing ones. Barring some huge viral discovery, apps generally need new subscribers just to maintain sales figures. This is even more the case now with super-saturated marketplaces full of so-so quality apps. And I don't think you don't need me to tell you that there aren't huge numbers of new WebOS activations every day.

    I'm not trying to be negative, these are just the facts. This doesn't mean NewsRoom has to die, it's still an awesome product for a very fair price. But the economics of putting significant time into it makes it difficult since I clearly need to look elsewhere to feed my family.

    One thought is allowing folks with mojo skills to contribute to the product (in which case improvements could warrant a revenue share). That's just one thought, I'm curious to hear yours.
    I love this app, and was never a big RSS feed guy until I had it on my Pre. Will keep using it no matter what but hopefully there is a dev out there with some free time and motivation to put some work in on NewsRoom for webOS. Integration with Twitter apps and Facebook and stuff like that would be nice.
  2. #2  
    This may be unrelated, but my Newsroom stopped working two days ago. Has anybody else experienced this?
  3. ray1b's Avatar
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    #3  
    Import / export would be nice.
  4. #4  
    Most news feeds are free, so why should someone pay $5.00 to bring them together in one app when they could just cluster them on one launcher page? You may have missed your price point and since I only use two news feeds I have no need to create large group of different feeds.

    Just my thoughts - I do wish you luck and success in your endeavor.
    Palm m130 > Verizon Trēo 650 > Verizon Trēo 755p > Verizon Palm Prē Plus > TouchPad > Verizon Palm Prē 2
    ~ The Future's Just Not What it Used To Be ~
  5. #5  
    This guy isn't the dev, so you might want to leave your thoughts at the original post. I have 22 feeds that I'm following right now, so putting them all on launcher seems a little ridiculous...which is why I use apps like Scoop and at one point, Newsroom. I agree the price point for Newsroom is a dollar or so too high, especially with how the app stands at this moment, so I encourage everyone who uses Newsroom to tweet that particular post and hopefully it will catch the eye of a dev, I namedropped a few to try to get the ball rolling. Of course, I took to pestering @rmxdave to release his own Google Reader RSS anyway as I feel he'd do a spectacular job.

    Edit: I mean, I feel like they are really trying to engage the community here and they do have an update out on the way, so it would really be in the best interest of webOS users to voice their opinion or show some support to sort of help along and justify the continued development on webOS, while also providing some ways they can reach out or improve.
    Last edited by malpha; 09/29/2010 at 09:57 AM.
    screwdestiny
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  6. #6  
    I know this community rarely needs motivation to rally for a cause, but I thought I'd take a stab at this. First, let me get this out of the way: I am not a developer, nor do I have any interests (other than personally owning a Pre) that are connected with this request.

    Which brings me to a disturbing but truthful blog post by the guys at Trileet. They developed the NewsRoom app. They, despite being one of the top selling apps at one point, aren't making enough to continue to focus their support efforts on webOS. They aren't bailing on us, but we are no longer the full focus of their efforts.

    They've now reached out to the webOS community for dev help, to keep the improvements rolling on their app. Give their link a visit, and if you can, offer your helpÖ.sounds like theyíve made a fair offer for contributed efforts. I don't have the necessary training to offer technical help, otherwise I would, so I'm doing my part here.

    The Newsroom Blog: Much ado about WebOS

    I just don't think we can afford to have the devs of 'quality' apps like NewsRoom, pretty much giving webOS a hiatus. I fully grasp why they are, but lets give them a reason to stick around for the future.

    That said, if you are new to Pre, or have never checked out NewsRoom, it's a PHENOMENAL app/UI for following RSS feeds. If you don't know what RSS is, don't worry. If you web browse familiar sites on a daily basis for news, replace that browsing with an RSS reader like NewsRoom. It gives you the content you're already searching for anyway, tells you when the stories are updated, and is fantastically simple & elegant for the user. It will also save you tons of time, as the stories update in the background & are ready for use when you open the app (incredibly helpful if you have a slow connection).

    I use it for both personal browsing & professional. Itís actually a great tool for the many industries that benefit from having an informed workforce. In my case, medical publications offer countless feeds that keep me up to date on my market. So whether business or pleasure, go for it. Itís WORTH EVERY PENNY. So please, check them out, the app deserves our attention. Not only that, Iím confident that this community can improve the shaz out of this App & leave the other platforms screaming for updatesÖ.I have several ideas Iíd be happy to share, but lack the skill to implement them myself.

    So, Iím writing this because of events with NewsRoom, but really Iím writing this to urge people to support our devs. If itís a paid app, donít shy away, many of them are well worth the expense. If itís free & you love it, donate. If a dev is having trouble supporting an app you love, offer your help where plausible. Iím not pleading for charity, but Iím pleading for normally passive users to get involved & make this community even stronger. So, thanks to all in advance!

    On another note, has anyone heard if we'll ever see Digloo again? Or did we lose support there too?
  7. #7  
    I'm not a developer, but I use NewsRoom daily and I really like it. I hope they continue to support it.
  8. #8  
    <<Threads Merged>>
    Sprint|Samsung Epic
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by ryleyinstl View Post
    <<Threads Merged>>
    You also lost my post, blargh.

    Anyway, the basic gist of it was: I'm not completely happy with any RSS app out there at the moment, so I think it'd be great if users would chime in. The alternatives for me are just Feeds and Scoop, and I don't think we can count on Delicious Morsels or Pivotal Labs doing anything for either. So, since he's the one with a post open asking for responses (both on the official blog and Get Satisfaction), let's try to make it count.
    screwdestiny
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  10. #10  
    I absolutely LOVE NewsRoom and it was one of my first apps bought on my Palm Pre. It is by far the quickest news reader, interface simply ROCKS, and showed it to my wife who used other Free RSS readers and she jumped aboard in a heart beat.

    Not sure how I can support NewsRoom any further, we already bought two copies, but if you have not and are itching for a huge time saver and product that presents info quick and concise don't go any further.

    Things I would love to see, Landscape, Links redirect to mobile interfaces, and better video support. I guess I won't see this happen anytime soon and maybe they should open their platform and extend their SDK for NewsRoom and allow the webOS community and go at enhancing their product. Patches for NewsRoom...how cool that would be. Sorli...
  11. #11  
    I would be interested in it if it synced with Google Reader. Currently Feeds works great.
  12. fsu120's Avatar
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    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by jg123 View Post
    I would be interested in it if it synced with Google Reader. Currently Feeds works great.
    Same here. I would definitely buy a Newsroom app if it synced with Google Reader.
  13. #13  
    Huge fan of Newsroom, my wife has been putting off purchasing it, I'll make sure she does so tonight.

    My only "feature request" is landscape viewing. Everything should be landscapable.

    I have absolutely no programming abilities but am a fan of the product. I'm sad to see this developer was unable to turn a profit, not a good sign.
  14. #14  
    Thanks all for the kind words
  15. Cringer's Avatar
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       #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by fsu120 View Post
    Same here. I would definitely buy a Newsroom app if it synced with Google Reader.
    One of the feeds you have set up when you get NewRoom is theirs, and they put out a piece in it the other day about Google Reader. Some of their key reasons for not having it were:

    1.Updates from GR are more resource intensive and would impact battery life.

    2.NewsRoom expands teaser feeds into full artivles (I guess GR feeds would not allow this)

    3.NewsRoom does not required anyone to create/login to an account for a different service just to use it.


    edit: I should add they have a plan to integrate it, although in that piece it sounds like webOS would be left out of that feature if they move towards doing that because webOS wasn't really worth the time. Comments in that piece led to what I posted above.
    Last edited by Cringer; 09/30/2010 at 12:47 AM.
  16. gharkay's Avatar
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    #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by not-yet-pre View Post
    Most news feeds are free, so why should someone pay $5.00 to bring them together in one app when they could just cluster them on one launcher page? You may have missed your price point and since I only use two news feeds I have no need to create large group of different feeds.

    Just my thoughts - I do wish you luck and success in your endeavor.
    You seem to completely misunderstand what Newsroom is all about. It is far more than an RSS feed aggregator. Aside from the gorgeous UI, when you buy Newsroom you are also paying for usage of Trileet's servers. Those servers frequently check all your feeds for you, and when new articles are found, the servers download those articles, strip out everything except the text and important images, format the page for viewing on a small screen, and then let your phone know that new articles are available. Instead of having to manually check full websites for news when the RSS feed is just a teaser with a few sentences, with Newsroom you get the full text. Since the servers strip out all the unnecessary stuff, you only end up downloading the essentials, saving battery life and bandwidth. I don't know of anything like it for any platform, full computer OS's included. Calling Newsroom a feed reader is such a huge understatement because it provides a completely new way of getting news that's unmatched by any other program anywhere.

    And yeah, I gladly paid $5 for that. To be honest, given the way the app has radically changed how I consume information, I would probably pay upwards of $25 for it knowing what I do now about how it works.
  17. #17  
    I do hope they're able to keep supporting it - I doubt my five bucks will make or break 'em, but I just bought it myself today, based largely upon this thread...

    --John
  18. #18  
    Newsroom is on sale! Only $0.99

    Such a great app, so worth that dollar!
    ***I Twitter***

    Stop complaining & start doing ---> Leave feedback/suggestions for Palm here
  19. #19  
    bought it, how can you not when it's only $1? Missing the google reader integration though...not sure if NewsRoom can replace Feeds for that reason.
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by Pegsie View Post
    bought it, how can you not when it's only $1? Missing the google reader integration though...not sure if NewsRoom can replace Feeds for that reason.
    I wonder if they didn't call at an RSS app, newsroom would simply be a new aggregator. More along the lines of NYTimes, LATimes app. It does a nice job of doing that.

    Oh well, $0.99. Just download it. The developer likes WebOS and wants to continue developing for us. The new update made some nice speed improvements. Also, now feeds allow storage of 50 articles, not just 25.

    I like feeds....but is not that pleasing on the eyes like Newsroom.
    ***I Twitter***

    Stop complaining & start doing ---> Leave feedback/suggestions for Palm here
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