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  1.    #1  
    I've been a Palm + Sprint customer for a long time. Most recently I had a Treo 650 for which I'd written several custom apps just for my own use. Sticking with Sprint and a non-Windows OS was (and is) attractive to me.

    I really liked the iPhone but 1) it would have required switching carriers and 2) I object to Apple's monopoly on app distribution and the policies they choose to impose under that monopoly. So when the Pre was announced, I was an almost instant convert.

    As an aside, I happen to really like the phone. I upgraded to Pres for both me and my wife on day 1, and neither of us have had any problems. Some huge improvements over the old PalmOS Treos are a joy, mostly overcoming all the things I used to be able to do but can't yet on the Pre.

    I know a lot about OS platforms, the business model, the third-party developers, and the necessary developer programs that the vendor must supply. I recognized immediately that the Pre's (and Palm's?) ultimate success with this platform would be the selection of applications. Rather than sit back and wait/hope, I decided to make a concrete difference and vowed to write some real, useful apps for the Pre. When there are 10,000 apps, my small contribution probably won't be significant. But when WebOS is starting out, 3 or 4 more apps can make a difference.

    So I invested my time reading everything I could about the Pre. I joined forums, followed wiki's, and bought the Rough Cuts version of Mitch Allen's book. I've been reading and digesting every word carefully. I've begun prototyping some applications and working through the design phase.

    I signed up to be an early adopter of the WebOS SDK. At the time, I didn't have any specific application in mind (although I do now, several). So I wasn't able to provide a compelling description.

    The latest news from Palm suggests that my application is near the bottom of the pile, probably down far enough that I won't get early access and will just have to wait for the full public release in 3 months or so.

    Along with that is the growing evidence that the App Store will be the only outlet for applications, at least for the average Pre user. Maybe Palm will allow side loading via the SDK for technical folks, or maybe they'll sanction another method at some distant future date. Hard to tell at this point, but it doesn't look good. Add to that the language from Palm that indicates it will exercise similar constraints in the App Store as Apple does, and my enthusiasm is quickly starting to fade.

    All I really want is to be able to write WebOS apps and make them available via the channel that offers the best options. That may be Palm's App Store, but I'm not sure I want to invest my time not knowing that I have an alternative should Palm's policies and fees be unacceptable.

    I haven't given up hope yet. I'm continuing to read the Rough Cuts as they come out. I'm resisting the temptation to grab the illicit SDK since I want to be a good citizen in Palm's eyes. And I'm continuing to design the apps I have in mind and think of new ones that (I hope) Pre users will find desirable.

    But I have to say that I'm not as excited as I was, and not as committed to being a part of helping the Pre stand proudly up against the iPhone. Thanks for letting me vent.
  2. #2  
    If you really wanted to develop apps for WebOS, you would be rooting your Pre and downloading the illicit SDK. I am not sure why you are so sensitive about Palm, they seem to be turning into a mini Apple.
  3. #3  
    You know, a LOT of what you just said went through in my head as well. But let me begin with the simplest:

    Quote Originally Posted by derossi View Post
    I'm resisting the temptation to grab the illicit SDK since I want to be a good citizen in Palm's eyes.
    From what I have heard so far, Palm has made no comments about the SDK leak. I have also not heard of Palm taking action to trace, or to obtain any information on the culprit either. IMHO, the culprit has done a HUGE service to Palm and all the Devs out there who were wondering/hoping for the SDK release and were disgruntled by the response of "at the end of summer". I think you should grab whatever you can get (the leaked SDK) and begin development ASAP so that your app will be ready (like the few that are already out as Homebrew).

    Quote Originally Posted by derossi View Post
    Rather than sit back and wait/hope, I decided to make a concrete difference and vowed to write some real, useful apps for the Pre
    That is a VERY unique, and admirable decision on your part. Too many people come to beg on the forums, not to say that's bad and they should all go away, but it helps when there is at least a little bit of an exchange of ideas rather than pure demand. I myself have NO idea how to code in HTML/Java and picked it up SOLELY for the purpose of developing for the Pre and trying to help Palm with more (HOPEFULLY useful) apps just to make their app store more robust. I honestly think you should follow this vow of yours, get the SDK and dive right in.

    Quote Originally Posted by derossi View Post
    I signed up to be an early adopter of the WebOS SDK. At the time, I didn't have any specific application in mind (although I do now, several). So I wasn't able to provide a compelling description.
    You are not alone. I myself did the same exact thing. I regret it now, since I do have a few ideas for decent apps, and of course I'm well aware that my application is way on the bottom of their list... but... that's why the leaked SDK can whet my appetite for a bit...

    Quote Originally Posted by derossi View Post
    Along with that is the growing evidence that the App Store will be the only outlet for applications, at least for the average Pre user... Add to that the language from Palm that indicates it will exercise similar constraints in the App Store as Apple does, and my enthusiasm is quickly starting to fade.
    Personally, I just see Palm trying to make sure the Apps in their App store are safe and run fine on the Pre. I could be mistaken, but I have not seen any comments from Palm stating they will make sure to filter out the Apps and reject ones that they deem "low quality".

    Quote Originally Posted by derossi View Post
    All I really want is to be able to write WebOS apps and make them available via the channel that offers the best options. That may be Palm's App Store, but I'm not sure I want to invest my time not knowing that I have an alternative should Palm's policies and fees be unacceptable.
    I hear ya. I want to be able to write WebOS apps and make them available as well. I personally want to support the App Catalogue as MUCH as possible and will try my HARDEST to get my apps into the catalogue. I don't see why Palm would filter the apps and try to make it hard for us (Devs) to submit apps. Fees? Really? That would be EXTREMELY lame. I havn't heard of anything like that and I REALLY hope they don't make us submit fees to submit our apps.

    Quote Originally Posted by derossi View Post
    ...And I'm continuing to design the apps I have in mind and think of new ones that (I hope) Pre users will find desirable.
    Awesome. You definitely should continue to write and think up new apps for everyone to use and contribute as much as you can. I'm with you on hoping that Palm will be extremely friendly (as they have been so far) with the Devs and don't come up with as stringent rules as Apple has been infamous for.

    And come on... even through Apple's rules, their Devs were able to put up SEVERAL fart apps... I'm sure anything Palm comes up with can't be that bad...

    So ultimately, Good Luck! And I REALLY hope you gain back even a little bit of interest from my counter-venting...

    Palm really needs us...
  4. jewel's Avatar
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    #4  
    Don't give up guys. We need developers like you.
  5. #5  
    Grab the SDK. Put some of your ideas into motion. At worst, you can release the app as a homebrew
  6. #6  
    If they didn't want us to have the SDK they would have released something think about about a day after the Email Hack was found they released a fix. If they didn't want us to have the SDK we wouldn't have the SDK...
  7. #7  
    That the SDK has been released in Windows, Mac and Linux flavors gives credence to the idea the the leaks were intentional.

    Definitely get the SDK. If you've done even half the spelunking you claim, you'll be churning out several apps in no time.
  8.    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by ADGrant View Post
    If you really wanted to develop apps for WebOS, you would be rooting your Pre and downloading the illicit SDK. I am not sure why you are so sensitive about Palm, they seem to be turning into a mini Apple.
    Sadly, that's not the point.

    I gained root access to my Pre and started modifying it immediately. I hated the short list of choices for appointment reminder times, so I added ones for 2 hours and 1 minute (the shortest I could make work). I've added 7 custom choices to my global search list. I have call log durations, extra pages in my launcher, and the ability to set "roam only".

    All of this is terrific for me personally. It doesn't do anything to help the Pre flourish.
  9. #9  
    I am developer just like you and i am also waiting, but if you remember when the iPhone came out, there was no App store and no apps and apple was blowing dixi in the wind, it took them almost 1 year to get things rolling and 3 yr to come out with cpoy & paste. so just wait trust me Pre will be huge, if apple didnt come out with iPhone 3G S and updated the OS the Pre would have blown it out of the water. And Pre is only on version 1.0.4, just have some patients all will be good.
  10.    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by SirataXero View Post
    You know, a LOT of what you just said went through in my head as well. But let me begin with the simplest:
    Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

    Personally, I just see Palm trying to make sure the Apps in their App store are safe and run fine on the Pre. I could be mistaken, but I have not seen any comments from Palm stating they will make sure to filter out the Apps and reject ones that they deem "low quality".
    That's absolutely a part of it. Recent language quoted on PreCentral includes "because of certain laws, regulations, as well as contractual or other restrictions, Palm may refuse to allow the distribution of certain types of Applications". This is admittedly vague, and I've been on their side of the table enough times to understand why things tend to be this way. But they're also being very firm on control over app distribution. Palm also says, "Developer may not distribute any Application except as allowed by Palm's formal approved distribution process and channel". Which means that if you want to put even a single app in the App Catalog, you must be a real member of their developer program and you must agree to this, which then means you can't distribute any of your apps outside the catalog.

    Of course, Palm may loosen these restrictions, and I sincerely hope they do.

    I don't see why Palm would filter the apps and try to make it hard for us (Devs) to submit apps. Fees? Really? That would be EXTREMELY lame. I havn't heard of anything like that and I REALLY hope they don't make us submit fees to submit our apps.
    Palm may have no choice about filtering for the App Catalog. In fact, I'm sure they have some considerable pressure from the carriers and their own corporate policies requiring them to perform some filtering. I've done work for carriers before, and they are incredibly nervous about what an open platform will do on their networks.

    On the other hand, Palm is in a position to enable and advocate an open market for applications, assuming they do a good job with WebOS and what it allows developers to do. The political pressure that affects Palm's official App Catalog would not have the same impact on third-party distribution channels.

    As for fees, Palm's language includes, "distribution of Applications will be subject to further terms and conditions, which may include a share of the revenue generated from sale of the Applications to be paid to Palm by Developer".
  11.    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by joek71 View Post
    I am developer just like you and i am also waiting, but if you remember when the iPhone came out, there was no App store and no apps .... so just wait trust me Pre will be huge, if apple didnt come out with iPhone 3G S and updated the OS the Pre would have blown it out of the water. And Pre is only on version 1.0.4, just have some patients all will be good.
    Except that when the iPhone came out, there wasn't an established competitor with thousands of applications and a huge developer base already. Apple had the luxury of time that comes with first-mover advantage.

    Palm has a much shorter window to win the hearts of the developer community and consumers. If Palm takes 6 more months to get the SDK out and their first thousand applications, how much further ahead will Apple be?
  12. #12  
    Let's not forget Apple didn't even WANT native apps. They wanted everyone to make web apps. It was developer outcry (and jailbreaking/hacked apps) that finally got the ball rolling.

    Let's not forget steve-o didn't even want MMS (email is the future).

    Naturally they tout it like some revolutionary thing that THEY came up with.
  13. #13  
    I think it is perfectly reasonable for Palm to filter what apps go on the phone. From what I've seen in the easy access program, their requirements have more to do with app quality and stability than content. They mainly want to make sure that apps aren't buggy or causing memory leaks that will affect the other software on the phone.

    I don't see them blocking apps arbitrarily based on content. I'm sure they won't allow things like porn or really tasteless apps in their catalog, but that is perfectly reasonable.

    Also, as a developer, I don't mind them taking a cut out of app revenue. An app catalog gives developers a great distribution channel and that has a lot of value. It's better than having to market, distribute and sell apps on your own.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel Kernel View Post
    That the SDK has been released in Windows, Mac and Linux flavors gives credence to the idea the the leaks were intentional.

    Definitely get the SDK. If you've done even half the spelunking you claim, you'll be churning out several apps in no time.
    Wait, it has been leaking in Linux? Umm. I need to look for it. I thought we were windows only and I'm sick of having to boot into the Windows side of my laptop.

    I'm hoping the filter is purely for quality of the App. With a multitasking environment, one app can really slow the phone down if not programmed decently. I hope Palm knows that if they tighten up too tight, people will just jump to the only other option: Android.
  15. #15  
    For example, if someone doesn't properly dispose of things like event handlers correctly, they can cause a memory leak that will make the phone start choking. It is something that Palm specifically mentions a major issue that developers need to know about.

    A lot of homebrew makers might not know to watch for things like that. As an end user, would you want to have some poorly tested, amateur program on the App Catalog that could cause your phone to crater? There has to be some quality control or Joe Blow's preFart app could have users resetting their phones all the time.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by AnOutsider View Post
    Let's not forget Apple didn't even WANT native apps. They wanted everyone to make web apps.
    A lot like Palm really.
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by derossi View Post
    Sadly, that's not the point.

    I gained root access to my Pre and started modifying it immediately. I hated the short list of choices for appointment reminder times, so I added ones for 2 hours and 1 minute (the shortest I could make work). I've added 7 custom choices to my global search list. I have call log durations, extra pages in my launcher, and the ability to set "roam only".

    All of this is terrific for me personally. It doesn't do anything to help the Pre flourish.
    Nothing is stopping you writing apps right now. You just won't be able to sell them though the app store. Clearly though it is better for WebOS if the SDK becomes available ASAP. It would also help the Pre florish if it were available on other networks instead of just Sprint.
  18. #18  
    Really. I'd rather get coding instead of complaining. If anything, it just gives me extra time to develop and test my apps so they'll be ready to sell the minute the App Catalog opens for paid apps.
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by Blubble View Post
    Really. I'd rather get coding instead of complaining
    Right on.

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