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  1.    #1  
    I have a question for webOS developers. What is the big deal in making apps for webOS by companies who make apps for the iPhone. I am not talking about all 200,000...most are worthless...I get that.

    For example, current iPhone apps Citimobile, ESPN Radio and Pizza Hut would be nice for webOS. ESPN Radio is a huge hit for sports fans.

    I understand that Palm has a tool for developers that allows them to port applications they create for the iPhone to webOS. Though there is still work to do, it seems like that tool does eliminate the need to create the apps from scratch.

    So basically what is the big deal for Airkast and/or ESPN to make their app for webOS? Is it really that much of a financial and technical risk to create apps for multiple platforms?
    Last edited by westwood wizard; 06/03/2010 at 11:07 AM.
  2. mosdl's Avatar
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    #2  
    Quote Originally Posted by westwood wizard View Post
    I understand that Palm has a tool for developers that allows them to port applications they create for the iPhone to webOS. Though there is still work to do, it seems like that tool does eliminate the need to create the apps from scratch.
    That is misinformation - you can port iPhone games easily to webOS without too much work - regular apps have to be written from scratch.
    Apps: MyQ for Netflix (Phone/TouchPad), Giantbomb (Phone), Excavate (Reddit/Digg clients for TouchPad)
  3. #3  
    It's likely that these companies have outsourced the app creation to a third party, and that third party may or may not have anyone on staff who is familiar with webOS development.

    On top of that, if they are paying a third party, they may not even own the code that is being distributed, so they can't easily have it ported to another platform unless they have some sort of special agreement with the developers.

    On top of that, the market share of webOS is relatively small, so their motivation is likely equally as small.

    Palm makes it easy to port apps and there are other third party tools that allow multi-platform development, but not everyone uses them so it's not always just as easy to drop in apps on webOS, but even from scratch, webOS app development is pretty simple.

    There are quite a few other concerns, that are at least something people consider when developing... for example submitted apps to Palm are easily opened up and the source is plainly visible, unless obfuscated, and even that can be reversed, so if they have an app that has some special intellectual property in the code, they may not want to distribute it in such a way.

    PDK will help alleviate this, and generally it is recommended to keep protected code on the server side.
  4. zonyl's Avatar
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    #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by westwood wizard View Post
    I have a question for webOS developers. What is the big deal in making apps for webOS by companies who make apps for the iPhone. I am not talking about all 200,000...most are worthless...I get that.
    ...

    So basically what is the big deal for Airkast and/or ESPN to make their app for webOS? Is it really that much of a financial and technical risk to create apps for multiple platforms?
    Two things: Return On Investment (ROI) and its a relatively new platform.

    I saw mentioned somewhere that Palm has sold roughly a little over 1 Million WebOS Phones. Compare that to iPhone / iPod / iPad over 80 Million consumers. Not sure about the BB/Droid numbers, but in general you are pretty much going to see any apps coming last to WebOS if at all. Its all about numbers which the big companies play.

    As mentioned above SDL/OpenGL apps are easily ported from iPhone to WebOS, so the ROI is very high for those types of applications (little investment).
  5.    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by zonyl View Post
    Two things: Return On Investment (ROI) and its a relatively new platform.

    I saw mentioned somewhere that Palm has sold roughly a little over 1 Million WebOS Phones. Compare that to iPhone / iPod / iPad over 80 Million consumers. Not sure about the BB/Droid numbers, but in general you are pretty much going to see any apps coming last to WebOS if at all. Its all about numbers which the big companies play.

    As mentioned above SDL/OpenGL apps are easily ported from iPhone to WebOS, so the ROI is very high for those types of applications (little investment).
    I bought a Palm Centro back in January 2008 and at that time it felt a little out of date. I have been loyal to Palm and am interested in upgrading to webOS but have hesitated because of the lack of major applications..again...I don't care about having 200,000 but a few of the major ones is not too much to ask for out of any platform.

    That said, this sounds like the chicken and egg problem. Do the apps need to come first in order to get more people to buy webOS or does the user base need to reach a certain critical mass before the apps come?

    I don't think the latter scenario is realistic. webOS is slick but people won't join in large numbers unless some of the popular apps they see for the iPhone show up on webOS as well.

    I am hoping HP with its clout and contacts in the corporate world can convince companies like ESPN to support webOS and maybe even subsidize some of the development/maintenance costs to get popular apps to webOS such as ESPN Radio.
  6. zonyl's Avatar
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    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by westwood wizard View Post
    I bought a Palm Centro back in January 2008 and at that time it felt a little out of date. I have been loyal to Palm and am interested in upgrading to webOS but have hesitated because of the lack of major applications..again...I don't care about having 200,000 but a few of the major ones is not too much to ask for out of any platform.

    That said, this sounds like the chicken and egg problem. Do the apps need to come first in order to get more people to buy webOS or does the user base need to reach a certain critical mass before the apps come?

    I don't think the latter scenario is realistic. webOS is slick but people won't join in large numbers unless some of the popular apps they see for the iPhone show up on webOS as well.

    I am hoping HP with its clout and contacts in the corporate world can convince companies like ESPN to support webOS and maybe even subsidize some of the development/maintenance costs to get popular apps to webOS such as ESPN Radio.
    Good comment on the critical mass. From what I have seen what propelled the phones to fusion:

    - PalmOS - First in town. Best PIM hands down, probably still is.
    - WinMo - Operating system best in class at the time. ActiveSync corporate.
    - Symbian - Sheer numbers
    - RIM - BES = best corporate messaging system at the time, probably still is.
    - iPhone - Apple UI appeal and "Fad" status. Out of the box the phone could barely do anything useful, but it looked darn pretty! Apple just has the Magic Marketing / UI designers and had total control over the platform. Hell I would use a Mac if it cost the same as a PC.
    - Android - Google $$$ and Geek appeal (dont know if it has reached fusion per say but its darn close) Google tried making their own phone N1 as we know and that didnt turn out so great for them yet.
    - WebOS - iPhone ports of games making it hang one but no where near fusion.

    Palm fell into the same trap as Apple did and I doubt they can buy their way out of it (even with HP $$): They tried Web based apps which the API's were severely lacking (still are). Apple just had more cash to switch API's, weather the storm, and acquire "Fad" status. Palm is attempting to do as well with PDK/Mojo combo but it is unknown / unlikely they will reach "Fad" status.
    Last edited by zonyl; 06/04/2010 at 09:18 PM.

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