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  1. squeff's Avatar
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    I've read plenty of posts from my fellow Pre/Pixi owners wondering why developers aren't jumping at WebOS. Let me share a little inside knowledge.

    I work within an organization that, among other things, is responsible for development of software for mobile platforms.

    We, like any organization (from single developer shops to Microsoft-sized organizations with thousands of developers) have to pick and choose. It is simply not possible to pick up every project that anyone wants.

    The others in my organization have iPhones and Blackberry devices. Several are Windows Mobile. So far, I am the only WebOS person and we have no Android.

    When we survey our audience, we get back results that show that most of our mobile users are iPhone.

    So, without any regard to the merits of various platforms, the numbers are clear: we hit the most number of people by going for iPhone.

    We have a very limited budget for development, so if we can only pick one platform, it's got to be iPhone.

    As much as, personally, want to see our products available for the WebOS platform and as much as I, personally, know that without products, the WebOS platform will flop... how can I possibly justify spending limited dollars on developing for the WebOS platform when we only have resources to pick one platform?

    All the righteous indignation doesn't mean anything when you're asking someone else to put their business on the line.

    So, here's my suggestion for those that are just plain angry that company XYZ doesn't have a WebOS app or has no current plans: put up your own funds.

    I'm sure that if enough WebOS users were to send "donations" to the developer of your favorite PalmOS/iPhone app to fund their development of a WebOS version, they'd do it.

    I can't speak for CESD of Pimlico Software, but I'm sure if a check came his way for $200,000 to fund his working on a WebOS version of DateBk, his business priorities might change.

    So, what I'd like to propose is that the PreCentral community get together and collect money to "seed" developers to write for WebOS. Sort of "venture capital."

    If you're thinking "I'm not going to put up my own money for an app that may or may not sell enough for me to get my investment back," then you're answered the question about why others are not.

    And you know why my management has no plans for WebOS. Because, like you, they aren't willing to put up the money for what may or may not yield a sufficient number of customers.

    Any takers?
  2. #2  
    With the PDK it should be quite a bit easier to get apps made for the iphone over to our Pre's, I doubt it would take anywhere near $200k to port an app. But the idea isn't completely (just mostly) off base, just one little flaw (At least just one I care to point out). If we offer up dev money for the apps then we still have to pay for the app. That's double dipping, and that's not fair in anybodies book.
  3. #3  
    its ridiculous to have to pay for the apps development and then the app itself
  4. #4  
    That's nice and all, but this phone is one of the most open out there, and some of the best stuff on it is from volunteers who do it for the love, not for the money. Hell, the OS it is based on comes from that culture as well.

    I much prefer this philosophy to those platforms that can earn people lots of money on fart apps for a less than savvy user community.

    There's room for commercial apps as well as homebrew and those who create stuff for the love of it. You'll notice that many apps now successfully selling in the official app catalog got their start in Homebrew. If it's worthwhile to the community, it will earn you money. If you aren't making something worthwhile, it won't. Sorry that we aren't as easy as the i-toy users.
  5. jaywaller's Avatar
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    Palm should be finding venture capitalist to seed the developer community. Most individuals don't have the means or time to organize such effort.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by UntidyGuy View Post
    The PDK won't do squat for this. If you're going to make an iPhone app, you need to take advantage of the native platform. iPhone users may tolerate generic controls for games, however, if it's a productivity app or anything else, it had better use the standard iPhone UI elements. It's ultra-competitive in the App Store.
    I think you're wrong, but I'm not going to argue. I was in the boat that the PDK allows for porting games but I've been told that it greatly increases the possibility and ease of porting non-game apps as well since the PDK works in conjunction with the SDK the basic UI elements for webOS can be (relatively) easily tacked on. Since it's still in beta and none of the apps made/ported with it (aside from the ones from Palms selected partners) are at least a few months off it's moot to argue. In due time I guess, we shall all see.
  7. Kedar's Avatar
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    yeah I wad wondering if you could talk to your team about the PDK and how easy it is to port over to a new platform for more $$$.

    edit: well, nvm
  8. #8  

    that # is insane. Not for developing a webOS app... Maybe marketing included.
  9. #9  
    You left out one very good reason to program for the WebOS instead of iPhone.

    You are never guaranteed that Apple will approve your app that you invested $200 in, and Apple could remove your app when they feel like it because the wind was blowing North this month but might approve it if the wind is blowing South next month.

    So there are reasons to develop for Palm (or even Android) because you know your investment will get to the users.

    And if you app sells on a smaller platform, then it would pay for getting it ported to the bigger platform (the iPhone). Think of it as a platform for beta testing your apps and then you can move it to the big guns.

    And because Palm is making it incredibly easy to write for it's platform, it would take less money to develop for Palm over iPhone.

    Then in the end, you have all platforms, and you end up with a BRAND (recognition).

    Robert L
    Astoria Queens, N.Y.C
    - Palm Pre (Sprint) - formally Palm Treo 650
    Sprint Configuration 2.3
    Model: P100EWW
    Hardware Version: A
    Firmware: CC1.4(510)

  10. #10  
    The general idea is sound, but it would need to be with the understanding that the investors get the apps for free when they are released.

    The big question, however, is which app(s) and developers? Will there be enough interested people willing to invest enough money to interest a developer?

    For the right app(s), IF they would never exist without an initial, up-front investment, I'd be willing to invest up to $100.00, but I'd have some other conditions beyond the above.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyPre View Post

    that # is insane. Not for developing a webOS app... Maybe marketing included.
    That number was hyperbole. He chose a huge number on purpose. As in, if you gave a Dev that large a check, they'd do almost anything you asked. The actual investment needed would be much smaller, but how much smaller is the question.
  12. SiLlY's Avatar
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    I completely understand where the OP is coming from but the one thing that attracted me to the pre was linux and webos' somewhat open sourcery (home made word, btw). I think we homebrew devs, testers and fans are doing fine. And with the PDK release.. even better things to come. Palm is also feeding us tidbits along the way. I think they do that to keep us in suspense. Hooked on waiting for the next small morsel. Access to API's here and there, etc..

    If we start hunting for the big name devs and paying all kinds of money.. we'll have a nice gadget with locked down software. That would of course attract the pirating scene therefore causing things to be locked down even more.. and in the end.. it's just another iphone, MS, <any other proprietary POS>, etc..

    I might be wrong but history kind of repeats itself. I think it was "redhat" that went down that same path. tsk tsk tsk...
  13. miata's Avatar
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    I can't imagine small contributions affecting larger developers.

    The best thing to do is to buy good apps that are already available for WebOS. That will only encourage other developers. Heck these things are often only $.99. Until a lot of people start buying those apps, I can't imagine developers being interested in developing for WebOS.

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