back to article Palm fishes for devs with $1m lure

Palm has - finally - opened up its application development program for webOS to one and all. It will also open its app database to anyone who wants to build a store, extend its SDK's powers with a plug-in kit for C and C++ coders, and prime the development pump with $1m in incentives. The outing of the developer program was …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    $ million dollar lottery

    That's a lot of money for developers and a da*n good incentive! With Electronic Art's Need for Speed and other 3D hardware accelerated games, competition on the Palm Pre is going to explode. Even better for developers who have already built their C/C++ apps on the iPhone and Android which will require less effort to migrate into the webOS environment. And that's good for all webOS consumers who will end up with the availability of more really high-quality apps motivated by thousands of dollar incentives!

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch

      re: $ million dollar lottery

      dollar million dollar lottery? ahem.

      >That's a lot of money for developers and a da*n good incentive!

      No, Mr. Anonymous (if that is indeed your real name) Coward, it's not a *fucking* (/Francais entendu/) good incentive. It's like any other promotional contest, where the company that sets it up is looking for two things: free publicity, and as many schmucks as possible to either talk up the brand or do actual, unpaid, work for the company. I don't care whether this is a beauty contest or a lottery (and you don't even seem to know yourself), the chance of actually winning any money out of this are somewhere between slim and zero. If you're the sort of guy whose reason for continuing to exist every week depends on the possibility that you *might* win a lottery, then by all means knock yourself out. I suppose the rest of us will just have to live with the idea that some idiot cretin is going to win the money. Life goes on.

      Jeez, don't astroturfers even *try* to come up with convincing patter these days?

    2. mafoo

      Damn sock puppets

      Whats it like having buttons for eyes?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Finally" ???

    I think its funny that you state that Palm "finally" opened up to more advanced developers. It took Apple more than a year to even open up its platform at all on the iphone, and Android still doesn't have the openness that Palm is now allowing.

    As an iPhone user, I think that's an unfair way to paint the angle of this story. At least that's how I took it.

  3. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Not even for a million bucks...

    I was just cleaning out my filing cabinet and I ran across all the old RMAs and please-fix-my-palm letters for my Vx, m500, T|X etc. I went through 8 Palm T|Xs w/o getting one with a touch screen that would work past a week. There was a ton of recalibrate-your-screen-on-reset apps because often you couldn't tap the screen to get to the control panel. I had mercifully forgotten all that.

    JWZ's experience with their app store shows they still have there head as firmly up their butts as ever. So does their weird TV ads. I work in a huge tech company and I only know one person with a Treo, and that's the only Palm product around.

    I hope 2010 sees the end of Palm.

    1. Chris Miller

      Couldn't be you, could it?

      I've owned every other generation of Palm devices since the US Robotics Pilot, including the V and the T|X as well as my current Treo 680, and I've never had a single instance of problems of the kind you describe, nor have several friends and colleagues that use Palm kit.

      Are you trying to operate your touch screen with a lump hammer, by any chance?

      1. David Beck

        You've been lucky

        I too have had a series of Palm products and still use a Centro for my phone, but you've been lucky with the TX. These are notorious for the plastic digitiser and it's lack of stability. I've been through three and now have decided that when I move to my next phone (non-PalmOS) I'll have to spend the money for a glass digitiser for the TX in the drawer as it will be the repository of all of the legacy PalmOS apps I need to keep around.

        I am leaning toward a Nokia feature phone (say 6700) to use in conjunction with the TX as this combination now looks better than any of the "smartphones" I have touched. I have limited goals for the devices and none of them involve being trendy.

    2. Dennis 6

      I mourn for Palm...

      I've been a loyal Palm user since their early days but now I have an iPhone. Palm have screwed up royally, failing their community of users and their community of developers. I still have a Palm T3 for navigation duties in the car an a TX with the apps I can't migrate to the iPhone. I had to replace the screen on the TX, and the on/off button only just works, so I don't have much confidence in their build quality. The Palm Pre doesn't appeal to me at all, with its dire keyboard and lack of memory expansion. I can't expand the memory of my iPhone, but it has 32Gb. I think touch screen keyboards that appear as and when needed are the future. It is the slow pace at which Palm are unrolling their products and app store that amazes me, while Apple and Android are collecting users and developers, and I don't think Palm will make it. I mourn for them because I really liked them once. The best hope is that other more capable manufacturers will adopt WebOS.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Excellent Example For Business Schools

    "How to destroy your marketing leading position by hibernation" - that's how you could call the Palm case.

    They had a device out there called "PDA" and did not realize that there was something called GSM/GPRS/internet that would make this device much, much more useful. Research In Motion did, but apparently they also fell asleep and now Apple is eating their lunch. Let's see who will outdo Apple.

  5. Sterling Udell

    They're offering money for the TOP apps?

    Kinda says it all, doesn't it? The top-selling apps should be making good money just by virtue of being - wait for it - the top-selling apps. So clearly the only way to make money from Palm's app store is for Palm to pay you itself. Is it any wonder that mobile developers are staying away in droves?

    As a mobile dev myself, the only viable opportunities right now are iPhone (for current installed user base) and Android (for growth potential). My time is too valuable to invest in Palm's shaky future.

  6. Shane O Sullivan

    They're offering money for the top FREE and paid apps

    Palm are offering money for both free and paid apps. Read the blog post. The top free app gets $100,000, the next top 20 free apps get $10,000 each, and the next 200 free apps get $1,000 each. I don't know about you, but I'm writing apps right now. With how few apps there are, getting into the top 200 is crazy simple. Getting into the top 20 a bit harder, but very, very possible if you know what you're doing.

    The same conditions apply to paid apps, but it's harder to compete there.

    Easy, free money. Why complain?

  7. Robert E A Harvey

    'ang on a mo?

    So appp writing is open to everyone, but the phones are tied to one network?

    Some mistake, shirley?

    1. Shane O Sullivan

      Not sure of the correlation

      The two are not necesarily related. You can develop webOS apps without a phone, for the most part. Their development kit contains a full emulator that behaves just like the phone.

      Also, in the States the Pre and Pixi are now available on both Sprint and Verizon (later this month), though they may stay on one carrier per country in Europe.

      It would be cool if they released an unlocked developer phone though.

  8. mafoo


    Someone gets a 100,000 smackers for the best fart program. Huzzah!

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