Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Cellphones Software Wireless Networking

Palm Opens Dev Program, Offers $1M For Top App 91

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the best-kind-of-incentive dept.
CWmike writes "Palm opened up its webOS developer program to the public this week in a bid to close the gap with the number of iPhone and Android apps. Palm will also open up its application distribution channel to developers and Web sites, giving them access to detailed information about applications and statistics, such as the number of downloads. This will allow them to build their own application directories and application ranking mechanisms, Palm's Katie Mitic said. 'As an incentive to developers interested in building their own directories, Palm is offering $1 million to the developer with the most downloads of free and paid applications between February and May, Mitic said. Palm also announced a plug-in development kit for WebOS that allows developers to extend the OS's capabilities using code written in C and C++. Over time, these plug-ins will be incorporated into the software development kit, she said. The plug-in development kit will be released at the Game Developers Conference in March, but a handful of game developers have already put the kit to use. EA Mobile, Laminar Research, Gameloft and Glu all released games that were developed using plug-ins. Those games include 3D titles, such as EA Mobile Need for Speed Undercover, and are now available.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Palm Opens Dev Program, Offers $1M For Top App

Comments Filter:
  • by jr76 (1272780)
    WebOS is like being in 3rd place in a marathon, where the other two people are an HOUR ahead of you. They should give it up and take on android for themselves. Just get it over with. It's so sad they can't let go of a dying technology and move on..
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheKidWho (705796)

      Dying? WebOS was just released last summer and quite frankly it's a great Linux based system. Much better than Android and competitive with the iPhone. Unfortunately it needs more apps, but with access to the native hardware now, I believe it will surpass Android in useful apps.

      • by sznupi (719324)

        When looking at it as a "Linux based system", Maemo is much better.

        • I don't think it's an issue with their OS. I think it's more that when they released their store they put so many restrictions that it wasn't worthwhile contributing apps. All I can really say is "sucked in" to Palm Management. They deserve what they get.

    • Re:Useless (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Friday January 08, 2010 @07:13PM (#30701664) Homepage Journal
      It's still nice to see more competition and original ideas. Think about that next time you're forced to choose between nvidia and ATI, or when you have no choice with respect to cable service.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        It's still nice to see more competition and original ideas. Think about that next time you're forced to choose between nvidia and ATI, or when you have no choice with respect to cable service.

        But Yet Another API is not really an original idea - well, it can be if it is really fundamentally different, but is it in this case?

        Otherwise, I'd rather see competition in terms of efficiency of implementation, and extra features, with the core set being standardized - and Android doesn't look half bad for that purpose.

    • Re:Useless (Score:4, Interesting)

      by nhavar (115351) on Friday January 08, 2010 @07:28PM (#30701866) Homepage

      You're making an assumption that the goal of every marathon is to win 1st place.

      I'm not sure what you mean by letting go of a dieing technology. Linux? Web Standards (JavaScript, HTML, CSS)? C, C++? I haven't seen any signs that any of those are dying. In fact Gartner had a paper on how Web Apps are the next big economy. That would suggest that Palm has positioned itself very well, especially considering how HTML5 and Canvas are poised to change RIA development.

      • by nhavar (115351)

        Forgot to include that Palm WebOS will also be taking advantage of WebGL when it arrives.

      • Spot on - wrt marthons. This is a race where ultimately during the next decade billions of units will be shipped - half the people on earth will have a connected communication device, with half of that population cycling every two years ? Plenty of profit in third place, and over the long haul - way too premature to call time of death on the folks who invented this category.
        • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

          by sznupi (719324)

          half the people on earth will have a connected communication device, with half of that population cycling every two years

          What do you mean "will"? 3 billion people had mobile phone...a year ago. Now it's at around 4.6 billion. And you overestimate a bit their willingness to upgrade, I suspect.

          PS. "folks who invented this category"?

          • I don't know why you got modded flamebait. You're right that worldwide mobile phone usage passed 50% in 2008.

            Who invented mobile phones? Hard to say. It depends where you draw the line between two way radio and the modern day mobile phone. It's easier to say for smartphones. That was Nokia. Their Communicator series had the market to itself for a few years. But then smartphones haven't passed the 50% worldwide ownership milestone.

            • by sznupi (719324)

              I guess some people don't like to face the fact that their darling manufacturers hardly register on a world scale.

              BTW, the ambiguity of "smartphone" term makes your estimate quite blurry. If we want to talk about solid numbers, we need to have solid definition about what we're talking about (why iPhone is a smartphone while Nokia S40 isn't? Or, especially, SE "feature phones" - those even have multitasking fuller than iPhone/S40 one)

              • Some people seem to have trouble with the term smartphone. But the definition I'm familiar with is fairly clear. A smartphone is a mobile phone with the capability of installing native third party applications. And a feature phone is the middle ground of a phone with applications above and beyond what you'd expect in a basic mobile phone, but you only get what the manufacturer put there.

                Note Apple never referred to the iPhone as a "smartphone" when it was launched. Until the release of an SDK about a year a

                • by sznupi (719324)

                  I also accept they haven't passed 50%. The issue is - how can we determine when will that happen?

                  "Installing native third party applications" isn't as clear as you might think. iPhone OS sandboxes them. Android or WebOS were, until recently, limited to running apps under VM of one sort or another, and yet still were considered undoubtedly smartphones. OTOH j2me apps on many "feature phones" run on Jazelle (and you can install your own, that's the whole point...)

                  • It's absolutely as clear as I think. Whether or not you want to call the swiss cheese security limitations* on a iPhone app a "sandbox" is irrelevant to the definition of a smartphone I gave. iPhone apps are native, J2ME apps are running on a WM and are thus not native. The iPhone thus qualifies under that definition as a smartphone. Phones which allow nothing more than Java are not smartphones but feature phones. This fits common usage of the terms in the industry.

                    (* Many of the limitations of iPhone ap

                    • by sznupi (719324)

                      Nice to see you totally ignored Jazelle (hardware execution of most of j2me) and Android/WebOS (smartphone OSes which until recently were running only interpreted code in software VM)

                      Are you seriously not seeing how blurry it is or are you trying to make some platforms look better? Heck, saying that apps which don't have complete control of the hardware are not really native is similarly valid criterion. Or if they depend on common library or ObjC runtime.

                    • Whether or not the Java VM is implemented in software or hardware is irrelevant. It makes no difference to the user (other than speed and battery life.) It's access to the native API that allows third party applications to appear the same as in-built applications. To use the native UI and to access the specific resources and feature of that device. That's what's the significant difference with smartphones. It's a user experience distinction.

                      WebOS is interesting actually because it qualifies as a smartpho

                    • by sznupi (719324)

                      But that simply shifts the issue towards "what makes an API native and somewhat full featured", still requires choosing a bit arbitrary point; suiting your overall impressions regarding "what is a smartphone"? ;p

                      Did you ever work with late SE j2me implementations? They give quite a lot of control to the dev...

                    • But that simply shifts the issue towards "what makes an API native and somewhat full featured"

                      No it doesn't. It's simple. If third party developers program against the same API as the built in apps, then it qualifies. Otherwise it doesn't.

                      Did you ever work with late SE j2me implementations? They give quite a lot of control to the dev...

                      No I didn't. But it doesn't change anything. Unless the built in apps were created using J2ME also, then it wouldn't qualify as a smartphone. Perhaps if I used the alternat

                    • by sznupi (719324)

                      Than you just admitted that SE A200 phones and Nokia S40 phones are smartphones. Part of the built in apps are in j2me. They are "first class" as regarded by manufacturer apparently, whatever that means.

                    • Part of the built in apps are in j2me.

                      "Part of"? Be specific. If the phone app, the SMS app and the contacts app are j2me, then OK. (But that's not the case, for S40 at least to my certain knowledge.)

                      If were talking about the inclusion of Snake, and other java trivia whilst the main phone apps are written in C, then this conversation has turned into one of me fielding questions from a child.

                    • by sznupi (719324)

                      "Middle of the ground" apps of course, not the ones covering basic phone functionality (but - "smartphones" usually don't allow to access this too), but neither gimmicks/toys. Web browser most notably. Even things like gallery/media app aren't "native" (while this specific example isn't usually j2me AFAIK, it doesn't have much common with UI of the basic phone functionality; less than typical j2me app for sure)

                      Hey, don't underestimate inquisitiveness of children; they can easily exhaust mental acrobatics of

              • by mdwh2 (535323)

                I agree about the definition of smartphone.

                I don't think it's a problem when looking at the first smartphone however, as they predated feature phones. Originally you just had phones that could phone, text, and maybe do WAP. A clear question would be, when did the first appear that could run any arbitrary application (i.e., like a computer/PDA)?

                These days that definition is meaningless of course, since all feature phones can run applications via Java. These days almost all phones are smartphones, except for

                • by sznupi (719324)

                  It's still safe to say less than 3% probably. iPhone has 14% of what is called "smartphones", and those phones in turn constitute 15-20% of total.

                • WAP came a long time AFTER the first smartphone that could run arbitrary applications.

                  The first smartphone (i.e.supporting native 3rd party applications) was the Nokia 9000 Communicator in 1996. The first WAP phone, the Nokia 7110 was in 1999.

                  These days that definition is meaningless of course, since all feature phones can run applications via Java.

                  Not NATIVE applications.

                  The ability to run Java applications only makes a phone a feature phone, not a smartphone.The only reason "smartphone" is used is as a ma

    • by LurkerXXX (667952)

      A dying technology? It's 7 months old you moron.

    • I like to think of the browser market for inspiration: http://marketshare.hitslink.com/browser-market-share.aspx?qprid=0 [hitslink.com]

      I've gotten some commentary about using Hitslink, so here's another reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers [wikipedia.org]

      Both first place and second place are locked in an eternal struggle to outdo each other. The nearest competition is a considerable distance from the frontline. I believe it's third place that is the real proving ground; success in both of my linked resour

      • by Hadlock (143607)

        The noticable difference between firefox and chrome is that no amount of "you should really use firefox! its much safer and easier to use!" and even installing it on their computer for them, they still didn't used it. At best I get a grunt from the person I'm trying to "help". I've been traveling for a month and every person I've let borrow my netbook goes "ooh, is that google chrome? i might have to try this when i get home"

    • WebOS is like being in 3rd place in a marathon, where the other two people are an HOUR ahead of you.

      That's true in terms of number of apps, but I still think Palm has a decent chance at being a solid third.

      I like Palm because they have built something really unique, and really thought of an interesting and useful alternative to the standard phone OS model.

      The contest is a great idea, because it will scoop in a lot of developers they lost before. The biggest mistake they made was not having the API open bef

    • by dave_d (22165)

      Wahooo, 3rd place in a marathon!!! That's still a medal. So what if they're an hour behind 2nd, they're in front of 4th.
       

  • Step 1: Create shitty app that's tiny and free (Pull My Finger 2.0)
    Step 2: Have Slashdot post it on the front page
    Step 4: Profit

    • by jo42 (227475)

      Combine iFart, iBurp, iTweet and you'll definitely get the $1M...

    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by TheKidWho (705796)

      You're forgetting one thing, the average slashdoter would complain they weren't getting enough value with the $0.99 app and would either pirate it or complain loudly over the Internet about it on some forum.

      • by dangitman (862676)

        You're forgetting one thing, the average slashdoter would complain they weren't getting enough value with the $0.99 app and would either pirate it or complain loudly over the Internet about it on some forum.

        Seeing as free (as in beer) applications are eligible for this contest, I don't see how that would be a problem. There's no way a paid app is going to win this contest.

        P.S: Can somebody tell me where all this free beer is coming from? I usually have to pay for mine, even if I make it myself.

    • What is step 3???????
  • or 15 million in revenue for being a mediocre application on a platform with a much larger userbase?
    • Just want to point out that the odds of winning this competition are increased because:
      1) the user base is smaller
      2) making real money selling an app at $0.99 has been shown to be difficult in the sea of garbage apps out there (that is also assuming you can even get your app accepted)

  • My new app (Score:4, Funny)

    by Jeremi (14640) on Friday January 08, 2010 @07:17PM (#30701724) Homepage

    Is called "Jeremi pays you $5". If you're one of the first 100,000 people to download it, it will paypal $5 to your account

    everybody wins! ;)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I feel like 10 $100,000 prizes would do more to help their cause. $100,000 is still a heck of a lot of money and I think would get more smaller developers to try and go for it. The million dollars will probably be won by a large company.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Rufus211 (221883)

      Woah, that's huge. According to billshrink's comparison [billshrink.com] there are only 300 apps currently for the Pre. The lack of apps was the #1 reason I haven't bought a Pre yet.

      This should let them easily get 10x the number of current apps for a relatively cheap price. Also since there are so few apps to start with it should be fairly easy for any descent app to at least get the $1k prize.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        1066 official apps in the catalog; 310 in the homebrew channels. I think Palm's real play here is that this coincides with the release of the C/C++ PDK and some games that are very obviously direct ports of iPhone games. If you're an iPhone developer who had a solid hit and it's relatively painless to port your app to WebOS for a shot at $100,000, why not? It's one more opportunity to be the big fish in a small pond like Trism.
        • Because the new C API will not be generally available during this period, only apps using the Web-style API (either hand-coded or through ARES) are eligible.

          This is interesting because they claim at present that they will introduce the C-style API in March and that overlaps the period.

          See the actual terms [palm.com] for details.

          D

      • by nhavar (115351)

        1066 apps in the official catalog as of today.
        http://www.precentral.net/app-gallery/app-catalog/, http://projectappetite.com

        393 apps in the homebrew section.
        http://www.precentral.net/homebrew-apps

        There's some overlap as things from homebrew eventually go into the official catalog.

        The one thing that people forget though is Classic. The Classic app allows you to use the thousands of apps made for PalmOS or your WebOS device.
        http://www.motionapps.com/classic/overview/

      • by MobyTurbo (537363)

        Woah, that's huge. According to billshrink's comparison [billshrink.com] there are only 300 apps currently for the Pre.

        There are 1,040 apps available now in the App catalog, not including 300 homebrew apps. Still, it is a lot less than Android (14,000 apps), or iPhone (100,000 apps) or even creaky old PalmOS (50,000 apps)

  • by jolyonr (560227) on Friday January 08, 2010 @07:20PM (#30701764) Homepage

    Assuming this is legal where you live: But if not, hey, try it anyway...

    1. Create app that gives people a chance to win $500,000, (but only pays out if app is biggest download) as a free lottery thing.
    2. Distribute for free. Give codes to people so you get an extra "ticket" for everyone you recruit to download it, and from those they recruit etc.
    3. Sit back and wait.
    4. PROFIT
    5. Send $50,000 to me for the idea. Thanks

    • Only if the State made the app. Lotteries are strictly regulated.
    • So you’re suggesting a Ponzi scheme? How creative of you...

    • Assuming this is legal where you live: But if not, hey, try it anyway...

      1. Create app that gives people a chance to win $500,000, (but only pays out if app is biggest download) as a free lottery thing. 2. Distribute for free. Give codes to people so you get an extra "ticket" for everyone you recruit to download it, and from those they recruit etc. 3. Sit back and wait. 4. PROFIT 5. Send $50,000 to me for the idea. Thanks

      You misspelled "Profit!!!", and you missed step "???".

  • Can you write an app V 1.0, have it be popular, then do 1.0.1, 1.0.2, etc and have your pushed updates count as downloads?

    I'm not saying I want to cheat anyone out of a million dollars. But it's a million dollars.

  • by El Royo (907295) on Friday January 08, 2010 @08:06PM (#30702370) Homepage
    I just watched the CES presentation and it was very good. Lots of excellent stuff coming from Palm. The 3D games look great and I've already downloaded one of them. A little sad the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus are Verizon exclusives but I wasn't going to replace my Pre in any case. The proof will be in what Verizon does for marketing the Pre and Pixi. If they do half as well pushing it as they did the Droid it will be great, particularly since the Pre and Pixi are much more consumer friendly devices than any of the Android devices, in my opinion.

    The PDK, allowing for native apps, really removes that last barrier that devs were complaining about, so I should hope we'll be seeing a lot more active development for the platform. Still, there are a tremendous number of apps that can be developed with the existing SDK. I don't think people have really begun tapping the Canvas element. The 3D games look great but they're going to be tough on the battery.

    I should have a review of CES up on Pre 101 [pre101.com] tonight, so check back if you want the executive summary of the CES announcement.
    • ... particularly since the Pre and Pixi are much more consumer friendly devices than any of the Android devices, in my opinion.

      Can you elaborate on what you mean by that?

      (I'm going to shop for a smartphone soon, and so far all signs point to N900, but I'm still interested in feedback on all contenders, including Pre.)

      • by nhavar (115351)

        The main draw of the Pre and more specifically the Pixi is simplicity. The UI is simple, uncluttered, and easy to use immediately - no flipping through manuals to find what you need and if you do want to dig deeper the help file and Google are just keystrokes away. The Pixi form factor is familiar to anyone coming from previous Palm or Blackberry devices and familiarity is a big draw. It's also lightweight and the form factor just feels better in your hand than any of the Android phones I've held. These are

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by LurkerXXX (667952)

        WebOS just looks more elegant and feels more friendly and intuitive than Android. The gestures it uses make navigation and use easy. I was just listening to the Engadget podcast from CES and they were talking about how much nicer the gestures were to use than the 4 button android interface. Plus the card interface makes multitasking and closing programs a snap, while they were bummed at how to actually close an app they no longer wanted in Android, they had to pull up a task-killer program to kill it off.

        • by LurkerXXX (667952)

          Um, that was supposed to be The N900 is a very nice phone.

        • The Droid is limited to Verizon, but then again that's not much of a limitation as Verizon is more likely to have good coverage in your area than the others.

          There is also, of course, the Nexus One [wikipedia.org], which comes unlocked.

      • by El Royo (907295)
        I find the UI of webOS devices to be very well thought out and elegant. I also have an HTC Hero and while it does have some strong points there are many areas where the geeky underside of Android is visible. The look and feel is very different. Compare how webOS uses the notification area for displaying information without obscuring the app you're using. Compare how multitasking works -- the card metaphor works extremely well in practice. The gesture area is also a nice way to interact with the device.
    • by El Royo (907295)
      I forgot to link to the Palm CES presentation: http://www.youtube.com/palm [youtube.com]
  • er - not quite. (Score:3, Informative)

    by ConfusedVorlon (657247) on Friday January 08, 2010 @08:29PM (#30702622) Homepage

    They're offering $1million in prizes to be split between a bunch of top apps.

    There are two prizes of $100k for the top paid and the top free app, and a bunch of smaller prizes.

    Very cool, but not what the summary says.

  • Wake me when they make a GSM unlocked version of the Pre or other WebOS phone. I believe that they can't because of their exclusive contract to release phones with Sprint first, but that is the only reason I haven't already bought one. I wouldn't even mind an AT&T locked one, but then, I doubt AT&T will be wanting it to compete with the iPhones they sell.

    • by Chysn (898420)
      Verizon will soon have the Pre Plus.
      • by WhiteDragon (4556)

        Verizon will soon have the Pre Plus.

        Choice is good, but still no GSM.

        • by MobyTurbo (537363)

          Verizon will soon have the Pre Plus.

          Choice is good, but still no GSM.

          AT&T will soon have "two webos devices" (Probably Pre and Pixi) and the Palm Pre is already available in unlocked GSM in Europe.

          • by WhiteDragon (4556)

            AT&T will soon have "two webos devices" (Probably Pre and Pixi) and the Palm Pre is already available in unlocked GSM in Europe.

            And will it be 3G, or EDGE?

            • by MobyTurbo (537363)
              The unlocked European GSM device is 3g, but maybe only in Europe due to Europe having different 3g frequencies; unless it supports also the AT&T and/or Tmobile frequencies, which are both different both from each other and the ones the EU, unlike the US government, forced the cell phone companies to standardize on uniformly to allow people to have phones they can keep from carrier to carrier. :-(

              Read the reviews when it is released, to confirm if the AT&T device is 3g on AT&T's network. I assume

    • by LurkerXXX (667952)

      People have been importing them from Europe for a couple Months. They have GSM Pre's there. Canada? GSM Unlocked Pre's.

      Oh, and AT&T will be getting WebOS phones shortly.

      • by LurkerXXX (667952)

        They announced it 2 days ago at CES.

        No mention of what phones though. They might be getting the Pre and Pixie, the Pre Plus and Pixie plus (there was no word how long the 'exclusive' deal is with Verizon on those, but it is definitely limited, just as it was on Sprint), or something else.

    • they're on sale already - although they do have German QWERTZ keyboards...

  • I'm giving you this idea, but you have to split the prize money with me 50/50, cool? I'm just too lazy to do it.

    1. Write an app with a big button that says "send me a dollar"
    2. People will download the app with the promise of the free dollar because hey, free dollar.
    3. The app will easily skyrocket to the top download spot and you'll win the money!

    See, a 1, 2, 3 scheme with the question marks all filled in. The plan is great because there is no way more than a million people will download it (I don't thin

  • I think this is a great move on Palm's part to spur developer interest in their platform. webOS is a very elegant and functional mobile platform, and I'd really like to see it succeed along with iPhone OS and Android (great platforms in their own rights).

    I just hope Palm comes out with a new generation of hardware soon - although I like the hand feel and footprint of the Pre, the build quality could be better and the new Android devices are coming out with 1GHz processors.

Going the speed of light is bad for your age.

Working...