Palm's WebOS developer program is now open to all developers interested in participating. The company also announced new phones and new carrier support.
Palm has announced that its WebOS developer program is now open to all
developers interested in participating. The company also announced new phones
and new carrier support.
At a press event at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in Las
Vegas on Jan. 7, Palm officials said any developer can
now go to the Palm Developer
sign up, and start developing and distributing applications for WebOS devices.
Palm showcased its developer program and tools at CES and announced a $1 million
developer Hot Apps bonus program for the Palm WebOS developer community.
"We're thrilled to open the doors of a program that offers mobile
developers unparalleled freedom and choice in how they distribute and market
applications," said Katie Mitic, senior vice president of product
marketing at Palm, in a statement. "The combination of our highly
accessible Web-based platform, groundbreaking integration opportunities and
open, flexible distribution program makes Palm WebOS the best place for developers
to create the next generation of innovative mobile applications."
To kick off the official opening of the Palm applications ecosystem, Palm is
launching a $1 million Hot Apps bonus program for WebOS developers. The
program, which runs Feb. 1 through May 31, 2010, is open to developers worldwide and will
award $1 million to the most successful applications distributed during this
timeframe. The developers of the top free and paid applications each will earn
a $100,000 bonus; in addition, 40 developers will receive $10,000 (20 each for
free and paid), with 400 developers awarded $1,000 (200 each for free and
paid). Awardees will be notified in June. Details are available at
The Palm developer program is designed to promote a thriving environment for
all developers to create, distribute, promote and monetize the delivery of
applications to Palm customers. It extends the Web orientation of Palm WebOS,
providing opportunities for developers to grow their businesses by leveraging
the Web as a promotional channel for applications.
Moreover, the company said the Palm developer program is designed to help
developers promote their work and ultimately drive application sales and
downloads. Developers receive a 70/30 split (developer/Palm) of gross revenues
generated through sales. The membership-based program has a $99 annual fee,
which will be waived for developers who opt to distribute open-source Palm
WebOS apps on the Web. The program provides a sales transaction and fulfillment
service for developers.
The Palm developer program offers developers two ways to get their
applications to market:
Distribution in the Palm App Catalog:
A link to the Palm App Catalog is built into every Palm WebOS device.
Applications distributed in the Palm App Catalog will be subject to review by
Palm, and developers will pay a per-application fee of $50. Applications
approved in this program will have immediate distribution to the most targeted
application promotional channel on WebOS devices.
Distribution on the Web: For
developers who wish to promote their applications exclusively online, Palm will
provide just the sales transaction and fulfillment service. Every app will
receive a unique URL, allowing developers to freely promote their applications
online and enabling customers to download and install the application directly
from the cloud to their phone using Palm's unique over-the-air process. This
distribution option offers a fast self-certification process as well as the
ability for developers to control the distribution and promotion of their
applications using the online marketing vehicles they already have and creating
new ones as they see fit.
In addition, a special beta channel allows developers to easily expand their
testing program and iteratively improve their products.
Moreover, Palm officials said the company is opening up the database of
WebOS applications data, with feeds of app descriptions, ratings, stats, screen
shots and more to app developers and the broader Web community to leverage the
Web as a discovery channel. This open system will enable the creation of app
directories, ranking mechanisms, communities and more around the rapidly
growing base of WebOS applications, Palm said. These feeds will include a
unique application URL for each application that can be promoted through Web
channels for users to request over-the-air distribution of that application to
their device, the company said.
"We're leveraging the power of the Web to give developers as much
freedom as possible," added Mitic, also in a statement. "The Web is a
large and efficient channel for connecting consumers to the content and
applications they want most, so it only makes sense to leverage those tools and
community to enhance discovery of Palm applications."
In addition, since the announcement of the program in October, Palm has
provided details of two new developer tools that are designed to significantly
lower the barriers to mobile application development. Palm's press release on
the developer program describes these tools as:
The Palm WebOS Plug-in Development Kit (PDK) extends the Palm WebOS
Software Development Kit (SDK) with a set of tools, documentation and APIs that
let developers write plug-ins for their WebOS applications. With the PDK,
developers can seamlessly integrate C and C++ code into their WebOS apps,
enabling new functionality such as 3D games. At the CES event, Palm announced
the availability of 3D games built by leading developers with early access to
the PDK. A public beta version of the WebOS PDK is scheduled to be available to
all developers in March.
Ares, released as beta in December, is the first complete set of integrated
mobile development tools hosted entirely in the browser. Featuring a
drag-and-drop interface builder, a robust code editor, a visual debugger and
built-in source control integration, Ares dramatically lowers the barriers for Web
developers to jump into mobile development and makes building WebOS apps even
easier and faster than before. Ares aims to enable the next-generation mobile
developer workflow, letting developers move quickly and seamlessly from editing
in a browser to debugging on a device and selling applications in Palm's App
Catalog or on the Web.
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.