Palm to Open Beta Program for Mobile App Catalog

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2009-08-18 Print this article Print

Developers who wish to charge for their Palm WebOS applications can now begin submitting them for consideration in the Palm App Catalog e-commerce beta program, which will begin in mid-September.

Palm has announced that as of Aug. 18, "developers who wish to charge for their Palm WebOS applications can begin submitting them for consideration in the Palm App Catalog e-commerce beta program, which will begin in mid-September."

In a news release, Palm continued, "Developers selected to participate in the beta program will have the opportunity to have their applications, both free and paid, featured in the Palm App Catalog ahead of the next wave, and to be among the first to be paid for purchases of their Palm WebOS applications." The statement continued:

As part of the App Catalog e-commerce beta program for the Palm Pre phone and future Palm webOS devices, developers will receive a 70/30 split (developer/Palm) of gross revenues generated through application sales (less applicable sales taxes). Customers will be able to easily purchase applications using Visa and MasterCard credit cards. Further details about the program and distribution model will be provided in the coming weeks. Palm expects to launch the full developer program in the United States this fall.

"We're rolling out the submission process and e-commerce capabilities of the Palm App Catalog with careful consideration for both the developer and customer," Katie Mitic, senior vice president of product marketing at Palm, said in a statement. "We want every part of the Palm WebOS experience to be the best, and a strong e-commerce model is key to a thriving developer community, great apps and an excellent customer experience."

According to the statement:

More information about how developers can submit an application for the beta e-commerce program, as well as criteria for application acceptance, is available on the Palm Developer Network blog at

In a blog post, Chuq Von Rospach, Palm's developer community manager, said, "We're initiating the beta e-commerce program so we can test the experience for both WebOS app developers and users. This is an opportunity for you to submit your app and to market it to the WebOS user base before we open the program to all developers later in the year."

In addition, Von Rospach wrote:

Palm will accept apps into the beta test program based on the following criteria:

??Ç   Apps should be useful and engaging to users.

??Ç   They need to have an appealing design and user interface aligned with Palm UI guidelines.

??Ç   They are written specifically for webOS and not delivered through the browser.

??Ç   They leverage webOS platform and device capabilities, for example, notifications, multitasking/background processing, location services, accelerometer.

??Ç   They have acceptable performance and response time on the device; apps with slow UI response or sluggish performance will be rejected. Applications that consume excessive power on the device will also be rejected.

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.

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