Palm webOS Developer Program Coming in December
On Oct. 6, the Palm App Catalog e-commerce beta program went live, and Palm announced it will make its Palm webOS developer program available in December. The program, according to Palm, will offer developers choices for getting their applications to market, as well as a transparency into the process that will help them promote and grow their businesses. Until now, the apps in the App Catalog have all been free.
With the program's launch, Palm also hopes to boost the impact of webOS by growing its developer community.
"Our program will be unlike anything currently available, and has been established to promote a thriving community by giving developers direct involvement in their own success," said Katie Mitic, Palm's senior vice president of product marketing, in a statement.
"Whether you're looking for immediate distribution or just feedback on early stages of development, this program is built to scale to your needs and finally put you in control of investing in and promoting your business."
Developers will receive 70 percent of gross revenues generated by sales of their apps, and membership, which will cost $99 a year, will include distribution on the Web and through the Palm App Catalog.
Regarding Web distribution, Palm explains that each app will receive a unique URL, so that developers can promote their app online and enable customers to download and install the application from the cloud to their phone using Palm's over-the-air-process.
Applications distributed through the App Catalog, which is built into webOS devices, are subject to review by Palm, which will also create a promotional marketplace for developers to angle for prominent placement in the Catalog. Developers will be charged a fee of $50 per app.
The annual $99 fee will be waived, however, for developers contributing open-source webOS apps to the Web.
Currently, the only devices using webOS are the Palm Pre and its younger sibling, the Pixi, which debuted Sept. 9. Palm recently announced it will stop using the Windows Mobile operating system on its devices and will instead focus on its well-reviewed webOS. And while Palm has increased the number of applications in its App Catalog from the small handful the Pre launched with in June, it's still racing-along with Microsoft, Google, Nokia and Research In Motion-to shorten Apple's enormous lead.
Apple innovated the trend of making inexpensive, developer-created applications easily available to consumers, and as of September it had 85,000 apps in its App Store and had processed 2 billion app downloads.
"We're listening to developers, and the message that they want choice and an option to self-certify their applications has come through loud and clear," said Mitic, in the statement. "The flexibility that comes with our program's easy way to test mobile applications, as well as the ability for developers to use the Web to market and promote their own applications and boost sales, is invaluable."