Shane O'Sullivan's technical blog… really ties the room together

Palms App Catalog beta section is fantastic

Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on February 22, 2010

Over the last week I worked on a new project for the Palm Pre & Pixi smartphones called “My webOS Apps“, check out my previous blog post for more information.  I had a problem with it though, in that I could not possibly test it fully myself, as it logs into a persons account on, and different people have different setups.  I could only test using my account.

Enter the Beta App Catalog.  Palm allow you to submit an app to a Beta section of their App Catalog.  This requires no review, and is generally available to everyone within an hour.  This allows for very rapid feedback from users.  I received lots of bug reports from people, helped by the fact that I added a “Report A Problem” link in the app which emailed logs to me automatically.

In three days I released about 18 versions of the app, each one fixing issues that users had found.  Just yesterday I submitted the app to the main App Catalog, something that would have taken far longer without the amazingly quick feedback loop with the users that the Beta App Catalog provides.  For a developer, it really is fantastic.

Well done Palm!


2 Responses to “Palms App Catalog beta section is fantastic”

  1. Laura,
    For God’s sake, what is your problem? You’re so critical of webOS on all my posts, why do you care so much?

    The reason I had to do 18 bug fixes is because, as I WROTE IN THE POST, I could not test it properly myself since I only had one account to test against, and there are many variations that have to be supported.

    I wrote this app in three days. 24 hours. Try that on the iPhone. Seriously. This is the most developer friendly phone in existence. Apple just banned 5000 apps from their app store, and require you to:
    – buy a Mac
    – learn their proprietary coding language
    – hope to hell that Jobs isn’t having a hissy fit and declines your app for no reason.

    On webOS
    – I work with standard technologies,
    – I work on the machine I have, either Windows or Linux (Mac works too)
    – I can program from anywhere using their web editor Ares
    – I partner with a company that either let you ship from their App Catalog or let you ship it yourself. They even let me write an app that auto-logs in to private developer accounts and screen scrapes it, all in the name of improving developer productivity! Honestly, can you imagine Apple allowing anything even resembling that?
    – Palm actively support hackers. They help webosInternals who mess with the innards of the phone, and support the Homebrew community. Apple on the other hand lock down their phone and even brick it if they think you’re working outside their box.

    Now tell me who’s the most developer friendly. Seriously, you must know absolutely nothing about any of this. Go away, get a clue, then come back and have a reasonable, knowledgable conversation.

  2. Pavel Hrbacek said

    Hi Shane,

    Just wanted to say thanks for your posts re WebOS. You definitely got me thinking about getting Pre as the WebOS seems to be the perfect match for any web developers enabling a good reuse of existing skills.


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