Thursday, March 17, 2011

The State of WebOS Development

The Curiously Sad Case of webOS 2.0 App Development

When HP announced that they were going to be buying Palm early last year, we were all eagerly awaiting to see what changes would come to the brand. As those changes were found out by the public through numerous leaks and announcements, the webOS community began to get really excited. I received dozens of phone calls from developers looking to build new applications using advanced webOS 2.0 API's and integrating features like Just Type and Exhibition Mode. People were genuinely happy with the future that HP was showing us.

Fast-forward to today, just after the February 9th announcements and release of webOS 2.1 on the Pre 2, and you may notice something peculiar. The development community has slowed down dramatically, and it's starting to look like some have jumped ship just as things are starting to get exciting again. HP has delivered on the goods that they promised, and no we find ourselves with a lack of new apps to play with that are build for webOS 2.x devices.

To see what I mean, open up your webOS 2.x App Catalog (or find someone who can do it for you) and look for apps that tie into the new API's. While two dozen is twice as many apps than were released on the original launch day Pre, that's a far cry from what was expected from us a few months ago. And considering how many apps don't work in 2.0 because the developers haven't updated them yet (from 1.4.5), we may actually have fewer apps available for the Pre 2 (and the many hacked devices out there with 2.1) than on a device with webOS 1.4.5 installed.

That's just sad... really, really sad....

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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