No matter how you spin it, Palm’s app catalogue is a weedy offering compared to the overflowing stocks of apps available in bulging iPhone and Android stores.
In a move to kickstart app development – and perhaps send out an encouraging sign to current users – Palm has announced that it is scrapping the $50 fee that used to be required to get apps listed in their official App Catalog.
Moreover, they’re actually going to refund the fee that current developers have paid to get their apps submitted.
This seems a remarkably generous gesture (don’t say desperate!) , and a welcome sign that new owners HP are truly committed to giving the webOS platform a future.
Some posters on PreCentral have expressed fears that removing the submission fee will unleash a veritably torrent of spam apps, although a developer called Kloneicle saw it differently:
I was amped the second I opened the email. I have 3 projects I’ve been working on for a couple months now and I haven’t been really motivated to work on them since my one app that is in the catalog is doing ok but not great. I was hesitant to pour more development time into my other projects then drop $50 each to put them in the catalog. Now I’m going full-bore on all of them since the barrier is down.
Yeah, the potential for crap apps is huge now, but in the real world the raw number of apps sells hardware. Doesn’t seem to matter if they’re good, bad or indifferent.. if company X can claim they have 50,000 apps available versus a company with 10,000, more users will gravitate toward the bigger number. Sad state of affairs but an unfortunate reality.
Here’s their official announcement:
These are exciting times for Palm and our developer community. The Hot Apps promotion that we kicked off back in February is about to end with over 400 developers receiving a share of a million dollars. We recently launched the Summer Half Off promotion—a 50% discount for nearly every app in our catalog that was funded by Palm; developers still get their full earnings for each sale, but customers get half off. And we’re just getting started.
In July, we’re launching the new PDK Hot Apps promotion—another million dollars to developers, this time focused on the C/C++ apps that were excluded from the original Hot Apps promotion.
And we have one more program change that will benefit all developers. When we launched the developer program, we introduced a $50 per app fee to submit apps into our catalog. Effective immediately, we’re waiving this fee and refunding to all developers any $50 fees collected in the past. If you’re one such developer, you will see a credit in your PayPal account in the near future.
Thank you for being part of the webOS community. We will continue to evolve the Developer Program as together we build an incredible application catalog for customers.
If you have any questions about these upcoming changes, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.