The first paid app – a version of Air Hockey for $1.99 – has appeared on Palm’s App Catalog, marking a significant step forward in the evolution of its new mobile operating system, webOS.
Other apps shimmying their way into the app store are Who Wants To Be A Millionaire from Capcom Interactive – $4.99, BlockDrop by Daniel Farina – $4.99, GolfPinFinder by AppJamers, LLC – $9.99 and Weatherbug Elite from Weatherbug – $1.99
Previously, developers were only able to offer their apps for free in the app store, but the billing feature will now let users pay by credit card ( and developers earn rewards for their efforts).
Hopefully, this means that there’s be some goodies in the app store for UK users when the Palm Pre launches in mid October.
Developer progam opens
Palm have also announced that they will be opening their Developer Program in December. Here’s the press release:
Palm today announced it will officially open the doors to its Palm webOS developer program in December. The program will offer developers a choice of how to get their applications to market and an unparalleled level of transparency that provides them with the control to promote and grow their businesses.
Extending the unique web orientation of the Palm webOS platform, the developer program will provide innovative opportunities to leverage the web as a promotional channel for applications.
“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, senior vice president, Product Marketing, Palm, Inc.
“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.”
The launch of the program is the next step in expanding the impact of Palm webOS by supporting and growing the developer community. In August, Palm announced that developers who wish to charge for their Palm webOS applications could begin submitting them for consideration in the Palm App Catalog e-commerce beta program, which went live today. Developers selected to participate in the beta program have the opportunity to make their applications, both free and paid, available to consumers.
Palm is focused on building a thriving environment for all developers to create, distribute, promote and monetize the delivery of valuable applications to Palm customers. Developers will receive a 70/30 split (developer/Palm) of gross revenues generated through application sales (after applicable taxes). The membership-based program will have a $99 annual fee and will offer developers two options for getting their applications to market:
* Distribution on the web–Palm will provide a sales transaction and fulfillment service for developers who wish to promote their applications online. Every App will receive a unique URL, allowing developers to freely promote their applications online and enabling customers to download and install the application directly from the cloud to their phone using Palm’s unique over-the-air process. This distribution option offers a fast self-certification process as well as the ability for developers to control the distribution and promotion of their applications using the online marketing vehicles they already have and creating new ones as they see fit.
* Distribution in the Palm App Catalog–Applications distributed in the Palm App Catalog that is built in to every Palm webOS device will be subject to review by Palm, and developers will pay a nominal per-application fee of $50. In addition, Palm will create a unique promotional marketplace where developers can utilize an auction process to obtain prominent placement in the Palm App Catalog and find new customers.
Public feeds of application URLs and other relevant application data (such as reviews, ratings, and stats) will be made available to the community to help applications find their market. Palm expects directories, ranking mechanisms, and other inventive services built around this data to emerge.
Also, in appreciation of what the open source movement has contributed to the web, Palm will waive the $99 program fee for developers interested in distributing open source Palm webOS apps to the web. If the source of an app is available to the public under one of the commonly accepted licenses, it will be eligible for this program.
Both distribution options include a support program that will provide developers the tools to quickly build, test, distribute and receive feedback on their Palm webOS applications. Developers can control how beta testers access their applications, allowing them to iteratively improve their products and scale to their needs.
“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. “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.”
Each element of the Palm developer program is designed to help developers promote their work and ultimately drive downloads directly over the air. Developers can choose to sell applications using both distribution options as they see fit. Palm’s application guidelines will be made available online and will apply to all Palm webOS applications. U.S. customers will be able to easily purchase applications using Visa and MasterCard credit cards. More information about the Palm developer program is available on the Palm Developer Network at http://pdn.palm.com.
Update: Palm Announces New ‘No Review’ App Catalog Policies
This is interesting news. Palm Infocenter has reporting that Palm will offer a ‘no review’ catalog policy:
Palm has just concluded a gathering of developers and journalists to officially introduce their new Developer Relations heads to the community, and made two big announcements to boot. Firstly, they’ve announced a new app distribution model that does away with any Big Brother review process. Developers can now upload their applications directly to Palm, who will then return a URL which can be used to access applications directly from the Pre – as simple as that.
The second piece of news is possibly even bigger: if developers choose to make their apps available as free open source, then distribution in the App Catalog will be completely free, with no strings attached. (Developers wishing to sell their apps will still be charged a $99 annual fee for their account, and $50 per paid application in the catalog.) To cap it all off, every developer in the audience was given a free Pre and Touchstone with a month’s free service from Sprint. “Just hack on it,” were reportedly Ben Galbraith’s words.
In other words, Palm will let developers fully distribute their apps via the web.
Developers will submit their apps to Palm, and Palm will return to them a URL which they’re free to blog, tweet or do whatever they want to share it.
So when a user clicks on the link, they install the app on their phone, completely bypassing any kind of store, with no ‘review’ process involved. Take that Apple!