Palm and Sprint entered the fray, directly targeting the iPhone, and didn’t have is gaming ability ducks in a row? I understand that the job postings mentioned in the below links could be to augment the existing capacity, but the timing still indicates a lack of strategy and bad timing.
I, for some reason, assumed that Palm would actually have had more support for gaming than it does. I also assumed that the webOS SDK would have been open for broad consumption well in advance of the actual product launch–instead, I had to wait until the past week to download the Mojo SDK beta.
Palm Job Listings Hint at the Future of WebOS – pre|central
Good News: Palm’s Working on the Pre’s Gaming Problem – Palm pre – Gizmodo.
webOS SDK bemoaned by iPhone developer as Palm seeks game API engineers – Engadget.
Article: Sprint Palm Pre campaign wants bite of Apple’s pie
Interesting statistics on Sprint’s NOW Network campaign and how well it as performed against the buzz that the iPhone creates.
Things that I take away from this article:
- Sprint and Palm are name-dropping Twitter and Facebook to freshen up their image.
- Aggressive marketing of the Palm Pre helped Palm briefly overtake the iPhone in terms of search buzz generated, ending when the iPhone 3G S was announced.
- There was only an 11% overlap in those who searched for the Palm Pre vs. those who searched for an iPhone.
I did notice one of the ad campaign quotes mentioned from the article:
The Palm Pre does things the iPhone can’t. Run multiple applications at the same time …
I have to say that using my iPhone as a chronic multitasker, I don’t really notice the fact that I’m only running one application at a time on the iPhone. The context switching is pretty seamless to me, and my usual problem with getting too deep into multitasking on the desktop is that I eventually have more than 21 windows to through. Saving application state is actually much cleaner than having all open applications to switch through. While the Palm Pre has a cleaner way of switching through applications that have been opened that Windows Mobile does, I can imagine being in the Palm Pre card equivalent of hell.
(Besides, I can’t afford a Mac at the moment to begin native app development for the iPhone.)
I guess Palm finally started feeling the pressure of the developers wanting to get their hands on the SDK and opportunity slipping away with other phones stealing the Pre’s thunder.
One thing I’ve noticed so far is the reliance on Sun’s products and the recommendation to use an Apple product. (Palm, this flattery hardly makes up for the iTunes debacle):
via Installing the SDK on Windows – webOSdev – Palm:
- Install Java
Download and install the latest version of Java. To verify that Java is installed. go to the Command Prompt and type:
If Java is installed, Java version information appears.
- Install Safari 4
The Safari browser includes a number of features that are useful for debugging webOS applications.
- Install VirtualBox
The Palm Emulator is built on VirtualBox, virtual machine software that you can download free from Sun Microsystems. VirtualBox is required before installing the Mojo SDK.
By the way, what’s up with these conflicts? What will the webOS SDK update that is used by iTunes, my Garmin Training Center, and Firefox??
Updated: 11:10 pm (EDT)
I had the following error:
So I went to update my VirtualBox. The update “link” that the version of VirtualBox that I had installed on my PC provided would not “link” or copy and paste, so I typed a nice long URL in manually. After downloading the 3.0.2 update, I ran it… After 15 minutes of inactivity at 99% complete, I gave up and hard booted my machine to get my network connections back that the earlier stages of the VirtualBox install disconnected (and to get rid of the VirtualBox install process that I could no longer cancel out of).
This is probably one of the many reasons Apple keeps such a tight control on its software ecosystem, Palm… People may still hate your software if you control all of the components, but at least you have fully earned the disdain of your users, and not put it in the hands of other companies, or even competitors. As I have learned through software development and working for a large company, it doesn’t matter who failed in the food chain. If it breaks your product, you will be blamed.
One hour later and I have not installed the Mojo SDK.
As I find myself slowing losing resistance to buying an iPhone, I started thinking about all the free and $0.99 apps on the App Store. Granted, I’m using a platform (Palm OS) that is migrating from being “cheap because it’s old” to being “expensive because no one builds them anymore.” However, there are still Palm OS smartphones being sold by Sprint.
I found one example application across several platforms that is somewhat telling of the pricing model the iPhone has.
Bookworm for Palm OS by Astraware Limited – $14.95
Bookworm for iPhone by PopCap Games, inc. – $4.99
Bookworm for BlackBerry by Magmic Games – $6.99
Bookworm for Windows Mobile Smartphone – $9.99
The (old) Palm strategy appeared to be to make money off of the Palm OS device, and not to help provide access for the 3rd party developers to make the device useful. At one time I was interested in developing Palm OS software, but found that I was looking at a several hundred dollar investment just for the (high quality) IDE (CodeWarrior – $499). The pricing of the applications that are nearly obsolete now is telling.
I’ve noticed that the Windows Mobile Marketplace registration is now only $99 (per year). That’s a much more reasonable entry point, but I believe the iPhone development kit standard price is $99 (one time).
MEANWHILE, the Palm Pre has been out for over a month, and we’re still waiting on general release of the Mojo SDK. This is not a good sign to me, and frankly, that aggravates me as a developer.
- I thought I put in an application for the mojo sdk, but there’s still a link on the Palm Pre info page to Apply for “Early Access” to the Mojo SDK.
- First result for Palm App Store leaves no Palm Pre mention.
- According to the App Store Wikipedia entry, the Palm Pre Store is “Palm App Catalog”
- The first result Palm App Catalog is in maintenance mode.
- Finally, Palm Pre App Store: Still tiny as expected and Sprint Disses Palm by selling new BlackBerry.
Can someone find good signs for Palm?
Added 7/14/2009: Palm has sold over 400,000 Palm Pres, but it will still bomb.