App Catalog finally gets dedicated online search thanks to dedicated user
Eighteen months ago HP shut down the public App Catalog feeds, putting an end to one of our favorite features on the site: the browser-based App Gallery. The reasoning offered at the time was that HP's enterprise customers were concerned about security and to prep things for the impending TouchPad launch, it didn't help that the XML feed format used by HP was reaching its limits in terms of manageable size. While there have been fits and starts at HP to reanimate open App Catalog access in the form of an API, that seems to have more or less fallen by the wayside. Without an accessible feed or API, searching the App Catalog comes down to Google.
HP's left their individual web listings for the App Catalog open and available to the public, but there's not yet been a public-accessible centralized listing for the thousands of apps listed. While that's not yet happened, web developer and webOS Nation Forum member pattyland decided to work some Google-fu and created a snazzy little website that lets you search the App Catalog from the comfort and speed of your desktop browser: appcatalog.pattyland.de.
The site uses a custom Google search (specifically: site:developer.palm.com/appredirect [yoursearchtermhere]) to return relevant App Catalog listings per your search terms. The search site has the option to sort by relevance or date (the most recently updated pages at the top) and presents everything in a design meant to evoke the TouchPad user interface.
The site's already secured a place in our bookmarks, and if you're the type that frequently shares the direct URL for App Catalog apps, it's a site you should consider giving some attention as well.