App Tuckerbox public release brings App Catalog feeds back to Preware | webOS Nation

App Tuckerbox public release brings App Catalog feeds back to Preware

by Adam Marks Fri, 06 Jan 2012 11:20 pm EST

Over the last 2 months, you may have heard some whisperings of a new app homebrew called App Tuckerbox, or maybe even saw a brief intro to in during PalmCast episode 151. It had been in a closed beta but was just released to the public tonight. What does it do, you ask? The simplest answer to that question would be that it once again allows you to gain access to the official webOS App Catalog feeds, including the Web and Beta feeds, directly in Preware. If you recall just prior to the TouchPad's release back in June, HP decided to take down the public App Catalog feeds that any site (including this one or Preware) could tap into in order to explore the App Catalog, Web Distribution, and Beta feeds. Since then, the only way to see what apps were available was to use the App Catalog app on your device.

However, App Tuckerbox is so much more than just a way to get those App Catalog feeds on to your device. It will also allow you to download any free or previously purchased app from the App Catalog directly in Preware. Not only that, but it has the ability to override any device incompatibilities that exist which prevented you from seeing a specific app on that device. In other words, if an app was never updated in the Catalog to work on the Pre3 or Veer or TouchPad--even if it would run just fine on that device--you now have the ability to override that restriction. If you're feeling excessively brave you can even attempt to install TouchPad apps on a webOS smartphone, but there are no guarantees of success there (nor support for any of these apps, since you're installing them on devices other than those that the developer officially supports).

So how does App Tuckerbox work? Once you download the app from Preware, the first thing that you will need to do is register your device with the App Tuckerbox servers (you will need to do this for each device you own). The app explains what it is doing and how your personal data (the only items App Tuckerbox needs are your profile email address, the device id number, and your profile authorization token) is encrypted on the server. It does not share your webOS profile password, your credit cards info or any other sensitive data. With the needed data, App Tuckerbox then prompts you to automatically configure customized Preware feeds (if you see a green button saying "Check Registration Status" press that first. You should then see the "Configure Preware Feeds" button). With those few pieces of data and your customized Preware Feeds, Preware now has the ability to send the proper authentication info to the webOS App Catalog servers to allow direct downloads from within Preware (you then have to manually enable the feeds in the Preware Preferences and Manage Feeds screens).

Once all set up, everything else is done in Preware and you never need to load up App Tuckerbox again. You will immediately notice that it will take significantly longer to load the feeds when you first open Preware, but that it because it has a lot more to load (ten thousand plus apps, depending on your configuration). As stated above, you can now download any previously purchased app or free app from the catalog. The beauty of this setup is that even though you are using Preware to download these apps, it is still doing it directly from the secure HP webOS servers and only for apps that you have already purchased. There should not be any additional piracy concerns for developers.

So, go ahead and download App Tuckerbox from Preware and start exploring those App Catalog feeds once more. If you have any questions, you can find the developer of App Tuckerbox at @apptuckerbox on Twitter or in our forums. In addition, they are looking for a website designer to work on Contact @apptuckerbox if you willing to donate your services to help create their site.