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

App Tuckerbox public release brings App Catalog feeds back to Preware 40

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 www.apptuckerbox.com. Contact @apptuckerbox if you willing to donate your services to help create their site.

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40 Comments

Cool!

Does it mean I can install free apps that are not available in my country? That would be cool!

it does

Oh nice, yeah hopefully this means I won't have to side load apps like Kindle that where never made available in the UK.

it does

it does not, same old error this app is not available in your country...

I stubled over this, too - it's just not that well documented :-)

You need to go to the preferences in preware, and enable "use app tuckerbox". Then the apps will be loaded through tuckerbox. Free apps will work in all countries (thanks a lot, app tuckerbox!), paid-for apps will only work if you already bought them.

yes, correct, you have to have the feeds enabled AND enable app tuckerbox itself.

So will this give webosnation the ability to show all the apps again within your website in the future? This enables Preware to look at the feeds, Could the Dev make it so that the website could look at it.?

No

I was happier about this when it was just a little beta thing with only a few hundred users. Now that it's been made public I worry HP will find a way to squash it. It wouldn't be hard at all.

Good explanation. The Built-in documentation wasn't the clearest at describing what was possible with this app. I don't think HP will interfere now that they are almost entirely dependent on webos Internals and homebrew. Maybe HP management will stop interfering in the webOS group and allow some more work to be done.

Oh wow. Using "that other" (but almost as bad) frontend also for HP´s own servers. If they could provide a different means of payment than solely US cards for the US store and therefore be better than HP, now that would be something.

Yeah, and it would be great if HP would let us continue to purchase apps on our deactivated phones. Doesn't make sense why they block that feature.

Great App. Thanks OP. I was able to load MyCoke Rewards onto my Pre3. Works great even though its not officially released for the Pre3.

Cheers

sweeeeeeet!!

great app now I wish I new all the apps I have purchased sense having my original sprint pre. Any one know how to see a purchase history?

You can do it with Impostah.

Thanks, that's helpful for me.

thanks that helped, what else can you do with Impostah?

Great, I installed on my Pixi Plus, it's excellent.

I tried downloading a couple apps that are not listed as a touchpad app and it says "This application is not available for your model." - one example is Flixster.

I can at least view them, but not install them. Anybody else having that problem? Don't know if it just a setting issue.

have you gone into the Preware settings and updated the "Override Device Capability" option to ON?

Figured it out. Yes the "ignore device compat." was set to "yes" but I changed the "use app tuckerbox" to "yes" and it worked.

can someone explain this to me....i see certain apps on preware, after installing this, that are pay apps...does this mean that if i download a pay app through preware, is it free, or will i be billed as with the app store?

You will only see paid apps show up in Preware if you first actually purchased them using the standard App Catalog.

mine shows all paid apps regardless if I bought or not but gives a error if I try and downloading apps that I have not purchased. Is there a way to purchase old apps that do not shown up in the app catalog? I have a pre 3 but would love to be able to buy old pre apps if they are compatible.

no, you can't purchase apps through Preware. That can ONLY be done through the App Catalog. If you don't have a device in your profile that can purchase the app you want, then there is no way to get the app.

Hey guys,

great stuff, really...it was frustrating to see how many apps I couldn't even see in the App Catalog when I started my new Pre3. Now my problem is that I don't find App Tuckerbox in Preware. I got the current version and have the webos internals feed switched on...am I missing something? Help!

Great! I'm very disappointed, that in Russia I just can't buy applications :( Thanks Tuckerbox - now I can use at least all of free apps :)

Did anybody notice that the App Catalog works with the Hulu fix installed since this came out? The Hulu fix would break it before.

It's interesting the kind of beta apps that are available that we couldn't see before. I guess when HP locked down those feeds developers became more comfortable putting apps in there.

I swear my Pre3 now weighs 1 pound more...

Does this not work on my Sprin Pre-, or am I missing something?

You are running out of memory on the Sprint Pre(-). As noted in teh WIKI: http://www.webos-internals.org/wiki/Application:AppTuckerbox loading the full catalog on a Pre(-) WILL FAIL.

This is the best development for webOS in a while! On my Pre3 I finally have apps that I was struggling without - jChecklist, Weather Dashboard, to name a couple... oh how I missed them!

As soon as I got home I installed the Amazon Kindle app on my TouchPad (I'm from the UK so never had access before) - it's a registered device on the Amazon UK site and I can buy books and it all syncs up beautifully. I was convinced there would be a geo-restriction issue of some kind, perhaps that I was signing into Amazon with a co.uk account but nope, all went incredible smoothly!

A very happy bunny here! I will be donating! :)

i installled app tuckerbox and proceded with the registration but i keep getting the messang " Registration error APPCAT062: Request for user device profile from account service failed." please help..........

I've installed, registered and manually enabled the feeds in the Preware Preferences and Manage Feeds screens, however I'm still not seeing any added apps on my Touchpad. What else am I missing? Do I need to register my Pre- as well for it to work on my Touchpad? Thx for any suggestions.

Thanks for the news!

It keeps saying error see ipkg log so I view it and it says unable to run command! help!'