HP shutting down open app feeds, putting PreCentral App Gallery and Preware into a bind | webOS Nation

HP shutting down open app feeds, putting PreCentral App Gallery and Preware into a bind 189

by Derek Kessler Tue, 07 Jun 2011 6:30 pm EDT

We have been informed by HP that they intend in the next few days to shut down the open access XML app feeds that were announced at CES 2010. The App Catalog, Web Distribution, and Beta feeds have been a part of PreCentral since that day, along with several other sites and homebrew app distribution apps like Preware. The feeds allowed full browsing access of the App Catalog and enabled us to build things like the PreCentral App Gallery where users could browse the Catalog from the comfort of their own computer.

Obviously, we’d prefer that the app feeds stay open and accessible to all. The webOS 2.0 App Catalog is somewhat limiting in its browsing capabilities (it searches just fine, but limits how many apps you can view in a list), so we’re going to have to deal with a less-than-awesome app discovery experience for the time being. We’ll be caching the currently-available information in the feeds and exploring our options for future updates to the App Gallery.

Our discussions with HP indicated that they have taken this step in preparation for future updates and changes to the App Catalog, as well as to get things ready for the impending TouchPad launch. Additionally, the open nature of the app feeds may have rubbed some corporate and government entities the wrong way (even though apps can be distributed in the Web and Beta feeds without public exposure). Regardless of why, the open app feeds aren’t going to be much longer for this world. We're not exactly happy about it, nor is Rod Whitby of WebOS Internals, judging by the latest update to Preware.

Thankfully, there’s a recourse for the homebrew developers out there: the original PreCentral Homebrew Gallery. The Homebrew Gallery feed is available free of charge in both WebOS Quick Install and Preware, and isn’t going to be shut down any time soon. All developers are more than welcome to bring their app over to the Homebrew Gallery, just let us know and we'll get you set up.

Update: HP VP of Worldwide Developer Relations Richard Kerris chimed in in the comments of this very article, and is asking for patience from the community (whose passion continues to surprise him). He states that instead of addressing security concerns by "building a bunch of custom stores for each and every Enterprise customer," HP instead is taking "the stance of investing in our developers in a new and unique store approach that brings app discovery to a whole new level, which we think customers will really enjoy."


So that's why we were getting those Preware stuck at "Complete!" issues?

We (or at least I) have been having problems with the App Catalog too. Checkbook and Foursquare which were updated today won't install for me anymore. Coincidence?

Being introduced by someone such us Bono who is a legendary icon in the music industry is such amazing moment for a fellow artist can get.... usb safe

Homebrew has been the only thing keeping webOS alive during all these months since the HP purchase. HP has just spat in the face of its most loyal customers.

This isn't a huge deal, get over it.

You won't be able to access App Catalog's app with Preware.

But gosh, the app catalog sucks so much. I hope they'll be updating it.

But that's the point isn't it? I'd rather access the catalog through Preware than through the catalog itself. Not to mention that a lot of Homebrew developers depend on the old Palm web and Beta feeds which are also being cut off to third party developers. It's a massive hassle for developers at a time when HP has been trying to attract them. (Of course these are small fry developers so HP doesn't care.)

I use the blacklist feature of PreWare to block the useless spammy "single book" apps.

Another great feature which I love as well.

I couldn't agree with you more! I have to tell you the truth, without our talented Home Brew crew I would have been out of webos a long time ago! Not because I don't love webos but Palm/HP with their coming in freakin months thing and no new phone in two years is ridiculous! Without Home Brew, It would have been unbearable. Thank you Home Brew Crew! And **** you HP, I would seriously reconsider this move or give them an avenue to use their stuff.

Well, without Homebrew most mobile platforms would have had a hard time. Imagine iPhone without Jailbreak and all those Apps that fixed stuff that Apple didn't do or broke (Notifications etc.) or think about Android without rooting.

Not true. iphone without jailbreak or android without root... it's a SMALL percentage that actually does so. Same to be said with webos.

Yes, but it's usually the "power"-users that do it. And it's them who are the most influential in their peer group.

Make 1-geek angry and loose 10 sales ;)

I know a lot of people who wouldn't buy an iPhone without the possibility of jailbraking it. And they ALL were responsible for multiple other iPhone-buys in their surroundings (family, friends etc.).

And you are surprised now? This isn't the first and based on their track record won't be the last. I'm starting to think it would have been better to let Palm die.

Palm is dead. And if you want to kill webOS you have to pass me! :P

Here is the better article written about this item:


You forgot to add "again" to the last part of your sentence. Spat in our face *again*

I don't understand this descision. How will we access the Beta and Web Apps then? They are not accesssable via App catalog.
Why wouldn't they at least wait til the new app catalog is pushed before shutting down the access? right now it is impossible for, say, a new owner to see "all" the apps available.

What about those of us who use exclusivly beta versions of certain apps (such as spaz beta, or a couple apps I use that are beta only still)

This seems an odd move.

But I also don't see how this is a slight at HP/Palm's commitment to Homebrew

Beta apps and web feed apps have always been intended to be accessed via links to the Palm app page. On-device, those links redirect to the App Catalog download screen for them.

I have a feeling we are getting really close to a TouchPad launch! Wal-Mart Pricing in the computer, Best Buy displays, Wal-Mart price tag (http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/07/walmart-clearing-off-shelf-space-for-...) and now this, TP launch must be imminent!?

You're more optimistic than I am, looking for something good from this really bad news.

Seriously!? They really don't care about their current users do they?

No, that much should've been obvious when they abandoned all Pre and Pixi users.

This doesn't sound good. I wonder what other changes will be coming soon.

That's a good one...something coming soon

Man that stinks. I guess I understand them wanting to control their "official" distribution channel. The last thing some corporation wants to hear is some customer say "I follow a link to your app from dirtybearhugger.com and..." At the same time it's a shame for the community and a hit to the "openness" that we've all come to expect.

What?? What are you talking about? Do you even know what you're saying?

they didn't remove the ability to use custom feeds, just the ability to access official feeds through 3rd party apps.

Its weird to me though, because the links in the feeds always brought you back to the official app catalog anyway.

I get that it's only the official feeds.

Even though the links to the feeds go back to the official channel, it's the fact that anyone could have used the official feed to lend legitimacy to content farms with no benefit to HP. It's sad because it's nice to be able to hit Preware and see both the official apps and the homebrew feeds. I wonder though... HP has talked about customizing the app store for the enterprise, could they create registered feeds and allow known entities to reuse the feeds in a legitimate way.

HEY!!! Leave us Dirty Bear Huggers out of this!

Giving you a +1 for outing yourself as a Dirty Bear Hugger or is it Dirty-bear hugger or Dirty Bear-Hugger.

It's sorta like my confusion with NAMBLA, is it North American Man Boy Love Association or North American Marlon Brando Look-Alikes.

Bravo HP! Keep driving away the minority that want these phones and tablet.

I wouldn't mind seeing an official statement on this. I'm having a hard time seeing how this is a good thing for anyone but a few over-worked system administrators.

Maybe they can do that when they tell us how they plan to "make things right".

is it possible this is a pre-emptive move to stop piracy before it is widespread?

How is this going to stop piracy? Do you even know what you're talking about?

It could be a preemptive move against content farms that consume the feeds for their nefarious purposes :D

What nefarious purposes? This just lists apps that are available in the catalog. The feeds do not give you the apps.

HP shouldn't turn off the public app feeds until they create their own app web portal where consumers can discover webOS apps. Now there's no way for consumers who may be considering webOS to discover what's out there.

But even if they do roll out their own site, there's no reason to shut down the app feeds. Having more web sites out there advertising webOS apps can only help the platform.

Exactly! If they're gonna restrict access to app feeds, they should at least provide an easy (or easier) way to sideload apps, a la Android.

I don't know about sideloading but I actually believe (just a guess on my part) something like this (a new web portal) is brewing and this may be why the step is being taken now. Still, if this is they case, I agree that that the announcement should come after or during the announcement of the new portal.

Mind you, I'm only guessing here, because I think this decision would be pretty dumb if they don't have some sort of alternative plan.

They're not restricting side loading. Preware can still do that, you can still go to a website and grab an IPK. What they're doing is restricting the ability for third parties to list all of the official apps in a third party catalog. This hurts preware because it can no longer be a one-stop shop showing both homebrew and official apps.

Notice that I said an EASIER way to sideload. You do know what kind of hassle it is to install Preware for non-power users, right?

Last year at Dev Day, when they (HP) asked Rod what they can do to help homebrew, the one thing Rod asked for was an easier, more lightweight method of sideloading apps.

They do have a site to get official apps.

I always found the official app cat (software manager in WebOS 2) to be fine for updating and downloading. I literally kept the official feed turned off in Preware to dramatically speed up loading time for feeds. I'll miss the web and beta feeds, though. As to why, if content IP holders needed to have this to feel comfortable releasing apps like Netflix and HP Play, then we need compliance to grow marketshare. Hopefully we continue to be able to put great applications like Preware, Terminus, Internalz, Freetether, Save/Restore, Mode Switcher, etc. on our devices.

This does nothing to protect IP.

That pain in Rods back is from a HP knife.

Not just Rod too. Dieter and the PreCentral team were among the first websites to integrate browsable App Catalog listings. Plus, there's even apps on the App Catalog that depend on the feeds, which will be dead.

I think Precentral just got banned :P Guess the "staff" over at HP got together and said **** em.. What goes around..


Yeah, no, it's exactly not like that.

Who really knows? Seems like you wrote an article without having a response from HP. You got the community in a needless uproar and actually had to have a VP from HP come in to straighten out your mess.

Not exactly one of your finer moments Derek, yeah no?

The latest in a long list of messes, including all those leaks from a "kind and awesome" tipster.

It is HP that failed in their communication strategy on this issue, not Derek. My recommendation in discussions with HP was to post an official statement first. They chose a reactive response rather than a proactive statement.

-- Rod

Here we go - looking for something big out of this decision...

The only questionable thing I found about the open XML feeds was the total number of downloads per app.

That seemed a bit too open for me. Thoughts?

Ok, it's official, HP doesn't give two ****s about developers, at least us small developers. No, they are focusing on bigger clients who took offense at the openness of webOS. Well, HP, you better keep the money stream flowing. No one is going to develop for webOS just because anymore, they will need the big money that HP is giving to big name Touchpad developers. Good thing you're getting the "essential" apps, because they are not getting any more than that.

Is this "making things right"? What a joke. I was gonna buy a Touchpad... Not anymore. I don't need a tablet anyway, much less an HP tablet.

HP, **** you.

The dark side is beckoning. It just sits there..waiting.

Just wait until the HP apologists try to convince you that this is a good thing.

I agree with cardfan though. Why would anyone develop for a platform where
a) they don't want you
b) has no users
c) has almost no profit potential?

Massive bummer. I really hope this isn't a sign of webOS moving to be a closed platform. One of the prides of being a webOS user was knowing it was an open source platform and encouraged "Homebrew".

So, Here I am, with My Day 1 Pre Minus, 2 years and 1 day old - Obsolete despite Palm's & HP's assurance that there would be an OTA update, And NO path to Upgrade (is Sprint getting the Pre3??? Is the Pre3 Ever coming out???), And yet again ... HP figures another Way to **** with it's user base!!!!!

Way to go HP

Is this "as Cool as HP" or What?

Funny - seems like HP is getting their ducks all in a row for the official relaunch everyone has been screaming and whining about and preparing for a new eco-system of things that they have been indicating was coming -

Did you really think nothing was going to change - if you want WebOS to move forward - then let them move it forward.

When one door closes another door opens . . .

I refuse to be negative on every little thing HP does. This community harbors way too much negativity for too many minor things.

This closing door only does that, close. There is nothing "opening" from this.

I agree. Here's some shot in the dark thinking, what if HP is actually going to release a bunch of new hidden apps to the catalog, right before touchpad and pre3, and they don't want it to leak out before they get to announce them? I know, wishful thinking. But that's all I've got to go on, wishful thinking that maybe someday soon a new product is going to come to my hands.

Actually, I hate to be a party pooper, but I always thought that the open access program was a bad idea from a desperate company. It's actually a good idea for HP to have some control over official apps. I'll only get worried if they try to get rid of Preware or Quick Install. But if you ask me, it's a good move from a company that is no longer desperate. But feel free to scream at me if you disagree.


All it does is list apps. You do know that Preware launches to the catalog for apps in these feeds, right? How does hiding what apps are available help? Android certainly doesn't stop you from looking at apps outside of the on-device market, **** they even opened up the market online.

You cannot spin this in a good way.

Actually we can't spin it in any way for now. We don't know WHAT HP wants to do now.

Do they want to change something on the way the App Catalog works? Do some big-name-devs only want to join in if they close it? We don't know it.

I also would prefer it to be open, sometimes it just seems as if some companies become suspicious when another company is trying to be open :-/

On my take HP should at least keep the Web-Feed open (if there are no technical reasons).

Vito, you doe-eyed innocent. Leo is gonna drive a Benz big rig right through your heart and you're gonna ask him to do it again become something good will come of it. LOL

With warm regards, the "Troll".

I can't imagine how he can keep defending them.

Just when I get excited about development again! My GPS viewer app would have about 5 downloads right now instead of 3000 if it weren't for the feeds being pulled by PreWare and other 3rd party catalogs. Thanks HP... Guess it's time to go big or go home eh?

Jesus, it's not the end of the **** world.

That was two weeks ago.

Does HE read PreCentral, too?

I don't know, never met the guy.

**** this im done. Im sick of promises from Hpalm. Im getting an samsung epic for 100

I would too if Android didn't suck so much...

Suck as it does, HP is giving me little choice. There's no indication of when or if another webOS device will hit Sprint. My Pre Minus melted down last night and I'm tired of Doctoring and reinstalling. And now HP is moving against one of the best features of webOS, the Homebrew community. Face it, our choices are now between one of several corporate giants none of which give a **** about their users, none of them worthy of our loyalty. In this atmosphere, there are no good options.

Isn't this already the third time that you are switching to Android?

lol..he has LOTS of 'last night's...

You know that the Android market place also isn't "open" as an RSS-feed?

You do know that you can go to https://market.android.com/ and install apps directly to your phone don't you?

What does A have to do with B? He said that he wants to leave to Android, because HP has no RSS-feeds any more. But apparently NO other platform does this and Palm was the only company who did it...

I don't know if it's via RSS feeds, but third party apps/websites (like AppBrain) on android can and do give you full access to the android market.

I bought one in February and I'm ready to dump Android for a better webOS phone. The Epic has great hardware, but Android does not "flow" like webOS. Of course, eliminating the dedicated gesture area and adding a frickin' Home button, does not give me much faith in HP understanding why some love webOS so much.

If you are a Pre- user when you switch to the Epic, at least you will be use to never getting an OTA update for the phone.

You mean you're already used to never getting updates? Yep, both have the same problem. Only difference is that with the Pre it was a broken promise.

Well...I did (finally) get the update to Froyo for my Epic. HPalm told me to forget about getting 2.0 for my Pre-.

Samsung 1, HPalm 0

I promised Derek I would retire out of respect to him, but this is just BS!

Why does HP attack those who support them the most?

Rod, who should I attack? Point them out and I will make their lives HE**!

If you thought I was angry before, just wait and see.

lol...I was wondering where you went to...I warned you...please don't pop a vessel...

Let's be candid with each other. Does anyone REALLY expect HP to stay receptive to homebrew?

I always thought Palm "supported" homebrew as a PR Stunt. Honestly.

Homebrew was about the only friend HP had left in the world. HP is gonna save a lot on Christmas cards next year.

Well, in a time when other companies are becoming receptive to homebrew (Samsung giving phones to homebrew, HTC unlocking bootloaders), HP is taking some very strange step backwards.

This does in App Scoop, too, right? Shame.

Okay, so the Web App Feed is done, but does that means that all Web Apps are also done? What's to stop people from creating their own feed from dev supplied links to heir Web Apps?

I knew Richard Kerris wold F**K us! I tried to tell everyone. No one listened.

If not for Rod, my phone would be a total POS, he and his team have kept my day one pre- still usable, and this is how you repay him Kerris?

Sad day my friends. I have my pitchfork out and I am headed to Palo Alto!

I don't think Richard Kerris had any say in this matter. I'm sure this was decided from some nether region of HP that has little or nothing to do with webos.

It's Kerris' F***ing department. It is his fault. Let's stop pretending he is a god. He keeps scre*ing us? ow long are we going to sit back and take it?

Yup. If it's Kerris' department, the buck stops with him.

Otherwise what's the point if there isn't going to be any accountability?

Steady up Rambo. We don't have a statement yet and don't know why this had to happen. For all we know, it could have been out of his control.

Then he should post here and explain, but he won't because he is bad at his job. I swear, HP employees comment on here, who else would defend kerris at this point?

I think he did post here, so now what? You guys are over-reacting. It's obvious we're very close to something big happening and that's why it was shut down. Ok, I know, maybe an early warning would have helped but really? It's not that serious. It's not like shutting down the app feed is currently going to hurt developers - we're such a small base that this action isn't as consequential as it would be with a large community. We're a close knit community, we already know every app that's out there and how to get it.

This is a sad development. Very sad. I only fear that HP will continually close the platform in order to cater to their enterprise customers. In a way I can't blame them. After spending $1.2 billion on webos, their only customers may turn out to be the business community. That might be ok for HP as they can make a lot of money from that world. In the end its really RIM they are going after. They'll happily leave the consumer market battle to Android and Apple.

They can't leave the consumer market for them. And they know it and said it themselves, that the business-market today is "consumer" driven by people who want to use their personal phones also as their business-phones.

This is the very reason why RIM is suffering.

This is also why they won't let the consumer market slip away from them.

i don't think this is as bad as it sounds. Homebrew and preware still live on business as usual. Simply you can't get official apps on preware (no biggie, that's what the app catalog is for)

Exactly, it's not the end of the world. All the other platforms even didn't have this feature from the get-go.

But still it's a bad sign and we should take care that HP doesn't close the platform. Still I don't expect HP to do this (at least not unless webOS miraculously conquers 50% market share).

You couldn't get official apps on preware in the fist place. Preware only listed the apps, it launched to the app catalog when you wanted to install one of them.

https://developer.palm.com/appredirect/?packageid=com.kliktrayllc.techtray you can still access official apps this way. and thru app catalog. Seriously, I'm a big preware user but I don't use preware to get my official app catalog apps. homebrew and precentral feeds still continue on...

Kerris where are you? Be a man for once and address us now!

You have no business Being VP of Developer relations, since you S**K at relating to developers.

Okay, I'm not sure I understand how this is a big deal. And I'm more than willing to listen. So HP is no longer allowing people to link to the official app catalogue from Preware, and you're no longer allowed to link to an app download from an email. Is that it?

No, it means sites like MyAppBox.com and Precentral.net will no longer be able to display an updated list of apps for people to look at. The only option to list and discover apps will be via the official on-device app catalog (unless HP announces a new web portal of some sort).

Also any apps that relied on this data (like Preware) will be adversely affected.

But I'll still be able to get homebrew apps in Preware?

Homebrew apps will be unaffected, since they are hosted on different feeds.

OK, I just figured out why they did this.

When the TouchPad launches, HP can now freely claim tens of thousands of apps are ready at launch and no one has an efficient way to verify that claim. :P

It also stops the world from easily seeing the rather low app and download count. For example, precentral.net's app page is reporting the following:

Total Apps: 6827
Total Downloads: 108,504,255

I'm sure marketing would love to keep those low numbers hidden if they hope to attract more devs and consumers to their products.

Its about time. All of these apps are low quality trash anyways.

All of them? Don't diss the devs man. If there is one thing that webOS needs right now, it's more devs.

one mans trash....

Derek, do we have to wait for the products to be released before we update the site header? :)

I'd really like to be greeted by that fresh header when coming to PC, the old one is looking pretty drab.

I'm seeing the new header.

For real? I can't on my Legend or my Firefox desktop. :(

Try clearing your cache or something? I didn't do anything special...it just started showing up for me. Looks quite nice actually.

This shouldn't matter. it'll only make preware and internalz that much better.

Didn't Apotheker say something about being like Apple?

The Kerris tweet today and Apotheker comment at AllthingsD seem to be saying they are revamping the app catalog with a magazine format to highlight devs. They really need to attract devs and their current format did not help do that enough for the Pre and PrePlus. Its hard to say if the new format will do this but I'd like to see their idea before I can assess.

Too bad they did not give Derek more details, its a little wearying that they don't communicate well with this community but perhaps the reports of TouchPad being at Walmart are true and we are only days away from release, maybe McCartney concert this weekend is the turning point.

edit: it appears HP did have a conference call with PreCentral and WebosRoundup yesterday to discuss this, so I give HP kudos for reaching out.

Yes, but PC apparently still didn't manage to write it in a manner that didn't attract the "angy-nerd"-hordes.

I just understood what they are doing for what reason after I read the article over at WebOSRoundup...

As someone else said: Maybe HP should have rather made a post themselves instead of informing WebOSRoundup and Precentral and to depend on their interpretation and understanding.

my gears are getting ground. I need some good facts from HP about up coming moves, but it isn't me that should be pressuring them....its sprint because they will lose more money of mine if I switch carriers to switch devices. I can tell sprint is terrified by the number of deals they are hanging in front of me to sign a 2 year contract.

Sprint, get some facts from HP about what you'll have to offer me if you want my money.

Hey all -

On one hand I continue to be amazed at the passion and intensity of the webOS developer community, on the other hand I'm surprised to see so many comments taking this RSS action way, WAY out of context.

First of all, we are not doing this to negatively affect developers, not at all. I'm sorry some of you think otherwise, but that is not the goal. Also, we are not stopping anything regarding the wonderful Homebrew efforts - that rocks. This is about one main thing and that is expanding our developer community with Enterprise customers who are part of the DNA of HP. That market will help webOS significantly, and we ALL need that, right? This is a good thing.

We could have spent our valuable resources building a bunch of custom stores for each and every Enterprise customer, but that would be a drain on what we have and not be in the best interest of THIS community. Instead, we took the stance of investing in our developers with a new and unique store approach that brings app discovery to a whole new level, which we think customers will really enjoy. That is better for our market and THAT is better for developers. We called each of the developer sites to let them know and we have been reaching out to developers who have apps that worked with RSS.

We will still work with sites to let them know how the apps are doing in the catalog, but this just wont be an automated feed. None of the stores do that, by the way - We wont be faking any numbers or anything else that's been suggested here to that tone. (sheeesh people, I mean come on... ) What we will be doing is working to expand our market and grow the opportunity for developers. That has been and will continue to be our #1 goal. I think when we can show you the new approach you will understand it better - but to get there, we had to stop the old way and build out the new one. When that takes place, I would love to hear your feedback, as we all do. We are active in this community and on others; and I think that we do a lot more than other companies we know. We are the underdog and we will continue to work harder to earn the business.

I've read each and every comment, and I hope I've said what can be said to assuage the concerns. We are getting closer everyday to launch and the new things a lot of people have been busting butt on. No, I can't give that launch date here and no I can't show you what it will be. I ask that you give us the patience to get this done -I think it will be worth it. Those of you who have stuck with us, I think you will be proud and happy at the focus we're putting on developers, for that is our customer in my group.

Thanks again for all the support, the energy and the time you give us to speak up. I can't wait to show you the big picture so you can see how this all comes together. In the meantime, I have to get back to work... there's much to do!



VP Worldwide Developer Relations, HP webOS

Richard, next time HP is making a change that will affect the user and developer community, it would help if HP would formally announce it prior to allowing blogs to post the news. If the statement you made above was released by HP, the amount of confusion and negativity towards the news would have been drastically minimized.

The same thing happened on 2/9 when we found out via blog posts and twitter chatter that 1.x users would not be receiving the 2.1 update. These types of announcements need to come straight from HP prior to blogs reporting their own version/interpretation of the facts.


Thank you for the explanation Mr. Kerris. It is still a bit confusing, but for anyone else who has questions, this thread in the forums explains it well: http://forums.precentral.net/general-webos-chat/284083-hp-shutting-down-...

Derek, I think you should have a follow up post because I don't think people truly understand what this means.

To clarify, HP has NOT stopped/banned homebrew, preware, etc. Those still exist. Developers can still make homebrew apps and distribute them on custom feeds (ie webOS Internals feed), which can be accessed from Preware just like normal.

For now anyway.

Thank you for the clarification!

The touchpads almost here and i'm psyched!

"No, I can't give that launch date here and no I can't show you what it will be. I ask that you give us the patience to get this done..."

Nice way to avoid saying "in the coming months"...

That was a crazy emotional roller-coaster. What developer wouldn't want to work for a company and truly listens to your feedback, comments, encouragement, bitching and moaning? This should be a good sign for many of you - I know it is for me.

P.S. I **** too sometimes.

Did they really listen? Doesn't look like it. I agree with someone who posted earlier... I think HP has plants posting on the comment area here.

Thanks for the information.

To me the problem is not the feature per se. It's been nice but I can do without.

Palm used to be very open with webos - and that's one reason I decided for and stayed with the platform.

So the fear is, that this could be part of a more closed policy.

If I wanted Apple policies I would just get an Apple product.

And the way this is handled looks a bit suboptimal.
Why not just have a setting that keeps a particular app out of the RSS feed?
Or shut down this service when the shiny new alternative is ready? (at least ready to announce)

That reminds me of Feb9 when people where told that there won't be 2.x updates on Pre/Pixi (-/+) hardware, with some compensation hinted at, but undefined. That would have gone so much better if it had been "Sorry can't deliver 2.x for technical reasons, but here's what we do to make up for that ...".

To me it looks like very weird marketing to keep telling people disappointing news without the balancing good news ready.

And I'm one of the hopeful people here with the wait and see attitude, who does not assume the worst. ;-)

You are single handedly killing what could have been a great platform. *BY* developers *for* developers. Now you're taking the developers innovative ideas OUT because you don't want your server to run a "grep" a couple times a day.

You have segregated the bulk of the install base by (essentially) locking us out of the catalog (minimum version is 2.0.0 now).

You should be relying on your current install base to spread the word of webOS.

What word do we have to spread now? "HP doesn't care about developers." "HP doesn't care about existing users, and won't upgrade our phones, what make you think they'll care about yours next year?" "HP has been empty promises." "HP says 'in the coming months' we'll have [...]".

Tell us something good we should be saying. I can't think of a single one.

I'm Sprint user. What "good" am I supposed to be saying? That you'll "make things right"? That was February 9th. Not a single thing since.

And you're right. No other company has an RSS feed of their apps. I thought you wanted us to "THINK BEYOND" all the others and look to webOS.


I couldn't agree more.

Great post. Funny that the posts that are in defense of webOS and it's users always get thumbs down here.

Thank you Mr Kerris for replying. But I really wonder why you are the only one in HP that has the guts to address this community. While many of our concerns are related to development many others would be best addressed by someone in Customer Relations which seems to be preoccupied with avoiding customer interaction at all costs. I would love it if your peers in Customer Relations had the courage to speak to us as you do.

I feel that HP brought this negativity upon itself by breaking promises to customers which were followed by another broken promise to "makes things right". By doing so HP has now set the expectation that HP doesn't keep their word nor care about their once raving customers. Who are now quickly abandoning WebOS while those customers who are still waiting around have become jaded and quick to come to negative conclusions.

If only HP expressed concern for customers abandoned in the bumpy transition to WebOS 2 or 3 and kept your promise to make things right HP might deserve the benefit of doubt.

Sorry guys, this is really the last nail in the coffin. I am a 6-06-09 launch day, waited in line for 6 hours (loyal owner). I have 3 Pre-s, and have 5 Touchstones. There have been no leaked viable rumors of Sprint receiving a HP\Palm WebOS phone. I have a Sprint Premier account (12+ years), and I had already burnt one upgrade waiting on new rumored hardware (c40). I really want to wait and hope something lands on Sprint, but I cannot. My Pre-‘s are still doing ok! However, HP\Palm have neglected to fix bugs and updates to their legacy hardware. I am a true fanboy, have done a FrankenPre, 2.1’d my Pre-, and Prewared the heck out of my devices. However these are things that I really should not need to do (but thoroughly enjoyed). I really want to update my 3 Sprint lines with replacement WebOS (Pre3) phones. In addition I wanted to buy 2 Touchpads. However now that may not happen either. See you need a companion device like a Veer, or a Pre3 for Touch to Share, SMS, and Video Chat. Nowhere did they say legacy devices will support some of these pairing features. So it looks to me that I will be starting to jump ship to the “Dark Side”. What I mean by starting? Like I said, “ I have 3 lines”. All 3 are due for upgrades. I Pre-ordered (pun intended) the EVO 3D, not a big fan of monster phones or Android. However there are not very many options on Sprint. I will kick the tires and see how it goes.

So basically I will sum it up...

Individual users & Developers are no longer HP's target customers. It's Enterprise users & developers.

Not only are they not updating legacy devices, they are also taking away one of the last outlets for apps to be available to legacy users after the big switch is made.

There will be homebrew for now. But really, how long will they let that go if they want to have total control for enterprise services?

There is also no new information on release dates, or any information at all if there are any exciting new apps coming that team Kerris has locked down.

The open environment of WebOS is closing quickly. RIchard stated above that no one else does it the way WebOS does. That's the exact point, that's what makes webOS great, the openness.

I am happy that Richard posted here, but unfortunately I don't think much was answered.

Just stop with the secrets already. Let us know what is really going on, dammit.

Mr. Kerris,

Thanks for taking the time trying to explain this change. However, telling the community that this will be good for them (trust me, I'm here to help) without explaining how or why does not garner any good will. There have been too many instances of HP statements that we are still waiting to see come to fruition. ///
Apotheker said that the days of multi-month delays between announcements and shipping are over: “HP will stop making announcements for stuff it doesn’t have. When HP makes announcements, it will be getting ready to ship.” ///
So much for that statement having any truth to it...
“We’re working on something that we hope will help make things right for you. We’ll be sharing the specifics with you when they’re ready.” ///
When will we hear ANYTHING about how HP will "make things right"?

I'm certain I could find others, but you get the point. Stopping availability of this feed, without explanation as to WHY, is another step in the wrong direction. HP may have very good reasons for doing so, I may not agree with them, but I don't even have the opportunity to make that determination because you haven't told us why.

This is how your post reads to me:
I still can't believe the WebOS community gets upset at HP when we do something without making a pre-execution announcement or that HP doesn't provide any details and amplifying information. We don't want to hurt developers, we just want our enterprise developers to have exclusive access to the official app catalog (maybe a few of the smaller development houses too). We have to stop third parties from accessing the official feed. I can't tell you why (so go ahead and keep speculating), but we have some very good reasons for do so. I've read the comments and hope that I haven't said anything to make this worse. We are working hard to make some launch date out in the future but as long as we don't actually publish a date we can keep saying we're on track and take as long as we want. I would like everyone to just keep waiting until we are ready, even if it means waiting until the iPhone 7, android 8, and windows 9 are on the market - it will be worth the wait. I can't wait to show you the big picture and our way ahead...as soon as we know what that might be.

I'm sorry to be flippant, but HP needs to take a serious look at the way they are / are NOT communicating with their fans, users, and developers. Mis-step after mis-step isn't gaining HP any market share, mind share, or good will.
I am a user, not a developer. I gratefully support the folks with the time and knowledge to make the apps I use. Closing off third parties from even listing the available apps will hamper the developer's ability to get new users and keep current users. There are better ways to give your enterprise developers happy than reducing visibility for the little guys.

I would love to see Netflix, HBOgo, Skype, NFL, NASCAR, Garmin, and a slew of other big name apps on WebOS, but honestly, not at the loss of the real innovators (the homebrew folks).


P.S. I would welcome the opportunity to speak with one of your peers at HP to explain why these types of actions create the outcry that seems to surprise everyone at HP.

I don't get the big deal and outrage with this news.

I can't be the only one who thought the App Catalog needed fixing and updates? How many people found the latest changes useful and the only feature that worked well for me was Search. Everything else seemed half baked and only worked half the time. I'd love to see the App Catalog expanded and allow desktop interfacing to add/remove applications we purchase and no longer use. I can also only imagine how complicated things will get when the app selection expands beyond what the App Catalog and Preware can handle.

I don't have a answer and can only look at things from the outside, but do people really think things will improve with IOS or Android? Sorli...

They didn't have to nix the open feeds to fix the catalog.

Richard, no company I can think of would take the time as you did to post on an enthusiast website to alleviate the concerns of its community. Thanks for the clarification and thoughtful post.

what happened to glennbeck's comments?
why is this place so heavily moderated since Dieter left?

They should never have accepted a server from HP...


This was webOS-internals that got that server...

But ok, you don't need any understanding nor knowledge to be angry, don't you?