Install the webOS 2.1 App Catalog onto older devices, promo codes for everyone! | webOS Nation

Install the webOS 2.1 App Catalog onto older devices, promo codes for everyone!

by Adam Marks Mon, 23 May 2011 10:48 pm EDT

Although webOS 2.0 has been available for over six months, first on the Pre2 and more recently on the Veer, the vast majority of webOS users are still sitting on webOS 1.4.5. Aside from not having access to all the wonderful webOS 2.0 goodies, those users--along with the Verizon Pre2 owners still on webOS 2.0.1--have also been shut out from using the Promo codes that were added as part of the recent update to the App Catalog. Well fret not, 1.4.5 and 2.0.1 users, as PreCentral reader Alex Zipkin has discovered a way to load up the 2.1 App Catalog on your devices, opening the door for you, too, to use Promo Codes to install apps. Unfortunately, while you can access the 2.1 version of the catalog, this process will not allow you to actually access any 2.0- or 2.1-specific apps. Your device will still pass along your webOS version to the App Catalog and only show the apps compatible with your device.

But before we get to the instructions, we need to point out a few important caveats that webOS 1.4.5 users need to be aware of before venturing down this path. Since webOS 2.0 broke out the app update mechanism from within the App Catalog to a separate Software Manager app, there will be no way to access App updates while you have the 2.0 App Catalog installed (without manually loading and updating each individually app). In addition, you will not be able to access the "Preferences & Accounts" section of the App Catalog, so make sure your payment options are up date first. But don’t get too worried about these issues, as a simple reboot of your device will revert your App Catalog back to your older webOS version, with no permanent harm being done.

Step-by-step instructions are after the break.

  1. Download to the webOS Doctor for the recently released HP Veer. [download link] This doctor contains the new App Catalog IPK - you can not use a Pre2 doctor, as it still contained the non-updated version without the Promo codes functionality.
  2. Using a program such as WinRAR to extract files from a compressed .JAR file, locate and extract the /resources/webos.tar file from the Doctor. Within that compressed file, locate and extract the nova-cust-image-broadway.rootfs.tar.gz file. Finally, within that file, locate and extract the usr/palm/ipkgs/ file.
  3. Connect your phone to a PC and access the USB drive
  4. Copy over the IPK file to your phone and then properly eject the phone from USB mode
  5. Using either Preware (using the Install Package functionality in the Application dropdown menu) or Internalz Pro, install the IPK to your phone
    • Note that you can use webOS Quick Install as well, but since you will need to repeat this process every time you reboot your device, you are better off having an on-device installation option
  6. The next time you launch the App Catalog, it should be the dark gray webOS 2.1 App Catalog with all its Promo Code goodness, although the app icon will still remain as the Palm shopping back and not get updated to the new blue HP icon.
  7. If you need to revert back to the original App Catalog for your webOS version, just perform a full or luna restart. Yes, that means any restart will wipe out the catalog - your apps will remain.
  8. Repeat these steps any time you want to use a promo code.

That's it. It's not the most elegant of solutions, but if you're hungering to take advantage of some promo codes but don't want to force your phone onto 2.1, this is your solution. Also, do note that the App Catalog still recognizes the proper device version, so you're not going to be able to install 2.x-only apps on your 1.4.5 phone. Thems the breaks when you're hacking.

Thanks to Alex for the tip!