New in the App Catalog for 26 January 2010 | webOS Nation
 
 

New in the App Catalog for 26 January 2010 36

by Derek Kessler Wed, 27 Jan 2010 10:10 am EST

App Catalog Today we introduce you to the new category of app you're going to love to hate in these posts. Brighthouse Labs' sports apps are still around (four new Baseball Fans apps landed yesterday), but developer EmJa Interactive is exploiting to subcategorizeable (err...) app categories to full benefit: cheat codes broken down by individual console and the lyrics app. While we fully admit that separating cheat codes by console makes perfect sense, making an individual app for the lyrics of a single artist or group we can see leading to the irritating proliferation that led to shouts for the banning of some other developers (and the subsequent reasoned response from Palm). How many lyrics apps did we get yesterday? Eight. At least they're names I recognized - check it all out after the break.

New apps:

  • Color Flashlight, Free, by Hot Sauce Apps: Color-customizable flashlight.
  • Fart, $0.99, by Awesome Phone Apps: Generate flatulence sounds with inspirational and humorous messages.
  • Flasher, $0.99, by Lane One Apps: Flashlight app with flashing screen settings.
  • Full Featured Tip Calculator, $0.99, by or Studios: Tip Calculator with multiple taxes and per-item splitting.
  • Houston Baseball Fans, $1.99, by Brighthouse Labs: Get the newest and newest scores for Houston baseball.
  • Kansas City Baseball Fans, $1.99, by Brighthouse Labs: Check out the latest scores and news for Kansas City baseball.
  • Los Angeles A Baseball Fans, $1.99, by Brighthouse Labs: Check out the latest scores and news for LA Angels baseball.
  • Los Angeles D Baseball Fans, $1.99, by Brighthouse Labs: Get the latest scores and news for LA Dodgers baseball.
  • Lyrics: Beatles, $2.99, by EmJa Interactive: Get the lyrics to dozens of popular Beatles songs.
  • Lyrics: Black Eyed Peas, $2.99, by EmJa Interactive: Check out the lyrics to dozens of Black Eyed Peas songs.
  • Lyrics: Dave Matthews Band, $2.99, by EmJa Interactive: Get the lyrics to dozens of Dave Matthews Band songs.
  • Lyrics: Jackson 5, $2.99, by EmJa Interactive: Get the lyrics to several popular Jackson 5 songs.
  • Lyrics: Jonas Brothers, $2.99, by EmJa Interactive: Get the lyrics to dozens of popular Jonas Brothers songs.
  • Lyrics: Justin Bieber, $2.99, by EmJa Interactive: Get the lyrics to several popular Justin Bieber songs.
  • Lyrics: Miley Cyrus, $2.99, by EmJa Interactive: Get the lyrics to dozens of Miley Cyrus songs.
  • Lyrics: Taylor Swift, $2.99, by EmJa Interactive: Get the lyrics to 72 Taylor Swift songs.
  • Nintendo DS Cheat Codes, $6.99, by EmJa Interactive: Get cheat codes for your Nintendo DS games.
  • Pack ā€˜nā€™ Track 7 Day Free Trial, Free, by Syntactix: Seven-day trial of Pack ā€˜nā€™ Track shipment tracking app.
  • Playstation 2 Cheat Codes, $6.99, by EmJa Interactive: Get cheat codes for your PlayStation 2 games.
  • PSP Cheat Codes, $6.99, by EmJa Interactive: Get cheat codes for your PSP games.
  • Ski for Pre, $1.49, by RJAM Development: Work your way down the slopes, avoiding obstacles and making jumps.
  • Time=$, $6.99, by W.P. Consulting: Track your billable time on tasks and projects.

Updated apps:

  • Altitude, $0.99
  • Awkward Situation, $0.99
  • Bible P, Free
  • Blackjack, $0.99
  • CTA Tranzit, $1.99
  • Daily Dose of Medical Knowledge, $3.99
  • Dice Roller, $1.00
  • findMYcar, $2.99
  • Pedometer, $0.99
  • Pitch Pipe for WebOS, $0.99
  • pReader, Free
  • R-Tycoon, Free
  • Radio Hibiki, $1.39
  • Ridiculous Rings, $0.99
  • Robot Football, $2.00
  • SpeedoMeter, $0.99
  • Swap & Drop, $1.99
  • TealFishTank Aquarium Simulator, $0.99
  • TealSpeed Dialer and Launcher, $4.99
  • Trapster, Free
  • Tune Your Guitar, Free
  • Wapedia: Encyclopedia, Free
  • WOG Glowstick, $0.99
  • Word Search, $1.99

36 Comments

I've posted a new thread on the Palm developer boards asking how apps from Dijit (with tons of images they probably do not have ownership of) and EmJa Interactive (with lyrics from songs they do not own) are being approved considering they appear to be violate Palm's own copyright policy which is posted on their web page.

I asked a similar question related to image distribution (related to the Dijit apps) and Chuq responded that he didn't feel that Palm app reviewers should be responsible for determining whether a developer owns the images they're distributing in their apps. What does everyone else think? Is Palm responsible for verifying the apps they review? I think so especially considering they take a portion of the profits from these apps.

I think if Palm takes a portion of the profit then, yes, they should be verifying and reviewing. They should also be held accountable if any infringement ensues. I also think the app catalog should have a "developer" filter so we can bypass all the crap.

It's a trade-off:
Either they test and verify every app and have a restrictive policy -> you get the apple-iphone-situation, where every app (except fart-apps) takes weeks to be approved, and some never are (google voice).
Or you don't. Which may of course lead to shady apps. But as long as they are not malicious, it really is the problem of the seller and the buyers.

Which one do you prefer?

But they do have a restrictive policy, at least documented on their web page. It clearly points out what is not allowable content in an app, and that includes any material the developer does not own or have rights to distribute. So the question is not whether they should have this policy. The question is really whether they should be enforcing their own policies documented on their web page.

But as far as the question of whether they should have this restrictive policy, I think they should in this case. It is illegal to distribute and make profit from material you don't own. So this policy is a no-brainer in my opinion.

As far as all of the other garbage apps that are cluttering up the catalog, I don't think they should be banned. If they're not illegal or contain other objectionable material (such as porn, hate messages, etc.), then they should be allowed. But Palm really should consider adding a filtering mechanism so people can browse the catalog without having to scroll through hundreds of apps they find useless. It'll make the app browsing experience much nicer.

i've mentioned this before. i barely use the app catalog now because it's nearly impossible to figure out what's new when it's full of crap apps and crap updates, all on the "recent" page. and the more crap apps, (and old non crap apps for that matter) there are the more updates appear in "recent". I missed assassins creed twice when browsing as it was buried in updates and spam apps.

nice to see 3d gaming but other then that i've found the app experience disappointing. it's way worse the the apple store cause the apple store is full of good apps on the front page, cheaper, you can easily see tons of apps through itunes, you're not stuck on using it on a small screen of a phone 100% of the time. As for copyright they should enforce their own rules. But the apps would suck even if they paid to copy the content and as a user i still have a shitty experience. Now they can keep the app catalog the way it is. it's their choice. It detracts a lot from my experience. Though i like lots about the my Pre it's not so special that i'm not keenly looking to see what apple does this summer. Android too for that matter. but me personally they are just driving me away with this app situation.

I just hope Dijit is charged $50 for every new app submitted - i bet we would have seen the last of that! at the risk of being repetitive, i hope hope palm comes up with apps from the big guys like directv, espn yahoo-nextjump kayak etc which is utilitarian.

Silly me, when I want lyrics, I type the title and the artist into universal search and press enter. Works for me. And now I can just pay $2.99 for it. Makes sense to me. (Not.)

Really? That's a pretty lame way to look for lyrics. :P

I just tap the L icon in Music Player (Remix) and it automatically loads them for me.

Great, another 20+ of worthless apps, yippee!! That a way Palm developers, way to woo customers to Palm webOS with these lame apps. Come on people, how about some decent apps!

Not defending palm, but the thinking is probably that stupid apps like these still help to bump up the number of apps available for webOS, for the purposes of bragging rights against android and iphone "# of available apps" claims.

I'm pretty sure that's the exact motivation behind the approval of these apps. Without them, their app count would be much lower.

However they should realize that they're never going to gain an advantage over the iphone and android when it comes to app counts. Instead of trying to artificially inflate their app counts, they should be doing 2 things:

1) Work with the big companies to help port their iphone and android games and apps to webOS. Palm is already starting to do this; however they need to keep it up and bring more of the big names into the catalog.

2) Work with the development community on creating innovative apps leveraging some of the unique abilities of webOS and advertising their app catalog as one with quality over quantity. When facing behemoths like the iphone and android, they need to differentiate their app catalog in some way.

"When facing behemoths like the iphone and android, (Palm) needs to differentiate their app catalog in some way."

Agreed!

Hey! Here is an Asphalt 5 Free Trial Version here in the App Catalog! AWESOME!!

Are these developers being charged $50 per app submission yet? $6.99 for cheat codes that are all available on the net?! No thanks!

palm needs to get ride of dijits apps there all trash ,and even on the phonedog reveiw of the pre plus noah was like what's up with these apps.

everyone complaining needs to hush.. is it really, really that hard to scroll past some useless apps. i mean i hate dijit as much as the next person but if they wanna hustle the system for watever reason let them do their thing. honestly scrolling through all these whining comments is worse than scrolling past a dijit app.

The people that are complaining, myself included have no issue with a crap app being put out, I think the real issue is the fact that this can bring negative news for Palm. Imagine someone who OWNS the rights to the pictures this leech Dijit is using, yea they may do a cease and desist to him/her/it but they can go after Palm for the money gained. ALl of a sudden they lose money from lawyer fees as well as whatever profit gained from the worthless apps.

If anything MORE people need to be emailing Palm and telling them this is crap.

I'd just like to be a bit nit-picky and point out that the Dice Roller app is new, not updated. I worked hard on that thing! Give it the bold text it deserves! :)

And also that I'm a bit annoyed that Palm never actually emailed to tell me that they were releasing my app, but that the turnaround time was very, very solid -- hell, they approved it before I even had time to finish the webpage! (it's, uh, still not finished

This is getting stupid. The more apps like this that Palm keeps flooding the app catalog with, the more I want to get a different phone.

And yes, I'd rather they have a much more restrictive approval process, even if it takes weeks to approve an app, than have all this bs garbage crap in the catalog. I think most would probably agree.

duplicate post

wow! Some reasoned discussion on this issue (for a welcomed change.)

@danplc: I don't understand your argument for copyright violation. If I understand correctly, these apps fetch copyrighted cheats, lyrics, photos, scores or wallpapers from the Internet but provide you the convenience of focused results. Remember that, basically, everything is copyrighted, unless (simplistically) it is old and abandoned.

So by the definition, shouldn't the Pre's Web app be a violation? Afterall, it provides copyrighted content which Palm doesn't own and you paid (a lot) for that app!

What is the difference? How exactly do certain apps violate copyrights where others which provide content do not?

I don't know for certain if they violate copyright law. But what I asked Palm was if they verified it themselves.

The difference between a web browser that is used to search for images, lyrics, etc. is that the web browser provider is not charging money to provide that specific material. These developers are charging money to provide the images and lyrics.

Regardless of whether they charge for the content, I think the legality of distributing this material would depend upon how they are being distributed and the source of the material. For instance, if the images were being installed directly on the phones or being hosted from Dijit's servers, then I think that may be a copyright violation. Also if the lyrics are being installed directly on the phone or being served from a site that does not have licenses with the record companies, then that would be a copyright violation.

My point was that Palm should be verifying this before approving the apps.

Dan- We agree that anyone hosting copyrighted content on their own servers and charging access to that would be a violation. However, an app which merely redirects one to the original source of the material, as in the Web app or any other, would not be a violation of copyright.

If I understand your argument correctly, you are saying that Palm needs to verify that every app does not supply stolen content. Is that your argument?

Checking the source of material provided in every app seems an infeasible task. While it seems simplistic, the actual task can be impossible. The recent Orphan Works Act of 2008 made that task even harder to perform. This job would also require, for example, that EA properly paid all of their artists for the usage of artwork in their games. Again, seems like a simple act, but....

Has any here bought a Brighthouse or Dijit app to determine where the content is coming from? Maybe they actually paid for the rights to the content. Maybe they are just directing you to the source. Maybe they stole it (which seems an unlikely business model at such a big scale.)

Anyone know for certain (fact)?

Welcome, EmJa Interactive, to my "Hide App Vendors" list. Good enough, problem solved, moving along with my life...

The update to CTA Tranzit finally makes it worth spending $2 on that app. You can now save your favorite bus stops and easily jump to it when you want to know the next arrival time. Fantastic. Great update, glad the developer was listening to the people who bought the app.

Apple's restrictive policy does not mean there are not crappy apps (of the same nature as Digit's, and otherwise) on the iPhone. Policing apps is a no-win game.

@Hrolf: I believe the TOC is there to insulate Palm if a copyright owner does go after a violating app.

@DanPLC: What you got against porn?

When I mentioned porn I did so not to express my personal beliefs but to indicate that a retailer (Palm in this case) would probably choose not to include it in their store. Just like you can't pick up porn at Walmart or Best Buy, you probably won't be able to pick it up in the Palm app catalog.

You mentioned the TOC being an insulation for Palm in case a copyright owner goes after a violating app. The problem is that Palm gets 30% of the profits from those apps and they review each and every one of them if they're in the app catalog. So the TOC would not help insulate Palm. It's ones actions that a court will take note of, not their words (as stated in the TOC).

I don't believe Palm should be attempting to screen all apps for copyright content. However there should be a mechanism for Pre Users to report applications they consider to be illegal.

These red flagged apps could be checked by Palm and removed from the catalog if it is indeed determined that they don't conform with Palm's terms / conditions. (and the developer would loose their $50)

I don't think Palm should check every single item in every single app. That would be ridiculous. But if an app's main purpose is to distribute materials (images, sounds, lyrics, etc.), then I think they should do a little spot checking in that app to make sure the materials being packaged and sold belong to the developer.

The question of Palm's legal exposure if they participate in the sale of unauthorized, copywrited material is interesting. Ultimately though, I'm hoping simple market forces solve this. If they pay the submission fee enough times without getting any sales, then hopefully they'll just give it up.

Of course, that depends on them not actually getting any sales. We, the community, can have some impact there. I would like to see PreCentral take more of a stand on not promoting these apps equally with the others. I'd much rather see something like "several lyrics apps from EmJa" at the bottom of the list than having each one listed out. I understand the editorial interest in remaining neutral, but I think the readers have made it abundantly clear that we are not interested in seeing these titles listed out.

I'd also like the name, address, and phone number of anyone who buys these so that I can... discuss their purchasing decision with them. ;)

The people complaining about PALM releasing CRapps seem to be a bit confused. These are apps that are NOT developed by PALM! Its 3rd party developers.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but palm takes these apps and does very little with them, other than to check that:
it doesnt make the phone unstable
the app isnt malicious
the app does what it claims
the app utilizes API's that are documented and that will not break with updates, etc
the app is built properly, and packaged robustly.

Other than that, they could care less. Once the groundwork is laid, its very easy to get 1000's of apps that do the same thing, but push different content, so they whiz past the checks and into the catalog a lot faster than programs like Gdial Pro, 3d games, and other more intensive programs that leverage more power and more interfaces.

Give Palm a break, they're doing what they said they would: process and post apps to the catalog as fast as possible, while ensuring we get quality product. Unfortunately, quality doesn't mean it does something useful :P

I'll agree with most of what you said. However, unlike the Android market where purchases go right to the developer (I think), my credit card is charged to Palm in Sunnyvale, CA. I'm buying the content from them. Their name is on the device, the OS and the App catalog. That makes them more viable in my opinion.

Personally, I really don't care either way as I have no use for a lot of the apps, however, I would like to have a better experience navigating the App catalog. Why can't Brighthouse, djitt and whomever make multiple apps consolidate them into one app. Download it, launch it and then give the user the choice of what team (s) to follow or what lyrics to download?

there's a whole forum section full of app request/most wanted apps.

developers are making shit nobody wants when they could easily read the sections and make stuff tons of people want. Regardless if all people see is crap apps it all damages the platform as a whole in the long run. and in the end palm may shoot itself in the foot by not having higher standards for apps.

Yes, you are absolutely right!!

I just wish I had an easy filter on the app catalog so I didn't have to wade through all the crap:

1) No app that is just a front end to a web site
2) No app that supplies info I can get from a simple google search
3) No app from Brighthouse, period.

That would, what, cut the number of apps in what, half? More?

I think the App Catalog needs a better front page. The Featured list at the top is ok, but I'd like to clearly see the best and most popular apps right up front.