Paid app appears in Euro App Catalog, wreaks mini-havoc | webOS Nation
 
 

Paid app appears in Euro App Catalog, wreaks mini-havoc 15

by Derek Kessler Mon, 09 Nov 2009 10:06 am EST

Palm Pre Smoke While European Pre-owners are still waiting for their App Catalog to catch up to the US App Catalog and for paid apps to come along with it, they got a taste of the future recently and for some it left a bitter aftertaste. Thing is, the Photo Dialer app was recently updated and moved from being a free app to a paid one. While this didn’t pose a problem for US Pre owners (those who downloaded the app when it was free will continue to receive updates unless the developer releases a separate version like Pivotal Labs did with Tweed), the App Catalog on webOS 1.1.3 on the Euro Pre isn’t set up to deal with paid apps.

PreCentral Forum member Gizmo21 found this out the hard way. He had downloaded Photo Dialer when it was free and noticed that the paid version had somehow made its way into the Euro App Catalog with the price tag of €1.99 - and it was available as an update through the Updates app. As an intrepid Pre owner would do, he tapped on that Update button and tried to download, but the Pre balked at the request and threw up one of those yellow warning triangles to say it wasn’t working.

No surprises there, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t surprises to be had. After that error, the Updates app cracked and would no longer connect to Palm’s servers. Gizmo tried to get help from Palm, but there was no solution to be found even after several days of work. As you might expect, Palm recommended a partial erase (apps and settings) of the phone to start kind of fresh. Unfortunately for Gizmo, this exposed one of the weak links in Palm’s cloud system: the Backup app. While his apps and some settings were successfully downloaded, many Palm Profile items (including all but one of his 290 contacts) were missing. And since Palm doesn’t keep historical backups from Pre phones, they couldn’t go back and check older backups to see if the contacts were there somewhere.

This brings us to two points. One: If your phone gives you the option to do something you know it’s not supposed to do, think before hitting that button - bad stuff could happen. We aren’t going to say that bad stuff absolutely will happen, but exercising options you’re not supposed to have always runs a risk of things going awry. Two: Backups in one place are not good enough. As we’ve said before, the cloud is a good part of a multi-pronged backup solution. Lets take contacts as an example, there are three places you should be storing your contacts: on your Pre, in the cloud, and on your computer (with the added benefit of accessing them from all these avenues).

This way if one part of the system goes down you still have two backups at the ready. While we like Palm - we are PreCentral after all - we’ve heard enough horror stories about Palm Backup that we can’t advocate that your Palm Profile be the primary storage point of all your contacts and calendar events (right now we can’t do much about your tasks and memos). In addition to storing your contacts on your Pre, in the cloud, and on your computer, we advocate that you have an additional off-site back-up if you can manage, either a second cloud back-up of you contacts (or your computer itself) or a physical off-site backup at a family or friend’s home. What can we say, we like fail-safes.

15 Comments

This is the exact same thing that happened to me but, I am in the USA.

I did a chat with Palm support and they told me since all apps were installing/updating fine to contact the developer. I did, and he is still working on the issue with Palm. He told me to uninstall the app and to redownload it. I uninstalled but, to redownload Palm wants me to pay the $2 fee. No go.

So far, his response has been great but, what gives?

I also had this problem with the SplashID app. I had previously downloaded the app when it first became available.The other day it showed there was an update to be had, and everytime I tried to do it, either the download failed or the app store became unavailable. Online chats with Palm, and Sprint were worthless. I was encouraged to do a partial reset but didnt want to do it. I depend to much on SpalshID so I deleted the app and paid for it again. I hope this doesnt happen again!

This happened to me right here in the US, and there is a huge deal of user error involved. As you mentioned, if you know that button should not be there, don't click it.

I was trying to update my stopwatch app, (I had the homebrew version) and there was a 99c paid version in the catalog. After trying, I got the same yellow symbol, App Catalog unavailable.

Some time after, I realized that my phone would not update any apps or update to webOS 1.2.1 automatically. I looked at the Backup App, and it hadn't backed up in some time.

The difference between this guy and myself is that I manually clicked the 'Backup Now' button before wiping my phone.

My mistake then-(I didn't read the forum post), I was trying to make some sense of all this. FYI, it's worth it to create a Google account, if only to store contacts in the cloud. The nice thing about webOS is that is keeps a copy of what is in the cloud, so had the Palm backup failed, you would just have had to re-sync with Google's servers and you'd be set.

Is there a thread that details these steps?


Also, I thought it was back up your contacts on Google or Palm profile, but not both. Is that true?

Oh i DID a final manual backup, as mentioned in the first line here:
http://forums.precentral.net/general-webos-chat/212793-gsm-app-catalog-l...

"i could not resolve this "Connection not possible. Try again later" problem, so i had to partial erase my pre. i did a final backup of the PalmProfile before this."

i'm wondering now if this was in fact the problem.....

i know all about syncing to the cloud, but nevertheless palm does not give us a way to sync locally, so they should at least get their cloud service done correctly. Well but don't want a flame discussion here...

Palm needs to provide a way to export the database for backup purposes. This could be done pretty easily--just send a file to the USB partition and let the user pull it off manually. With root access, it's possible to do this yourself, but there is no reason why Palm shouldn't write a little export script. The file doesn't even need to be readable by anything else, at the moment. Just a pure backup would suffice.

Next step would be a true export in something like a csv format so that you could ingest it other places (such as Google contacts).

So far, this app is a must for me. Personally it's the only easy way to call someone. I am in Canada and I downloaded it when it was new. I don't think it's worth the $1.99, but that is another matter. When I click update, it tells me that it's not available in my region. That's all. But I still get to use the previous version no problem.
On a side note, here in Canada we know longer have the AccuRadio app available. I had deleted it long ago. But I noticed that when I went into updates (on the phone not in the app store), that it still new my phone had downloaded it and it gave me the option to download the updated version. I did so with no problems.

Just call me paranoid, but I've been watching & hoping for a full backup utility from either Palm or the HomeBrew guys similar to what I have for my BlackBerry (and my money is on the HomeBrew crew). The T-Mobile/Microsoft fiasco with the Sidekick just drove the point a bit deeper, and this is another solid reminder. Not pointing fingers, been in this industry too long to not know the value of multiple redundancy for critical data. That said, I've found quite a bit of comfort with the PocketMirror app from Chapura for my Outlook info.

On the apps loaded on the Pre prior to their inclusion in the app catalog, then inability to reinstall without relicensing - try contacting the developer and see if he can provide a URL that you can use with filecoaster to bypass the app catalog and get a licensed version of the app. That was my workaround for the Weatherman app I'd deleted then decided to reinstall. (IIRC all I had to do after reinstalling the app was reset the activation code.) Maybe not the most elegant solution, but certainly do-able and well within my comfort zone as I expected a few bumps in the road when I decided to opt for the Pre over another BB.

I am not prepared, handing over all my privat and business contacts with many confidential informations to Google (or alike) for similar reasons as not relaying on the Palm Profile.

What I wished is a proper Palm Pre Funambel Client (SyncML).

This way, I could synch all PIM data with my "own" Group Server. Actually the Horde Group Server from our Web Hoster.
This is free and can sync with Outlook, Thunderbird and many more.
So I would have a great multi way sync. Using the cloud, but still being able to control the data myself.

The hoster is also running daily backups. Beside that, I can run my own additional backups.

This way, I feel reasonable safe.

PALM: Are you listening?

Thanks in advance.

Greetings from Switzerland,
Rolf

GSM Pre with both Photodialer and SplashID apps installed, both showed updates, both showed yellow triangle of trouble, but as I didn't try to install them, I have no idea whether they would have caused any trouble......

Just FYI, there are fixes coming in the next release for the phone for this catalog glitch, as well as the backup program.

chuq (coming, um, soon, maybe...)

If you direct your German Pre to any application website on the Palm App Catalog at developer.palm.com/webChannel/index.php?.. you already get the EURO-Prices for the app. Right now it's exactly the US-price, but with an euro sign beside it. I do belive this will stay the same once the Catalog gets out of beta in Europe.