The Curiously Sad Case of webOS 2.0 App Development | webOS Nation
 
 

The Curiously Sad Case of webOS 2.0 App Development 157

by Tim Stiffler-Dean Mon, 14 Mar 2011 9:25 pm EDT

When HP announced that they were going to be buying Palm early last year, we were all eagerly awaiting to see what changes would come to the brand. As those changes were found out by the public through numerous leaks and announcements, the webOS community began to get really excited. I received dozens of phone calls from developers looking to build new applications using advanced webOS 2.0 API's and integrating features like Just Type and Exhibition Mode. People were genuinely happy with the future that HP was showing us.

Fast-forward to today, just after the February 9th announcements and release of webOS 2.1 on the Pre 2, and you may notice something peculiar. The development community has slowed down dramatically, and it's starting to look like some have jumped ship just as things are starting to get exciting again. HP has delivered on the goods that they promised, and no we find ourselves with a lack of new apps to play with that are build for webOS 2.x devices.
To see what I mean, open up your webOS 2.x App Catalog (or find someone who can do it for you) and look for apps that tie into the new API's. While two dozen is twice as many apps than were released on the original Pre launch day, that's a far cry from what was expected a few months ago. And considering how many apps don't work in 2.0 because the developers haven't updated them yet, we may actually have fewer apps available for the Pre 2 (and the many hacked devices out there with 2.1) than on a device with webOS 1.4.5 installed.
Where have all the developers gone?
Besides the fact that many developers just don't have their devices yet to do proper testing on, there are some good reasons for them to wait before continuing with their projects. Most don't have access to Enyo yet, and since it is so different than the familiar Mojo environment, they are going to wait for Enyo to be finalized and released. Others are developing for the highly anticipated TouchPad, which isn't expected to release until June this year. And others just want to see if webOS is ever going to grow like HP's CEO expects it to before they dedicated so many hours to what they believe could be a failing OS. 
There's also the growing frustration that developers are being left on their own as webOS becomes fragmented across multiple devices and frameworks. Questions are raised: Do I develop for webOS 1.4.5 since I don't have a Pre 2 yet, or do I wait to see if I can get 2.0 some other way? Should I use the soon-to-be antiquated Mojo to build my app, or wait till Enyo is ready to use for live projects? Should I even care about webOS anymore? Android and iOS are getting prettier all the time....
Who can blame them for wanting to wait (or give up entirely) on the future? I can't really say that I blame them myself, but I can say that I agree with their sentiments while also being honest about something else: There is another solution to the problems that have been created.
Waiting does not mean "stand still"
While those questions that have been asked are waiting for answers, many developers have stopped their efforts so that they waste no time on a project that will not get the most ROI. If they build for Mojo, they'll have to recreate all of their work in Enyo later on to be compatible on future devices. If they build for webOS 2.0, they risk losing a vast majority of their current target market who simply cannot access their app to purchase it. Plus, who wants to buy a Pre 2 to develop with now, when the Veer, Pre 3 and TouchPad are all just around the corner?
If a developer had asked me two months ago which platform they should release an app on to get the most success, I would have told them webOS. A small catalog and passionate userbase means that their app would see much more success once webOS is launched with the immense HP scale than on any other platform. Today, that sentiment is even stronger. With only two dozen or so apps available to take advantage of webOS 2.0 features, opportunity for huge growth is waiting to be taken advantage of. Developers should be building for webOS 2.0 now, and not later, if they want to see the most growth.
But it's more than just about growth, it's also about testing the user experience. Build an app in Mojo for webOS 2.0 today so that you can see how people respond to your application and experience it. When Enyo is ready for widespread use, you'll be happy you took the time to get so many problems corrected in the first version of your app. Create an experience that your users will never forget, and with each subsequent release (including one to switch over to Enyo) they'll create buzz organically that you've updated your app, and you'll see new customers added. 
Don't forget to create a brand
Probably more importantly than actually continuing the development process of app creation is continuing to build a highly desired brand. Even if you aren't sure about releasing updates to your own app or creating new ones, by showing you are actively involved in the community and helping others finish their apps, you are building trust and loyal fans for when you do finally take that step. Those are the invaluable people that you need if you're going to create something great.
The best time to get ahead in the game is to start before anyone else does. Bottom line is, if you keep waiting for HP to make a move so that you can, by the time they do you'll already be behind. Take the chance now to build for Mojo and learn Enjoy (if you have access). Integrate 2.0 features (like JustType, Exhibition Mode and Enhanced Synergy API's) into your current apps to create a whole new experience for your users right now. Get in tight with the developer community and make some friends with people at Palm HQ while building your brand with the consumers. 
When you take the time to prepare yourself for success, then you will follow that patter and eventually succeed. If you prepare yourself by waiting on HP or Enyo or the TouchPad, then you'll follow that pattern too; there will be no end to your wait. How do I know this? Well, just look at the webOS community and where it is right now - we waited for big news on February 9th, and we got it! 
But there's still only a few dozen apps in the catalog that are built for 2.0, and now we're already waiting till the next big announcement. What will it take to break the habit and start making some changes right now?
I know, it's the text editor sitting on your desktop that's waiting to be opened. Get to it, and good luc

Fast-forward to today, just after the February 9th announcements and release of webOS 2.1 on the Pre 2, and you may notice something peculiar. The development community has slowed down dramatically, and it's starting to look like some have jumped ship just as things are starting to get exciting again. HP has delivered on the goods that they promised, and now we find ourselves with a lack of new apps to play with that are built for webOS 2.x devices.

To see what I mean, open up your webOS 2.x App Catalog (or find someone who can do it for you) and look for apps that tie into the new API's. While two dozen is twice as many apps than were released on the original launch day Pre, that's a far cry from what was expected from us a few months ago. And considering how many apps don't work in 2.0 because the developers haven't updated them yet (from 1.4.5), we may actually have fewer apps available for the Pre 2 (and the many hacked devices out there with 2.1) than on a device with webOS 1.4.5 installed.

That's just sad... really, really sad....

Read more after the break.

Update: Be sure to read Richard Kerris' response in the comments on this article below - great news contained therein:

We will release the SDK and remove the NDA for 2.0 THIS week. There’s no rational excuse that it took us so long to do it, so I won’t try and coat the obvious

SDK Confusion

Besides the fact that many developers just don't have their devices yet to do proper testing on, there are some good reasons for them to wait before continuing with their projects. Most don't have access to the Enyo SDK yet, and since it is so different than the familiar Mojo environment, they are going to wait for Enyo to be finalized and released. Others are developing for the highly anticipated TouchPad, which isn't expected to release until June this year. And others just want to see if webOS is ever going to grow, as HP's CEO expects it to, before they dedicate so many hours to what they believe could be a failing OS. 

There's also the growing frustration that developers are being left on their own as webOS becomes fragmented across multiple devices and frameworks. Questions are raised: Do I develop for webOS 1.4.5 since I don't have a Pre 2 yet, or do I wait to see if I can get 2.0 some other way? Should I use the soon-to-be-antiquated Mojo to build my app, or wait till Enyo is ready to use for live projects? The 2011 webOS development roadmap is confunsing at best, something VP of worldwide developer relations Richard Kerris has acknowledged. Finally, I have to mention that despite the fact that the unlocked Pre 2 has been on the market for some time, the Verizon Pre 2 has been released, and European Pre Plus phones have an official 2.1 upgrade path, the webOS 2.x SDK is still under NDA. That's flat-out ridiculous.

Who can blame them for wanting to wait (or give up entirely) on the future? I can't. However, I do also believe there is another solution to the problems that have been created....

Waiting does not mean "stand still"

While those questions that have been asked are waiting for answers, many developers have stopped their efforts so that they waste no time on a project that will not get the most ROI. If they build for Mojo, they'll have to recreate all of their work in Enyo later on to be compatible on future devices. If they build for webOS 2.0, they risk losing a vast majority of their current target market who simply cannot access their app to purchase it. Plus, who wants to buy a Pre 2 to develop with now, when the Veer, Pre 3 and TouchPad (with webOS 3.0) are all just around the corner?

If a developer had asked me two months ago which platform they should release an app on to get the most success, I would have told them webOS. A small catalog and passionate userbase means that their app would see much more success once webOS is launched with the immense HP scale than on any other platform. Today, that sentiment is even stronger. With only two dozen or so apps available to take advantage of webOS 2.0 features, opportunity for huge growth is waiting to be used. Developers should be building for webOS 2.0 now, and not later, if they want to see the most growth.

But it's more than just about growth, it's also about testing the user experience and creating a strong following around your brand. Build an app in Mojo for webOS 2.0 today so that you can see how people respond to your application and experience it. When Enyo is ready for widespread use, you'll be happy you took the time to get so many problems corrected in the first version of your app. Create an experience that your users will never forget, and with each subsequent release (including one to switch over to Enyo) they'll create buzz organically that you've updated your app, and you'll see new customers added. 

Don't forget to create a brand

Probably more importantly than actually continuing the development process of app creation is continuing to build a highly desired brand. Even if you aren't sure about releasing updates or creating your own apps, by showing you are actively involved in the community and helping others finish their projects, you are building trust and loyal fans for when you do finally take that step. Those are the invaluable people (the ones who help you improve and evangelize your product) that you need if you're going to create something great.

The best time to get ahead in the game is to start before anyone else does. Bottom line is, if you keep waiting for HP to make a move so that you can, by the time they do you'll already be behind. Take the chance now to build for Mojo and learn Enyo (if you have access). Integrate 2.0 features (like Just Type, Exhibition Mode and Enhanced Synergy API's) into your current apps to create a whole new experience for your users right now. Get in tight with the developer community and make some friends with people at Palm HQ while building your brand with the consumers. 

When you take the time to prepare yourself for success, then you will follow that pattern and eventually succeed. If you prepare yourself by waiting on HP or Enyo or the TouchPad, then you'll follow that pattern too; there will be no end to your wait. How do I know this? Well, just look at the webOS community and where it is right now - we waited for big news on February 9th, and we got it! 

Yet there's still only a few dozen apps in the catalog that are built for 2.0, and many people are waiting for the next announcement to drag us out of the desert. What will it take to break the habit and start making some progress with the app catalog right now?I know, it's the text editor sitting on your desktop waiting to be opened.

If you have an idea for an app, or want to help other developers get their projects finished, then you need to invest your time in it now rather than waiting on the future. If we do decide to stand still for a few months until other devices are shipped, then it'll be too late. You're not only risking someone else stealing your idea, but you're also helping strengthen webOS' place when ranked against other mobile platforms. That is, in last place.

If you're a developer and you want to succeed with webOS and HP, you have one simple task, keep building your apps now. If you're a user, then encourage the developers that you no to take advantage of the important times we're in. That's it, just one simple idea and you can help webOS become the success we've been imagining for two years.

Get to it, and good luck.

157 Comments

The answer is simple why would you write an app when none of the older devices would be able to make use of them.

As for older apps becoming compatible with 2.0 I think they are just waiting for pre 3 and veer to launch and see how well they will sell before spending time on updating the apps.

Exactly. I mean wtf, the Pre3 and the Veer aren't out yet. We have no idea what the adoption rate will be for them.

The Pre2 is a "flop" in that it has next to no mind share. Very few people are going to buy it with the Pre3 on the horizon. Might have sold a so-so amount in Europe (but I doubt it sold any significant amount).

So basically they're developing for the 500 (I'm exaggerating) people with Pre2s world wide. Out of those 500, maybe 50 are going to buy apps at all. Out of those 50, maybe 5 will buy your app. :P

Look at the Pre 2 for an idea of what the adoption rates will be. The Veer and the Pre 3 (and the TouchPad, for that matter) will be roughly equivalent to that device in terms of "state-of-the-art-edness" upon their respective releases. That is to say, not.

DELIVERED ON THE GOODS THEY PROMISED?! Oh no no no no!!! Quite the opposite HP!

Not only was 2.0 promised to the masses and never delivered, HP has decided to wait MONTHS after announcing new products to release them. So, if I had made a Web OS 2.0 app last week only God knows how much longer anyone would even be able to buy it off the App store, because we know the 45 Palm Pre 2's Verizon has sold nation wide aren't downloading a ton of 2.0 apps.

Bottom line THIS IS YOUR MAKING HP/PALM. You made this mess by your PISS POOR marketing strategies, your retarded product release schedule, AND YOU ALL have made Web OS the failure it has become before it has even been re-released. DAMN YOU!

Amen.

This is the reverberations of the fail-fest that was Think Beyond. There was *not one single piece* of good news shown there. It was fail, fail fail fail fail.

As a current Pre- user trying to figure out which ship to swim to (as mine was sunk on that day), I find this all to be very, very frustrating.

Precisely my first thought...

Where has the author been for the past year?

This is the same guy who said in his first article on PC "on other platforms there's an app for that, on webOS it's built in" when talking some change in webOS' structure that applied to devs. Tim has a very idealistic view of the community instead of realistic, as evidenced by him recommending a developer to develop for webOS if they want to make money.

I think it's even simpler.. no 2.x phone equals no 2.x apps.

HP can only blame themselves. Unless I see actual OS updates for my Pre, when my phone is eligible for upgrade I, like most users, will get a phone with a future. A 2.x update, even as a doctor would be all it takes HP. But without that why bother developing apps for a dead-end OS?

I wish HP would explain why after about 3 1/2 months of the Pre2 being available, the developers are still having to abide by the NDA agreement they had to sign to get early access?

I have decided to go a different route: I will use one of the multi-platform APIs and trying to figure out Jo and PhoneGap.

That's exactly what I'm looking into, if anything at all - why should I bother with Mojo anymore, if it's going to die? And why should I start developing with Enyo, if it's going to have the same problem as Mojo: being incompatible with the rest of the world?

Then there's the fact that there's still no official SDK for 2.x - even if someone has it, there's no encouragement to use it.

The only thing that's keeping me from jumping the Palm SDK ship completely is that other JS frameworks are a loooong shot from what Mojo does - I really learned to appreciate Mojo while evaluating other frameworks :-)

It's unfair to say that Enyo is going to be incompatible with the rest of the world. The iPhone development platform can't be used with Android phones, and the Dalvik/Java platform can't be used on the iPhone, as far as I know. If Enyo has the best combination of development speed, re-use and ease-of-use, it should be used, regardless of applicability to other phone platforms. We're talking about HP device and webOS survival, aren't we?

A carrot on a stick only works if people like carrots.

Make some friends HP.

nice

You need a carrot -and- a stick (reward and punishment) to best motivate people.

Unfortunately, HP by announcing the switch from Mojo to Enyo without having any Enyo devices out, is essentially beating its own developers with a stick without rewarding them with any carrots.

NOW, REDO YOUR SLOW SELLING APP FOR 2.0,....NOW REDO IT FOR 3.0 SO IT WILL WORK ON SLATES, THEN REDO IT FOR 4.0 SO IT WILL WORK ON DESKTOP PCS. Oh, and we chased off all your potential customers too!

More like beating the developers with the stick, then pounding the welts, bruises and contusions with the carrot.

End Users, developers and carriers all systematically removed from the market. It's the world's first case of ethnic technological cleansing.

I think what HP/Palm has done with the WebOS SDK is a bit foolish. When the Pre debuted, they EOL'd the old Palm SDK..which is fine, that was an aging platform. But now, when WebOS 2 debuts, they essentially EOL'd the WebOS 1.X platform.

i would like to know how hp has "delivered on the goods that they promised?" After breaking so many promises to its consumers who wants to come to palm? what developer wants to develop for a platform with unhappy users? the touchpad and pre3 are not available and the veer is pointless, and what moron is going to jump from a different platform to palm to get the pre3, especially when there are no apps in development or updated apps for it?

There should be a "how to destroy a potentially great OS" conference lead by palm.

TOTALLY agree on the fact that they most defintely have NOT "delivered on the goods that they promised". Well they have delivered broken promises... does that count

exactly... especially since the new flagship phone doesnt even have an announcement date... ridiculous.

seriously... after reading that line i couldnt go on reading the rest of this article.

how could anyone who knows whats going on even think that they "delivered on the goods that they promised"

thats a joke

why would anyone want to develop for a platform that has no users, literally and figuratively.

compare the number webos2.0 users to any other platform, even to 1.x users... would you waste your time right now?

the wife dumped her pre plus a few weeks ago for the iPhone4, and im hanging on by a thread here.

They did. And called it "Think Beyond." I guess they meant think beyond webOS because we ain't gonna give you ****

Holding a day one Sprint Pre, I really can't have much sympathy for this 2.0 problem. I also wouldn't blame developers for switching to write for platforms already on the move. Not one filled with products set to launch...uh...soon. Yeah. that's it. Soon.

i am nows tarting to think the reason they didnt update the legacy devices with 2.0 partly because many of the apps what we use wouldnt work anymore haha... i cant blame now i guess cuz i would be pissed

I've heard about six logical "excuses" for their lapse. None officially from HP. So in the absence of a direct announcement or lack of "make things right", I can only assume their reasons are largely self serving. It't not like I needed 2.0 to be happy, but seeing a 1.5 since Febrary 2010 would have bought a lot of grace.

Maybe if they would lift the NDA, we would hear about the projects going on. Some developer buzz would be awesome. In the meantime, there are still awesome 2.0 projects publicly happening like the comic book reader that one of the homebrew guys put together. Once we get more devices that can use this, word of mouth should grow.

I'm a wanna-be WebOS developer. I'm not bothering with Mojo, and am slowly getting up to speed on Enyo. I've got a Pre+ (1.4.5). Watching how HP, in my opinion, has fumbled the last few months, I'm also wondering if I should just stop with WebOS (which I love) and re-focus on Android. I'm not buying into the cloud (or HP's vision of it) either - look at the problem Google just had with GMail losing e-mail. Android is just killing WebOS right now as far as sales go. As a developer, I gotta go where the real money is.

android phones are selling at a rate of 208 per minute based on a current graph i have seen... webos is losing users overall i'm sure. we dont blame you bro

This coffin has so many nails in it I'm having a hard time seeing the happy ending. Things are going to have to change in a big way; so far "staying the course" has not worked at all for this OS with ridiculous potential.
Examples of a big changes: offering real assistance (man-power, incentives) for getting existing apps for other platforms to WebOS (assuming it's still as easy as it used to be), and announcing things (hardware, software) when it's ready rather than when it's almost sorta in beta mode for testing for release in the undisclosed future.
In short, HP needs to wait until they're ready to create real momentum & do it rather than sputter along barely noticed.

This is a DIRRCT RESULT of HP's failure to meet their promise and support WebOS 2.x on legacy phones. Developers who would develop 2.x apps have NO MARKET because 2.x devices aren't widely sold and legacy devices aren't supported.

Shame, shame, HP! Next time, keep your promises.

It's a no-win situation. If they take the time to try and get the new version out through all of the carrier testing and whatever, they lose time and development they need to get the Touchpad and new handsets up to speed for a launch in the next couple of months. Then they gotta deal with support issues and patching any performance problems.

Maybe I'm prejudiced because I wasn't around for the first gen, but now that I got a used Pre from my wife to replace my aging Sprint Touch Pro 2, I'm fine with them focusing on the new.

I agree with your reasoning, but it is frustrating because one of the 'promises' of HP was their size and scale. If this were just Palm I can see them needing to save their resources, but not HP. If a company that big decides they want something, they do what it takes to get it done.

HP has the potential, but I have an inkling that since they just got a new CEO, they just bought palm, they are moving design to laptop division, they are developing a new webOS version, they are engineering new hardware, they are R&D'ing PC webOS,...all at the same time, that things will be just a lil rocky at first.

but they were able to release the 2.1 update to european devices. and PC members have been able to meta-doc their legacy devices to run 2.1 so i really dont see why HP, with all of their wonderful resources and scale, couldn't be able to do this. it's homebrew to the rescue as usual.

Bravo. It's horsecrap that we don't have 2.x on our existing phones. Not to sound racist, but why is HP/Palm falling all over themselves to help other countries get 2.x, but not us here in the United States? Didn't HP and Palm both start here? Methinks the anti-US globalists have taken over...

Where do you get the idea that HP and Palm are falling all over themselves to help other countries get 2.x? Or that HP or Palm doesn't want US consumers to get 2.x? You have to realize that carrier markets are vastly different outside the US. That is, there's real competition outside the US because regulators outside the US are not in the pocket of the cell companies. Thus, cell carriers outside the US are more interested in keeping their customers happy. This is a reality that HP and Palm have to deal with. It's not a reality they created.

You don't sound racist. Just ignorant.

There will be no "next time" for most people....Mojo/Enyo? does not matter HP has now implemented "Dumbo".

Truly amazing these characters @ HP

PS: HP, it's not too late. Put 2.x on my trusty Pre Minus and save the day.

Win back some former fans. Pay off your beta testers by letting them sample the next generation of WebOS without commiting two more years. Why should we "start over" and buy a Pre 3 in September? We already started over by dropping our trusty Palm OS for a platform that even Palm lost interest in after only 9 months. I mean geez, it's already very apparent 3.0 is slate focused? Who's going to assure its even suitable for a developing phone?

Do it yourself. Its really not that hard. I have 2.1 on Sprint Pre Minus with Nav, Flash, and now with overclock kernel installed everything runs smoothly. I agree that HP should have done this for us, but they aren't going to.

How did you get Sprint Navigation working? I thought that was a no-go. Has it been fixed?

PPS: I stopped by 2 different Verizon stores, and no one knew ANYTHING about the Pre 2. Never heard of it! No wonder no one is developing for the platform.

I've been to four (4) different Verizon stores (not kiosks) in my area (Washington D.C. & Maryland) and none of them have had a Pre2 for me to hold and look at.

The most disappointing thing is that managers at all 4 stores were profoundly ignorant about HP/webOS and sounded almost as if they had been told to steer customers toward iOS and Android devices and away from Pre2 and webOS inquiries.

I should also note that two of the managers said they didn't think there were ever going to be any Pre2's landing Verizon shelves and that the device would probably only be available online. (FYI there is a $35 restocking fee if you decide you don't want one)

Is HP trying to sell these things? I get the impression they don't know much about how to woo and work with wireless companies.

The original extreme marketing failure for the Original Pre and the very effective Android marketing blitz for the Droid led to extremely depressed Pre+ sales for Verizon. I'm not convinced they are taking HP/Palm very seriously.

Not much profit in the phone for VzW reps; They aren't going to push it. Maybe for the Veer / Pre3, but will it be the same old story by then..yet again?

I think HP should have decided which features of 2.0 don't meet their expectations on older phones (is it flash? is it something else?) and cut those features out of the update, but still pushed it. This way everyone is on 2.0 or above for app development sake.

The reason there aren't many 2.x apps in the app store is because HP has only just allowed most devs to put 2.x apps in the store (there are a few early submits that had to get special permission). I just submitted a 2.x update to one of my apps (and it still uses Mojo, Enyo won't be app ready until the Touchpad comes out). Hopefully it'll be in the app store soon.

I wonder why development has stopped with the promise of 100 million WebOS devices....surely no developer could resist that, could they?

Everyone knows what HP promises are worth.

Where are the 100 million WebOS devices? As it is now there are likely more Metadoctored 2.1 Pre's than Pre2's in use.

Few developers will spend "real time" and effort developing for an OS with virtually no existing hardware much less when the only SDK they can develop in is soon to be replaced with currently incomplete SDK. HP is asking to develop apps twice to support a dying customer base.

if the homebrew community is still being innovative with webos, then other developers will see that there is hope. So far i haven't seen anything lately as impressive as of what WEBOS INTERNALS AND INTERNALZ has done. Those guys will keep things going for now.

The biggest reason is that most webos users are on 1.4.5, why write apps when nobody can use it?

The way how HP/PALM treats loyal users, 1.4.5 may well be the largest webos base forever, until the OS dies.

Well, I think the problem is mostly Palm's fault:

1) The SDK is still under NDA.
2) 2.0 apps keep taking forever for their updates to get approved and in fact, have gotten denied for using 2.0 APIs.
3) Apps which take advantage of some features (such as Exhibition) are still not allowed in the Palm catalog.
4) Existing devs have to focus on Enyo.
5) Palm treats the Pre 2 more as a developer device than a consumer device. They will not push 2.0 apps for the masses until Pre 3, which is probably when the Fandango app will actually send things to your calendar like their Youtube video for Pre 2 shows it does (the current Fandango app does not have permission to access your calendar on 2.0).

Heck Palm talked about Fandago integration to the calendar app when they announced WebOS at CES over two years ago. It is yet another example of Palm selling a vision but never delivering the goods...

This one is a No-Brainer, and the Blame falls squarely on HP.
- Oct 2010 they announce the Pre 2, which is mysteriously only available in France. They also announce WebOs 2.0 which they state in there Press Release will be available through OTA updates to all Webos devices.
- Come 2/9/2011, the Pre 2 is still not available to the US Markets, (to come to Version, Not to Sprint). We find out that The Legacy devices will NOT get 2.x
- They announce the Pre 3 with 2.1 (Not to mention the Verr) and the Touchpad with WebOs 3.0.
Then we are told that the Pre3 well get the WebOs 3.0 through an OTA update (have we heard that before?)
- Then you wonder why developers are not supporting WebOs?????
- Cool as HP ????

As a developer (not for webos, sadly), I submit that the explanation may be much simpler than all these conspiracy theories. The developers may be:

1) desperately trying to learn Enyo. It takes a while to really get your brain into the mode of a new framework.

2) desperately trying to migrate their Mojo code to Enyo.

Unfortunately, not everyone is as fast as the webOS Internals folks. Those people are ridiculously fast.

Enyo is for webOs 3.0, I think there trying to figure out why nobody is making 2.0 apps

I'm a newbie to webOS development and have done some Mojo work. I have currently a Sprint Pre-, which means that I originally thought that that was just what I wanted to do.

But the original devices are being retired. They can't be replaced. Everyone is looking to upgrade. Most of the people who are still holding on to their Pre's and Pixi's are there because they *want* the new webOS phones, so when they upgrade, it'll be to a Pre2, a Veer, or a Pre3 if they can handle that wait.

So I got myself an unlocked Pre 2 for development and have shifted my focus to Enyo.

Also: The pre2 is a *PHENOMENAL* phone. Extremely snappy, and exactly the same form factor as the pre. Awesome.

I have faith in the webos, so much that I switched to the evo for the hardware knowing its simplicity and sheer power would live on. As far as Android goes for a platform I thought was open going in I'm hesitant to root this thing. To many variations in the phones ui and hardware seems to have made it hard for developers(of the custom rom) to run stable with all of the phones features, aka costom rom pretty much means no 4g. Maybe to open! The webos internals poeple made it easy to customize my pre- all the awsome work they did from first public preware & webos quick install.Eventually I had my phone overclocked to 1ghz dozens of patches and mytether paid version and never really had to worry. If something happened palm had me back up with doctor for my device *cough* google. I've hade my evo for 3 months now and what I wouldnt give to be able to fully control what task are open or not without headaces, l love those dang nabin cards when I first started using it it was like this make sense.( what makes me also think I can't blame blackberry for copying it, it copy pcs windows in some sense witch is why it's so awsome). Any ways sorry you guys dont have any apps but good times are coming to webos. Or at least they better be because I keep checking precentral page like 5 times a day.

I'm with you I just got a evo while I see what happens to webos because I knew it was going to be dead for most of 2011. I really hope they have a webos phone I like by years end.

I'm signed up as a developer, but have a learning curve - I want to create apps for Pre 2 and up (and preferrably prior), but can't get a Pre 2 (unless they come it at £100 or less!), and am confused about how to develop, i.e. Mojo, Enyo etc - if my app won't work on Pre (-) or plus and nobody buys Pre 2 cos they are waiting for Pre 3 (or a carrier to sell a Pre anything! (check the UK - NO PRE AVAILABLE ON CONTRACT WITH PROVIDERS), then what do I do! Love WebOS - Hey HP - give the Pre 2 away for £100 NOW!, your Pre 3 & Veer is round the corner, what you gunna do with all those Pre 2's anyway?

Delivered the goods? What goods would those be? The Pre 2, which is available on a single carrier in the US after months of delay? The Touchpad, which is still at least 3 months from hitting the streets? The Pre 3, which still doesn't have an official release date?

All HP has "delivered" are more grandiose plans. And a phone that should have been released in June of 2010, not February of 2011.

It's kind of like the chicken and the egg theory. Except in this case HP ate both the chicken and the egg and took a giant dump on all of it's oldest customers and devs.

:/

The underlying problem is that WE (the folks here at precentral) are NOT who HP sees as its future customers. Consequently most of the developers to date are not its future suppliers of content.

HP is clearly all about the business user (hate the term "enterprise" -- its just business users) Sure, they won't mind if individuals buy the thing but they are looking for corporate and government purchases in the thousands.

In a way it makes sense since the consumer market is pretty much an I-phone/android world but both of those have problems for medium to large businesses and governmental agencies. HP has the chance (if it can actually deliver something in time) to become what blackberry WAS plus a lot more - a complete corporate solution to data, emails, phone and more.

To that extent there is probably a lot of behind the scene developing going on for business apps and solutions (that will likely be bundled with the device so the device can be "locked down" by corporate IT types) and there is no need to talk about them until the devices are ready to go.

Face it current customers and developers are all soon to be members of the first-wives club...

The problem is, the idea of 'enterprise' devices is going away. Apps have enabled most popular devices to be enterprise ready and people don't want to carry around multiple devices. Consumer choice = business migration path. Any company under a 1000 employees is starting to seriously look at just allowing corporate email/etc on personal devices. HP better be targeting consumers first, because business is going away.

I work with a lot of governmental agencies, and I know they most definitely do not want to lose control of their devices and what goes on them, although they feel they are fighting a tough battle.

A integrated phone/tablet/desktop/printer solution that could be "enterprisable" (Hey might as well come up with more silly terms!) would be ideal for many of them. In fact it would give the Tablet a market that it really does not have right now beyond the I-pad and I-pad wantabees. Even the fact that the touchpad has no rear camera helps with this since the corporate and gov types hate cameras on things that are not cameras (a lot of them hate cameras that are supposed to be cameras). The front facing one is excusable for video conferences but the lack of a rear camera might actually be a plus to the captains of the enterprise.

Even better for HP (but perhaps not so much for us) is that there could be a huge market for the tablet that works great with computers and printers even without the phone. Most large companies are tied into a carrier and are will not switch just because a new phone comes out, but that does not mean they won't buy wi-fi tablets that work with there other HP stuff.

HP made it clear from the start the phones were not their highest priority in buying webOS and the recent announcements make this even clearer. Likewise, i think they view the individual consumer market as something that, if not already lost, is not something they can penetrate right now. They are focusing on businesses and governmental units that already buy their stuff in mass quantaties.

Which, back to the article, may be why current developers are not feeling the love like they should. HP may be working with the developers it feels it needs for the tablet launch assuming the rest will follow.

Or HP is working to develop apps that they feel will help sell their tablet in bulk to certain companies. That's great and all, but leaves little to no motivation for private developers.

We've already heard of HP building apps for companies that do not want to develop for WebOS themselves. Why would a private developer develop for a platform that is destined to be locked down by IT admins? Unless of course, you can develop an intriguing enterprise app, convince IT admins to use it (not something easily done by private developers), and can keep it up to date for every company that uses it. Shouldn't be a problem at all......

**golf clap**

Finally nice to see someone else understand that this enterprise market is bogus. Mobile devices in the business environment are becoming more influenced by consumer choice. And as long as a phone or tablet meets specific security requirements, who cares what's plugged into the network?

Depends on the employer. Any employer subject to HIPAA and other security laws may well refuse to allow any device access to corporate networks unless it is owned by the corporation. Note that this includes not only health companies, but their contractors, suppliers, and so on. This is a significant portion of the market place.

For smaller companies that are not subject to onerous security laws, I agree with you. Otherwise, no. There will always be a significant portion of the job market that due to legal requirements will tightly secure their networks and all access to them.

I agree with you. The sense that I've been getting from HP ever since they bought WebOS is that they were targeting enterprise. Wanting to get some of the RIM mindshare, so they can sell units in bulk to companies. Direct to consutmer sales are going to be a by-product after the fact if anything. Not a strategy that will win any fans in this forum, but may make shareholders happy.

This could be why so many Palm brass left after the merger, because they didn't agree with the direction HP wanted to go. Most definitely the reason they chose not to support current use base, as they want to start over with WebOS and tout it as an enterprise beast (which it could be).

At any rate, PALM is DEAD. HP now controls WebOS and it's direction. Too bad, WebOS is intuitive, maybe I'll see it on work PC someday.

There's nothing curious about it. Mojo is obviously dead, Enyo isn't ready, and there's no promise of a way to easily port a Mojo app to Enyo. Why would anyone spend time creating apps on a dead end platform for a minute audience unless they were commissioned by HP to do so up front?

Any professional developer, full time or part time, has platform options. webOS, unfortunately, is not a good one. From day one it has been cobbled together. First, by the slow release of the SDK. Second, by shoe-horning the PDK into it. Third by a total revamp of the SDK with legacy problems. webOS is like a poorly designed app that eventually causes all sorts of problems which require a lot more work.

Moreover, there's a real question about what the market share of this hardware will be in the near future. While it seems that HP is in it for the long run, most professional developers need to make a living in the short run.

If I were a developer, I would take the next year to get up to speed on some other more promising platform and perhaps look at coming back to webOS if and when it gets its act together.

No offense to Tim (thanks for for taking the time to write the article), but the idea is silly. I am seeing more and more pleas for someone to have a movement cause HP doesn't have any/ squandered momentum (which p*sses me off).

Why would a developer want to go into an effort where most of the installed base (Sprint) doesn't even have an announced future migration plan? We are under he assumption that Sprint will get new WebOS devices because of something someone said but HP wont post on their own site. ROI is not just money, but also time. we hope that "this summer" we will get a Touchpad. No official date. No date for phones.

HP needs to give access to the tools to all interested and put devices in the hands of proven quality developers (not crapps)to get them to move 1.4 apps to anything new.

People don't build grocery stores miles outside of the city limits off of verbal promises that population is going to spread there. You have to give them tax-breaks and infrastructure for the ones who are first adopters. Then they build it, and the people MIGHT come. This is truly a field of dreams.

No offense taken. If you'll see the response from Richard Kerris below, you'll see that his team is taking steps necessary to make the exact changes addressed in this article and in your comment.

The idea may be silly, but the discussion that it ignited is certainly a good one to get into. Thanks for your comment. :)

Definitely a good discussion. I wish I had lots of people to discuss with but I am the only WebOS user I know besides my wife (and she has no choice :) ).

Another proto-developer, here.
I was deep into learning Mojo when Enyo was demo'd and announced that it was the future... And it was different.
I have to learn this in my very minimal spare time, so it takes a while. In addition, programming is a HOBBY for me. So, to stay one-step behind, I've got to start programming for webOS 2.x now.
I finally had a chance to put 2.1 on my developer Pre Plus, so I've got hardware to test new apps on, yay.
But, here's the real mental slowdown for me, even if I succeed in getting a 2.x app in the catalog I can't use it on my main phone (Sprint Pre-). Leading my inner Marvin The Paranoid Android to say, "Oh, what's the point?"
If *I* can't use it and test it in real world situations, I don't feel comfortable having others use it.

The whole user experience on webOS at the minute is a joke. I just came back a month ago because I missed it, but I have met with the same old issue, syncing problem (made even worse by 2.1) and all the rest. Plus about 15 apps to choose from since the update. All that for my hard earned £400 to buy a UK Pre2.

I am obviously just a stooge to keep them afloat while they ready the next products.

I'm off until the summer, and will roll the dice one last time with the Pre 3, then its curtains. Seriously **** useless people at the helm HP. Seriously useless.

re: Apps;

What ever happened to the hundreds of apps that the HP engineers were writing last summer? I expected a flood of new thought & creativity in the homebrew or App Store, but that got quiet real quick. 2010 as a whole was a black hole of undelivered promises and goods, from Flash to new phones every 2 months to 2.0 upgrades, and now the first half of 2011 is the same.

The second half must be some kind of ride!

BTW I put 2.1 on my sprint pre and it is pretty nice. I overclocked, of course, and it runs well. I didn't put Flash on but I don't really need it. The voice dial works OK most times, but is too slow to load. Other than that, no real lag issues beyond what I saw in 1.45.

I think they are working on apps but they are ones designed for business and government users and will come bundled or ready to go with the new devices when they launch. Don't be surprised if there will be the ability for IT departments to "lock down" the pre3 and Touchpad to limit that apps that are on there. HP is not really targeting the general consumer market as its first priority.

Is PreCentral HP Press Agency or Something ?
now Seriously you post this to get Developers
to make Apps, you got to be kidding.
But first off HP is talking about how Enyo is
the Future Framework for WebOS, so why should one develop apps with Mojo, that is a waste of
time,if they want us to keep on Developing for there Platform, then they should have not drop the legacy devices as they did, so all in all in the End it's HP/PALM own Damn Fault,

Developers do what you got to do, but think
what is best for you and not for HP or WebOS,
HP will make money with or without your App.

Microsoft BOUGHT apps, Microsoft BOUGHT Nokia. Clearly they're taking this seriously.

Yes, I saw M$ just crossed 10000 apps in a few months. Palm apps have been stuck at around 5000 for twice that long. They clearly have missed a cycle or two, and I hope they do well in the future, but all their shenanigans have lost them credibility. Maybe that is why the death of the Palm name as an attempt to rise phoenix-like from the ashes, but it is all just vapour right now. I honestly sport wood for the HTC Desire HD even with no KB, but look at the Pre 3 and say meh. I'd be happy if I was a corporate slob and they handed me a Pre3, but if it's my dough, gimme a 4.3" slab of aluminum, and let me run riot in an app store. The comment above about cards being a great way to manage resources pales in comparison to having the luxury of actual resources to manage.

"...sport wood..."

Down, boy! It's just a phone... :)

There are a lot of developers who really just like to develop. I know I'm not alone on that one. As much as developers do need to be attracted to the platform, the barrier to entry for webOS development is pretty low, all things considered.

But developers aren't just "giving up" their free time. Working with the latest web technologies to make mobile apps is really exciting to a lot of us. Even if we release the thing open source and free, we get some community recognition, personal pride, and we keep ourselves in practice. For me at least, if I don't have a project outside of the 9-5, I'm pretty miserable.

It is true that you want to attract devs from other platforms, but I don't necessarily think it's as dire as you say. Look at how many "I'm a newbie webOS developer" comments there are on this post alone.

I'm developing, but not for 2.x (yet). I'm not a UI developer. PLEASE give me an improved Ares development type environment for Enyo. For me, I'll learn a new language or framework, but I want automated tools to do as much of the heavy lifting as possible. The Ares drag and drop interface gets me 90% of the way to my UI development needs, Enyo will have to have something similar before I got hat route.

hey guys what if they lied to us and pre 3 is really a quad core tegra 3 huh what would you guys say then?

I would say I can't afford that phone nor the 3 extra battery packs needed to get through the day.

I would say that a 3.6" screen and non-expandable memory still suck.

Personally, I believe this will quickly become moot later this year when the new products become available and people's cell phone contracts expire. Either they will buy into the WebOS concept or they won't.

Making the decision whether to use Mojo or Enyo will be tough until this happens. Enyo seems to be everything it's hyped up to be but it is most likely still in development and not ready for prime-time.

Once upon a time I was doing some embedded software to demonstrate a product under development. During the course of development, the product changed significantly forcing me into re-write mode almost daily.

Enyo is probably in a similar situation as the goals change as they move from the phone to the tablet to the PC. Once the tablet ships, Enyo needs to maintain backwards compatibility so they are probably waiting until the last minute to say "This is the official Enyo API".

Personally, since the release dates are getting close, I would choose Enyo immediately in order to have input until it's fixed in stone.

All I can ask of HP is to keep pushing to get the products out with a polished WebOS and Enyo as soon as practical.

As a developer this is a real problem that HP should address as fast as possible. Currently I have stopped all development on all apps and will only focus on Enyo. The problem is we don't have a finalized Enyo framework to work with so we can't even make headway. I'm very confused as a developer.

HP needs to clean up this mess asap.

I am currently eligible for upgrade from verizon. Even my wife is using pre plus, I am using palm centro now. And I have a palm tx at home collecting dirts. I am thinking to join android. Reason 1: google navigation (even I have garmin nuvi, but have gps on phone is better, navit still need more work to do, the map is old). Reason 2: lack of some apps, like Chase bank mobile deposit which is cool and saving gas. Reason 3: easy to input other languages and even change the system to other languages.
I am thinking upgrade to Droid Incredible or Droid Pro which are two cheap phones from some third party website.

You reap what you sow.

I'm just flat out waiting for Enyo to be the public mainstay which means waiting for the new hardware.

Im not a developer and I'm not even going to pretend to act like I know what you devs are going through.... BUT!!!! from a customer point of view : seems a little kid like to me to say oh android is where the money is so I think ill go there, when you do have hundreds of people that have purchased the pre 2 knowing all the drawbacks and problems... It was a leap of faith for me to buy one, and now to hear all of the devs crying, is just really sad. I mean if you dont wanna be around, then leave.. let the people that are dedicated to webos stay and get all the glory when it goes platinum. Just from a buyers pov, its just really sad to see devs with the means to create but just wont do it bcuz you dont like how fragmented things are with HP, its called growing pains... If you think for a minute that ios, and android were perfect on day 1 then you are sadly mistaken. it took a while as well. So I say to you.... If you dont like whats going on now... THEN LEAVE!! dont let us reg customers buy phones that you wont create for bcuz u dont have one.... They are available.. I had to break my contract with Sprint to get one, so u do the same. Quit acting like babies!!! -----> target of the day

Your beef is with HP, not the developer community. HP essentially told us that the existing app platform (Mojo) is going away, so we should start developing in Enyo. But it's not even ready to write real apps on yet, much less have any device that can run it.

Mojo apps will apparently still run on future devices in an emulator, but everyone knows that isn't a true option. Watch someone run an iPhone app on an iPad and see how fast they tune out.

Developing apps for 2.0 is charity work. I understand your frustration but it's a job and there is no business case for creating apps on this platform.

And if you don't have the money to break your contract? It's easy to say, "Hop on-board!" when you have a ticket to ride...

Err, we're hardly talking about "day 1" here as WebOS has been in the real world for approaching two years. The first Android phone was released less than eight months before the first WebOS phone, so it's not like Android had a huge lead on WebOS.

"hp has delivered on the goods that they promised". Are you serious? They have delivered nothing to their customer base.

no hardware and for 90% of us, no software. No wonder there are no developers. There is no hardware!

but I'll stay tuned since I'm sure they will tell us all we need to know, "in the coming weeks"!

I'm new to the platform, but here's my take on things. I switched to webOS because it brought all the elegance of iOS with some of the "power user" features of Android such as real multitasking and real notifications. I suppose I saw webOS as a blend of the best of both worlds.

What I didn't expect was that webOS would also be inheriting the baggage from both worlds. It seems as if HP's adopted (but not yet perfected) Apple's famed secrecy. So we now have absolutely no idea what the plans are. Proper roadmaps have given way to showmanship, media events and not so surprising surprises.

That much I could live with but we've also been burdened with the very worst aspects of Android. In short order, webOS has become just as fragmented as Android ever was. HP even mirrored Google's clumsy approach to versioning by going with 3.x for tablets and 2.x for phones.

And to top it off, there's only one currently shipping product and it's mainly a transitional device for developers. As if anyone would want to build apps using an unproven, limited release SDK serving a handful of transitional devices.

I'm not sure I've ever seen a platform in worse shape than this. And that's a shame because it's such a great OS.

Goodbye WebOS. It's been a great ride. I'll check back in a few years.

Yeah, same. I jumped ship to a iPhone4 and it works well and has a few more apps. I figure I'll wait until HP irons out the kinks in the coming months and maybe try again later.

16 more days, and the upgrade window opens for the rest of the launch month Pre owners on Sprint. That should thin out the ranks even further.

Be kinda funny if Sprint had lines at their door April 1st, the same people that lined up to get the Pre 22 months earlier, lining up to get the **** out?

Evo? Evo Shift? Epic? Or cross the parking lot for iphone?

Yep, I know of 3 more Pre minuses that be put out of their misery on or around April 1st.

My wife put her launch day Pre out of its misery with a cracked screen about 3 weeks ago. I put mine out of it's misery this weekend. Off to Epic 4G.

I know one popular app that will integrate with Just Type. Coming soon...

Hi

This is a good post and the comments are enlightening, to say the least. We have our work cut out for us and we know it. When I joined this amazing team a few short weeks ago it was very clear to all of us that the road ahead is not going to be easy, but with the backing of HP and the energy and passion that our developer community gives us, we are confident we will make it happen. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

Our goal is to provide a wonderful developer experience; one that provides a clear way for developers, big and small, to make great applications which take advantage of our products and the emerging webOS eco-system, to enable them to be successful and to have some fun while doing it.

We will release the SDK and remove the NDA for 2.0 THIS week. There’s no rational excuse that it took us so long to do it, so I won’t try and coat the obvious.

The path from 2.0 to 3.0 is one that we are all dealing with on a daily basis. I’m confident we will have some positive news to share about it soon. Whatever the outcome, we will share it with our developers as soon as we can.

We will be kicking off Developer Sessions, starting in early April. This will allow groups of developers to come to our headquarters and spend a few days learning our new tools, playing with the new products and getting a clear understanding of where we’re going in the long-run. We plan to host these every few weeks until launch and we also plan to have them in other areas of the world as well. Stay tuned for more information about these.

As I said, we have a lot of work cut out for us, so we best get back to it.

Thanks for listening,

Richard Kerris
VP Worldwide Developer Relations, HP webOS

Btw/ We are currently hiring in all areas of the company, from Engineering to Developer Relations. If you’re up for the challenge, check it out.

Thank you for the great response Mr. Kerris. I hope things are moving at a rapid clip, as they need to be. The sense out there that WindowsMobile is already pulling away after starting long after webOS is disheartening.
I know you guys are all working like crazy to get app development in order. I wish nothing but good luck...

Thanks for your prompt response. nice to know you guys are staying abreast of public opinion, willing to speak up, and not afraid to admit when something happened (ie super long NDA for 2.0)

Thanks for the response. I am sure you know that your biggest WebOS supporters and knowledgeable critics are here at this site.

Just as a small side note, and for grins since I cant buy you a beer for having the courage to post here (and you seem like a nice guy). . . "Stay tuned" (or coming soon) is NOT a great catchphrase for HP. Probably need to come with something flashy and more definitive from your end like, I will keep you posted. "THIS week" works well. :)

Totally agree. If they could give a definitive schedule of things they plan on announcing, that would be great. They could even be vague about what they plan to announce. Something like, "Exciting developer news coming on the 25th. Check it out" is better than waiting until this week to learn that the SDK is going out of NDA.

"I’m confident we will have some positive news to share about it soon. Whatever the outcome, we will share it with our developers as soon as we can."

So, you'll have some positive news "in the coming months"? Where have I heard that before...

Wow. You guys ARE hiring... Holy **** Preparing for more?

Thank you Mr Kerris for replying but I sincerely have to ask what has HP Customer Relations been doing since no WebOS update fiasco? Why hasn't HP been more forthcoming of the reasons why the update can't be provided? With the existence of MetaDoctor the the excuse that the Pre not up to it seem false. We can understand that not all new features will work with some phones but why no 1.5 release? What happened to 2.0.1? There are simple usability enhancements, such as favorite contacts, that clearly don't require Pre2 hardware to support. Why has there been no announcement on "making things right" since the Palm Blog entry on Feb 10th? Why wasn't there a plan already developed to "make things right" before the Think Beyond conference? By not being proactive in this matter HP has wasted an immense amount of customer loyalty. I, for one, recently purchased a Sprint Pre to loyally support the HP/Palm/WebOS and with the confidence that the phone would be usable for at least a year with WebOS 2.0 being promised. I now feel that trust was betrayed and can't imagine purchasing another WebOS device unless things are "made right" and unless HP actually delivers real devices with and more extensive app catalog. Mr Kerris I ask... no beg... please give me a reason as a consumer and potential developer not abandon WebOS.

There is no point in developing for a platform that consumers are leaving.

I live primarily in a Microsoft development world, and say what you will about them, HP should learn from their developer relations programs.

As much fun as coming to Palm's office for developer meetings would be, think how limiting that is geographically. Sure there are a bunch of developers in northern California who can drive over to the office, but how many more are there who cannot?

Microsoft has a legion of developer evangelists spread around the world who are dedicated to the developers in their region. They host event after event and support the heck out of developers. I run a user group for Microsoft developers and MS has bent over backwards to help us out. Tons of swag for giveaways at each meeting for instance. Speakers who come speak at our group.

Our local evangelists cover several states and are CONSTANTLY travelling to different cities to host events for devs. Want to know why there are over 10,000 apps in the Windows Phone 7 catalog? GREAT developer tools and development demo after demo for nearly a year before the phone launched. They couldn't have done a better job getting the development community prepped.

NDAs are death for the dissemination of developer information. We are a vocal bunch who learn by sharing. Sure Microsoft uses NDAs, but I've never felt strangled by theirs.

The real fiasco here from my perspective was that version 2.0 and the Pre2 should either NOT have been released or actually pushed. The half-hearted release is a huge downer for developers. As has been stated here by other folks is that I'm left with no clear target. The vast majority of WebOS devices are NOT 2.x and 3 is later this year. It's beginning to make Android look unified...

I really think HP has a great gem in WebOS, and I hope they can do a better job of managing it. I have a Windows Phone 7, a Pre Plus and a Pre 2. I love developing for the Windows Phone, but I love USING the WebOS phones. WebOS has the most natural and intuitive interface for working with multi-tasking in my opinion.

HP needs to step up their game and FIRE UP the developer community. We need better tools, better information sharing, and ABOVE ALL ELSE devices in the hands of users. LOTS of users. They did a great job of getting Pre 2s in the hands of developers, BUT not users.

My advice: 1) plug-ins for Visual Studio in addition to Eclipse and Ares, 2) put together developer events in as many locations as you can, 3) DROP NDAs except where unavoidable (MAKE them avoidable), 4) Pre 3 and TouchPad to every developer willing to take them NOW no matter the cost, 5) market the living **** out of WebOS devices, 6) DO NOT make so many devices that the user has to think about which one to get, 7) get to market, get to market, get to market.

Developers need to be downright giddy about how much HP has done for them AND believe that swarms of users are just around the corner. You can't guarantee the users, so you need to FLOOD developers with reasons to stay. Heck if it were me I'd put together a package for developers that included a Pre3, TouchPad, and HP Notebook already loaded with a full development environment and give it to them for coming to a regional 3-day FireStarter Event (to steal a Microsoft term).

Steve Ballmer chanted "Developers, Developers, Developers" and damn if he wasn't right.

If anyone wants to do developer sessions in North Central Florida (I'm in the Gainesville area), I'm game. Contact me in the forums. It will be easier and cheaper than going out to California and we have a few good developers in Gainesville.

Another thing. Being a user living outside the "official" countries, I have been contacting developers right and left asking them to please let me buy their software anyway. I hear a lot of frustration in their responses. You and the developers have more potential clients all over the world - maybe not in the millions, true, but still - people who want to pay for developers' work but can't. That's another thing HP should address as soon as possible- what about the many many potential customers who will turn to (and stick to) other platforms for this simple-to-remedy reason?
HP has been curiously silent on this front, so I and others like me don't even know what to expect. Here I am, with a wad of $ in my hand, wondering who will take them?

Nice to see the entry here! It is one thing to be a face on an HP web page. I am impressed that you actually read and leave feedback where devs and users "hang out".

Keep it up, and get us the tools to develop for the new phones and tabs, please!

// BBooDoc

great, finally SDK 2. time to get all set up and play around with some app development

Please just license the software HP. I recently got the EVO on Sprint but took it back because the OS was chaotic. Great phone, great ideas in the OS. If Google decides to take a page from WebOS, WebOS is done. I just want good hardware (Fast and Doesn't Break) and an intuitive OS (I do not like to push 5 buttons to make a call to a person that I call on an irregular basis.) I hope HP has a plan to pull this out from the abyss but at the moment it seems like they have contributed to the sinking of the ship.

There is no question that my EVO has required some substantial adjustments from using my Pre. And the last month has just reinforced my opinion that webOS is hands down the best OS.

That said, lightning speed (booting up, shutting down, and loading apps), tons of actually usefull apps and I can read e-mails and webpages so much better on the 4.3" screen.

I remain an advocate for webOS, and if I decide to get a tablet at some point the TouchPad will be high on my list. But despite the great engine under the hood, the Pre 3 still isn't the type of hardware that will lure me and the several million other folks with Galaxy phones, EVO's, Droid, and Droid X's and all the other 4"+ screen phones back to a webOS phone.

Unfortunately it's a wait game no developer or user can wait for. Palm/HP have become the company of broken promises. Even a lot of articles on this site are about employees who come and go so fast, there's no traction.

Its pointless. There are too many pointless restrictions.

The latest SDK is ALWAYS in beta and stays that way for far too long. Its only available if you have a developer account. Which is only available if you live in pre-selected countries that support their billing system. So I cannot release a perfectly good FREE app that isn't garbage. Coulda released a couple apps already.

Open up the platform. Allow anyone to sign up for a developer account. Allow anyone to download beta SDK's. Allow the submission of free apps by ANYONE. Just make the process simple and open and the state of webOS development might be a different story.

Whoa... You mean the same applies to developers? I live in Sweden but I can't be a developer? Well that's really nice. As you know there's no technological innovation whatsoever coming out of Sweden, good thing we don't get the SDK... **cough**

stil waiting on a developer pre 2. I guess they must have ran out. Without that I have no way of testing my apps. I really don't feel too motivated to spend $250 on a discounted pre 2 if there isn't enough user base to make any kind of return. That's the kind of stuff hp should have anticipated before hand.

So, let me get this straight. Mojo is dying, Enyo is in massive flux right now, the 2.0 SDK is still NDA, we're forced to live with a burdensome 2 year contract to get a Pre 2 (unless your name is Mr. Moneybags or you can somehow convince Palm to give you one), the new devices people might want to buy (I'm pointedly excluding Veer here) are months away, the existing phones won't be updated to run 2.x (by choice), and HP won't reveal what they're developing in-house (or what their partners might be developing - sorry, Time is shite, so I'm not counting that). HP wants me to develop under those circumstances? I think I'll wait, thank you very much.

The solution is simple, HP. Release 2.x on older phones NOW (at least in Doctor form) and remove the NDA from the 2.0 SDK so we can freely discuss problems and solutions in the forums. You want a chance at success? Do these two things NOW, or webOS is likely dead...

Edit: Ok, cool, the NDA will be removed. But HP needs to get 2.0 on older devices now. They don't need to worry about people putting off purchases of new phones - I doubt there are many Palm phones out there that aren't falling apart, my Pre Plus included. I'm praying my phone lasts until March. The emulator is a good start, but I need to be able to test apps on my existing phone, and the noble (but, pardon me for this, half-assed) way to put 2.1 on existing phones is unacceptable to me.

Amen!!

It makes perfect sense to me:
- All new 2.0 API's will have a very limited customer base.
- Developers have to maintain multiple copies of their applications (one for webOS 1.4.x and 2.x).
- Developers lose their current developer devices (outside of webOS 1.4.x testing) and need to invest in new ones since emulator development is limited in terms of testing a touch UI.
- Developers have to, in the coming months, re-write their applications to support Enyo which will be another big investment in time (not to mention that this is another copy that must be maintained!). If HP/Palm keeps their current model of free updates to programs, that means there will be either no income to developers to offset the cost or the current end users will have to buy the same application a 2nd time. This in turns puts developers in a very bad position (loss financially or loss in reputation).
- Developers have to deal with customer/OS fragmentation. This means that more testing needs to be done on more hardware/OS's which only further complicates and lengthens development time as well as dramatically increases the cost associated with development since developers need new hardware (something that may leave small developers - such as myself - out on the cold).

In my opinion, it makes perfect sense that development has slowed down! This webOS 2 mess HP has made - in light of the competition - might spell doom for webOS unless they act quickly and really go out of their way to entice developers and users alike.

That is definitely the answer. Release OTA 2.0 for all Pre devices as you promised. Reap what is sowed HP.

I can only echo the rants/comments left by others already:

no new hardware, no software for existing hardware users, changing development environments (with conflicting usability for existing and new -read not yet extant- markets), secrecy for development on a released product, etc. etc... It's a mess and the future path, if mostly clear, is months and months away.

I'm holding on because I can't afford a new device out of contract (just bought a new car), and Android and iOS don't excite me, so I'm pretty much stuck with what I've got until my contract offers a subsidised upgrade, but given the state of things right now, no mater how good the IS is, I do not blame developes for bailing to more profitable and less frustrating fields.

I love my Pre Plus, and I believe in the advantages of webOS... I just hope this whole mess doesn't kill my favorite mobile operating system.

I would love to write *something* for 2.0. I've had ideas...unfortunately, I'm also not so flush as to be willing to drop 500 bucks to get another phone with another data plan because I'm an OG Sprint Pre user still using a first release Pre. I tend to do development work better when I use an actual phone, and not an emulator, as a test bed device. I suppose I'd be okay with using actual rom images, provided any users didn't have access to my home address to take out their rage on me when they are stuck doctoring their phone again.

Then again, most of my focus these days is service side work. I've never really been a huge fan of javascript, but I'd be more open to it as it becomes more robust. I like high quality debugging tools that aren't just browser plugins if I'm working on enterprise stuff...which is what I do for a day job.

Personally, I am very excited about the future opportunity with HP, Palm and webOS.

Being a new developer, I am taking this lull to get familiar with the developer tools available today. I agree that now is the time to develop and hone your skills so that you are ready when the new wave comes.

I am looking at this as a new lauch that I have special access to. Thinking about the past or even the present is shortsighted. There is opportunity to get a head start in this race. The tools are easily available if you seek them out.

BTW, that was a well written, well thought out article!

you had a negative comment so i gave you a thumbs up for the chuckle.

Someone needs to write an editorial piece on:

Why HP should have already released the Enyo SDK.

Furthermore, the Enyo framework should really have been designed as a superset of Mojo and not an alternate SDK. At least, from a developer perspective, I should be able to write Mojo code that will work with the Enyo SDK; however it may be done.

Allow, the framework to graciously handle apps developed for varying resolutions.

Hahahahaaha. F ucking losers.

Says the loser who hasn't figured out how to use a keyboard yet...

This is really starting to get ridiculous. HP to developers: Where's the Apps, HP to current Customers: take a hike, Future HP customers: where's the product, Developers: you must be joking.

I understand the need for something to write about but if you don't have a good topic, then it is better to just not have any new articles on here.
You have to be dense to not understand why there aren't WebOS 2.0 apps. If Palm/HP would have gotten 2.0 out to the Pre plus/minus users then there would be more. As of right now, there are a small # of people on Verizon with the Pre2 and there is an even smaller # of developers and people that have hacked their phones to get WebOS 2. No one is going to be getting a WebOS 2 device anytime soon. The Veer is not too far off but who cares. Most power users don't want a mini phone. Most want 3.5" - 4" screens. They are waiting for the Pre 3 and no one knows when it is coming and on which carriers it is coming. To invest any real time in developing apps for WebOS right now is a horrible idea. HP needs to figure that out and accept that their current business plan sucks. There are no advantages for their carriers or their developers. Their loyal fanbase is all they really had and they screwed that up when they took away the WebOS 2 update.

A few points to make here:

The topic has gotten a lot of great discussion (including from Richard Kerris himself above). If an article inspires even one person to do something different, than it is worth it.

Also, this topic is on quite a few minds these days as more people ask the same question - where are the 2.0 apps? This article explains why there aren't many apps yet, and shows that developing for webOS right now is still a very viable option in the scheme of things.

Lastly, HP did not lose their entire fan-base when they chose to not provide an OTA 2.0 update for past devices. Besides the fact that there are many people who don't really care all that much about not getting 2.x RIGHT NOW, there's also word of a 2.x doctor being made available for older devices directly from HP. Which throws the problem out of the door completely.

Basically - the topic is good, the conversations are good, HP is not kicking their current consumers out and you're generally wrong with every comment you've made. I'm what you call a webOS power user and fan, but I'd LOVE to have a Veer running ever 1.4.5.

Also, if you think no one knows when the Pre 3 is being released, consider that we KNOW the TouchPad is being released in June and that the Pre 3 is attached at the hip to the tablet. Why would they not release them at the same time (or at least very close)?

If HP is working on a 2.x doctor for the legacy (read: loyalist) devices, they should have come out and said this from the get-go. HP and Palm both need to take classes on communication. It's been one example after another of miscommunication from both of these companies. They need to get their act together.

Agreed an official HP WebOS 2 update for Loyalist devices users is necessary.

I would love to metadoctor... but my phone is not a toy it has to work. The very existence of the Metadoctor show HP's reason for not providing the update are likely self serving rather than customer serving.

Well, at least you can't deny the fact that the article explains everything for you to know even if you're new in those (now drying) oasis called WebOS 2.1, new user (not developer), not knowing about its APIs before... I hope the TouchPad will make it worthy to pick up, since webOS 3.0 isn't sounding as nice when you consider the apps (Not 28294279384982 **** apps etc thank you, only the truly useful basics)

Finally, naturally, the meme wins.

Oh what a tangled web(os) we weave...have weaved...woven?

Here's what's going to happen. People are going to complain for the next few hours (maybe a day or two). HP will put out a fancy blog entry that outline how they are going to fix the problem...again. People will stop complaining and rejoice at how wonderful HP is and how serious they are about webOS and its affected parties (perhaps just in time for the next Laptop Magazine "poll"). All will be well until next time the carrot falls off the string...again. And the process will begin...again.

I don't think so, they are rapidly losing customers to Android and WP7 and clearly the developers see this. We all wanted them to succeed but it is becoming way too clear that they have let us all down. Unfortunatly for HP I fear that by the time they figure it out it will be too late. It's really a shame.

There will always be hold-outs, but they'll drop off one-by-one as their phones die. I can already hear the debate in their minds: "Hmmm, Pre 2 or Super-Duper Android phone with 13.6" screen, Jumbotron output and optional body massage cocoon? Android for the win!"

Time's a runnin' out...

There's a body massage cocoon available for Android? Which one? I have to know before I toss my Pre onto the heap of old phones.
(developer exits conversation to search for massage features )

i hope palm will be bought by Apple...

The meme made my day

HP is getting exactly what they deserve with this. If you **** your customers, you **** your developers too.

They essentially have a platform with no customers until the Veer and Pre 3 come out, then they have to build their customer base up from zero.

They could have handled this much better. I anticipate webOS to be a complete non-platform a year from now.

Lots of long, good answers here. But I think it is much simpler. Gomer Pyle said it the best: Fooled me once, shame on you. Fooled me twice, shame on me.

Palm (& I believe the Palm culture has not left despite the HP stamp) is the wooden house pig. Why invest genius in a wonderful product with no place on the shelf?

I cannot imagine too many people truly believing that Palm has a future in phones, it is clear they have no interest. And while developing for a pad is no doubt cool - what is the phone-fun to pad-fun ratio? Do you want to sell a few applications at a decent price? Or do you want to sell thousands upon thousands at a lower rate?