webOS App Catalog getting overhauled, adding features for webOS 3 36
We've just finished up watching HP's developer presentation at Mobile World Congress 2011. It was essentially a condensed version of both of their Think Beyond presentations - going over the Veer, Pre 3, and TouchPad while also showing how Enyo changes the game for webOS developers. You can find links to our previous coverage right here if you need to get caught up.
However, sandwiched between those two presentations, HP Senior Product Manager, SW Platform and Tools Gray Norton gave us a preview of the next version of the App Catalog with plenty of new features coming when it debuts on the TouchPad
First, HP is rethinking how the App Catalog will feature apps by essentially splitting it into two modes. There will be a new "Browser" mode that HP thinks of like a magazine for apps - allowing them to better showcase apps and also allow developers to create a richer sales experience. HP will still have the traditional list-o-apps experience that we all know now, but will be placing that under the Search tab.
HP will also be adding a "Save for Later" option to all apps - essentially allowing you to flag apps so that you can purchase them later. It could be a very convenient tool for deciding between several similar apps. Simply save all the Twitter clients you're interested in, for example, then go to the Saved section to look at them more closely before you buy.
Finally, Palm had previously promised that they would be bringing Carrier Billing and Promotion codes for developers to the App Store. Both are big deal items that don't look like it at first blush: Carrier billing tends to be cheaper for companies than Credit Card billing and also, with time, tends to also drive consumers to buy more apps because it is more convenient. Promotion codes are something that we've been pushing for here at PreCentral for a long time (there's basically no better way for developers promote their apps than to give a bunch away on the biggest webOS site on the planet *cough* *cough*). HP says that each app will be able to have 1,000 promotion codes.
They said that these would come at the latest when the App Catalog launches on webOS 3 this summer, but we're hoping they can shorten that window a bit.