1.3.1 update cuts down numbers in Euro App Catalog | webOS Nation

1.3.1 update cuts down numbers in Euro App Catalog

by Derek Kessler Mon, 23 Nov 2009 10:32 pm EST

App Catalog

One of the things that we liked about the App Catalog in webOS 1.3.1 was that it would be able to tell what device it was running on and subsequently adjust the apps listing to compatible apps. As it turns out, the App Catalog also gained the ability to figure out where you are and adjust the App Catalog accordingly. That’s nice and all if the App is something that is only available in a specific country for a reason (e.g. YPmobile for the US).

When it’s not cool is when the filtering cuts the European App Catalog down to a pathetic sixty apps, and even that number varies depending on the country. The problem lies with how App Catalog submissions work. Developers submitting an app will find that by default the country and language option selected is United States and English. While most apps have been and will continue to be created in English to reach the broadest possible market (nearly as many people in Europe speak English as in North America).

App Catalog Submission Language/Country

Problem is, there’s no option to check off English-language app submissions for countries like Germany or Spain, where 65% and 25% of the respective populations claim English as a second language. But yet there is an English option for Mexico. More so, the problem is that the default option is only the United States and only English. If developers don’t select for distribution to other countries and other languages than those respective App Catalogs won’t get access to the app.

Like we said, there are some instances where we can see this kind of selective submission being a good thing. But for the vast majority of apps there’s no reason for them to be confined to the US. Let them be free to roam the world. It's bad enough to deny them apps because their paid apps (time to expand that, eh?).

At the core, the issue is the limiting app submission options, in that you have to select countries and languages. Our suggestion: take an approach like this: have two columns, one for language and another for country - with the default set to worldwide. Then give the user with the phone the option to filter by language instead of handicapping entire countries because their official language isn’t English. You don’t need to know how speak or read a lick of English to play solitaire.

Thanks to gizmo21 for the tip!