DummyMaker works around App Catalog carrier, geo, and version restrictions for free apps | webOS Nation

DummyMaker works around App Catalog carrier, geo, and version restrictions for free apps

by Derek Kessler Fri, 22 Apr 2011 6:50 pm EDT

If you happen to live outside of the United States, chances are you’re still wondering when you’re going to get better access to the App Catalog, if at all. While we keep hearing from the people at HP that they’re working on it (and we have little doubt they are), if you’re the impatient type then we have a solution for you. It’s a new app called DummyMaker, built by PreCentral forum member Michael Schumacker, works around restrictions of all types for free webOS apps.

DummyMaker works around a loophole in the App Catalog system by creating a “dummy” app on the phone that actually doesn’t do anything but tell the update checker that you have an older version of that app and need to download the newer version from the App Catalog. By having the app already “installed,” at least as far as the App Catalog is concerned, you’re able to download the new version, regardless of any restrictions you might encounter due to your carrier, geographic location, or version of webOS you happen to be running.

There is a little bit of finger-work involved with DummyMaker: you have to know the app ID (e.g. com.palm.app.facebook or com.weather.palm) to create the dummy IPK on the phone, but getting that is a simple matter of looking up the app you want to download in Preware or WebOS Quick Install.

Of course, DummyMaker only works with free apps, but that’s a good portion of what’s available in the App Catalog. A desktop counterpart to DummyMaker – IPK Fetcher – has been around for a little over a year and has access to the Palm app feeds to automate the dummy creation, but this is the first time we’ve seen this update-to-download workaround applied in an on-device setting. Until HP gets around to improving their international App Catalog availability, this might be your best solution for getting a better taste at what’s available.