The web OS is out for quite some time – while Palm has answered quite a few questions, many still remain open. Our intro interviews are coming to an end soon (we have one more) – but let’s now see what the fine folks at mobile-stream’s have to say!
They are in an unique position as they offer both system apps and very nice games…will the webOS suit them?
Please tell us more about yourself and your company
We are a small independent developer.
We have software for various mobile platforms (Palm, Symbian, iPhone, Windows Mobile). Our well-known Palm applications are:
Landscape – the only utility which made it possible to use Sony CLIE TH55 in landscape mode
USB Modem – USB and Bluetooth modem which allows you to tether your Palm smartphone to a Win/Mac/Linux computer;
Card Reader – USB Mass Storage and Bluetooth File Transfer for Palm devices.
What were your initial impressions after the webOS announcement?
I’m glad that Palm did a good job. Their new device has excellent hardware. It has a modern look and feel. The market seems to have accepted it. Just see how Palm stocks went up after the announcement – a good sign.
There has been so much hype about web services and web projects lately, that it is little or no surprise that a certain company has decided to make web-only smartphones. Though I did not expect it would be Palm. Even Google did not make its Android a web-only OS.
What did you expect Palm to do? Were your expectations met?
Again, mixed feelings. Good for Palm, for Palm users and followers.
But our knowledge and experience (with USB protocols or with Bluetooth profiles) are not needed here. Either we’ll do something else or we’ll go to other platforms, there are so many nowadays.
The operating system is said to be web-only. Do you think that its possible to create solid applications in such an environment?
Lately the idea of web services has been very popular. We’ve seen many examples of that on desktop computers. Now time has come to smartphones.
It is possible to create solid web services. That’s just a very different way from an old Palm scene. Some old Palm developers will switch from Palm to other platforms, some will start to do web-based projects. New companies (mainly with web development experience) will come to Palm.
WebOS is not able to run old Palm OS code. Can you understand this decision?
Yes, I can. Sometimes attempts to maintain compatibility are too clumsy, it’s better to get rid of an old heritage at once.
Many have compared webOS to the iPhone, thinking that most applications will be crapware. Do you think that a solid economy will be built around the pre?
WebOS itself does not mean crapware. It is possible to create good and interesting web apps and web services.
You mention iPhone in your question about crapware, though it is not Web-Only smartphone.
If you ban CorePlayer or TomTom but allow all sort of Fartware – there will be crapware. If the minimum price is 0.99 – there will be crapware. In case of Palm WebOS much will depend on the business model, on how all those web apps will be distributed.
Do you plan to develop applications for the pre? Could you give us a preview?
We still hope that some day there may appear a native SDK.
If you could change one thing about webOS, what would it be?
Do not make it web-only. Allow some native app development at least in Java.
If you could ask Palm one question, what would it be?
Is there a chance we’ll see a native SDK ?
Anything you would like to add
It is not connected with the interview questions. Just in the past year we all thought that after Christmas Palm software sales would drop dramatically. It did not happen. In some cases there is a small decrease, but generally they remained constant. There are still many purchasers with Palm Centro. So for us there is still old good Palm.