Palm webOS SDK and Palm OS Emulation for the Pre ➝

Palm PrePalm has announced that they will begin taking names for potential early developers for webOS. These developers will get an early look at the Mojo SDK and presumably be some of the first to release their apps for the platform.

Palm has also announced “Mojo Messaging Service” which is a service that will allow developers to write apps that can move data to and from the cloud. This sounds a little bit like a slightly more robust Push Notification system. It will obviously have more features since webOS will allow you to run more than one app at a time.

The most interesting piece of news about Palm webOS is that MotionApps will be releasing a Palm OS emulator for webOS that will be available at the launch of the Palm Pre. This is crucial for Palm’s success of the webOS platform. Palm is faced with the task of competing with the iPhone, which undoubtedly has much more support behind it when it comes to third party developers. Not only does Apple have more support, but they also have a significant lead over Palm and proof that third party app developers can make some serious money developing for the platform. Palm needs some apps at the beginning, and this is the sort of thing that will add hundreds of apps to the pot with relatively little work. It will also give some incentive to current (or previous) Palm OS device owners to move to the Pre.

So far Palm has made all the right moves in regards to the Pre and webOS, I hope it will continue. I have been skeptical in the past about the success of this device but everything is looking great so far, the final piece to this puzzle would be for Palm to release it before Apple even announces new cell phone hardware, hopefully stealing a little bit of mind share back.

Update 7/17/09: Craig A. Hunter regarding the Mojo SDK:

While the webOS SDK allows access to raw accelerometer data, it’s limited to a 4 Hz sampling rate (that’s four samples per second). Applications like gMeter and greenMeter need 50-100 Hz to even be practical, and most games need at least 20 Hz for smooth inputs that won’t lag too far behind typical graphics framerates. A low rate of 4Hz is not usable for dynamic motion where high fidelity is desired. Accelerometer support in the webOS is suitable for detecting basic movement of the phone for interface rotation, but that’s about it.

Update 7/20/09: in a job posting on Mary-Margaret Network:

Palm is looking for developers who are passionate about gaming, handhelds, mobile communication and the possibilities for Palm in the gaming arena.

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