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Summary:

For months after I bought my Palm Pre, I had a daily routine. After my daily cup of coffee, I’d hit up the App Catalog and tap the Recent button to see what new software was out. It was a bit of a chore, so I’m […]

For months after I bought my Palm Pre, I had a daily routine. After my daily cup of coffee, I’d hit up the App Catalog and tap the Recent button to see what new software was out. It was a bit of a chore, so I’m glad to see that Palm now offers RSS feeds to the App Catalog data. There’s quite a few feeds that you can add to your favorite RSS readers — I use Google Reader — and each makes it far easier and efficient to keep up with webOS software developments.

A full list of feeds is readily available at the Palm Developer site. I’ve already added the one that tracks all applications, but you can watch for just beta apps or updates as well. Clicking through on your reader takes you to the application’s specific web page for more details, a photo and a way to shoot app info to your phone. It’s a solid implementation and I’m actually wishing Google would offer the same for its Android Market. Apple could use this, too, even though I found a third-party feed for the App Store. Unfortunately, it seems out of date, so I hope Cupertino follows in Palm’s footsteps on this one.

  1. Not only that, but they’re letting third-party apps have access to the data as well. Which means for example, that Preware can include the official App Catalog information if you want it to. (A version that does that is in alpha testing).

    I believe it still downloads in an App Catalog-like card, but even still, the ability to get information for not only official Palm apps, not only web distribution and beta apps through Palm, but also for the unofficial homebrew stuff, all through one app, seems pretty huge.

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  2. wow, that is actually pretty damn clever. if your striving for an open platform like Palm this is a great way to be able to get apps from all sources in 1 central location.

    its 1 of those things that after the fact your ask yourself, why isnt everyone doing this? it just makes so much sense.

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  3. its working fine with default Greader, but the FF/Chrome add-on “Feedly” is screwing it up by only listing a fraction of the apps (yes i have it set to show all). anyone having better luck with Feedly?

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  4. This has been live since Palm’s CES presentation on the 7th…

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  5. The potential for this is significant, the main issue with a large number of apps (which Webos will hopefully get to) is curation both from a user discovery point of view and developer promotion.

    Some interesting things are already being done http://projectappetite.com/ from Palm and the Catalog’s from http://catalog.webosschool.com/#main and http://www.precentral.net/app-gallery not to mention Preware and Appscoop for an on device view.

    Now I just need to wait for 1.4 and paid apps in the UK

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  6. Hi Kevin – thanks for the tip on this. Palm isn’t on our shortlist, but it’s a genius move on their part to power sites like ours and make web app discovery a more fluid and competitive market. The folks in Cupertino haven’t made it easy, but at least they have a rational and transparent data structure (for developers, at least). I’m surprised that Google (as the archetype of web discovery for websites) hasn’t grokked this opportunity and done the same for the Android platform. I’ve sent this link to some folks there to see if it moves them – will circle back if I hear anything interesting. (Would welcome a chance to chat live about some related topics if it’s of interest – LMK)

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