So, Who Are You?

Here’s a little backstory. For about 8 years I’ve been developing mobile applications for the Microsoft Pocket PC/Windows Mobile devices. They started out as PDA (Personal Data Assistant) Organizers, and later evolved into smartphones. I sold my applications on my own personal web site as well as a few 3rd-party vendor sites. Business was pretty good at first, but over the years the revenue from my apps has steadily declined to the point of hardly nothing. Clearly, the Microsoft Windows Mobile OS is just an old, dying breed being replaced by the iPhones, Blackberrys, and Android OS devices.

As such, I started looking at other platforms to write applications. I first looked into the highly successful iPhone, however, it would require a heavy investment in hardware and time to make that happen. First, you need an Apple Mac computer to create iPhone apps (as you can’t do so using a Microsoft Windows machine), and I would also need to learn an entirely new programming language (Objective-C).  For me, that would certainly be doable, however, what are my chances of making any money selling iPhone apps? There’s 50,000+ apps on the iPhone catalog, so selling my apps would be very challenging.

I then decided to look into creating Blackberry apps, which was a reasonable possibility since Blackberry provides the Software Development Kit (SDK) at no charge and I can use my Windows PC for the development. However, I decided after some thought that the current Blackberry OS at that time wasn’t revolutionary enough to propel my efforts into the next several years.

Android was a new and upcoming OS which I seriously considered for developing apps, but again I would need to learn a new language (Java) which seemed really hard to do give the limited documentation and example source code for the Android applications. I would also need to get a Google Android Phone with service through T-Mobile which I didn’t want to do.

Finally, Palm, Inc. came out with the Palm Pre running the new WebOS operating system. From the previews, it seemed that this smartphone had a lot of features similar to the iPhone and Android phones, which really perked my interest. More importantly, the only programming languages required for WebOS development was HTML, CSS, and Javascript. These were all Web Programming languages which I already know from my web site development work. Palm also provided the SDK and emulator tools which ran perfectly on my Windows 7 OS machine, so the up cost was virtually nothing. Of course, I would still need to battle with limited documentation and minimal source code examples, but there were ways around that (which I’ll explain in a future posting).

So, I made the decision to leaving the ancient Windows Mobile programming world and head off to the land of WebOS. After using a Palm Pixi device for the last several months and writing five WebOS apps, I can firmly say that I made the right choice. I absolutely love my Palm smartphone and I love writing WebOS apps. Since the WebOS is still so new (not even 1-year old yet), it can only get better from here!


About webosdev

Mobile Devices Developer, specializing in creating apps for the Palm WebOS devices.
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