International E-commerce for the Palm App Catalog is now available

7 BY devrel

Less than a quarter after we’ve opened our doors for business, we’re pleased to announce that effective March 31, 2010, all Palm webOS developers will be able to sell their applications in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, and Spain. We want to use this post to highlight some important details of the program. Check the links below for full details.

In a nutshell, you can now sell your existing and new applications in many new regions. Commerce in Mexico, Canada and France is coming soon. In anticipation for the launches in these countries, you can pre-select Mexico, Canada and France for paid app distribution starting today.

In addition to expanding the countries in which we support e-commerce, we’ve also started accepting applications for distribution in France in anticipation of our upcoming launch on the French wireless carrier, SFR.

When you log into the Palm Developer Center and check out your apps summary page, you’ll notice a few changes. Starting today, all apps — both ones already in distribution and new ones — can be updated for distribution in the regions listed above. When submitting paid apps you can select “German” for Germany, “Spanish” for Spain and “French” for France or Canada and still upload English app and metadata — with the exception of app category names (see the FAQs below for a translation guide for category names).

Revenue treatment remains fundamentally the same. You will receive 70% of the sales price and will be paid via Paypal. While consumers will be purchasing apps using $USD in the US, British Pounds in the UK, and Euros in Ireland, Germany, and France; you will be paid in $USD for North America sales and Euros for European sales. You’ll be able to track all of your sales by country by accessing the sales reports in the Developer Center.

If you want to participate in the ecommerce program, include the appropriate tax information upon developer registration. Existing developers can edit their information at any time. Tax information should be for the country in which your business resides. If you have multiple tax residencies, you will need a separate account for each taxable entity. If you are located in the European Union, the VAT registration number that you provide should be linked to the country of residence for which you are submitting (i.e. French address then French VAT registration number). If you have multiple Palm developer accounts, you should submit your app(s) using the account(s) that will receive the revenue share payment. If you choose, you can submit different versions of the same app to each account to segregate your revenue share payments by geography.

Outside of the US where commerce is already enabled, consumers who want to purchase applications will be able to set up their payment account with the 1.4.1 OS update that will be released today in the UK, Ireland, Germany, and Spain. In our experience, even though the OS is an over-the-air update that is pushed to devices, it takes a handful of weeks for the majority of users to adopt and install the OS update.

If you are not yet registered with the Palm Developer Center, full details on how to sign up and get started are available here.

Information on the distribution program are available in the Palm webOS Application Distribution Program Agreement.

Further details about the program are published in an International E-Commerce FAQ.

If you have questions that aren’t answered there, please contact us at pdc@palm.com.

A statement on the “overclocking” patches

21 BY devrel

We have had a number of questions about the recently released “overclocking” patches and what Palm’s position on them are.

Palm is working hard to improve the speed and performance of webOS, as shown in our recent 1.4 update. While we appreciate the effort the webOS community has put forth to try and help us along that path, the use of this application is neither endorsed nor recommended by Palm and will likely result in a voided warranty. Palm encourages webOS users to let Palm release official updates that provide safe, reliable, over-the-air features that improve their device in a number of areas, as we have in the past at a rate of approximately once per month.

Topics  Palm Devices

Facebook 1.1.4; New Beta with Notifications

38 BY devrel

We have received a ton of great feedback on the Facebook app which is fantastic. It pushes us to do more, quickly! The top request is for access to Facebook notifications. Henry Levak even reached out with a mock of what he would like to see. So, notifications became the focus of our latest beta, Facebook 1.1.4.

We have actually implemented multiple levels of notifications for you, which we will detail below.

Changing the top left; Facebook notifications drop down

Until now, the top left area of the navigation bar has been for updating status. webOS devices are great at creating content (hardware keyboards and all) but it didn’t feel quite right to have that area available when we aren’t telling you anything new. Why not use that area to let you know when something has changed? E.g. notifications. A badge will show you how many new notifications are waiting for you, and when you tap on the icon, a drop down will give you access to your latest notifications…. and also give you access to the rest. We tried to mimic the website here, which also contains messages and friend requests. In the future, maybe we unify all of these for you.

But wait, what if you want quick access to the status update area? It turns out that it doesn’t take any more effort. From any scene you can tap on the Facebook logo to go to the news feed and then just start typing. We will detect that and auto focus on the “what’s on your mind” area. This also allows us to clean up the fake status area that we had before…. much nicer!

Scene is all

From the drop down, if you tap on “See all notifications” you will be sent to a full scene that allows you to scroll through your various notifications. Access the source of the notifications easier, or jump to a user profile. In the future we are playing with giving you more information here. For example, rather than “Bob Harris likes your status”, how about showing a piece of that status so you know what they are talking about without having to tap in?

Notifications Squared

There are Facebook notifications and webOS notifications. We wanted to marry them together in this release. If a new Facebook notification occurs, a banner and dashboard will alert you to the info and you can get directly to that info.

We currently show the most recent notification, and you can get to the notifications scene if you tap on the icon and badge on the left. In the future we want to provide an easy way to flip through notifications right in the dashboard so you don’t even have to go into the main app to see what is happening. Once we get to friend requests, we can allow you to accept or deny right there! The power of webOS :)

And, there’s more

There are other little features and fixes in this beta, including:

  • Keyboard shortcuts now use our native “gesture area + key” support which includes a drop down “Navigate to….” area.
  • Formatting of content has been fixed (blank lines separating content)
  • No HTML tags in Inbox (no more <br>)
  • If you launch the Facebook app when already running, refresh the feed a la Tweed

We really hope that you enjoy access to notifications, and as always, keep the feedback flowing!

UPDATE: We got some great feedback from you, and have a new beta release out today… 1.1.4 is the latest (1.1.3 had some bad info in it). Fixes for the “Facebook User” issue, and for the data wiped on tap issue are in. Keep the feedback coming!

- Ben and Dion on behalf of the Developer Relations Facebook team

Topics  Facebook App

Introduction to PDK talk from Game Developer’s Conference

1 BY devrel

Jeff Bush’s talk “An Overview to Creating Games with Palm’s Plug-in Development Kit” is now online and available for viewing. You can go take a look (highly recommended if you want to get a feel for the PDK), over at the GDC vault. (note: free registration required to view video)

Introducing the Palm Developer Podcast series: Episode One – Welcome!

6 BY devrel

We are excited to release the first video in a new developer podcast series. There is a ton of interesting development happening in the community as well as at Palm itself, and we wanted a way to share some of this material.

In our first episode, we wanted to do an introduction to some of our thinking about the mobile landscape, and how Palm fits in to it. It gives you an overview of the various programs that Palm offers developers; from the choices you have in distributing your application, to our Hot Apps program.

But what about the future? You can expect a few different things from the series:

  • News from the Palm and greater mobile Web ecosystem
  • Walkthroughs on how to build and distribute applications in depth
  • Interviews with Palm engineers to share tips, tricks, and deep information on the platform
  • Third part developers will join us to discuss what they have learned
  • Subject matter experts coming in to talk about a niche that they are passionate and knowledgeable on.

We are really excited to introduce you to some of the great engineers that we have, as well as more from the community at large. What would YOU like to see?

There are a bunch of ways to stay in touch:

We look forward to hear your thoughts.

Ben and Dion, on behalf of the Developer Relations team

Topics  Podcasts

Facebook Beta Released

38 BY devrel

When we released the Facebook app last week we talked about how we wanted to develop a nice cadence of releases. We are writing on webOS, so surely we can get features out on web time right?

When our full developer program went live, our App Catalog began supporting a Beta channel which enables you to get new versions out to a community that is willing to live on the edge.

Today we are launching our first Facebook Beta application. It is only a week after our 1.1 launch, but has some cool new features:

  • Facebook Video support: You will now see Facebook videos in your stream and can play them. Facebook started to encode their videos into the H.264 format, and for those that they have encoded, you will be able to watch.
  • Shortcut keys: Power users want to be able to access areas in an app as quickly as possible. You can now jump to different sections by holding down the SYM key and: N = news stream, P = photos, S = search, I = inbox, U = your profile, E = events. We have found this particularly handy for Pixi users where the keyboard is always just there.
  • Your Comments: You will notice that your comments in a thread are colored Facebook blue to make them stand out.
  • Access Updates in Facebook Mail: You can now access the updates messages, joining messages and sent mail

There are also bug fixes and enhanced error checking on the Facebook API side of the house.

What can you expect from Facebook Beta releases?

Beta means beta. These releases are not tested in the same way as full releases, and new features may not be fully internationalized or localized. You get to play with new features that we are working on, and hopefully give us feedback along the way.

You can help us find bugs early, give us ideas on new features, give us real world advice on how certain features and ideas feel, and help us prioritize exactly what you want out of the app.

We will update the beta channel pretty frequently, and the usage will help us cut final releases. You should note that the beta version and full version are on two different channels. You can install both versions, and they update independently.

- Ben and Dion on behalf of the Developer Relations Facebook team

Developer Purchase Program

21 BY devrel

We’ve released an updated developer device program. Details on this program are available here.

Palm webOS games get Unreal

1 BY devrel

We have some really exciting news to share with you. At GDC this week Palm and Epic Games are demonstrating Unreal Engine 3 on Palm webOS. Unreal Engine 3 powers Epic’s popular Unreal Tournament 3 and Gears of War along with a large number of titles from leading game developers. This is exciting news because it means licensees of Unreal Engine 3 will soon be able to build games for Palm webOS.

Earlier this week at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco, Palm announced the public availability of the beta release of the Plug-in Developer Kit [PDK] for developers seeking to expand their options for creating apps for Palm webOS phones.

Together, the PDK and the Unreal Engine 3 will make it easy for developers to bring visually rich exciting games to Palm webOS phones. Developers can check out Unreal Engine 3 for free at www.udk.com. More information about Palm’s PDK can be found here.

To give you a taste of what the Unreal Engine will bring to webOS, take a look at this video shot at the GDK:

Video courtesy Engadget who also have a cool webOS App

Far Out Fowl – A Canvas Gaming Tutorial

0 BY Fred Patton

Far Out FowlIf you’ve been wanting to get involved with game programming, but aren’t quite ready to dive into OpenGL yet, take a look at our exclusive new tutorial on Canvas game development. It was written for us by Frank Zammetti, author of “Practical Palm Pre webOS Projects.”

Frank’s article covers the development, from scratch, of a new Canvas game, “Far Out Fowl,” sparing no details. He describes coding techniques, game design decisions, and user interface considerations. He even takes us through his process for deciding on Canvas as the tool of choice for this particular game. The game includes sound effects, accelerometer-based controls, and alien chickens. What more could you want in a game? Have fun!

Beta PDK released!

5 BY devrel

PDK logoToday, Palm is excited to announce the public beta release of the Plug-in Developer Kit (PDK), which was announced in January at the Consumer Electronics Show.

The PDK is a new component of the webOS SDK, letting developers use C and C++ alongside the web technologies that power the SDK, and even mix them seamlessly within a single application. The PDK brings new functionality to webOS, including immersive 3D graphics, and gives developers who have built games for other platforms an easy way to bring their titles to the webOS platform.

The webOS PDK takes its name from the way that C / C++ components integrate into webOS applications. The webOS platform is built on web technologies, with an application environment built on the WebKit browser engine. Components built with the PDK “plug in” to webOS apps using the same mechanism that supports desktop browser plug-ins.

The webOS PDK incorporates the widely used multimedia library SDL (Simple DirectMedia Layer) and the OpenGL ES graphics API, making it easy for developers to port existing code to webOS. The PDK includes its own tools to support development and debugging of plug-ins for webOS applications, and (like the webOS SDK) will allow development on the Windows, Mac and Linux platforms (though only Windows and Mac are supported in the public beta).

(Note that distribution of apps built with the public beta PDK will require functionality provided in an upcoming Palm webOS update, to be released during the middle of this year. The current version of webOS supports limited distribution of games built with the private early-access PDK, but the technologies and processes that enable this limited distribution don’t allow for wider distribution.)

We’ve updated the Developer Portal with all the information you’ll need to get started. The Developer and Reference Libraries have new “Plug-in” sections that talk about the new tools and APIs, and describe how to get up and running quickly.

So what are you waiting for? Head over to the Developer Portal, download the PDK and start developing today!

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