Flash Gaming Summit and Game Developers Conference

1 BY devrel

Game developers interested in accelerating profitability of existing and future apps are invited to join Palm to learn more about webOS at two upcoming conferences.

We’ll  kick off an exciting week at the Flash Gaming Summit, hosted by Mochi Media, on Monday March 8th at UCSF’s Mission Bay Conference Center. This one-day conference brings together the leaders in the Flash gaming industry, and Palm is proud to sponsor and support the growth of the Flash community. We’ll be showing cool demos and will have some fun giveaways. We’ll also have news about upcoming enhancements to the webOS developer experience that you won’t want to miss! We’d love for you to share this exciting day with us.

Game Developers ConferenceHot on the heels of the Flash Gaming Summit, Palm will be out in full force at the Game Developers Conference at Moscone Center, March 11 – 13.  Come see us in booth #2016 to learn more about how game developers are benefiting from the first-mover advantage in the webOS app ecosystem. Learn how webOS makes it easy to develop and distribute your apps, and to increase the profitability of your app business. Plus, get hands-on with demos of the hottest new game titles.

As previously announced, we’ll be releasing a beta of our Palm webOS Plug-in Development Kit. GDC attendees will be able to learn more at 3:00 pm on Friday when Jeff Bush, Palm’s Director of webOS Graphics & Gaming, will be leading a session on how to create games with the PDK.

See you there!

New Facebook app now available

27 BY devrel

Today, we’re releasing a new version of our Facebook application for webOS. This  application makes it easy to stay connected with your friends, share status updates, upload photos, check out your News Feed, browse your friends’ photo albums and profiles, get your upcoming events, and check your messages wherever you are. The app also integrates with other aspects of Palm webOS and Synergy, so you can instantly view Facebook info from the Contacts app, or use the Photo app to upload directly to Facebook.

New features include:

  • Enhanced Inbox – Now, your inbox lets you compose, send, and reply, so you can always access your Facebook messages.
  • Photo albums – Now you can view photo albums from all your friends, not just the photos in their news feeds. Uploading photos is easier as well, and includes the ability to add captions.
  • Profiles – The new app lets you view users’ profiles, whether they are your friends or not. View and post to their walls, view their information, and see their photo albums (subject to privacy settings, of course).
  • Events and birthdays – Now you can see upcoming birthdays from your friend list as well as upcoming events.
  • Friend search – Easily find your friends using the Friend Search feature. This takes you to their profile, where you can see and post to their wall, view their information, and look at their photos.

This being the developer blog, what’s interesting to me is how this application was developed. The Developer Relations team took on the task of rewriting this application as a way to work on a “real” project and get a deeper understanding of how our developer tools and documentation work (and sometimes don’t work) for our developers.

Working on this application has given us a really detailed look at the current state of our tools and documents. Here in Developer Relations, we’ve been sitting down and evaluating the results and putting plans in place to remove as many of the speedbumps and potholes as we can, as quickly as we can.

I think you’ll be very impressed with the quality of this updated Facebook application. It’s even more impressive when you realize that while Ben and Dion, who did most of the heavy lifting on this update, are experienced programmers, they haven’t been webOS programmers very long. It’s a good example of how existing skills can transfer to the webOS platform and get a new developer up to speed and building good applications quickly.

Now that we have this rewritten-from-scratch version of the Facebook app out, we’re starting to look at what further enhancements we can add to it.  We plan to continue using this application to push ourselves as webOS developers, and to step into the shoes of our developers and live with the tools we give them. We think that’s the best way to make sure those tools are the best tools we can possibly build. If we aren’t working with them daily, it’s easy to think they’re better than they are. By making sure we’re always creating “real” applications, we have no excuses not to make sure that our developer environment is the best it can be.

And that’s exactly what we expect it to be. We still have some work, but now we know what needs to be done, and we’re working to make it happen.

App Catalog Video Previews

2 BY devrel

You may have noticed a new option on the “App Info” page when submitting or updating your applications – a place to enter a YouTube URL. With the release of webOS 1.4, your application’s page in the App Catalog can now link to a YouTube video about your app. If you place a YouTube link in this field, the video thumbnail will be displayed on the App Catalog page.

App Catalog Video Preview

App Catalog Video Preview

When a potential customer clicks on the link, the device’s YouTube application will open and play the video, giving you the opportunity to show off your application’s potential.

We do ask that you follow the Palm Application Content Criteria when creating your video. Adding a YouTube link counts as a meta-data update, so it will be reviewed.

So, get ready to get creative with video – we’d love to see videos for every application in the catalog!

webOS SDK Version 1.4 now available

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Version 1.4 of the webOS SDK is now available on the Developer Portal. Here are some highlights of the new release:

  • webOS now incorporates WebKit 4, which features enhanced CSS support and numerous other improvements.
  • The webOS implementation of the HTML 5 Media API has been updated, bringing closer conformance to the specification, and improvements to audio performance.
  • The Camera API has been extended to let an application initiate video capture, in addition to image capture.
  • The V8 JavaScript engine used in webOS has been updated.

Check out the release notes for more details. Enjoy!

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