HP webOS Developer FAQ
Here are frequently asked questions from HP webOS platform developers and HP's answers to them.
If you have a question that's not answered on this list, please go to the HP Palm Developer Center forums or IRC or send a note to us at email@example.com with your questions. This article will be periodically updated. (Latest update: March 30, 2011.)
HP webOS Developer Program
Q: What are the different membership levels and options?
A: There are two levels of membership, as follows:
- To post to our forums, you need to register as a Community Member. No registration is required to read forum content. This type of membership does not expire.
- If you wish to distribute applications, you need to become a full member of the HP webOS Developer Program. This level includes Community Membership and lasts for one year. When you sign up for the Developer Program, there is a special option for open source developers which gives you the full benefits of the Developer Program and avoids the annual fees (though this is currently waived).
Q: What fees are associated with the Developer Program?
A: There are no fees to join the developer program or to submit an application for review. For more details, read the detailed developer program article.
Q: While registering for the Developer Account, I was asked for my Tax ID. What is this and if I’m an individual, what do I enter in this field?
A: The Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is an identification number used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the administration of tax laws. It is issued either by the Social Security Administration (SSA) or by the IRS. A Social Security number (SSN) is issued by the SSA whereas all other TINs are issued by the IRS.
If you are a sole proprietor representing your application, you can use your Social Security Number as your Tax ID.
Q: I’m a non-US developer and trying to register for a Developer Account. Do I need a U.S. taxpayer ID?
A: If you have a US taxpayer ID, please use this number. If you only have a foreign tax ID number you can enter your foreign tax ID number in the Tax Identification Number field.
All non-US developers need to complete the W-8BEN form. If you only have a foreign tax ID number, you will need to complete the W-8BEN form leaving the U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (field 6) blank. Enter your foreign tax ID number on line 7 of the W-8BEN. Also enter your country of residence in field 9a on the W-8BEN, along with any other required information.
Q: I’m publishing free applications so why do I have to set-up tax and PayPal information to complete my registration?
A: We ask developers to complete tax information and set-up a PayPal account during the registration process so if they choose to charge for applications at a later date, all necessary information is in place to support this change.
Q: I’m an individual developer, not part of a company. What should I put in the Company Name field?
A: If you are an individual developer representing your developed application, you should input your legal name, as stated on your individual tax return, as your company name.
Q: I have questions about developing on the webOS platform. Where can I go?
A: Our Developer Center’s on-line documentation (e.g., the Getting Started, Dev Guide, and Tools sections) includes rich information on how to develop for the platform. If you’re a first time developer, we recommend that you browse the Getting Started section and read an overview of webOS. Should you still have more questions, we welcome them on our forums. There you can leverage the knowledge and experiences of other webOS developers. In addition, we will be actively monitoring and particpating in the forums. You can also look for us on our IRC chat room.
Other great resources are available on community-led web sites.
Q: I've heard a lot about the notification service in webOS. How can I take advantage of this unique capability of webOS?
A: Since webOS runs applications in the background, your app can actually send notifications even while it is not running. To learn more about notifications, see Dashboards and Notifications in the webOS SDK documentation.
Q: Where can I find more information about making my application resolution independent so that it will be compatible with all webOS devices (currently the HP Pre/Pre Plus, Pixi/Pixi Plus, and Pre 2 smartphones)?
Distributing My Applications
Q: Where can I get more details on the submission process and its requirements?
A: Read the App Submission Guide for details on what information is required to submit your app.
Q: How long should I expect the process to take from app submission to publication?
A: The answer to this question depends on the distribution method you choose for your app. If you choose the Web Distribution or Beta channels, then your app will be live within a few hours. If you choose to distribute the app via the on-device App Catalog, the HP App Review team will review apps in the order in which they are submitted. This process may take up to two weeks. At any time, you can go to the My Apps section of the HP webOS Developer Center to check on your app's status.
Q: What if I submit my application and decide I want to include a bug fix before the application has been reviewed?
A: We’ve all sent emails and then within 30 seconds of hitting "send" wish we could easily recall them. Understanding that this happens with apps as well, we have a mechanism for you to fix your app before the review team reviews it. Go to the My Apps section, click the name of the app, and select the Request for Reject button. Once we process that request, you’ll be able to update your application and resubmit it.
This process applies to both first time submissions as well as updates to existing published applications. In addition, if you want to delete an update to a published application entirely, you may click the Delete Request button and we will process your request.
Q: There’s a big problem with my application and I need to take my application offline for awhile until I can fix it. What do I do?
A: If for some reason you need to temporarily pull your application from distribution, you can do so by clicking the published app title and then clicking the Suspend Request button. We will process that request and suspend your application. This will allow you to make changes to your app and resubmit it for distribution.
Q: How can I find out the status of my app after I submit it?
A: Go to the My Apps section of the HP webOS Developer Center.
Q: If my app is rejected, will I be able to resubmit it?
A: Yes. We will give you feedback on why it was rejected so you can remedy the issues and resubmit the app.
Q: What kind of reporting does HP offer for developers for their apps?
A: If you have paid applications, you will be able to access monthly sales reports that include download counts by state as well as revenues. You can access the download count of your applications at any time by clicking on the My Apps link. We are working to add more detailed reporting metrics in the future.
Q: Where can I find out more about how many people are downloading my app?
A: The My Apps section of the HP webOS Developer Center lets you see the number of downloads of your application(s).
Q: If I use the Web Distribution channel, how will users find my app?
A: Users can get to your application through the unique URL that HP provides you. You can take this URL and make it available on the web as you see fit – leveraging any of your existing marketing channels. In addition, various third parties are creating web-based directories of webOS applications. These directories will have all webOS applications – including those that use Web Distribution and those that are marked as Beta. To learn more about RSS feeds that power these directories, read about HP's Application Feeds.
Q: I'm using the Web Distribution channel. Why can't I find my application in the App Catalog?
A: Applications distributed through the web distribution model can only be discovered by clicking on the unique URL provided by HP for your app. The application will not display during a standard search or browse through the App Catalog; it can only be viewed over the web. See the answer to the question just above for more about this.
App Catalog - Payment
Q: What is the revenue split and payment process for paid-for webOS applications?
A: Developers receive 70% of revenues, net of applicable taxes. Developers who charge for their software will need to establish a PayPal account to receive their share of revenue from HP. Customers purchase applications with MasterCard and Visa credit cards.
Q: Can I sell my applications in all geographic markets?
A: For now, you can sell your applications in the United States, Mexico, Canada, and parts of Europe. Read the International e-commerce FAQ for more information about selling outside of the U.S.
Q: Can I transition my application from free to paid?
A: Once you submit an app to HP, you cannot change its status from free to paid or from paid to free, so think this through carefully before you submit your app.
Q: Can I still get paid if I don't want to sign up for a PayPal account?
A: At this time, PayPal is the only mechanism through which HP can pay developers for their app sales.
Q: How soon will I start getting payments after launch of my app?
A: You will receive a payment, via a transfer to your PayPal account, once your cumulative revenue share amount meets the minimum threshold level of $100 or €100; or when the accrued amount is 6 months old. Developers are paid monthly on or around the 20th of the following month for revenue share earned.
App Catalog - Distribution
Q: If all apps will be distributed on the web, why should I go through the app review process to have my app in the on-device App Catalog?
A: Large numbers of webOS users go through the on-device App Catalog to find and procure applications. Having your application on the App Catalog increases your ability to reach customers.
Q: Where can I find the URL for an application that's in the App Catalog?
A: If you have a device, you can easily find the URL by opening the app description and tapping the Share button. The pre-populated URL in the email or text message is your app’s URL. You can also access this URL on the Developer Center.
For Web Distribution and Beta apps, this URL is displayed within a few hours after app submission. If you select App Catalog as your distribution method, the URL is displayed once your application is accepted and pushed to the catalog. If you ever need to reference your URL after it’s published, you can find it by clicking the app title in the My Apps section.
Support and Feedback
Q: How will HP support me or my customers if there are installation problems encountered?
A: End users who encounter problems with the HP App Catalog can contact our general support number: 1-877-426-3777.