My name is Jason, and I’m a WebOS developer!
Ever since I started using smartphones, I have always wanted to create applications for the phone that I was using at any given time. From Blackberry, to iPhone, to Droid, to Palm Pre Plus. It was never about striking it rich like many have done with their mobile apps (not saying I wouldn’t like the extra $); it was always more about just the cool feeling of having something you created from the ground up running on hundreds, maybe thousands, of what is arguably a person’s most personal possession today: their phone.
iPhone Software Development:
I got an iPhone the day it came out back in 2007. Of course when the iPhone was originally launched there was no official SDK for creating applications, so there wasn’t much that could be done as far as writing apps, past jailbreaking and creating apps with the unofficial SDK. Flash forward to when the platform saw the launch of the app store and then you saw an explosion of developers writing applications for the device. Unfortunately by the time I finally got around to learn the languages necessary to create applications for the platform I was already on may way to the next platform, Android.
Android Software Development:
After getting fed up with the iPhone and finally feeling like Android was ready for prime time, I made the jump! After using the platform for a couple months and getting used to it, I again started the task of beginning to learn the languages needed to write applications on the platform. After getting a working hello world app going and all that, something interesting happened. I found myself dabbling in a new platform already! A platform that I thought had already died shortly after getting its legs. That platform was WebOS!
WebOS Software Development:
Plam’s WebOS really came out of nowhere for me. I had seen it and played with it briefly when it initially came out, and found it to be sub par. A short while later, I found myself at a Verizon store playing with the newly revved hardware and updated OS. I fell in love almost immediately! WebOS felt like the first mobile OS that was actually built with the end user in mind. It was completely intuitive, and I don’t mean like how the other guys say their OS is intuitive; this one actually is. Everything about the OS just felt right. It did what you wanted, and more importantly it did what you would expect in just about every situation. The multitasking was light years ahead of what anyone else was doing. Needless to say, I really like it, obviously. Anyway, I knew that this was finally going to be the platform I’d get an application on. I was so passionate about the platform that I had to be involved as more than just a user. I started by getting a WebOS book and attending Palm’s awesome Developer Days event at their headquarters with my fiancée. We learned a ton of great info there, got some more dev materials, including a FREE developer phone! A free phone? I know! I started writing a couple applications shortly after that, which ended up being a little over my head, so I toned it down and created an app that ended up being the first app I would submit to the catalog. (at the time there was a $99 fee to become a developer, and a $50 fee per application submitted to the catalog. Both of these fees are now waived!) The app was called USAF, and was an informational app about the United States Air Force for use by anyone, in the Air Force or not. It was a way for me to get practice and show my support for the armed forces, since I am a USAF veteran. Getting that app published in the catalog was a huge day for me! Not to mention when I started getting downloads. I was expecting (and would have been happy with) 50 total downloads. When the numbers were more like 1000 per week, I could barely believe the stats! A few updates to the app later, and I am still loving it! I simply cannot wait to see what happens to the platform with the recent acquisition by HP and 2.0 of the OS on the horizon!
If you have not seen or played with WebOS, please give a Palm Pre Plus a try. You won’t be sorry!