Pandora developer on building software for the Palm Pre’s WebOS

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Palm Info Center has a transcript of an interview with Pandora’s CTO about developing for Palm’s new WebOS, the Linux-based operating system that will be powering the Pre — and presumably all future Palm handsets.

The takeaway? While the presentation does appear to be primarily HTML and CSS, making development of intense graphical applications pretty much impossible, for anything that isn’t trying to use 3D or fancy 2D animations, WebOS should work just fine. (To fully compete with the iPhone, though, Palm will need to provide lower-level access so developers can write applications in C, etc.)

PIC: Right, right, obviously still a few months until release… so what’s Pandora’s take on their approach? I mean, they’re going for this whole “synergy” thing where the OS integrates with the Internet quite heavily. Some people have been saying “Oh, you know, it’s just web apps”, that kind of thing, but other people seem to think that this is going to be some kind of new paradigm in mobile design. So what’s your take on it – what’s your thoughts on that?

TC: Well, I think one of the important little nuances here to understand is that you might think from the name “webOS” and from the technologies used – HTML and CSS and Javascript – you might think that this is the whole thing, just kind of a fancy web browser, and that you’re – y’know, any interaction you take is interacting with web content. That’s really not how it works at all. What you really have, is that you have an environment where a developer can write a traditional application – so, an application that gets installed onto the phone with all its code and all of its user interface elements and that is actually local to the phone. There’s also a database and file storage that allows you to take data from the internet connection and store it locally – so when you’re browsing your contacts, for example, you’re interacting with an application that’s local to the phone, with interface elements that are local to the phone and with contacts that are actually sitting on the phone.

Interview with Pandora About Developing for WebOS [PalmInfoCenter.com]

PreviouslySeven features that make the Palm Pre better than the iPhone
CES Video: Palm Pre Hands-On with Joel and Brownlee, post-review huddle with Ars Technica
Rumor: Palm to release Pre for as low as $149 with contract, $399 without

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One Response to Pandora developer on building software for the Palm Pre’s WebOS

  1. Anonymous says:

    >To fully compete with the iPhone, though…

    I don’t think they need to do that. The main limitation will be games. I can see how the kids like them but, personally, I find games on the iPhone boring quickly. At the same time I find the lack of multitasking pathetic and huge drawback to whatever apps the iPhone can install. I’d give up super monkey ball for the ability to listen to pandora while continuing to browse the web or send emails.

    Plus the reason we don’t have flash on the iPhone is Apple. Palm doesn’t have room to be so picky so I bet there will be at least some repetitive touch gaming action.

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