webOS Apps Update: Where are All the Popular Apps?

Update 11/2/2010: Surprisingly, or perhaps not, there isn’t a single app that’s made the leap from not-yet-available to available. There are two reasons for that, of course. First, some of the required APIs, such as for the microphone and camera, are still AWOL and awaiting the release of webOS 2.0 (presumably, and even this hasn’t yet been confirmed). So, apps like Shazam and Skype are impossible, along with RedLaser and other barcode scanning apps. Second, many developers, large and small, are still waiting for HP-Palm to release new devices and for market acceptance of the platform to grow. Examples of these include Kindle and Nook clients, for which there should be no meaningful limitation in the webOS SDK.

What’s even more disappointing, though, is that the list of available apps hasn’t added any significant new members as far as I can tell. I might be missing something significant, and if I am please let me know. But I just can’t think of a single new, significant app that’s been added to the App Catalog in some time. This will change, I know, once new devices are released such as the webOS tablet and the true next generation smartphone. But in the meantime, it’s a bummer.

One last thought: I’d hoped that HP might leverage some of its relationships to get things like B&N Nook and Audible.com clients out the door, but so far that hasn’t happened. Hopefully they’re still working behind the scenes on getting it done.

Update 6/7/2010: Not many updates, unfortunately. Docs to Go is unlikely to make it to webOS anytime soon, and the APIs necessary for apps like Shazam and barcode scanners haven’t yet been released. The only additions from the original list of unavailable apps are Dropboxify, a Dropbox app, and a Remember the Milk app. Nevertheless, hope remains for more PDK apps as Palm makes it easier for developers to distribute them, and there’s talk of hybrid SDK/PDK apps (which should help get more complex apps like Docs to Go onto webOS) in the upcoming 1.4.5 update. Without an ETA for 1.4.5, however, any speculation about when these capabilities might be released would be premature.

Update 5/4/2010: While many outstanding apps have been added to webOS, a number of mainstream apps remain unavailable. Some are still impossible due to gaps in the SDK (e.g., audio recording) and missing hardware capabilities (e.g., autofocus camera, compass). With the recent HP acquisition, things should change, but in the meantime we’re still waiting for some of the most popular apps available on other platforms.

Here’s a quick update on the most popular apps from major vendors that have been released for webOS, and some of those that remain unreleased. Those that aren’t yet on webOS are lacking either due to SDK limitations (e.g., no access to microphone) or (most likely) a lack of units sold/market share.

Note that I’ve purposefully left games off of the list; including them would make the list unmanageable. I’ve also not included major applications types, such as Twitter clients, which are more specific to different mobile platforms.

Available apps include:

  1. Pandora
  2. Slacker Radio
  3. Grooveshark (11/2/2010: Recently updated)
  4. Fandango
  5. Where
  6. Yelp
  7. OpenTable
  8. Zagat to Go
  9. Evernote (11/2/2010: Recently updated after a long while without an update)
  10. New York Times
  11. LA Times
  12. AP Mobile
  13. Newsweek Mobile
  14. Oprah Mobile
  15. Forbes.com
  16. The Weather Channel
  17. Weatherbug
  18. Facebook (11/2/2010: Has received numerous updates, and is an outstanding app)
  19. Foursquare (11/2/2010: Just updated to V2.0, and like the Facebook apps is outstanding)
  20. LinkedIn
  21. Epocrates
  22. Kobobooks
  23. Engadget
  24. Gowalla (new)
  25. ZumoDrive
  26. Epicurious (beta)
  27. 3D Games – With the launch of the PDK beta, a number of outstanding 3D games have been added to the catalog; webOS is arguably the 2nd best smartphone gaming platform behind the iPhone
  28. Dropboxify (unofficial third party)
  29. Remember the Milk (unofficial third party)

Apps not yet available include:

  1. Shazam
  2. Stanza
  3. Kindle
  4. B&N eReader
  5. Audible
  6. Skype
  7. Dragon Dictation
  8. Epicurious
  9. Photoshop.com Mobile
  10. Documents to Go (latest news as of 5/4/2010 is that Docs to Go is "on hold")
  11. Mint.com
  12. Google Earth
  13. RedLaser
  14. CNN Mobile
  15. NBA Mobile
  16. MLB At Bat

While there are a number of nice apps available for webOS, there are quite a few very popular and useful apps that aren’t there yet. Some are impossible, such as the RedLaser barcode app that requires a camera with macro zoom capabilities. It seems like Palm will need to sell quite a few more units, and gain considerably in market and mind share, before many of these apps will make it into the App Catalog. Of course, I’d love to be proven wrong.

So, what have I missed?

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