Are Homebrew Apps and webOS Patches Legitimate?

So far, I’d avoided talking about the customization that’s possible via the vibrant homebrew and patching community, simply because this site’s focus has been on using webOS as it’s delivered from the factory. I’ve not wanted to delve into opportunities to overcome some of the limitations of webOS via these tools because many people don’t have the skill or inclination to “hack” their devices.

However, perhaps that’s a bit shortsighted. While it’s true that one can’t really compare webOS to the competition by virtue of these unauthorized (and, in some cases, warranty-busting) modifications, it does remain true that Palm is very supportive of this particular subset of the developer community, and it’s to their credit that they’ve created such an open platform. In fact, compared to Apple, Palm has done a remarkable job of creating not only a financially viable platform (as evidenced more by HP’s purchase than by market success so far) but an open one as well.

In short, homebrew and patching are two very legitimate methods for enhancing webOS beyond what Palm officially supports. There are risks, such as introducing bugs and even damaging the hardware (e.g., via overclocking), but for the person who wants to take these risks, Palm has made doing so not only possible but relatively easy. Contrast that with Apple, who has decided that they simply know best when it comes even to the apps that a user can install on an Apple device. Palm trusts their customers to make their own decisions, while Apple doesn’t—and that’s the kind of company that I would rather support.

If you want to know more about how to customize your webOS device, then PreCentral is the best place to go. Visit the patches and homebrew forums to learn more.

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