Palm's webOS developer program will officially open in December, at least in the US. Good move - we may not be seeing a Pre till 16 October here in the UK, but the Palm App Catalog, which went live today in beta, could certainly use a few more apps.
Palm will be charging a $99 annual fee for developers working on the recently upgraded webOS, who will receive a 70/30 split of all gross revenue from apps sold. For apps to be distributed via the App Catalog, which is built into every Palm webOS device such as the Pre and the recently announced Pixi, developers will have to pay an additional cost of $50 per app. But just to heat up competition, Palm will also have a special promo area where devs can get prominent placement via auction.
No money? Apps can be distributed on the web via an assigned unique URL – developers can then freely promote apps online, and customers will be able to download and install directly from the cloud to the phone.
And any developer who makes their app open source and free can forego that $99 annual fee, which is a nice touch. Meanwhile, public feeds of app URLs and data like reviews, ratings and stats will be made available to the community to help applications find their market. So expect directories and rankings of Palm apps to pop up.
Date TBC for the Europe launch of the webOS developer program.