With more developers submitting their apps into Palm's app catalog, a big wave of webOS applications for the Palm Pre may be just on the horizon. Over the past week, the direction that Palm wants to take with their App Catalog has become clearer.
First off, they recently posted for a new Lead Administrator for the App Catalog, so it's clear that they want someone to run things smoothly once the apps start to roll in, MyPre reports. Responsibilities include: Managing the app submission review process, quality audits, communication with developers to resolve issues and questions and to discuss process and policy, create training programs for App Store Review, QA and Developer Relations teams. It's good to see Palm moving forward, much as they did for gaming when they hired a Graphics Frameworks Engineer.
Secondly, besides previously stressing the low priority of fart apps and increasing focus on webOS games, Palm Developer Community Manager Chuq Von Rospach made a statement at a developer conference last week that he wants to keep cheap apps from flooding the marketplace:
“...we’re also trying to build some things into the catalog … and different ways to get your app into the catalog and get it noticed. … how can we help people with good apps get that kind of notice and marketing … [we want to make sure that] the really good apps get that notice, not the cheap apps, and fighting that whole race to the bottom is one of those things that we want to see if we can do a little differently.”
So it looks like the "race to the bottom" won't be the big draw of Palm's App Catalog, unlike Apple's App Store (right). Historically, Palm OS applications generally went for $10 or more a license, while "lite" and "free" crippleware versions were generally seen as unnecessary. So it makes sense that Palm would push for quality over quantity on the Pre.
What do you think, will Palm's quality-driven market be enough to survive in an increasingly mass-driven market, where users often use a 99 cent app once or twice before forever filing it away? Also, can there be a good compromise between app quality and price that will attract the best developers while keeping consumers happy?