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Palm gets its Mojo working

Now all we need is a Pre or two

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Palm has opened access to its WebOS development kit, Mojo, allowing anyone to develop Pre applications - though no one outside the USA has a Pre as yet.

Not that anyone will be able to distribute developed apps as yet: the Palm Application Catalogue won't be open for business for a few months yet. Until then Pre users are stuck with the 30 or so applications developed by Palm partners or those who got early access to the SDK.

WebOS applications are developed using JavaScript with extension APIs to allow the application to do all those things JavaScript isn't allowed to do, including the provision of access to the contacts list and calendar, as well as more specialist functions such as controlling Bluetooth connections and making phone calls. To get access to those APIs developers need to have their applications signed by Palm, which maintains control over who can do what.

Responding to the success Apple has seen with the iTunes store, Palm won't be allowing anyone else to distribute WebOS applications - which at least guarantees simplicity and consistency, even if there is a cost in terms of freedom and flexibility.

The SDK, which is available on production of an email address, is for WebOS-based devices, of which Palm is hoping there'll be many. That assumes the Pre lives up to the hype, which is looking good so far - though there's a desperate need to expand the Application Catalogue which can only be helped with the prompt arrival of Mojo. ®

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