Tuesday, February 17, 2009

developing for the Palm Pre

I am still searching for my dream smartphone which has to be feature rich, open source and hackable, touchscreen, syncs my data with software of my choice and being lightweight. I like the IPhone as an independent developer (and you can expect a game from me this year) but its far from being open. The Open Moko Freerunner is the closest match at the moment but sort of unfinished, it lacks some polish and sometimes I just want to use a cellphone to make a call. The Google Android Phone is Linux based like the Moko but closly tied to Googles services, and do we trust them :) ? At the moment the Mobile World Congress taking place in Barcelona and lot of manufacturers present new gadgets, a second Android Google phone is announced and looks promising.
On the CES in January Palm got some attention with their upcomming Pre smartphone. It looks very nice, is Linux based too but programming might be a bit strange. Applications are created with HTML, Javascript and some Ajaxglue when I understood right, hardware features like camera could be interfaced with that approach too. Thats why they dubbed their new operating system WebOs. But the question is if this powerful enough to code robust games and work for instance with OpenGL. And commercial, closed source software vendours prefer to obfuscate their code so competition can't look into it, how will it work on this phone, with scripts instead of compiled binarys?
Everything will be clearer when they release their SDK and today they started with the announcement of a forthcomming book they done together with O'Reilley and the release of the first chapter for free. Unfortuanally this chapter didn't reveal much as I hoped so we have to wait and I continue using my old Samsung D500...

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