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Palm Pre: The Missing Manual by Ed Baig

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Appendix B. The App Catalog

In many respects, the Pre is a groundbreaking device. But it has some serious catching up to do when it comes to the number of programs available for it.

The Pre’s online program emporium, called the App (short for “application”) Catalog, offered all of 30 programs as this book went to press. Compare that to the more than 65,000 applications (and counting) in the archrival Apple’s App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Even if you flunked math, you can see that’s a ginormous difference.

But Apple took more than a year to start selling programs for the iPhone. And Palm says that its App Catalog is still in beta (preview mode) and simply not quite ready for prime time. Even a few weeks after the Pre’s much-ballyhooed debut in June 2009, the App Catalog was occasionally unavailable, bolstering the company’s claim of beta status.

It’s unlikely to stay that way. Custom-built programs are vital to any smartphone’s future, and the Pre is no exception. The custom apps provide everything from social networking aids (like LinkedIn and Twitter) to straight-out news delivery (from sources like The New York Times and the Associated Press).

Palm has a long and successful history with the independent programmers who put these applications together, and you can be sure they’ll be writing lots of Pre programs in the days and years ahead. So, eventually you’ll be hanging out in the App Catalog a lot. In this brief chapter, you’ll learn how to shop the virtual corridors of ...

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