Palm Hopes Building Apps on the Web Will Draw Developers

Palm desperately needs better apps. And it’s hoping its new Web-based development environment will lure more creative code monkeys, according to PCWorld. But is the environment really the problem? Or is Palm offering too little too late?

Dubbed “Ares,” the new site packs features such as a drag-and-drop interface (like Apple’s IDE), created to make designing and testing Javascript apps easier. It’s aimed at pro coders, though, and Web developers who want to transition to coding for Palm devices.

After a developer is done testing and prototyping using Ares, they’ll be able to package the app and download it to a phone for testing, or submit it for entry into Palm’s app store.

Both Palm and Google Android rely on Javascript for their applications–Javascript is one of the most commonly-known programming languages. But while the Android Market boasts over 12,000 apps to date, Palm’s app catalog hovers around only a few hundred programs, many of them incredibly lame.

Some app developers have been frustrated by Palm’s disorganized app approval process and have defected to off-brand Palm app stores like PreCentral that allow users to download “homebrew” apps. Others, such as open source guru Jamie Zawinkski have unceremonious dumped their Palms.  

The problem Palm isn’t the IDE. It’s the bigger Palm environment. And Apple’s easy-to-use tools and developer language, Objective-C, and it’s lock lock onapp store profit isn’t helping, either. CD