Now that Palm is part of HP, and the $50 app add fee has been waived indefinitely, we can expect to see many more webOS apps available in the near future. One can only hope that users will be inundated with unique and feature-rich add-ons that show the true power of the Palm Pre and Pixi, as well as future devices.
There’s pros and cons to Palm dropping the once- required $50 fee per app (which was applied to both pay-for and free apps). The upside is webOS can now be more competitive when it comes to the sheer number of apps available in the catalog. Lingering under 3,000 for so long has definitely turned off many smartphone shoppers. The downside? Lots of repeats, as well as potentially shoddy interfaces.
Without further adieu, here’s 10 apps I’d like to see nixed from newcomer developers’ lists, unless they’re truly reworked.
- Tip Calculators. Okay, it’s among one of the first apps many new developers create because it’s simple in both concept and structure. Practice apps, however, are just that. I’ve yet to see any of these simplified versions perform anything I cannot already do on the platform via the standard calculator that’s already included (or, even better, in my own head). Besides, we shouldn’t be concerned about exactness when it comes to leaving a tip – gage your service and tip accordingly.
- Farting Sound Apps. Some find these funny, and even then, for a limited time. Fact is, unless you’ve got more than a hundred “real” samples you took with the right equipment, they’re just stupid. It amazes me that people will pay for these kinds of apps, even when the ratings on them are consistently low. There are millions of other real-life sounds out there. Get creative and compile a robust sound bank of your own.
- Password Storing Apps that Only Work In the Cloud. I may face some backlash on this one, but until someone devises a vault that I can sync to my desktop – with cable – save your sales pitches. I don’t care how “secure” people say it is, the cloud isn’t where I want to be storing the one key that unlocks my entire life. SplashID, are you listening?
- Stopwatches. Contrary to popular belief, creating an accurate stopwatch app relies on more than just the internal clock. If you’re going to create another “clocking” app, do it right.
- Lists Apps that just create… lists. Seriously, I could create a list on the early versions of PalmOS. Why are so many developers creating the most simple apps that don’t take advantage of the power of webOS? We can do so much better. Think Notes and Shopping List…
- Games with Clunky, Choppy Movement & Graphics. Unless you’re replicating something I played on the Atari or Amiga, there’s only one reason to release a game that looks bad – laziness. webOS supports stellar imagery and reaction times. Think Cronk, Monopoly, even Mazer.
- Twitter Clients that simply replicate… other Twitter clients. I’ve used several Twitter apps and settled on TweetMe. If you want me to try another one, then it needs to do something a plethora of other apps don’t. Don’t be a copycat. Get creative. Hint: I’d love to “skin” my app.
- Unitasking Timers. As Alton Brown says, “Down with the unitasker!” That is, I don’t want to install 20 different apps just so I can time tea steeping, hot dog cooking and hair coloring.
- Flashlights. I have one, it works. ‘Nuff said.
- Feature-LESS Newsreaders. As we get older, our eyes get out of whack. If I have to wear cheater reader glasses to read the screen because there’s no way to adjust font size, I’m irked. I also want to favorite articles and use a “real” RSS search tool.
For the naysayers, please note that it’s not my goal to stop any of these kinds of apps from being created and distributed. My point is this- a hundred apps which do exactly the same thing does nothing but promote confusion and frustration. I’m all for any of these app types being done – over and over – so long as each is feature rich and unique in it’s flow and design. Simply put, now is the time for app developers to take advantage of everything webOS can do and truly build on it. Otherwise, we’ll grow to 20,000 apps in no time, but without much new to offer.