While the iPhone certainly gets a lot of attention when it comes to apps, along with a bit of notice for apps for the BlackBerry and Android operating systems, I didn’t want to leave out the Palm Pre. And while the Pre still is trailing the other handsets out there, and only has a few dozen apps compared to the thousands for the iPhone, it does have a few that make the short list of must-have apps. And while it will likely never have as a wide a selection as its rivals, last month Palm decided to turn things around.
Palm began accepting paid app submissions, which allows developers to submit their wares for consideration in the Palm App Catalog as part of an e-commerce beta program. According to a statement from the company, developers can submit both free and paid applications for evaluation by Palm. The details include:
- You can charge a one-time fee for the download of your application.
- Initially, the user base for e-commerce will be limited to the United States.
- Developers will receive 70 percent of revenues generated through application sales (less applicable sales taxes).
- webOS users will pay for their application purchases using credit cards and will download apps directly to their webOS device.
And since there are a handful of worthy apps, this week I decided to take a minute to look at the best of these for this handset. Most are available for download from the Palm Pre Applications Store.
Express Stocks – Whether you’re a market maven or just a casual investor, you can track the stock market and see how your portfolio is performing with this app. It can provide a quick glance of your stocks, along with recent news and even trends so you can try to determine how this can affect the value of your stocks. And you can of course see how the various markets are doing.
Mobile by City Search – It goes without saying that the Pre can help get you where you’re going, and this app will aid your searches for restaurants and other nearby locations while you’re out and about. The interface is slick and easy to navigate while the business profile pages offer hours and clickable phone number. This app also offers instant GPS detection and keyboard search, and users can even write and submit business reviews by text, e-mail or Twitter.
LinkedIn – The all-in-one virtual Rolodex, address book and contact list is Pre worthy, where users can send and respond to messages and invites, even if they’re using another handset or on a PC.
FlightView – Before you head to the airport you can check your flight status from the Pre. Users can enter the flight number or check via the date and airline, and even get up to date information on the flight’s current position. Users can enter the flight into the Pre’s calendar to get alerts should the flight’s schedule or worse be cancelled!
Yelp 1.0 – While not as feature rich as other versions of Yelp (the company says this will be updated), this app offers dozens of city locations – and on the Palm WebOS works very well. It can guide you to the best places to eat through user reviews and includes location-aware maps, as well a Web site links and click-to-call options. The Pre version even lets users share restaurant listings with contacts in their address book. And while it would be nice to be able to add your own reviews from the Pre, Yelp says this is coming in a later version. For now, it is nice to see some developers doing more for the Palm Pre.