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A Few Palm Pre Application Ideas
As I mentioned on Twitter, I'm one of the lucky developers that are in the Palm webOS developer program. My status as an ex-Palm-employee probably helped my application stand out a little. We recently had our developer agreement amended to allow discussion of the development experience in public forums, so here's my first post on the topic.

First, from watching the homebrew world, I fully expect that lots of obvious niches will be filled very quickly once the app catalog for the Pre opens up. There will be scientific calculators, tip calculators, and shopping list apps. Some one will have a "Drug Wars/Mob Wars" style game, and various dice and puzzle games will quickly appear. The catalog will look a lot like the early Palm OS days.

It will take a little longer for more serious programs to appear, both because of the learning curve of webOS and because developers will want to realize a return on their investments. That means having a larger user pool.

OK, so what are my ideas right now? I've got a few:
  1. "Required Reading", a client for a variety of web services that keep track of bookmarks like Read It Later, Delicious, Mozilla Weave, and Newsgator Clippings. This app would let you view your lists, open the bookmarks in the web browser, and have those links marked as read or visited.
  2. "Memosa", an application that addresses the problem that you can't easily migrate your Palm OS memos. I envision a web service that lets you upload a Palm OS memo database file and returns a RSS feed of the memo entries. Make this use HTTPS and require a password and you can do one-time conversions. The Pre app could then download and store the memos locally.
  3. "Couch to 5K Tracker". I've got an app on my iPod Touch that handles audio cues for the timing of the various C25K runs, but it's biggest limitation is that you've got to start your playlist before you start the app, and if you want to change music, you've got to pause and resume your run. On the Palm Pre, you can just use the multitasking and not have to worry about the timer getting messed up.
  4. "Electronics RefCard". This is a simple app to help you figure out the value of resistors and other components by their color markings. I also imagine having some way to store IC pin outs here for quick reference, and maybe having calculators for Ohm's Law and parallel/series circuits.
  5. "Photo Puzzle". The standard 4x4 block of sliding tiles with one missing. You get to rearrange them in the right order. The hook: unscramble your own photos instead of a bunch of numbers.
  6. "IP Toolkit". Front-end for a web service that lets you ping hosts and do DNS and WHOIS lookups.
Some of these are fairly easy to code, and others will take a bit more work.  I'm currently working on the C25K tracker as my first application; it has an immediate appeal to me because I'm going through that training program right now, and there's some interesting challenges with keeping the device awake to do accurate timing and mixing my alert sounds with the other audio streams.  However, I've also got some code in place for the Electronics application.  I could do a really poor job on that one quickly, but I'd like for it to actually have a nice user interface.

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I think EverNote would do what you want for Memosa, but the current webOS client is an early beta (at least, I _hope_ it's an early beta!), and there's not a dedicated Palm OS Memo migration tool -you'd have to cut and paste from Palm Desktop or Mark/Space Notebook.

Evernote is nice, but it's really a heavyweight solution. I was mainly thinking about a quick way to import the old memos, but without the two-way network sync.

Are you still working on the c25k app?

I haven't gotten further with it since late July... been too busy with other projects. If you want to develop the idea, feel free!

Is there a C25K app for the palm pre yet? I found this post by googling for it.

No, I've not seen one yet. There are some general running programs that will track you using GPS, but I've not seen one that lets you enter specific timings for a run to match the C25K program.

Palm Pre Memo Issues


I just bought a Palm Pre Plus, and I am still deciding whether or not I am going to keep it. I previously had a Palm Treo, and I used the HotSync between my device and PC daily.

One of my main issues with it is that I have about a hundred memos stored on the Palm Desktop. First, it appears as if these memos are not able to be sorted according to Category (as I previously did on my Treo). Secondly, it appears as if there is no 2-way sync between my Pre and anywhere else (PC, website, etc).

I am concerned because I really need to be able to categorize these memos in order for them to be useful. I am also very concerned that if I were to lose my Pre, I would have NO way of recovering these memos (which I use daily for my job).

I have combed the internet for solutions to this. I've come across your web page indicating your ideas on Memosa, and I was wondering if this has been developed yet. If not, can you help by offering another option that might help me in this situation?

I tried a Gmail account, but that only syncs my contacts and calendar (haven't been able to get it to sync my tasks or memos)--so this isn't going to suffice.

I am a doctor, I use my PDA all day, everyday. Unfortunately, I am a bit computer illiterate, and I can't seem to figure this out. Please help!


Re: Palm Pre Memo Issues

Sorry, I've not developed any of these applications yet.

There are two solutions I can think of:

1) Buy the "Classic" application and use the old Palm OS Memos application instead of the one in webOS.

2) Get PocketMirror (http://www.chapura.com/pm_standard_pre.php) and use it's notes program to manage your memos.

Couch to 5 K

I was curious if you had developed the Couch to 5 K. I really want the program to use! If you have, where can I get it. If you haven't yet, I am VERY interested in it! - Kelly

No, never got to it... Now that I'm at Palm, it's unlikely I'll get to develop these myself, as I'm too busy supporting other developers.

couch to 5k

Ah, that makes sense. Well, if you talk to any of them, tell them we want it! I have a ton of friends that are dying to use it. :)

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