Being the new kid on the block is always tough, especially when the guys who have been around always seem to be a few steps ahead of you. Palm certainly knows how that feels: after launching the hardware equivalent of a Hail Mary pass in a market that’s already saturated with smartphones, the pressure has been on them since day one to keep up with the competition. Say what you will about the phone itself, ever since the iPhone strode into the picture, apps where platforms are made and broken.
As it stands, webOS hasn’t had a truly killer app yet, and that problem is at least partially due to the lack of visibility: you can’t view apps unless you own a Pre, and even if that killer app were to come along, not many outside of the Sunnyvale braintrust would know. That is, until now.
Palm, taking a page out of Apple’s and RIM’s book, have finally decided to post the entirety of their App Catalog online for you, me, and Uncle Cletus to see. There’s no doubt that it’s pretty bland right now — it’s a far cry from iTunes and App World’s more fleshed-out approach — but it’s a necessary next step for Palm. Maybe now that webOS apps have a chance of being recognized outside of a select audience, we’ll see an application renaissance that drives some real market share points for Palm.