Palm Opens Early Access Program For Pre SDK

Today at the Web 2.0 Expo Keynote, Palm’s Michael Abbott has taken the stage to walk the audience through some of the principles driving Palm’s webOS platform, which will drive its upcoming Pre phone, which CrunchGear first revealed back in January.

Abbott notes that on the webOS Platform, developers can run applications using HTML, JavaScript, and can access data from hardware on devices, including location and the accelerometer. He says that webOS spans the device and the cloud, and that web applications can run natively on the platform even without internet connectivity. “So why is Palm here”?

Abbott says Palm wants to expose the web environment to developers. Today they’re launching, giving developers early access to the SDK. The program will only be available to a limited number of developers to begin with, and Palm has not announced when it will be generally available to developers.

There was some speculation that Palm might announce the release date for the Pre, which it has previously said would be some time in the first half of 2009. Unfortunately, the actual release date and pricing point for the phone remain a mystery.

From the Palm blog:

We are happy to announce our new early access program for developers interested in creating applications for the Palm webOSTM. The early access program is an opportunity for developers to test-drive and provide feedback on the Palm MojoTM SDK prior to its public release.

Admission to the program is by application – we’ll admit a small group of developers to start and gradually increase the size of the program as the tools mature. We’d like to let everyone in, but we want to make sure that we can provide a solid development experience and attentive developer support before we scale up. We are eager to get the SDK into developers’ hands and will expand the program as quickly as we can.

The program will continue until the SDK is officially released to the public, at which point any developer will be free to download the SDK. No, we’re not announcing the date that will happen yet.

If you wish to to apply to the early access program, complete and submit this application form.

If you’re admitted into the program, you’ll be able to download the Mojo SDK, which includes the tools you need to develop and test apps for the webOS platform. You’ll also have access to the early access program portal, where you’ll find documentation, sample code, and community forums where you can share experiences, tips and tricks with fellow early access developers. Because this is early access, all program participants will be required to accept an SDK Agreement which will require you to maintain confidentiality until the end of the early access program.

We are very excited about the expansion of access to the SDK, and can’t wait to see what you are going to build.

For more, see this post on the Palm blog.