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2 posts categorized "Application Ideas"

March 22, 2009

WorldMate on the Palm Pre?

Following this month's newsletter, we've been asked by several users whether we'll support the Palm Pre in the future. It seems like this device is getting some market interest, and one of the first things people ask themselves is - will it support the apps I need to make it a real productivity tool?

And the answer?

The short answer is - Not now. Maybe later. The Palm Pre and the Web OS are still not market-proven. We are a small company with limited resources. We have to juggle our resources between BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian and, as announced lately - iPhone. We can only afford to develop software on platforms where there will be a return-on-investment. The Palm Pre is a risk - no market yet and only Sprint as a carrier partner (and Sprint has other problems to contend with, frankly). Best-case scenario - there will be a vibrant Palm Pre applications market a year from now. Likely case - ?

Now Palm is a great friend of ours. We were born as a Palm Pilot ISV and had a good partnership for several years. Even today we're bundled with the Treo Pro in some markets. So we told them of our concerns and asked them if they wanted to provide some funding towards mitigating the risk. They said "no", which is OK. I can't judge their decision - perhaps they're seeding the market in other places, perhaps they aren't. From our perspective - at this time we'd be sacrificing significant advances on a market leading platform (BlackBerry, iPhone etc.) for a yet un-proven one. Not a good deal at this stage.

Hopefully for our friends at Palm, the Pre will be a great hit, reviving their market position and taking this company back where it belongs. It certainly looks like it could be a cool device. Not that we appreciate the mobile OS fragmentation...

Let's see how this evolves...

- Nadav

February 22, 2009

Google Maps and WorldMate Live

Last week, we posted a quick tutorial on using WorldMate Live's free mapping facilities. We got dozens of responses from people who want this to integrate with the Google Maps mobile application that they are using (http://www.google.com/mobile/default/maps.html). Lots of people are using this application, either because it's better than what came with their devices, or because the built-in app (e.g. BlackBerry Maps) does not have content for where they live - e.g. Australia.

It is our goal at WorldMate to support all popular mapping apps and in fact we spent a lot of time trying to get an API for Google Maps that will allow us to integrate with it. Alas, it seems like the good people at Google are just not interested in this extra traffic we can provide them. There is no Google Maps for mobile API as yet for BlackBerry, Windows Mobile or Symbian. And given the fact many developers have been asking for this for years, it's pretty clear that is a policy with Google. Whether this stems from content licensing issues (a frequent issue with mapping licenses) or just competitive policy we don't know, although we assume the latter.

What can users do?  One thing you can try is petition Google. They have a Help Forum where you can post a question. Perhaps if enough people did it, they will enable this.

Additional suggestions? We'd love to hear from you. Post your comment below.