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Palm's new App Catalogue will make it easier to find new and popular apps on webOS phones this fall.  (Source: Pre Central.net)
New APIs, faster apps, and quicker ports are all on the agenda

Palm may be struggling, losing market share, and currently the topic of acquisition talks, but it's not giving up without a fight.  It's moved to aggressively price its handsets (the Palm Pre Plus is $0.01 on Amazon with new two year contract, while you can pick up two from Verizon for $49.99).  And now its charged ahead with an update to webOS that should give developers reason to continue to consider the platform.

The new update will air this fall and features loads of goodies including microphone and camera apps.  This should allow for clones of iPhone barcode apps like Red Laser.  A new media indexer will make it easier to make video or music apps.  New crypto/security APIs should allow for (safe) networked competitive or cooperative gaming on webOS devices, as well as printer discovery.

Finally, there's a new Bluetooth serial port profile, which may allow for third-party peripherals, like a portable Bluetooth keyboard.

Palm is switching its background services from Java to Javascript, which Palm says will give apps more raw number-crunching power.  Also new is a sync-able cloud database called "db8" that will give developers the ability to have their apps store and access data in the cloud.

In terms of graphics, the much talked about webGL still has not received official commitment, yet.  However, HTML5 should bring some nice graphical improvements, including hardware CSS acceleration, which will make in-app animations smoother.

Finally, for developers there's a new web-technology called "Mojo-Core" that will add webOS specific internet info to web apps, allowing developers to quickly and effectively make ports to Palm devices, using their existing web apps.

While customers will likely feel the impact of these improvements slightly, via their favorite apps, the biggest improvement on their end will be a revised App Catalogue.  Palm is going to give its version of the App Store a makeover this fall, with new search modes, such as lists of "Hot", "Paid", "Free", and "New" apps.





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