One of the biggest complaints about the Palm webOS platform is the relatively small amount of apps compared to the Apple iPhone and Google Android platforms. But Palm is now flush with cash thanks to the Hewlett-Packard purchase and it is now offering $1 million to attract cool apps.
The Palm Hot Apps program will dole out $1 million to multiple developers who use the Plug-In Development Kit to create apps. The Palm webOS platform was built around web standards to make it easier to create apps but the PDK offers content creators the ability to do things like include 3D graphics (check out our videos of Palm 3D games).
The contest is only available to developers who have signed up for the PDK program and there will be separate awards for free and paid apps. One webOS app maker will get $100,000, four will receive $50,000, 15 will get $10,000 and 50 app makers will get $1,000 worth of HP credit or a laptop.
The move may help spur interest interest in the HP webOS lineup, which should be filled with new tablets and potentially a smartphone with a high-resolution display. HP has a solid history of producing decent hardware, so it will be fun to see what it can do with the Palm brand and the webOS software.
The app space is going to be very important to webOS, so I’m very happy that HP is throwing out some cash to spur developer interest. In fact, I wish it would throw more money into this contest to attract higher talent.
If your platform already has a ton of users like the Apple iPhone or Android, it’s a bit easier to get content makers to jump on board. Offering prizes and cash directly to developers is another way to grow your app base and we’re already seeing Microsoft doing this in advance of its Windows Phone 7 platform.