The Palm Pre’s new WebOS has proven to be the touch-based mobile OS most capable of taking on the iPhone OS. The WebOS’s slick, finger-friendly interface makes for a truly rewarding experience to be sure. And, just like the iPhone, the Palm Pre can run unofficial third-party applications with ease. In fact, the regular Joe Smartphoneuser can install “homebrew” apps on the Palm Pre far more easily than on the iPhone.
WebOS coding gurus xorg, spotter, and simplyflipflops have proven, with their “SimplyFlipFlops” WebOS application, that homebrew apps can be easily installed on a non-hacked (non-jailbroken) Palm Pre. As it stands, the SimplyFlipFlops app is nothing more than a proof-of-concept that shows how simple it is to run unofficial apps on WebOS – all it does is install an icon onto the homescreen. The developers hope the app will help jump-start the WebOS development community:
Our intent is to help the webOS development world release applications. We do not support or encourage using this information for malware. We completely oppose misuse. To protect yourself, do not open links from your Pre email application that has an .ipk at the end unless you intend to load that application and you trust the source of that application. This applies to other email systems on other platforms as well. The ability for Pre to do this is not unique.
The birth of the WebOS homebrew revolution could be just the kind of boost the App Catalogue needs to go head-to-head with the iPhone’s tens of thousands (albeit, mostly crap) iPhone OS applications.
You can install the SimplyFlipFlops app by emailing this .ipk to yourself (courtesy PreCentral) and opening the .ipk through the Palm Pre email app.