Next week brings the Game Developer’s Conference and Palm is expected to chat about their PDK (Plug-in Developer Kit). In an interesting twist, word comes from John Paczkowski (via Dieter Bohn) that Palm’s PDK will allow easy porting of iPhone apps to Palm’s webOS.
Perhaps more importantly, the PDK will allow devs to rewrite mobile apps that they’ve built for other platforms to run on webOS with minimal modifications. iPhone apps can be ported over in a matter of days, sources close to the company tell me, and they don’t really suffer any degradation in performance.
When we spoke with Palm reps at CES 2010, they indicated to us that the PDK was mainly a tool used for developing games. So we’re not sure what to expect next week and if this will actually impact apps for webOS. Palm’s mantra has been quality and not necessarily quantity. Trailing in the Apps Numbers race, that’s a convenient argument. The PDK developed games are certainly on par with other platforms, so perhaps this news will bring ports of better apps for the platform. We’re all for the quality over quantity, but outside of PDK developed games, the current crop of webOS apps does not best apps available on the iPhone. If the PDK can be used to port actual apps over to webOS, this would be great news for the webOS community and for developers. If it only takes days, we’re hoping Atebits will jump in and give us Tweetie 2 for webOS.