Acceleroto, makers of the iPhone apps Air Hockey [$0.99 - iTunes link] and Air Hockey Free [Free - iTunes link] have written an interesting post on the differences between developing their app for the iPhone App Store vs. the Palm Pre App Catalog. Some take away:

  • They charge more for the webOS version due to lower volume expectations
  • iPhone and Palm Pre are "remarkably similar" hardware-wise
  • They already knew Objective-C, but Javascript wasn't difficult to pick up
  • iPhone is native, webOS is interpreted, so there's a difference in execution speed (more important for game developers)
  • Getting code onto the Pre is faster. Debugging is much more difficult than iPhone.
  • Had to "skinny up" iPhone code to get 30-fps for webOS.
  • Multitasking and garbage collection impacts performance
  • Since webOS apps are "web pages", touch events are handled as mouse-clicks and aren't as smooth
  • No sound yet, because the requisite timing isn't possible.

So, as we've heard before, development for non-intensive apps is likely quicker and easier for the Palm Pre, but more intensive apps, like games, are still a challenge. Doubtless Apple will continue to work on making casual apps easier to deploy, and Palm on making deeper apps run better.

The full post also includes the backstory of how and why Air Hockey was ported to webOS, and shown off as part of the Palm Pixi introduction. Give it a read, and then let us know what you think.

[Acceleroto via]

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