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iPhone games port to webOS in a "matter of days"

updated 03:30 pm EST, Fri March 5, 2010

Palm PDK to make iPhone game conversion easy

Palm's Plugin Development Kit (PDK) will make it extremely simple to convert iPhone games to webOS, a source said today. The kit's approach, which runs native code within the platform's web-based framework, is said by AllThingsD to be so direct that an iPhone game can be converted in a "matter of days." Few changes are necessary, and the performance is purportedly as fast as on its native Apple counterpart.

While not directly confirmed by Palm, Electronista can attest that ports of iPhone games like Need for Speed run smoothly on the Pre Plus. Also, major developers have already posted nearly three dozen ports of games from webOS and have described the experience in positive terms. Gameloft Publising VP for the Americas Baudouin Corman has described the experience as "smooth and friendly" and notes that its own porting habits are reflective of its longer-term plans.

"It's safe to say that we plan to continue this momentum for the remainder of the year," he said. "We've seen strong interest from Pre consumers for the kind of games we are releasing."

An abundance of games may be imperative for Palm, as it has accelerated the number of apps it has made available in the App Catalog but still pales in comparison to iPhone or Android. The company's app library has jumped from 1,000 to over 1,500 apps since the start of the year but is just a hundredth the size of the App Store and only somewhat over a tenth the size of Android Market.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Wingsy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    That's OK Devs, port all you want. But you're still missing something, like a world class app store. In all fairness it'll still probably be worth the effort, if you have something worthwhile to port.

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969



    For the 100 users of palm pre.

  1. FastAMX79

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'm an Apple user since Apple //e and I have a Pre because I don't want to give my money to a crappy network (ATT) and I have a few games from EA and Gameloft and I think this is great for the webOS.

    I can multitask, I can patch my phone any way I like, I can install homebrew apps, and I couldn't be happier.. and the best part is I'm not told what I can or can't do with my phone. I bought it, I should do what I want with it.

    But the lesson here is people use what is available that works BEST FOR THEM.

    I think the iPhone is very nice, but I do NOT want ATT. I like Sprint I get unlimited mobile to mobile, unlimited txt, mms, data and 900 minutes for about 40 bucks cheaper a month than what ATT can do.

    Now, bury my comment because I know it's coming.

  1. rytc

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This sounds a bit like a code interpreter does it use more battery than a native WebOS app?

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969



    rytc - no, it's a native code development framework, similar to what Android is also adding for gaming. At the end of the day, most iPhone games are developed in plain C/C++ and OpenGL, rather than Obj-C and UIKit. With most smartphones having roughly similar hardware, that should make porting relatively simple, especially if you develop with the various platforms in mind - it won't be long before toolkits like Unity support Palm and Android as options.

    What's interesting to me is the way both Android and WebOS are having to back away from their 'no need for native code' approaches. WebOS has some really nice ideas, but it's telling that (1) it was led by an ex-Apple employee, and (2) Apple had originally tried the web widget approach for some of the basic iPhone apps, before recoding them as native. I think some people have put a good theory before current hardware realities.

    (Although to be fair, in Palm's case, getting the product to launch and doing the SDK later was much more important - as it was for iPhone).

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