Bad Mobile Web Experience #2

Had about 45 minutes free today and I used them to poke around and look at Java midlets for my Palm Treo 700p. There are numerous sites and tons of these little apps which I’ve already found to be quite useful and I want more of them.

First I hammered on Palm’s site and finally tried a non-700p supported version of the IBM WebSphere Micro Environment which hasn’t been updated since June of 2005, over one year ago. I searched and searched for newer versions…to no avail.

Some of these midlets run…some don’t. There are roughly three steps to open the IBM environment, select the app, click “Launch” and then it runs…sometimes. Why isn’t this environment refreshed? Or is it for other platforms?

So this begs the question: why wouldn’t Palm facilitate both a new version of IBM’s environment *and* make it easier to find these pretty wonderful midlets? It seems to me that it would help drive sales since applications make hardware useful — but many of these midlets are free so perhaps I’ve answered my own question as to why commercial vendors like Palm don’t bother even though it would sell hardware and drive adoption.

I’ve also found that Palm’s Software Connection is marginally useful and missing applications. EverythingTreo is better, but many apps I’ve found elsewhere aren’t here either (where is the comprehensive directory?). Again, software sells hardware and it is simply far too difficult to find software for the Treo 700p.