August 15, 2012 was the last day the webOS App Catalog successfully received new or updated apps. That's nearly two weeks ago at the point that we published this post. The newest apps were Mobile1UP's Caveman apps, on both the TouchPad and webOS smartphones, themselves having received updates of an unspecified nature. After the app push of August 15th, the App Catalog went silent, with no new apps appearing for a few days, and then a week. The App Catalog going quiet isn't anything new, it's happened before, but with the current state of webOS we can't help but get a little twitchy any time things slow down on the App Catalog.
Then a few days ago a massive app dump appeared, throwing thirty new and updated apps into the App Catalog. Excited, we tapped on one and after a tantalizing glimpse at the app page loading we were instead presented with a warning that "This is not a valid HP webOS application." We stammered back, "But, but it is. I have it. I installed it from this very App Catalog. I don't understand…" Assuming it was a temporary glitch, we moved on and hoped that things would get better. At least apps that have only had metadata updates, like the price changes for 10tons' app sale, seem unaffected. That was four days ago.
Those thirty apps still display a warning of not being a valid app, despite the fact that many of them are heavy-hitters in the App Catalog, like MyQ for Netflix and Splashtop Remote Desktop. There are even some new apps we'd like to check out, such as Astraware Word Games and 2012 Football Score Predictions, but we can't. We can't even view their online App Catalog listings, as all the apps updated in the failed batch are displaying as broken online too.
Yes, webOS is going through a transition right now. With the move to open source and the spinning off of the webOS GBU as kind-of-independent Gram, there's a lot going on. But for Gram to supposedly be focusing on the cloud and user experience yet having the App Catalog fail so miserably here isn't filling us with warm feelings. Come on, HP, let's get this together.
Update: Literally as we published this post, HP's @webOSdev Twitter account woke up to reply to a selected backlog of complaints on this very issue, stating that "We are aware of the issue and are working on a resolution. I will update everyone when the issue is resolved." Which hopefully won't be too much longer now that we've made a big (and hopefully unneccessary) fuss about it.
Update 2 [8am, Thursday]: Everything seems to be back up and running now. Let's hope it's a good long while before we have to do this again. Actually, how about never?
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