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PreCentral: The webOS Wish List: Global promo codes

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We'll be honest - this one is more for the developers and our own lazy purposes. Right now, webOS App Catalog developers are only able to generate promo codes for their apps on a per-country basis, i.e. a promo code can only be generated for a specific country, and doing so for other countries requires a different promo code. Here's a glimpse into the headache of country-specific promo codes.

When we do our weekly app giveaways here on webOS Nation, we have to get a multi-use USA code from the developer to send out to the winners, knowing that the majority will be on the American App Catalog. But should they be an international user on, say, the German App Catalog? Then that code won't work for them and they need a German promo code. Not a problem, we'll get one from the developer. Now do that for 15-20% of the winners in our giveaways. It can escalate a migraine to a headache real fast keeping track of which winners need a code for which country.

It's even worse if you're a developer who wants to just put a promo code out there but still cover all the international bases - you have to make one for each of the ten countries that support promo codes and hope that people pick them up. Amusingly/frustratingly, even though HP supports app sales to Singapore, they never got around to adding Singapore to the promo code selection list.

The time has come to overhaul the promo code system. The first step is to institute global promo codes - one code to cover every country. We can forgive not supporting promo codes in countries where app sales aren't happening, though that's something that needs to be worked on too. The second step is to eliminate the requirement for having a payment method on file with the App Catalog in order to use a promo code. Best Buy doesn't require that I have cash on me when I use a Best Buy gift card, why should the App Catalog need a credit card to use a promo code?

And step the third: make them shorter. The current 32-digit alpha-numeric promo code system is both ridiculously hard to manually enter and overkill - it allows for 1.9 quattuordecillion (that's 1.9 billion trillion trillion trillion) possibilities. Note only would it be near impossible to guess a promo code, even with a computer doing the inputting, but HP is never ever going to run out of combinations. Our humble suggestion: cut it down to eight alpha-numeric characters. That's still 2.8 trillion possibilities. Go for ten (3.6 quadrillion) or twelve (4.7 quintillion) if you're feeling antsy about hackability.

Have your own thoughts on this webOS Wish List entry? Of course you do - the comments are below. Surely you have your own ideas as to what ought be on the webOS wish list, and so we've created a forum thread just for what is sure to be an awesome discussion.

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