Happy Birthday Preware

Preware Turns 6: A Tribute to Homebrew Developers

If you’ve reloaded your feeds today, you may have noticed a slight change on your webOS app launcher. That’s right, it’s Preware’s birthday today! In celebration, the Preware icon has been changed to look, well, a little more festive. As we celebrate six years of what has certainly been a roller-coaster ride for the webOS family, let’s take a moment to reflect on just how much we owe to the homebrew developer community.

webOS certainly isn’t the only mobile operating system with a group of developers constantly tweaking the vanilla system and making it better. Ambitious iOS users have Cydia and jailbreak to satiate their thirst for tweaking a fairly closed OS, and Android have the likes of CyanogenMod and Paranoid Android if they’re looking to get more out of their hardware. However, webOS is very likely the only mobile operating system that, with the death of the HP App Catalog, is completely powered by the homebrew community.

We’ve seen service after service break down, such as Gmail, Yahoo, and WhatsApp. And yet, every time that’s occurred, there’s always been a patch, workaround, or security certificate released to fix the problem. I mean, if it wasn’t for the homebrew community, you wouldn’t even be able to activate your device at all after a Doctor, or in the off-chance that you have an unused webOS device still lying around.

But let’s not forget the man of the hour: Preware. The third-party app catalog that, along with WebOS Quick Install, has become the go-to location for not just apps, but also tweaks, modified kernels, and even a souped-up version of the webOS UI for the HP Touchpad. It’s not just a rusty old repository where developers dump their old apps, either. Preware is still active, with hundreds of packages available (I have 801, but that’s including the Alpha and Beta test feeds). Recent updates include Macaw, an excellent Twitter client, CAKE, a 9gag.com viewer, and more. In fact, LuneOS comes with a fully re-written Preware in Enyo 2. It’s a far cry from the millions of apps available on the iOS App Store, but it’s still very impressive.

Of course, none of this is made possible without your help. The developers behind the continuing survival of webOS no doubt take significant time off their everyday lives to bring their content to the community. The death of the App Catalog means there’s no longer a dedicated payment system for these apps, so if you haven’t made a donation lately, now’s a good time to do so:

Donate to webOS Internals, the developers of Preware.

Donate to the App Developers*

Donate to pivotCE (You can also use the widget on the left)

You can also browse the feeds available to Preware Right here on pivotCE.

Long live Preware!

*This list was created by Preemptive out of the developers who posted stating that their apps would be made available on Preware after the App Catalog shutdown. As such, not all the app developers may be listed here.