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NDrive says farewell to webOS

A little over a year ago the popular on-device navigation app NDrive finally stepped out of the beta world and arrived in the webOS App Catalog. For many of us that were tired of janky carrier offerings this was a godsend. NDrive was awesome for the simple fact that it did not require a data connection to work as it was entirely on device and only needed the GPS radio on your device. Despite the high price tag - a whopping $50 - it was arguably the best turn-by-turn navigation app available for webOS.

Well, as of yesterday you can no longer buy NDrive for webOS. The developers have pulled the app. "Why have they done such a thing?" you ask. The answer can be found in the email they shot out to their beta testers yesterday. One of our forum users broncot was kind enough to post the full email he received from NDrive to give everyone the heads up. The email is as follows:

Dear Beta Tester,

As you all know, HP has cut development of webOS hardware like the Pre and TouchPad, effectively taking away the only home the mobile operating system has. With nothing else to run on and no other companies using it, the OS will linger on ice unless and until a buyer or licensee comes along. Killing each and every product that uses a particular OS isn't a literal death sentence and HP may want to license it out. But unless that happens, webOS will effectively be lying dormant, and an operating system can start to decompose real fast when it's sitting still, especially in such a viciously competitive market. Developers stop building apps, consumers stop paying attention, and the ones who bought devices before they were de-shelved get bitter because firmware improvements, bug fixes and new software stop coming.

NDrive, being a relatively small software house cannot focus on a dormant ecosystem and therefore we've decided to put on-hold any development and releases on webOS. Although we do believe Palm first, and HP after, have done a great job on differentiating this ecosystem from the leading Android and iOS, we cannot afford to loose resources, time and money on further developments until we have proofs the OS will be kept alive and flourish.

We do appreciate and thank you all your efforts and patience on testing our software and we do expect your understanding on this position.

Best Regards,
NDrive Team

Sad news to say the least, but it is far from unexpected. This unfortunate scenario has been quite common in recent months and will probably continue for the foreseeable future until webOS catches on again (assuming it does... we have to). This one may sting a little more than others for those who purchased it since it was so pricey. Our recommendation is if you did purchase this app try not to Doctor your device or delete the app unless it is absolutely necessary, as you may lose the app forever. All hope is not lost though as the awesome homebrew navigation app Navit is still alive and kicking!