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Trapster You may have noticed that the Trapster app is no longer available in the App Catalog. This is not a case of Palm exerting some sort of heavy hand in the approval/denial/removal of apps. As it would turn out, Trapster the company was not prepared and Trapster the app was not as ready as they thought. The following message greets visitors to Trapster’s webOS app page:

“Important announcement: The webOS app that was previously posted has some serious issues that did not show up until a large number of users tried to use the app simultaneously. We were forced to shut off the app. We have already fixed the problem, but some additional issues were uncovered in testing. We hope to have an update posted this week. We are very sorry about the trouble. Thank you for your patience.”

We’ll admit that webOS is a new world for many programmers, but for a company with as large a userbase as Trapster it is surprising that glaring issues were not uncovered during testing. For perspective, Trapster claims the #42 spot of all-time most downloaded iPhone apps and 1,810,712 users worldwide across six smartphone platforms (Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, J2ME, webOS, and Windows Mobile).

This is why we like to advocate large-scale beta testing. There are multiple venues for distributing a beta app for testing *cough* PreCentral Homebrew Gallery *cough* that the average Pre user won’t readily access. Those that do you can trust to have a higher degree of technical knowledge, not to mention patience with the understanding that what you’re testing is an unfinished product. Plus they’re your most dedicated future customers and the type of people that will voraciously promote your app to other users (assuming it’s any good). Beta testing is a risk, we’ll admit that, but the benefits of early exposure, promotion, and bug fixes cannot be underestimated.