This is a guest post from Sam Diaz of TechRepublic’s sister site ZDNet. You can follow Sam on his ZDNet blog Between the Lines, or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Palm said today that it is now accepting apps for consideration in its App Catalog e-commerce beta program, which is being launched to test the experience for webOS app developers and users. The program will open to all developers later this year.

Last month, the company opened its Mojo Software Development Kit for developers – a move to beef up its relationship with app developers and start chasing other players in the mobile space, notably Apple and its home-run App store.

In its blog post announcing the beta, Palm offers details of the program:

  • Developers can submit both free and paid applications for evaluation.
  • You can charge a one-time fee for the download of your application.
  • Initially, the user base for e-commerce will be limited to the United States.
  • Developers will receive 70 percent of revenues generated through application sales (less applicable sales taxes).
  • webOS users will pay for their application purchases using credit cards and will download apps directly to their webOS device.

I also liked that Palm gave some clues on what it takes for an app to be accepted into the beta program, including:

  • Apps should be useful and engaging to users.
  • They need to have an appealing design and user interface aligned with Palm UI guidelines.
  • They are written specifically for webOS and not delivered through the browser.
  • They leverage webOS platform and device capabilities, for example, notifications, multitasking/background processing, location services, accelerometer.
  • They have acceptable performance and response time on the device; apps with slow UI response or sluggish performance will be rejected. Applications that consume excessive power on the device will also be rejected.

Too bad I just ended my relationship with the Palm Pre. It would have been cool to see what Palm app developers come up with.