Pandora, Amazon, other third-party apps demoed on Palm Pre

Dovetailing dreamingly with the company's SDK announcement today, Palm's chosen CTIA to show off a round of third-party apps for the Pre, and the good news is that they're definitely dispelling some doubts we had about the robustness of webOS' development platform and its ability to deliver compelling software. We were emphatically reminded that everything here is strictly for the sake of preview -- it's all beta, just like the Pre itself -- but that being said, it all looked smooth and relatively crash-free (as best as we could gather anyhow without giving it a more ruthless hands-on beating of our own).

First off, we saw a NASCAR app, perfect for die-hard fans (but really, even more perfect for Sprint's track record of sponsoring NASCAR events) that culls video highlights, driver profiles, and more. Next, we were treated to a brief look at the Pre's Google Maps implementation, Pandora, Amazon's music store, and FlightView, a trick little flight status app that every frequent traveler will likely want loaded. We also saw a Pre version of the Sprint TV player -- a staple service on most of Sprint's devices -- proving that the Pre has the stones to handle multimedia within its development framework. Video was just a little bit choppy, but they're not making any claims that this is final, optimized code at this point. The best part of the whole demo, perhaps, is Pandora's notification implementation, which brings up a mini-player by tapping on the "P" visible at the bottom of any Pre screen; from here, you can play / pause, rank tracks up and down, and see a full track name, all without leaving the comfort of whatever app you might be in. Try that on an iPhone, eh? Follow the break for video!