The Palm OS may be losing its mojo with software developers. It’s been two years since the release of the last major upgrade to the Palm operating system for mobile devices, not counting the upgrade that never appeared in public. With a brand-new version of the pioneer mobile OS not expected to appear for at least another year, some larger developers of mobile applications are looking elsewhere when launching their new multimedia applications.
Is the Palm OS Missing the Multimedia Boat?
About The Author
Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda
2006-04-27 10:12 pmfyysik
As in nearest future Chinese mobile media devices market will be as big remaining world in total.
They are already biggest in “usual” mobile phone market.
2006-04-27 10:40 pmd0nk3y
(pssst…I think it’s ALP). 🙂
2006-04-28 12:45 amCloudy
It is: Access Linux Platform (ALP)
2006-04-27 11:14 pmTomB7
Palm is indeed moribund, but the bright side here is that MSFT’s PocketPC hasn’t fared one bit better. Apple can be excused for the Newton; it occurred while Jobs was at NeXT anf Pixar. The Newton’s big failing was the price tag.
Have they gotten the sync process to a point where it’s reliable yet? Or is that less important than becoming another lame iPod wannabe?
2006-04-28 12:44 amroguelazer
Reliable? “iPod wannabe”? Palm OS-based devices were syncing with PCs and Macs while Steve Jobs was still at NeXT! HotSync revolutionized synchronization and was light years ahead of anything Windows CE or NewtonOS ever had. Even the latest versions of ActiveSync aren’t up to the par set by HotSync with my original Palm III. Never mind Apple’s very confused iSync/Synchronization Service, which has a disturbing tendency to lose exceptions to repeated events whenever it syncs with anything (.Mac, my phone, my Clie, whatever).
You can say a lot of bad things about Palm since the whole PalmSource/PalmOne affair began, but Palm’s synchronization remains one of its strongest points.
2006-04-28 1:36 amd0nk3y
I agree completely. Hotsync rocks.
If you want to sync with Outlook the best, use Hotsync and a Palm. Activesync/WM5 *still* doesn’t do Notes like they show in Outlook. bleh!
…a truly handheld PC that isn’t locked into any specific OS. I’m not sure whether the HP iPaq, PocketPC, or Palm products can run anything other than Windows variants or PalmOS, if so – that’s great. But it’s not a real PC – I’d like and 100% X86-compatible cpu with a CompactFlash-IDE disk and a complete set of standard (STANDARD!) hardware in tiny form-factor. Maybe this creature exists, but I’ve not seen it… …yet.
Re: “With a brand-new version of the pioneer mobile OS not expected to appear for at least another year, some larger developers of mobile applications are looking elsewhere when launching their new multimedia applications.”
I believe the “pioneer mobile OS” the author is referring to is ALP (Access Linux Platform) which information can be found here http://palmsource.com/press/2006/021406_accesslinuxplatform.html
As for the second part of the paragraph where the author comments on large developers of mobile applications looking eleswhere there is no proof provided to back up his claim.
Re: “The Palm OS was not optimized for video and multimedia. But it has a very strong following, and it’s somewhat early to tell if Windows Mobile’s support for multimedia is enough to entice traditional Palm users to jump ship”
Except that anyone who has been paying attention to forum sites such as Treocentral.com will attest to noticing a trend where experienced Treo users are not that appreciative of Palm’s move to offer a Windows Mobile 5.0 Treo version (Treo 700W). After all issues with lower screen resolution than Garnet 5.4.8 as well applications that continue to run in the background waisting resources that are unnecessary.
As for multimedia on Garnet I have no issues running Pocket Tunes Deluxe http://www.pocket-tunes.com/ for audio and TCMP http://www.corecoded.com/ for video. Java is free for download either from Palm or the Sun.com website. Even MobiTV is supported on both Treos running either Garnet or Windows Mobile 5.0.
I will agree with the comment that Palm relying to much on third party developers to offer multimedia products to customers is sort of true though I believe ALP is more suited to providing lower cost than either Windows Mobile 5.0 or even Garnet. The reason for this is providing access to a lot of open source development where consumers may find applications such as Amarok http://amarok.kde.org/ ported to ALP since it already runs on Linux.
Re: “New smart phones and wireless PDAs on fast networks such as Verizon’s EV-DO network use Windows Mobile, and the Symbian operating system is very popular with European users of 3G networks.”
The Treo 650 (Garnet 5.4.8) already supports EDGE which is GSM carriers (ie: Rogers Wireless, Fido, T-Mobile, etc) alternative to CDMA carriers (Telus, Bell, Verizon, etc) EVDO. As for 3G and WIFI this will be offered in the Treo 700P (Garnet) approx 2 months time as well future Treo using ALP in early 2007. As for the delay well it’s called migration. Palm is providing time both for ISV as well consumers to migrate to ALP. Reason for their stating a Garnet emulator will be offered with Treo running ALP for previous Garnet users to still use their applications that may not be at the time ported to ALP. This method is no different than companies such as Novell that provide WINE http://winehq.com/ with SUSE Linux to ease former Windows users to Linux.
Re: VPN – Virtual Private Networks
Already supported in Garnet 5.4.8 for the Treo 650.
Re: “People will keep using (Palm OS Garnet). For the average user, who doesn’t use more than 20 percent of their device, they don’t know the difference,” Kort said. But other users looking to run applications like Google’s Maps for Mobile either have to go through a tricky installation process, or wait for official support.
Some mobile links for the Treo:
Google Maps: http://kmaps.wikidev.net/Main_Page
Google Local: http://www.google.com/xhtml?site=local
Treocentral (forum/news/reviews/links) http://treo.treocentral.com/
Edited 2006-04-28 06:12
As a developer, PalmOS5 was a joke. The thing, even the zire 22, has amazing processor, but programming natively for it is a great pain, with dozens of complications that you need to solve, because the OS only lets you call your code.. but storing the actual code, globals, relocations, etc you have to hack yourself.. and not to mention the endless byteswapping madness. There’s not even any way to get a linux into it, which would be perfectly possible given it’s ram, and SD card support..
I keep my contact list, calendar, various text files, and various checklists on it, and I play the occasional game of Draw Poker or Hearts/MicroFluxx/Solitaire/MillesBornes.
Who cares about multimedia?
I don’t know the specifics, but I know that my boss is running linux on an hp handheld. He took all the Windows crap off and now it is all linux. Im not sure if this is what you were asking about, if it isn’t, hope it was interesting.
For Palm enthusiasts (such as myself) I’m really getting pissed off (excuse the language). They had a brilliant platform (maybe even have) and now management get confused by this Linux/Windows debate. They had the lead, now they’ve given it away by some media hype crap about where to go and how to go.
I’m so fed up with not seeing a release and seeing mediamumbojumbo that I’m simply never gonna buy anything with a Palm logo on again.
My only problem now is that the options is also very bad. Unfortunately my company will aim for MSFT, as we do know they’re bad, but they’ll be around, won’t get any hickups aiming for some Linux stuff which will change every week, so there you have it. MSFT wins the fight because the best contender got lost in the Penguinjungle.
Unfortunate for all…
The palmOS is really dead and not worth talking about.
ALM (what a weird name) will not be palmOS – this is sort of like going from OS 9 to OS X – there is a compatibility layer, but ONLY for well behaving apps.
I dont know what Access’s plan is, but I think that IF they penetrated the Japanese, Korean and Chinese markets (or eastern asian countries broadly) they would be happy