palm os

Palm Halts Production of Handhelds

I just received word that Palm has officially closed down production of their three remaining classic handheld PDAs. By March 1, 2009 Palm will no longer be manufacturing the Palm Z22, the Tungsten E2, or the Palm TX.

While some will find this news difficult to accept, these three icons from Palm’s original mobile computing business have had a long service life. The Tungsten E2, the oldest of the trio (not “Treo”), was released in April of 2005. I am not aware of any other Palm device that enjoyed a 4 year service life. Not even the wildly popular Tungsten C had a shelf life of that long. The remaining two PDAs, the Z22 and the Palm TX (sometimes referred to as the “Tungsten T7 or Tungsten X) where both released in October 2005.

Palm executives have been sending out warnings that the traditional PDA business was coming to an end. During quarterly conference calls, Palm President and CEO Ed Colligan likened the PDA business to a passenger jet coming in for a smooth landing. Today we learned that the plane has touched down, taxied to the gate, and the engines have been powered down.

You will still be able to purchase Palm’s handheld PDAs from the Palm online store and other retailers until inventories are fully depleted. If you are interesting in purchasing the last flagship handheld, the Palm TX, Palm is currently selling the PDA for $199 (regularly $299) at their online store. Palm’s online store also has the Z22 on sale for $99 (no discount). It appears that the Tungsten E2 is completely sold out at the Palm online store.

I have been using Palm’s handhelds since 1999. The last 10 years have been lots of fun learning about, using, and supporting Palm’s products on Brighthand, 1SRC, and Palm’s own community help forums. Palm’s PDAs may soon be gone from store shelves, but I still have my Tungsten T5, TX, and LifeDrive on my computer desk.

web os

Tricks with TealOS

Clemens Schuchert, Executive Producer of PUGcast, Germany’s first PDA Podcast, has an interesting article posted about TealPoint’s webOS look a like Palm OS 5 launcher, TealOS.

“It’s a lot of fun to run “webOS” on regular PalmOS 5 devices and Tealpoint Software is releasing the third update (currently TealOS 1.06) within a few days, so they are working hard behind the scenes in order to improve the product.

The first thing one should take into consideration is, that TealOS is a launcher replacement and thus, treated as an appliaction like any other program by the real OS (PalmOS rather than TealOS) as well.

Secondly, it consumes memory and it seems that the DBcache ich used rapidly. Increasing DBcache can lead to crashes of a modern PalmOS NVFS device, thus keep an eye to it and the DBcache slim. While most of us are using NVBackup (Freeware download) at night anyways, it’s a good idea to let NVBackup automatically flush the DBcache after the Backup and afterwards performing a reset of the device. Thus, you always have a slim DBCache over the working day. If this is not sufficient, make use of dbflush or other appropriate tools to clean the DBcache regularly.”

Mr. Schuchert does have a word of warning to those Palm OS 5 users who install an use TealOS:

“[P]ay attention to the fact that TealOS is taking screenshots of the application one leaves. This could be a security hole, especially when exiting applications showing passwords in plain text, such as secret, splashID, Resco ID Guard, or so. Then, the whole screen is displayed as application’s snapshot in TealOS! Be aware of that! Best is, to disable those applications right away under “Card Exceptions”.”

Keep reading Tricks with TealOS

TealOS, despite it’s name and appearance, is a third-party application launcher for Palm OS 5 devices, like the Palm TX handheld and Centro smartphone. TealPoint offers a free trial download and sells TealOS for $14.95 USD. For more information about TealOS, including the download and online store links, visit the TealPoint website.

pre · rumors · sprint

Rumor: Palm Pre Launching Later Than Expected

PreCentral.net is running a story today that suggests that the Palm Pre may ship later than some had hoped. You will recall in our debate on 1SRC.com Podcast show 205 that Jeff Kirvin, Rick Cartwright, and I where in disagreement about when in “the first half of 2009” the Pre would ship. Rick and I where leaning toward late May for a target launch of the Pre while Jeff was expecting that the Pre would be on sale in just a few weeks; certainly by April.

PreCentral.net’s Dieter Bohn, writes:

“While we knew all along (despite crazy hopes) that the February 15th release date was just a pipe dream, we were hoping the persistent rumors (now circulating on the Ides of March) meant that the “First half of 2009″ target would mean something sooner than June. Well, we’re a little less hopeful today. First up an anonymous report which we’re not putting much stock in (yet) claims that testing is taking longer than expected due to some security issues. More interestingly, in our forums we read that the Pre has two more rounds to testing to come, the first of these not slated to begin until April 1st.”

[Via PreCentral.net…]

android · google · vodafone

MWC: HTC Magic Going Live on Vodafone

Last week at Mobile World Congress (MWC), HTC and Vodafone took the wraps off of the first hardware keyboardless smartphone, the Magic. Magic is powered by Google’s Android operating system and is running the “Cupcake” software build which comes complete with an on screen soft keyboard.

According to the HTC website, the Magic has the following specifications:

  • Processor: Qualcomm® MSM7201a™, 528 MHz
  • Memory: 512MB ROM, 192MB RAM
  • Dimensions: 4.45 x 2.17 x 0.54 inches
  • Weight: 4.18 ounces
  • Display: 3.2-inch 320×480 HVGA touch-sensitive TFT screen
  • Network: HSDPA/WCDMA/GSM/GPRS/EDGE
  • Device Control: Trackball with Enter button
  • Expansion Slot: microSD
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 2.0 EDR, 802.11g Wi-Fi, and HTC’s ExtUSB
  • Camera: 3.2MP

More details about the Magic can be found on the HTC website.

The Vodafone press release reads:

“The stylish new handset is exclusive to Vodafone in the UK, Spain, Germany and France (SFR) and available on a non-exclusive basis in Italy. Customers can ensure that they are the first to receive information about the HTC Magic’s availability, pricing and pre-ordering by registering their interest via their local Vodafone website from today.

A tablet-style device, with a sleek design and unprecedented compactness for a smartphone featuring the Android platform, the HTC Magic enables a superior mobile internet experience, providing broad flexibility for personalisation via the application-rich Android Market. Available in white in the UK, Spain and France, black in Germany and in both colours in Italy, the HTC Magic will be for sale in several other Vodafone markets over the next few months.

“Delivering an unbeatable mobile internet experience for our customers is a priority for Vodafone, so we are very excited to be introducing our first Android-powered smartphone in the spring,” says Patrick Chomet, Global Director of Terminals, Vodafone Group. “Following our joining of the Open Handset Alliance, we have worked very closely with HTC to bring this cool new phone to the market. Our customers want to access a wide range of the most attractive mobile devices to help them make the most of their time – the HTC Magic helps meet that need.”

The HTC Magic will be available later this spring to Vodafone customers in Europe. The press release did not mention specific pricing based on contract commitments. For more details, visit the Vodafone website.

pre · web os

MWC: Palm Pre Update

Now that Mobile World Congress (MWC) has wrapped up, here is where things stand in regard to Palm’s upcoming webOS powered smartphone, the Pre.

Without much fanfare, Palm was showing off a GSM version of the Pre in Barcelona last week. While there was no press release for the GSM Pre last week, the UK Palm website now has a teaser page posted where customers can sign up to be notified by email when the phone is available. Further, clicking on the press release and details links, visitors are redirected to the US Palm website where they can read the press release from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). About the only difference that we can tell about at this point is that there is a GSM version of the Pre on the way for 2009. We also saw pictures of the GSM Pre sporting a Vodafone SIM card.

Engadget is also reporting that Palm will be shipping a new matte back plate for the Pre smartphone for use with the Palm Touchstone charging cradle accessory. This will come as great news for fans of the soft touch paint that Palm has been using on recent devices like the Treos 750 and 755p. The glossy back make look cool on the Pre, but I’d much rather have that soft touch backing that makes the phone so much easier to hang on to while using it.

Palm also announced that they will be working with Adobe on bring Flash applications to the webOS. To help achive this goal, Palm has joined Adobe’s Open Screen Project. The Open Screen Project aims to build a common standard for building applications and web browsing “standalone applications and full web browsing across televisions, desktops and mobile devices taking advantage of Adobe Flash Platform capabilities.” In other words, according to the Adobe press release, “[t]he work of the Open Screen Project will help deliver Adobe® Flash® Player for smartphones on the new Palm® webOS™ platform.” Not to shabby.

“We’re excited that our customers will benefit from the creativity and broad range of Flash content and applications created by the millions of designers and developers using Adobe’s popular tools and technologies,” said Pam Deziel, vice president, software product management, Palm, Inc.”

“As an industry innovator Palm will be an important contributor to the Open Screen Project,” said Michele Turner, vice president for Product Marketing, Flash Platform Business Unit at Adobe. “We’re aiming to bring a rich, Flash technology-enabled browsing experience to Palm’s impressive web browser.”

By building in support for Adobe’s Flash Player into the operating system, there should be a surge of new applications and developers for the fledgling webOS platform.

Lastly, Engadget also reports that games are in development for the webOS platform, however, that for the time being, since “web-style app development will limit gaming options.”

[Via Engadget Mobile…]

blackberry · mobile apps 360 · rim

Mobile Apps 360: WSJ Mobile Reader for BlackBerry

Mobile Apps 360 takes a look at mobile software for your Palm OS, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, and the iPhone/iPod touch that will help keep your favorite mobile device fresh with new software.

Some of my favorite mobile apps are those that keep me up to date with what is going on in the world around me. Ya, browsers are nice, but the site you are trying to read may not render correctly on the mobile device you happen to be using. I prefer an on device client that quickly updates with data from the website so it is easy to read on the go.

One of those applications is the Wall Street Journal Mobile Reader. WSJ Mobile Reader is a free application that you can install on your device over the air (OTA) directly to your BlackBerry. As the name implies, Mobile Reader downloads content from the WSJ.com website and formats that news that you want to read on your device. Once you install the software, you are shown a list of news categories that you can subscribe to on your device. While the BlackBerry is populating the local cache, you are given the opportunity to review a brief tutorial that shows you some time saving keyboard shortcuts that will help you navigate the software.

You use the trackball to move left and right across the category tabs. Scroll up and down to look at all the articles in a particular category. When you find an article you want to read, press the trackball to see the article summary and then click again to read the full artilce. It couldn’t be easier.

WSJ Mobile Reader is a free application that you can install directly on your BlackBerry from:

http://wsj.mwap.at/index.php?t=download

pre · vodafone

GSM Palm Pre on Vodafone Spotted

Reports are coming in from Mobile World Congress (MWC) currently going on in Barcelona that a GSM Palm Pre has been spotted with a Vodafone SIM card. PreCentral.net writes:

“As Dieter mentioned earlier this morning straight from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, there are some GSM flavored Pre’s floating around that are live on Vodafone’s network.

Palm hasn’t announced the GSM version of the Pre at MWC, but those GSM versions sure have been spotted. Seems that the folks over at Pre Community got a shot (above) of an actual Vodafone Spain SIM card in one of the Pre’s being used for demonstrations at MWC.”

Check out the full article on PreCentral.net

[Via PreCentral.net…]