TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Mar 01 Viewpoint Volume Number: 17 (2001)
Issue Number: 3
Column Tag: Viewpoint


By Marshall Clow

Report from the Palm Developers' conference


PalmSource 2000 was held at the Santa Clara Convention Center on December 12th-15th, 2000. There were over 3500 developers in attendance, up from about 2000 in 1999. As a result of this growth, Palm announced that starting in 2001, PalmSource would be held in the (much larger) San Jose convention center.

Carl Yankowsi, CEO of Palm, Inc. gave the opening keynote, setting the tone for the week. He described Palm's vision of the "Mobile Internet", where people have access to on-line resources no matter where they are.

Slides and WebCasts of the many of the conference presentations are available at


Palm is currently riding high, with an 83% (US) market share in the handheld computer market. This was reflected in the list of Palm OS licensees. There are large consumer electronic companies like Sony, computer manufacturers such as IBM, and Palm-only companies like Handspring and TRG. Symbol is making Palm OS-based bar code scanners for use in enterprise applications.

They have created partnerships with several cell phone makers: Kyoccra, Nokia, Motorola, and Samsung. Palm is working with these companies to put Palm OS capabilities into the next-generation (also known as 3G) cell phones.

Palm announced at the show that they have more than 130,000 registered developers, up from about 20,000 last year.

Palm OS 4.0

Each developer (after singing an NDA) received a prerelease version of Palm OS 4.0. There were several sessions devoted to features that will be introduced in Palm OS 4.0, and how to take advantage of them. Slides of many of these presentations are available on the PalmSource website. Some of the new features are:

  • Secondary Storage
    Palm OS 4 will support external file systems and secondary storage. This will allow users to keep data on devices such as smart cards or CompactFlash. Sony, a Palm OS licensee, was showing a Palm OS device with a slot for a MemoryStick.
  • Attention Manager
    As Palm OS devices are used for more and more tasks, more and more applications need to get the user's attention. Under Mac OS, this is done using the Notification Manager. In Palm OS, applications use the Attention Manager. This allows the user to respond to single or multiple events, and allows the applications to prioritize notifications (simple vs. insistent, for example).
  • Exchange Manager
    In Palm OS 3 and before, the Exchange Manager was tied to the IR port, since that was the only way that people could exchange data. In 4.0, exchange is transport-independent. The big driver for this, as far as I can see, is BlueTooth. However, this will also allow people using pager cards, SMS, etc. use the same mechanism as the built-in IR port.
  • Telephony
    Since Palm is building relationships with several mobile phone vendors, you should not be surprised to learn that Palm OS 4.0 will contain a full "phone control" API. As well as the basic functionality, there will be also support for SMS (via the Exchange Manager).

Palm OS 5.0

As well as 4.0, Palm gave attendees a glimpse of a future OS that they were calling Palm OS 5.0. (this is not an official name) David Fedor of Palm said that they expected that devices would ship with this OS in 2002. A few of the features previewed are:

  • Support for ARM processors
  • Better multimedia support
  • Support for different screen sizes and resolutions
  • A wide range of devices, both in price and capabilities.

The big change for 5.0 is the change to the ARM processor. This will be quite an undertaking for Palm, since all existing Palm OS applications are written for the Motorola 68000 processor. In some ways, this will be even more difficult than Apple's switch from the 680x0 to the PowerPC because the ARM is "little-endian", like the 80x86, rather than "big-endian", like the 68K and PowerPC. Palm will be supplying a 68K emulator in their new devices, so that existing applications can be run on new machines.

Developer Tools

Metrowerks announced at the show (and shipped soon thereafter) CodeWarrior 7 for Palm OS. It includes an updated C/C++ compiler, all the IDE enhancements from CodeWarrior 6 for Mac OS and Windows, and several Palm OS-specific tools, including a debugger plugin that lets you symbolically debug your Palm OS applications either inside POSE or on an actual device. CodeWarrior for Palm OS runs on both the Mac and Windows.

Developer's Nation has formed a partnership with Palm to maintain and extend the Palm OS knowledge base, which is a great resource for Palm OS developers. This online Q&A database should be available by the time you read this at

AppForge announced the release of Visual Basic for Palm OS, allowing developers who prefer to write their applications in Basic to create Palm OS applications. More information is available at

Extended Systems <> announced a set of developer tools geared towards the enterprise market, for integrating Palm OS devices into a medium to large company.

Last year at PalmSource '99, Palm and Bear River announced that they would be developing and releasing the "Palm Development Framework", a C++ class library for developing Palm OS applications. This year, Bear River announced that they had completed the Framework, which is available at


Last year, at PalmSource '99, I thought that this was an exciting time to be a Palm OS developer. If anything, this year promises to be even more exciting. Even though Palm has an 80% market share, they aren't sitting on their laurels; they are working hard on improving their products.

Last year, Palm beat the drum about enterprise support. Most of the sessions at PalmSource '99 were about getting into and supporting the enterprise market. This year while Palm talked quite a bit about the enterprise market, there were "personal" sessions as well.

If you couldn't make it to PalmSource 2000, be sure to check out where slides for most of the sessions are available.

See you at PalmSource '01 in October!

Marshall has worked for Palomar Software, HP, Aladdin Systems and Adobe. Among other things, he has written PICT Detective, Aladdin's Resource Compression Toolkit, and way too many resource-processing tools. When he's not coding, he can be found mountain biking with his kids or checking out microbreweries. He can be reached at <>


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade guide - How...
Warhammer 40,000: Freebladejust launched in the App Store and it lets you live your childhood dream of blowing up and slashing a bunch of enemies as a massive, hulking Space Marine. It's not easy being a Space Marine though - and particularly if... | Read more »
Gopogo guide - How to bounce like the be...
Nitrome just launched a new game and, as to be expected, it's a lot of addictive fun. It's called Gopogo, and it challenges you to hoparound a bunch of platforms, avoiding enemies and picking up shiny stuff. It's not easy though - just like the... | Read more »
Sago Mini Superhero (Education)
Sago Mini Superhero 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: KAPOW! Jack the rabbit bursts into the sky as the Sago Mini Superhero! Fly with Jack as he lifts impossible weights,... | Read more »
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes guide - How...
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes is all about collecting heroes, powering them up, and using them together to defeat your foes. It's pretty straightforward stuff for the most part, but increasing your characters' stats can be a bit confusing because it... | Read more »
The best cooking apps (just in time for...
It’s that time of year again, where you’ll be gathering around the dinner table with your family and a huge feast in front of you. [Read more] | Read more »
Square Rave guide - How to grab those te...
Square Rave is an awesome little music-oriented puzzle game that smacks of games like Lumines, but with its own unique sense of gameplay. To help wrap your head around the game, keep the following tips and tricks in mind. [Read more] | Read more »
Snowboard Party 2 (Games)
Snowboard Party 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Crowned the best snowboarding game available on the market, Snowboard Party is back to fulfill all your adrenaline needs in... | Read more »
One Button Travel (Games)
One Button Travel 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: “To cut a long story short, If you like interactive fiction, just go buy this one.” - “Oozes the polish that... | Read more »
Light Apprentice Volume 1 (Games)
Light Apprentice Volume 1 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Light Apprentice Volume 1 includes Chapters 1 to 4, all gathered in a new exclusive game. When life in the world of... | Read more »
The best games like Animal Crossing on m...
Animal Crossing amiibo Festival is out right now for the Wii U, reminding us of just how much fun that world can be. Or at least to go back and check in on our villages once in a while. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via

iMobie Releases its Ace iOS Cleaner PhoneClea...
iMobie Inc. has announced the new update of PhoneClean 4, its iOS cleaner designed to reclaim wasted space on iPhone/iPad for use and keep the device fast. Alongside, iMobie hosts a 3-day giveaway of... Read more
U.S. Cellular Offering iPad Pro
U.S. Cellular today announced that it is offering the new iPad Pro with Wi-Fi + Cellular, featuring a 12.9-inch Retina display with 5.6 million pixels — the most ever in an iOS device. U.S. Cellular... Read more
Newegg Canada Unveils Black Friday Deals for...
Newegg Canada is offering more than 1,000 deep discounts to Canadian customers this Black Friday, available now through Cyber Monday, with new deals posted throughout the week. “Black Friday is... Read more
Black Friday: Macs on sale for up to $500 off...
BLACK FRIDAY B&H Photo has all new Macs on sale for up to $500 off MSRP as part of their early Black Friday sale including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $... Read more
Black Friday: Up to $125 off iPad Air 2s at B...
BLACK FRIDAY Walmart has the 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available): - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $399, save $... Read more
Black Friday: iPad mini 4s on sale for $100 o...
BLACK FRIDAY Best Buy has iPad mini 4s on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store for Black Friday. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available): - 16GB iPad mini 4 WiFi: $299.... Read more
Black Friday: Apple Watch for up to $100 off...
BLACK FRIDAY Apple resellers are offering discounts and bundles with the purchase of an Apple Watch this Black Friday. Below is a roundup of the deals being offered by authorized Watch resellers:... Read more
Black Friday: Target offers 6th Generation iP...
BLACK FRIDAY Save $40 to $60 on a 6th generation iPod touch at Target with free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store prices may vary: -... Read more
Black Friday: Walmart and Target offer iPod n...
BLACK FRIDAY Walmart has the 16GB iPod nano (various colors) on sale for $119.20 on their online store for a limited time. That’s $30 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if... Read more
Black Friday deals on the Apple Watch and App...
Apple resellers are offering discounts and bundles with the purchase of an Apple Watch this Black Friday weekend. Below is a roundup of the deals being offered by authorized Watch resellers: Apple... Read more

Jobs Board

Storefront Operations Coordinator, *Apple* -...
# Storefront Operations Coordinator, Apple -Latin America Job Number: 43587750 Miami, Florida, United States Posted: Oct. 16, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The Read more
*Apple* Enterprise / Government Professional...
# Apple Enterprise / Gove ment Professional Services Engineer Job Number: 42292976 Reston, Virginia, United States Posted: Aug. 18, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Read more
iOS Wallet & *Apple* Pay Engineer - App...
# iOS Wallet & Apple Pay Engineer Job Number: 40586801 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Nov. 16, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The iOS Read more
Software Engineer, *Apple* Watch - Clock Fa...
# Software Engineer, Apple Watch - Clock Face Team Job Number: 44368761 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Nov. 14, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Read more
Administrative Assistant, *Apple* Online St...
# Administrative Assistant, Apple Online Store Job Number: 43992352 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Nov. 9, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.