TweetFollow Us on Twitter

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

Viewpoint

By Marshall Clow

Report from the Palm Developers' conference

Introduction

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 http://www.palmsource.com.

News

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 http://www.DevNation.net.

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 http://www.appforge.com.

Extended Systems <http://www.extendsys.com> 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 http://www.bearriver.com/developer/palm/.

Summary

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 http://www.PalmSource.com 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 <marshall@idio.com>

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

How to build a successful civilisation i...
GodFinger 2 grants you godlike powers, leaving you to raise a civilization of followers. In the spirit of games like Black & White, the GodFinger games will see you building bigger and better villages, developing more advanced technology and... | Read more »
How to get all the crabs in Mr Crab 2
Mr. Crab 2 may look like a cutesy platformer for kids, but if you're the kind of person who likes to complete a game 100%, you'll soon realise that it's a tougher than a crustacean's shell. [Read more] | Read more »
How to be a star in Britney Spears: Amer...
If you've ever wanted to be a star, baby, then you've probably already checked out Britney Spears: American Dream and are happily making your way up the charts. But fame doesn't come easy, and everyone needs a helping hand sometimes. So we've got... | Read more »
AppSpy is hiring a part time Staff Write...
| Read more »
How to save lives in ER Surgery Simulato...
A serious earthquake has struck a nearby town in ER Surgery Simulator - Emergency Doctor, and it’s up to you to save the victims. [Read more] | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a high score in G...
Ketchapp Games loves the endless runner genre. And its newest game, Gravity Switch, is no exception. Gravity Switch takes a fresh approach, though, as you move a block, suspended in zero gravity, safely through a maze of shifting pillars. If the... | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a high score in S...
Smash Fu is a high-paced tile-tapping game that requires quick reflexes and some practice. You’ll have to smash bricks with the skill of a seasoned black belt to get a high score. To raise the stakes a bit, you’ll also have to avoid tapping any... | Read more »
How to keep the ball rolling in Dropple
If you're new to the minimalist puzzler Dropple, you may find yourself struggling to make it beyond the first couple of steps before your ball falls into the endless abyss below. [Read more] | Read more »
Game Craft releases new Legend of War ti...
Set for release at the end of this month, real time strategy title Legend of War seems sure to delight with a veritable feast of sweet features to get stuck into. Developed by Game Craft, the game is due for release through both the App Store and... | Read more »
How not to die in Traffic Rider
Traffic Rider, an Out Run-esque game in which your ride a motorcycle recklessly into trffic, might not seem particularly complicated. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple refurbished iMacs available for up to $...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: - 21″ 3.... Read more
Textkraft Professional Becomes A Mobile Produ...
The new update 4.1 of Textkraft Professional for the iPad comes with many new and updated features that will be particularly of interest to self-publishers of e-books. Highlights include import and... Read more
SnipNotes 2.0 – Intelligent note-taking for i...
Indie software developer Felix Lisczyk has announced the release and immediate availability of SnipNotes 2.0, the next major version of his productivity app for iOS devices and Apple Watch.... Read more
Pitch Clock – The Entrepreneur’s Wingman Laun...
Grand Rapids, Michigan based Skunk Tank has announced the release and immediate availability of Pitch Clock – The Entrepreneur’s Wingman 1.1, the company’s new business app available exclusively on... Read more
13-inch 2.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro (model #MF841LL/A) on sale for $1599 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP. Amazon also has the 13″ 3.9GHz Retina... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
Clearance 12-inch Retina MacBooks available s...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on leftover 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks with models now available starting at $999. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook... Read more
Check Apple prices on any device with the iTr...
MacPrices is proud to offer readers a free iOS app (iPhones, iPads, & iPod touch) and Android app (Google Play and Amazon App Store) called iTracx, which allows you to glance at today’s lowest... Read more
New 2016 13-inch 256GB MacBook Air on sale fo...
B&H Photo has the new 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air (model MMGG2LL/A) on sale for $1149 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Amazon has the 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Air 2s available start...
Apple has Certified Refurbished iPad Air 2 available starting at $339. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 128GB Wi-Fi iPad Air 2: $499 - 64GB Wi-Fi iPad... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Nissan Service Technicians - Apple A...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer...and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive , Read more
ISCS *Apple* ID Site Support Engineer - APP...
…position, we are looking for an individual who has experience supporting customers with Apple ID issues and enjoys this area of support. This person should be Read more
Automotive Sales Consultant - Apple Ford Linc...
…you. The best candidates are smart, technologically savvy and are customer focused. Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley is different, because: $30,000 annual salary Read more
*Apple* Support Technician II - Worldventure...
…global, fast growing member based travel company, is currently sourcing for an Apple Support Technician II to be based in our Plano headquarters. WorldVentures is Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.