Sunday, August 30, 2009

Rumor: Palm Working on New Smartphones for Verizon, Sprint

I'm still catching up on the week's news after having spent most of last week on vacation. PreCentral.net has two screen shots posted that indicate that Palm is working on new devices headed for Verizon and Sprint.

Speculation is that Verizon and Palm could be working on bringing both the Pre and the Eos (aka: Pixie).

"What’s important to you is that there are two Palm devices listed in this inventory system. Yes, two: the Palm P101VZW and Palm P121VZW. Considering that we know the Sprint Pre to be the P100, it seems reasonable to assume that the P101 is the Pre for Verizon, though we have no clue if the number bump means that the hardware has been changed. And P121? There’s only one other upcoming Palm device that we’ve heard of, and that’s the Eos, presumably the P121 indeed will be the smaller slate-style webOS phone."


On the Sprint front, the screen shot shows three devices: the P100 (the currently shipping Pre), the P120, and the C40. Popular opinion is that P120 is either a hardware refresh of the current Pre (more memory anyone?) or is the Eos candy bar webOS device that will take hardware queues from the Centro and the Treo Pro.

What the C40 might be is anyone's guess. It could be a new Windows Mobile phone. It could be a new webOS phone. Or, dare I even mention it, the C40 could be something else entirely with an EVDO radio built in to it. (cough Foleo II cough netbook cough)

One thing is for sure; we will have our answers one way or another in due time.

[Via PreCentral.net...]

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AT&T to Require Data Plans

Starting on September 6, 2009, AT&T will require that customers who chose to purchase a smartphone also purchase a data plan in addition to their voice and text messaging plans.

In a recent statement issued by AT&T, a company spokesperson reported:
"Smartphone users tend to consume a higher amount of data services, like advanced e-mail, mobile Web, applications and more," an AT&T press release stated. "Being able to take full advantage of these features without having to worry about a fluctuating or unusually high bill generally leads to greater customer satisfaction, so effective Sept. 6, smartphone customers will need to subscribe to a data plan, as the vast majority of customers already do."

If you currently have an AT&T branded smartphone you will be able to continue using your phone as you always have. However, if "[you] update your device or want to make changes to your account, [you] will have to bring their accounts current, which in some cases may include subscribing to a data plan."

The requirement for a data plan isn't something new for AT&T. There are some devices that the wireless company already requires a data plan for, which includes the wildly popular Apple iPhone.

If you have been thinking about upgrading your AT&T smartphone and hoped to keep the data plan off your monthly bill, you should get yourself down to an AT&T store before September 6 when then new Terms of Service rules go into effect.

[Via PCMag.com…]

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Upgrading to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

This past Friday, Apple unleashed the latest version of Mac OS X, 10.6 Snow Leopard. Snow Leopard looks amazingly a lot like Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, which is one of the reasons why Apple is only charging $29 for the OS upgrade. While Snow Leopard may not look very different from Leopard, the latest Mac OS X upgrade from Apple focuses on enhancements to the OS code rather than flashy new features.

Palm users, specifically those who are using Palm OS 5 and earlier devices, will want to take note of the changes in the latest release of Mac OS X.

As previously reported, Apple is no longer supporting the Palm OS sync conduit in the iSync software. If you want to continue to sync your Palm OS 5 and earlier device with Apple's built-in PIM applications, you will need to purchase, or upgrade, to the latest version of Mark/Space The Missing Sync for Palm OS. As with every operating system upgrade, not everything transitions to the new operating system 100% cleanly. Mark/Space is reporting minor incompatibilities with their Mac OS production, which includes the Missing Sync for Palm OS. To help customers get everything working correctly again, Mark/Space has posted a Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard software compatibility matrix.

When installing Snow Leopard on my 2007 while MacBook, I was informed that parts of Palm Desktop 4.2.1 Rev D required the installation of the Mac OS X Rosetta module. Rosetta is the Apple module that allows you to run older applications written for the PowerPC platform on Macs that have Intel chips inside. Since I 'm using a Palm Pre these days, I chose to not install the Rosetta software and instead uninstalled Palm Desktop from my Mac.

And speaking of the Palm Pre, I had no trouble mounting the Pre's storage volume to my Mac's desktop to copy files to and from the phone. I was also able to sync the Pre to iTunes 8.2.1 using the Media Sync feature; however that may change on September 9, when Apple is expected to unveil iTunes 9 along side new iPod models.

I should also mention that Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard is the first version of Apple's Mac OS X that only supports Macintosh computers that have Intel processors. If your Mac has "Power" in the name, like PowerMac G5, this is a not-t0-subtle hint that it is time to upgrade your Mac.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Motorola Goes "Green" on September 10

According to a blog post on Baron's Tech Trader Daily, Motorola has sent out invitations to a September 10, 2009 event. There wasn't much detail provided with the invite, but most industry observers believe Motorola will either announce or launch their line of Google Android phone(s).

[Via Baron's Tech Trader Daily...]

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

No Palm OS Conduit in Snow Leopard iSync

Mac fan undoubtedly know that this coming Friday Apple will let the cat out of the bag as it where, and release Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.

Fan site AppleInsider.com recently posted:

"Apple has discontinued support for legacy Palm OS devices in Mac OS X Snow Leopard's iSync 3.1.0, according to sources familiar with the latest Gold Master build, requiring users of Palm OS devices to obtain third party support for syncing their Palm Desktop information with Mac OS X's Sync Services."

I'm not really surprised that Apple is cutting ties with the old Palm OS conduit. Palm themselves have also halted development of products based on Palm OS so it makes little sense for Apple to continue supporting the Palm OS conduit in their iSync product. Additionally, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard will be the first version of Mac OS X that will not include support for Apple's own PowerPC-based PowerMac and PowerBook models.

For Palm users who are also Mac users, I would suggest switching from Apple's iSync software to Mark/Space The Missing Sync for Palm OS. The Missing Sync will allow you to sync with Address Book, iCal, Entourage, iPhoto, and iTunes. You can learn more about the Missing Sync on the Mark/Space website.

Read the full AppleInsider article...

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Monday, August 24, 2009

How Many Apps Do You Have on Your Pre?

I ran across an interesting, let's call it an "anomaly" because I think "problem" or "issue" is too strong a word right now, with the Pre and installing applications.

I've noticed that there are some people who are reporting that they are getting out of space errors when attempting to install applications, official or homebrew, on their Palm Pre smartphones.

The number of apps for webOS that Palm has in their App Catalog is really small when compared with the number of applications that are available for the iPhone or even the Palm OS platform. That said, there is a vibrant underground community of webOS application developers who are developing what are being called homebrew applications for the webOS platform. If you aren't familiar with homebrew apps for the Pre, check out the PreCentral.net website as they have some really good resources for getting homebrew apps on your Pre and have a homebrew app gallery going.

The interesting thing is that some, definitely not all, are reporting that after installing some number of applications on their Pre, they start getting the out of space warning when attempting to install a new application. The kicker is that there is plenty of free space for a small HTML, CSS, and JavaScript application on the device. In the few cases I was reading about, people are installing some 50+ apps on their Pre, with one user reporting an issue trying to load the 100th app on his Pre. And I thought I had a lot with my 8 downloads from the App Catalog.

Are you suffering from too many apps on your Pre? If so, let us know by clicking the Comments link below and dropping us a line.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Palm Announces App Catalog E-Commerce Beta

Earlier today, Palm announced that they are now accepting submissions for paid applications to the App Catalog. The App Catalog e-commerce beta program will help ensure Palm and application developers are ready to offer paid, commercial applications to Palm webOS users.

As part of the App Catalog e-commerce beta program for the Palm Pre phone and future Palm webOS devices, developers will receive a 70/30 split (developer/Palm) of gross revenues generated through application sales (less applicable sales taxes). Customers will be able to easily purchase applications using Visa and MasterCard credit cards. Further details about the program and distribution model will be provided in the coming weeks. Palm expects to launch the full developer program in the United States this fall.
"We're rolling out the submission process and e-commerce capabilities of the Palm App Catalog with careful consideration for both the developer and customer," said Katie Mitic, senior vice president, Product Marketing, Palm, Inc. "We want every part of the Palm webOS experience to be the best, and a strong e-commerce model is key to a thriving developer community, great apps and an excellent customer experience."
More information about how developers can submit an application for the beta e-commerce program, as well as criteria for application acceptance, is available on the Palm Developer Network blog at http://pdnblog.palm.com/.


I'm glad to see that Palm is moving forward with getting their act together with paid applications for Palm webOS. I recently was talking to one developer who stated that they where holding back applications until Palm was ready to start building out their infrastructure for paid applications. The good news it that once the App Catalog payment system is put in place, I'm expecting that to see more applications being added to the App Catalog with a much greater frequency.

You can read the full press release on the Palm website.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Briefly Noted: DataViz DTG, Astraware Solitaire Updated

I noticed earlier today that DataViz Documents To Go for iPhone OS was updated to version 1.2 and Handmark Astraware Solitaire was updated to version 1.15, also for iPhone OS.

DataViz Documents To Go

The minor updates baked into the latest maintenance release of Documents To Go for iPhone OS 2.2 and later include:
  • Change font type and size
  • First line indenting
  • Shake undo/redo (requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later)
The update screen, found in the App Store application on my iPod touch, in the Update tab, also indicates that the next planned update will, drum roll please, include Excel spreadsheet editing!

The update has a date of 5/25/09, however, I've yet to see the update before, and is free to all owners of Documents To Go for iPhone and iPod touch.


Astraware Solitaire


The updates to Astraware Solitaire for the iPhone and iPod touch include the following minor changes:
  • Support for landscape rotation
  • New backgrounds
  • Various minor bug fixes
Solitaire has a date of 8/14/09 and is a free update for existing customers.

You can update both application either from iTunes on your Mac or PC, or directly from your iPhone or iPod touch using the App Store application.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Documents To Go for Android Updated

DataViz, Inc., a Microsoft® Gold Certified Partner and leading provider of Microsoft Office compatibility solutions is now shipping Documents To Go® 2.0 for Android™. The new version of the popular office suite leverages DataViz’s experience developing mobile solutions and brings a feature rich, enterprise-grade productivity tool to devices based on the Android platform.

The 2.0 update enhancements include:

Microsoft PowerPoint® File Support

The new Slideshow To Go® component allows viewing, editing and creating of PowerPoint presentations. With support for the latest file formats, including Microsoft Office 2007, business travelers can effortlessly “flick” through slides, review notes, rehearse timing and make any last minute modifications when on the go.

Adobe® PDF File Support

The PDF To Go® component provides high-fidelity viewing of Adobe PDF files with options for page view, word wrap, multiple zoom levels, auto-rotate, bookmarks, search, select and copy text, and support for password-protected files. With PDF To Go, knowledge workers can keep all important reference materials at their fingertips.

Enhancements for Microsoft Word & Excel® File Support

Documents To Go 1.0 offered robust viewing and editing of Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx) and Microsoft Excel (.xls, xlsx) files. Version 2.0 extends the feature set by adding find and replace, word count, number formatting, sheet formatting, contextual menus, improved selection modes and scrolling, optimizations for touch, and a ‘Live Folder’ for instant access to recently used documents.

FREE Version for All Android-based Devices

A non-expiring, free version of Documents To Go 2.0 that provides all Android-based device users with the ability to view Microsoft Word and Excel files and attachments is now available. Customers using this free version can unlock the complete feature set described above by purchasing a ‘Full Version Key.’

“By introducing a free viewer edition as well as a full version with premium capabilities, we are able to make Documents To Go accessible to all Android device users around the world,” said Ilya Eliashevsky, Product Manager, DataViz, Inc. “With added support for PowerPoint and PDF files, Document To Go is now the most comprehensive Office suite available in the Android Market.”

Pricing and Availability

Documents To Go 2.0 is available exclusively through the Android Market for FREE in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. The ‘Full Version Key’ which unlocks the premium features is also available through the Android Market for $29.99. Customers who previously purchased Documents To Go version 1.0 will receive the ‘Full Version Key’ at no charge. Supported devices include the T-mobile G1, HTC Dream, HTC Magic, T-mobile myTouch 3G, HTC Hero, Google Ion, Samsung Galaxy, Samsung i7500 and other devices running Android OS. For more information on Documents To Go and RoadSync for Android: www.dataviz.com/GetAndroid.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Report Your Pre Bluetooth Car Kit Issues

Pre owners, are you having using the Bluetooth features of your smartphone with your vehicle's Bluetooth car kit? If so, Palm wants to hear from you.

I have been working with the other moderators at Palm's Support Community Forums to identify issues between the Pre and Bluetooth car kits. We have been working to collect data from Pre users to identify which make and model year cars are having issues with the hope of being able to enhance Bluetooth support in future versions of webOS. The kind of information that is being collected is:
  • Make/Model:

  • Year:
  • 
Carkit Model info (Manufacturer, firmware version, etc):
  • Details of problem: (e.g. pairing drops, static on the line, buttons mapped incorrectly, etc)
  • 
webOS version:
  • 
Included in compatibility list:
Palm's Pre Bluetooth compatibility list can be found on the Palm website. Once you have gathered the information specific to your vehicle, you can post that data in Palm's Bluetooth support forum.

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

NotifyLink for Palm webOS Arriving in September

NotifyCorp, the makers of the wireless email and PIM bridging middleware software, NotifyLink, has posted a new teaser for the Pre on their website. The previous teaser only stated that the new client was "coming soon."

As you can see, the teaser says that the webOS client for the Pre will be arriving in September. There is no word at this time whether or not you will need to upgrade to NotifyLink Enterprise Server 4.7 or if you will be able to plug the new client software into existing NotifyLink 4.5 or 4.6 servers.

I'll post more details when I get them. If you are not familiar with NotifyLink, you can learn more about it on the NotifyCorp website.

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