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News From Around The Web

· Janam Extends Palm OS Garnet License (PalmInfoCenter) [11/23]
While we somehow managed to overlook this news item on its initial August 30th release, since we've been covering a good bit of Palm OS news of late courtesy of Aceeca and Motion Apps' Classic, this one is certainly worth a mention. Janam Technologies LLC, one of only a handful of Access' major Palm OS licensees remaining active, announced that they are extending their licensing agreement for the Garnet OS. Under the terms of Janam's agreement with Access Systems Americas, Inc., Janam will continue its XP line of ruggedized Garnet-based handhelds through 2017, five years longer than originally planned. The full text of the press release is here. First launched in 2007, Janam currently fields two ruggedized Garnet 5.4.9-based models for industrial applications, the monochrome 160x160 XP20 and the color 240x320 XP30. Both have integrated barcode scanners, numeric keypads, and 802.11b/g wireless connectivity. We initially covered these devices during a sneak preview in...

· Pre 2 Mockups Appearing in Rogers Stores (PalmInfoCenter) [11/22]
A Twitpic user by the name of Brianmarco has posted a shot of an in-store mockup Pre 2 from a Rogers retail store in Canada. The mockup unit's screen shows the Pre in full multitasking card glory with the new webOS 2.0 style "Just Type" box clearly visible. With no announced plans as yet for Rogers (or any other Canadian carrier) to offer the Pre 2, this is the clearest indicator so far that SFR and Verizon Wireless are about to be joined by another carrier partner. If true, this offering would be the first North American carrier-backed version of the GSM Pre 2 which went on sale in unlocked form to customers in the USA last week. To date, Palm has been rather mum on the issue of Canadian Pre 2 offerings, other than the vague announcement of an unnamed Canadian carrier "in the coming months" promise from last month's Pre 2 press release.

· Palm Confirms WebOS 2 Coming to All Current Devices (PalmInfoCenter) [11/19]
While the general consensus for some time has been that version 2.0 would eventually be released for all legacy WebOS devices, PreCentral is reporting direct from WebOS develop day in NYC that Palm's Josh Marinacci has indeed confirmed that the update will indeed hit all existing WebOS 1.x devices. Unfortunately, no specific mention was made of timing other than the usual "in the coming months". Regardless, it is an encouraging sign to current WebOS users who may be stuck on an original Pre or Pixi with no hardware upgrade path in sight on their carrier of choice that Palm is committed to offering updates to all devices. A full video of Josh Marinacci's developer day talk is already available on Palm's YouTube channel.

· WebOS 2.0.1 Update Arriving for Pre 2 (PalmInfoCenter) [11/19]
A busy week for Palm is now concluding with the surprisingly rapid release of a new WebOS update 2.0.1 update. This release, which is only for the new unlocked Pre 2 devices, is primarily a bugfix release, as confirmed by Precentral. As of this writing, no official changelog has been released by Palm. The initial reports of the update originated from the UK and there is no word at this time if SFR Pre 2 users in France or the unlocked Pre 2 devices hitting customers' hands in the USA any day now are slated to receive this update.

· Palm Offers $200 Pre 2 Discount to Developers (PalmInfoCenter) [11/18]
Palm's WebOS developer day starts tomorrow in NYC and they have kicked things off in grand fashion with some good news: the just-released unlocked GSM Pre 2 is available for a sweet $200 discount to developers in the United States, according to Palm's Developer Center site. This promotion is effective immediately and each discount coupon code is valid for only one device purchase. Purchase requests for the discount will need to made to [email protected] and the fine print says HP/Palm reserve the right to quality purchasers as developers. Nevertheless, this is a long overdue and very welcome gesture to the developer community and will hopefully be the first step of many to rejuvenate WebOS software development.

· Unlocked Pre 2 Now Available in the USA (PalmInfoCenter) [11/18]
This week has been one of widespread Pre 2 availability, as the new flagship WebOS device is now officially on sale in unlocked GSM form directly from HP for $450. The Pre 2 is now available on both HP's Small Business and Home web stores, with orders promising to ship within 24 hours. Surprisingly, Palm's own website has not yet been updated to show that the device ready for sale. Like its predecessors, the Pre 2 is only offered in the US with AT&T-friendly; 850/1900Mhz bands, so T-Mobile customers are out of luck, as are global travelers if they want 3G service in most other countries outside the USA. With no official announcement made thus far of the availability date of the Verizon Wireless version of the Pre 2 or of a update rollout schedule for legacy devices, the Pre 2 is currently the only way to get a taste of WebOS 2.0. Also worth noting, this event marks the first time a domestic Palm product has debuted in an unlocked from since the Windows Mobile-based Treo Pro...

· Pre 2 Now Available Unlocked in Europe (PalmInfoCenter) [11/17]
Shortly after we posted yesterday's news item on the unlocked Pre 2's availability in the UK comes its appearance on the European Palm webstore for several other countries such as Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Russia. Nit-picky German Palm fans should note that the German Pre 2 is offered only in the QWERTY keyboard format, not the usual German QWERTZ format. Another interesting tidbit as noted by PreCentral is that this occasion marks the first time any WebOS-powered device has been sold in Italy, Russia, or or the Netherlands, likely thanks in no small part to HP's deep pockets and extensive global presence. The Pre 2 available for all of these European countries rings in at the same 499.00 Euro price tag as the UK version. With the greater part of Western Europe now Pre2-ified, at least in unlocked form, let's hope that a comparable AT&T; band-compatible version makes its way across the pond in a timely fashion.

· Palm Pre 2 Has Native CPU Scaling (PalmInfoCenter) [11/17]
One of the most severe complaints lodged against the Pal Pre and Pre Plus to date has been weak battery life. By utilizing the same legacy 1150mAh battery design as seen in the Palm Centro and 800w across the full Pixi, Pre, and now Pre 2 lines, Palm has had to resort to OS and hardware tweaks in order to achieve longer run times. Thanks to a few Tweets from WebOSinternals and Markus Leutwyler, a Govnah screenshot indicates that the new Pre 2 dynamically scales its clock speed between 300Mhz when idle and 1Ghz when under full load. This wide range of CPU speed stepping is done natively without any additional patches or hackery on the part of the users, which is why a stock Pre 2 can not only outmuscle its older siblings but also outlast them even when powered by the exact same battery. While this change is presumably due to the newer TI OMAP 3630 CPU architecture in the Pre 2, it is not confirmed if WebOS 2.0 will bring any sort of tangible battery life improvements to...

· Aceeca Working on Ruggedized Palm OS Tablet (PalmInfoCenter) [11/16]
While most fans have postulated that the end of the road for new Palm OS hardware is the recently-launched Aceeca PDA32 handheld, a series of posts in the company's official PDA32 support forums has revealed that Aceeca is working on a potential ruggedized Palm OS tablet device. In the words of company CEO Alex Topschij, Aceeca's engineers are exploring how to best go about working around the classic Palm OS Garnet screen resolution limitation of 320 x 480 pixels. Presumably, the company wants to surpass the largest-screen Palm OS devices to date, the 320x480 screens found on the Tapwave Zodiac (3.8") and various Sony Clies (3.9"). In other Aceeca news, the company is still struggling to implement proper Bluetooth and wi-fi driver support in the Garnet-based PDA32, as of the last support post on November 5th. While the device can currently be ordered with the digital audio input/output and IR options, it remains unavailable with either Bluetooth or 802.11g wireless...

· PC Mags Dan Costa on Moving from WebOS to Android (PalmInfoCenter) [11/16]
PC Magazine's Dan Costa, previously a proud proponent of the Palm Pre and WebOS, has written two related new articles on why he is dumping his Pre in favor a device on the rapidly moving but fractured Android landscape: "Why I'm Dropping My Palm Pre" and "Why I Picked Up the Samsung Epic 4G with Android". In Costa's own words, he was an original "Palm loyalist", having used Palm PDAs and smartphones since the first Pilot but could no longer live with the Pre's various platform, hardware, and network shortcomings compared to the rapidly-improving competition. In Costa's own words for WebOS: "The platform is clearly floundering". He claims to have made his decision partly because he needed a more capable converged device, but also because of a lack of compelling new features in WebOS 2.0 and the Pre 2's exclusivity on Verizon combined with the lack of any new WebOS device upgrade path for Sprint users. This last point has become a very common complaint, especially with the...

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