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Janam Extends Palm OS Garnet License (PalmInfoCenter)
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 2006.
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Pre 2 Mockups Appearing in Rogers Stores (PalmInfoCenter)
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.
Monday, 22 November 2010
Palm Confirms WebOS 2 Coming to All Current Devices (PalmInfoCenter)
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.
Friday, 19 November 2010
WebOS 2.0.1 Update Arriving for Pre 2 (PalmInfoCenter)
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.
Friday, 19 November 2010
Palm Offers $200 Pre 2 Discount to Developers (PalmInfoCenter)
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.
Thursday, 18 November 2010
Unlocked Pre 2 Now Available in the USA (PalmInfoCenter)
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 in September of 2008.
Thursday, 18 November 2010
Pre 2 Now Available Unlocked in Europe (PalmInfoCenter)
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.
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Palm Pre 2 Has Native CPU Scaling (PalmInfoCenter)
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 older WebOS devices when it is released in the coming months.
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Aceeca Working on Ruggedized Palm OS Tablet (PalmInfoCenter)
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 connectivity modules. Finally, the company has issued no further updates since our last report on an updated Palm Desktop or Hotsync package that is fully compatible with 64-bit versions of Windows.
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
PC Mags Dan Costa on Moving from WebOS to Android (PalmInfoCenter)
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 recent Sprint Pre EOL confirmation. The final point to push this once-staunch Palm advocate to the Android platform was the arrival of Sprint's WiMax network in New York City.
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Rubinstein and Bradley Presenting at Web 2.0 Summit (PalmInfoCenter)
In what may be the biggest stage for some new WebOS news prior to January's CES event, Todd Bradley and Jon Rubsintein of HP/ Palm presenting together later today (Nov. 16) at the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco under the banner of "A Conversation with HP". While no specific agenda or topics have been released, speculation has run rampant that Tuesday's talk may coincide with an official Verizon Wireless release for the Pre 2 or the Pre 2's availability in additional markets outside of France. Less likely but still possible, some solid references might be made to future devices and form factors powered by WebOS. Additional details and bios on the speakers are available from Web2summit.com.
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Unlocked GSM Palm Pre 2 Now Available in the UK (PalmInfoCenter)
While no UK carrier has announced plans to offer the new Palm Pre 2 in an official, supported, and subsidized form, WebOS fans in the UK can at least get some consolation in that the HP's European Palm webstore is now selling unlocked GSM Pre 2 devices. The SIM-free Pre 2 for €399.00 and "unlocked for use on UK networks". Hopefully an announcement for an unlocked USA version of the device will be coming soon. Pocket-lint has coverage of the UK Pre 2 options which are well, slim. Their report details that a majority of UK carriers have no plans to offer the device on contract any time soon. A rep for O2 is quoted as saying "We've always offered our customers a choice of experiences when they come to buy a new phone and we were excited to add webOS and the Palm Pre to our range. We're still fans of webOS - the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus are available from us today - but won't be taking the Palm Pre Two".
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Sprint Palm Pre Officially EOL'd (PalmInfoCenter)
While we discussed the original Palm Pre's disappearance from Sprint's web store last week, as of that writing the device was still technically an active model with a bit of inventory presumably remaining in the channel. Now courtesy of an anonymous tipster to Precentral.net, we have confirmation that the Pre is indeed reached EOL (end of life) status with Sprint. According to the tipster, Only a few hundred new unsold Pre remain in Sprint warehouses and once those are depleted, there looks to be no other WebOS unit in sight for Sprint save for the original Pixi, as the carrier has decided to pass on the Pre Plus, the Pixi Plus, and the Pre 2. Sprint's original Pre was the debut WebOS device, launched on June 6th, 2009 after its unveiling at CES on Janurary 8th 2009.
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
WebOS Evangelist Rahul Sood Leaving HP (PalmInfoCenter)
In yet another blow to the synergy of the combined HP/Palm/WebOS efforts, CTO of Global Gaming and Advanced Computing Rahul Sood announced today via his personal blog that he is leaving HP effective December 1st. Sood, still best known as the founder of boutique gaming rig builder Voodoo PC prior to its acquisition by HP, was an enthusiastic proponent of WebOS and its potential gaming capabilities. Only two months ago we ran a story where Rahul was promising "great things" for WebOS and upcoming hardware across a "wide range of devices". In his farewell blog post, Mr. Sood gives thanks to the Palm WebOS community for their loyalty and dedication and promises to still participate in community discussions surrounding the OS. One of his final Palm-related pieces was this guest blog entry on the Palm blog back in September.
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Graffiti for Android Updated for November (PalmInfoCenter)
Access Co. continues its near-monthly march of updates to the Graffiti app for Android OS devices. With this morning's new build, the app is now up to version number 2.0.5. While it remains a free download from the Google Market, Access has unfortunately (though unsurprisingly given the free nature and regular updates of this program) seen fit to implement an ad in the DIA upon the initial startup of the app, as well as when the device is idle. (checkout a screenshot after the break.) While a quick tap to the Graffiti DIA removes these ads (all of the ads I've seen thus far are for other Access software products), it may be a good time to have a cheap ad-free version of the app available for purchase for true Graffiti fans. In all fairness, Access' change log does mention the new "quick ads for the Access' NetFront Life family of products". Also, the change log describes "Updated Security" and new YouTube help videos. In my brief time testing the device I could not notice any security changes, though the app does require network access on the user's device, which does seem a bit extreme for a simple keyboard replacement app.
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Upcoming Palm Device Code Names Revealed (PalmInfoCenter)
An intrepid webOS hacker by the name of Destinal was rummaging around in the ROM of a SFR-sourced Pre 2 running WebOS 2.0 and dug up some interesting new Palm device code names which were posted to Webosinternals.org. Of course, these devices may or may not even see the light of day. "RoadRunner" is widely known to be the current Pre 2, with "broadway" previously rumored to be a Pixi successor. The Pixi Plus, at least as far as Verizon Wireless is concerned, is slated to be EOL'd in March of 2011 so that would make sense. The other three code names have not been previously mentioned and are "windsor", "mantaray" and "stingray".
Friday, 12 November 2010
Angry Birds Update Coming Soon for WebOS (PalmInfoCenter)
Angry Birds may quite possibly be the most addicting mobile game since the original Bejeweled. Fortunately, WebOS users who are hungry for more Angry Birds goodness won't have to wait much longer, as their platform's vesion of the game is set to receive a significant update according to several Tweets from developer Rovio. Hopefully this new WebOS update will be similar to October's special Halloween update for iOS devices or this week's massive Android version update that added 45 new levels.
Friday, 12 November 2010
More departures from Palm - Almaer and Galbraith Now Gone (PalmInfoCenter)
Almost lost amidst the excitement surrounding the aftermath of the WebOS 2.0 and Pre 2 announcements in October was the quiet departure of Ben Galbraith and Dion Almaer from Palm. Over the past year, the pair have acted as superb evangelists and keepers of the WebOS flame. Both are probably best known to most PIC readers as the role as Heads of WebOS Developer Relations, developers of the initial revamped WebOS Facebook app, and also as the hosts of the development podcast videos. In particular, their chat with HP's Phil McKinney that we covered back in July is especially interesting.
Friday, 12 November 2010
Verizon Palm Pre 2 Release Date Approaching? (PalmInfoCenter)
An anonymous tipster (aren't they all?) has tipped off PreCentral with a screenshot that Verizon is currently undergoing training for the Pre 2 and WebOS 2.0. While this is no major news in and of itself, it's a good sign that the device's release may be imminent. When speaking to a senior Verizon tech support rep in January on the Pre Plus launch day regarding some subsequent technical issues, I was told that the training for the device had concluded about a week before its retail availability. An earlier Engadget report with a leaked Verizon Wireless November rebate form did indicate a Pre 2 in the system with an accompanying $100 rebate. Since the publication of the Engadget piece, several of the then-unreleased handsets have become official, such as the Droid 2 Global, Droid Pro, and Motorola Citrus, so the Pre 2 should be appearing in the very near future. So the previously-mentioned November 18th still appears to be as likely of a release date as any, especially since the earlier November 11th date has passed with no Pre 2 announcement.
Friday, 12 November 2010
Palm Pre 2 Hardware Changes Demo'd (PalmInfoCenter)
While the main attraction of the upcoming Pre 2 is undoubtably WebOS 2.0, there are a number of small but distinct hardware improvements made to the device. A nice hands-on YouTube demo video was recently posted by Markguim.tv showing all of the Pre 2's new features courtesy of Tim Pettitt, product manager for HP/Palm. First of all, the exterior has seen some minor revisions, including a slightly thinner, more chiseled design to replace the "river stone" aesthetic of the original Pre. Addressing the numerous build quality woes over the past 18 months, Palm has improved the overall build quality as well as the response of the slider. The device's QWERTY keyboard has been enhanced even more from the already-improved Pre Plus keyboard, offering a tactile "click" according to Mr. Pettitt. In addition, a new Gorilla Glass scratch-resistant flat screen adorns the front, replacing the previous curved plastic screen.
Thursday, 11 November 2010
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· Janam Extends Palm OS Garnet License (PalmInfoCenter)
· Pre 2 Mockups Appearing in Rogers Stores (PalmInfoCenter)
· Palm Confirms WebOS 2 Coming to All Current Devices (PalmInfoCenter)
· WebOS 2.0.1 Update Arriving for Pre 2 (PalmInfoCenter)
· Palm Offers $200 Pre 2 Discount to Developers (PalmInfoCenter)
· Unlocked Pre 2 Now Available in the USA (PalmInfoCenter)
· Pre 2 Now Available Unlocked in Europe (PalmInfoCenter)
· Palm Pre 2 Has Native CPU Scaling (PalmInfoCenter)
· Aceeca Working on Ruggedized Palm OS Tablet (PalmInfoCenter)
· PC Mags Dan Costa on Moving from WebOS to Android (PalmInfoCenter)

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