Comments on: PalmSource Builds New Browser 3.0 for Cobalt

PalmSource today announced the release of PalmSource Web Browser 3.0, providing Palm Powered smart mobile device users a rich browsing experience along with an intuitive, easy to use navigation capability.  The PalmSource Web Browser 3.0 is specifically optimized for smartphones and wireless mobile devices.
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PSRC Looking Like MSFT! :-0

LiveFaith @ 9/27/2004 10:19:08 PM #
Palmsource has released more news today than Microsoft on a busy day. Strange, how they lay low and then ambush with all this.

** That status bar on the 320x480 sure would fit perfectly on a TT5. Notice the little antenna next to the BT. :-)

Pat Horne;

RE: PSRC Looking Like MSFT! :-0
bcombee @ 9/28/2004 12:21:38 AM #
All of these press releases were timed to correspond with the PalmSource 2004 European Developer Conference, which starts this morning here in Munich, Germany.

Ben Combee - PDA programmer weblog


mad212 @ 9/27/2004 10:21:19 PM #
Any word on if it supports landscape?

RE: Landscape?
Gekko @ 9/27/2004 10:30:19 PM #
I'd be shocked if it didn't.

RE: Landscape?
hkklife @ 9/28/2004 12:10:18 AM #
This one looks to be outstanding in every way, though the proof will be once we finally have it in our hands.

It'd be nice to see at least some minimal development for the time being on WebPro 3.x for the OS5 units. I am one of the few who felt that WebPro 3.0 for the T3 was a better browser than I was expecting at the time.

Also, it's nice to see SO many news releases on PIC from PalmSOurce. Now, bring on the new hardware and let's cross our fingers that it's really going to knock our socks off in ways the TE2/T5 could not.

RE: Landscape?
bcombee @ 9/28/2004 12:22:54 AM #
The initial 3.0 release for Palm OS Cobalt 6.0.1 doesn't support landscape, as landscape support isn't part of that OS release. However, Palm OS Cobalt 6.1 does have landscape support, and the Web Browser will be updated with that support in the near future.

Ben Combee - PDA programmer weblog
RE: Landscape?
hkklife @ 9/28/2004 1:57:35 AM #
Ben, I know that the activities of licensees is totally independent of what PalmSource does, but I have gotten rather used to landscape mode on my T3. Any idea (speculative, of course) if 6.1 upgrades might be feasible down the road for the first units running 6.0?

Also, any chance of continued browser development for OS5 units on the PalmSource end? Good luck with the imminent launch of the OS 6.1 simulator, btw.

Try Web Browser 3.0 Now

bcombee @ 9/28/2004 1:26:29 AM #
As a Palm OS developer, you can try this Web Browser 3.0 right now. You need to download the release version of the Palm OS 6.0.1 Simulator and the Web Browser 3.0 SDK. Both are available from, but you need to be a member of the Palm OS Developer program and agree to the SDK license to download them.

Ben Combee - PDA programmer weblog
RE: Try Web Browser 3.0 Now
Fernando @ 9/28/2004 12:11:28 PM #
it seems to work nicely... unfortuantely u can't get the full experience until you have a full os 6 device..... where are they! we're about due for the TT5 from palmone any moment now....

Only for 6.0?

ocspub @ 9/28/2004 1:29:48 AM #
I thought the official company line was that Cobalt (6.x) and Garnett (5.x) continue to coexist, and the rumored fact that the upcoming Treo Ace will run on 5.x seems proof that 5.x devices will be with us for a while. So how about supporting the customers of those devices by providing this very nice looking browser? Certainly the thousands of Zodiac users currently suffering from having to use PalmSource' Web Browser 2.0 would be excited...


Win a fully loaded Zodiac, now at

RE: Only for 6.0?
hkklife @ 9/28/2004 3:23:55 PM #
Well, remember, in '01/'02 Palm said that OS4 devices would continue to live & thrive after OS5 was released. AFAIK other than the original Zire (launched simultaneously with the T|T) there was just the T|W and maybe a Samsung smartphone running OS 4. Otherwise it was all OS5 from there on.

I predict a similar situation after spring '05.

Very nice

mikecane @ 9/28/2004 1:41:23 PM #
This looks like one hell of a thing. I'd really like to get my hands on this in a WiFied OS6 device (are you listening palmOne?).

Browsing Multiple Pages

JKingGrim @ 9/28/2004 6:16:40 PM #
Those tabs at the top look like they are for browsing multiple pages at once. How many pages can it browse at once? Only two, or more?

RE: Browsing Multiple Pages
bcombee @ 9/28/2004 9:14:24 PM #
The tabs are for browsing multiple pages. The open URL dialog has a checkbox to open the URL in a new tab. This is also used to handle popup windows -- the popup will appear in a new tab, rather than replace the current window. The browser has support for blocking most unwanted popups. The 3.0 release is limited to three tabs open at one time.

Ben Combee - PDA programmer weblog
RE: Browsing Multiple Pages
ocspub @ 9/29/2004 1:19:20 AM #
> The 3.0 release is limited to three tabs open at one time.

Ben, any particular reason for that? While three is better than what we have today, it seems (for this outsider) like an unnecessary restriction along the lines of the restrictions on the number of categories supported by databases. If it's a matter of rendering the tabs in the UI, they could be replaced by some other UI widget (drop-down list) when the list of tabs grows beyond a threshold.

And while I have your attention -- any thoughts on improvements to the 2.0 version of Web Browser? A few small fixes and enhancements would make such a difference in usability, IMO (tabbed interface, no network disconnect upon exit of the app).


Visit for Zodiac news and discussion.

RE: Browsing Multiple Pages
bcombee @ 9/29/2004 5:43:42 AM #
The limit is three for a couple of reasons:

1) Having more tabs means that there's not enough room to show what the tab contains in the title bar.

2) Supporting more tabs makes it more likely that the user will run out of memory while web browsing, since each active window takes a lot of resources.

This limit can be changed at build time, and may vary depending on the orientation of the screen and availalble memory.

Ben Combee - PDA programmer weblog

RE: Browsing Multiple Pages
bcombee @ 9/29/2004 5:45:56 AM #
As for Web Browser 2.0, it's unlikely that there will be any updates there, beyond the 2.0.4 release that shipped with the Zodiac to support the DIA. Our licensees have mostly been picking up other web browser technology, like Blazer and WebPro, and any improvements would be tied to a licensee making the requests for new features to bundle with a device. With Cobalt and Web Browser 3.0, we're telling them to use the new OS and browser instead.

Ben Combee - PDA programmer weblog
RE: Browsing Multiple Pages
ocspub @ 9/29/2004 11:46:38 AM #
Thanks for the reply, Ben. I guess I'll have to look forward to that Zodiac 3 with Cobalt 6.1, 2 GB flash RAM, and Web Browser 3.0 :-)

By the way, as an enterprise software developer, I'd find it much easier to support the PalmOS platform if there was one standard browser that was at least available (even if only as an option) on each device. Reduces the testing effort significantly, and thus makes it a lot easier to justify certification of a particular device (or entire OS platform).

Enjoy the beer in Munich!


Visit for Zodiac news and discussion.



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