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MotionApps Discontinues Classic, Donates it to Palm

Classic Palm Pre Emulator Video Since its launch, one of the more welcome components of WebOS 1.x has been the Palm OS emulation layer provided by Motion Apps' Classic app. Launched shortly before the retail availability of the Pre and WebOS last year, Classic was one of the pricier apps in the WebOS catalog but an invaluable aid for many longtime Palm OS users as they gradually transitioned to WebOS.

Unfortunately, this app will soon be headed for extinction, at least as far as its involvement with Motion Apps. In a short, rather terse announcement on their website, Motion Apps explaines the sudden discontinuation of the Classic emulator due to the removal by HP/Palm of the Palm OS Garnet libraries in WebOS 2.0:

With the release of Palm webOS™ 2.0 MotionApps will no longer sell or support future versions of Classic.
 We have decided to hand the entire source code and all accompanying IP over to Palm so Palm can assume full control of Classic's future life and shape. 
We had great time building Classic and supporting its vibrant community. Palm's way of supporting MotionApps has become too disruptive for us and we no longer believe that we are in a position to provide our customers with the best product and service. 
Our work is who we are so we respectfully choose to exit.

While Palm's reasons for this are unknown, this action is apparently in direct violation of their agreement with Motion Apps. Palm's motivations for this are unknown, though many have speculated that it's simply due to a desire to move as far away as possible from any legacy ties to the classic Palm OS or its related components. Additionally, packaging, compatibility, or support issues within WebOS itself could have made it necessary to jettison unnecessary components such as a Palm OS ROM.

In all likelihood, this decision probably was not made for financial reasons, given that Palm has a perpetual license to the Garnet OS under the terms of its agreement with Access in 2006. Presumably, since Motion Apps has handed over all IP and source code to Palm, the app could be resurrected as a free download or, less likely, as an integrated component of future versions of WebOS. The full text of Motion Apps' announcement is here.

With the news of all existing WebOS 1.x devices due to receive an update to WebOS 2.x, users that absolutely require a specific Palm OS application have no choice but to fall back to a legacy Garnet device, hold off installing any WebOS updates for the foreseeable future, or invest in the only Palm OS device still in production, Aceeca's PDA32.

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Disappointing

HyperScheduler @ 10/27/2010 5:05:26 PM # Q
I am disappointed in Palm's behavior here. Even though I have not used a Pre, WebOS, or MotionApps's Classic, I was still rooting for them to succeed.

It seems spiteful of Palm.

Can anyone add any additional thoughts on WHY Palm would do this?

RE: Disappointing
LiveFaith @ 10/27/2010 10:40:45 PM # Q
Palm OS apps on a modern device like the Pre 2 are like Gekko's buggy whips. Expecting one to work on a 2011 automobile is unnecessary.

Palm OS is not only long long in the tooth, but running it on a capacitive touchscreen device like Pres is not rewarding. WebOS is short a few apps here and there, but basically it's all now covered natively. No need for an emulator.

It's time to let the sleeping dog lie. It's over.
Pat Horne

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Suicide

sford @ 10/27/2010 6:07:54 PM # Q
I have been a Palm loyalist since my first Pilot in 1996 and still use a Treo 650. I have never joined the others in predicting Palm's inevitable demise...until now -- at least in the smartphone market.

What made Palm the powerhouse it once was was the simplicity of its inherent design combined with the creativity of the developer community. Palm has been steadily killing this source of success, and I believe this is the proverbial final nail in the coffin.

The Palm we all knew and loved is gone. HP is doing what Big Business Corporate America does, and I mourn this day as the passing of a dear, long-time friend.

Farewell, Palm. I will miss you dearly.
Since 1996: Pilot Pro, III, IIIe, Nino (yeah...oops!), IIIc, VIIx, m505, NR70V, NZ90, NX60, T3, Zire 72s, NX80V, Treo 90, Treo 650

RE: Suicide
LiveFaith @ 10/27/2010 10:48:31 PM # Q
You may be right @ Palm. The HP absorption may be the worst nightmare for a creative little company like Palm. Corporate America here we come, unless HP leaves some creative autonomy. I have my doubts but think it remains to be seen.

Making room for Classic in WebOS 2 is not that indicator IMO. That solution is just plain bad. Palm OS does not work in a truly functional way on a Pre. I've tried. I paid for the thing the first day after buying the Pre +.

Yes, you CAN do things with Classic, but you will not WANT to do them. It will be nearly 18 months since the release of WebOS. Almost everything needed has had ample time to make the jump. If it saves Palm resources to keep it out of ROM, then I say drop it too.
Pat Horne

RE: Suicide
patti30 @ 10/28/2010 11:28:06 AM # M Q
tis like running an old VW beetle engine in a sleek mercedes. palm os died and got forgotten. palm/hp has to drop the baggage if they ever wish to make the attempt at going after the apple and android behemoth
RE: Suicide
HyperScheduler @ 10/28/2010 12:06:14 PM # Q
All good points, I don't deny. . .

I just feel that taking on the apple and android behemoths does not NECESSARILY require eliminating a PalmOS emulator. That is, it is not like the existence or maintenance of MotionApps's Classic app was truly hindering that fight (was it?).


Palm m515 > Treo 650 > Treo 755p > iPhone 3GS [but contemplating a return to a PalmOS device to resume calendaring with PimlicoSoftware's Pimlical and DateBk6]

No, emulation in WebOS or in a Nokia tab is not my style, but I still maintain that Palm should have continued to support emulation.

RE: Suicide
Gekko @ 10/28/2010 1:18:50 PM # Q
RE: Suicide
sford @ 10/28/2010 7:09:10 PM # Q
I have played with my friend's Pre, but don't have one myself; so, I will seek first to understand.

Does webOS (or Android, iPhone, etc.) have outta-da-box functionality to compare with
- Palm's PIM apps
- ThoughtManager
- Adarian Money
- MyBible
- DocsToGo
- Dictionary/Thesaurus
- etc

and all WITH full desktop synchronization and WITHOUT needing to connect to the Internet?

And this whole "soandso has apps" thing drives me bonkers. Palm started the whole apps thing 15 years ago!
Since 1996: Pilot Pro, III, IIIe, Nino (yeah...oops!), IIIc, VIIx, m505, NR70V, NZ90, NX60, T3, Zire 72s, NX80V, Treo 90, Treo 650

RE: Suicide
hkklife @ 10/28/2010 7:47:24 PM # Q
#1 No, not even close

#2 No idea

#3 No idea

#4 No idea

#5 For viewing, yes. For editing, in most cases no. Again, this is comparing the bundled "full" DTG 8 on the Centro with what's kind of out-of-box experience there is for supporting MS Office file formats on the various other mobile platforms.

#6 I would say that the "always on" cloud-centric mentality of most of the newer OSes mitigate the need for dedicated onboard storage of Dictionary/Thesaurus libraries. For something like Android where you can have a dictionary.com widget on the desktop, this is even handier. Now, if you're talking about "offline" mode then I would imagine Palm OS does (or did) have the most options. Though the lack of native support for storage cards >4GB on Garnet sort of makes it unpleasant to carry around gigs of data on your device.

#7 Full desktop synchronization? None do it as well as Palm Desktop did.

#8 Without needing to connect to the Internet? Hell, you cannot even USE a WebOS device without having an active data connection to your device and doing an initial carrier activation! A Treo/Centro without ANY service plan on it will work splendidly as a full-featured PDA (and the battery life will go on forever without having to power a radio!)

Ditto about the app thing. However, I DO give Apple oodles of credit for turning the industry on its ear and introducing a ton of freeware/cheap but servicible $1 apps. The day os developers PUNISHING paying Palm OS & PPC customers with mediocre $30 "upgrades" and forcing us to beg for new serial numbers when changing devices is so thankfully a thing of the past! And the various marketplaces all support automatic updating which saves SO much time vs. the miserable old days of trying to track down the newest .prc file and making sure it is the right one for your particular device!

Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->Verizon Moto Droid + Verizon Palm Centro-> Verizon Moto Droid X + Palm TX

RE: Suicide
sford @ 10/29/2010 8:43:47 AM # Q
Oh man, I hear ya on that last point! $30 "upgrades"...HA!
Since 1996: Pilot Pro, III, IIIe, Nino (yeah...oops!), IIIc, VIIx, m505, NR70V, NZ90, NX60, T3, Zire 72s, NX80V, Treo 90, Treo 650
RE: Suicide
snarkophilus @ 10/31/2010 12:01:12 AM # Q
HyperScheduler wrote:
but contemplating a return to a PalmOS device to resume calendaring with PimlicoSoftware's Pimlical and DateBk6

Long time semi-regular lurker here, but this single comment was enough for me to join.

DateBk5 (and HandyShopper) is still the reason I carry a TX around.

I can't find any PIM on iPhone or Symbian or Android that does what the DateBk has done forever. I registered DateBk3 in 1998, and no one else in more than a decade has got this right...

Cheers,
Simon.

RE: Suicide
dagwud @ 11/1/2010 6:20:42 PM # Q
Jorte doesn't do everything Datebk does, but it's a significant improvement over the default calendar.

Also, if you're in an Exchange environment, Touchdown has promise. I'm still in the 30-day trial, but it only took a couple of days for me to prefer Touchdown to the HTC Exchange sync included with my phone.

I've found the Pure calendar and message widgets to be nice (and cheap) improvements, too.
--
PalmPilot Pro (1997) -> III (1998) -> Vx (1999) -> m500 (2001) -> m515 (2002) -> Tx (2007) -> HTC Aria (2010)

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What's Available

SFO_TXUSR @ 10/29/2010 10:54:10 AM # Q
I recently went from a Palm Centro to an iPod Touch and finally to an iPhone. While it is true the Touch/iPhones don't do what the Centro did out of the box, it did not cost me a lot of money to duplicate those capabilites and what I ended up with was a Lofe Drive replacement. There are still somethings that my original Palms do better, but there are other advantages that sway the balance the other way.
RE: What's Available
rpa @ 10/29/2010 8:23:09 PM # Q
Funny but I went the same route: Centro to iPod Touch to iPhone 4. I bought a MacBook Pro to replace my Toshiba notebook PC (after many, many years of Toshibas) and tried to find ways to sync the Centro. I tried Missing Sync but the result was disappointing and I lost my calendar at one point. Fortunately I was syncing with my wife's Touch in parallel (personal R&D activity) and was able to restore from that device. My iPhone 4 arrived (unlocked version from Apple's Hong Kong store) and the transfer of data to the Phone from the MacBook was, as one would expect from Apple, seamless. I am now using the iPhone exclusively with the Centro as backup and as a traveling phone (I juggle 5 SIM cards between different countries and the Centro will be used for travel to avoid roaming charges).

Anyway, the long and short of it is the Palm PIMs are still the best. I have learned to adapt to Apple's PIMs and overall the experience has been positive both moving from a Windows PC environment and from the Palm OS. One aspect that was surprising is the similarity between Apple now: tight control of software and hardware, and Palm in it's heyday (Vx and Treo eras). Palm could have made the Life(less) Drive into an early iPhone and the Fooleo into an early iPad but no point going over Palm's past many failings.

RIP Palm OS.

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