Sony Will Drop Proprietary Hi-Res API in OS 5 Handhelds
Current versions of the Palm OS only support 160 by 160 screens. Last year, when Sony wanted to release models with 320 by 320 screens, it was necessary for it to write its own application programming interface (API) to let developers write applications that could take advantage of the higher resolution screens.
PalmSource is close to finishing Palm OS 5, which does support larger screens but doesn't use the same API that Sony does. A Sony spokesperson has told Cnet that its OS 5 devices won't use its proprietary API; instead they will use the OS 5 one.
While this will help simplify the process of developing future Palm OS applications and prevent a schism between competing hi-res standards, it does mean that applications which depend on Sony's API won't work in OS 5.
All applications which have been modified to work on Sony's hi-res screens won't necessarily break. It is just the programs which only run on Sony handhelds which will need to be modified. Mostly, this includes apps Sony has written itself.
However, Sony may still have to include a special API if it continues to use the 320 by 480 screens on the NR series. The maximum resolution OS 5 supports is 320 by 320.
Incidentally, this is the first time a company spokesperson has officially said that Sony will release a model with Palm OS 5. While it has been widely assumed that it would, before now the company hasn't officially confirmed this.
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