New ALP Details and Screenshots

Access Linux Platform Home ScreenACCESS has posted new official screenshots of ACCESS Linux Platform v1.0 and new details on ALP. The OS is optimized for a 240x320 display but will also be able to support HVGA 320x480 and WVGA 800x480 sizes. There is also a list of native apps that will ship with ALP and a Windows based desktop syncing program. In addition, a 200 MHz ARM 9 chip is the minimum requirement but ACCESS recommends using a 400 MHz ARM 9 or greater applications processor. The company has yet to announce a licensee for the platform.

Access Linux Platform Screenshots
click for larger

Native ALP Applications

  • All native ACCESS proprietary applications support inter-application communications for data interchange
  • Phone
  • Contacts
  • Calendar
  • Memos
  • Tasks
  • HotSync®
  • NetFront™ Browser
  • HandMail™ (available 2Q2007)
  • SMS+
  • iMessenger™
  • Music
  • Video
  • Photos & Studio
  • Camera
  • Documents (available 2Q2007)
  • Utilities (Clock, Calculator, Recorder, Home Screen, Flight Mode)

Networking and Communication support

  • Includes a modern and robust connection manager capable of handling multiple simultaneous connections
  • TCP/IP
  • WiFi (802.11g)
  • Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR
  • USB
  • IrDA
  • Serial

Desktop and Sync software

  • Manage personal information on a Windows XP desktop computer to add, edit or delete contact records, calendar events, memos and tasks and synchronize using HotSync software, which now supports OMA DS v1.2 (SyncML)
  • Backup and restore information between the device and desktop as well as install native, Garnet OS, Java applications and media files with HotSync

Access Linux Platform Diagram

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SeldomVisitor @ 2/12/2007 8:04:25 PM # Q
Why is ALP more interesting than, say, Symbian here on PalmInfocenter?

That is to say, PALM has shown zero interest in ALP as they have shown zero interest in Symbian, suggesting that ALP be accorded the same article space as...Symbian.

RE: Uh...
Ryan @ 2/12/2007 8:21:09 PM # Q
I see your point but keep in mind - Symbian doesn't have a built in Palm OS Garnet compatibility layer and wasn't put together by the former "keepers" of the Palm OS. But in the future you will likely see less coverage of ALP here and more on

RE: Uh...
SeldomVisitor @ 2/12/2007 8:46:07 PM # Q
You need prominent links to your alternate sites - no kidding.

RE: Uh...
cbowers @ 2/12/2007 11:47:16 PM # Q
There's more than one?

RE: Uh...
legodude522 @ 2/13/2007 2:42:54 AM # Q
Shows all the sites-

Palm m125 > Palm Zire 71 > Tapwave Zodiac 1 > Palm Zire 72 > Sharp Zaurus SL-C1000 + 4gb MicroDrive + Palm Tungsten T|3 (1100mah)
My T|3 is too [i]sexy[/i] for me.
RE: Uh...
SeldomVisitor @ 2/13/2007 6:58:11 AM # Q
>> You need prominent links to your alternate sites - no kidding.
> There's more than one?



Reply to this comment

Access stole my GUI

Foo Fighter @ 2/12/2007 8:15:43 PM # Q
It appears Access took the same approach to UI design in solving the problem of system status placement and application titlebars...

I demand royalties!

The iPhone Blog,

RE: Access stole my GUI
twrock @ 2/12/2007 8:31:51 PM # Q
Yes, I'm sure that Access was waiting around until you showed the world you ideas before even considering the look of their GUI. Get a lawyer quick! There's millions to be made on a lawsuit!

Thinking about Vista? Think again:

RE: Access stole my GUI
freakout @ 2/12/2007 8:45:23 PM # Q
Foo, how do we know that it wasn't you stealing Access' IP? ;)

I suggest a mud wrestling contest to settle this.

RE: Access stole my GUI
Foo Fighter @ 2/12/2007 9:06:24 PM # Q
I was being droll. But it interesting that Access not only came to the same approach, but also won't be supporting square display ratios either, apparently. I won't lament that loss.

The iPhone Blog,
RE: Access stole my GUI
Scott R @ 2/13/2007 7:55:39 PM # Q
Meh. That's a big waste of screen real estate. Palm OS5 can display the application name (possibly non-critical info, in and of itself) and all of the statuses I really need, all on one bar.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
- Tapwave Zodiac News, Reviews, & Discussion -

Reply to this comment

Looks nice

t3h @ 2/12/2007 9:09:35 PM # Q
Looks nice, if not a little OS X inspired with the blue background. I don't mind that :)

Palm TX + 1GB SD + Motorola v3x = awesomeness
Reply to this comment

This screenshot looks better

roubaixpro @ 2/12/2007 10:31:39 PM # Q
Why does this screenshot look better than the funky blue ones posted above, particularly the multi-colored icons?

RE: This screenshot looks better
stonemirror @ 2/14/2007 12:48:26 PM # Q
Because it's a project in progress. The static screenshots were created a month or two ago; we've designed and added improved icons since that time.

Reply to this comment

Great but...

gregjsmith @ 2/12/2007 11:27:07 PM # Q
This looks nice, but when will it be available for my TX?
Reply to this comment

Starting behind again I see

TrafficGeek @ 2/12/2007 11:26:44 PM # Q
...802.11g... where's 802.11n?

This is getting better. The prove will be if the vaporware ever condense into 'actual'-ware...sometime before our Sun expands into a Red Giant...

They still smell like a buck short and a dollar late...

US Robotics Pilot 5000 -> 3Com Palm III -> Sony Cile N710C -> Sony Clie T615C -> Palm LifeDrive

RE: Starting behind again I see
cbowers @ 2/12/2007 11:48:42 PM # Q
Let's see what the hardware will support before clamoring for buzzwords. Current PalmOS doesn't max out anything near 802.11b, nevermind G or N speeds. The only reason to even fuss over G is so that your PDA doesn't slow down the rest of the clients too.

And no word about WiMAX !! ( IEEE 802.16 )
zuhmir @ 2/13/2007 5:43:25 AM # Q
they are really starting behind!
WiMAX is an essential part of the future! In less than one year from today,
every mobile device will have WiMAX capability.
WiMAX allows nationwide coverage of wireless network, no more searching for the nearest coffee place to find a hotspot!

RE: Starting behind again I see
Alpha1220 @ 2/13/2007 4:48:17 PM # Q
This is the problem when consumers become educated by product manufacturers instead of doing their own research or using independent information.

The n standard has yet to be ratified, and, more to the point, has yet to be finalized in terms of its precise specifications and methods of transmission/operation. We are still at least a year away from seeing actual n ratified/standardized equipment, maybe longer.

And yes, that's right: the fancy pre-n or draft-n equipment they are currently charging a premium for? The stuff you are prone to see at Bestbuy or Circuit City or hawked on amazon? Less than even odds that most of it is going to be fully interoperable with the true n standard once it comes out -- if lucky, it will be able to stage it down to g. If lucky. And even if it does somehow handle the final n standard (perhaps with the aid of a firmware up) it isn't going to take full advantage of it.

Access is not only being rational about not grabbing the n standard (more for the reason of its pointless in terms of bandwidth demand), but it's also being ethical, because to claim that it is actually coding n compatibility would be a lie at this stage.

Your best bet? Grab a g with Mimo and don't believe the hype.

Reply to this comment

iMessenger lives!

bcombee @ 2/13/2007 12:37:35 AM # Q
I find it funny that they're using the iMessenger trademark. That was the name for the email app on the old Palm VII device that used special servers at over the Mobitex network. That name had been dead since the i705 went EOL, so it's nice to see it get used again five years later.

RE: iMessenger lives!
cervezas @ 2/13/2007 12:26:59 PM # Q
That's pretty funny. Here and I thought Apple had trademarked the letter "i".

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Reply to this comment

What, no 320x320 support?

palmdoc88 @ 2/13/2007 3:54:14 AM # Q
Doesn't ALP support 320x320? Sigh...
RE: What, no 320x320 support?
hkklife @ 2/13/2007 2:33:57 PM # Q
In another room, a few executives watched Carl Yankowski's interview on CNBC, taping it for playback at the employee meeting that was to commence in minutes. After CNBC announcers gushed over "the most talked-about IPO," the camera cut to Carl Yankowski in the Nasdaq studio. Usually a compelling public speaker, Yankowski seemed out of his element. When asked about larger screens for palmtops, he answered stiffly, "We are well positioned whichever way the market goes." As the interview came to a close, the reporter said, "I've got to ask you about your suit." Yankowski smiled. He was wearing a very special suit, he let on, designed to satisfy the public's high expectations from Palm's IPO. The shiny pinstripes woven into the otherwise standard wool suit were made from threads of pure gold. CNBC cut back to the studio anchor. "Was that for real?" he asked the correspondent. The Palm managers assembled around the TV set looked at each other. "We're not showing this video," one of the executives decreed. Then they walked out to start the employee meeting.

Taking this CLASSIC excerpt to the next level:

Access are well-positioned to make headway with "larger screens for palmtops". The question, of course, is whether ANY of their numerous licensees will jump onboard for 800x480 support. Heck, 320x480 would be a huge improvement over the current small square 320x320 on current POS Treos. Of course, any "modern" resolution is better than the (depressingly) one-step-backwards 240x320 for which Access are oddly intent on touting their "optimizing".

Is this (WinMob6 launch + ALP tidbits) what it will take to FINALLY get "larger screens for palmtops" on a PALMtop device? Couldn't we at least get a physically larger 320x320 LCD?

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: What, no 320x320 support?
mikecane @ 2/14/2007 9:36:53 AM # Q
240x320 screens are probably very very cheap, hence their support for them. You are probably thinking of a PocketPC form factor. You forget both the iPod and the Zune use that resolution too.

MS did the same thing when the developed the UMPC: use off-the-shelf components to drive down the cost. Unfortunately, theory met reality and those $500-$900 UMPCs became $1,000+!

I'd like to see at least *one* ALP device released in the US just so I can fondle, if not thoroughly molest, it!

RE: What, no 320x320 support?
shinobi @ 2/23/2007 8:38:23 PM # Q
Supported Platforms
To date, libsqlfs is tested on 32-bit i386 GNU/Linux (Ubnutu 5.04) and StrongArm (Treo 650 phone) Access Linux Platform.

This is taken from the page of libsqlfs, an open source component developed for ALP.

They tested it on a Treo 650 WITH ALP.

Besides, the resolution issues are trivial. It depends more on the people who design the graphics for the UI. The width and height of a screen are just variables.

Reply to this comment

Any cheers?

uuhh @ 2/13/2007 8:19:34 AM # Q

Reply to this comment

Palm is dying

fleehartsell3 @ 2/13/2007 9:43:42 AM # Q
Too little too late. Palm is dying -- too slow to innovate.

RE: Palm is dying
uuhh @ 2/13/2007 9:52:37 AM # Q
It is not innovation
It's five step back

Reply to this comment

At least it's a complete solution

rmhurdman @ 2/13/2007 11:16:26 AM # Q
The problem with Palm was that if you wanted something cool, you had to cobble it together yourself. You had to add IM, add audio player, add video player, add disk mode (except EndOfLifeDrive) etc. You even had to add on DateBook+ if you wanted improved functionality. There was no end to what you could cobble together, but I am very impressed that ALP will ship as something very usable to most people. Especially for people who never install third party apps.
It looks like they are taking a note from Apple (hopefully) and shipping something that "just works". Now let's see who'll sign up and provide the hardware.

RE: At least it's a complete solution
cervezas @ 2/13/2007 12:31:37 PM # Q
Yeah, it really is quite a lot more complete than Palm OS (er... Garnet OS). There are some nice benefits of this for third party application developers, too. For example, with NetFront integrated I've heard it hinted that there will be a browser control that you can embed in your app (nice if you're developing an RSS reader, ebook reader, or want rich help files). Having a free relational database built in is extremely powerful (Microsoft has one, but each user has to pay their pound of flesh to MS if they want to sync its data with another database). It looks like developers will have access to "Multimedia Services" and "Messaging Framework" APIs which I'm guessing should make it a lot easier to develop stuff with streaming media, P2P interaction and "presence." Frankly, just having the assurance that there is a file system at all times is going to be quite welcome, making ports of apps and application libraries from other platforms a lot easier.

It's complete in one sense, but from a developer standpoint it looks like a really nice platform to innovate on, too.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing

Reply to this comment

Little too late

serpico @ 2/13/2007 11:53:05 AM # Q
I think it's a little too late and perhaps the introduction of Windows Mobile 6 forced ALP to show us more of the new OS. As someone has posted above, where and when will devices come out for this? Is Palm going to be the only big manufacturer and even then, perhaps only Treo devices? My TX is nice but limited for my every day use with Outlook. For business users using Outlook, it seems that the new WM6 devices can really provide more. No surprise since both software apps are made from Microsoft.

I remember the day we joked about Windows CE devices here when they came out and I never imagined a day like this for Palm users. All we have are Treo's that are big, imagine if Palm never made the deal with Handspring. It would be very different today I think for us Palm users. Honestly, it's been hard being a PDA user and switching devices to find that perfect match. Maybe it's time to try a Blackberry 8800 or iPhone...

RE: Little too late
twrock @ 2/13/2007 8:38:18 PM # Q
Is Palm going to be the only big manufacturer and even then, perhaps only Treo devices?

I keep wondering, has anyone heard of Asia? It was "discovered" quite a few years ago, so I would have thought Americans would have heard of it by now. It's a "decent" sized market for mobile devices.

Thinking about Vista? Think again:

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razorpit @ 2/13/2007 7:22:05 PM # Q
I guess I'm in the minority. I was pretty happy to finally see something new out of the "Palm camp" other than a logo or name change. I've had the "pleasure" of using a Windows Mobile device recently for a couple of weeks on a special work project and thought the overall experience was pretty terrible.

Being a Palm user since '98 I can't say I'm happy with where the platform is today but I think this is a positive step forward and should open up some doors in the near future. Sure Palm is currently in a position of playing catch-up but if WinMob 6 is anything like WinMob 5, and ALP can bring the "Palm zen" to meet modern day expectations and requirements, I think Palm has a good chance of turning the ship around. My Treo 650 is about 2 years old now (might even be older, I can't remember) but it still does everything I need it to do. In that time several of my more geeky friends have gone threw more than a couple WinMob devices while the trusty Palm keeps on ticking. Considering the Treo spends 6-7 months out of the year in motorcycle tank bags, tossed in with scuba gear, and quite a few camping trips, I'd have to say it has taken its fair share of abuse.

To ACCESS I say bravo and, it's about time!


RE: Minority?
cervezas @ 2/13/2007 10:03:15 PM # Q
It's the crowd that posts comments here that is the minority, I think. I wouldn't make too much of this group being representative of Palm OS users as a whole. While I think there's obviously going to be some skepticism about ALP until we see it on real devices, I dare say most Palm users that read forums like this one are following its progress with considerable interest and are heartened to see the progress.

While I'm of the opinion that ALP will not be the only successor to the Palm OS out there, I do think it holds promise as the successor that could do the most to bring the Palm OS experience (broadly speaking) to a global audience. As a developer I'm looking forward to working with ALP.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing

RE: Minority?
ChiA @ 2/14/2007 5:31:20 AM # Q
There are people here making the presumption that Palm will actually use ALP. Its recruitment of Linux people hints that they will but the purchase of the perpetual Garnet license hints against this idea.

Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital. Aaron Levenstein
RE: Minority?
cervezas @ 2/14/2007 9:52:47 AM # Q

Also, if Palm had an interest in ALP don't you think they would have wanted to throw ACCESS a bone with a little PR buzz when there have been ALP press releases? Sure would have been a nice way for Palm to respond to questions about the future of Palm OS if they considered ALP to be their future. Instead, they've been dead quiet.

It's disappointing in one respect, but there is a potential silver lining. Notice how ACCESS is using the term "Garnet VM" ("Virtual Machine") to refer to their Palm OS emulator now? Just like the "Java VM" that is on practically every phone made? The idea that they are trying to convey, I think, is that Garnet is becoming an application execution environment that can run on multiple platforms, as opposed to being an OS unto itself. It can be part of ALP, but it can be part of other Linux platforms, or even WinCE or Symbian with some work. Compared to Java, Garnet is extremely powerful, though, with lots of access to low-level system APIs (possibly more than ever before, now that it's running on Linux). While I don't by any stretch of the imagination think Garnet is going to be taking over the world like Java ME has, even having it run on two major platforms (ALP and a next-generation OS from Palm) may be a good thing for a lot of users and developers. Giving the Palm OS ecosystem a shot in the arm will benefit both platforms in their initial adoption. Eventually the Garnet VM will become less and less important, but it has the potential of being a more powerful transitional force when it is seen as a multi-platform, multi-vendor environment than as being unique to just one vendor.

Will this strategy succeed? I'm not sure, but it's certainly an interesting development (assuming I'm right about this being what is developing!)

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing

RE: Minority?
PenguinPowered @ 2/14/2007 2:16:36 PM # Q
if Palm had an interest in ALP don't you think they would have wanted to throw ACCESS a bone with a little PR buzz

That would depend on the level of interest. If they were evaluating ALP but uncertain they wouldn't want to reveal anything. If they were certain but didn't want to unsettle the stockmarket with confusion the wouldn't wnat to reveal anything.

There's no win in admiting you're evaluating something and plenty of opportunity for the info to backfire on you.

May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Minority?
mikecane @ 2/15/2007 10:00:55 AM # Q
>>>I do think it holds promise as the successor that could do the most to bring the Palm OS experience (broadly speaking)

Which "PalmOS" do you mean? What ACCESS has isn't "PalmOS" as we've known it, other than the Garnet emulation. And won't "their" Garnet have the same irritating limitations as "our" Garnet? And will "their" Garnet be able to take advantage of things like FontSmoother, et al, that add/change things?

Reply to this comment

Motorola - Future Provider of Great ALP Devices?

ChiA @ 2/14/2007 5:35:39 AM # Q
I believe it's possible that Motorola will become an ALP licensee. Seeing how they:
- bid for PalmSource
- produce Linux smartphones
- are platform agnostic e.g. they have just announced a Symbian phone but use Linux and WinMobile too.

then their using ALP seems a very rational, logical prospect.

Finally the Palm community will have a manufacturer who will have a Garnet OS on decent devices without having to wait for the painfully slow Palm.

RE: Motorola - Future Provider of Great ALP Devices?
cervezas @ 2/14/2007 9:49:27 AM # Q
I thought that might be a possibility at one time, too. But not any longer:

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing

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