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Palm Announces the Palm webOS

Palm PrePalm's next generation platform is officially entitled the Palm webOS. Palm says the user experience is developed around multitasking and the simplicity of a web browser. It features a web based application suite and supports touchscreen finger based input, background applications and is tightly interconnected with the Internet and various web services.

The Palm webOS developer environment is called Mojo and Palm has just posted a set of preliminary developer information and SDK details. The Mojo Application framework is based on HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript web development standards. Applications shown so far have featured gesture-based navigation and scrolling, animated transitions and tilt sensor orientation.

The Palm Pre will be the first phone based on the new platform. The Pre is scheduled to be available exclusively from Sprint in the first half of 2009.

Palm webOS

Mojo SDK

Palm says the Mojo SDK will include sample code, documentation, and development tools. An Eclipse-based IDE is included, and you will also be able to use your choice of tools to build WebOS applications. The Mojo SDK is currently in private prerelease, and will be available later this year as a free download from the Palm Developer Network.

Palm also says an on-device application catalog will be built in as well.

The new platform introduces Palm Synergy(TM), a key feature of webOS that brings your information from all the places it resides into one logical view. You don't have to worry about tracking multiple calendars, contacts and messaging applications.

Linked contacts - With Synergy, you have a single view that links your contacts from a variety of sources, so accessing them is easier than ever. For example, if you have the same contact listed in your Outlook(3), Google and Facebook accounts, Synergy recognizes that they're the same person and links the information, presenting it to you as one listing. And if you update a contact on your webOS device, it also will be updated in your various accounts, whether on a personal computer or on the web.
Layered calendars - Your calendars can be seen on their own or layered together in a single view, combining work, family, friends, sports teams, or other interests. You can toggle to look at one calendar at a time, or see them all at a glance.
Combined messaging - Synergy lets you see all your conversations with the same person in a chat-style view, even if it started in IM and you want to reply with text messaging. You can also see who's active in a buddy list right from contacts, and start a new conversation with just one touch.

webos palm webos screenshots

"Palm products have always been about simplifying lives and delivering great user experiences," said Ed Colligan, Palm president and chief executive officer. "webOS and Pre bring game-changing simplicity to an increasingly mobile world by dissolving the barriers that surround your information. It's technology that seems like it's thinking ahead to bring you what you care about most - your people, your time, and your information - in the easiest and most seamless way."

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Wow

medevilenemy @ 1/8/2009 1:27:14 PM # Q
Yep, this just might do it... I already want one (though I'm sure I won't be able to afford it). Lets see if they can follow it up with mid and low end devices with equivilent amounts of awesome.

Hopefully this will silence the trolls and nay-sayers for a little while.

RE: Wow
EdH @ 1/8/2009 1:35:49 PM # Q
Does this support OS5 apps at all, or did Palm just start totally from scratch and abandon older apps?

RE: Wow
medevilenemy @ 1/8/2009 1:37:55 PM # Q
I didn't hear anything about that, but I think its safe to assume it will have legacy support... Otherwise they are just idiots.

RE: Wow
freakout @ 1/8/2009 1:44:08 PM # Q
I'd be surprised if they didn't include backwards-compatibility - they did spend all that money buying back the Garnet code from ACCESS, after all.
RE: Wow
EdH @ 1/8/2009 2:06:19 PM # Q
Well, that is what I was thinking but they didn't say anything about it (that I heard) and it seemed to be very different, so that even if it did support OS5 apps, it would be in a sandbox.

Will wait for more details to come out.

RE: Wow
He||Raiser @ 1/8/2009 2:14:30 PM # Q
Wouldn't running legacy apps in an emulated sandbox be a good idea? Garnet developed a history of being crashy and the apps were a big part of it. If the apps only crashed the emulator rather than requiring a reset of the device, wouldn't that be a big positive?

I think a big factor in the success of the new OS for Palm will be making sure that it doesn't get afflicted by the crashiness seen in FrankenGarnet and the 3G iPhone.

RE: Wow
feranick @ 1/8/2009 2:28:35 PM # Q
Not sure if this is related...

"And good news for Palm OS developers! There are a number of ways to migrate data from a an existing PDB file to your new WebOS app. Stay tuned for more information for developers with Palm OS applications who want to build WebOS applications."

http://developer.palm.com/

RE: Wow
LiveFaith @ 1/8/2009 2:54:12 PM # Q
Consider this naysayer silenced. No legacy support, but fear not this platform is going to generate some serious "synergy" (sorry) on it's own. Moving data from Treos may take some work, but many ways exist. Nice specs. Beautiful execution. I'm stunned.



Pat Horne

RE: Wow
Smartmoose @ 1/8/2009 6:23:28 PM # Q
From Medevilenemy's post:
"I didn't hear anything about that, but I think its safe to assume it will have legacy support... Otherwise they are just idiots."

Well... consider them idiots. CNet had a reporter ask about legacy applications, and the response was the following:

"It won't natively run applications written for the original Palm OS, but we anticipate there will be solutions to do so."

CNet article here: http://ces.cnet.com/8301-19167_1-10137222-100.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20

So, they're leaving it up to 3rd party developers like StyleTap. Since StyleTap already has a PalmOS emulator working for the iPhoneOS, all Apple needs to do is to permit Virtual Machines / Emulators to run on the operating system (it's currently forbidden, hence the reason the app hasn't been released for sale). If Apple says, "Yes," to VMs on the iPhone, then old PalmOS users will have a solution on that platform immediately, rather than waiting for a solution to come out for the Palm Pre.

Out of the box, though, PalmOS users are looking at buying all new applications for their third party apps with either the iPhone or the Palm Pre. So, Palm won't even have the "legacy support" card to play in swaying user opinion to those coming from PalmOS devices. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

RE: Wow
DrewT3 @ 1/8/2009 7:05:36 PM # Q
Yes, it will be interesting. Especially considering that the only announced development platform for the Pre is Javascript/HTML.

To write a Garnet emulator, this would require one of the following:

Pre can run Javascript as fast as other machines run natively compiled C.
WebOS has a native API that offers all the Garnet APIs.
Palm will allow native (non javascript) development on WebOS.

Realistically, for a Garnet emulator to happen they will need to allow native apps to be written.

The degree to which Palm lets developers loose is what will make Palm different from Apple.

RE: Wow
DarthRepublican @ 1/8/2009 7:29:32 PM # Q
From Medevilenemy's post:
"I didn't hear anything about that, but I think its safe to assume it will have legacy support... Otherwise they are just idiots."

Well... consider them idiots. CNet had a reporter ask about legacy applications, and the response was the following:

"It won't natively run applications written for the original Palm OS, but we anticipate there will be solutions to do so."

CNet article here: http://ces.cnet.com/8301-19167_1-10137222-100.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20

So, they're leaving it up to 3rd party developers like StyleTap. Since StyleTap already has a PalmOS emulator working for the iPhoneOS, all Apple needs to do is to permit Virtual Machines / Emulators to run on the operating system (it's currently forbidden, hence the reason the app hasn't been released for sale). If Apple says, "Yes," to VMs on the iPhone, then old PalmOS users will have a solution on that platform immediately, rather than waiting for a solution to come out for the Palm Pre.

Out of the box, though, PalmOS users are looking at buying all new applications for their third party apps with either the iPhone or the Palm Pre. So, Palm won't even have the "legacy support" card to play in swaying user opinion to those coming from PalmOS devices. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.


That's a rather disturbing quote/spin. With legacy support, Palm webOS is a no-brainer for me. Without it, I find myself wondering whether there's a point to jumping back on the PalmOS bandwagon. I have been slowly moving to Android on my T-Mobile G1 and while I'm not all the way there, I certainly don't need to spend time and energy migrating to another mobile OS. Backward compatibility would have meant having my cake and eating it too - I'd be able to have a hot new phone and still have Datebk5, HandyShopper, and BibleReader. Without legacy support, Palm webOS is just another shiny piece of shiny. I don't need shiny, I need floating events, an enhanced shopping list, and the multiple versions of the Bible that I already have on either my Treo 680, my Palm TX, or any of half dozen or so old PDAs and smartphones that I have lying around the house.

But what I need more than anything else is an easy way to migrate my decade of Palm data easily. I was able to migrate my calendar data to Android quite easily with Goosync but they wanted money to handle the other Palm PIM apps, so I spent a couple hours messing around with a .csv file to get my contacts into Google Contacts. It only worked about half-way, I got all the names and some of the phone numbers in but had to spend another couple of hours typing in the rest. Android doesn't have native to do and memo apps (there are plenty of third-party apps but after putting in the contacts, I'm reluctant to try any of them). So here I am with half my PIM in my Android phone and I'm not eager to go through another slog of struggling to get a decade of PIM data in my phone. So that's the biggest issue for me, bigger than backwards compatibility, how is it to migrate my data? If the Palm Pre is just another platform to choose and I have to go through a lot of pain to migrate to it, I might as well stay on Android where the job is already half done.

Screw convergence
Palm III->Visor Deluxe->Visor Platinum->Visor Prism->Tungsten E->Palm LifeDrive->Palm TX
Visor Pro+VisorPhone->Treo 180g->Treo 270->Treo 600->Treo 680->T-Mobile G1
http://mind-grapes.blogspot.com/

RE: Wow
mikecane @ 1/9/2009 8:14:57 AM # Q
>>>So that's the biggest issue for me, bigger than backwards compatibility, how is it to migrate my data?

Yep. Some sharp dev out there will come out with Data Move program that will migrate Palm data to ANY platform. That'd be great.

Reply to this comment

Too Cool!

ZireGuy31 @ 1/8/2009 1:27:14 PM # Q
It looks so awesome, but I think they could have come up with a little cooler name, don't you? I mean Palm webOS, a bit cheesy, but I think it was the turnaround Palm needed! The Palm Pre looks great too, I want it! Anyone know if webOS will run older Palm programs?

I'm glad that I stayed true to Palm! And laugh in the face of all those who thought this was just going to be a new Centro Color!

RE: Too Cool!
palmit @ 1/8/2009 1:31:40 PM # Q
Not on this site.

They will find something to complaint about.

Bo ho, all my old pim data!



RE: Too Cool!
mikecane @ 1/8/2009 1:36:27 PM # Q
>>>Bo ho, all my old pim data!

Apparently you are some autistic idiot who somehow got access to the Net and a keyboard at the Institution.

Maybe YOU are so effing feeble-minded that YOU don't have ACTUAL DATA in your PDA, but we NORMAL people with WORKING BRAINS DO.

RE: Too Cool!
palmit @ 1/8/2009 1:39:55 PM # Q
You are looking kind of stupid today. I understand, with all those predictions on how Palm is out away!

lol

RE: Too Cool!
mikecane @ 1/8/2009 1:45:22 PM # Q
You can't even type simple English, you moron.

RE: Too Cool!
palmit @ 1/8/2009 1:50:54 PM # Q
OOOOOkkkkkk!

RE: Too Cool!
DrewT3 @ 1/8/2009 1:57:31 PM # Q
The second hand on the clock doesn't have a drop shadow. Rubbish!

RE: Too Cool!
orca @ 1/8/2009 2:16:36 PM # Q
>>> Bo ho, all my old pim data!

Well, the developer page mentions, "There are a number of ways to migrate data from a an existing PDB file to your new WebOS app." Time will tell what that means ...

http://developer.palm.com/

Reply to this comment

Reserving judgment

mikecane @ 1/8/2009 1:30:46 PM # Q
I still have too many unanswered questions about this.

Right now this seems like the first CloudPhone (a damn BETTER name than Pre!).

According to Dan Lyons (aka Fake Steve Jobs) over at Newsweek:
http://www.newsweek.com/id/178536/output/print

>>>While the iPhone has demonstrated the power of putting a real computer operating system on a mobile device, the iPhone itself is far from perfect. For one thing, the battery life on the new 3G model is abysmal. And while it is cool to be able to browse the Web from a handheld device, the iPhone's Internet experience is nowhere near as good as the experience you get on a laptop or desktop computer. It's much slower; Rubinstein and his team say that's because the OS X code is not lean enough to run swiftly on a mobile device's relatively tiny processor and small memory footprint. And you can only do one thing at a time. To change applications—to go from checking email to making a phone call to putting an appointment in your calendar—you have to keep climbing back to the home page and then down to the other application. Apple introduced OS X for its personal computers in 2001, but pieces of the system trace their roots back to the 1980s, when they were used in the operating software of computers made by Jobs's other computer company, NeXT. Palm sees an opportunity to come out with something newer, better and—perhaps most impressive to gadget geeks—faster. A lot faster. "We're already four times faster than the iPhone, and we're still optimizing," McNamee boasts.

And:

>>>Under the hood is a speedy new microprocessor from Texas Instruments that runs videos fast and smooth, with less of the herky-jerkiness that mobile devices are known for. The phone has 8 gigabytes of storage, which is decent but not great; it can run Adobe Flash, and can cut-copy-and-paste, which iPhone can't; it supports multimedia messaging service (MMS) so you can send text messages with photos attached, which iPhone can't do; it has a 3-megapixel camera and a flash, which iPhone lacks. There's a button that lets you buy music from Amazon's download store. Then there's the multitasking. Want to talk on the speakerphone while browsing the Web and entering stuff in your calendar? No problem. Palm expects people will keep 15 to 20 applications open at the same time.

Well if can DO frikkin Flah video AND Cut&Paste, why the hell didn't they SHOW some of that?! They would have gotten a damned STANDING OVATION on the spot!

RE: Reserving judgment
palmit @ 1/8/2009 1:33:10 PM # Q
Well if can DO frikkin Flah video AND Cut&Paste, why the hell didn't they SHOW some of that?! They would have gotten a damned STANDING OVATION on the spot!


Oh yeah, thats really big, look we can do cut n paste!



RE: Reserving judgment
mikecane @ 1/8/2009 1:34:20 PM # Q
>>>Oh yeah, thats really big, look we can do cut n paste!

STFU, you eejit. C&P is big and iPhone doesn't yet have it.

RE: Reserving judgment
palmit @ 1/8/2009 1:37:23 PM # Q
From Palm site.

Media formats supported Audio Formats: MP3, AAC, AAC+, AMR, QCELP, WAV
Video Formats: MPEG-4, H.263, H.264
Image Formats: GIF, Animated GIF, JPEG, PNG, BMP

You got to be kidding if on this day that mentioning cut n paste is a big deal!

lol

RE: Reserving judgment
freakout @ 1/8/2009 1:40:14 PM # Q
Maybe it's not something that deserves a big launch fanfare, but it is nice to know they have it.
RE: Reserving judgment
mikecane @ 1/8/2009 1:48:21 PM # Q
>>>Media formats supported

And they demonstrated what? Just MP3?

I'm sure video is the first thing you went looking for. You're no doubt happy to know your legacy pr0n is safe.

RE: Reserving judgment
palmit @ 1/8/2009 1:49:50 PM # Q
"Maybe it's not something that deserves a big launch fanfare, but it is nice to know they have it."

I can agree with that statement, but to single it out today doesnt make any sense and to me sounds like sour grapes!

RE: Reserving judgment
mikecane @ 1/8/2009 1:52:08 PM # Q
>>>to me sounds like

Who CARES what YOU think - because you can't and don't.

RE: Reserving judgment
palmit @ 1/8/2009 2:00:35 PM # Q
Hit a nerve, baby!

RE: Reserving judgment
palmit @ 1/8/2009 2:15:18 PM # Q
From Engadget - http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/08/palm-pre-first-hands-on-with-live-updates/

The device will feature copy and paste, which is implemented by holding a thumb on the gesture area and grabbing the text you want with your other thumb or a finger - there's also a dropdown menu that lets your move through a number of editing options.



Reply to this comment

No wonder they canned the Foleo

freakout @ 1/8/2009 1:42:47 PM # Q
webOS and the Pre make it look positively stone-age. Rubinstein says they're working on a whole family of webOS products and the Pre is just the opening salvo; what's the bet we'll see the "Mobile Companion" revisited soon after?
RE: No wonder they canned the Foleo
mikecane @ 1/8/2009 1:47:14 PM # Q
That OS running on a Foleo-like tablet would certainly provide a better syncing experience than the original Foleo did. In fact, it'd be more like "Look, ma! No sync!" It's all in the cloud.

Reply to this comment

Gizmodo loves the Pre

freakout @ 1/8/2009 1:49:35 PM # Q
Calls it "the ultimate stealth handset":

It transcends what a mobile device should feel like. It's smooth but also tough enough to feel like you're using something that's going to last. I really like how the back of the slider is reflective like an iPod touch (might be good for the ladies and their make-up too).

http://i.gizmodo.com/5126702/palm-pre-hands+on-first-impressions

RE: Gizmodo loves the Pre
mikecane @ 1/8/2009 1:53:13 PM # Q
Yeah, yeah, blah, blah.

What we need are links to hands-on videos. I can't tell how any of it works based on still pics and text descriptions. I hope YouTube is getting filled with videos.

Reply to this comment

Palm's Stephane Maes answers Qs

mikecane @ 1/8/2009 1:55:42 PM # Q
Answers to burning Palm Pre questions
http://ces.cnet.com/8301-19167_1-10137222-100.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20

>>>The Web browser is Palm-developed, but based on the WebKit engine. No word on Flash support, he said. Palm didn't give a lot of details on the media player, but Maes said Pre owners will be able to buy music from the device via the Amazon music store.

>>>What else? Let's see. It's not a world phone, it can't be used as a tethered modem for a PC. It is Linux-based, though that is invisible for most developers as the tools to write applications are JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. It won't natively run applications written for the original Palm OS, but Maes said "we anticipate there will be solutions to do so."

Someone in Twitter wonders if the camera is stills-only or can do video. Good question!

RE: Palm's Stephane Maes answers Qs
DrewT3 @ 1/8/2009 2:19:46 PM # Q
Palm's site lists (under details):
Phone as laptop modem - Bluetooth tethering

RE: Palm's Stephane Maes answers Qs
joad @ 1/8/2009 5:34:46 PM # Q
...which brings up the question of whether or not Palm has finally figured out how to implement Bluetooth properly yet. I prefer good old reliable cables until that happens.

Reply to this comment

Just brilliant

stellaboy @ 1/8/2009 2:01:42 PM # Q
I was looking forward to something good today and I got it. I think the tech sites will take kindly to it.
Palm have definitly innovated here. Its a completely new direction.

Ryan, kris, good job on the updates I enjoyed that blog, although I could tell you got a bit tired near the end.

Palm, good job too.

pilot 5000 >Palm V > m505 >Tungsten T >A bad win mo 5 pda >Clie Peg ux50 > Tungsten t3 >Treo 680 >Centro

Reply to this comment

Backward Compatibility??

kfife @ 1/8/2009 2:21:46 PM # Q
But is there Backward compatibility for existing loyal palm users??

Without some sort of migration path (which naturally includes apps), this is NOTHING BUT a totally new product (in a crowded space), from the same management team that brouht us Folio, Grafitti2, & Cobalt. Palm 'shafted' me years ago with Grafitti2 after a 7 year relationship with no option to use Grafitti 1. If they 'shaft' me again with no migration path for my apps, and they 'EOL' all of their current paradigms, then I'd just as soon go to Apple than let them shaft me again. It's a relationship guys. A long term relationship! You can't bite the loyal hand that feeds you.


RE: Backward Compatibility??
rcartwright @ 1/8/2009 6:21:00 PM # Q
kfife

You do have a migration path through the cloud. Regarding the statement about feeling "shafted" by Palm not providing backward compatability and going to Apple...well Apple has no problem whatsoever shafting the users when it suits them for no particular reason. I would at least give Palm props for having a good reason to start over.

Palm did what they had to do today and I am considering canning a 22 year relationship with ATT-Cingular-BellSouth Mobility to go to Sprint.

"Many men stumble across the truth, but most manage to pick themselves up
and continue as if nothing had happened."
- Winston Churchill

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