Comments on: Software Announcements from PalmSource

A large number of new Palm OS software applications were announced, updated or previewed at the recent developer conference. Read on for an overview of the many new titles shown at PalmSource.
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RhinoSteve @ 2/16/2004 11:37:13 PM #
I think why so much software shows up like this on the Palm so quickly is that there is little fear that the OS company will write a rip off app and bundle it in the OS like the competition does.

Yea, there have been some conflict with browsers but in general, the OS company tries to bundle in thrid party instead of writing a knock off.

Maybe some better games?

tfftruoa @ 2/17/2004 12:18:02 AM #
Does anyone know what kind of games with higher level 3D and graphics will be supported by OS6? I saw a PPC version of Age of Empires which looks very impressive, but other than Warfare Inc, Palm doesn't seem to have many games even close to that level of graphics and complexity.

If I can run Starcraft on my HP with a 450mhz Celeron and 64 mgs of RAM, I should sure as hell be able to run a port of it on my 400mhz, 53mgs TT3...

RE: Maybe some better games?
bcombee @ 2/17/2004 1:46:07 AM #
Maybe... remember that Starcraft actually takes up quite a few MB of hard drive space plus CD-ROM. That kind of storage on a Palm OS device requires storing data files on an external memory card. Also, its a game optimized for a particular kind of interface, mainly mouse and keyboard. With a Palm OS PDA, you don't have that -- you have a drag and point interface, so the game would need to be reworked to handle that. I'm not saying it isn't possible -- I think it could work OK, but the game would change a bit in the transition. Finally, StarCraft liked a 640x480 screen, and worked better with a larger one. No Palm OS PDA has that kind of screen real estate just yet, and even if it did, objects would probably be too small to be easily selectable or usable.

Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at
RE: Maybe some better games?
Massman82 @ 2/17/2004 2:21:30 AM #
We're getting there--especially with some recent titles such as Snails, Warfare, Magic World, and Legacy!

Look for the PDArcade game of the year awards soon (published tomorrow or wednesday) to see some other great titles.

Clie NX60 -

RE: Maybe some better games?
hkklife @ 2/17/2004 9:25:47 AM #
(Rant Alert below)

I think that the whole "PDA Gaming" market is going to be in for a very rough time over the next year or two.


Fivemajor reasons, IMHO (not counting the usual "button layout on X handheld sucks!" woes):

1. Size/space constraints. As Ben mentions, we're looking at multi-meg installs on external storage for anything more complex than your average chess program, especially with graphic sets for different board layouts, card designs etc & audio files. As built-in RAM continues to increase and the cost of SD/MS cards continue to fall, this becomes a non-issue as far as I am concerned. I remember vividly being squeezed for space back in '99 on my old PC's 4.3gb HD. Then I upgraded to a 45gb drive in '00 and I never looked back and never have lacked storage space, as the price per megabyte became so low that the need for PC titles top ship on DVD was almost entirely eliminated. This is the least worrying of the 5 concerns.

2. Dwindling pfotability. Most people I know (everyone but me, in fact) that uses a PDA abs9olutely refuses to pay for any software that's not bundled with their Palm. Not to say all of my friends, relatives, and coworkers are software pirates but they just don't see why they have to pay for something "so little" (LOL). Recently I was trying to help the wife of a colleague find a Solitaire program and when I told her the registration charge was $10, she said "just give me old laptop where Spider Solitare came free! The growing threat of the next GameBoy and the upcoming PSP offer PS1 or better graphics, good battery life and excellent control, so that will probably wipe out all action-style games on Palms as these appealing platforms gain develop support. Anyway, as game development costs rise, it's going to be harder for companies to justify increased development budgets, especially with SO many new handhelds/game platforms to develop for and support, which brings me to my next point:

3. Support Issues. It used to be you just hand Palm Pilots. Then we had Sonys, Handspring, and Handeras but it was still a managable list and you could have your high-res color game, a low-res color version, and a low-res mono version. Now there are numerous screen types, sizes, CPUs, audio APIs etc to deal with. A small-time develop knows that if they don't have at least semi-dazzling graphics in high-res and rudimentary audio, they'll be overlooked. But I've seen numous instances of a game that launched buggy but with cutting-edge features. I held off buying it, waiting for the inevitable update that ultimately never arrived. I suppose they blew their wad in initial devlopment and there was nothing left to fund product updates but sales were less than spectacular due to the bugs-truly a catch-22 in the worst possible way!

4. Content Delivery Issues. If it ships on SD or CD, it can snag retail sales on the backs of MDM or Handmark etc. However, Handmark being a very notable and pleasant exception, all of the titles I've bought at retail are "as is" titles. That is, if you buy an Astraware CD-Rom title from GlobalStar you are not entitled to the same updates & support as "download" customers are. This recently enraged me after I purchased the MDM PopCap games card while on a trip. I saw there were updates to those titles a month or so later, including sound for BeJeweled. I emailed Astraware & politely explained my dilemma. The lady e-mailed me back and said that it was their policy not to support retail titles, no updates were available, etc. However, I could purchasea downloadable registered copy of each of the games for the "special" price of $9.99 or $12.99 each--no thank you! I just dropped $40 on a crippled MMC full of games and now you want me to repurchase them? I was also told the same thing for Ricochet & several other titles on the Game Essentials card.

5. Non-Availability of Updates.
I thaet from now on, MDM/Handmark etc either include some sort of personalized serial # in their packages so that we can get at least a handful of updates. Handmark, bless their souls, DOES include a serial # in some of their retail packages but you still have to contact Cust Serv. and work things out with them to receive a valid registration # (different from the product serial). It needs to be more streamlined than that.

I just recently deleted a bunch of games off of my SD card that I have given up hope of ever seeing updates for (BumpAttack Pinball, Siberian Strike, Karateka etc) due to developer or publisher apathy. I think I'm going to stop buying & registering Palm entertainment titles unless it's a top-notch title from a major developer. On the console world once you purchase a title it doesn't go anywhere and can be played as long as you have that console. On a PC, more or less, you can plan any "modern" title for a good 6-8 years until major OS & CPU changes render a game incompatible or too fast to be played. I still play Quake 1 under XP & occasionally a Doom game, 10 years after Doom was released. However, I purchased Bump Attack 7 months ago for my T2 and now it's useless on my T3. Someone had better come up with a more elegant solution to the above issues before PDA gaming becomes relegated to the "novelties of technology" scrap heap, right next to WAP & push content. I'll also certainly avoid buying a Zodiac now after having been burned so many times in the past year as far as game updates (or lack of updates) go. Looks like the PSP's gonna mop up left & right...

RE: Maybe some better games?
helf @ 2/17/2004 12:41:06 PM #
*yawn* ;)

RE: Maybe some better games?
hkklife @ 2/17/2004 3:43:48 PM #
Hey come on, I was siting at my desk waiting for a conference call to start-I had some time to kill & I was in a preachy mood! LOL ;-p

RE: Maybe some better games?
Hal2000 @ 2/17/2004 9:33:12 PM #
Re: Rant. Get a better paying job so you can afford the new s**t.

1.128 gigs under the hood.
RE: Maybe some better games?
hkklife @ 2/17/2004 10:08:42 PM #
Hey bub, my PDA purchasing power is perfectly fine, thank you very much. Keep your flames to yourself if you don't have anything worthwhile to post. Come to think of it,if Hal's one-liners & "Woo Hoo first Valentine's post" posts personify the new breed of PDA owner, then let the damned PDA market tank...

Geez, I try to post a thoughtful editorial gratis and am met with a bunch of blank stares & yawns-it makes me wonder sometimes why I even bother with the site, especially if no one other than Mike Cane is willing to bother posting anything significantly thought-provoking. Everyone's quick to sit around b*tch*ng about no new updates nd trying to make a first post but no one seems to be in a rush to help Ryan out by contributing any notable content. You want another Palmstation on our hands, suckers?

I think I'll take a brief sojurn from PIC and let the children play amongst themselves, since it's obvious the mature, thriving PDA software market is beyond any sort of criticism by paying end users such as myself. Zodiac software in particular seems to be setting the sales charts afire these days.

thinkDB Resurrected

jjsoh @ 2/17/2004 5:49:22 PM #
The announcement that has me most excited is SmartList to Go v3. Ever since thinkingBytes handed over one of (if not THE) best database programs for Palm OS to DataViz, I was a bit concerned.

I've been waiting for an high resolution update to this program for a long time, so I can create better forms and fit more fields on the screen without having to scroll so often to view more information. I anxiously await to see if the new version is upgrade-worthy.

As long as they have improved on it in the way that Docs to Go has been improved over the years, I'd gladly pay $30 for the upgrade.


RE: thinkDB Resurrected
Galley_SimRacer @ 2/18/2004 1:31:12 AM #
I haven't had a chance to mess around much with version 3 yet, but the HiRes fonts support is nice.

"I'm not a cool person in real life, but I play one on the Internet".

Anyone find KATAHIRA?

phaedrus @ 2/19/2004 5:56:59 PM #
The link posted above for the kana software doesn't seem to work. Anyone have a different link for them?



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