Palm not missing Bluetooth deadline

My name is David Kammer and I am the lead software engineer for Palm's Bluetooth Project. I wanted to clear up what I believe is a misconception based upon a quote taken out of context. As The Register has properly reported, one of the speakers at Palm Source expressed disappointment that Bluetooth was not going to be in the OS4 release. This is true, however, despite this one person's disappointment, Bluetooth was never planned for the OS4 release. If you think about it, the reason why is obvious. OS4 will probably be released well before the many Bluetooth products hit the market.

Since the goal of Palm is to have excellent interoperability with other Bluetooth devices, it would be unwise of us to finalize a Bluetooth release that has never had a chance to be tested with other mature Bluetooth products. Releasing Bluetooth at the right time will help to ensure that Palm users are able to enjoy the ease of use with Bluetooth that they get throughout the rest of the Palm OS.

Article Comments


The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. PalmInfocenter is not responsible for them in any way.
Please Login or register here to add your comments.

Comments Closed Comments Closed
This article is no longer accepting new comments.


Just goes to show how uniformed many posters are

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/15/2000 2:50:07 PM #
I wouldn't be surprised if MS engages in a coordinated effort to trash palm products on the message boards, given the hostility and the ignorance of many posters whenever news about the palm os appears.

Palm must be doing something right -- I've been a palm user since 1997 and have never felt that the os is lacking. My main complaint is that the screens are still too low resolution and not great for reading, and that wireless hasn't been built-in to the devices yet. MS has done better that palm on the quality of the screen, but that is compaq's doing, not microsoft. I think they are right on target with a device with a longer battery life vs. the ability to play multimedia.

RE: Just goes to show how uniformed many posters are
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/15/2000 5:03:46 PM #
You are uninformed. The size and resolutions of the Pocket PC screen has everything to do with Microsoft.

Catch 22

Ed @ 12/15/2000 4:52:03 PM #
Mr. Kammer's statement, "it would be unwise of us to finalize a Bluetooth release that has never had a chance to be tested with other mature Bluetooth products" seems to indicate that Palm isn't intending to be a leader in the market but a follower. With all due respect, I believe this isn't in Palm's best interest. If the number one handheld maker released a Bluetooth-enabled device, you can be sure that all Bluetooth peripheral makers would make darn sure their products work with it.

There is also a potential catch 22. Why would any manufacturers release Bluetooth-enabled peripherals until there are some handhelds who can use them? But why should anyone release a Bluetooth-enabled handheld until there are some peripherals? It is in Palm's best interest to break this logjam as soon as possible.

Palm has a chance to make their handhelds synonymous with wireless networking. But it requires giving the Palm native support for Bluetooth as soon as possible. I for one agree heartily with Peter Easton from Palm, who set this whole thing off by saying "It's a big pity that it [Bluetooth support] will not be released at the same time as OS4" at a Bluetooth technical session at PalmSource this week.

Palm Infocenter

RE: Catch 22
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/15/2000 5:39:54 PM #
I'm a developer, and in industry you work with other vendors to ensure interoperability. This is NOT a catch-22. It happens all the time.

Palm has committed to including Bluetooth. 3rd party vendors will be testing their prototype units with Palm's prototype support. It's not like 3rd party vendors wait to start developing anything until Palm (or whoever) has commercially released support for a standard, and Palm (or whoever) isn't going to wait to develop support until there are 3rd party products released to the retail market.

This stuff gets co-developed all the time. It's how business works.

RE: Catch 22
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/15/2000 10:13:22 PM #
Just remember that Palm have been demonstrating BlueTooth working on Palms all week here at PalmSource.

They have these cool cases for the Palm Vx which the BlueTooth stuff is built into. They've showed them playing games Palm2Palm (using a special version of Biplane Ace by AstraWare), communicating with BlueTooth phones...

And a company called Widcomm were showing off their SpringBoard module for the Visor, showing a Visor2Visor pingpong game and wireless HotSync via a BT base-station.

Also remember that you're not going to have to wait for the next version of the Palm OS for BlueTooth. PalmOS 4.0 devices will be able to do BlueTooth with the simply installation of a new BlueTooth library.


RE: Catch 22
digichimp @ 12/16/2000 6:47:13 AM #
the demos at palmsource were really cool, but at this stage I don't really care. it was fun seeing pong at the widcomm booth though.
the exchange manager is gonna support everything, so hopefully everything will be transparent to the user whether stuff is going thru by ir, http, ftp, xyz,bluetoothy.
i don't see alot of products pouring out of the marketplace using bluetooth. i'm glad palm is working on maturing bluetooth to a ripe peach. it will further enhance an already complete excellent user experience.
palm powered rules.....

Blue What ?

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/16/2000 8:34:24 AM #
I think this isn't a issue, to anyone who
doesn't have a Bluetooth device/add on,why bog the
OS 4 down with more stuff I dont need or use
crowding my flash.

Here is The Bluetooth! (device or reciever) unit
and here is the software...

I'm not even going to upgrade to 3.5 until I need those
function, Ie Colour/ modem/ Web stuff.

Are you upset about not having GPS/Software built into OS 4 either...

K.I.S.S.... an keep it that way, Bloatware somplace else.


All this Spinning is making me dizzy!

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/16/2000 10:09:44 AM #
First from the election, now from Palm pundits. Is there not a safe place anymore!?

You spin me round, round like a record, baby

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/16/2000 7:04:01 PM #
First they yabbed Bluetooth up to the skies, "oh it will be Godsend, wait till OS4 we will stick it in there"..."we will make everyone work with us per Bluetooth spec" and etc. etc.

Oh yes, OS4 will usher in a new era of sync; you won't have to use evil (required on each device) 3rd party junk like SyncTalk or such.

Now Palm backtracks and says "oh wait a second we never planned OS4 to include Bluetooth", "why we have to wait to test with other devices" and etc. etc. Must plan this out.

Wait a second here....


PalmSource has really tossed up the salad. Hawkins fighting Palm, Palm on a OS4, but wait till OS5 kick. ARM/Dragonball, color, high-res? "We are taking it slow".

And Handspring's (already outdated due to lack of Flash rom) preaching the gospel of multi-media and mp3. Palm saying only 15% really want mp3, but on the other hand they are trying to match Handsprings multi-media yabbering. More spin. And Hawkins fumbling in his memory and "multi-tasking" demo. Meanwhile Sony out there in the wilderness in a standards flux with hardly anyone paying attention to them. And Palm backtracking and spinning everything they can.

Betcha Microsoft is just sitting back laughing at the cloudly future and all the Palm OS infighting. Palm OS has to evolve or die. PalmSource shows that the PocketPC (long-term) will win out. Netscapization.

The future says MS wins again, corporate IPaq's serious, will be future corp standard...Palm OS'ers should unite instead of fight.

Springboard, Memory Stick, SD, Dragonball, ARM, low-res mono, low-res color, low-res 16 bit color, planned high-res "in future" whew...standards flux. Plus Pocket PC's can do so much more. If anything learnt from this PalmSource it be that Microsoft will gain.

RE: You spin me round, round like a record, baby
bcombee @ 12/17/2000 3:09:02 AM #
You see infighting, I see diversity, innovation, experimentation, and a healthy development community. Palm works on fundamental technologies, and guides its partners to build new APIs with a sense of commonality. Why else would the Prism's 16-bit color calls be implemented verbatim in 4.0, and why else would Sony's Memory Stick API look so much like the new 4.0 Expansion Manager?

RE: You spin me round, round like a record, baby
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/18/2000 9:34:26 AM #
It's not my problem if Hawkins is marketing the Prism the wrong way. PalmOS offers me the best solution for development. Don't give me the bullcrap that PocketPC dev is superior in any such way. Oh, by the way, I happen to prefer the low-res, mono display on my IIIxe. You must be posting here to reaffirm your lowly self-esteem. You're trying too hard trolling to justify your pitiful PocketPC investment.

RE: You spin me round, round like a record, baby
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/19/2000 10:48:19 AM #
No one really knows what the future will hold for either Palm or the PPC PDAs. They both are PDAs that are suited for different types of consumers. MS has their own view of what an OS should be like ( good or bad), and they lack unity of a common interface between each of their vendors manufactoring their PDA's. Palm has that unity giving a common feeling to any of it's licenses manufacturing their PDAs. But seem to be lost on what they really want to do with their OS. They preach the ridiculous KISS theory, but yet are trying to add multimedia to their devices. They're making waves about bluetooth but are staggering around how and when they are going to release this.
Hmmm... Palm is moving slow. Remember Netscape. They boosted 80% of the market. It was Corperate ignorance that caused them to fall.

And it's okay if you like your low res mono display. I mean we still need someone to sell our junk, Oops I mean old PDAs too. And you're trying to hard to live in the 80's. Or was it the early 90's when the first Palms came out?

Bluetooth nothing, I'm still waiting for the MIK.

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/18/2000 10:42:46 AM #
I'm still waiting for the Mobile Internet Kit to be compatible with phones sold in the US. It was HYPE, HYPE, HYPE and then when delivered, it only works in Asia and Europe. I have only found three phones sold on the East Coast that are compatible. If/when Bluetooth is released it will probably not be in this country given thier track record.

RE: Bluetooth nothing, I'm still waiting for the MIK.
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/18/2000 12:22:24 PM #
Please explain - the MIK works with ANY data capable phone (that I've tested). All data StarTacs and Time Ports from Motorola, all data Samsungs, all data Nokias, all data Qualcomms (Kyocera). The hardest thing is to find someone who makes a cable for them (only a few phones in the US have IR capabilities and I believe they are all GSM - Nokia 8290, some TimePorts...).

Some good places to look for data cables are:

A guy who works for palm

RE: Bluetooth nothing, I'm still waiting for the MIK.
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/19/2000 9:05:40 AM #
Here's a little secret about the Mobile Internet Kit - you don't need it to connect you Palm to the Internet!

The kit contains Inernet applications, not Internet connectivity. The kit comes with MutliMail (to do online email), a wap browser, web clipping (to use PQAs) etc...

Internet connectivity is already part of the PalmOS. You just need a way of connecting to the net. This can be a Palm modem, a GSM mobile / cell phone (because GSM phones have modems built into them), or even just your PC using software like MochaPPP.

Once connected you can, for example, use AvantGo to browse sites online... and have been able to for some time. In fact the only new thing you can do with the kit is PQAs (as you could buy a WAP browser and MultiMail before the kit was released)

So, it's not Palm's fault if your country doesn't have phones that allow you to connect to the net. And it's nothing to do with the Mobile Internet Kit... that's just some Palm apps...


RE: Bluetooth nothing, I'm still waiting for the MIK.
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/19/2000 9:53:37 AM #
on the subject of the MIK, you actually don't even need it for PQAs. You can copy 5 files from a VII to a V, modify a proxy setting, and you are good to go. Email me if you want directions on this. It works just fine. Don't waste your money on the MIK.

Apple's technology is ready !

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/18/2000 4:42:20 PM #
My iMac with Airport (compatible wwith Bluetooth) is already available and is waiting Palm for the connection...

RE: Apple's technology is ready !
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/18/2000 7:27:07 PM #
AirPort (802.11b - wireless LAN - 2.4GHz band - direct sequence spread spectrum) is not interoperable with Bluetooth (PAN, LAN, WAN - 2.4GHz - frequency hopping). They will co-exist, but they don't talk to each other directly.


RE: Apple's technology is ready !
Ed @ 12/18/2000 8:10:42 PM #
I've read that there's even some concern that because the two both operate at 2.4GHz they might even interfere with each other and both run more slowly.

Palm Infocenter

Blah, blah!

GBob @ 12/18/2000 5:50:29 PM #
Why did "I.M." have to waste all that space on my Prism whining? If you don't like it, don't use it or complain to someone who can fix it.


Raishe_werk @ 12/18/2000 6:19:45 PM #
first of all. GSM, GSM, GSM. what does this have to do with me, you and traffic on the 405? first of all i am lucky, as a resident of the republic of southern california i am fortunate to have a GSM carrier (pacbell wireless/ SBC). second the rest sux. why? i get charged 4.95 monthly fee for data capabilities, plus 15c for each min i am online, plus it uses my airtime min. so much for my mobile internet experience. ok after all the fighting with my carrier i am finally on. and it sux. i can't view my fav porn sites cause it sux in grey scale. but seriously what would i use it for? traffic ( http:\\ ) or email. still with my screamin 19.6 bps per second transfer rate, i find my self knee deep in the tihs before the screen is done refreshing and letting me know that the 101 is down to one lane at it is 4:45 on friday afternoon. i don't think we are ready. i think japan is ready. will their business model work here? do we want the same kerkerkeropi sites that they have? do i want a hello kitty flashing on my cell when i get email? maybe my daughter will. we will find out what the business model will be soon tho. DoCoMo buying 16% of AT&T wireless stock means that they are coming to america. i have been disappointed with my mobile net experiance, i think it will get better. with 3G? doubt it, maybe with 4G? are we asking too much? you tell me. seriously those sprint customers, is it really like the commercial where the guy walks down the street asking all the net-aholics to come out into the sun cause the net is now wireless? does this mean we will have a ton pasty netaholics surfing in the park via their sprint fones? what will happen when they get stuck with the bill? ok what does this have to do with anything? second.. bluetooth. bluetooth blues? a quick scan of zdnet, cnet, wired shows that there is alot of hype and alot of vaporwear/ and vapor hardware (not sure about the terms). what about encryption/privacy etc? i would love to see bluetooth succeed, i dream of the day when i can make calls from muh color palm XXI that is flater, lighter, and has 10x the screen resolution of my palm V. all with a blue tooth headset that will work with my cordless fone at home and with my fone at work. i dig palm, i dig what palm has done, and i think palm is taking a chance by not being more proactive in bluetooth development. they would be taking just as big a chance, if not bigger by committing to bluetooth. no one really knows what cell standard is gonna be used, (w-cdma, w-gsm etc) or what wireless standard is gonna be used. you guys, there was a recent article pc magazine internet business, top 10 wireless lies. good reading matieral that relates to this.

"Monster Pig kills Jesus
More at 11"


Register Register | Login Log in