OS 4.0 Upgrade Coming Soon to A Palm Near You

In late Spring, Palm Inc. began shipping the first handhelds with OS 4.0, the m500 series. Since then, many users have asked when an upgrade would be available for older models. This is not a simple question. Each manufacturer has to create a separate version that works for its own handhelds. The fact that the manufacturers have added important new features to their models and their models only makes this process even more complicated. Then these versions need to be tested and approved by Palm Inc. before they can be released.

David Yang, a Sony spokesperson, has confirmed that an upgrade to OS 4.0 for the PEG-N710C is being developed and this will allow the device to display 16-bit color. However, Mr. Yang isn't able to say when the upgrade will be released or whether the company will be charging for it.

Sony has announced that its newest models, the N610C and S320, will ship with OS 4.0 preinstalled. These might be released as early as the end of this month.

Palm will be releasing an OS 4.0 upgrade for many current models in November. It will work with the III, IIIx, IIIxe, IIIc, V, and Vx. Why the VII series isn't included on this list isn't known. Palm has confirmed that they will be charging for this upgrade but haven't yet decided how much. While most previous upgrades were free, Palm is charging $20 for the OS 3.5 upgrade.

HandEra has Palm OS 4.1 for the 330 in beta testing right now. Before it can be released, it also needs to go through the third party testing. Once this is complete, it will be released as a free upgrade. According to a company representative, they don't know exactly when that will be but it will be available as soon as it gets approval from Palm.

An OS upgrade for the TRGpro is a different issue. The company is still considering whether to create one. There would be considerable costs involved in putting this upgrade through the Palm third party testing and HandEra hasn't decided what it is going to do.

Palm OS 4.0 doesn't have a tremendous number of new features to offer older handhelds. It's primary enhancement is VFS support for the expansion slot. Both the various Clié models and the HandEra 330 already have VFS support and the rest of the models have no expansion slots that would make use of it.

It has support for 65,000 colors, which is mostly important for the N710C. No other model has the hardware to display this many colors and doesn't already. OS 4.0 also adds USB support but only models with USB cradles need this and they already have it implemented in their current OS versions.

It also includes the Attention Manager, which allows users to view and clear multiple alarms with a single tap, and some improved security features. These are the only enhansements that older Palms can make use of.

Visors don't use flash memory so they can't be upgraded to OS 4.0 but, according to Brian Jaquet, a company spokesperson, Handspring is comfortable with the features offered by their version of OS 3.5. This already includes USB support and 16-bit color and, in fact, Handspring gave this technology to Palm for OS 4.0. And all models of the Visor have had expansion capabilities since the beginning. However, the company is planning on including OS 4.0 in future models when they feel it is appropriate.


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I.M. Anonymous @ 7/19/2001 2:54:35 PM #
When will kyocera offer 4.0 upgrade for the smartphone?

Sony N610C on sale in Japan

mikecane @ 7/19/2001 2:55:34 PM #
FYI: The N610C went on sale in Japan just this week -- with OS4 and a 65K color screen.

RE: Sony N610C on sale in Japan
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/19/2001 6:30:40 PM #
Are you sure it's 610? I thought they are calling it 600.

Sony N600C Review
EdwardGreen @ 7/19/2001 8:38:13 PM #
ZDNet Japan have reviewed the n600c.

The Best page to look at is



RE: Sony N610C on sale in Japan
EdwardGreen @ 7/19/2001 8:39:27 PM #
Sorry That link doesn't work. You will have to feed


Into babelfish yourselves.


RE: Sony N610C on sale in Japan
mikecane @ 7/20/2001 9:05:10 AM #
600/610 -- whatever. We all know it's the same machine!

Thanks PIc

CKMOOSE @ 7/19/2001 2:59:13 PM #
I just wanted to say "Thanks".
This info is interesting and well reported.
I appreciate your in depth and level headed reporting. This goes for most if not all of the articles I've read here.
PIc is and will remain my favorite place for Palm news.

With a charge?

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/19/2001 3:19:36 PM #
Hmm, charging won't work. Give it a week and bootleg sties will have copies of the ROM and the tool to upload them to the units.

Palm and Sony, give it for free and palm owners will support you for being pro-consumer.

RE: With a charge?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/19/2001 3:46:42 PM #
Unfortunately the US Justice department ruled last year, prior to the release of OS 3.5, that the practice of Palm giving OS upgrades for free was anti-competitive. Therefore, Palm has to charge for the upgrades. I find this counter-intuative and rarely understand the justice department thinking on anything. I mean someone still needs to explain to me how Microsoft is anticompetitive when I just download Netscape, but Ticketmaster, when I have no other option to purchase concert tickets from, isn't.

RE: With a charge?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/19/2001 3:56:00 PM #
Anti-competitive to whom? Is this a Handspring issue because they have unflashable RAMs on their units?

RE: With a charge?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/19/2001 4:07:30 PM #
Palm can charge for it, no problem.

1) They already charge for 3.5, and people buy that even though some people posted it to warez sites.

2) Hell, charging for it might even stop some of the losers who are currently installing 4.0 for free. They claim it's perfectly legal because Palm isn't losing money on it. Well, no, not yet.

3) A business should never throw up its arms in disgust and say, oh well, everybody's just going to steal it anyway, might as well not release it or give it for free. That's insane.

4) Some extra money is better than no extra money.

5) OS 4.0 has more features than this article mentions. The autolock and multiple alarm features alone are extremely handy. You can also do Graffiti while the virtual keyboard is onscreen. OS 4.0 also is rumored to enhance the speed even on older processors.

RE: With a charge?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/19/2001 4:34:50 PM #
well if it hadn't for the department of justice, palm will be giving it for free (you still think that they're selling it for profit?).

-> "Some extra money is better than no extra money."
Can't believe you are saying this when palm monopolize the pda business. please don't treat Palm as a typical software firm where they withhold software 'features' for the next version to get extra.

well, it seems like 'pro-consumer' is not in your vocabulary -- maybe 'greed' is.

Palm Will Be Charging
Ed @ 7/19/2001 5:24:55 PM #
I just heard from a Palm representative and she confirmed that they will be charging for this upgrade but haven't yet decided how much. I updated the article to reflect this.

News Editor
Palm Infocenter
4.0 is faster
bcombee @ 7/19/2001 7:04:17 PM #
The rumors are true. When I talked with Palm representatives at PalmSource last year, they said that they were rewriting a lot of the user interface code to make the OS feel more responsive. The changes are noticable, especially on a Palm IIIc which had fairly slow drawing code in 3.5.

RE: With a charge?
EdwardGreen @ 7/19/2001 8:16:27 PM #
My Palm 3c running PalmOS 4 (which I have under a developer license) seems quicker on redraws, and the notify function (the so called flashing asterisk of doom) ss a usefull tool; think of it as a a todo manager for tasks to be completed in one day. I don't use the security functions.

Of course the main lump of OS 4 found in the new Sonys (I have the ROMS) and the m50x is WCA 4 - which gives better than Avantgo quality HTML rendering built into the OS. Using the MyPalm app this gives good fast basic web browsing (although with no bookmarks - but someone could easily write a shell) and enhances the capabilities of Web Clipping Apps. Using WCA 4 you could easilly build a HTML Hypercard type system with 16bit images, wireless capability, and the ability to launch and export data to other applications, then "compile" it as a WCA to run from the Palm. A Wireless PalmInfocenter WCA could include all the basic site graphics required so they need not be downloaded via a wireless connection. Considering at least 50% of Handheld users I know in the UK use wireless web browsing (GSM is king here)I think Palm made a good decision putting that in the full version of OS 4.

As PalmOs 4 WCA becomes more widespread in newer devices expect to see these more advanced features used to great effect.


Agree. 4.0 on old device is *much* better
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/19/2001 8:17:51 PM #
I've had a couple of 4.0 Vx's since early in the year (bluetooth testing). They are much more responsive than the 3.5 devices I have.

RE: With a charge?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/19/2001 11:18:18 PM #
Whoever said that "Unfortunately the US Justice department ruled last year, prior to the release of OS 3.5, that the practice of Palm giving OS upgrades for free was anti-competitive," I can absolutely assure you that you are wrong. (Emphasis on the ABSOLUTELY, mind you.) I wouldn't mind seeing a link to your source for this, BTW.

610 4.0 Rom works with 710?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/20/2001 5:52:49 AM #
To "EdwardGreen" in the post above.

I assume you got the 4.0 rom files from the sony dev site? Does that rom specifically say that it is for use only with the 610?

I would love to see anyone with a 710 get their hand on it and see if they can flash it, if they can I would buy the 710 as soon as I can get my hands on it : )

Or perhaps there are no rom flashing utility available yet for Sony.

RE: With a charge?
EdwardGreen @ 7/20/2001 2:37:50 PM #
The PalmOS 4 documentation from Sony is general, and includes details for mp3 audio support. I have no way of checking any more than that!

"Dept. of Justice" and Greed
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/20/2001 5:01:24 PM #
>well if it hadn't for the department of justice, palm
>will be giving it for free (you still think that
>they're selling it for profit?).

You are on crack. You buy the Dept. of Justice rumor? The only people I heard saying that nonsense were a senior engineer coming up with excuses and some tech support agents too unsavvy about the business world to realize it was a lie.

>-> "Some extra money is better than no extra money."
>Can't believe you are saying this when palm monopolize
>the pda business.

They don't monopolize the business. They're only at 70% of the market or something. Sure, they're the biggest for now, but just because you are it doesn't necessarily make you a monopoly.

>please don't treat Palm as a typical software firm
>where they withhold software 'features' for the next
>version to get extra.

I'm not saying that at all.

>well, it seems like 'pro-consumer' is not in your
>vocabulary -- maybe 'greed' is.

You can be pro-consumer without giving things away for free. Come on, give me a break here. And why is it greedy to expect money for an OS upgrade? It costs them money to release the updater, update the website, and handle all the tech support calls it generates. Of course they *have* to charge for an upgrade. That's not greedy.

And, in case you hadn't noticed, Palm could use extra money now. Why is wanting to be paid for their products bad? Companies are in business to make money. Get a grip.

RE: With a charge?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/21/2001 2:46:44 PM #



the bootleg OS4.0 is available for at least 1/2 year by
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/25/2001 10:42:18 PM #

Sony PEG-S320

rldunn @ 7/19/2001 3:25:43 PM #
The PEG-S320 is already shipping with OS 4.0; some people on the Palmblvd site have received theirs already.

RE: Sony PEG-S320
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/17/2001 4:54:15 AM #
how to update it

and the TRGPro.

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/19/2001 3:52:51 PM #
Your article would be more complete if it also accurately reported that the TRGPro as well has an expansion slot and VFS support in it's OS 3.5.2 and OS 3.5.3 versions.

Craig Bowers

Palm OS 4.0 and the VII/VIIx

bcombee @ 7/19/2001 4:22:31 PM #
The question of a Palm OS 4.0 upgrade for the two wireless Palm devices has been brought up on the developer forum several times.

The likely reason why Palm isn't planning on offering the upgrade is space in Flash memory. Both the VII and VIIx have 2MB flash memories, and the version os Palm OS 3.5 that ships on the VIIx already takes up almost all of that space. The libraries needed for Clipper, INetLib, and the Radio Manager are significant; Palm already remove the Expense application and the NetSync library to make room.

The core parts of Palm OS 4.0 are about 1.6MB. That plus the VII-specific parts would be well over 2MB and wouldn't fit into memory. While Palm can move more out of ROM, there is a limit to what they can remove -- would users want to install datebook and to-do as RAM-based applications?

RE: Palm OS 4.0 and the VII/VIIx
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/19/2001 9:24:35 PM #
You know what, YEAH.I use a visor, and I would love to get rid of all the built in crap, minus the calc and the world clock. I replaced all the 4 functions with 3rd party stuff long ago.

How about SONY S300 OS 4.0 upgrade?

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/19/2001 10:08:14 PM #
What happen to SONY S300, is SONY also have plan to upgrade S300 to OS 4.0?

RE: How about SONY S300 OS 4.0 upgrade?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/22/2001 5:24:58 PM #
I don't see myself upgrading my 300 to OS4. I have seen posts that some of my favorite software will not run in OS4 such as McFile.

OS 3.52 does everything I need it to. I know how to use it.

Can it be flashed into the M505?

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/19/2001 11:34:00 PM #
I have a M505 with the EFIGs version of OS4, my question is will they be releasing the OS4 english version? Will reflashing my M505 mean that I can change my OS4 from EFIG to english only?

RE: Can it be flashed into the M505?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/20/2001 4:58:34 AM #
There already is and English only version of OS4.0
Just pick it up somewhere on the net and flash your M505...
erik jan

RE: Can it be flashed into the M505?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/20/2001 5:14:40 AM #

Is there currently a way to flash a m505 using the USB cradle? I would like to replace the EFIGS version with english only to make room in flash for other things.

RE: Can it be flashed into the M505?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/19/2001 5:29:38 PM #
yep, just find or buy an app called jacksprat. it will remove the unwanted languages

Palm Emu soon.

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/20/2001 12:30:14 AM #
This is really aggrevating, it takes about 2 months for a kid in Brighthand to reach alpha state of Palm Emulator for iPAQ, and Beta is already approaching. He plan to have an RC by september October. ANd here we are Palm talking about November? boy talking about taking their time.

...For a sufficiently loose definition of 'Soon'.
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/20/2001 12:45:38 AM #
There's a long, long, long road from a boot screen to total application compatability - that's assuming that the kid's not a troll just posting a Photoshopped screen capture.(Yes, I've seen it.)

I'd be very carefull in comparing the amount of time it takes somebody to produce a finished product (That you and everybody else will be bytching about if it's messed up) and some kid's hacked-together Alpha-stage emulator that can't even boot the OS fully.

Anyways - If you REALLY need the new OS functionality (?), you might want to consider buying a Handera product next time - They've had OS4 functionality on the TRG Pro for quite a while now, and they've been leading the pack as far as bugfixes and OS releases for quite a while now.

Remember: If you want support, buy from companies that realize that their user's happiness (Can I use my current peripherals? Can I use my new features with exsisting programs? Is this /reliable/, /proven/ technology?) more than their temporary money gains. (We want them to buy NEW peripherals! Who cares if it's backward compatable? We've got to win the Feature Race!)

Argue the future all you like, but the past is pretty much speaking for itself.

I know why the VII is not in there

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/20/2001 12:39:31 AM #
Palm dropped the prices majorly to get rid of all the inventory of the VII. It was a fialed release and they dropped the price to get rid of them and get more subscribers to the palm.net.

The "m700" is a sweet device from what i've seen and heard. It will own the wireless market.

Palm will not release details until they are ready to ship the unit. I have a feeling that the VII will be discontinued upon release of the new m700.

This is all my opinion, but think about it.

They haven't said anything about the m700 yet because they got burned last time when they told about the m500x series then they couldn't deliever and it killed their sales on other units.

Can't wait until the new one comes out. I predict that it will be reasled some time in late sep. early oct.



RE: I know why the VII is not in there
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/20/2001 1:03:09 AM #
YAY! Us rattling on endlessly about new models almost killed Palm's stock last time - Let's do it AGAIN! How much is Bill paying you, TrollBoy?

m705 release: August 13?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/20/2001 2:52:05 PM #
I'm just guessing based on what my Staples manager told me about his supply of VIIx. All unsold stock is to be returned the previous week...

RE: I know why the VII is not in there
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/20/2001 3:16:05 PM #

-- Us rattling on endlessly about new models almost killed Palm's stock --

You are kidding right? There have been, what, 1 almost 2 million Palms shipped. And the number of people that read PalmInfocenter/PalmStation, whatever is probably in the Thousands or TenThousands. Do you realy think that fraction of a percentage of users not buying and waiting for the m50X is what gave Palm overstock problems?

Memory refresh fix

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/20/2001 3:30:35 AM #
Hmm, I am one of those unfortunate with a Palm Vx and the annoying memory refresh fix. I wonder whether the OS 4.0 update will take this into account.

Oh well, when the PEG-N710C comes to Europe in the year 2007 I might just do something stupid ;-)

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