Article on Treo 700p and 680 Home Button Remappings

Regular PIC readers will no doubt know that I pull no punches when it comes to flaky or incompatible Palm OS software, especially entertainment titles. I have seen my fair share of games be "broken" during the various mutations of OS 5 aka OS Garnet. The transition from OS 5.0 to 5.2, then to the NVFS-enabled devices of the OS 5.4.1 era to the current crop of OS 5.4.9 devices has left a trail littered with abandoned, flaky, or otherwise unstable hardware. Just since the fall of 2004, Palm has introduced NVFS memory architecture and hardware button remappings on both their PDA and smartphone lineups, in addition to numerous other OS changes from device to device.

Astraware, on the other hand, have long been the paradigm of a concerned developer. The company actually seems concerned with maintaining backwards compatibility between their older titles and the latest Palm OS devices, regardless of the drastic changes Palm may make to the devices' hardware and OS.

Astraware have in fact posted a nice article to their site's support section detailing the reason for the woes the Treo 700p and Treo 680 have with many older applications (not just games). Astraware even gives some helpful tips on how to work around the inpoerative "Home" button on these Treo devices. The piece is written from the perspective of a developer actually concerned with their customers' experience while playing their titles -- truly a rare find!

Many older Astraware titles have already received minor updates to include an in-game exit option or an onscreen "exit" icon. Astraware's "fix" for titles not yet updated is acutally quite effective, as it is one that I discovered the hard way last year on my own, just after I purchased my 700p).

Small touches such as updates for legacy titles and this support article are one of the reasons Astraware continue to maintain an excellent reputation amongst Palm OS gamers. I congratulate them heartily for taking the time to care about their valued customers!

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Kudos to Astraware

PacManFoo @ 3/16/2007 4:09:11 PM # Q
I'm headin' over there to buy some software!

PDA's Past and Present:
Palm - IIIxe, Vx, M500, M505, Tungsten T, TX
Handspring - Edge, Platinum, Deluxe
Sony - SJ22
Apple - MP2000, MP2100
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The trick works

asiayeah @ 3/16/2007 6:01:02 PM # Q
The trick of invoking the Find dialog and then the Home button works nicely.

This also applies to any Palm OS applications on Treo 700p/680 that the Home button is not responding! (such as NoviRemote)

With great power comes great responsiblity.

RE: The trick works
dukat @ 3/17/2007 10:12:41 AM # Q
I never had a problem with remapeed keys on my 680. Maybe I just didn't try the right program, but normally pressing Option+Home securely brings me back to the application menu ...

IIIe -> m505 -> T3 -> Treo650 -> Treo680

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Pull no punches, eh?

moofie @ 3/16/2007 6:32:10 PM # Q
"I pull no punches when it comes to flaky or incompatible Palm OS software"

Like Garnet?

Would somebody please fix Palm? Kthxbye.

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Opt+Home Works Too

bcombee @ 3/23/2007 5:36:21 PM # Q
I sent Astraware a mail about this and they updated the article. On the 700p and 680, Opt+Home (Opt is the black key) will send the original vchrLauncher key that was sent by tapping on home on previous devices. Palm didn't make a normal press send that because some games and applications want to use vchrButton4.

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