Sony Shows New Software Concept at CES

At this years Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Sony had their current line up of clies on display as well as a new "prototype" software concept . The new software concept builds on the classic Palm OS PIM functionality, and adds a new level of multimedia and organizational functionality to the personal entertainment organizer. Read on for an overview and live pictures.

Sony Clie Organizer Software ConceptThe new software concept was being shown in prototype form at CES. Sony wanted to gain feedback on the application suite, but would not confirm if it would be included with a future handheld. Confirmation came early when the FCC posted details on three new Clie's due out soon, the Clie TH55, TJ27 and TJ37. The user manual of the TH55 indeed confirms that the new Clie Organizer software will be included on select future Sony handhelds.

According to the desctipion provided by Sony, "the CLIE Organizer is an essential application that manages all applications installed on your CLIÉ handheld." What this means is simply, you can jump to an application from the dedicated application tabs which include the Date Book, Address Book, To Do List, Free Notes, Memo Pad, Viewer, Reference, and Applications, which acts as a customizable launcher.

The Clie Organizer is much more than an enhanced datebook, it is a highly integrated application suite that by default takes over the home button and is meant to be a launcher, organizer and multimedia gallery in one. Sony also includes a new Clie Organizer desktop component to sync and manage the new suite with a PC. Users always have the option of using the Clie launcher, the standard Palm OS launcher or a third party app if preferred.

The default view goes to the current date in the datebook. The next time you turn on your clie, the last screen viewed of CLIE Organizer is displayed. The datebook has been enhanced in that appointments or datebook entries are now "objects" that can be dragged around to reschedule or alter the time, and there are a number of other enhancements as well.

Sony Clie Organizer Software Concept Sony Clie Organizer Software Concept

You can now directly write notes overtop the day in the datebook in your own handwriting, as a a quick way to jot down a note or set future reminder. The software automatically stores the handwritten memo on the current date/time you scribble over. New multimedia options allow you to drag photos, movie clips or audio files objects and associate them with a datebook object or appointment. For instance, if you have an appointment setup with Bob at 2pm, you could attach a photo of Bob and voice memo about the appointment, so you remember what Bob looks like and have an audio reminder of what you wanted to discuss during the meeting.

Some other features highlights from the user manual include:

  • Date Book
    You can manage your schedule. You can also enter handwriting or put pictures and stickers.
  • Address Book
    You can manage names, addresses, or telephone numbers. Multiple addresses can be listed with pictures attached.
  • To Do List
    You can manage tasks and events. Tasks and events can be listed, given priority, or displayed by category.
  • Free Notes
    You can take handwritten memos. Stickers, pictures, voice memos, and movie files can be attached to memos.
  • Memo Pad
    You can take text format memos. Text files created on your computer can also be read.
  • Viewer
    You can display the list of pictures, movie files, voice memos, and handwritten memos. You can also tap the files to view or play.
  • Reference
    You can use some reference items, such as [Conversion Table], [Sizes], and [Temperatures and Precipitations], for useful information. New items can be added later.

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YAAH! First Comment!

Obelix @ 1/22/2004 1:14:16 PM #
But I don't know what to say because I didn't read the article yet :-)

Psion5 -> PalmV -> Filofax -> iPAQ5450 (stolen after 2 month) -> Clié SJ22 -> iPAQ2210 -> TungstenE -> Tungsten T3
RE: YAAH! First Comment!
wisdcom @ 1/22/2004 3:29:02 PM #

The newton reborn???
mini-me @ 1/22/2004 4:13:49 PM #
Looks like it ;)

PDA and Operating System Junkie
Current Devices: P800 and iPaq 3870
Looking for a good time with Palm
------- */

I like it.

sub_tex @ 1/22/2004 1:27:25 PM #
I was holding out for a Clie with landscape, but the new T series is great in every other regard (Well except for that stupid jog dial placement).

This software looks interesting. The handwritten notes in the datebook along with the attaching of voice memos is a BIG plus.

RE: I like it.
T.W.G @ 1/22/2004 7:34:35 PM #

think the biggest plus is that you can now have your organizer screen looking as chaotic as your real paper filofax ;-))



Palm Powered Handheld Reviews from T.W.G at:

Who is behind Sony?

RhinoSteve @ 1/22/2004 1:35:27 PM #
Ok so Sony showed it. I want to know what independant contrator came up with this UI design? Also, did PalmOne or anyone else pass on this before Sony ran with it?
RE: Who is behind Sony?
LiveFaith @ 1/22/2004 2:49:46 PM #
As with most great technological breakthroughs (ie. window computing) ... it was probably invented by Xerox, who found no use for it, presented to Sony and they'll rule the world by 2027. :-)

Pat Horne;

OS6 Compatible or extended?

dustbunny44 @ 1/22/2004 1:48:25 PM #
Does anyone know how much of this is compatible with, or even identical to, Palm OS6, or is Sony moving in their own direction?
Not having seen any OS6 yet, perhaps this is it.

RE: OS6 Compatible or extended?
Hal2000 @ 1/22/2004 1:52:39 PM #
Yeah, what about os6?

RE: OS6 Compatible or extended?
bookrats @ 1/22/2004 1:54:47 PM #
I think you've nailed the question of the day. If this isn't showing off the revamped OS 6 datebook/address books/notepad/etc (with a Sony-specific Launcher surrounding it), it means Sony is deciding to ship their own "standard organization apps" instead of PalmSource's.

Which is quite the major break for a Palm-based PDA.

If this is the case, Sony may look at this as a way to differentiate their product line from PalmOne's. And, one way or another, it will (depending on the quality of their offerings.)


"I'm warning you ... if you kill me, they'll just send 008!"

Jeff Meyer

RE: OS6 Compatible or extended?
dorelse @ 1/22/2004 2:18:32 PM #
Doesn't that have to be a 'Sony-ized' POS 6? Why would they break out an OS5 model, right before OS 6 is due out...especially given that those side tabs look remarkably like open apps being multitasked...

RE: OS6 Compatible or extended?
LiveFaith @ 1/22/2004 2:52:26 PM #
The TH55 is OS5.x, not 6 right. I too have been getting a nasty feeling lately that standard Palm apps are becoming more & more diverse (improved but incompatible)? From what I've read, PalmOne, not PS upgraded the standard apps on the T3. I assume that Sony etc, will not have them. Will a standard survive?

Pat Horne;
RE: OS6 Compatible or extended?
dorelse @ 1/22/2004 4:31:16 PM #
Got confirmation that this is the new interface for the TH-55 model, which is OS5.

Guess they don't want real pictues of it yet, which is why the metal frames hiding everything but the screens...

RE: OS6 Compatible or extended?
JKingGrim @ 1/22/2004 7:10:16 PM #
Will a standard survive?Yes OS6. One good thing OS6 will do is return to compatibility across devices with unified APIs and modularity. One thing that was said is that in OS6, fields can be added and removed from the Address book database without losing sync compatibility.

RE: OS6 Compatible or extended?
Ezra4no1 @ 1/26/2004 3:02:18 AM #
Whether you like this idea or not, you have to hand it too Sony. It appears to me that Sony is making an effort to bring something creative and new to the Palm OS, even if it will be a feature found only on their PDAs.

palmOne or whatever the heck you want to call them has done nothing more to try and "improve" their original launcher since it was first released, Thank God for third party apps... Something I would think a company as "reputatable" as palmOne would of done more than just sit on a lucky design when they first launched the palm Pilot.

I welcome Sony's added feature.. so as long as they give us control to turn it off if we don't want it and leaves us with plenty of memory left on our PDAs.

RE: OS6 Compatible or extended?
Wollombi @ 1/26/2004 7:50:27 PM #
>" From what I've read, PalmOne, not PS upgraded the standard apps on the T3"<

If you had read a little closer, you would have remembered that PalmOne added the OS6 standard apps to the T3/E units. These are the apps that were origially envisioned for OS6, and will likely still be a well integrated part of it instead of an OS5 kludge.


Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

Does this change the standard app db's?

gregmaass @ 1/22/2004 1:48:25 PM #
I'm hoping to get a TH55, but am a hardcore Datebk5 user. This, and many other apps, rely on the standard palm databases. I'm wondering if Sony has messed with the backend of the standard apps, so that custom apps that rely on datebookDB, ToDoDB, MemoDB, and AddressDB will no longer work. Any info on this?
RE: Does this change the standard app db's?
staceym @ 1/22/2004 4:57:45 PM #
While drawling over my friends T3 I noticed his address book had some extra fields, such as Birth Date. My T615 has an extra field too, a photo (I don't use this field much as each photo has to e stored in RAM and takes up so much memory, which is another point; if the TH55 only has 32mb RAM where is all that extra data (video, photos, drawings) going to go?)

My point is that I can still sync using PilotManager on Solaris as I did my old Palm III. I can also still use several commands that poke around the pdb files. So these extra fields must be stored else where.

I admit to wanting this new device from Sony. My wife asks "Will they bring out one a month later with double the memory capacity which is twice as fast?" Now they wouldn't do that would they X-) I hope they double the RAM before its released...

Awesome Launcher

Hal2000 @ 1/22/2004 1:48:04 PM #
Now this is more like it.Love the 'scribble on datebook' idea and the tabs to all the media. I'm a self appointed closet multimedia catagory junkie. Less taps now!

RE: Awesome Launcher
LiveFaith @ 1/22/2004 2:56:37 PM #
Looks pretty impressive. Let's see now, whatever happended to that "zen" thing .....

Pat Horne;
RE: Awesome Launcher
katsudon @ 1/22/2004 4:11:56 PM #
This is certainly a very handy launcher, but I am much concerned of its speed.

In my TG-50 when I use AppShell, which is also a very complex and handy launcher, the program takes a significant time to load and show its full screen. I deleted it.

I hope this launcher won't have the same flaw.

RE: Awesome Launcher
Strider_mt2k @ 1/22/2004 5:52:22 PM #
"Looks pretty impressive. Let's see now, whatever happended to that "zen" thing ....."

That was Zen, this is now. :D

RE: Awesome Launcher
Hal2000 @ 1/22/2004 8:01:51 PM #
This might be the new Zen.

RE: Awesome Launcher
;-) @ 1/23/2004 4:40:44 PM #
This might be the new Zen.

Same as the old Zen - only Zennier!

It's just too big.

RE: Awesome Launcher
Wollombi @ 1/26/2004 7:54:45 PM #
>"Looks pretty impressive. Let's see now, whatever happended to that "zen" thing ....."<

Ok, I know it's redundant, but really this IS zen. It is still simple and easy to use while adding functionality. Zen in one of it's best forms.


Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

I am going to need a comprehensive manual...

a3 @ 1/22/2004 1:50:06 PM #
This application seems veeeery complicated it has a lot of things in the same screen. I just hope that it comes with a Clie Organizer for Dummies type of manual. Other than that I can only say that the free hand notes seem very similar to BugMe!.

Former Tapwave's Helix fan, now a T|T3 fan.
RE: I am going to need a comprehensive manual...
abosco @ 1/22/2004 7:01:37 PM #
>>This application seems veeeery complicated it has a lot of things in the same screen. I just hope that it comes with a Clie Organizer for Dummies type of manual. Other than that I can only say that the free hand notes seem very similar to BugMe!.

Did you download the PDF for the TH55? It includes these applications and has a detailed explaination of how to use them. Seems pretty good. Check it out, you might be interested.

NX80v + Wifi + BT + T616

RE: I am going to need a comprehensive manual...
a3 @ 1/23/2004 8:38:10 AM #
Thanks for the tip!

Former Tapwave's Helix fan, now a T|T3 fan.
RE: I am going to need a comprehensive manual...
billtaiwan @ 2/5/2004 7:10:19 AM #
Where would one find the .pdf of the manual?

This would be great in Landscape

kevdo @ 1/22/2004 3:38:13 PM #
This might be a useful feature for a handheld that runs more in landscape mode, the taskbar in Windows. Looks pretty.

-Kevin Crossman, Palm Powered Software Champion

It's BugMe/Slap Everywhere

Timothy Rapson @ 1/22/2004 5:46:18 PM #
This looks like they have taken many of the features of Bugme and Slap along with some quick connections to photo, video, and audio utility and merged them into their own version of a launcher and Today screen.

I can't imagine how this can be successful. It is just too much to try to cram into one place, but who knows? If it works and is not slow or buggy it will save Clie users a lot of money on third part apps. And if Sony has tested it well, it may be more stable than adding all those separate apps. I like the part that allows you to ditch the whole thing and use your own launcher. It is included free so what is the downside for the user? If you don't like it don't use it. If you do like it, it is a great bargain at the price.

Looks like a paper datebook

wirelessgirl @ 1/22/2004 6:29:46 PM #
Writing notes overtop the day in the datebook in my handwriting looks like my old paper datebook / agenda. It is simply nothing but hell...

-Bia Kunze

Cross-model Palm Desktop Interoperability?!

gfunkmagic @ 1/22/2004 7:14:19 PM #
Although I am excited about all these new and varying features, I am worried about compatibility of the Palm Desktop syncing various PalmOS devices on one computer? I've already encountered problems trying to sync pda's w/PalmOne's enhanced new PIM with other devices like the Treo600 and am wondering if this only increase in complexity with new devices like the TH55? I wish lisencees would release Palm Desktop "pluggins" instead of entirely new versions that could be added to the default desktop allowing various PalmOS devices to use the same deskop without losing functionality...

I support


RE: Cross-model Palm Desktop Interoperability?!
phoneboy @ 1/22/2004 8:14:49 PM #
I agree. I had some problems with my desktop when I switched from a T3 to a UC-50.

Sony Launchers - BAD

phoneboy @ 1/22/2004 8:10:06 PM #
Sony got off to a rough start on making launchers. The 3D launcher on my Clie UX-50 is TERRIBLE! They sacrificed user-friendliness for a cool looking effect. I hope this new stuff is as easy or easier to use than the standard Palm stuff.

RE: Sony Launchers - BAD
abosco @ 1/22/2004 9:41:14 PM #
Agreed, the UX50 launcher seems more like the work of "multimedia-first" Microsoft or flamboyant Europeans rather than the flashy Japanese company. I'm surprised they included such a useless launcher (blue flying orbs??) when the original new launcher in the OS 5 Clies was so useful with the jog dial. That was pure functionality and little eye-appeal. The UX50 has it the opposite.

This new launcher looks okay, but I need to try it first.

NX80v + Wifi + BT + T616

RE: Sony Launchers - BAD
joelaposta @ 1/25/2004 7:27:49 AM #
Does anyone really use the built-in launchers anyway? I think they should just include something like Zlauncher instead.


Palm IIIx -> Palm IIIc -> Palm m505 (x2) -> Clie N760C -> T615C -> Clie NR70 (x2) -> Clie NX70 -> Clie UX50

Did Sony steal "Bullet Train" from Crazy Jake?

Gekko @ 1/22/2004 10:57:16 PM #
RE: Did Sony steal
palmhiker @ 1/23/2004 9:32:21 AM #
Maybe they bugged the office where he gave his infamous "powerpoint presentation on the future of handhelds" to Jeff Hawkins....

RE: Did Sony steal
Wollombi @ 1/26/2004 8:35:24 PM #
Yeah, I seem to remember ol' Jake complaining ceacelessly about how Jeff was sooooo rude to him. Me, the minute he started spouting about retinal scans, cameras tracking your eye movement for navigation and such, I would have called security to remove him, because he's either crazy, an idiot, or a savant. Being Jeff Hawkins, any of the above would be a theat.

Don't get me wrong, there are *some* good ideas there, but he discredits them by taking the whole thing way too far. He's a marketer trying to engineer. Ever seen an engineering dept. tryig to keep their marketing dept. in check?


Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

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