PalmSource to launch Smartphone OS

Sep 27 2004 - 02:02 AM ET | Palm
PalmSource is expected to announce a new OS just for smartphones, another sign that phones are the future of PDAs. Features will include built-in Bluetooth support, Java, new web browser, BlackBerry email support and more. PalmSource claims the new software will ship on 11 smartphones in the near future. Update: PalmSource met expectations with the announcement of Palm OS Cobalt 6.1. The press release follows below. PalmSource, Inc. provider of Palm OS, a leading operating system powering next generation mobile devices and smartphones, today introduced Palm OS Cobalt 6.1, an enhanced version of Palm OS Cobalt. Designed to accelerate the development of next-generation Palm Powered smartphones and wireless devices, Palm OS Cobalt 6.1 builds on the foundation of Palm OS Cobalt and provides integrated telephony features, support for WiFi and Bluetooth and enhancements to the user interface. Palm OS Cobalt 6.1 offers new functionality aimed at Palm OS licensees looking to participate in the growing wireless market, while maintaining the flexibility, ease-of-use and compatibility that are the hallmarks of Palm Powered wireless devices. "We believe Palm OS Cobalt 6.1 optimizes our platform for the creation of cutting-edge smartphones and wireless devices that are powerful yet easy-to-use," said David Nagel, president and CEO of PalmSource, Inc. "By integrating state-of-the-art wireless functionality into Palm OS, we are providing our Palm OS licensee and developer community a real time-to-market advantage in delivering smartphones and wireless mobile devices to consumers." New features in Palm OS Cobalt 6.1 -- Integrated Telephony Components -- Palm OS Cobalt 6.1 now includes a standard GSM, MUX and a new GPRS API designed to make it easier and faster for hardware manufacturers to create a Palm Powered smartphone. Palm OS Cobalt 6.1 also adds standard support for NAND ROMs through an automatic backup and restore feature designed to prevent loss of user data in low power situations and during battery removal. -- Standard Support for Bluetooth and WiFi -- Palm OS Cobalt 6.1 incorporates the latest Bluetooth implementation, in addition to new headset and hands-free profiles critical to the development of next generation smartphones and other wireless devices. In addition, Palm OS Cobalt 6.1 provides standard 802.11 support designed to enable device manufactures to create products with built-in WiFi. -- Standard Support for One-handed and Five-way Navigation -- With built-in support for one-handed and five-way navigation, Palm OS Cobalt 6.1 paves the way for better usability and software compatibility for Palm Powered smartphones and other wireless devices. In addition, the PIM applications have been updated to take advantage of this new functionality. -- Built-in SD/IO Support -- Palm OS Cobalt 6.1 provides standard SD/IO support designed to enable the creation of expansion cards such as cameras, GPS systems and wireless radios for Palm Powered smart mobile devices. In addition, Palm OS Cobalt 6.1 is compliant with USB On-the- Go, a solution that facilitates compatibility between USB-enabled mobile devices. -- Enhanced User Interface -- Newly designed user interface features in Palm OS Cobalt 6.1 give many applications a new modern look and feel. Palm OS Cobalt 6.1 also introduces a Preferences application designed to enable a user to manage numerous individual settings and preferences in one central location. In addition, Palm OS Cobalt 6.1 is designed to encourage new categories of Palm Powered wireless devices by supporting QVGA, HVGA and VGA display resolutions in both portrait and landscape orientations. -- Chinese Language Support -- Palm OS Cobalt 6.1 incorporates support for Simplified Chinese to enable new Palm Powered mobile products aimed at the growing China mobile market.