June 2002

New iPAQ 3900 with transflective design, enhanced IrDA
HP this week introduced two new iPAQ products, both with a brilliant new transflective display, a 400MHz XScale processor, and 64MB RAM. While on the surface the new models are identical to the 3800 series, including the prominent Compaq logo, the screen is noticeably different. Gone is the sidelight that tends to light up the glass in current models, and in its place is more vibrant color and better contrast. The new device also has several new features, including a seperate, more powerful "consumer" IrDA transmitter to go with the new remote control software. HP says its IrDA application, called Nevo, will give users access to almost any consumer RC device on the market; in the off chance that a driver isn't available, Nevo can be trained with an existing remote.

Also new to the device is SDIO support, which will transform the formerly memory-only SD slot into a peripheral expansion port. The backup feature has been improved, with users able to select not only what data can be backed-up, but they can also schedule backups by time, have a reminder window pop up when the battery reaches a certain level, and even seal their backups with a password. Backups can be saved to SD or in iPAQ File Store (onboard non-volatile memory).

The iPAQ H3950 has 32MB Flash ROM for US$649. The H3970 offers 48MB Flash ROM, plus Bluetooth for US$749. Both begin shipping this week with wide availability expected in July.
-- Posted Thursday, June 27, 2002 by sab

New Kyocera Smartphone features color screen, SD
Kyocera Wireless announced its 7135 Smartphone at TECHXNY this week, a small, sturdy-feeling, flip phone design that incorporates some advanced features. Keeping with its Qualcomm pedigree, it works on the CDMA network, incorporating CDMA2000 1XRTT data technology, which allows data speeds of up to 153Kbps. Its reflective TFT screen supports 64K colors, with a Graffiti area just opposite on the bottom of the clamshell. It uses a number keypad, but relies on Graffiti for data input. Its expansion slot supports MMC or SD cards, and an onboard MP3 player allows stereo playback through headphones. The 7135 also has a caller-ID display along the top of the device for quick identification of the caller without opening the device. Assisted GPS technology is also included.

Also included is speakerphone, voice-activated dialing, vibrating alert, two-way SMS, Eudora email, HTML, Web Clipping, and WAP. It uses Palm OS 4.1 and 16MB of RAM. Unlike the 6035, which while functional was a bit big and drab, the 7135 is small and attractive, with a rugged feel. It's a trimode CDMA phone, meaning it works on CDMA PCS (1900MHz), CDMA cellular (800MHz), and analog cellular networks for robust connectivity. It measures 3.97 x 2.43 x 1.17 inches and weighs 6.6 ounces. 3.5 hours talk time, 160 hours standby. Prices will be set by service providers, so no hint was given (expect this for all upcoming "converged" devices). Availability is expected in the fourth quarter of 2002. Network availability of 1XRTT is cited as part of the reason for the delay.
-- Posted Wednesday, June 26, 2002 by sab

PalmSource announces new software initiatives
At TECHXNY in New York City today, PalmSource announced three relationships for the upcoming Palm OS 5 platform. Insignia Solutions will be working with PalmSource to create a standard Java interface to run on the new OS. "Insignia's Mobile Foundation for Palm OS will provide more powerful Java capabilities for developers and customers in the consumer, wireless, and enterprise markets," according to the release.

ACCESS Systems will be providing a secure "proxyless" browser for OS 5. Current browser offerings for the Palm OS, like Handspring's Blazer, use a proxy server to quickly process complex graphics down to a size that small devices can handle, and deliver them to the device on the fly. ACCESS Systems' browser, called NetFront, is a full-fledged browser, which will be preferred by many enterprise IT departments for its greater security. NetFront supports SSL, HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.0, dynamic HTML, and ECMA Script (JavaScript). ACCESS Systems provides the browser for the popular iMode phone.

SafeNet, the third partner, will be providing SoftRemote PDA, which will bring VPN funtionality to OS 5, allowing users to "tunnel" over the airwaves and through the Internet to a secure server, also attractive to enterprise customers. "The SafeNet SoftRemote PDA client for Palm OS 5 will enable highly reliable and highly secure communications using a Palm Powered product," said Steve Sakoman, PalmSource CPO.
-- Posted Wednesday, June 26, 2002 by sab

Pen Computing on Mira and the Tablet PC
The new issue of Pen Computing Magazine premiered at PC Expo in New York City this week. Included is a detailed feature on Microsoft's upcoming "Mira" project (click to view pdf version)as well as a first look at actual Tablet PC hardware (an Acer TravelMate 100) running Windows XP Tablet PC Edition. -- Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2002 by chb

PalmSource ships Palm OS 5 to developers
PalmSource has shipped the Gold Master of Palm OS 5 to developers, according to the company. The OS was actually shipped a few days ago, but was announced Monday. (Click on image at right for larger view.) From the release:

"Palm OS 5 will bring the flexibility, innovation and ease of use of Palm OS to powerful ARM-compliant processors. Licensees can choose from a full range of processors, starting with the ARM 7 CPU and scaling to the highest-performance ARM chips from Intel, Motorola and Texas Instruments, effectively broadening the market. In addition, the operating system will deliver an enhanced user interface that enables increased personalization, security, multimedia and wireless networking, as well as compatibility with existing Palm OS software programs."

"Palm OS 5 is a major milestone for PalmSource, and we're happy to be delivering the final version ahead of schedule," said David Nagel, president and chief executive officer at PalmSource.

The new OS will initially run all programs, including the basic included applications, in emulation. The major apps, including the Address Book, will essentially be the same as OS 4. -- Posted Tuesday, June 11, 2002 by sab