Wireless Palms Challenge Web Phones

What's more, Palm is looking at some phone-like functions. The company is developing Palm Communicator, a Palm device that will access mobile phone networks and integrate voice communications with Palm's personal digital functions.

All Palms, including existing units, will get wireless functions, says Carl Yankowski, Palm chief executive.

"We'll make all Palms forward and backward wirelessly connected to the internet by the end of this year," Yankowski said. Current models may gain that capability through add-ons. All Palms will use web clipping technology to display content.

"When we enable wireless internet access, the same applications that run on the Palm VII will run exactly the same on all Palms," says Alan Kessler, Palm chief operating officer for platform and products.

The executives wouldn't give details about Communicator or describe its appearance, but Yankowski says it is unlike the Qualcomm PDQ.

When you get a call, the device will identify the caller from your address book, or even add the address, Kessler says. "You can say you don't want to take the call, and it sends it to voice mail."

This year, you'll be able to connect a Palm to the internet through a mobile phone or a snap-on accessory like the OmniSky wireless modem for the Palm V. But as WAP (wireless application protocol) and smart phones appear, will we be willing to carry two devices? Palm is betting on it.

"The user experience is fundamentally different (on a phone versus a Palm)," Kessler says. "Some applications are great for a WAP browser, but sometimes you need a larger screen or you want color. There's not going to be one answer."

Phones aren't competition, but an added market, Palm executives say. Nokia and Motorola have licensed the Palm operating system for smart phone devices.

It's like the convergence of TV and PC, says Barry Cottle, Palm's chief operating officer of wireless internet solutions. "The difference is how the consumer uses it." When technologies merge, some people will want a single device, and others will opt for two, he adds.

Palm wireless services focus on localised content, Cottle says. Through Palm.net, Palm VII users can check on flight status at Travelocity, buy a book on Amazon, or get directions to the nearest Starbucks coffee shop.

As all Palms become wireless, Palm.net will evolve into MyPalm.net, a custom portal with wireless services, Cottle says. "When you buy a plane ticket, the flight information will immediately go into your Palm calendar."

Palm.net and Palm.com will also direct you to Palm applications and add-ons.

"We're the most expandable handheld with over 100 hardware attachments," Yankowski says. And Palm is trying to make it easier for you to get them.

Pocket PCs also have wireless aspirations, plus a built-in Web browser. You can download Palm browsers, but Palm executives say Web clipping is better.

"We have Web browsers and support WAP, but in a narrowband world, you don't want to browse the internet really wirelessly," Kessler says.

As Palm expands the Palm.net service beyond the Palm VII to all Palms, the company hopes developers will have more reason to produce Web clipping applications.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Cameron Crouch

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?