Palm software has made handhelds more versatile and user-friendly

The Palm software, which is most suited for handhelds, has been developed by Palm’s in house team and continues to be upgraded constantly. It can perform a variety of functions ranging from running address books, web browsers, calculators, date books, picture files, video files, digital cameras, smart phones etc.

The Palm’s first operating system (Version 1.0) was developed by Jeff Hawkins for use on the original Pilot 1000 and 5000 series. This was upgraded to version 2.0 and introduced with the PalmPilot Personal and Professional editions. Later, with the launch of the Palm III series version 3.0 was introduced. This was followed by versions 3.1, 3.3 and 3.5 to provide support for color, multiple expansion ports, new processors and other value added services.

The introduction of Tungsten T saw the launch of version 5.0. This was the firm Palm software that could be loaded on ARM devices. A great thing about Palm software is that the new versions are not radical departures from the past ones. In fact, all new Palm applications are developed under the aegis of Palm Application Compatibility Environment (PACE), which demands greater compatibility with old programs. In 2004, PalmSource re-branded its operating systems. The Palm OS 5 became Palm OS Garnet, and Palm OS 6 became Palm OS Cobalt. The constant improvement of the operating systems has made Palm the market leader in handhelds. It software now supports a variety of LCD panel resolutions, telephony components and one-handed navigation.

Some of the most common applications that form part of the Palm OS are:

1. Address Book/Contacts: This is a versatile software that allows personal information to be entered in several user-definable categories, and provides multiple slots for phone or e-mail entreis.

2. Blazer: This is a web browser that is part of the new model smart phones and handhelds launched by Palm for providing access to the net. 3. Calculator: CalculatorCalc gives Palm users the standard 4-function pocket calculator. In the advanced mode, the user can use perform specific jobs related to Maths, Finance, Logic, Statistics, Weight, Length, Area, and Volume.

4. Date Book/Calendar: The date book and calendar software can help the user maintain daily, weekly or monthly schedules. The application also has an alarm facility to alert the user.

5. Expense: This application allows the user to track common business expenses.

6. HotSync: This is a very useful software that provides integration with the user's PC. It can be used to install software or backup databases.

These are not the only applications that come with Palm OS. Some of the others are: memo pad, notepad, to do list, digital photo album, and video files.

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