Saturday, February 19, 2005

3GSM-Part 3:Third-party apps

PalmSource's 3GSM stands were used for demonstrations of 8 new, wireless applications that were deemed important. Here is a short look at each, enhanced with a few comments.
Abidia O-Anywhere
O-Anywhere has already been featured on TamsPalm a few days ago-a perfect solution, especially when you pair it up with Abidia's ebay client!
Handmark English/Spanish dictionary
Don't ask me what this has to do with wireless... . Just a plain dictionary, but enhanced with pronounciation guides for better learning effects.
Kinoma Player 3.1EX
Kinoma Player is one of the oldest video players for the Palm OS. It even played movies on a Palm IIIc, but required them to be converted to a special kinoma format. The version 3 EX of the Player can also accept a few types of native files, version 3.1 adds support for QuickTime cubic panoramas-whatever that is.
This is a framework that will simplify network communications.
Sonic Admin
This program will allow network administrators to manage their servers on the go. Not much more info is available right now.
SplashData SplashBlog
This program will allow users to create pghotoblogs right from their camera-enabled smartphone. Since it comes with a free account, users have zero effort when they create their online "photo gallery". The SX1 has a photo share client integrated into the OS-so why not have it on the Treo/Qool/GSPDA too?
Stand-alone Quicknews
This is a new, mobile RSS reader(it follows Hand/RSS) that will be able to obtain its news both when hotsyncing and in an OTA fashion. The concept of RSS readers for Palm Os isn't new-but there seems to be quite a market! Users pay lots of money for getting short SMS summaries of news-now imagine if they could select their own sources and pay only the transfer costs....
VeriChat 2.5
VeriChat is the number 1 IM client for the Palm platform. Version 2.5 supports ICQ,MSN,IM, AIM and Yahoo. In addition, it can connect to the corporate LCS, Sametime and Jabber networks. New features include the linking of address book entries to buddys and the possibility of having multiple accounts on the same service.
This definitely looks nice and may provide a replacement for the expensive SMS/MMS services of carriers. We austrians pay 20 cents for 160 bits of data-GPRS allows you to send about 50KB for the same price. The only weak point is the high price of the service-you pay 20$ a year for access to the VeriChat servers....

These eight applications are different to the ones discussed yesterday, as end userss will be capable to purchase them through ESD channels. Thus, the existing devices can also benefit from these-so finally some new stuff for us. There is IM, RSS, Ebay, whatever-looks as if the Palm Os is finally starting to get a perfect internet terminal! Indeed-you are right about this, but there are two thinghs that you need to consider:
a)Abysmal Web Browsers
The main thing users do on the Internet is surf the WWW. The current lineup of browsers for Palm OS is-well-not perfect and is said to be surpassed by way by PocketPCs and even some Symbian phones. I personally beleive that this deficit can not really be compensated by adding additional services-users will still feel it.
b)PocketPCs can do this too
A comrade of mine has a perfect ICQ client on his Ipaq-for free. Versamail is pricey. As if that doesnt say it all....
What do you think? Who wins the race for the best internet machine?