A seminar by Sachin Palewar (www.palewar.com) on various mobile software platforms and development choices for them. This seminar was held in Raisoni Engineering College Nagpur in Sept 2009.
Palm India recently launched Centro its newest, cheapest and probably also the best smartphone offering in India. I am calling it cheapest because its retail price as listed on the website is Rs. 13,990. When Treo 680 was first launched in India, its listed price was more than Rs. 25000, however I just checked and its now being sold for Rs. 14,400. However I would quickly like to point out that in US Centro is available for just $99 with service contract and rebates which makes it almost free.
I also call it best palm smartphone because its undoubtedly the smallest and sleekest smartphone from Palm and does everything a Treo 680 does. It also has a camera better than Treo 680.
However I have 2 complaints from Palm.
1. They don’t advertise much and their distribution/dealership network does not exist on non-metro Indian cities. I am so tired of people looking at my Treo 680 and asking me what kind of phone it is? Is it a Chinese phone? Is it good and such things. People recognize an O2, Imate or even HTC quite well here and everybody recognises Nokia.
2. Second problem I have is that there are simply no color choices available for Centro in India, but I guess that’s because they only have a single color available for GSM Centro. They have option of 3 very attractive colors for CDMA versions in US though.
Without sounding too loaded with all technical jargons let me tell you ALP or Access Linux Platform is Access’s strategy to revive the good old Palm OS, so at the core its a Linux OS but they have wrapped Palm interface on top of it so it looks quite familiar to old Palm OS which came with Zire, Treo and Tungsten from Palm.
If you want to develop applications for soon to be launched ALP phones like Samsung i800, you can develop applications for old Palm OS 5 and it should run find on the new phones as well. You can also develop Java applications like you do for other mobile phones and they should run fine on it as well. You also have choice of writing web 2.0 applications to be run on their NetFront browser, but the best choice for developing a new application is developing a native application for ALP.
You can develop native ALP applications using ALP Development Suite which is available on their Developer Portal – http://accessdevnet.com/. ALP Development Suite includes:
- A complete Eclipse-based set of development tools
- The Glade 3 Interface Editor for GTK Apps
- The ACCESS Linux Platform Simulator which runs on the Linux™ desktop and provides seamless application debugging
- A Compilation Toolchain: gcc, linker and gdb
- The VirtualPhone Tool which simulates a carrier network for telephony applications
- Scratchbox, which enables command-line development and cross-compilation for ARM device targets
- Headers and libraries
- How-To Documentation and an Integrated API Reference
I will probably have to wait till they launch simulator and other tools for windows desktops as well or till existing Palm Tool manufactures port their development tools for native ALP.
Eversince Palmsource (Now Access) decided to wrap its Palm OS on top of a Linux Mobile OS, people everywhere were wondering about what and how the OS and its interface will finally look.
Well wait seems to be over and as Brighthand reports first ALP (Access Linux Platform) powered smartphone is soon going to be launched in Europe. Phone is reportedly Samsung i800 and will be launched on Orange. To read more about ALP platform and more screenshots go here.
I like what I have seen so far. On an ALP device/phone you can run:
- Native Linux applications
- Palm OS applications
- Java applications
If you add web applications which can be rendered on its Netfront browser then in total you have 4 different software platform options on an ALP smartphone.
Reportedly it will debut in Europe and Asia before reaching American shores.