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First Palm OS 6 Cobalt Screen Shots

updated PalmInfocenter is in San Jose for the PalmSource Developer conference. While work on more detailed reports from the event is in progress, I took some quick snaps of a few images of Palm OS 6 Cobalt being demoed at the conference keynotes.

Palm OS 6, or Palm OS Cobalt, is being shown to developers for the first time today at the PalmSource Developer Conference in San Jose. Many of the general features and technologies in Cobalt are outlined here.

Much of the interface is generally the same as in previous versions of the Palm OS. PalmSource Chief Products Officer Larry Slotnick conceded that the general interface is due for a makeover, however the timeframe for Cobalt did not allow that to happen in the first release. A major interface revamp was promised in the next update to Cobalt.

The screenshots of Cobalt below show some of the basic Palm OS apps that many are already familiar with. The first screenshot shows the standard built in launcher. Not much has changed with the launcher with the exemption of a new system command bar at the bottom of the screen. The command bar shows the time, displays the home, find and menu buttons, sound and brightness controll, shows wireless status, signal strength and more.

The second image shows the new Cobalt Datebook. One new interface feature of Cobalt is a tab system, an example of which can be seen in this picture. The datebook and other PIM apps will feature a whole new database schema, similar to SQL. In addition the built in PIM apps have been engineered to more compatible with Microsoft Outlook fields. The third screen shot shows the built in phone dialer that is incorporated into Cobalt as well as the active call manager. Click on any of the images for a larger version.

Palm OS 6 Cobalt Screen Capture ~ Click for larger Palm OS 6 Cobalt Screen Capture ~ Click for larger Palm OS 6 Cobalt Screen Capture ~ Click for larger

Palm OS 6 Cobalt Screen Capture ~ Click for largerPalm OS 6 Cobalt Screen Capture ~ Click for largerPalm OS 6 Cobalt Screen Capture ~ Click for larger


This is just a brief first glimpse report, I'm busy attending sessions and gathering info at the show. PIC will have more detailed reports and more on Cobalt and Garnet from the event coming soon. Thanks to Scott Remick for the additional screens.

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great but i will wait

awdr @ 2/10/2004 6:17:10 PM #
Cobalt looks great and sounds promising, however I will go for a TH55 and will give Palm time to sort out obligatory bugs.

Who will buy a Cobalt device immediatly or will wait a few months?

RE: great but i will wait
4s @ 2/10/2004 6:22:25 PM #
I like the look of the icons. It has kind of a BeOS look. I really hope that when the interface is updated, there really is a Be flavor to it. I always thought that was a georgous OS.

<><
RE: great but i will wait
jho4thclie @ 2/10/2004 7:01:12 PM #
I won't buy a new Cobalt device, but will rather anxiously await the rumored upgrade for my Tungsten C.

It's hard for me to upgrade when my device still, after almost a year, has the fastest processor and most built-in (*real*) RAM on PalmOS . :-D I love my T|C. A lot.

I'll give Cobalt a year or so before I upgrade... and I won't upgrade until I see a portrait non-clamshell 320x480 thumboard device w/ bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Perhaps wishful thinking... but I like the photoshopped Tungsten photos floating around with 320x480 with a Tungsten T-style collapsable area and thumboard. Hey-- Sharp made a Zaurus kinda like that, right?

-JWH

RE: great but i will wait
TTrules @ 2/10/2004 7:02:33 PM #
When is Cobalt being released?

One Palm to rule them all!
RE: great but i will wait
silviogutierrez @ 2/10/2004 7:32:25 PM #
The zodiac has 128 megabytes of real ram...
RE: great but i will wait
Hal2000 @ 2/10/2004 7:48:44 PM #
Is there any way I could get this? I'll even settle for a close - looking launcher.(last resort).

Zodiac2/T616
1.128 gigs under the hood.
RE: great but i will wait
skennedy1217 @ 2/10/2004 9:56:00 PM #
"I won't buy a new Cobalt device, but will rather anxiously await the rumored upgrade for my Tungsten C."

Has there been any solid evidence at the conference that upgrades are possible on current devices? My T2 may not be able to handle OS6/Cobalt, but hopefully an upgrade to Garnet will be possible.

Scott

________________________________
M100==>M500==>T|T==>T|T2==> ?

RE: great but i will wait
agent_sm1th @ 3/5/2004 12:36:01 AM #
one palm to rule them all, one palm to find them, one palm to bring them all and in the palmness bind them

Tabs in address book

sub_tex @ 2/10/2004 7:04:55 PM #
nice!

I like the tabs. Also, that status bar is chock fulla icons. HAs all the usual icons we'd expect plus a signal strength indicator (which falls right in with the dialer screen).

Can't wait for the devices. :)

Disappointing, but off to a good start

Foo Fighter @ 2/10/2004 7:18:14 PM #
Sorry to see PalmSource's "Sahara" concept GUI wasn't implemented in this release, but it is good to hear that it will come later. I like the new tabbed framework in applications. We'll see how well the OS performs once Cobalt-based hardware reaches the market later this spring.

Off to a good start. :-)



-------------------------------
Contributing Editor, Digital Media Thoughts
Editor, Pocketfactory.com

RE: Disappointing, but off to a good start
sremick @ 2/10/2004 7:29:32 PM #
My impression was that Cobalt, as with PalmOS 5, was designed with most of the changes under the hood. These are transitionary OSes to get us from the 68x-specific PalmOS 4 and prior to a CPU-independent OS using a HAL. PalmOS 5 allowed us to run the OS and all our apps on ARM processors, and run some ARM-specific stuff in the form of "ARMlets". Cobalt is fully coded to ARM and allows old apps to work via full emulation, emphasizing more for fully-ARM programs. We also get reworked network access, multithreading, and all sorts of other goodies. Once the dust settles and the concrete sets for this foundation, they can rock our world later with a GUI upgrade.

I have more screenshots

sremick @ 2/10/2004 7:34:51 PM #
I have more screenshots, extracted from the developer "Protein" PDFs and not photographs of a projector screen. I don't dare host them on my server but if someone doesn't doesn't have limits/month I can email the PNGs to them and they can host them.

RE: I have more screenshots
Admin @ 2/10/2004 7:40:58 PM #
send them over to ryan at palminfocenter.com if you could. Thanks!
RE: I have more screenshots
toshm @ 2/10/2004 8:53:27 PM #
Just go to http://www.pocketloft.com/ to see some more screenshots.

Multitasking process?

abosco @ 2/10/2004 8:12:31 PM #
I know these are just the preliminaries, but did they happen to do a walkthrough or a demonstration of how to multitask? Did I skip over it somewhere? All of this information is coming really fast, and all I can say is, "****ING AWESOME!!" Really great coverage, but I'm just wondering if the implementation is worth the anticipation hype I've held in for years.

-Bosco
NX80v + Wifi + BT + T616
RE: Multitasking process?
Admin @ 2/10/2004 9:17:48 PM #
yes they demo'd multitasking, you can be connected to multiple wirless connections as well. I'm working on more reports
RE: Multitasking process?
hotpaw4 @ 2/11/2004 4:29:19 AM #
Any old application won't automatically stay running after launching another app, which can fill up memory with idle tasks like another OS we know. A Cobalt app has to specifically launch a background process, and ask the OS to let that process stay running even after switching to another app. So only apps which need to multitask (downloading email in the background, etc.) will be allowed to do so. And there are also desk-accessory-like apps, which can pop-up over a running app, they demo'ed a pop-up real-time stock quote.

At least, that's my preliminary understanding. There's a ton of Cobalt development documentation to be read...

RE: Multitasking process?
helf @ 2/11/2004 11:45:58 AM #
That's pretty cool. Makes for better memory management.. Altho I would like to be able to run any old app along side any otehr old app and have to close one or 2 if I start to run out of memory like I did on my old psion s5 :) But this'll work :)

RE: Multitasking process?
mikecane @ 2/11/2004 5:52:28 PM #
>>>And there are also desk-accessory-like apps, which can pop-up over a running app

That is the first good news I've read. Perhaps someone will do a Cobalt version of PopUp Note. Please!!

Dream Palm Pilot?

bmari20007 @ 2/10/2004 9:42:35 PM #
what's your specs?

Mine:
OS 6, 320x480 Screen, .5 in thickness, 10 days battery life, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (NOT A CELLPHONE), sensible buttons

RE: Dream Palm Pilot?
helf @ 2/11/2004 11:53:28 AM #
os6, vga screen, 256megs of ram and rom, 600mhz ti omap cpu, REFLECTIVE display (yes, you heard me right, reflective.. with good backlight. h8n transflective... unless of course these new oled screens work great outdoors, but i doubt it..), sdio slot AND cfio type 2, jog dial on side, headphone jack, built in microphone, wifi and bt, 4800mAH removable battery pack :), 32meg radeom chipset with full 2d and 3d hardware acceleration, yamaha sound system with stereo speakers..mmmm.., and this pda be branded 'Handera'.. *sniff*, I miss handera...

RE: Dream Palm Pilot?
JonathanChoo @ 2/12/2004 2:12:01 PM #
Dream Palm...hmm...

To be released in the year 2010 by Palm

- AMD 64-bit 5Ghz CPU with 2Mb L2-Cache
- 8Gb DDR-4 RAM
- 2Tb 10000rpm HDD
- 2400x1600 resolution 128-bit colour flexible display
- 20 Megapixel SuperCCD-SR (3rd generation) digital camera with Carl Zeiss or Canon lens
- 1Gb ATi Radeon 12000XT running at 2Ghz/2.5Ghz
- Yamaha Chip with 9.1 sound
- 5G, Bluetooth v3.5, WiFi 802.11z
- PalmOS X.11
- 15000mAh battery with 30 days continuous usage
- 135g
- 299

---
Generic Casio > Psion 5> Palm Vx > m505 > Sony N770C > T625C > NR70V > Toshiba e310 > T/T > HP h2210 > T/T3

StarTac > Ericsson T28m > T39m > T68m > T610 > T630

Next PDA/Phone: T/T4 or VGA PPC or Treo 610/S-E T650

RE: Dream Palm Pilot?
dmmcintyre3 @ 10/6/2007 4:25:54 PM #
320x480 screen, QWERTY keyboard, 3G phone, .5" thick, 10 day battery if left on the whole time, 1 month under 1 HR a day useage and 10 HR talk/web/email time, 2 GB internal memory, internal GPS, 3 megapixel camera, WiFi, Bluetooth, Mac sync, Palm OS 6, 500 MHz processor, 20 meter IR, flip up screen ( flips two ways, one like a reg, cell phone and the other way flips to the right kind of like the Samsung SCH-u740 cell phone), palm V size when opened the way it would be used to type with the QWERTY keyboard

"the general interface is due for a makeover"

G-Mahn @ 2/10/2004 10:07:44 PM #
No kidding ... PalmSource has had over a year to update the GUI for Cobalt and they still can't get the GUI out the door. Jeez, even Microsoft could pull that off!!!

So we are stuck with the Windows 3.1 like GUI in Cobalt for how long??

RE:
sremick @ 2/10/2004 10:51:51 PM #
I don't let it bother me. The default PalmOS GUI plays little role in my life.

What I see is the interface to my launcher replacement, my DateBook replacement, my games, my utilities, my media players, etc.

A revamped OS that is better under the hood (real ARM, not hacked up with ARMlets) is FAR more important to me than PalmOS eye-candy that I will rarely see, so I'm glad PalmSource had their priorities straight.

There's already too much software out that looks neat but runs like crap.

RE:
jjsoh @ 2/11/2004 12:16:10 AM #
It seems G-Mahn just registered yesterday:
http://palminfocenter.com/profile.asp?ID=23598

Either you're new around here, or a "known troll" in disguise. Anyway, here's my reply below just in case you're the former:

I agree with sremick. I'd much rather see Palmsource focusing more of their time and energy to improve security, reliability, and functionality in their OS, than to waste it on making icons and backgrounds look prettier. Besides, I think 3rd party applications like SilverScreen and LauncherX already do a good job of placing a nice GUI on top of the default launcher.

I personally love Palm's simple interface. I can use my Palm and get work done with ease/speed without fuddling through incessant tapping and button pressing usually associated with 'advanced' GUI interfaces.

BTW, Windows 95 may have had a "better" GUI than Windows 3.1, but it was also more unstable and insecure. I don't think Microsoft is the right company to use as a basis for comparison, especially in OS design.

Jim

RE: "the general interface is due for a makeover"
kpr @ 2/11/2004 1:45:01 AM #
I prefer a more simple, yet powerful, user interface (UI) instead of a lot of eye candy graphics that have the potential of getting in your way and making the UI look more cluttered if not done well.

For example, in the Tungsten T3's System Information dialog, they added nice graphics for the battery level and available memory, but made the text to the left of the graphics that give the actual values much smaller than the normal fonts used in dialogs. This smaller text is harder to read.

I hope they do NOT continue adding this kind of tiny text in other places. If they do, then I hope they will allow me to tap the graphic to get a text version of it in an easy to read font size.

I'd rather have them add more "function" than "form", but add it in ways that are very easy and streamlined to use, and does not interfere with my common tasks.

For example, I'd like to see context menus added throughout all of the built-in applications. Pop-up a menu when I tap and hold the stylus briefly on an object displayed on the screen. This is similar to right clicking in Windows, and provides more direct manipulation and quicker access to commands than using the menus, menu shortcuts, or shortcut toolbar.

I'd like to be able to tap and hold on an application icon within the application launcher to directly change that application's category, beam it, delete it, send it, copy it, or get some information on it.


Some other functionality I'd like to see:

- More levels of Undo along with a new Redo command. Save the undo stack, even when switching to other applications and coming back to the application later.

- View and sort my Address Book (Contacts) by First Name followed by the Last Name. This is more personal to me since I know more people by their first name than their last name.

- Sort the main Address Book (Contacts) screen by any field and allow me change which fields are shown on the main screen too.

- Remember the last address or attached note I was in. Then take me back there when I return to the Address Book (Contacts).

- Add a Filtering mechanism to all of the built-in applications that allows each main list screen to show only the items that either match or do not match the filter string. Then allow me to perform actions on the entire resulting list like changing all of their categories, private status, deleting them all, or beaming them all. Save my filter strings for future use. Clearly indicate when the list is filtered and how to see the entire list again.

- Trash application that holds the contents of all deleted items, like a deleted address, note, event, to do, memo, etc. If possible, include deleted text as well.
The user's data is the most important priority. Make it very hard for users to accidentally lose anything and very easy for them to recover it.

- Allow me to choose which category to place a beamed application into like I can do with other beamed items. Always try to be consistent.

- Wi-Fi equivalent programs to BlueChat and BlueBoard. The much longer range of Wi-Fi over Bluetooth would make these applications even more useful and thus used more often.


RE:
speedracer5 @ 2/11/2004 8:58:48 AM #
Even Microsoft could do it? From when I look at Windows, their interface hasn't rally changed. The start bar is really the only difference from earlier versions of Windows (appearance, not function) that one could tell the difference looking at a screen whether it was XP or 98 running. Palm's interface is simple. Granted it seems a little dated, but I don't use the standard Palm launcher (or datebook or calender) That's one great thing about Palm. For those that want it simple, Palm makes it so. For those that want more, there is a large developer community to feed their appetite.

------------------------------------------------------
You may be a race car driver at heart if you refer to leaving your driveway as "Turn 1"
RE:
dona83 @ 2/11/2004 9:42:14 AM #
Dude, How fancy shmancy do u want PalmOS to be? It looks contemporary and simple, The main reason GUIs exist is to make the user interaction with electronics as quick and painless as possible. I don't see how quick and painless applies to PPC other than the fact that it looks "nice"...

Donald

RE:
Altema @ 2/11/2004 11:05:17 AM #
Hmmm... pretty UI and twisted guts, versus solid internals with less time on window dressing. I know which one I would pick.

Even WinCE *looked* nice, despite being so bad they killed the name to improve the image.

RE:
SaabCaptain @ 2/11/2004 11:55:23 AM #
Look here is my take...

OS 5.0 took 2 YEARS to arrive. It was PROMISED with a new GUI and full multi-tasking. With 6-12 months to go they stated that instead they would save the new GUI and multi-tasking would come with OS 6.0 which should arrive "6 months later."

Well it took 18 months to get 6.0, now called Colbalt and guess what? STILL no GUI. In the context of the "big picture" which is a 3 1/2 year journey from 4.0 -> 6.0 and now 10 YEARS of Pilot, PalmPilots, and Palms it is stunning they couldn't get the new GUI working.

PDAs are on their way out... my Tungsten E works well but I find my cellphones and ever cheaper and lighter laptops are quickly replacing my must have need of the device. I was looking forward to a newer even easier to use GUI that would also have the looks to impress.

I just don't get it, this is just yet another late update that will allow me to download email in the background while I play Bejewelled. WOW.

owned: Pilot 5000, PalmPilot Pro, Palm V, Casio E-11, IIIc, m505, Sony T615, Tungsten T, iPaq 1945, Tungsten E.

RE:
helf @ 2/11/2004 11:58:25 AM #
yeah, I'd rather have the same old usuable, minimalist gui that I'm used to and a powerful, well made OS under it than some new flashy gui and a pathetic excuse for an OS *cough*XP*cough*.

RE:
helf @ 2/11/2004 12:05:22 PM #
it'll let you do more than just email and play bejeweled at the same time ;)

but yeah, its not the best update.. you can do multithreading of sorts in os5 already if you try hard enough. look at verichat or even netmite audio player. It'll play wavs in the background on palms with os 3.1 and up with little slow down.. I played 3d star fighter pilot and music on my old m505 :)

but still. OS6 allows for easy multitasking and easier coding of 100% native arm programs.. which are big improvements.

RE:
jjsoh @ 2/11/2004 1:21:25 PM #
Well it took 18 months to get 6.0, now called Colbalt and guess what? STILL no GUI. In the context of the "big picture" which is a 3 1/2 year journey from 4.0 -> 6.0 and now 10 YEARS of Pilot, PalmPilots, and Palms it is stunning they couldn't get the new GUI working.

And yet, they are still able to maintain more than half of the PDA marketshare worldwide. I don't wonder why they do. If anyone wants 'fancy' GUIs, there are plenty of PocketPC's and Linux PDAs out there for the taking.

As for me, I'll continue to stick with Palm unless something better comes out which I don't see happening... yet...

Jim

RE:
SaabCaptain @ 2/11/2004 1:56:47 PM #
Lack of a new and improved GUI will hurt sales of new Cobalt based models. ARM native apps will take time in coming, and the improvements may only be felt in games and video playing as PIM and even MP3 apps are very snappy in Garnet based Palms. Multi-tasking while a great idea is used in limited situations and in most of those situations (ie. music playing etc.) the old OS5, Garnet, already does this. While in time, ie. 6-12 months or more, Cobalt will be showing that it is useful, there will BE NOTHING that makes someone want it NOW.

A classy, elegant, GUI enhancement would have brought out repeat buyers instantly... these under-the-hood enhancements will take over a year to show fruit.

owned: Pilot 5000, PalmPilot Pro, Palm V, Casio E-11, IIIc, m505, Sony T615, Tungsten T, iPaq 1945, Tungsten E.

RE:
SaabCaptain @ 2/11/2004 2:27:41 PM #
"And yet, they are still able to maintain more than half of the PDA marketshare worldwide. I don't wonder why they do. If anyone wants 'fancy' GUIs, there are plenty of PocketPC's and Linux PDAs out there for the taking.

As for me, I'll continue to stick with Palm unless something better comes out which I don't see happening... yet... Jim"

well it has over 50% of the share but just a few years ago it was nearly 80%. also worldwide shipments of ALL PDAs has dropped the last 2 years straight.

Palm, Microsoft, someone... has to make using these handhelds EVEN EASIER, and more attractive to prevent smartphones and laptops from taking over.

owned: Pilot 5000, PalmPilot Pro, Palm V, Casio E-11, IIIc, m505, Sony T615, Tungsten T, iPaq 1945, Tungsten E.

RE:
JonathanChoo @ 2/12/2004 2:23:22 PM #
I like the old OS4 like GUI. Its nice and simple. If you are talking about the launcher I can use one of the many third party launchers.

But anyway even Microsoft has yet to update their Windows GUI which is basically using the old Windows 95 GUI disguised in something flashy.

---
Generic Casio > Psion 5> Palm Vx > m505 > Sony N770C > T625C > NR70V > Toshiba e310 > T/T > HP h2210 > T/T3

StarTac > Ericsson T28m > T39m > T68m > T610 > T630

Next PDA/Phone: T/T4 or VGA PPC or Treo 610/S-E T650

One of you has it right!!
G-Mahn @ 2/12/2004 11:13:06 PM #
Well one of you has it right => SaabCaptain knows the PDA industry and what is going happen within the next 18 months!!

Notebook prices are knocking at just about $600 and cell phones are adopting all the functionality of PDA'S and more. And, what I constantly hear on the street is "I don't want to carry two devices and the smart phones are too big, so I'm staying with the cell phone".

For those that think I'm trolling ... I've been in the graphic design industry and the Palm OS GUI is getting OLD!!! If you think its current take a look at the changes Nissan has done to there cars in the last two years. PalmSource needs to get off there arses and update the GUI. Reminds me of when Palm wipped out the Newton, a lot of people thought the Newton would last forever.

I'm not talking adding mini text everywhere, in fact I think the mini icons are not the correct approach. In many ways I think the GUI could be simplified to update it!!

Like SaabCaptain I own just about as many devices: Palm 5000, some TRG modified Palm (can't remember the model number), Palm III, Palm IIIc, Zire, Zire 71, Treo300 and Tungsten C. Mostly PalmOne not by mistake, I sure hope PalmOne can figure this out before its too late!!

RE:
jackpipe @ 2/16/2004 4:31:29 PM #
Add another to the "I don't want to carry two devices and the smart phones are too big, so I'm staying with the cell phone" crowd.
Palm should have got this sorted 3 years ago - the beauty of palmos is that it can run on very limited devices - eg a small smart phone.

RE:
benixau @ 2/18/2004 10:22:53 PM #
the thing is the gui is not the problem.
I sadly made the mistake of buying a PPC and only regretted it fully imnth+iwk after i had it - too late for a return.
The GUI is nice. The system is nice. I like it.

I am still selling it (4350) and getting a treo600.
The palm interface is NEAT. It is fancy in that it does what you need it to when you need it to. no extra crap on the screen when your just trying to type.
POS made the GUI for 160*160. In 320*320 or 32,000*32,000 it will still work.

I hate that in PPC i have a bar at the top AND bottom when I am trying to type. i get about 240*240 in total + cleartype = OK

Keep the gui - let us change the colors a little more - as in custom specify but other than that - great UI, now get that engine runnign on all 12 cylinders

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