PalmSource has introduced a program that will give mobile operators a greater say in how it develops Palm OS, a move that should result in more advanced applications for smart phones and other wireless devices, the company said.
Sprint is the inaugural member of the Palm Powered MobileWorld Program, as the initiative is called. Other members include makers of infrastructure software used to deliver mobile services, such as Good Technology, which makes enterprise messaging software, as well as third-party vendors developing Palm applications.
The program will allow Sprint and its peers to have a greater say in how Palm OS is developed.
For example, they can propose protocols and application programming interfaces (APIs) that they’d like to see supported, PalmSource’s president and chief executive officer, David Nagel, said.
In addition, mobile operators are wary of deploying new applications on their networks for fear they may degrade service or cause other problems, Nagel said.
Working more closely with PalmSource and companies such as Good Technology would allow operators to test and vet applications more thoroughly, a Sprint PCS director of marketing, Jason Guesman, said. They should then be able to deploy a broader variety of Palm applications on their phones.
The program acknowledged the growing importance of the wireless industry to the future of Palm-based devices, Nagel said.
Of about 50 Palm OS devices on the market today, 18 have built-in wireless capabilities.
That number will grow in the years ahead, both as a proportion of devices and in absolute terms, he said.
Microsoft has also been buddying up to the wireless industry and is probably Palm’s main opponent in providing software for wireless smart devices.