Palm OS - Version History and Technical Background - Palm OS 5

Palm OS 5

Palm OS 5 (not called 5.0) was unveiled by the Palm subsidiary PalmSource in June 2002 and first implemented on the Palm Tungsten T. It is the first version released to support ARM devices, with support for DragonBall applications through the Palm Application Compatibility Environment (PACE) emulator. Even with the additional overhead of PACE, Palm applications usually run faster on ARM devices than on previous generation hardware. New software can take advantage of the ARM processors with small units of ARM code, referred to as ARMlets.

With a more powerful hardware basis, Palm OS is substantially enhanced for multimedia capabilities. High density 320x320 screens are supported together with a full digital sound playback and record API. Palm's separate Bluetooth stack is added together with an IEEE 802.11b Wi-Fi stack. Secure network connections over SSL are supported. The OS can be customized with different color schemes.

For Palm OS 5, PalmSource developed and licensed a web browser called PalmSource Web Browser, which is based on ACCESS' NetFront 3.0 browser.

Palm OS 5.2 is mainly a bugfix release, first implemented in the Samsung SGH-i500. It provides support for 480x320 resolutions and introduces a new handwriting input system called Graffiti 2, due to the lost lawsuit against Xerox. Graffiti 2 is based on Jot from CIC. The latest bugfix release is version 5.2.8.

Palm OS 5.3 Simplified Chinese Edition provides full Simplified Chinese support, further adds support for QVGA resolutions, and a standard API for virtual Graffiti called Dynamic Input Area. This version was first introduced with Lenovo's P100 and P300 handhelds.

Palm OS Garnet (5.4) officially provides support for multiple screen resolutions, ranging from 160x160 up to 480x320. It also features updated Bluetooth libraries. This version introduces the Garnet moniker to distinguish it from Palm OS Cobalt 6.0. The latest bugfix release is version 5.4.9.

Garnet OS 5.5 is the current version developed by ACCESS. This version is dedicated to be run inside the Garnet VM virtual machine. Garnet VM is a core part of Access Linux Platform and also available for Nokia Internet Tablets.

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