PalmSource Releases Details on OS Updates

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PalmSource, the operating system subsidiary of Palm, Inc., has posted an overview of Palm OS 5.2 and OS 4.1.2 on its website. According to this, the major change in both of these will be the switch from Graffiti to Graffiti 2. Last week, PalmSource announced that it was replacing the version of Graffiti it had been using since the company’s founding in favor of one based on CIC’s Jot.

The overview says “Palm OS 5.2 is mainly a bug fix release.” It gives a long list of problems that have been corrected , many of which are related networking.

At this point, it appears that the only difference between OS 4.1 and OS 4.1.2 is the inclusion of Graffiti 2.

Updates for current devices will not come directly from PalmSource. Instead, the code is given to the company’s licensees, who are responsible for making model-specific versions and releasing them. PalmSource is also unable to say when new devices running the new versions of the operating system will be out.

Graffiti 2

Last week, PalmSource said that it was going to stop using Graffiti and switch to a text-entry method based on Communications Intelligence Corporation’s Jot. It has been forced into this change by a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Xerox.

CIC’s Jot recognition software has long been found on competing handhelds running on the Pocket PC platform. As with Graffiti, its alphabet is based on block characters. However, unlike Graffiti, some characters require two rather than one stroke. Therefore, Jot characters more closely resemble common block letters than Graffiti characters. According to Marlene Somsak, Palm’s VP of Communications, this will reduce the learning curve. “For new Palm users, Graffiti 2 powered by Jot is more intuitive and natural than Graffiti,” Ms. Somsak told Brighthand.

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