back to article TCL confirms plans to 'bring back' Palm – provided you tell it how

Chinese electronics outfit TCL Communication Technology Holdings has confirmed that it is the new owner of the Palm trademarks and that it plans to revive the Palm brand as a new, US-based subsidiary. "Palm brand has always been synonymous with innovation throughout its history," the company said in a canned press release on …

  1. CJ_in_AZ

    I'd love to buy a brand new Palm Pilot. IMHO, the merger of a cell phone with the PDA gives you one box that doesn't do as good a job at being either one. I still use a flip-phone, and I have had to buy a I-pod to use (or maybe I should say "be abused by") as a PDA (after having gone through a couple of "used" Palm Pilots).

    Just make sure that the "new" one is software compatible with the old. (Now, where did I put those W98 backups that I made that have the backups from my Pilot?)

    One improvement I'd like to see would be to go to a "real" USB interface without having to have that custom cable.

    1. moylan

      wishlist

      different ways it could go

      * make the same hardware like the original palms but with updated ports for newer usb connectors, memory cards.

      * i would still love a b&w lcd version over a colour version. even an alkaline battery option.

      * don't want a camera and mic on it.

      * would need bluetooth option for some connectivity but could live without wifi myself.

      * an ir port with enough range to control tvs/dvd/etc., what was the app that allowed you to copy tv remotes to buttons you drew on screen?

      * a proper docking option. one thing i miss with all my mobile devices since is a good dock. press a button and it synced a tonne of useful information back and forth.

      * new software that works with windows mac AND linux

      * don't want to store info in cloud

      just my 2c

    2. RAMChYLD

      > Just make sure that the "new" one is software compatible with the old.

      Sadly tho, as mentioned, WebOS isn't on the cards, so that's a no-go. Then again, I never did have many apps for my Sony Clié UX50, so it doesn't bother me at all.

      However, they could make it run Sailfish, Firefox OS, Ubuntu Mobile or Replicant...

      1. Irongut

        @RAMChYLD

        WebOS? Lol he doesn't mean that new fangled crap he means proper Palm OS. The clue was in the line about old Win98 backups.

  2. -tim
    Pint

    The palm was great for its day

    One of its best feature was that it would work for months on a set of batteries. I even had a modem for mine and it would browse the web.

    What I would love to see in a Palm or any other smart phone is a low power mode so it can run a long time where it can do basics like clock, calendar, todo list and wait for the phone to ring. Then if I need to run a smart phone app, it fires up a modern processor that does the fancy modern stuff and then when its done with that, reverts back to the slow but useful lower power mode. The same could be done by putting the "smart phone" in a virtual machine.

    1. Lusty Silver badge

      Re: The palm was great for its day

      You mean like the smaller low power processor in the iPhone that works all the time, only powering up the main CPU when necessary?

    2. CJ_in_AZ

      Re: The palm was great for its day

      Sounds nice, but as an engineer who's had to deal with power budgets for vaguely similar things, the receivers (for phone calls) are the part of "modern" phones that drain the batteries, assuming you don't use it as a flashlight for hours on end. The receiver actually uses more power than the transmitter. My I-pod Touch battery (several years old) will last roughly a week without recharge -- I understand that the one with the phone couldn't be away from the charger for 36 hours. The 3G/4G phones keep battery life "decent" by switching the receiver off when they're happy they can hear a cell -- it's for a fraction of a second, but it still gets the average power out of the battery down significantly.

  3. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Just do a Nokia Communicator with updated software

    Essentially a telephone strapped onto a palmtop. Even if that mini-computer just runs DOS with some GUI strapped on it's still miles ahead of what we have now.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Palm was what it was in the day because the only way of having decent battery life was through woefully under-powered hardware, and Palm's designers and marketers were smart enough (very smart) to make this a USP.

    No point going back there, we all want better and we all accept the daily charge cycle. I still have an Apple Messagepad, and believe me, times really have changed for the better since then.

    I have a sad feeling that at the end of all of this we'll end up with another generic Android smartphone, offending no-one, but pleasing no-one either.

  5. Waspy

    just so happens the one idea I would be open to

    Would be a new webOS powered Palm device. Shame.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: just so happens the one idea I would be open to

      Both KK 4.4.4 with KK launcher and BB 10 use a lot of the good ideas from webOS. The thing that is missing is I would still like to be able to name my screens, and in BB 10 I would like to be able to throw away my open apps instead of hitting the X, and have them group themselves.

      An Android with a really good webOS skin, slider keyboard and that hand-fitting shape of the Pre 3 would scratch an itch if BB goes titsup.

  6. dajames Silver badge

    No going back ...

    Palm devices were good - I used a couple of them between retiring my Psion 3c and getting my first smartphone - but I can now do so much more with my phone that going back to what Palm devices were in the day seems likely not to be a successful move.

    I'm sure there's a market for a modern PDA that isn't also a phone, and is more pocketable than a 7" tablet ... but I don't know how big that market is. I suspect that if the new Palm is to be a success it needs to be a phone, and that brings it directly into competition with Android, IOS, and Blackberry.

    I mention Blackberry in particular because they illustrate one of the problems that new-Palm will face: They have a solution that is in many respects technically superior to their competition, but a very small markety share because they keep getting dismissed by the press for non-technical reasons. It's a tough market.

    1. Waspy

      Re: No going back ...

      Yeah, BlackBerry face such a populist backlash from certain IT jounos it isn't funny. One verge reviewer berated the Hub on the Passport for showing TOO MANY emails and messages. Wtf? That's kind of the point. He also failed to work out how to select which accounts show there (which would have mitigated his bizarre complaint), which is baffling as you simply press the arrow at the top. I've also seen other reviewers complain that it wouldn't run Hangouts or other esoteric email replacement apps which I expect no one outside glossy tech mags and small Web design studios actually use.

      BB10 is very powerful like you say but it's difficult to get this point across to 26 year old latte-sipping journalists who are in love with their androids and iphones...a new palm brand would indeed have a similar struggle on its hands with these gatekeepers.

  7. Deej

    It's a shame they've practically ruled out WebOS already - I would have been really interested in that as it happens..

  8. Msitekkie
    Thumb Up

    It's about the apps

    So if WEBOS is out, it sounds like we are looking at a Palmified Android device. The brilliant thing about the Palm was the intuitive & so carefully thought out way the apps worked & integrated together along with the huge benefit of global search. Also desktop/Outlook sync.

    I have tried various combinations of apps on Android and nothing I have tried comes close. Android can do lots of fancy things but misses the mark on these basics. I seriously miss my Palm PDA still. Simple note taking is a particular case in point, I bought a Galaxy Note with a stylus but have given up using it (the phone) for Note taking. OneNote is very disappointing by comparison to Palm. I also tried Evernote, but for basic note taking & finding this is still seriously inferior to the Palm app. Amazing the number of ways you can lose what you have typed, which didn't happen with the Palm.

    Perhaps they could also take over development of the Android Graffiti keyboard which needs updating with a Go/Enter/Search button equivalent.

  9. G Olson

    Get rid of the finger

    Almost by parallel evolutionary accidental design, one of the best features of the Palm compared to modern phone interfaces is the use of a stylus. Fingers lack the finesse and accuracy of a good stylus. I am not an ape and prefer to use modern tools, thank you.

    I also agree about the use of a STANDARD USB PORT instead of some young engineers bright idea of crap. After about a year, those custom USB cable connectors failed to properly connect.

    If these people had any , they would license an OS from Blackberry.

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