Palm finally offers PalmOS 3.5 upgrade

At a price

Palm has launched its Mobile Internet Kit, which allows Palm III, V and m100 PDAs hook up to the Net via a cellphone connection.

And the company has finally announced the release of the anticipated update to the PalmOS, version 3.5.

The $39.95 kit essentially brings to those machines the same kind of Net access that the currently Palm VII and VIIx offer. It bundles POP/IMAP email, Web, SMS and WAP browsing apps. The PalmOS already has dial-up Net access, but doesn't contain any applications that can make use of it, though third-party apps are available.

You'll still need to get one of those if you want to access the Web in full - Palm's Kit only supports the company's Web clipping technology, designed to cut down on the amount of data needed to be sent across a wireless link.

Once installed, the Mobile Internet Kit allows Palm PDAs to be connected to the Net via a cellphone - it links up with a cable or infra-red link - provided it contains a built-in modem. Other handsets will presumably be supported through plug-in modems, such as Palm's own or Psion's Travel Modem. As ever, the cable you need comes with the dreaded 'sold separately' tag.

The Mobile Internet Kit requires PalmOS 3.5, which is currently shipping with the IIIc and IIIxe, and the new m100 PDA, but has at last shipped as an upgrade for older models. The Kit's price includes PalmOS 3.5, but the upgrade is also available for download or on CD-ROM. Like the Kit's phone cable, the standalone 3.5 upgrade isn't free - the download costs $14.95; the CD version $19.95.

PalmOS 3.5's new features include an agenda view, tappable menus, a shortcut command bar, improved privacy, quick duplication of Address Book entries, faster HotSync operation, infrared (IR) HotSync operation, Euro symbol support and a "snooze" button. ®

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