Smartphones talk open source

Ancient Psion nastyware ditched

Good news for third parties who want their PCs to talk to the new generation of smartphones. The Nokia 7650 has banished the ancient and much unloved Psion Link Protocol used by Symbian in favor of a standard TCP/IP protocols, according to packet-sniffing early adopters.

It paves the way for third party Macintosh and Linux developers to support Symbian-based phones, like the new Nokia and the SonyEricsson P800. The PLP was Epoc's (now SymbianOS).

Actually Linux and KDE hackers have done remarkably well with Epoc's PLP, integrating the Psion into the KDE desktop using PLP Tools. But the new comms protocol, while officially undocumented, should be trivially easy to decipher: it uses PPP and simply requires a ppp daemon running on the PC. The 7650 and P800 use Bluetooth and infra red for their connectivity.

"We already had our m-router technology ready when we started to talk to Symbian," said Intuwave's chief software architect Jeremy Burton who, along with fellow ex-Symbianite Mark Melling, founded the start-up which provided the new software.

The PLP protocol can now be put out to pasture: Psion itself doesn't make consumer PDAs anymore, and the protocol dates back to the introduction of the Series 3 more than a decade ago. ®