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PalmOne preps Treo 600 code update

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PalmOne will align the software it ships with its PDAs and smart phones, the head of the company's wireless division, Ed Colligan, pledged today.

Expect the handheld pioneer's data-centric and voice-centric devices to offer the same web browser, email, messaging, media and PIM apps by the end of the year, he told The Register today.

He also said PalmOne will offer a major Treo system software upgrade this week.

Having been developed under the auspices of two independent companies - Palm and Handspring - it's no surprise that the Treo, Tungsten and Zire lines should contain different apps that do the same thing. While the core PIM functionality comes from PalmSource, Handspring aggressively tweaked the code to add new features. It also developed its own browser, Blazer, and email software. Code created specially for the smart phone included the Treo's Phone and Messaging app, the latter for text and media messaging.

Palm also developed a whole heap of code to do much the same thing for its PDAs, some of it, like WebPro and VersaMail, licensed or acquired from third-parties. The Zire 72 consumer PDA, launched two weeks ago, has its own SMS and multimedia messaging app for when it's linked to a mobile phone via a Bluetooth connection.

Doubling the number of apps doubles the complexity of maintaining the codebase, and that's something the newly merged PalmOne wants to eliminate.

Certainly by next Spring, Colligan said, all new PalmOne devices will share a common application set. Not all will, he noted, implying that older devices still being made available at that time will have been updated with the new apps.

While Colligan would not be drawn on rumours - confirmed by an industry analyst - of an upcoming revision to the current Treo, the 600, he did reveal that the company will issue a software update for the smart phone this week. The update, which includes improvements to the handset's GPRS connection code, will be posted on the PalmOne website as a free download. ®

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Review: PalmOne Zire 31
Review: PalmOne Zire 72
Review: Treo 600
Analyst 'confirms' impending Treo 610
Why Handspring came home to Palm

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