Expectations for Palm’s Nova OS

We are just a few hours away from what we expect will be the announcement of Palm’s Nova OS and a new line of smartphones. One thing you can count on with the phone announced today is that it will offer one-handed operation. That’s always been a competitive advantage for Palm and it’s not available on either the BlackBerry or iPhone. Palm recently joined Twitter and that was one of their first "tweets". Coincidence or simply starting to beat the drum of why to select the new Palm device over the competition. One of the questions entering today will be backwards compatibility and I fully expect Palm will allow for use of your existing Palm apps on the new OS through some sort of emulation. If StyleTap can build Palm OS emulation for the iPhone, then Palm can certainly offer it in their new OS.

The operating system will probably fall somewhere between Android and iPhone. I met with Palm a few months back and they explained how every detail was being thought out regarding the UI of Nova and the new devices. They went on to explain how the Nova OS represents a mobile OS from the ground up, where as Apple’s iPhone has strong ties to Mac OS X. Good thing? Bad thing? I’m not really sure until we see the offering today and it’s one of the questions we’ll be sure to ask Palm during our meeting.

One of the advantages Palm has is their rich history of developing PDA’s and more importantly smartphones. This is not a consumer electronics company building a phone for the first time. Expect many of the things that work on the current Palm OS Treo to be ported over to Nova, but with a new look. There have also been mentions about the transitions between screens looking "amazing". From a hardware perspective, the word on the street is a vertical slider featuring a large touch screen display. The screen is rumored to be a capacitive touch screen, not unlike the iPhone. If Palm hits one out of the park, the new phone/OS will find the sweet spot between the iPhone and the BlackBerry in a device that offers one-handed use. Live coverage begins in just under three hours at everythingtreo.com/live.

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