Palm CEO: Pre Is a Breeze for Developers

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Palm plans to challenge Apple’s iPhone with more than form and style by making application development for its new Pre smartphone open and simple, which the company believes will lead to a rich array of consumer and business apps.

Developers looking to write applications for the upcoming Palm Pre should find it very easy, at least according to Palm’s CEO.

In an interview during the GSMA World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Palm CEO Ed Colligan said the relative ease in developing for the upcoming Palm Pre will attract a wide range of application developers creating everything from consumer to business apps.

“We have made it a priority for the new system to be as easy as possible to develop for,” Colligan was quoted as saying.

Palm is pushing the Pre with much fanfare at the GSMA World Congress, including a Twitter feed and a video on the Palm site previewing the Pre. In addition, the company unveiled the European UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) version of the Pre.

The Pre will run the Palm WebOS, a new operating system that uses Mojo, a new application framework based on the HTML5, CSS and JavaScript standards, according to the Palm Developer Network site. Of note, the new OS will support Adobe Flash, providing a richer Web experience and something not widely available on other mobile devices.

At the GMSA World Congress, Palm announced its participation in Adobe’s Open Screen Project, a community development project aimed at using its Flash and Integrated Runtime technologies to create a consistent application interface across all devices, according to Adobe.

The Palm Mojo SDK, which will be available later this year as a free download, will include sample code, documentation and development tools, according to the site. An Eclipse-based IDE is included, or users can use their choice of tools to build WebOS applications.

Developed applications will be available via an online app store called the Palm App Catalog.

Currently there are 30,000 developers who have worked on the previous PalmOS platform, and Colligan said all developers of mobile applications will be encouraged to develop for the Pre, regardless of whether they had developed for Palm previously.

The Pre features a 3.1-inch multitouch screen and a real keyboard, as well as Wi-Fi, USB, Bluetooth 2.1, GPS and a 3-megapixel camera.