Resco’s Jan Slodicka debuted the Centro Interview series with an excellent article full of useful info. Now, it’s time to hand the word over to Radoslaw Nowak from RNS:: – let’s see what he has to say!

Please tell us more about you and your company
My name is Radoslaw Nowak, and I live in Krakow, Poland. I’ve been programming for over 10 years now, and I focused on Palm software development in 2001. Soon after that, I established my own company, RNS:: which now offers over 50 freeware and shareware products for Palm OS, including 15 created especially for Treo and Centro.

Our first notable success started in late 2003 with the release of Hi-Launcher, followed by the success of TopSelecText (formerly known as TreoSelecText) developed on request of Treo communities on various forums. These products are still our leading titles, perfectly integrating with the latest devices, including Palm Centro.

For the visitors of our website, it can be easily noticable that we focused on Treo/Centro software development in recent years. This has helped us remain in the mainstream of the Palm OS software developement market, and allowed us to continue creating software for you!

Have you already handled a Centro yourself? If yes, how do you feel about it. If not, why not!
Centro is a funny smartphone. Technically it does not differ much from previous models, while the outer look does. It was designed to be as simple as possible to attract new customers. Because of these 2 facts, I don’t think I’ll have my own Centro ever – I can test my software on previous models and the way Centro looks does not appeal to me.

Yes, I handled a Centro… for half an hour or so :-)

Do you feel like the Centro could become a mayor source of income for developers given the target demographics?
Perhaps. I’ve seen the statistics you mentioned, but I’d be more optimistic about them :-)

For example one of my software, Butterfly, has always been targeted to similar demographic targets, and now it’s in the limelight again!

Have you seen users migrating to the Centro from other devices? If yes, which were the most affected? Would you migrate yourself?
Not really. We all know that users tend to migrate to other platforms nowadays. As I already said, I’m not planning to have my own Centro. I still like my Treo 680 :-)

Do you think that the Centro’s camera is good enough?
As for a mobile phone – yes. However there still remains the same poor user interface as in Treos a few years ago, so it needs third-party software to become useful. Yes, my company offers one of such titles, too…

Has Palm done a good job helping developers to get their apps Centro-ready before release?
Did they have to do anything? It was good enough to announce the new button layout – all the rest remained unchanged since Treo 755p and Treo 680.

Have you experienced technical issues porting your apps to the Centro? If yes, of what kind have they been?
Well, perhaps the difference between the GSM and CDMA Centro was confusing for me at the beginning. The former is similar to Treo 680 while the latter to Treo 755p. At first I thought that – as with previous models – they don’t differ that much.

Which device do you currently use yourself?
I use Treo 680. I am still loyal to the Palm platform, and I don’t find any better device they produced so far… I switched to Treo 680 from Treo 600 because of various new features like high screen resolution, Bluetooth, smaller form factor… Today new Palm devices are not that innovative.

Feel like giving us a sneek peak at your upcoming apps which are optimized for Centro(emphasis on Centro optimizations, please)?
This question is tricky :-) If Centro is so much similar to previous models, how can the optimizations be made especially especially (sic!) for Centro? I’ve already optimized all my applications for Centro. The last one was TopAreaCodes, whose new version was released last week, as it became compatible with the GSM version of Palm Centro. All my Centro-optimized titles are included in RNS:: Phone Tools Pack offered at a reduced price.

Anything you’d like to add?
As you see, I have mixed feelings about Palm Centro. Sometimes all that hardware developer needs is a sneek peak at the competitors’ products to get the idea of what to produce. Palm needs this. That’s good that they continue to release new devices but I think we’re all waiting for something that can really be called NEW.

Related posts:

  1. Palm Centro interview – Jan Slodicka from Resco
  2. Foleo interview: Radoslaw Nowak
  3. Palm Centro interview – Mobile-Stream
  4. WebOS intro interview – Radoslaw Nowak, RNS::
  5. Developer Health Survey Q42008 – Radoslaw Nowak

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