Please tell us more about yourself and your company
iambic was founded at the end of 1993, starting off developing solutions for one of the very first PDAs, the Apple Newton. Making it easy to do time and expense tracking while on the go was the primary focus. Later, in 1994, the company expanded its area of focus to include personal information management (PIM). As a result, Action Names was born.

Through the years, that application evolved into what is now Agendus, currently available for Palm OS, Windows Mobile, Symbian, BlackBerry, as well as Windows desktop PCs.
During the last few years, we have expanded our portfolio with the introduction of a number of titles with broader reach (from personal productivity, to vehicle management, to health & diet focused) on the popular mobile platforms being used today (BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Palm OS, Android, and iPhone).

In a nutshell, our mission is to empower users to make the most out of their time wherever they are –on the go or at the desk–, through the creation of easy (and fun)-to-use, yet powerfully customizable solutions.

What were your initial impressions after the webOS announcement?
Mixed feelings. From a User Interface (UI) / end user perspective, its a shiny, user friendly, and touch optimized solution. Probably the only one so far that can stand next to the iPhone’s look & feel without shying away. Native apps seem well rounded and nicely tied together. However, I am a bit disappointed by the decision to abandon backward compatibility with legacy Palm OS apps, but not surprised.

What did you expect Palm to do? Were your expectations met?
I was expecting Palm to develop an in-house operating system for their next generation phone, so under that perspective yes, my expectations were met.

The operating system is said to be web-only. Do you think that its possible to create solid applications in such an environment?
My understanding from what I read around is that the applications, despite being “web only” run within the OS itself, and that suggests that WebOS carries along a small web server within which the apps will run. If this is correct, this would allow a good degree of freedom for the applications to access the innards of the device, and therefore allow solid and versatile solutions. Then of course, it all depends how flexible the APIs provided by Palm are going to be through the WebOS SDK, and what they’ll allow access to.

WebOS is not able to run old Palm OS code. Can you understand this decision?
I can understand it, and having a quite large portfolio of Palm OS applications as you can imagine I’m not super happy about it. It was certainly possible to support old Palm OS code, through for example, embedding a simulation layer similar to what Access did with their ALP. Chances are that embedding such a simulation layer would have required many more months of product development and testing to ensure backward compatibility, and pushing the launch of the Pre further ahead in the future might not have been an option for Palm. The usage model and the look & feel of the new device’s UI are much different from what used to be on 68K apps, so perhaps even if backward compatibility was supported, it would have made it for a poor user experience.

Many have compared webOS to the iPhone, thinking that most applications will be crapware. Do you think that a solid economy will be built around the pre?
Not sure what you mean with most iPhone applications being “crapware.” There are thousands of great apps for the iPhone. Then again, out of a multitude, there are always the those that can be classified as “not-that-great.” As far the economy that will be built around the Pre, it will all depend from what sort of user base it is going to attract, and how soon. It will also depend on how fun will be to develop apps for it, what degree of freedom the SDK will allow, and most importantly, how easy and streamlined the purchase process will be through the Palm App Store.

Do you plan to develop applications for the pre? Could you give us a preview?
Chances are we’ll develop applications for the Pre. At this time we are sort of pondering and looking forward to getting our hands on the SDK.

If you could change one thing about webOS, what would it be?
Sort of early to say — if there’s one thing I’m hoping to see in the Pre is support of Java development, which is not exactly as “web only” as so far we’ve read around, but I’m still hoping :) A hint that this might become true I got it from seeing Eclipse as being one of development environments supported. That would make our life a bit easier since Java is the language of choice for BlackBerry and Android based phones.

If you could ask Palm one question, what would it be? (these will be collected and sent to Palm)
How soon will we see the SDK? Is there going to be a simulator included? When can the Palm App Store be previewed and how hard or easy will be the process to get the app on the store? There are just a few of the questions currently puzzling me. Uh oh… you asked for one… well your pick as of which one to send to Palm :)

Anything you would like to add
Not at this time. Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts on the Pre!

Our next interview partner is Shimon Shnitzer, a long-time Palm OS developer. Some of his applications have scored rave reviews on TamsPalm in the past – in order to celebrate his success, use the discount code SHIMONISCOOL to get 20% off 2day, 4cast and TakePhone!

Please tell us more about yourself and your company
Shimon Shnitzer, owner of ShSh software.

Been developing for Palm OS for over 10 years now – first as a hobby, then made it my “day job”. I have several products for Palm OS – TAKEphONE, 2day, 4cast, 2dial…

What were your initial impressions after the webOS announcement?
In one work – WOW. They did better than I hoped they do. I do believe they stand a chance to turn things around.

They will need to setup a (new) “Palm economy” – draw as much developers on board as possible, make a GOOD applications store (on device).

What did you expect Palm to do? Were your expectations met?
I have to admit – I thought they’d bring out something new, but not that “WOW-y”.

I did expect to see backward compatibility with OS 5 apps, but seeing the device and the OS – I agree most OS 5 applications I know will not look good at all running on these cards.

The operating system is said to be web-only. Do you think that its possible to create solid applications in such an environment?
I have to admit I am no expert in web programming, but I guess it truly depends on how good/open the SDK will be (how much access they give us developers to internals), and to what extent the apps will have to be tied to existence of web connection (ability to work and save data off-line).

5) WebOS is not able to run old Palm OS code. Can you understand this decision?
As I mentioned above – I do see the point there – not sure most of the apps out there will look ok on the new OS.

I believe most of the good ones will “break” anyway – I know a lot of things I did are tied to the OS 5 internals…

There’s been a lot of talk about Palm abandoning it’s current developer’s base, but gaining the “Java crowd”.

I think it all depends on the quality of the SDK they give us, and the support that comes with it – how soon will the SDK be out, how will it emulate real devices, how easy will it be for us developers to get REAL devices in our hands.

Many have compared webOS to the iPhone, thinking that most applications will be crapware. Do you think that a solid economy will be built around the pre?
Again – I believe it depends on the depth and quality of the SDK – if all a developer can do is show an image of a beer glass – then that’s what we’ll get. But if I can access the contacts, control outgoing/incoming calls, etc. – there will be good stuff there.

Do you plan to develop applications for the pre? Could you give us a preview?
Sure – first will have to evaluate porting some of my existing stuff – 2day seems to be doomed – they did an excellent job with the built-in calendar app, we’ll see about the rest.

Of course – once I get the SDK and emulator I bet I can come up with more app ideas.

If you could change one thing about webOS, what would it be?
Start with a GSM device, unlocked, available right away…(so I can get one now here in Israel).

I don’t think I have enough info to know the “bad” things. For now it looks really great.

If you could ask Palm one question, what would it be? (these will be collected and sent to Palm)
How soon will the SDK be out ? How soon will GSM devices be out ? Will there be a “developers program” ? Will there be a “device loaner” program ?

Anything you would like to add
Congratulations to Palm – you did a GREEEAAAATTT job.

Good to have you back with us. I cant wait to start building apps for this.

Mikhail Barashkov sent me his answers regarding Web OS just 20 minutes after the email went out…which is why he and his company HandyDev get to run first. Further interviews with key people from all over the industry are in the works – stay tuned!

Please tell us more about yourself and your company
My name is Mikhail Barashkov. My company is Handydev.

I’ve been making Address XT (an address book replacement) and other software for PalmOS devices since 2004. However, now I don’t feel that I should do anything but release bug fixes and only very small improvements to my shareware products. Overall, PalmOS sales had dropped in times and I’m currently spending much more time doing contract Windows Mobile and desktop Windows development.

What were your initial impressions after the webOS announcement?
Excited, that’s all.

What did you expect Palm to do? Were your expectations met?
I’ve expected Palm to announce something already outdated, something on par with ALP.

The operating system is said to be web-only. Do you think that its possible to create solid applications in such an environment?
No, I don’t think so.

WebOS is not able to run old Palm OS code. Can you understand this decision?
Surely. Apps will need to be rewritten anyway.

Many have compared webOS to the iPhone, thinking that most applications will be crapware. Do you think that a solid economy will be built around the pre?
I surely do think so, given a decent App Store and a good native C++ or Java SDK.

Do you plan to develop applications for the pre? Could you give us a preview?
I plan to develop PIM software for Pre, once SDK will become available.

If you could change one thing about webOS, what would it be?
I can’t think of such a thing.

If you could ask Palm one question, what would it be? (these will be collected and sent to Palm)
Will there be a native SDK? Which language will it support?

The UK-based magazine Guardian has recently mentioned TamsPalm in one of their articles about Palm:


I think the bigger challenge is that the Palm economy has been in recession for a long time. Just read the last few posts on TamsPalm, a blog dedicated to the Palm OS. Tam believes that Elevation is “pouring money down the drain”. He links off to some posts from Palm software develper CreativeAlgorithms explaining why the Palm OS software market went into free fall in 2008. Tam is also concerned that Palm hasn’t seeded Nova developer tools to key developers so that Nova devices will launch without key applications.

The Tamoggemon Publishing team is very thankful for the mention!

nsblogo2 NS Basic   the interviewGeorge Henne’s NS Basic is an extremely popular RAD tool for mobile platforms – developers who would like to use a VB like tool, flock to it in droves.

Unfortunately, the company’s representatives have not proved too talkative so far. This has now changed, though – look forward to a highly interesting interview looking at the development landscape, mobile computing platforms and – last but not least – the iPhone and its distant predecessor, the Newton!

Please tell me more about yourself!
NS BASIC was founded on the idea that if development tools were easier to use, more people could develop apps for mobile devices.

The most widely used dev tool in the world (53%, according to Microsoft) is Visual Basic. It seemed natural to design a VB like tool for mobile devices.

Our customers are in all sorts of industries, government and education.
We have been translated into half a dozen languages: our users are in over 80 countries. Close to 20,000 developers use our products.

Diving straight into your core business (NsBasic). Tell us in a short form why the world needs yet another Basic clone!
Everyone knows Basic, for good reason. It has a gentle learning curve.
Beginning programmers can understand the concepts easily and create their first apps right away. Modern Basic implementations are well enough designed so that it is reasonable to do sophisticated applications.

Where do you see the main benefits for developers?
Ease of use and quick development are the main ones. We have had many reports of experienced C++ developers using NS Basic to put together a quick proof of concept: In a day or two, they have a workable prototype to show the customer. It often works out that there is no need to spend
2 more months recoding in C++.

On the other extreme, there are professionals in other fields that would like to develop apps for handheld devices. For example, many doctors have specific apps that would help them in their work. They’re smart people, and have learned a bit of programming on the way. They find NS Basic is just the tool for them to create apps.

How does NSBasic work? Do the programs compile to native code, or is a runtime needed?
There is a runtime, but we do our best to keep it in the background, so it isn’t a big deal. Nearly all apps have some sort of runtime these days, whether it is in form of libraries, DLL files or overlays.
Runtimes do not mean the app has to run more slowly: in fact, key code in our runtime is written in ARM assembler for peak performance. What they do is add a great deal of power: a single statement in NS Basic will replace pages of C++ coding.

You have a very strong market in the Palm OS sector. Where do you see the Palm OS going? Which platform(s) will dominate the market in a year’s worth of time?
Palm was a strong marketplace for us for many years. For Palm’s sake, I hope their new devices come out in a timely fashion and can wow the marketplace. We will certainly support them if they do.

NS Basic/Symbian OS already outsells NS Basic/Palm. We’re working hard to make it a great product: we think it will be an important part of our future.

Do you feel the US sub-prime crisis?
Not directly. It’s likely that the economic uncertainly is leading companies to put off new development projects, which will certainly affect us. It’s a worldwide affair this time, which is different from past downturns.

To what extent is NSBasic compatible with VB and/or AppForge?
NS Basic is a subset of VB, with extensions to take advantage of the mobile platform it runs on. The important things a VB programmer needs are all there – but there are a lot of specific and weird things in VB that didn’t really have a place on mobile devices. An obvious example is Windows specific features, that just do not exist on other operating systems such as Symbian OS.

AppForge was a strange case. Technically, it wasn’t great, but it had a big marketing budget. When that ran out, the company was gone: the licensing model was not friendly to its customers.

Many AppForge customers have converted to NS Basic: it is entertaining to read their comments:
http://www.nsbasic.com/palm/info/kudos5.html

You have recently expanded your reach across platforms – is porting an app significant effort for the developer?
Moving to a new platform is not new to us: Symbian OS is our fourth major platform.

For developers who use our tools, it’s not too bad. NS Basic/Palm apps move to Symbian OS usually with no changes at all. Of course, once you are there, it is tempting to make use of features that are specific to the new devices: better graphics, extra features, etc.

You still support Apple’s Newton – does it still pay? Furthermore: do you plan to go iPhone one day?
We still have a lot of affection for the Newton. We still sell the occasional copy of NS Basic/Newton. It’s an important platform in the history of mobile computing. You’d be surprised how many current developers of handheld devices started on the Newton. I think the devices we are seeing these days are finally beginning to realize the potential that the Newton introduced us to 15 years ago.

We actually have NS Basic/iPhone working:
http://cdn.smugmug.com/ria/ShizVidz-2008051501.swf

Under the terms of Apple’s iPhone SDK, tools such as NS Basic may not be released. If they should ever change this policy, we would love to release the product!

Anything you would like to add?
I think the next two years will be very interesting for developers. The iPhone changed the rules and everyone is still trying to catch up. It’s good to see touch screen S60 devices: now the software has to catch up.
Our tools have always been touch screen oriented, so we are ready for the fun!

NS Basic has a large and active user community. If you have questions about our product, let us know. We’ll be around to help, along with many of our other users.

After having looked at Jan Slodicka’s opinion, its now Steve Gogov’s turn. Steve is a managing partner of MobiSystems, and is responsible for the US market. As he lives in the states, he can report from the forefront of events:

What impact (if any) do you think that Barrack Obama’s victory will have on the mobile market in general?
One of our biggest client base is the US so anything that makes people in US more likely to spend money is good for us.

What impact (if any) do you think that Barrack Obama’s victory will have on your company?
If Obama’s policy of strong dollar materializes it will help us since most of our revenue is in dollars and most of our expenses are in Euros.

Anything you want to add?
I think his policies will have more immediate effect on other economic sectors such as energy, infrastructure, construction, defense, etc.

With all due respect to the mobile market I don’t think Obama’s election will have a direct effect on it and on Mobile Systems. Having said that there are things that he probably will do that will lift the US economy and indirectly benefit us:

The election of Barack Obama has left many wondering about its impacts on the US economy. Our resident economist is currently working on a short piece on the topic – in the mean time, lets listen to what developers think!

As usual, my friend Jan Slodicka from Resco’s gets to go first – here is what he has to say:

What impact (if any) do you think that Barack Obama’s victory will have on the mobile market in general?
Sounds strangely, but there is some ratio. Obama’s goal to improve the U.S. broadband coverage for example…

I like Obama as a tech-savvy president, but we’ll see if it outweighs some other problematic goals. (E.g. CO2 pollution)

What impact (if any) do you think that Barack Obama’s victory will have on your company?
I don’t see any direct impact.

Anything you want to add?
Obama wasn’t my favorite (quite frankly – McCain either – I am just old enough to think conservatively), but the U.S. people wanted the change, hence nothing better could happen.

iambic’s COO Adriano Chiaretta took the time to sit down with us for a detailed look at the state of his company. He may be the last, but he’s got a lot to say…let’s go!

Please tell us more about yourself and your company!
iambic was founded at the end of 1993, starting off developing solutions for one of the very first PDAs, the Apple Newton. Making it easy to do time and expense tracking while on the go was the primary focus. Later in 1994 the company expanded its area of focus to include personal information management (PIM). As a result, Action Names was born.=20

Through the years, that application evolved to what is now Agendus, currently available for Palm OS, Windows Mobile, Symbian, BlackBerry, as well as Windows desktop PCs.=20

During the last few years, we expanded our portfolio with the introduction of a number of titles of broader reach in areas such as personal productivity, vehicle managers, health and diet applications, call management and action taking. This across most mobile platforms — including BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Palm OS, Android, and soon iPhone.

In a nutshell, our mission is to empower users to make the most out of their time wherever they are -on the go or at the desk-, through the creation of easy-to-use, yet powerfully customizable solutions.

Did the resuscitation of PalmGear affect your sales?
So far we didn’t notice much of a difference from the time when Palm OS titles were sold through Pocketgear, and now that they are back on PalmGear.

Do you feel the effects of the American sub-prime crisis?
Well everyone at some extent is feeling the effects of this global not-so-great moment in time and we certainly are not immune to that.

Then again, even when things are not bright there’s always someone doing great no matter what, just like when things are bright there’s always someone not in great shape. All this said, every down moment is followed by an up moment, and we are looking forward for that to start taking place.

In General, are you (still) happy with the sales rates of your Palm OS products?
Things have been slowing down on the Palm OS side, not surprisingly. Hence everyone scrambling onto more popular and promising mobile platforms. This has been the same for us.

Did the fast-selling Centro affect your sales?
Not much. My feeling is that the $69.95 audience is not exactly incline / interested / tech savvy enough to bother getting apps on their mobiles. And if they do bother, they stay away from anything priced above the $0.99 mark.

For the most part at least, then as always there are exceptions, but not in a number large enough to sensibly show up as a positive effect from Centro sales.

How long do you expect to stay in the Palm OS market?
As long as it makes sense to, i.e. as long as we have a certain audience there. For the moment the Agendus for Palm OS audience is still rather strong, and we are actually working towards a major new version of our flagship title.

Do you plan any new Palm OS products?
Not in the immediate. Then again, things these days change so quickly and we’ve seen so much turmoil in the mobile operating systems in the past year or so, that nothing can really be set in stone.

Do you see any future for Nova?
Haven’t looked deep enough into it or into the rumors surrounding it to be able to come up with a meaningful answer. From a quick goggling around last news about it goes back to May 2008. Guess that tells us something. If there is any future for Nova, not much has transpired out so far.

What is your future platform of choice?
These days I’m carrying around an iPhone and a BlackBerry Bold. The iPhone OS and the BlackBerry OS are the two where I see the most activity in terms of innovations, while Android is another one I’m closely watching.

So I’d say 3 platforms of choice rather than one… or perhaps I just can’t make up my mind quite yet, or perhaps these days we just can’t afford the luxury to have one platform of choice only ;)

Anything you would like to add?
Not at this time. I meant to write one liners to the questions above, ended up writing novels… I think I said too much already :)

Mark/Space’s Jackie Macapanpan felt like sitting down with us briefly for a short, but loaded interview. Read on to find out what he thinks about the current state of the Palm OS economy!
header logo Developer Health Survey Q42008   Mark/Space

Please tell us more about yourself and your company!
Mark/Space makes the award-winning Missing Sync software. The Missing Sync synchronizes your most important information and data between your mobile device and Mac with robust functionality, reliability and ease of use. It is uniquely engineered to synchronize your contacts, events, appointments, notes, tasks, folders and media between your mobile phone and your Mac, without missing a beat.

Did the resuscitation of PalmGear affect your sales?
Not that I can tell, but the majority of our sales are done via our online store.

Do you feel the effects of the American sub-prime crisis?
Hard to say. This time of the year is typically relatively slow for us.

In General, are you (still) happy with the sales rates of your Palm OS products?
The Missing Sync for Palm OS continues to sell very well.

Did the fast-selling Centro affect your sales?
We did see a bump in sales that we could attribute to the Centro.

How long do you expect to stay in the Palm OS market?
We plan to continue selling and adding even more features to The Missing Sync for Palm OS.

Do you plan any new Palm OS products?
Sorry, I can’t comment on future products. :-)

Do you see any future for Nova?
I’m a long time Palm user and fan. I do sincerely hope they can make a future for themselves with Nova.

What is your future platform of choice?
At Mark/Space, we’re gadget geeks. As you might surmise from our product line, we aspire to create great software for all platforms.

After having talked with independent developers, it’s now time to see what Palm’s partners think. A version DataViz’s Documents To Go has been in the ROM of almost every Palm OS 5 device shipped by PalmOne/Palm – what do they think about their future?
DataViz Logo LoRes Developer Health Survey Q42008   DataViz

Please tell us more about yourself and your company!
I have been with DataViz for 10 year and enjoy the innovative, challenging and fun environment that the company has to offer. Working in the Sales & Marketing Department my core responsibilities include public relations and advertising.

DataViz has been in business for nearly 25 years. As you are well aware, the mobile industry hasn’t been around for that long but that isn’t how the company got its start. DataViz began its business developing file conversion software to enable compatibility between Macintosh and Windows computers. Since then it has expanded its expertise to providing solutions that meet the increasing demands of the mobile markets. Our award winning mobile Office suite, Documents To Go and wireless Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync client, RoadSync enables our customer to take their Office out of the office. As an industry leader in developing and marketing Office compatibility solutions DataViz products support a variety of platforms including Palm OS, Symbian OS, BlackBerry, Java, Linux, Windows Mobile, Windows and Macintosh.

Did the resuscitation of PalmGear affect your sales?
It’s a welcome to have PocketGear reopen the PalmGear store – we imagine they have a solid customer base.

Did the fast-selling Centro affect your sales?
Yes we have seen an increase of Centro customers to our Palm user base.

How long do you expect to stay in the Palm OS market?
Our priority hasn’t shifted off Palm but clearly we have extended our reach to other markets.

A few years ago our development efforts weighed heavily on Palm but in the last 5 or 6 years in order to effectively grow our top line revenue, we began shifting our development efforts to include support for additional platforms and devices including BlackBerry, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux, Java and now iPhone.

With each platform we add to the Documents To Go product line, we strive to deliver the same quality and rich feature set we established initially with our products on the Palm OS.

Do you plan any new Palm OS products?
As we have extended our efforts to reach other mobile platforms we are not currently developing new mobile software solutions for the Palm OS. However we are still very committed the platform. In order to remain innovative and update to date on all the latest technology we will release periodic updates on all our current Palm software solutions.

Do you see any future for Nova?
For Nova and Documents To Go, we see the future as very bright and we look forward to the exciting phase ahead.

What is your future platform of choice?
It’s hard to say as each and every platform has its strong points. It really depends on what’s important to the user. In addition to being a heavy email users who needs access to my file attachments, I personally tend to lean on platforms that offer excellent web browsing capability. I am also a huge music enthusiast. Personally I have my eyes set on giving the iPhone a try.

As for the rest of our organization, DataViz employees carry a wide variety of handsets that encompass the mobile platforms we develop for. This includes Symbian UIQ, S80, and S60, Windows Mobile, Palm, Java, BlackBerry and iPhone. By actively using devices based on these platforms it enables us as a company to stay in touch with our marketing and development efforts.

Anything you would like to add?
A mobile office suite for the iPhone?

We are currently developing Documents To Go for the iPhone and anticipate a 2009 release.
In fact Documents To Go for iPhone, is our #1 customer request due to our strong brand recognition in North America and the increasing iPhone base of users.

I would also like to mention that we will have a RoadSync version 4.0 release for Symbian S60 devices. We anticipate this product to be available on Wednesday October 22nd. The product uses the Microsoft(R) Exchange ActiveSync(R) protocol to enable secure, wireless and direct push synchronization of email, calendar, contacts, tasks and attachments with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and 2007.

This new version will bring the next level of Exchange ActiveSync connectivity to all Samsung, LG and Nokia S60 Smartphones.

The new features will include:
-Support for HTML emails
-Tasks
-Contact Photos
-Pop-up notifications for new emails
-Keypad shortcuts for the most common messaging functions

We also made enhancements to the following
-Mailbox subfolder support
-Font zooming
-Installation set-up
-Internet access point handling

The TamsPalm developer health survey goes on and on – now its Radoslaw Nowak’s turn. Radoslaw talks about PalmGear, the sub-prime crisis and a variety of other interesting topics:

Please tell us more about yourself and your company!
Nothing’s changed since Q3 :-)

Did the resuscitation of PalmGear affect your sales?
Rather it did, but just a little bit. Although we’re doing better on PalmGear than we did on PocketGear, it’s still 50% of sales we had on the original PalmGear…

Do you feel the effects of the American sub-prime crisis?
Mostly by the decreasing value of the American dollar. I’m getting less and less Euro in exchange for it :-(

In General, are you (still) happy with the sales rates of your Palm OS products?
Considering the fact that Palm hasn’t released a new device for sooo long, I must say that the sales rates aren’t too bad. However, I’m already looking for new targets where my software could count on more fresh audience…

Did the fast-selling Centro affect your sales?
Yes, I think that Centro, although already old, it still keeps the software market alive. But I’m afraid this could end up with the coming Christmas…

How long do you expect to stay in the Palm OS market?
As long as possible ;-) Why not?

Do you plan any new Palm OS products?
Yes. Actually I released a new title today, TopNewRingtones, see: http://www.ranosoft.net/top-new-ringtones/
And I’m still have A LOT OF plans, most of which will never be realized, however :(

Do you see any future for Nova?
Now they’d have to spend millions on advertising to re-gain lots of lost Palm OS users…

What is your future platform of choice?
The one that has many users who can make use of my software. I haven’t evaluated other platforms yet, though I’m planning to do so still in this year.

Anything you’d like to add?
Sales on PalmGear+PocketGear are now higher than they were on PocketGear only (and it seems this will stay like this), but they are 50% of the sales that we’ve had just before the original PalmGear was closed. Note that on other websites our sales go steadily.

After having interviewed Jan Slodicka in part one of the Developer Health Survey 2008, it’s now time to talk with Mobile-Stream!

Please tell us more about yourself and your company!
We are a small independent developer for mobile platforms.

Here are the most popular Palm applications created by Mobile Stream.
Card Reader allows you to use your Palm as a USB card reader and to exchange files via Bluetooth.
The unique feature is the ability to work in background mode.

USB Modem allows you to use your Palm or Windows Mobile device as a Bluetooth or USB modem for your notebook or desktop computer.

Landscape utility is the only utility which adds a landscape mode to Sony CLIE TH/NZ/NZ and Garmin iQue 3600. The Portrait version of this utility adds a portrait mode to Sony CLIE UX devices. Rotation utility allows you to flip screen orientation on 320×320 Palm devices.

Our unofficial PalmOS SDK will help you to easily create multitasking applications for Palm.

We have also several Palm OS games.

Did the resuscitation of PalmGear affect your sales?
Only to a small extent. Though we hope it will be much better in the nearest future.

Do you feel the effects of the American sub-prime crisis?
As far as our sales numbers are concerned, no.
But we do have some difficulties with some online resellers who stop or considerably delay royalty payments to the developers.

In General, are you (still) happy with the sales rates of your Palm OS products?
Yes, we are. And I mean not only our Palm utilities like Card Reader or USB Modem.
Even our games sell today more Palm versions than, say, Windows Mobile versions. It is a very interesting Palm phenomenon: while Windows Mobile ships millions and millions of devices, our software sales for those platforms are inferior to Palm ports.
Symbian sales are almost equal to Palm sales in our case (here I am talking about games, as we do not have yet Symbian utilities), but there are much, much more Symbian smartphones in the market than Palm devices.

Did the fast-selling Centro affect your sales?
Yes. As I already mentioned while answering the previous question, 2 mln Centro smartphones sell more software for us than millions of Windows Mobile devices.

How long do you expect to stay in the Palm OS market?
Forever.
So far we do not see negative trends with our existing software.

Do you plan any new Palm OS products?
So far no. But we actively support our current Palm OS software by releasing updates when necessary.

Do you see any future for Nova?
It is too early to make any forecasts.

What is your future platform of choice?
We try to remain multi-platform. Now we are investigating Android.

My long-term friend Jan Slodicka always is the first to answer my interview requests with highly meaningful and interesting statements – first come, first served.

Read on to find out what he thinks about the Palm OS economy, the sub-prime crisis and whether he will start to develop applications for the iPhone!

Please tell us more about yourself and your company!
Old TamsPalm readers know my name. I am Jan Slodicka from Resco. Our company deals with mobile software for several platforms and my part is Palm OS and Symbian.

Did the resuscitation of PalmGear affect your sales?
Yes, but not enough to compensate for overall decline in Palm OS sales.

Do you feel the effects of the American sub-prime crisis?
We do observe overall sales decline. I don’t know if it is related to the financial crises, although I can imagine that a lot of people are motivated to cut their spendings. Even if there might be no real reason, the mass psychology is pushing that way.

In General, are you (still) happy with the sales rates of your Palm OS products?
I said that already – not at all.

Did the fast-selling Centro affect your sales?
Centro is climbing up, the other devices are falling down. Guess, which effect is more pronounced.

Centro apparently attracts different category of users than we used to address our products. The proof: Palm TX remains #1 device selling Palm OS titles.

How long do you expect to stay in the Palm OS market?
I wished we stayed a long, long time… However, the reality forces us decrease our Palm OS efforts month by month.

An example:
Resco Explorer received Handango award for 2008 as one of 4-5 Palm OS applications. It used to be a big success, connected with a lot of free advertising and huge increase of sales.

This year? Try to find any mentions about Handango Champion awards. Impact on our sales is zero.

Do you plan any new Palm OS products?
No. But this need not to be interpreted as a direct consequence of the current crises. We have enough titles and despite they are more or less #1 in their respective categories, there is enough space for improving them

Indeed, if nothing else, a respectable Resco Explorer upgrade is under works. And if the users will vote for us by purchasing our products, we shall add more in the future.

Do you see any future for Nova?
No idea. Delay by delay, no serious information etc.

Look, I am working with Pocket PC, too – although it’s not my main platform. (Yet.) Despite I am used to desktop Windows, PPC interface, handling, etc. comes me too tedious when comparing to the simple Palm OS concepts. I think, this cannot be a mass device – even if they attract the enterprise sphere. There is a chance for Nova and lots of people feel nostalgic about past Palm glory, but at present it looks like that the other platforms are filling the gap faster.

What is your future platform of choice?
We are seriously considering to try business solutions on the PPC platform.

We at Resco use these categories: PPC shareware, PPC games, PPC developers tools, Palm OS, Symbian. (iPhone will be added soon.) Out of these areas the considerable growth achieved only Symbian (but on a very low level) and devs solutions. This indicates are future choice.

Anything you would like to add?
There is an interesting activity that started by my trials to write a practical document for Palm OS users that help the users to use their Palm devices better. Of course, I started with areas that related to our products, but know a broader community is forming and the outcome might be interesting. The guys deserve support and I am going to ask for it both you, Tam, and your readers.
The link: http://www.1src.com/forums/showthread.php?t=147563

P.S. Most Resco apps are excellent. We have them all in the TamsShop – hit the URL below for a list:
TamsShop – Resco applications for Palm OS

 Developer Health Survey   Q42008News about the recession and subprime crisis are all over the news – so far, TamsPalm has been a subprime-crisis-free zone. However, this is now set to change, as it’s time for yet another mass interview!

Look forward to developer’s opinions on the state and future of the Palm OS market. Will developers end up on the road? Find out if they are happy with their sales. Find out if the Centro sales affect developers.

Featuring developers like Resco, Mark/Space, Pagaron, DataViz and Radoslaw Nowak, you can surely expect good and insightful statements! Stay tuned – the first interview is coming soon!

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