Earlier this week Palm geeks everywhere where happy to learn that there would be third-party support for emulating Palm OS 5 on the new webOS platform thanks to the efforts of MotionApps.
SlashGearTV.com has some footage from the CTIA Wireless show of the the Pre's product manager showing off MotionApps' Classic running on webOS.
What I find really cool about this is that we can have our cake and eat it too. webOS is the much needed shot in the arm that is required to help reboot Palm and fling them back into the spotlight as an innovator in the mobile computing space. But who want's to be out there in webOS with not of the great software that you have been using for the last decade? For me, old habbits die hard, and I want to be able to have my Handmark Astraware games and DataViz Passwords Plus.
If you watch closely in the demo, you will learn that there is full 5-way nav support in Classic and Palm and Motion have worked together to ensure that the keyboard is fully integrated into the emulation environment. There was no word on whether or not you could continue to HotSync information and applications into Classic (my guess is no), but there was an icon called HotSync ID, which I'm guessing is a way to program your old Palm OS device's HotSync ID into the Classic environment. When you mount the Pre in USB drive mode to your Mac or PC desktop computer, you will be able to copy Palm OS applications (.prc files) and databases (.pdb files) int the classic folder and they will become available in Classic.
There was one other interesting morsel briefly mentioned in the demo. The person running the demo indicates that they worked with the developer of the popular medical package, epocrates, to come up with a new over the air (OTA) installer for the software. Holy smokes!! Sounds like MotionApps could be building in wireless support for Classic that might allow Classic to access the Pre's cellular radio to get wireless Internet access for your old Palm OS applications. How cool is that?! Pretty cool, huh? MotionApps plans to release more details as we get closer to the release of webOS and the new Palm Pre. The Palm product manager for the Pre indicates that Palm wants to make sure that customers will have the ability to run all of their favorite Palm OS applications on day one when the Pre goes on sale for Sprint.