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Palm releases Bluetooth software development kit

Handheld computer developer Palm has launched a test version of a software development kit (SDK) for Bluetooth, allowing developers to start building applications that work with the wireless networking standard.

Only last week, Palm's device-making division said it would use Bluetooth wireless chips from Broadcom for use in future Palm models.

Palm has not yet revealed when the first devices using the Bluetooth chip will be on sale but the company now has both hardware and software kits available for developers to use, said Michael Mace, Palm's chief competitive officer.

The SDK beta, which is available free to registered Palm developers, includes Bluetooth configuration tools, documentation, sample code and Palm's Bluetooth API (application program interface), Mace said.

Palm has also announced worldwide availability of its SDIO (secure digital input/output) hardware development kit, which includes two Palm SDIO Bluetooth cards, a serial cradle and the beta software development kit. The SDIO kit is available from Palm for US$199 (£137).

The SDIO Bluetooth cards fit into the SD expansion slot on Palm's m125, m500 and m505 models.

Other companies already offer hardware development kits (HDKs) for building Bluetooth "sleds," which attach to Palm models to provide Bluetooth connectivity. Northstar Systems is taking pre-orders for its Palm Bluetooth HDK. The kit, for the Palm m125, m500 and m505 models costs $199 and is scheduled to ship during the first week in February, the company said. Red-M Communications already offers a Bluetooth developer's kit for the Palm Vx, also priced at $199.

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