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The tools are aimed at developers who want to test whether existing applications for Palm OS 4.0 will work smoothly on OS 5, which is currently in beta phase, and is due for release in the summer.
Palm OS 5 is expected to feature 128-bit data encryption based on RSA Security's RC4 algorithm and Secure Sockets Layer technology. There will also be support for wireless standard 802.11b.
According to Palm, there are 13,000 software programs already developed for Palm devices, excluding those developed purely for in-house use by enterprises.
Preliminary tools were distributed at the PalmSource conference last week.
Tools that can be downloaded from the Palm OS Web site include: the Palm OS5 Simulator, which runs on Windows NT and allows developers to test the compatibility of applications; Universal Debugger; Constructor and Palmrez, which enables conversion from other formats into the Palm environment; and third-party development tools which work with other platforms.
Palm offers two levels in its Palm OS Developer Programme. Basic membership is free and provides developers with tools and resources such as source code and sample code, online knowledge resources and technical documents. The fee-based Advantage level offers quarterly CD updates of development tools and direct technical support.