[Updated Dec. 21] — As 2006 closes, Access/Palmsource reports that select licensees and registered developers are using early-release versions of its Linux-based mobile device software stack. Currently codenamed “Access Linux Platform” (ALP), the stack and toolkit will be renamed when they reach general availability by mid-2007, the company says.
Access/Palmsource announced ALP on Valentine's Day, 2006, saying at the time that it hoped to begin licensing the ALP SDK (software development kit) to mobile phone hardware and software developers by the end of 2006, with ALP-based devices reaching consumers in 2007. Company spokesperson Maureen O'Connell reports that the company remains on schedule for those goals.
O'Connell said, “We have said all along that we would deliver pre-release PDKs [product development kits] and SDKs to select licensees and registered developers before the end of this year, and we have done so.”
O'Connell added, “The early-release PDK does enable licensees to start developing products based on the ACCESS Linux Platform,” adding that the product is “not packaged yet, and therefore requires more support from ACCESS than [it will] once we reach the commercial stage.”
O'Connell declined to specify how many developers are currently using ALP, and how many OEMs and ODMs (original equipment/design manufacturers) are expected to produce products based on ALP in 2007.
Some confusion over ALP's delivery schedule arose earlier this week, when PalmInfocenter.com interpreted something in an FAQ as suggesting ALP had been delayed. The FAQ read in part:
“Q. What will ACCESS name future versions of the operating system?
A. We are currently using the code name ACCESS Linux Platform for our next generation operating system. We will announce the official name of the ACCESS Linux Platform when we announce that it is available to our licensees and developers — expected sometime in the first half of 2007.
PalmInfocenter.com's item on the presumed delay generated much discussion on its reader forum about Cobalt, PalmSource's previous next-generation OS.
The application framework — now dubbed the “Hiker Application Framework” — provides a set of services to install and manage applications, along with security features said to enable “secure application management and an integrated user experience.”
O'Connell noted, “The Hiker Application Framework was also designed to enhance application security, to prevent unauthorized use of phone services or tampering with critical system data. The Hiker Application Framework also provides the ability to integrate communication between applications, enabling a seamless user experience for music, messaging, and other advanced features.”
More about the Hiker Application Framework can be found here.
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