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PreCentral: App Review: StyleTap Platform for Android

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Kinoma Player for PalmOS in StyleTap Platform for Android

Editor's Note: Yes, this is for Android, no it won't work on your webOS device. But there are still some Palm OS users out there - this is for them.

Those of us who have been PDA and smartphone users for enough years likely spent at least some time in the PalmOS world. For me, that lasted from 1996 and my first Pilot 1000 through the TX I used until getting my Palm Pre in 2009, an almost 13-year run. Over that time, I accumulated a large number of applications, and PalmOS-formatted files, that have been all but unusable since I left the platform behind, especially after MotionApps dropped support for the PalmOS emulator Classic that shipped with the initial webOS devices. While most features and programs from PalmOS are available in more modern operating systems, a few are either no longer supported, or just not as well-designed as they were for PalmOS, and there are also some legacy applications (particularly custom business apps) that are still in use and needed in the real world.

In response, StyleTap has long offered its eponymous PalmOS emulator platform, which allows installation and running of PalmOS applications on mobile devices including Windows Mobile, Symbian OS, iOS and now Android 2.0 or later with StyleTap Platform for Android. Unfortunately, the application (including both desktop and device components) costs a whopping $49.95, the same price StyleTap charges for its other platforms, putting it out of range of most casual or nostalgic users. With my irony meter at 11, I downloaded and installed the demo to my brand-new Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III, to which I had already installed Access’ Graffiti (another PalmOS legacy that remains among the fastest and best handwriting recognition and text entry methods around). Note that, while StyleTap offers a downloadable installer for Windows which sets up the app installation program and detects an Android device connected in either USB media device (MTP) or camera (PTP) mode, it is unable (at least as yet) to install the emulator itself to the device. To do that, I had to manually download the .apk, move it to my GSIII via USB connection, and install it myself.

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