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Third-Party Vendors Ship Palm m500/505 Add-Ons

NEW YORK -Third-party Palm software and hardware makers joined the announcement of the new Palm m500 and color m505 PDAs with the release of several new add-on modules and software titles.

The accessories are compatible with the new Palm Universal connector and SD card slot, which is available on the 500 series and will be standard on all future Palm products, the company said.

Novatel Wireless, San Diego, introduced a new snap-on wireless CDPD modem for the Palm m500 series called the Minstrel m500. The modem enables connection to the Internet, e-mail and a corporate LAN.

The Minstrel is bundled with POP3 e-mail and HTML Web-browsing software. It allows users to access Palm’s SD slot, enables pass-through charging, and has a longer battery life than the Minstrel V. Monthly service fees by CDPD providers cost in the $25 to $65 range, said the company.

Socket Communications, Newark, Calif., announced a new snap-on module that allows the m500 or m505 to use a mobile phone as a modem. The new Socket Digital Phone Connection plugs into the Palm’s new Universal Connector and then attaches via cable to a data-enabled cellphone.

The initial version of the module is compatible with Motorola’s StarTAC, Timeport, Talkabout and V Series handsets, and with a variety of handsets from Samsung. It will be available in the second quarter at a street price of $69.

Several software suppliers said their products will be included in the new PalmPak brand of SD cards to be released by Palm for the m500 series. New PalmPak Travel Cards will include 18 CitySync digital city guides from Lonely Planet, Oakland, Calif.

Also in the PalmPak is Time Traveler software from Class Action, based in Australia. Time Traveler has three applications-Time Book, Time Travel and Time Place-which seamlessly integrate with each other and the Palm Date Book to offer a travel itinerary and time-zone management solution.

Franklin Electronic Publishing, Burlington, N.J., said that its reference content would be available in the PalmPak series, including Franklin’s American English Thesaurus and Franklin’s English-French, English-Italian, English-German and English-Spanish bi-directional translators.