Prism can use up to 65,536 different colors. I was pleasantly surprised
how many applications I used were ready for color. TakeNote
has a nice color icon, and Star Pilot has
color settings for displaying the night sky.
Handspring has some
software applications that show off how fun color can be. Handspring
Photo Album can show pictures in full 16-bit color. Several
sample photos are included that really show the difference between 8-bit
(256 colors) and 16-bit images. Photographs will especially look
good on the Prism. I have here a split image of one of the included
samples. Guess which one is 16-bit?
The difference is even more obvious when viewing on the Prism.
is also in 16-bit color and looks much better. Other applications
are already starting to come out for the Prism. One application,
Zap! 2016, will be
the first arcade game in 16-bit color. It's hard to believe that
this screenshot is for a Visor application!
Even non-color applications will still look better on the Prism.
Title bars and dialog boxes are blue, and text highlighting is yellow.
I wish that the built-in applications would have utilized color more effectively.
The To Do list should have let me assign colors
to its priorities, and DateBook+ should have free/busy/out-of-office color
indicators like Outlook does.
One thing I noticed is that the screen flickers black then white when
switching between 8-bit and 16-bit color applications. This only
happens when the application first begins -- it didn't happen when switching
between photos in Photo Album, and isn't annoying.
Palm OS 3.5
Prism comes with Palm OS 3.5.2H, which adds some new features like Ir synching
and a command menu. Other features include the ability to beam entire
categories and duplication of address book items. One feature that
I like is that you can now mask private items instead of hiding them.
Editing is also easier. Double-tap to select an entire word, and
triple-tap to select the entire line.
If you are upgrading from the Visor, there can be some "gotchas."
I use BackupBuddy, and my first
HotSync installed some OS 3.1 files that caused my Prism to crash when
I went in to Prefs | Network. There
are also some applications that do not work under OS 3.5. I had to
remove Matrix and Launcher III because of lockups, and the Liberty 1.0
caused a hard reset! I think I'm going to trademark the phrase "Thank
goodness for the Backup module"
Is Palm OS 3.5 the panacea that Palm users have made it out to be?
Not in this reviewer's opinion. I like the command-stroke menu (see
picture) and not needing Menu Hack anymore, but only laptop users will
find the new OS essential.