Palm Desktop 4.0 beta adds OS X support

Palm Inc. has released a public beta version of its Palm Desktop 4.0 software for Mac OS. Palm Desktop is the Mac application counterpart to Palm handheld organizers – the software facilitates the transfer of data and applications from the Mac to a Palm PDA, and also provides Mac users with some personal information management capabilities as well. This is the first publicly available version to feature support for Mac OS X.

In addition to Mac OS X support, a variety of other changes and enhancements have been made as well. Palm claims the new version of Palm Desktop sports better data compatibility and improved synchronization capabilities as well.

Palm Desktop 4.0 public beta also provides import and export support for vCard and vCal, enabling users to drag and drop Address Book or Date Book items to the desktop to create vCard and vCal files.

Private records retain a private designation when they’re synchronized. Record marked as private can be hidden in the Palm Desktop software to prevent them from being displayed or printed.

Palm Desktop 4.0 supports English, Japanese, French, German, Italian and Spanish languages, too.

Finally, the Palm Desktop 4.0 software supports Apple Help, enabling you to answer questions about how to use the software by navigating and searching using integrated help functions.

Palm said that changes in how Palm Desktop 4.0 supports conduits may break third-party conduit support under Mac OS 9. It recommends that users who rely on third-party conduits to check with the individual developers to see if updated conduits are available. “If your favourite conduits are not yet compatible with Palm Desktop 4.0 or HotSync 3.0, you may want to consider waiting to upgrade,” cautioned Palm.

Palm Desktop 4.0 Public Beta is not unique to Mac OS X, by the way – access to separate downloads of both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X-compatible software is available by filling out a questionnaire at Palm’s Web site.

Palm notes that it’s not a good idea to install the software on both Mac OS X and Mac OS 9 on the same computer. Also, please note that this is public beta software, so it may act unpredictably or less reliably than you would expect final release software to. Palm indicated that this software is being released without technical support, as well.

Palm Desktop 4.0 Public Beta is recommended for Macs running Mac OS 9.0 to 9.2.1, or Mac OS X 10.1.2.