Access Linux Platform upgraded, downsized

Version 3.0 of the mobile Linux platform has been unveiled, while a mini version has been made available for lower-end phones and emerging markets

The next version of the Access Linux Platform has been unveiled, alongside a lightweight version of the mobile operating system for low-cost handsets.

Access Linux Platform (ALP) is the mobile platform used by Access, the Japanese firm that bought PalmSource and the Palm OS — which was subsequently renamed 'Garnet' — in 2005. On Monday, Access chief technology officer Tomihisa Kamada showed off ALP 3.0 at the company's annual showcase event.

Access claimed that ALP 3.0 is fully compliant with the standards of the LiMo Foundation, a major industry group dedicated to creating a standardised mobile Linux middleware layer. This compatibility makes it easier for developers to create applications that will run across a wide range of mobile Linux handsets.

According to a statement, ALP 3.0 includes a user interface with animations, transitions and visual enhancements.

ALP mini, also introduced on Monday, is immediately available for manufacturers who want to target "price sensitive and emerging markets", according to the statement. Access said the lightweight version of ALP is targeted not only at low-end smartphones and so-called "feature phones", but also "internet-enabled, beyond-PC devices, such as portable navigation devices, portable media players and set-top boxes".

"The openness and flexibility of Linux are driving innovation in mobile phones and internet-enabled devices," said Toru Arakawa, Access' chief executive and president, in the statement. "With the introduction of ALP mini and the enhanced capabilities of our LiMo-compliant ALP v3.0, we can offer our customers a complete range of solutions, extending from feature phones through low-end smartphones to high-end smartphones and internet devices that will further enable the next generation of mobile internet use."

Rivals to the LiMo standards used in ALP include Google's Android platform and the soon-to-be-open-source Symbian operating system.

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