Classic PalmOS Emulator: Video Walkthrough
From rumor to video demo in 24 hours, that's how we roll - then again, Palm always planned on demoing MotionApps' Classic PalmOS emulator today. The emulator works quite well -- it's an app and behaves like any other card, staying live in the background. Palm apps are loaded thusly: plug in the Pre to your computer as normal to activate disk mode, find the "Classic" directory, drop your PalmOS PRCs in, done.
Included apps seem to be the default PalmOS suite of the PIM apps, preferences, WorldClock, etc. There is a "hotsync" app onboard but it cannot sync to anything -- instead it's there because many PalmOS apps use your Hotsync app to generate your registration key.
The interface is old school Palm, with a 5-way d-pad on screen flanked by 4 app buttons, a search button, and the menu button. PalmOS apps will have access to data but not much else -- there is no integration with the Pre's built-in, Syngery-based PIM apps, for example. Text entry happens via the keyboard.
The remarkable thing is that even though the Pre has a non-stylus-based capacitive screen and Treos and Centros are stylus-based resistive screens, navigating around apps like Epocrates (demo'd above) seemed remarkably easy.
We did ask if the app did more than your standard widget and the answer seems to be a qualified yes, although it definitely does take advantage of many standard APIs as well.
It's targeted for release at launch, but not guaranteed.