How To: Installing Palm OS apps in Classic | webOS Nation

How To: Installing Palm OS apps in Classic 15

by Jonathan Downer Tue, 16 Jun 2009 8:08 am EDT

Many of us were thrilled when it was discovered that a PalmOS emulator was being developed for the Pre, courtesy of Motion Apps. We were even happier when it was announced that the application would be available on launch day. This addressed the single biggest concern that long-time Palm uses voice: What would become of their favorite apps?

When launch day came, like many of us, you probably rushed out to pick up a Pre of your very own. Now that you have the device in hand, you've installed the Classic application, and now you're wondering what exactly you're supposed to do from here. Well folks, we have you covered! Read on after the break for our comprehensive "How To" on installing your old PalmOS apps onto your Pre.

First things first, we need to make sure you have Classic installed. You can find it in the App Catalog, where it can be purchased (a 7 day free trial is also offered) and installed like a normal Pre application.

Now it comes to installation time. The easiest PalmOS applications to install are single PRCs and OTA-ready packages (we'll touch on how to install multiple PRC/PDB files a little later).

Step One: Plug your Pre into your computer via USB cable, and to activate Mass Storage/USB Drive Mode on your Pre (you should be prompted upon connecting the device).

Step Two: Navigate to your Pre on your computer. On a Windows machine, you can right click on your Start menu, and click Explore. Scroll down the file structure on the left until you find the Pre, which should be listed as an additional drive, and select it. For Mac users the Pre will magically appear on your desktop like any flash drive. Now find the "ClassicApps" folder (should be top-level folder, so digging shouldn't be necessary.)

Step Three: Select the PRC or OTA package you'd like to install. Copy this file over to the ClassicApps folder on your Pre.

Step Four: Disconnect your Pre from your PC (once the files have finished copying, of course), and then to launch the Classic application. You should then find the copied files listed, and you can now select them to install.

Multiple PRC/PDB files:

If you have an application you'd like to install that is composed of multiple PRC or PDB files, have no fear, as it can still be done.

Step One: Install Classic ROM Updater (the link takes you to a complete FAQ on how to do this).

Step Two: Just as with single PRCs and OTAs, in that you need to connect your Pre to your PC, and then navigate to the ClassicApps folder.

Step Three: Once you've found the ClassicApps folder on your Pre, you should see an additional folder contained within named "Install". Copy all of the PRC and/or PDB files of the desired application into this "Install" folder.

Step Four: Disconnect your Pre from your PC, and open up the Classic application. Once again, you should find the newly copied app sitting prim and proper, all ready to be installed and used.

Copying PIM Data:

Installing your old PalmOS apps is all fine and dandy, but what good are they if you can't import the years worth of PIM data you've accumulated? Have no fear, Motion Apps has you covered, and have put together an excellent step-by-step guide on how to accomplish this.

If you have any questions, or if we were too vague, please let us know. As always, if you have any questions regarding your Pre or how something works, please contact us and we'll be sure to get you the best answer we can find.

Thanks to Larry for submitting this question - hope this helps!


I use Classic to read ebooks. But if I close Classic or even switch to another program within Classic, I lose my place in my book -- it doesn't even save bookmarks. Is there a way to save this information in Classic?

Assuming you are using eReader, make sure you exit back to the Palm launcher before closing Classic. Then it will keep your place. I've reported that issue to Motionapps, but haven't heard anything yet.

Does anybody know if SlingPlayer will work under Classic?

I have not had time to test it yet, but I don't think so. Classic does not have full audio support yet.

I somehow missed the fact that the trial period was only 1 week when I downloaded this app. I hadn't gotten around to installing any of the apps from my Treo so I have not as yet tried Classic. Now they're asking me to fork out $30. Is it worth it?

Do you have an app you really need? Right now it's pretty limited - no sound, stability issues, etc. They say that the upcoming 1.1 version will address most of these.

I've purchased it for eReader, SplashID, eWallet, and HandBase - all of which I have to have. I desperately want to get DateBk6 working, but right now the lack of sound and stability problems are preventing it. It was worth the money to me to get the above working, but YMMV.

As long as they keep updating and fixing, I'll be happy with the purchase. It let me purchase the Pre now, instead of having to wait for crucial apps to be ported.

The Classic ROM Updater also gives you a new HotSyncID utility that allows names with spaces in them, something the one built into Classic as distributed doesn't do.

Too bad they don't put Windows Mobile Classic on the Pre. All mi lucky charms is dat.

Great tutorial. Wish it was available before I spent the entire 7 day trial period trying to get this buggy app working! They should just make this free till they get it stable. It's like asking people to pay $30 to be a beta tester. I don't think so!

You paid $200+ to be a Pre beta tester...

Plus a commitment to be Sprint's bitch for 24 months. Have at it....

Has anyone used the Classic Calendar? And know for a fact that it will be restored when doing a phone-wide backup?

Any one tried the LPJ, the NES emulator on the pre with classic yet?

Does My Check Book work in classic?

Yes BankBook4 works great so far. I've just installed it but have not had the opportunity to see if scheduled transactions will indeed apply.