Palm and Sprint today began rolling out an over-the-air update for the Palm Pre’s webOS. While version 1.2 includes a number of noteworthy improvements, the iTunes sync feature broken by Apple’s update to iTunes 9 was not fixed, summarily ending the cat and mouse game between Palm and Apple.
Many were anticipating iTunes syncability to return with the webOS 1.2 update, but an intervention from the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) may have ultimately caused the end of the feature in the Pre. Palm had originally contacted USB-IF to report Apple for improperly using its own Vendor ID to specifically block the Pre, but the Forum saw Palm as the guilty party.
In the forum’s response to Palm’s letter, it said, “Palm may only use the single Vendor ID issued to Palm for Palm’s usage. Usage of any other company’s Vendor ID is specifically precluded. Palm’s expressed intent to use Apple’s VID appears to violate the attached policy.”
iTunes sync aside, the 1.2 update features the first signs of an improved App Catalog to compete with Apple and Android in the lucrative mobile app business. Now, a user can enter credit card data and save it to his Palm Profile for when paid apps start to appear. Also, a new “share” button lets users send links to a particular app’s page in text messages and emails, encouraging direct marketing among Pre owners.
Also, in-browser downloads and text copy/paste have been added, Amazon MP3s can now be downloaded over the mobile network instead of only Wi-Fi, calendar entries can be tied to the Dialer and Google Maps. LinkedIn’s profile data, like Facebook’s, can now be included in Contact info.
Palm provides a complete changelog on its Site, detailing all of the update’s minutiae.