posted by Thom Holwerda on Fri 24th Jul 2009 04:56 UTC
IconPalm has released the first major update to its brand new webOS platform, version 1.1. It comes packed with a lot of bug fixes, speed improvements, and new features, mostly geared towards the enterprise, but there's also a lot of stuff in there for ordinary consumers. And iTunes sync? The game is on: Palm re-enabled iTunes syncing in webOS 1.1. Update: Palm isn't waiting for Apple to take the next step - Palm has reported Apple to the USB Implementers Forum. "Palm believes that openness and interoperability offer better experiences for users by allowing them the freedom to use the content they own without interference across devices and services, so on behalf of consumers, we have notified the USB Implementers Forum of what we believe is improper use of the Vendor ID number by another member." Update II: More on how Palm masquerades the Pre as an iPod.

The main feature list is really all about the enterprise: IT-initiated remote wipe, required PIN with complexity, device wipe after a certain number of failed PIN attempts, auto-lock, and improved digital certificates. While fun for boring people in suits, there's a whole lot more in this webOS update that's a lot more interesting.

First of all, the iTunes media sync feature has been re-enabled. Apple specifically blocked the Palm Pre from syncing with iTunes a little over a week ago, but Palm is not impressed. "Oh, and one more thing: Palm webOS 1.1 re-enables Palm media sync," the Palm blog reads, "That's right -- you once again can have seamless access to your music, photos and videos from the current version of iTunes (8.2.1)." Oh, it's on. It's on!

The list of improvements is interesting, but I found the list of undocumented improvements more worthwhile. For instance, webOS 1.1 comes with improvements in the Javascript interpreter, which should speed up the system all-round - users indeed report such improvements, but it's always difficult to verify such claims without actually doing a comparison. There are also new animations when opening various menus, and the Palm system font is now used in the browser, making everything look a lot better. Auto-complete/correction while typing has also been improved.

As always, the webOS' over-the-air update feature will update your Pre.

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