Palm managed to re-enable iTunes sync on the Pre barely days after Apple had managed to block it using iTunes update 8.2.1. The said update had ephemerally pulled the plug on the ability of non-Apple devices to sync with iTunes by rejecting all Vendor IDs apart from Apple’s.
Palm soon responded with an ingenious solution, the legality of which may be probed in coming days. Palm chose the WebOs 1.1 update and some USB trickery to deliver its riposte. The WebOs 1.1 update changes the USB Vendor ID associated with the Palm Pre to the one assigned to Apple. This hoodwinks iTunes into treating the Pre just like a legitimate Apple device.
“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.” Palm told AllThingsD.
The palm pre has been locked in a heated struggle against Apple over iTunes sync capabilities, but everybody knew they still had larger obstacles to overcome, namely price. When Apple reduced the cost of their iPhone 3G to $99 at its last WWDC, many described it as a game changer. The Palm Pre is a great device, but given the maturity and runaway popularity of the iPhone, the debut price of $199 for a Pre was clearly a problem.
The good news for Palm fans that have been holding off on upgrading, is that you can now pickup a Pre for only $99 on a two-year contract. It remains unclear if this price cut will be permanent, but it should at least help spark sales temporarily and get more Pre’s into the market.
Is this the price point you were waiting for?
Edit: Best Buy marketing manager John Bernier has reported via Twitter that the Pre is in fact still priced at $199 and that the "error is being corrected."
In the movie Braveheart, there's a pivotal scene involving Mel Gibson and a Scottish battalion where, as William Wallace, he tries to muster some courage from his ragtag company. Face painted blue and half-hysterical, he rallies them with a memorable speech about freedom and love of country. Then, the army proceeds to completely destroy the foreign oppressor in a fight to the bitter end.
In some ways, the current war on smartphone devices could be just as pivotal...and bloody. Companies such as Palm and Nokia have everything to lose if their platforms do not thoroughly crush the competition. Meanwhile, Apple has taken a strong lead with the iPhone, and BlackBerry devices do not appear to be losing any momentum, at least in the business sector. Google has entered the fight with their Android OS, attracting legions of developers to the platform in record time.
All of these operating systems support touch control, rudimentary multi-tasking, rich media, desktop-like Web browsing, and advanced messaging. Yet, only one OS is superior and will ultimately emerge as the victor. It might seem like Apple has already had their Braveheart moment, and maybe there is room for several companies at the top of the pile, but if Windows has taught us anything, it's that a single operating system can become so dominant that every other desktop OS becomes inconsequential. Developers lock into a platform, users get accustomed to it, and that OS wins the war.
We set out to put the major contenders to the test and find out which could become the most dominant. Really, it's too early to call Apple the victor, even though it would be easy to do so with 50,000 apps available and over a million iPhone users. As any technology analyst can tell you, there are actually significantly more Nokia and BlackBerry phones in use today than the iPhone, especially in Europe. The surprise is that the OS that seems to be winning the battle (the iPhone) may not eventually win the OS war in the long run.
The Palm Pre App Catalog currently features only thirty apps and excepting one all others are in beta mode. A lot of people are eagerly waiting for a deluge of Pre apps to overwhelm them. But apps will only dribble in for a few more months as the official SDK (software development kit) isn’t available as yet. Palm has announced it intends to have the SDK fully ready by the end of the summer.
"We've been working very hard on the SDK and are eager to open access on a wider scale, but the software and the developer services to support it just aren't ready yet,” Palm wrote rather apologetically on its developer blog. It is believed that since the Palm Pre doesn’t still have a huge installed base a la the iPhone, many app developers may stick to developing apps for more popular platforms like the iPhone. But who knows the number of Pres sold during the months leading up to the release of the SDK might allow Palm to woo some of the dithering developers.
Most smart phones now days are run off of ARM processors (that includes the iPhone and the Palm Pre), and while their performance is already pretty slick, a new dual-core ARM processor is set to hit next year that promises to greatly increase their capabilities.
The new processor, also known as the ARM Cortex-A9, is set to release early 2010. ARM is stating that while the chip is dual-core, it’ll offer users increased battery life in daily usage compared to their current generation of single-core chips.
Reportedly, the A9 will also give smartphones the ability to play 1080p, as well as record HD video.
Once again, the No BS Podcast is brought to you in both audio and technicolor video formats (this week on Justin.tv). While working out the unending technical difficulties of broadcasting live to a web audience, the gang chats about this past week's tech news. Windows 7 is again a hot topic, with rumors of a late October release date and our analysis of the hyped up XP compatibility mode. Will contemplates buying the new Palm Pre, and we all agree that the struggling PDA company is making a huge mistake by limited the number of launch units. We also answer a few listener questions, bash micro-blogging, and enjoy Gordon's rant of the week. Tune in to just the audio or watch our video stream!
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are standing by.
If you’re looking to start a heated debate in the Maximum PC forums, Apple vs. PC is almost guaranteed to get people’s blood boiling. But wither you’ve built every PC you’ve ever owned, or your heart bleeds only for Steve Jobs, we can at least all agree one thing. The iPhone & iPod Touch are pretty kick ass devices even for Windows users. With more then 30 million of the gadgets shipped since launch, and 800 million applications sold, it appears as though the Apple hen will be laying golden eggs for some time to come.
But with success comes competition, and with the likes of Google, Microsoft, and even Palm looking for a slice of Apple’s lunch, they clearly needed to address a few glaring omissions from their feature list. Version 3.0 (which is expected to launch sometime this summer) will bring long awaited features, most of which are far less revolutionary then Apple would want you to believe. Here are the highlights:
- The ability to copy & paste. - Bluetooth Stereo headphone connectivity in 2nd generation devices - Turn by turn navigation from third party applications (not using Google Maps) - MMS - Better access to the dock connector for hardware developers.
Another interesting feature is the ability to perform transactions within applications. This feature could obviously be abused, but it could also unlock new DLC within games, or maybe even allow us to buy Kindle books from the same application we use to read them.
Are you looking for your chance to sound off either for, or against the iPhone? Hit the jump, Cats vs. Dogs go!
Finally, someone has announced an iPhone killer that we can all get behind. The Palm Pre surprised everyone at CES with its best-of-all-worlds specs and features. We’re talking about a multi-touch phone with slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a truly innovative web-integrated user interface.
Early impressions indicate a really smooth and fast interface and web-browsing experience, with all the productivity and media features that we’ve come to expect from a modern smartphone. It’s as if Palm designers made a list of everything that was lacking from the iPhone and made a point to incorporate it here. Real GPS, MMS messaging, USB port, and removable battery lets Palm blow a raspberry at the competition. Copy and paste is just gravy. But too bad it won’t be converting iPhone users anytime in the near future – the Pre is a Sprint exclusive.
Palm is trying its best to revive its glory days of yore. To this end, the company is planning to launch the multitouch Palm Pre smartphone. It offered the first glimpse of the Palm Pre at the Consumer Electronics Show. The smartphone features an entirely new operating system called Web OS. It has a 3.1-inch, 480 by 320 pixel display that conceals a keyboard.
The Web OS has been designed to literally keep a low profile while a user is at work. For instance, new alerts don’t impede any ongoing activity. Furthermore, there is a separate gesture area below the screen for you to navigate between applications
It lists all your contact, including email and Facebook contacts, in a single list and, more importantly, ensures that there is no redundancy in the list – a person’s name is listed along with all his available contact details.
The phone offers all the generic connectivity features, including 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth. It has in-built GPS as well. The phone will debut during the first half of 2009 on the Sprint Network. The exact release date and its price are still unknown.