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Palm releases WebOS 1.1 for Pre; brings back iTunes syncing

Palm releases WebOS 1.1 update that brings more enterprising features to the Pre and returns iTunes syncing capabilities.

Screenshot by Bonnie Cha/CNET

This post was last updated July 24, 2009 at 7:50 a.m. PT.

Oh, snap! Things just got a little more heated between Palm and Apple. On Thursday, Palm released WebOS 1.1 for the Palm Pre, which, among other things, brings back iTunes syncing even with version 8.2.1, which disabled the feature. The news was posted on Palm's blog where it listed the new features and enhancements of the software update and nonchalantly added at the end:

Oh, and one more thing: Palm webOS 1.1 re-enables Palm media sync. 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, for Windows and Mac).

Further, in a statement to All Things Digital, Palm spokeswoman Lynn Fox revealed that it has taken the issue 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.

Bold move, Palm. Bold move. It'll be interesting to see how Apple responds, and do you suppose the use of the phrase "one more thing," a phrase that Apple CEO Steve Jobs often uses to introduce a new product at the end of his keynotes, was intentional or am I just reading too much into this?

Aside from the media syncing features, WebOS 1.1 also delivers more enterprise-friendly features, including more additions to Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync support. The Pre now offers remote, PIN/password requirements, inactivity timeout, improved certificate handling, and more.

In addition, you can now use emoticons with text, multimedia, and instant messages and set "person reminders" in the Contacts app. Sprint's NFL Mobile Live app is now supported on the Pre, but that's the only new app that was added to the smartphone with this update.

The full list of WebOS 1.1 features is posted on Palm's support site so check it out. The update, like all other updates, will be delivered to the Pre over-the-air. We just checked our review unit and sure enough, it's there waiting for us, so we're off to update it now. Let us know about your experience below.