updated 11:50 am EDT, Fri September 25, 2009
Leak details Palm webOS 1.2 and iTunes
Palm's webOS 1.2 may not show until next week but could come with iTunes syncing back in place, a supposed leak from a source says. Sprint's own need to test the revamped App Catalog is said to have triggered a short delay and forced Palm to move to 1.2.1 instead. However, it's now said by the PreCentral contact that the software will give the Pre native sync for the first time in iTunes 9.
The slip also provides some clarification of the iTunes sync process and claims that support for Apple's software has never been cause for a delay in webOS updates. Apple's first attempt to break sync was described as simple enough that Palm was able to restore sync in "five minutes" for webOS 1.1 by changing the USB vendor ID to mimic Apple's. For 1.2.1, the effort purportedly took longer but was still limited to about 2.5 hours of total work, though what was involved hasn't been discussed.
Additionally, the same source claims that Palm is "committed" to continuing to restore iTunes sync as long as the amount of time required for patching the feature back in remains reasonable. If true, the company will keep reenabling the feature until the development time surpasses 40 total hours, or about as much as one person's typical work week.
Putting the feature back into place is likely to further escalate the tensions between Apple and Palm. Although Apple hasn't gone so far as to issue a legal challenge to Palm, it has warned of likely incompatibility and, according to the new story, has been implementing tougher measures to block out non-Apple devices in iTunes. Palm has argued that it's providing freedom of choice but has faced criticism from the USB Implementers Forum that its vendor ID change was dishonest.