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Thursday, July 23, 2009, 05:25 pm PT (08:25 pm ET)

Palm fires back at Apple, fixes Pre sync with iTunes

Just a week after Apple killed the Pre's ability to sync with desktop music management client iTunes, Palm has responded with webOS 1.1 — a software update that again enables Palm's phone to access media from the current version of iTunes.

Palm announced the update Thursday on the company's blog. Pre users can expect the new software to arrive via an over-the-air update.

"Oh, and one more thing: Palm webOS 1.1 re-enables Palm media sync," the post 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)."

Last week, Apple released iTunes 8.2.1. In accompanying release notes, the company was vague about what the upgrade actually did, stating only that the update provided "a number of important bug fixes and addresses an issue with verification of Apple devices."

But soon after the new version of iTunes was released, Pre users realized that the update had broken their ability to sync music with the software.

Beyond iTunes, webOS 1.1 brings a number of updates focused on business users, including remote wipe, inactivity timeout, improved certificate handling and more for Exchange ActiveSync. The update also provides emoticons in the messaging app.

When they unveiled the handset, Palm boasted about their smartphone's ability to transfer media from iTunes. The feature worked by identifying the Pre in its hardware ID as an iPod — a trick Apple warned might not work for long.

Last month, Apple warned Pre users that future software updates may kill sync capability with the device.

"Apple designs the hardware and software to provide seamless integration of the iPhone and iPod with iTunes, the iTunes Store, and tens of thousands of apps on the App Store," Apple warned a document released in June. "Apple is aware that some third-parties claim that their digital media players are able to sync with Apple software. However, Apple does not provide support for, or test for compatibility with, non-Apple digital media players."

In its blog post, Palm declined to elaborate on how they circumvented the changes presented in iTunes 8.2.1.