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Saturday, October 03, 2009, 11:00 am PT (02:00 pm ET)

iTunes sync spat between Palm, Apple continues

The back-and-forth battle between Palm and Apple continues, as the Pre's webOS has been updated to once again sync with iTunes, in spite of a USB-IF statement against the practice.

Palm announced Saturday that webOS 1.2.1 was released, and Sprint customers will receive the update automatically, over the air. It re-enables Palm media sync to work with iTunes 9, and also addresses problems syncing EAS e-mail.

Earlier this week, Palm released webOS 1.2 which featured a number of fixes, but did not re-enable sync with iTunes 9. Earlier in September, when Apple released iTunes 9, it disabled the ability of the Palm Pre to synchronize media with the software.

When sync worked in previous iterations, the Pre identified itself as an Apple iPod via USB. That tactic was frowned upon by the USB Implementers Forum.

Weeks ago, the USB-IF issued a letter in response to a petition from Palm over its dispute with Apple. The non-profit organization that sets standards for the Universal Serial Bus sided with Apple, noting that Palm's tactic of improperly identifying the Pre as an iPod was in violation of the forum's policies. The forum also said that Apple's practice of limiting first-party devices to sync with iTunes was within the rules.

The full list of fixes in webOS 1.2.1, according to Palm, is as follows:

  • Resolved an issue where after installing the 1.2.0 webOS update some customers running Exchange 2007 could no longer synchronize with their Exchange account for Email, Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks.

  • Resolves an issue preventing media sync from working with latest version of iTunes (9.0.1).

  • Media sync now synchronizes photo albums, maintaining the album structure in the Photos app.

  • Media sync now allows for synchronizing photos without requiring the full-resolution originals. This provides faster display of high-quality full-screen images and enables users to store more photos on the phone.

  • Resolved an issue where if a user tried to play streaming music or video, the media stream might drop out or have a long delay before starting.

  • Addresses a security issue encountered by webkit developers. This issue did not impact end users.