By Harry McCracken | Thursday, July 23, 2009 at 7:53 pm
Last week, Apple blocked the technique that Palm was using to let the Pre sync seamlessly with Apple’s iTunes. I assumed that it was game over. Wrong! Palm released WebOS 1.1 today, and among its new features is the ability to sync with iTunes 8.2.1, the version of Apple’s media software that foiled the earlier version of Palm’s Media Sync feature.
There’s an interesting technical backstory here, though we don’t yet know what it is. Did Apple do an insufficient job of making it tough for the Pre to sync? Did Palm figure out an entirely different method for accomplishing a similar end result? If Apple blocks Palm’s new approach, will Palm strike back with workaround #3? Is it possible for Apple to make utterly sure that non-Apple devices can’t sync with its software? I’m assuming/hoping that folks who know more about this stuff than I do (such as Jon Lech Johansen) will soon tell us what’s going on.
I said in my earlier post that I had trouble summoning righteous indignation over Apple’s anti-Pre tactics. I still do. But if this is going to turn into a cat-and-mouse game, I’m rooting for the rodent–which is plucky Palm. Although I still think that the best all-around solution would be for Apple to open up iTunes so that owners of the Pre–and other devices–could easily give Apple money for music, too. Who wouldn’t be better off if such a scenario came to pass?