Palm’s just let loose the latest version of its innovative webOS (1.2) on the Pre-user world. It’s packed with tweaks and enables 3G Amazon MP3 downloads over the air–but there’s one important feature missing: the Pre still can’t record video.
With the over-the-airwaves music downloads, Palm is closing the gap between the capabilities of the Pre and the iPhone. Apple initially followed the same upgrade path, and had limited iTunes purchases to a wireless connection. But the iPhone’s been able to do 3G iTunes downloads since early this year, and it represented a clear gap between the two devices, especially since each is supposed to be the hub of your mobile digital life.
Palm also added some code to support the imminent arrival of the App Catalog–the Pre now lets you enter credit card data so that the e-commerce for Apps will work, and Palm’s fixed it so you can re-download a previously purchased app for free (as you should’ve been able to right from the start).
There’re a few other tweaks, notably to security, email, contacts management and the browswer (which now lets you download files). But the one glaring omission is video recording capability. This feature was teased for months before the Pre became available (and touted as a bonus over the non-video-recording iPhone 3G). There was much discussion online as to whether video would be available at launch or not. It seems Palm’s either struggling with the implementation of video recording, or possibly considering if it’ll happen at all–despite apparently confirming it’s en route. That wouldn’t be much of a surprise, given the odd way Apple handled the capability on the iPhone 3G–by avoiding enabling it entirely, and waiting for new hardware to launch.
But if you’re a Pre owner absolutely desperate to start recording movie snippets of your life on your device, then you should be heartened by news of this hack:
It’s not ideal, the recording format’s a little screwy, and it’s entirely unofficial. But it demonstrates the Pre is up to the job, at least. Maybe it’s just a waiting game while Palm gets all its ducks in a line.