Palm Releases webOS 1.3.1, iTunes Media Sync Missing

Late last week, Palm announced the release of webOS 1.3.1 in its blog, and Boy Genius Report noted over the weekend that iTunes media synchronization is missing in this latest update.

Palm and Apple have played a cat-and-mouse game over the ability of Palm's webOS to sync media through iTunes since the release of the Palm Pre earlier this year. Prior to the Pre's release, Jon Johansen explained that the Pre was most likely presenting itself as an iPod in order to trick iTunes into recognizing it as a valid device with which to sync, a theory that turned out to be correct once the Pre was released.

Just over a month after the release of the Pre, an update to iTunes broke the device's ability to sync media directly via iTunes. In response, Palm re-enabled iTunes media synchronization with webOS 1.1, after which another iTunes update broke it once again. The cycle repeated yet again with iTunes 9 and webOS 1.2.1 before Apple fired the most recent salvo by disabling webOS media sync via iTunes once again with the release of iTunes 9.0.2.

In between these sallies, Palm had even complained to the USB Implementers Forum, claiming that Apple was improperly using the Vendor ID number in its use of the USB standard to exclude non-Apple devices from syncing with iTunes. In the end, the USB Implementers Forum sided with Apple and turned the tables on Palm, pointing out Palm's own failure to use the single Vendor ID assigned to the company and its products appropriately.

Given Palm's apparent tenacity when it comes to webOS and iTunes synchronization over the past few months, it may be premature to suppose that the company has given up its fight to sync directly with iTunes, but the company has yet to deploy any further attempts at compatibility.

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