Palm Pre App Catalog Update Delayed, But iTunes Syncing Is Coming Back

Yesterday: A steady slog of disappointment for Pre owners, who glumly looked on as their Pres received exactly no updates, no paid apps, and no influx of App Catalog listings—all of which they'd been expecting. What gives?

A tipster fed PreCentral a compelling theory about a prospective delay in the App Catalog upgrade and associated WebOS software update, the day before they were set to launch. And lo, launch they did not. Credence, lent!:

webOS 1.2 (and possibly paid apps in the App Catalog) could be delayed (again) until next week. The delay comes from Sprint's need to test the changes made since that first webOS 1.2 leak, including all the changes surrounding the App Catalog. The results will be that webOS 1.2 will be released as webOS 1.2.1. Oh, and though it's not the source of the delay, webOS 1.2.1 should re-enable iTunes sync.

In lieu of an official explanation, this is probably what happened: nothing catastrophic, but unfortunate nonetheless.

Their tipster also provided some insight into Palm's part in the bizarre iTunes compatibility fray. Apparently, cracking iTunes to allow the Pre to sync is extremely easy, and Apple's countermeasures can be circumvented almost instantly—reenabling syncing after the second to last forced compatibility break took developers about five minutes, while the fiddling it took to fix iTunes 9 syncing in the forthcoming 1.2.1 update can be measured in hours, on one hand, on two fingers. Which is disappointing, since I always imagined some kind of Cold-War-style coding race between the two companies, where success is measured in MP3 transfers and human blood. Life is boring. [PreCentral]