Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Palm Unleashes webOS 1.3.5 Update

Late in the day yesterday, Palm released the Palm webOS 1.3.5 update for Sprint branded Palm Pre and Pixi smartphones.

Late in the evening reports where coming in that it was slow going downloading the 13MB update. I for one found myself waiting quite a while for the update to be downloaded and processed on my Pre. Once the update was downloaded, my Pre took the usual 15 minutes to install the update.

This update is important for a number of reasons. The Palm App Catalog app received no less than 9 updates, one of which includes the ability to download apps in the background rather than forcing you to wait until the current app is downloaded. The Calendar app also received a performance update that allows you to swipe between days much faster than in previous releases of Palm webOS. This one is important to me since I use my Pre to help schedule my meetings and daily work. You can also now launch the Sprint Navigation application directly from a Contact record. (I haven't figured out how this feature works yet. When I tap on an address in Contacts, Google Maps is launched, just as it always has. I'll post an update later on reporting on whether or not I got this feature workings and what, if anything I had to do to make it work.)

Probably the biggest updates for Palm enthusiests in this release is the ability to use the Pre's and Pixi's USB storage space for applications, freeing many folks from the dreaded "too many applications installed" error that was popping up. Kudos to Palm for coming up with an elegant solution for addressing this problem. The Palm webOS 1.3.5 update also lays the ground work for some exciting possibilities for some new applications; games in particular. According to the folks over at WebOS Internals, Palm has delivered two package files that will make it possible for developers to access and use the Pre's and Pixi's Graphics Processing Unit, or GPU. This update should make it possible for high-quality games, the likes of which have been available on the iPhone for some time now, to be released for the Palm webOS platform. I'm really looking forward to seeing some of the Handmark/Astraware games to show up on webOS. I miss playing Bejeweled 2.

This update does not repair the iTunes Media Sync feature. At this time it is unclear as to whether or not Palm will attempt to reactivate this feature or if they can come to some kind of an agreement with Apple to allow the iTunes sync feature to work. If you want to sync iTunes content with your Palm webOS device, it is recommended that you use DoubleTwist.

Some of the highlights from the Palm webOS 1.3.5 update include:

  • App Catalog significantly improves the application download experience.

  • Users can now take advantage of the full storage capacity of the phone for downloading applications.

  • In Day view, switching between days happens more quickly.

  • A user can perform a full erase by pressing and holding Sym + the orange/Option key + power for 10 seconds.

  • A user can now edit forwarded text for all email account types.

  • When the user sets up more than one Yahoo! email account, the account names displayed in Account List view include the associated email address so that the user can distinguish them.

  • A user can launch Sprint Navigation from an address in an open contact entry in Contacts.

  • This update improves battery life in areas of poor wireless network coverage.
The complete list of software enhancements and bug fixes can be found on the Palm webOS software updates website. You can download the Palm webOS 1.3.5 update by launching the Updates application on your Sprint branded Palm Pre or Pixi.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As always (like the still not working App Catalog concerning Pay-Apps) it seems to be that Europe is and will be far behind.

How about a release date for Europe concerning FW 1.3.5 or an App Catalog containing Pay-Apps?

Or even better, how about future synchronous releases of FW updates all over the world at one date.

That really shouldn't be a problem.

December 29, 2009 1:52 PM  
Blogger Deanna said...

after the upgrade, I lost all multimedia sounds, the use of my camera & all video playback!!!! I'm on-call 24 hrs & have no way of knowing when I'm receiving calls unless I use my bluetooth...impossible to do when ur sleeping!! I called my wireless provider & have an open ticket, but they have no clue!!! If anyone knows how to redownload these functions...please post!!!

January 3, 2010 10:48 AM  
Blogger Alan Grassia, Staff Writer said...

@Deanna,

Try reflashing your phone with the webOS Doctor. You can download and install a fresh copy of Palm webOS 1.3.5 by going to:

http://www.palm.com/rom

and then click the "Proceed to run webOS Doctor" link. From there, select Pre or Pixi and follow the directions from there.

I have seen at least one other similar problem on the Palm forums and a reload corrected the problem.

Good luck!

Alan G

January 3, 2010 12:55 PM  

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