Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rumor: iPhone OS 4 only for iPhone 3G, 3GS has some new details on what could end up being in the final version of iPhone OS 4.0, widely rumored to be either introduced or launched next week during Apple's media event along side the fanboy insanity that could be the launch of the iTablet.

According to BGR, the following could end up on a fruit themed smartphones near you very shortly:

  • There will be multi-touch gestures OS-wide. (Would make sense for that as the rumored OS for the iTablet is close if not the same as the iPhone)

  • “A few new ways” to run applications in the background — multitasking.

  • Many graphical and UI changes to make navigating through the OS easier and more efficient. We haven’t had this broken down, but we can only hope for improved notifications, a refreshed homescreen, etc.

  • The update will supposedly be available for only the iPhone 3G and 3GS, but will “put them ahead in the smartphone market because it will make them more like full-fledged computers” more than any other phone to date. Everyone is “really excited.”

  • The last piece of information is the most vague, but apparently there will be some brand new syncing ability for the contacts and calendar applications.
If the iTablet does end up running iPhone OS, and I think that makes the most sense and allows Apple and their third-party developers to leverage the existing iTunes ecosystem, the changes coming in iPhone OS 4 make a lot of sense and are probably right on.

The bad news is that that, if true, the rumor suggests that folks using the original first generation 2G iPhone will be shutout from future OS updates. Also missing from the rumor is the fate of the current pool of iPod touch owners. If the iPhone 3G and 3GS are eligible for the upgrade, it follows that the most current iPod touch would be also.

Man, I'm suddenly not all that excited about losing access to new software updates on my first generation iPod touch and iPhone. We'll have to wait and see what happens next week.


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Monday, January 18, 2010

Confirmed: Apple Event January 27th

Apple has confirmed that they will hold a media press event on January 27th at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco. In the emails sent out to the media, Apple invites people to "Come see our latest creation."

Let the wild speculation begin. Ops! Too late! So what does Apple have in store for us? Well, the leading rumor is that Apple fill finally introduce their new tablet. At this point, we all know that Apple is doing a tablet. The only question people have is what amazing things will it do?

Other rumors flying around the Internet today suggest that Apple will bring out iPhone OS 4.0, but not a new iPhone or iPod touch, and possibly talk about or release a new version of iLife 2010 (and if there is an iLife upgrade, rest assured that there will be an iWork upgrade sooner than later).

Even if we only get half of what is rumored to be shown off next week, it will still be a great event!

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

A History of Tablet Computing

Most smartphone fans started out life using devices referred to a "personal digital assistants", or PDAs. Over the last 10 years, the most iconic PDA was the "PalmPilot." Apple has reignited a second mobile computing renaissance first with the iPod, then iTunes, and most recently, the iPhone and the iPod touch. While we wait for Apple to unveil their next mobile computing platform, rumored to a new tablet computer, AppleInsider has published a very good historical accounting of mobile computing.
"A variety of vendors have tried to deliver tablet-like products over the past two decades, but none have been a standout success. This has the tech world watching with bated breath to see if Apple can apply its aura of desirability to the tablet segment in the same way that it has managed to do in desktops, notebooks, MP3 players and smartphones."

Read the full AppleInsider article...


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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Custom Ringtones for the iPhone

Someone saw me with my iPhone recently and asked how to go about converting an .mp3 file they already had in iTunes into a ringtone they could use on their iPhone. Since I haven't activated my iPhone's phone service, I never checked out how to make a ringtone. Sure you can buy them from the iTunes store, but it seems silly to spend extra money for a 15 second song clip after having already purchased the full song.

Turns out that the folks at Art of the iPhone have a good tutorial on how to convert a non-copy protected song in your iTunes library into an iPhone ringtone.

Head over to for more details.


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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Documents to Go with Exchange Attachments Updated

DataViz has updated Documents To Go with Exchange Attachments for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch. This is a free upgrade to current owners of the Exchange attachments edition of Documents To Go.
"[W]e are happy to announce that a new version (3.0) of our “Documents To Go with Exchange Attachments” for iPhone/iPod touch is available in the App Store. Documents To Go is now the only mobile Office application for iPhone with support for viewing and editing of all three Office formats (Word, Excel and PowerPoint). And we have no plans to stop there! In the next several months we will be adding some really exciting new features to the product, so be sure to stay tuned."

What’s new in version 3.0

* Edit & create PowerPoint presentations:
o Edit/add bullets and text in Outline view and see changes immediately in Slide view
o Edit/add speaker notes
o Sort, add, duplicate and delete slides
o Promote/demote bullets
o And more!

* Added support for Gmail attachments
o Edit/view attachments using Docs To Go

* Product name change
o From “Documents To Go with Exchange Attachments” to “Documents To Go Premium”

Pricing and Availability

“Documents To Go Premium” is available now for $14.99 from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at: All customers who purchased a previous version of “Documents To Go with Exchange Attachments” will receive a free update to version 3.0. For more information:

DataViz is also working on finishing a free update to the base edition of the “Documents To Go” product ($9.99) with an in-app purchasing option for customers to upgrade to the features of the “Premium” version. The time frame for the upgrade for the base edition was not specified.

For more information, please visit the DataViz website.

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Sherlock Holmes Mysteries

I was looking up the features of Apple's QuickTime Pro for Windows (yes, this is work related) and I noticed a small ad in the QuickTime Player window for Sherlock Holmes Mysteries, a game for the iPhone and iPod touch.

Clearly a tie-in to the movie now playing in theaters, skimming through some of the screen shots in the iTunes App Store you get the impression that this is a cool game to play. Best of all, Sherlock Holmes Mysteries is only $0.99 meaning that if the game isn't what you expected, you're out less than the cost of a gourmet coffee!

I'm definitely going to check this game out over the weekend. For more information about Sherlock Holmes Mysteries, check out the iTunes Store.

[Updated article with pictures from the game.]

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

iPhone Adventures

On Monday I picked up a used first generation 8GB Apple iPhone. (Thank you Shirley!) The phone is in good working condition. What I didn't know, is that that you must activate the iPhone before you can use it; even if you plan on using it, essentially, as an iPod touch.

So what did I learn with my adventures activating my iPhone? First of all, there is no problem with you walking into an AT&T store an signing up for a new service plan with the original G2 GMS iPhone. Secondly, you can use a pre-paid AT&T GoPhone SIM card in your iPhone. To use a pre-paid card, you will need to purchase and activate the pre-paid SIM card in a phone and then move it into the iPhone once it is setup and then activate the iPhone in iTunes as an existing customer. The CellFanatic blog has a good run down of how to do this.

But what if you are like me and don't want to have to deal with another monthly cell phone bill and just use the iPhone as a glorified iPod touch (with a camera), then you may want to go with the slightly shady jail breaking route. My SIM card was disabled because I hadn't used it in 6 months or more and I wasn't planning on throwing $15-30 away on a new one just to activate the iPhone. I used the Blackra1n jail breaking utility to by pass the activation process and make the phone available in iTunes. I did end up putting my "dead" AT&T SIM card into the iPhone to keep it from constantly reminding me that there was no card inserted.

The good news is that everything, minus the Phone and Messages applications, are working normally. If I change my mind, and want to activate the voice and SMS text messaging features, all I need to do is to put in a new, activated 3G AT&T SIM card and I'm ready to rock 'n roll.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Citrix Receiver Updated for iPhone, iPod touch

Citrix has released an update to Citrix Receiver for the iPhone and iPod touch. As you can see, there is literally a boat load of enhancements and fixes in the new release.

The things that I think users will like, include the seamless handling of Citrix accounts, the new user interface, and the ability to change session resolution.

You can read more about Citrix Receiver for iPhone OS on the Citrix website. You can download Citrix Receiver 2.0 for iPhone OS from the Apple iTunes App Store. [iTunes link]

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Astraware Releases Police Range for iPhone/iPod touch

Astraware, the gaming branch of Handmark, has released Police Range for the iPhone/iPod touch.
"Put your skill and accuracy to the test as you train on the shooting range to become a crack police marksman. Compete against your friends or others worldwide to post the best scores on the online high score table and show off your shooting skills!"

Police Range offers two modes of play: Target Practice and Crime Alley. Use the Target Practice mode to improve your accuracy and reaction times on the shooting range. And when you are up to the task of taking out the trash, and change over to Crime Alley to take out targets of potential perps lurking in windows and doorways. Just be sure not to accidentally shoot any civilians.

Police Range is available now for $0.99 from the iTunes App Store (iTunes link). For more information, or to watch a YouTube video of Police Range in action, visit the Astraware website.

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Documents To Go for iPhone/iPod touch 2.1 Update Released

DataViz Documents To Go for iPhone and iPod touch has been updated to version 2.1 and is now available for download from the iTunes App Store.

The 2.1 update is the result of customer feedback and adds a number of refinements to the PDF To Go application, which includes the following enhancements:

  • "Go to" page
  • Maintaining last viewed location
  • Opening password-protected PDFs
  • Thumbnail, Fit To Screen, Fit To Width & Actual Size views
  • Full screen view with floating navigation controls
  • Tap zooming
  • File opening speed improvements

“Documents To Go” (iTunes link) and “Documents To Go with Exchange Attachments” (iTunes link) are available for $9.99 and $14.99 respectively from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at: All customers who purchased a previous version of Documents To Go for iPhone/iPod touch will receive a free update to version 2.1.

“Documents To Go with Exchange Attachments” has the same functionality as “Documents To Go” and includes a Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync client for sending and receiving Exchange email WITH attachments.

For more information, visit the DataViz website.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Apple Releases iPhone OS 3.1.2 for iPhone, iPod touch

On Thursday afternoon, Apple released iPhone OS 3.1.2 for all editions of the iPhone and iPod touch handsets. This free update addresses the following three issues:

  • Resolves sporadic issue that may cause iPhone to not wake from sleep
  • Resolves intermittent issue that may interrupt cellular network services until restart
  • Fixes bug that could cause occasional crash during video streaming

The update is available now and must be downloaded and installed via iTunes.

[Via AppleInsider…]

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Apple Responds to Palm's Reenabling Meda Sync in webOS 1.2.1

I just saw that Jimmie posted this over on
After Palm's latest fix to re-enable Palm Pre syncing with iTunes, Apple has issued a statement regarding it.

"As we’ve said before, newer versions of Apple’s iTunes software may no longer provide syncing functionality with unsupported digital media players.” "Presumably, iTunes 9.0.2 will disable Palm’s latest fix."

Read the full All Things D article...


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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Palm Releases webOS 1.2.1 Update

On Friday afternoon, Palm released the Palm webOS 1.2.1 update for the Sprint edition Palm Pre. The following is the list of fixes that 1.2.1 brings. Note that there are no new applications installed by the 1.2.1 updater.

Feature changes to existing applications


Resolved an issue where after installing the 1.2.0 webOS update some customers running Exchange 2007 could no longer synchronize with their Exchange account for Email, Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks.

  • Resolves an issue preventing media sync from working with latest version of iTunes (9.0.1).
  • Media sync now synchronizes photo albums, maintaining the album structure in the Photos app.
  • Media sync now allows for synchronizing photos without requiring the full-resolution originals. This provides faster display of high-quality full-screen images and enables users to store more photos on the phone.


Resolved an issue where if a user tried to play streaming music or video, the media stream might drop out or have a long delay before starting.


Addresses a security issue encountered by webkit developers. This issue did not impact end users.

You can learn more about the Palm webOS 1.2.1 update on the Palm website.

As a fan of both Palm and Apple, I'm glad to see that Palm has once again given their customers a way to sync naively with Apple's iTunes jukebox software.

The webOS 1.2.1 update is about half the size of the webOS 1.2 update (38MB vs. 79MB) that was released earlier in the week. My upgrade took about 6 minutes to install after downloading and validating the update file.

All-in-all, a nice surprise for a rainy Saturday afternoon! Now I have an excuse to take a spin in my car to make sure the Bluetooth features are working. ;)

I just tested the Media Sync feature with Apple iTunes 9.0.1 (9) and everything appears to be working normally again!

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Apple iTunes 9.0 vs. Palm webOS Media Sync

Yesterday, the world got it first look at Apple's new jukebox software, iTunes 9.0. Yesterday Pre owners also learned that the Apple/Palm cat and mouse game with iTunes and Media Sync is still very much alive and well.

So, Pre owners, what are you going to do? Are you going to stick with iTunes 8.2.1 and Media Sync or are you going to make the jump to iTunes 9.0?

After watching Apple's keynote presentation last night, and yes, Steve Jobs did take the stage, I've decided to make the jump to iTunes 9.0 and iPhone OS 3.1 for iPod touch. In my opinion, there where just too many cool new features in Apple's new software that I wasn't going to hold back.

Take for example, the new sync features for iPod touch and iPhone. I welcome the expanded sync controls over what content lives on my Mac and on my iPod. It becomes super easy to make sure that I have some of my favorite movies (Iron Man) and TV shows (Looney Tunes, Mythbusters, Law & Order) always with me without having to keep marking them as new.

I also like the new control of your applications for the iPod touch. I have some 60-70 apps on my touch and the newly redesigned applications tab will greatly help my quickly add new apps and reorganize the ones I already have.

And let's not forget the new Home Sharing feature in iTunes 9.0. If you have more than one computer in your home, this is going to be a great feature to have. I'll be able to quickly keep my MacBook and Mac Pro iTunes libraries in sync so I always have all of my music with me when I'm at home or traveling for work and play.

With brings me back to my Palm Pre and the Media Sync feature. I was really surprised when Palm announced the Media Sync feature and I quickly started syncing content to my Pre from iTunes. With iTunes 9.0, Apple has chosen to close the door to the webOS Media Sync feature. I'm sure Palm or someone from the webOS homebrew app community will figure out a way to re-enable native syncing with iTunes. The bottom line for me is that my iPod touch, combined with iTunes, still represents the best over all user experience for purchasing content, loading it on my device, and interacting with it on the go.

So for now, the iPod wins, and iTunes 9.0 is on my MacBook. The good news is that I can still sync the Pre with my Mac Pro which I've left back at iTunes 8.2.1. Sure, I can't use the Home Sharing feature, but at least I can get my iTunes Plus tracks synced down to my Pre easily.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Read "Comics" on Your iPhone, iPod touch

Iconology Inc., at the San Diego Comic Con, has launch of its Comics by comiXology app on the iTunes App Store. The Comics by comiXology App is a digital comic store, library and reader for iPhone and iPod touch that is launching with over 100 titles available from twenty popular comic publishers and many independent comic writers.

"The stunning display and innovative multi-touch user interface of iPhone and iPod touch have finally made comics appealing in a digital format," said David Steinberger, CEO of Iconology, Inc. "By combining great comics with iPhone OS 3.0's In-App Purchasing and location awareness features we are creating a revolution in the way comics are sold and read which could only happen with iPhone and iPod touch."

Comics by comiXology heralds an entirely new comic book publishing and connected commerce model. Comic book enthusiasts can now not only read their comics in a format designed to preserve the comic book experience on an iPhone or iPod touch, but also locate and connect with local retailers to purchase the printed version of the titles. Through relationships with comic book retailers, Comics by comiXology will increase both digital and print sales of comics and deliver a powerful mobile marketing tool for comic book publishers and retailers.

Comics by comiXology offers a "guided view" that keeps the entire page of a comic intact, unlike other solutions where the page is cut into individual pictures the user browses like a photo application. Comics by comiXology is a reader app that contains all a user's comics and offers its own digital comics store that supports multiple publishers.

Among the twenty publishers that have already signed up to deliver their titles through Comics by comiXology are many well-known industry icons including:

* AdHouse Books
* Arcana Comics
* Asylum Press
* Bluewater Comics
* Com.X
* Creative Impulse Entertainment
* Digital Webbing
* eigoMANGA
* First Salvo
* Image Comics
* Markosia
* Moonstone
* Red 5
* Th3rd World Studios
* Zenescope

Additionally, popular comics writer Robert Kirkman has agreed to deliver his titles exclusively through Comics by comiXology making it the only place to get "Walking Dead" and "Invincible" for iPhone and iPod touch.

The Comics by comiXology App is now available, including over 30 free comics, for $0.99 from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at

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Palm Releases webOS 1.1.0 Update

On Thursday afternoon, Palm released the webOS 1.1.0 update for the Pre smartphone. There is a laundry list of fixes and enhancements that are delivered in this update, including a patch that "resolves an issue preventing media sync from working with latest version of iTunes (8.2.1)."

In addition to correcting the iTunes, um "issue," Palm has also baked in updates for calendar, camera, clock, contacts, email, messaging, phone, system, web, and YouTube. As with all Palm webOS updates, the package can be downloaded and installed to the Pre, over the air, by using the Updates application. The webOS 1.1.0 update runs just under 90MB and will take a few minutes to download and verify before the update can be installed on your phone.

I installed this update first thing on Friday morning and I did notice some improvement in cellular coverage while I was at the office. I'm not sure if that just happened to be a coincidence or due to the software update. I'll have to keep and eye on the phone over the next few days to see for sure.

I'm also excited to see that Palm has restored the ability to sync the Pre with iTunes. I know that doubleTwist is a great free option for doing the exact same thing as the Media Sync feature with iTunes, however, I'd rather sync my Pre to my Mac without having to install any extra software. This situation is probably temporary as I'm sure Apple will try to counter Palm's counter move. So I'll be sure to enjoy it while it lasts. And when Apple does finally pull the plug on Palm's iTunes sync ambitions for good, I'll make the jump to doubleTwist.

To read all the details about Palm webOS 1.1.0, check out the Pre webOS update page.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Apple Blocks Pre's Media Sync Feature

Apple, with the release of iTunes 8.2.1 earlier today, has blocked the Media Sync feature in Palm webOS on the Pre from syncing with the popular jukebox software.

Dieter Bohn writes for
"According to Apple's surprisingly forthcoming release notes:

iTunes 8.2.1 provides a number of important bug fixes and addresses an issue with verification of Apple Devices.

We were wondering if this day would come after the back and forth between Apple and Palm on the issue. It's as-yet unclear exactly what method Apple is using to block Pre sync, but we suspect is wasn't easy. ...Which means we also suspect it might not be easy for Palm to turn it back on."

As a long time Apple fan and customer (I received my first Apple computer, the Apple //e, back in 1984) I'm really put off by this move. Just last night I was purchasing more iTunes Plus music (new tracks and upgrades from previously purchased Fairplay DRM tracks) so that I can put more content on my Pre. I'll also mention that I'm not clueless to what is going on either: Apple makes little to no money from music sales. The really money made from the iTunes music store is the sale of iPhones and iPods. I get it, really I do. But I've purchased three iPods already. I really don't need a new iPod and I really don't want an iPhone, because, unlike what Mr. Jobs said at the iPhone announcement, I really do want a physical keyboard on my device. Soft keyboards are terrible in my opinion.

So now the stand off starts. How long can I hold back on the previous version of iTunes before I'm forced to upgrade to a newer release that prevents my Pre from syncing? I do purchase a lot of TV shows from the iTunes store to watch on my iPod touch, my MacBook, and my Apple TV. I may be forced to upgrade iTunes on my Mac, but I'll be disabling the Apple Software Update feature on my Windows Vista Ultimate box.

Pre users, what are you planning on doing? Are you going to hang back with me, or are you going to upgrade and use one of the third-party solutions to sync iTunes to your Pre such as doubleTwist or the Missing Sync for the Pre?

Click the comments link below and let your voices be heard!


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Monday, July 6, 2009

Astraware Releases Phaze Lite

Astraware, the Handmark games unit, today released Phaze "Lite". Phaze, a unique game available only on the iPhone and iPod touch, is an exciting new futuristic racing game that offers players an exhilarating race experience as they select their ship and race around rollercoaster-like tracks with stomach-flipping twists and turns, and velocity-increasing boost pads, while collecting powerups and avoiding their competitors' weapons!

The Lite version, available now, includes one race craft, one location and two difficulty levels so players get a chance to try out Phaze for FREE! If they enjoy the game, the full version additionally includes Championship mode, a total of four difficulty levels, 15 more locations (with 64 tracks across all difficulties), and a total of 10 race craft (some are unlockable).

You can download Phaze from the Apple iTunes App Store.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Palm Responds to iTunes Third-Party Support Note

Yesterday, John Paczkowski of the Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital blog, reported that Palm has issued their own statement about the Pre's ability to use the webOS Media Sync feature to sync with Apple's iTunes jukebox software.
“Palm’s media sync works with the current version of iTunes,” Palm spokesperson Lynn Fox told me. “If Apple chooses to disable media sync in a future version of iTunes, it will be a direct blow to their users who will be deprived of a seamless synchronization experience. However, people will have options. They can stay with the iTunes version that works to sync their music on their Pre, they can transfer the music via USB, and there are other third-party applications we could consider.”

I really hope this doesn't turn into a battle of wills. Once the technology is put out there, the hacker community is going to find ways around whatever road block that Apple tries to throw up to defend the walled garden that is iTunes.

In my opinion, it is clear that Apple will end up fighting a cold war with Palm or the hacker developer community similar to the one that pits Apple against the hacks that have been jailbreaking iPhones since 2007.

The long and short of it, if Apple's iTunes users and iTunes Store customers want to sync media to the Pre smartphone, someone is going to cook up a way to do it. So why not just let Palm's customers sync up with iTunes.

Besides, Apple doesn't think that the Palm Pre is a real threat to iPhones sales. Or do they?


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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pre's iTunes Sync Feature Can Break at Anytime

I think we all saw this coming. I'm surprised, actually, it has taken Apple this long to bring it up.
is reporting that Apple has posted a new Knowlege Base article (6/16/09) stating that the iPod and iPhone maker doesn't test for third-party media player compatibility with it's software and that the new Palm Pre smartphone may no longer be able to sync with iTunes as Apple upgrades the software over time. In article HT3642, Apple states:
"Apple designs the hardware and software to provide seamless integration of the iPhone and iPod with iTunes, the iTunes Store, and tens of thousands of apps on the App Store. Apple is aware that some third-parties claim that their digital media players are able to sync with Apple software. However, Apple does not provide support for, or test for compatibility with, non-Apple digital media players and, because software changes over time, newer versions of Apple's iTunes software may no longer provide syncing functionality with non-Apple digital media players."

AppleInsider also writes:
"Whether or not this is likely to happen with the Pre is difficult to tell. The feature works by identifying the smartphone in its hardware ID as an iPod and would require that Apple detect the difference between the Pre and a genuine iPod. Many of Palm's current engineers -- as well as its new CEO Jon Rubinstein -- are former Apple employees who have worked on the iPhone or iPod and are familiar with iTunes' current methods of recognizing plugged-in devices."

We will have to wait and see what happens. Apple and Palm have been dancing around each other like boxers in the ring. Will this become a slugfest similar to the games that Apple players with the hackers who jailbreak iPhones; with each side upping the ante? No one really knows for sure, but it has become clear that with Palm having people who have worked on the iPod and iPhone on staff, Palm should be well equiped to counter any unintentional or otherwise, breaks between the Pre and iTunes.


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