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Summary:

A Palm webOS update expected before end of February could arrive today over Sprint’s network. Along with enhancements to the native main applications preparations for Adobe Flash support are arriving as is video recording right from the handset. But there’s still more to fix.

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Sprint customers with a Palm Pre might find an over-the-air webOS update today, with Pixi owners following over the weekend. PreCentral and a host of others noticed the upgrade plans for version 1.4 on a Sprint forum, but the post was pulled down. That could mean a delay for the rollout, but without an official announcement, the update really can’t be considered late, can it? Time actually is running out on two fronts, though.

For weeks, folks have had expectations that webOS 1.4 would hit the airwaves during February. With the date being the 26th, that leaves the remainder of today and this weekend to meet that hope. More important, but related, is the time it’s taking Palm to generate handset sales and revenue. As James noted, Palm yesterday reset measures of the company’s performance. The cause? “[S]lower than expected customer adoption of our products,” said CEO Jon Rubinstein in a memo to employees that the Wall Street Journal got a hold of.

Whenever webOS 1.4 arrives on Sprint — it’s already showing up on some GSM networks outside of the U.S. — it will be welcome. Based on the change log, expect enhancements to the Calendar, Messaging and Email applications as well as native video recording capabilities. The Pre will also gain support for an Adobe Flash plugin that will appear in the App Catalog. Unfortunately, Pixi owners are left behind for now when it comes to Flash support, much like Windows Mobile 6.x handset owners.

There’s still no word on some of the basic items I’ve long wanted in the browser like a visual indicator of where you are on the page and support for anchor tags. And since I’ve abandoned the platform for now, I won’t know if those items are fixed. I’ll be living vicariously through you other webOS users, so let me know, OK? With my luck, all of my issues are resolved now that I’ve sold my Pre.

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  1. My Pre is anxiously awaiting the update, but not here yet. I seem to be on the late tier for rolling out updates. :( I believe that tier is: most likely to update = last to get it.

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    1. Hey James,
      Do you, by any chance, have preware installed on your pre?
      I’ve had it on my old pre but I just replaced by pre due to the touch screen issue I had and I haven’t installed the preware yet.
      I know, in the past, whenever there’s an update you are supposed to uninstall all the patches and themes you installed via preware but I read on precentral that there’s a new preware that doesn’t require you to uninstall and reinstall patches/themes whenever there’s a firmware update.
      I was going to install it but I’ve been holding out on it just in case…
      Just wanted to know if you have the preware installed and what your input on the new preware is.
      Thank, James.
      Always a pleasure to read your articles.

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  2. Hmmm… should I pull my Pre out of its box for this?

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  3. Nice, Do anyone now when apple release flash-player for iPhone?

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    1. You’re kidding’ right?

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  4. Usually updates come after midnight lately. I think just to lessen the load on the servers.

    As for Preware, there’s a new method of patching that means that you don’t have to remove patches before updating. The only thing that needs to be removed now are themes.

    It’s been reported that one of my big browser nitpicks, no anchor support, has been fixed in 1.4 though, by one of the very few GSM people who has it already.

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  5. Wait..they are still updating Palm’s OS ?

    I thought they STOPPED shipping Palm Pre/Pixi phones LAST WEEK !

    Why would they update a phone that is no longer made ?

    Perhaps i am wrong but this just seems weird.

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    1. While the company’s performance isn’t meeting expectations, Palm is still making and shipping the phones.

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  6. Mark Covington Sunday, February 28, 2010

    Anchor tag support appears to have been added in the 1.4 release. With only an 8 month bug turnaround time, I don’t see what y’all are complaining about. ;-)

    http://forums.palm.com/t5/webOS-Software/Pre-browser-doesn-t-do-anchors/m-p/215502

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  7. You will be happy James. Most of the browser changes you wanted still have not been fixed. I would also like a bar on the right to know where I am on a page. The fixes, other than video recording, were not that substantial in everyday use. I do not notice a speed increase at all. There is still the same amount of lag. I am waiting to see what abilities Flash will give my Pre. If it doeasn’t allow me to work more efficiently than I will probably sell my Pre and move to a different platform. I have been with them since June, but as a business user the Pre just doesn’t provide me with all of the tools I need. I knew that going in, but expected that Palm would add capabilities for business users and that really hasn’t happened. Don’t feel sorry you left, so far you aren’t missing anything, unless you really like recording videos. Even the video player needs much more work and tweaking on it. Thanks.

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