Palm webOS Update 1.2.0 Released

Earlier this afternoon Palm released the Palm webOS 1.2.0 update for Sprint branded Pre smartphones. webOS 1.2.0 is an 80MB update that delivers 69 software enhancements or fixes.

The following are just some of the updates that Palm webOS 1.2.0 delivers to Sprint customers:

App Catalog

  • In preparation for e-commerce in the App Catalog, to purchase apps, you can enter credit card information by selecting Preferences & Accounts from the application menu in App Catalog. Credit card information is stored with the Palm profile, not on the phone. You can choose whether you need to enter their Palm profile password each time you make a purchase, or for the first purchase in any four-hour window.
  • If you want to reinstall a purchased application you previously deleted, you can open App Catalog, search for the application, tap the app name, and tap Download again for free. You do not need to pay for the application again.
  • A new Share button enables you to send a link to the app page in an email or text message.You can select whether to enter comments anonymously, using your first and last name, or using your first initial and last name.

Backup

  • Web browser bookmarks are now backed up to your Palm profile. After a restart or partial/full erase, the bookmark is restored in Web when you go to the web page.

Bluetooth

  • The types of car kits to which contacts can be transferred has been increased. You can transfer contacts to Toyota and Lexus car kits.

Contacts

  • On a contact details screen, a Send Contact option is available on the application menu, with options to send the contact to a car kit or send it as a vCard attachment to an email or multimedia message.
  • LinkedIn is now available as an online account in Contacts. As with Facebook, a LinkedIn account set up on the phone enables you to download contacts from that account. LinkedIn contacts cannot be created or edited in Contacts.
  • If a contact contains an instant messaging (IM) address, the contact is linked to the IM account buddy entry

Email

  • You can search for messages in any email folder simply by opening the folder and typing. Search returns any matches found in the subject, From, To, or CC field.

Phone

  • You can now turn carrier data services on or off in the Phone application by opening the application menu > Preferences > Data Usage > tap on/off.
  • Default ringtone volume has been increased.
  • Adjusting the volume of a call now works even if the screen is off. Reducing the volume level to zero sets the call volume to zero.
  • Contact entries in the call log now show both the phone number and type.

The full list of enhancements and fixed, 69 in all, provided with the Palm webOS 1.2.0 update can be found on the Palm Pre support website. The Palm webOS 1.2.0 update can be installed on Sprint edition Palm Pre smartphones by using the Update application found on the “utilities” launcher page.

While I did have trouble downloading webOS 1.2.0 late in the afternoon, I was finally able to download and install the update at around 6:30pm (Eastern time) and the upgrade process to about 10 minutes to install.

iTunes and Media Sync

For some folks the Media Sync option is a burning question with iTunes 9.0. After applying the Palm webOS 1.2.0 update and then trying to sync with iTunes 9, I noticed that the Pre did not mount in the iTunes source list. When I attempted to use the Media Sync feature a second time, the option was removed from the list of USB options. (See screen capture.)

At this point, Pre owners, we have a few options. We can use DoubleTwist (free) or use Mark/Space The Missing Sync for Palm Pre ($39.99). Or just not upgrade past iTunes 8.2.1, which should still work – however, that is a really hard pill to swallow as I am almost as big a fan of Apple’s products as I am of Palm’s. Almost. The bottom line, for me anyway, is that I would rather have the new features of iTunes on my Mac, iPod touch, and Apple TV, so it was a no brainer to upgrade to iTunes 9 for me. I’ll be copying my media over to the Pre manually if Media Sync does not return in a later Palm webOS update.

Bluetooth Hands Free Car Kit Support

Since I installed the webOS 1.2.0 update so late in the day, I haven’t had a chance to test out whether or not Palm has addressed the Bluetooth issues with recent Acura model vehicles. Actually, Bluetooth support with factory installed car kits go well beyond Honda and Acura car kits. We’ll have to keep an eye on how well Palm webOS 1.2.0 works with hands free Bluetooth car kits over the next few weeks as more people apply the update to their phones.

Have you installed the update yet? Let us know how the update is working for you by clicking the Comments link below.

OS 5.0.0.216 Leaked for Storm 9500

Hey BlackBerry Storm 9500 addicts, CrackBerry.com has apparently gotten their hands on the latest OS upgrade for the BlackBerry Storm, OS 5.0.0.216.

If you are the type who absolutely must have the latest and greatest software, consequences be damned, then here is your chance to get the new Berry software. If you are the more cautious type, like me, then you may want to skip leaked OS upgrades until a generic upgrade is made available from Research In Motion or one specifically customized for your device by your wireless carrier.

Ready to take the plunge now? Head over to CrackBerry.com for the download link and install directions. Proceed at your own risk!

[Via CrackBerry.com…]

Yes. No. Maybe. VZW Says The Pre is Coming in Early 2010

Remember back when the Pre was launched on Sprint back in June? There was a war of words between Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon about who would be getting the Pre and when. Then, TheStreet.com broke a story stating that they heard a rumor that Verzion was going to pass up on the new Palm Pre all together. Fear not Palm fans, a Verizon official has stated that the Palm Pre is coming to Verizon in January.

E-Commerce News seems to have a new angle on the story.

“Verizon denied rumors that it had decided not to carry the Pre. Jim Gerace, executive director of media relations at Verizon, told the E-Commerce Times that the wireless provider will offer the smartphone in January as planned.”

Palm did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Negotiations between carriers and device makers often hinge on how much the carrier should subsidize a handset and what it can expect in return.

The two may be locking horns over app stores, Allen Nogee, a principal analyst at In-Stat, told the E-Commerce Times. “Verizon has been talking about its VCast Store, and Palm is setting up its own app store, so that could be the problem,” he said. “It’s possible that Verizon wants to keep the number of app stores available to subscribers to a minimum.”

I would like to see Palm and Verizon whatever issues they have on the table ironed out and dealt with. The Pre, or any other webOS that may be on the way, would be a win-win for Palm, Verizon, and their customers.

Read the full E-Commerce News article

Correctly Install MMS on iPhone 3G, 3GS

A number of people have contacted me to let me know that the MMS update is not installing on their iPhone 3G or 3GS.

After installing the MMS update on your iPhone, you must reboot your phone to complete the installation process! Apple has posted the directions for correctly installing the MMS update on your iPhone 3G and 3GS on the web. The last stop of the process reads:

“After iPhone restarts, verify MMS is active by creating a new text message. You should see the camera icon to the left of the text field:”

So how about it, US iPhone 3G and 3GS users, have you been able to successfully install and send an MMS message? Let us know by clicking the Comments link below.

Thanks to Gary R. for the tip!

MMS Going Live on iPhone 3G, 3GS Today

The good news: iPhone 3G and 3GS owners will finally get access to MMS, or Multimedia Messaging Service, today.

The bad news: To load the software update on your iPhone, you will need to download the update via iTunes and sync your iPhone to your computer.

The really bad news: As we reported last month, original iPhone owners will be left out in the cold! (Sorry Shirley!)

EngadgetMobile’s Chris Ziegler writes:

“We’ve just heard from AT&T that new carrier settings for the iPhone 3G and 3GS will be available “late morning” Pacific Time (which would be early afternoon Eastern) this Friday, September 25, which will finally enable MMS support. Owners will have to tether up to iTunes to grab those settings, so fish out your cable (as if you don’t have it permanently attached to your machine already) and make sure you’ve got some solid time in front of the computer[…].”

[Via EngadgetMobile.com…]

Palm Pre Coming To Europe 10/16/09 on O2

Get ready Europe! The Palm Pre is headed your way on October 16th from O2!

O2 today confirms that the Palm Pre phone will be available in the UK on 16 October exclusively on the O2 network. Customers can purchase the new device directly from O2, the Carphone Warehouse, Phones4U and Business partners who are part of O2’s specific partner programme. It will also be available for purchase online from the O2 shop at: www.o2.co.uk/shop.

Ronan Dunne, CEO of Telefonica O2 UK said “Today’s announcement reinforces O2’s position as the home of the smartphone. With the addition of the excellent Palm Pre to our already extensive portfolio, we will continue to offer our customers the widest range of the very best devices on the market today.”

“There’s a lot of excitement about Palm Pre in Europe as we continue to expand Palm webOS products across new carriers and countries,” said Jon Rubinstein chairman and chief executive officer, Palm, Inc. “We look forward to launching Palm Pre with O2 so people in the UK can see firsthand how Palm webOS offers a new and better smartphone experience.”

For more details about the GSM Palm Pre on 02, including pricing plans, visit the O2 website.

RoadSync, Documents To Go Coming Bundled with “Pulse”

Earlier today, DataViz announced that they will be bundling RoadSync and Documents To Go on the European T-Mobile Pulse in October.

DataViz, Inc., a leading provider of mobile office compatibility solutions today announced that their Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync client, RoadSync, and award-winning mobile Office suite, Documents To Go are included on the new T-Mobile Pulse (Huawei U8220.) The free full functioning license of RoadSync is optimized for Android-based devices and provides customers with built-in secure, wireless and direct push synchronization with Microsoft Exchange Server. Documents To Go further enhances the productivity value by adding support for viewing Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Adobe PDF files and attachments.

“As the Android OS continues to gain momentum in the smartphone market, we are excited to partner with Huawei and T-Mobile in an effort to help business professionals mobilize their Office life,” said Dick Fontana, President and CEO of DataViz, Inc. “The combination of top-notch devices, a reliable network and a comprehensive suite of enterprise-grade applications enables customers from around the world to get real work done when on the go.”

Availability
The preinstalled versions of RoadSync and Documents To Go will be available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, traditional and simplified Chinese when the T-Mobile Pulse (Huawei U8220) ships in October. Additional languages will be available in the coming weeks. For more information: www.dataviz.com/GetAndroid

Pre Tip: Turn Off Location Services

We all know that we should do it, but we don’t – turning off unused services on our smartphones. On the upside, we gain quick access to all the nifty features of our phones like location services, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.

But there is a price to be paid for having every last feature turned on and that is greatly diminished battery life!

This morning before leaving the house, I did a simple little test to see the impact on battery life turning off Location Services, the GPS feature on the Pre, would have. The results where shocking! Usually by this time of day, my battery is running in the mid-20’s after starting the day at 6am on a full 100% charge. As I compose this post, my stock Palm Pre battery is at 45%; for me, that is a savings of at least 20%!

Let’s put this battery savings into dollars and cents. There have been more than a few times where I have been out with my Pre where I have gotten the 10% battery life warning. If I’m working late at the office it isn’t the end of the world; I can easily begin charging my phone. But it is more of an inconvenience when I’m traveling. Over this past weekend, I was contemplating purchasing either a second stock Palm Pre battery ($49.99) or a Seidio Innocell 1350mAh extended life battery ($45.95). After today’s test, I have learned that cost savings in battery life of turning off the Pre’s location services is between $40-50. Not too bad considering today’s economy.

I also keep the Pre’s Wi-Fi radio turned off unless I need it and I keep the Bluetooth radio on all the time. Individual mileage will vary, no doubt, however I encourage you to do some experimentation of your own before you go and race out to purchase a second battery for your Pre.

webOS Tip: Use Universal Search

After having used Palm OS 5 day in and day out for many year, the arrival of the Palm Pre and webOS was like a breath of fresh air. For the most part, all of the Pre owners that I have talked to have had an easy transition to the new operating system. Want to take your game to the next level? Master using the Universal Search feature.

Universal Search is an easy way to find a contact or application on your Pre. To use Universal Search, simply switch to Card View mode (press the Center button to reveal your open cards) and then start typing your search string. Palm webOS will begin searching your Contacts database and the names of the installed applications for a match. Search results are shown in real-time and the results set narrows as you continue to type more specific information. When you see the contact or application you want to use all you need to do is tap the object on the screen.

When you are searching for a piece of information that is in a contact record, when that page appears, you can tap on a phone number to initiate a phone call; tap the SMS balloon icon to initiate an instant message; or an email address to start an email.

But what happens when what I’m looking for isn’t available on your device? If Universal Search can’t find what you are looking for on the Pre, it offers to search online resources. So for example, if I type in “Sh” on my Pre, I will see all of the contact records for all of the people whose name starts with the letters “Sh” and the homebrew application “Shopping List”. When I change my search term to “apple pie” (it is September after all) Universal Search offers to search for “apple pie” on Google, Google Maps, Wikipedia, and Twitter.

If I happen to be in an application, let’s say Memos for example, if I started typing “apple pie” while in the list view (cork board and sticky notes view) and I just happened to have a memo called “Apple Pie Recipe”, Universal Search will filter the list and show my just that memo.

Universal Search could stand some improvements. For example, it can’t search my calendar or email messages meaning that there is no quick way to use the search term “sales meeting” to find out when the next meeting is being held or the email that had the Excel spreadsheet attachment that I might need to review before going to the meeting. As time goes by, Palm will no doubt refine and enhance the Universal Search engine in webOS, knowing today’s limitations will prevent hours of aggravation later on.

iPod touch: What Are You Going to Do?

I was looking forward to Apple’s iPod event last week with the hopes that there would be some cool new features added to the iPod touch. I was looking for an excuse to upgrade from my G1 touch since my headphone jack is acting flaky and I was hoping to get more storage space for the same price, or less, than I had paid for my 16GB unit. Plus the Internet was abuzz with rumors that there would be a digital camera in the new unit. And let’s not forget that newer versions of the touch also have the hardware buttons for volume control – something I miss from my 5th Gen iPod.

The Apple event came and went with little more than a memory upgrade for the mid-tier iPod touch. Should I stick with what I’ve got? Should I buy a refurbished 16 or 32GB 2G iPod touch? Should I pick up a 32GB 3G iPod touch? Or should I keep waiting for the camera I was hoping would have been in the new iPod later down the road?

The day before the Apple event, there was a rumor on the Internet that stated that a run of bad parts (the cameras) would delay the launch of the new 3G iPod touch. Turns out that Apple wasn’t going to hold up the new features that they could deliver.

iFixit.com recently posted take apart directions for the 3G iPod touch that reveals that the motherboard does in fact have space for a 5th Gen iPod Nano style camera in it. iFitix also revealed that the Wi-Fi chip inside the new touch is capable of 802.11n, provided that Apple release the driver to take full advantage of the chip.

So, iPod fans, what are we going to do? Since the 32 and 64GB iPod touch models are exactly “cheap”, I think I’ll be sticking with my 1G iPod touch until my headphone jack stops working or Apple finally gives the iPod touch the features it’s price tag demands.

Click the Comments link below and let us know what you are planning to do.

Charlie Rose Interview with Sprint CEO, Dan Hesse

I just had a chance to watch the Charlie Rose interview with Dan Hesse, Sprint’s CEO. If you haven’t watched this interview yet, you should. It provides an interesting look into Mr. Hesse’s background, the wireless telecomm industry, and the foundation to Sprint’s customer satisfaction strategy.

You can watch the full interview here

The Real Cost of SMS Messaging

Time Magazine has an interesting article on their website this week. The article, titled “Guess What Texting Costs Your Wireless Provider?” dumps a bucket of cold water on wireless subscribers.

According to the article, American teens have a combined average of 2,899 messages (sends and receives) a month; which I find a mind numbing number. SMS messaging, works over a cellular carrier’s voice network, not the data networks that provide Internet access to smartphones like Apple’s iPhone or Palm’s Pre. Yankee Group analyst Christopher Collins states that because of the limiting nature of SMS messages, 160 characters at a maximum, the carriers have been able to route the traffic over the existing voice network infrastructure. “They cost the mobile carriers so little that you could argue that they’re free,” says Collins.

Time’s article also sites the work of University of Waterloo in Ontario professor Srinivasan Keshav.

“He showed that the wireless channels contribute about a tenth of a cent to a carrier’s cost, that accounting charges might be twice that and that other costs basically round to zero because texting requires so little of a mobile network’s infrastructure. Summing up, Keshav found that a text message doesn’t cost providers more than 0.3 cent.”

If SMS messaging costs carriers less than a penny to process, why are wireless customers paying on average $0.15 – 0.20 per message sent or received? That’s what Wisconsin Democratic Senator Herbert Khol wants to know. Senator Kohl, “chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, [and will be holding] hearings on the matter in June.”

You can read the full article on the Time Magazine website.