In the ongoing cat-and-mouse game between Apple and Palm
, the company developing the iPhone has again disabled the Palm Pre’s ability to sync with iTunes, by releasing the iTunes 9.0.2 software update. Given that the USB Implementers Forum sided with Apple in September over the two companies’ dispute, Palm may stop enabling its smartphones to be recognized in Apple’s iTunes
The latest iTunes update reportedly disables the ability of the Pre to sync with iTunes. According to Precentral.net, iTunes will launch when a Palm Pre is connected via USB. However, iTunes will not recognize or show the device in the sidebar, therefore will not sync any content with the respective device. Apple is sending a clear message here: iTunes sync is reserved for the iPod, iPhone, Mac and Apple TV. The company doesn’t need any headaches with issues arising from other companies’ devices that haven’t been developed with iTunes in mind.
As noted above, Palm believed (and probably still does) that Apple's prevention of syncing with iTunes was unfair. Palm was actually the one that called on the USB Implementers Forum trying to make a change. However, the USB-IF took Apple’s side, noting that iTunes' method of identifying Apple devices was within the consortium's rules, according
to AppleInsider, who also provides a quote from the forum.
"Under the Policy, Palm may only use the single Vendor ID issued to Palm for Palm’s usage," the USB-IF said in a letter to Palm. "Usage of any other company’s Vendor ID is specifically precluded. Palm’s expressed intent to use Apple’s VID appears to violate the attached policy."
Because it improperly used Apple's USB vendor ID to have iTunes recognize the Pre as an iPod, The USB-IF went even further and reprimanded Palm for violating the group's rules. Talk about cutting one’s nose off.
Users of a Palm Pre smartphone still looking for a similar way to sync content to their device may want to look into DoubleTwist
, an app that replicates much of the functionality found in Apple’s iTunes. The doubleTwist app integrates with OS X beautifully, it is free to download and use, and aims to unify media use and transfer across a person’s entire collection of devices. Our advice for Palm Pre users is to move on. Apple will not share one of the strong pillars of its business with anyone, so, even if the next Palm Pre update brings back compatibility (which is a long shot), it will not be around for long.