CES is an important event for Palm fans. Last year, we saw the grand unveiling of the Palm Pre, the device that revitalised the ailing company and instilled renewed hope that Palm could turn things around. This year, along with two revamped models of the Palm Pre and Pixi which are set to launch exclusively on American carrier Verizon, Palm revealed what existing Pre owners have to look forward to in the coming months.
The first big announcement was in the apps department, something that at present the Pre is under performing in. Well, that could all be set to change as the Palm Pre now supports 3D gaming and our lucky friends across the pond can now choose from a selection of excellent titles including Need for Speed and the Sims. Here in the UK we’ll need to show a little patience as, due to the fact that we can’t currently pay for apps, the 3D games aren’t currently available as all carry a charge (around $9.99). However, with the full app catalog expected to launch in Europe in March, we shouldn’t have to wait too long.
The second and perhaps more exciting piece of news is concerning the upcoming Web OS update to version 1.4. Expected to launch in February, version 1.4 of WebOS finally enables video capture in the Pre, ticking off one of the major gripes with the device. Whilst is has been possible to enable video capture thanks to the homebrew community, the official version will bring a much more polished user experience and finally bring the phone on a level playing field with its major rivals. Not content with simply catching up with its competitors, Palm plans to go one better and edge ahead with the inclusion Flash 10.1 support in the Pre’s web browser. What this means is that online flash content such as embedded video and music plus flash games will now be fully accessible on the Pre. Expected to launch in the app catalog in Beta soon, the full version will be installed automatically in WebOS 1.4.
Here in the UK we’ve recently been treated to a software upgrade to version 1.3.5 which improves battery life, allows you to download multiple apps at once and pause downloads, improves the calendar and implements various other tweaks and bug fixes. Whilst we were a bit slow to get the upgrade to 1.3.5, here’s hoping we’re treated to the 1.4 WebOS update as soon as it becomes available. Keep an eye on the blog and we’ll keep you updated on all things Palm Pre.