Palm Accidentally Releases WebOS 1.2 Early

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It’s looking as though Palm has accidentally released the upcoming version of its WebOS, WebOS 1.2, with the latest build of its WebOS Doctor recovery tool for users of its Pre smartphone.

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According to a report over on PreCentral, it looks as though using the WebOS Doctor to restore factory defaults to a dodgy Pre results in the WebOS Doctor installing WebOS 1.2. The current build of Palm’s WebOS Doctor is, of course, not the same one as was available earlier in the weekend, but that didn’t stop some people grabbing the botched copy and installing WebOS1.2 If nothing else this means that some users have been getting a bit of a sneak preview of the direction Palm is headed with its newest update. Some of the new features are particularly interesting.

The Palm Pre’s browser seems to have been generally improved, with users reporting smoother animations and general tweaks, giving better usability. For us the best news of the update bunch is that there’s now “type to find” functionality in mail, which more smartphones could really do with.

Apparently, the WebOS 1.2 update has been stripped out and posted online independent of WebOS Doctor, which is good news for anyone out there with the unusual combination of a Palm Pre, solid Google skills and a severe lack of scruples.

All joking aside, it looks as though WebOS is really pulling itself together. If future updates can maintain this level of draw then it seems as though the Pre will be one of those devices that only gets more attractive over time. We may yet see the Pre become a serious competitor for the iPhone. If you’re interested to see what else is happening with the Pre, then you can check out the PreCentral post on the topic. Interestingly enough, there’s been no word on whether or not it works with iTunes, so we assume that’s not changed.

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