Palm WebOS 1.2: The Pre's Saving Grace Or Its Swan Song?

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It's been a rough ride for the Palm Pre. The Palm Pre was released this past summer, and although many proclaimed it as a threat to the Apple iPhone, the reality is that Palm has been struggling to capture a significant amount of the smartphone market share since releasing the Pre.

Could that be attributed to the fact that the Palm Pre comes with Sprint-only service? Perhaps. There were rumors that Verizon was going to strike a deal with Palm in the wake of the new Pre -- a deal that Palm could have surely benefited from -- but that deal fell through. Palm even took the drastic measure of slashing the price of the Pre for new Sprint customers to $99.99.

The future of the Pre does not appear too bright at the moment, especially when compared to the illustriousness that is the Apple iPhone, Research In Motion BlackBerry and Google Android. However, the new WebOS 1.2 shows lots of promise and may even boost sales for the Pre. Here's a look at some of the major new features:

App Catalog: Palm gets into the App Store game with App Catalog. Users can pre-enter credit card information thought the Preferences setting to purchase upcoming applications.

Backup: Bookmarks from the Web are now backed up in a user's Palm profile. This allows bookmarks to be restored after a system restart or erase.

Bluetooth Enhancements: Contacts can be transferred to a more extensive listing of car kits, including those for Toyota and Lexus.

Hardened Security

Calendar Integration with Google Maps

The ability to send contacts directly to a car kit or as a vCard attachment.

Enhanced message searching

Improvements in Instant Messaging: Buddy's status appears in the conversation screen.

Support for .JPG. .BMP and .PNG formats

Browser now supports downloading files from a Web page.

Palm has always provided a reliable smartphone that has had legions of fans, especially in the corporate sector. Palm has really tweaked WebOS and had made the Pre a true alternative if not so much to the iPhone than definitely to the BlackBerry. Palm is no doubt banking on WebOS 1.2 as a saving grace rather than a swan song for the Pre.

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