Palm updates webOS to 1.4 and adds video recording to Palm Pre and Pixi smartphones

Palm finally released its firmware update to the Pre and Pixi. Version1.4 adds video recording and limited editing on the device.  1.4 also fixes a few bugs and adds many small features to the built in apps like the calendar, email and overall UI.  Among the small features Palm added is a visual notification of email using the button or the swipe area.  Another innovative new feature is the ability to add a video preview to an application description in the App Catalog.  Actually it is just a link, but it is still something that most other app catalogs lack.

The update promises improved performance and battery life as well.  As with other updates, I have not yet seen any significant enhancements to performance or battery life, but I expect them to come soon enough.  I’ve noticed, with other updates, that performance improves gradually and I’ve not yet gone a full day on a full charge to judge battery life.

The video recording, the feature that I was waiting for, is very nice.  I’ve shot a few minutes of test footage in low light and it looks great.  I am going to shoot some daytime footage and see how that looks.  So far, though, I’m pretty impressed with the quality.  The in-built editor , though, is a bit tricky.  It requires more precision than my finger seems to have.  That, or I’m just not doing something right.  It is probably somewhere in the middle. Once you are ready, you can upload your video to YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, SMS or email it.  The added video abilities are a welcome addition and, in my opinion, should have been there since day one. 

As with any operating system upgrade, there are a few things that are not perfect.  I’ve noticed that when the game Boggle transitions from one screen to another, you see a card with all of the UI components in a stack that is dimmed.  You see this panel for only a second or two and the correct panel will then display.  Not a real problem, but a bit annoying.

Overall, the update is worthwhile and includes a lot of little changes.  You can go here for a complete change log. 

Palm’s frequent updating of the webOS is great, I’m just hoping they stick around long enough to keep it up.  Each release makes webOS better and better. Hopefully, the AT&T launch will go better than Verizon and will pump some new energy into both Palm and the platform.  Both could use in.

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