Palm again hacks Apple's iTunes for Pre owners

Palm today re-enabled synchronization through Apple's iTunes for owners of its Pre smartphone, ignoring warnings from a standards group last month.

The release of webOS 1.2.1 Saturday was the latest in the back-and-forth between Palm, which kicked off the iTunes sync last June with the launch of , and Apple, which has blocked the practice several times with iTunes updates.

"This release also re-enables the ability of Palm media sync to work with the current version of iTunes," Jon Zilber, Palm's director of online communications, said in a post to a .

According to webOS 1.2.1's , Palm also added photo synchronization via iTunes for the Pre, upping the ante in its tug-of-war with Apple.

Apple shipped iTunes 9.0 in early September, and updated it on Sept. 22 to version 9.0.1. Palm's webOS 1.2.1 works with the most recent edition of Apple's media software.

Palm tricks iTunes into "seeing" the Pre as an Apple iPod by using device and product numbers reserved for Apple's hardware. That, however, has reportedly drawn a rebuke from the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), a non-profit company founded by the companies which developed the USB specifications. Both Palm and Apple are members of the USB-IF.