Palm has issued another firmware update for the Palm Pre. The latest version, 1.0.4, offers some minor security improvements and one unwelcome change: some homemade apps no longer work.Despite the complete lack a widely-available software development kit (SDK) for the Palm Pre, enterprising folks have figured out how to make some apps for it. Engadget reported last week, "Apparently utilizing a loophole in the operating system which allows unsigned apps to be sideloaded through email, homebrewers have taken to the interwebs with small utilities like the tip calculator (pictured above)... so obviously Pre hacking is moving along at a healthy clip."
It hasn't grown as quickly as the cottage industry that sprang up around the jailbroken iPhones of 2007, but it's enough for tinkerers to get a small taste of freedom. No longer.
Pre firmware version 1.0.4 is being pushed out over the air, and it closes the loophole that hackers were using to sideload applications via email. That's really a shame, especially since the Palm Apps Catalog offers barely more than several dozen titles.
The reality is, no matter how Palm attempts to plug any hackable exploits in webOS, developers and tinkerers will likely figure a way around it...at least for a little while.