Although third-party applications have long been available to allow various MP3 players to sync with iTunes, Palmís Media Sync feature is fundamentally different in that it actually uses Appleís vendor and product id so that the Pre is recognized as an Apple device. Older copy-protected songs and, naturally, iPhone apps wonít sync with Palmís smartphone but otherwise DRM-free songs and even photos from iPhoto will transfer without effort. It will be interesting to see how Apple reacts to this.
Not surprisingly, many of the Palm Pre engineering and development team are former Apple employees, including Jon Rubinstein, one of the designers of the original iPod. The move should provide an easier path for iPhone converts, though itís also inherently risky, since Apple could just as easily update iTunes to block Palmís handset from accessing its software Ė potentially initiating a cat and mouse game between the two.