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Palm Pre WebOS 1.3.1 update available now

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webOS 1.3.1 was always destined to come right around the launch of the Pixi, but it's surprised us by showing its face early. No app catalog bombshells here, but there are a slew of more minor fixes and updates that should make users experience a great deal smoother. Is this the update that finally unlocks access to the GPU and provides the speed boost Pre owners are waiting for / advances the iTunes chess match another step? We'll let you know once our unit reboots, for now here are a few highlights from Palm's list of changes:

Update: Downloaded, applied and rebooted. iTunes still isn't spotting our Pre as a device to sync with, and at least for the moment there's no great speed increases to speak of, but we have noticed a few more key tweaks that owners are sure to like -- setting a specific ringtone for text messages is exactly what we've been looking for.
  • Yahoo! now appears as a Calendar/Contacts/instant messaging synchronization account.
  • You can forward a text or multimedia message by tapping the message > Forward.
  • A new option is available for restarting the phone: press and hold power > Power > Restart. The prior restart method (Device Info > Reset Options > Restart) is still available.
  • Widescreen videos (including YouTube) now display in widescreen mode on the phone by default, instead of being cropped.
  • If you tap to play a YouTube video embedded on a web page, the YouTube application launches and the video plays in the app.
  • You can select a unique ringtone for new message alerts: Open Messaging > application menu > Preferences & Accounts > Sound > Ringtone.
  • While listening to a song with album art displayed, you can tap the screen below the art to display a playback slider. Dragging the slider jumps forward or backward in the song.

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