Shortly after closing the acqusition of Palm, HP has begun rolling out webOS 1.4.5.
The update makes improvements to the web browser and delivers security fixes, however, the most relevant addition is the long-awaited arrival of final PDK support. This will give the Palm Pixi its first official PDK support, and allow independent developers to publish applications using PDK code through the mainstream approval process.
That approval process was recently made free by Palm, ahead of the HP merger. As we previously editorialized, HP and Palm have been focusing more and more on apps as webOS is expected to expand to tablets and other devices. Furthermore, Palm has even taken a 50% hit on app sales to bring the cost to customers far below competitors.
Upon the closing of the merger, Palm has offered a limited time discount for new contract/customers, by bringing the price of their devices to $0.00 on Verizon and AT&T, when signing a new contract. However, this price has already been reached by many popular online retailers, it does show that Palm’s devices have struggled to obtain market appeal, despite HP’s acquisition and commitment to the webOS platform.
Verizon, to its credit has continued to offer free 3G Mobile Hotspot service (5 GB per month), despite wanting to charge $20 per 2 GB, per month on the Droid X and Droid Incredible… leaving PhoneNews.com’s very popular workaround intact.
webOS 1.4.5 is currently being pushed to Pre and Pixi units on Sprint, as well as carriers abroad. It is unknown how long Verizon will delay approval, previous updates have been delayed by several weeks. Also unclear is how AT&T will fit into Palm’s update cycle.