The Sprint version of the Palm Pixi doesn’t have a WiFi option but the Verizon version (called the Palm Pixi Plus) does. The hardware is almost the same and [Gitit20] figured out how to do some hardware swapping to add WiFi. The radio board inside the phone is fairly easy to remove. Close inspection of the Sprint radio board shows some solder pads where a WiFi chip would go. The Verizon version has this chip, and moving that radio board into the Sprint phone will enable WiFi. This is strictly a hardware hack as the device identification (IMEA) is paired with the motherboard and not the radio board.
Now we want to see someone source that WiFi chip, solder onto the board, and enable it within the OS so that we don’t need a donor phone to make this work.
[Zach Charat] didn’t want to carry around yet another card with him so he transplanted the RFID guts from his card to his phone. Soaking the card in nail polish remover for twelve hours got him nowhere, but when he broke out the acetone the card was falling apart in 30 seconds. Above you can see the tiny chip and loop antenna that were left after ditching the plastic. The black bits are electrical tape which he then used to embed this in his Palm Pre’s touchstone charger plate ( which we just saw this in a hack last week).
In case you missed it back in June, the Palm Pre was rooted by extracting the Root ROM from a Palm tool used to reset a device with damaged software. A lot has been learned from examining the code inside that ROM but we’re most amused by one thing in particular. If you grew up in the 80’s there’s a pretty good chance you know the Konami Code by heart. So did the developers of WebOS, the firmware running on the Palm Pre. By inputting the familiar (UpUpDownDownLeftRightLeftRightBA) set of gestures the handset enters Developer mode for connection to the SDK which was leaked last summer but is now in open release.
[Mike] sent in this project he’s been working on. He has posted instructions on how to get your Palm Pre to tweet its GPS coordinates at regular intervals. It does require that you have Linux installed on your Pre, but that’s not that big of an issue as he has a tutorial for that too. Getting the tweet to happen involves setting up a custom PHP file that sends the tweet, then a cron job to get it to run on a schedule. He mentions this could be useful for finding a lost phone as well as keeping track of loved ones. We would like to see him add a script to do similar with a picture. Maybe take a picture and upload it every time a call is placed?
Pre Insiders has reported that the Pre’s Mojo SDK has been leaked to the internet. Palm was planning an early access program, eventually releasing the SDK by the end of the summer, but this leak has accelerated the process. They are posting several download links, including torrents, but they warn developers to use the tools wisely.
The newly released Palm Pre has been torn down by both Rapid Repair and iFixit. They note the easy to use interface, but the slide out keyboard makes for weird transitions. There’s nothing surprising on the hardware side except capacitive screen and LCD come as a single unit and would have to be replaced together if either fails.
The new Palm Pre cellphone has a “media sync” feature which lets the device sync with iTunes in a fashion identical to an iPod. Last week [Jon Lech Johansen] speculated that this was not done in cooperation with Apple and that Palm was spoofing the iPod’s USB controller. This was confirmed today when a tipster sent him a screenshot of what the device reports in both standard and media sync modes. The Palm Pre reports its Product ID as iPod and Vendor ID as Apple with a few other changes. [Jon] notes that it doesn’t change the root USB node, so Apple should be able to block this behavior with an iTunes update. With Palm already pulling tricks like this presumably through software we wonder if this will become a full-on arms race.