A week ago, Palm announced its update 1.2 to the Pre’s webOS operating system. Missing from the announcement was any mention of what Palm calls "Media Sync" – the ability for Palm’s smartphone to mimic an Apple iPod when connected to iTunes.

Saturday morning, Palm’s webOS was updated to version 1.2.1. This fixed Media Sync, allowing the Pre to yet again sync more-or-less seamlessly with iTunes 9.0.1. The update has a changelog note from Palm. First on their list is: "Resolves an issue preventing media sync from working with latest version of iTunes (9.0.1)."

The fix most people were hoping for involved an error introduced earlier last week by update 1.2, which broke Exchange 2007 EAS syncing for some people. That, along with a few bug fixes, are the main components of 1.2.1, which should have made its way to handsets over the weekend.

Palm and Apple are playing a game of chicken [The game of Chicken models two automobile drivers, both headed for a single lane bridge from opposite directions. The first to swerve away yields the bridge to the other.] The back-and-forth is Apple doesn’t want their iTunes music services to be downloaded to the Palm Pre. Palm, on the other hand, seems to enjoy tweaking Apple’s corporate programming nose by writing updates that allow iTunes to be downloaded to the Pre.

Apple and Palm are on round four of a game of now you can download iTunes, and now you can’t. Palm complained a few weeks ago to USB Implementers Forum, the industry group that oversees the universal serial bus standard, and wanted them to rule that Apple was unfairly locking the Pre out of iTunes. However, that effort failed when the group dismissed Palm?s claim that Apple has violated its USB-IF Membership Agreement. Worse, the Forum took issue with Palm’s alleged use of Apple?s vendor identification number, which it says violates USB-IF policy.

So now Palm is thumbing their corporate noses at both Apple and the USB Implementers Forum with Saturday’s version 1.2.1′s updating of the webOS. Thus, the political tennis ball is over in Apple’s court and it is now up to them to make the next move.

MarkSpace's The Missing Sync for Palm PreAn option for users that will take them out of the one upsmanship game is to use MarkSpace’s "The Missing Sync for Palm Pre" for the PC or for the Mac.

At $29.95, "The Missing Sync" connects the Palm Pre and computers via Bluetooth, WiFi or USB to transfer and sync contacts, calendars, notes, tasks, photos, music, videos and more. A version for the Google Android is coming soon. The biggest advantage which MarkSpace offers is you will not be in the middle of a "he said, he said" political football match that could result in your Palm Pre failing to synch the items you really care about.

On the other hand the political football match between Apple and Palm does make for entertainment in the smartphone arena.