webOS updates mandatory, will be forced if they have to | webOS Nation

webOS updates mandatory, will be forced if they have to

by Derek Kessler Wed, 17 Jun 2009 7:47 am EDT

Forced Updates

Palm has pushed many unique and innovative features with the Palm Pre and webOS, one of the most important being the wonderful over-the-air (OTA) update system that we’ve already seen in action with the 1.0.2 update (and may be seeing again soon). Engadget has found (via Justin in our forums!) an interesting support document on the Palm website: those OTA updates will be automatically downloaded and installed, whether you want it or not.

Essentially, the Pre checks daily for updates and will download the latest updates automatically in the background. Once the update has been pulled down, it will prompt you to install. You can push the installation off if you desire, but within seven days your Pre will forcibly install the update, giving you just a ten-minute warning. Every time you charge the Pre after downloading and not installing an update it will attempt to install the update, giving you a ten minute countdown you can stop. But you can only stop the timer three times; the fourth time you start charging, the Pre will give you a ten minute ultimatum and there’s no stopping it.

For as open as Palm has been about the Pre (once it was released, that is), this seems like a rather draconian policy. Obviously, Palm's aiming to keep all units out there up-to-date and this will provide a good user experience for the majority of users, but for those of us who like to have exacting control over our devices this could pose at least an issue of principle. Additionally, we have no idea what it might do to those that have hacked their Pre phones, if it’s anything like Apple’s iPhone software updates, it’ll undo (and possibly negate) whatever unauthorized modifications you may have made. Of course, as Engadget noted, it’s possible that one could hack the Pre to not force the updates onto you, but like most iPhone users, most Pre users likely aren’t going to be hacking their phones.