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WebOS 1.3.1 hidden features and changes

We are going to compile a nice clean list of all the new hidden features that are undocumented in WebOS 1.3.1. If you find anything let us know in comments and we will add it to the list. This can include anything from small UI changes and tweaks to performance increases and more. Anything that is new we will add. Let us know in comments or on Twitter @PreThinking @Blayze04.

Check out the list after the break...

This is what we have so far and we are more than happy to add things as they come.

Speed Improvements:

- Palm's garbage collect and memory management improvements allow games like Perfect Bounce and Air Hockey to run without hangs.  Previous to 1.3.1, faster paced games such as these had lag hiccups that would stop the game for 1-2 seconds while the phone cleared excess memory usage. This process now works without any hangs. 

- Photo app switching between individual photos by swiping left to right is faster in portrait and landscape.

- Scrolling in the photo app is definitely much faster.

- Music app speed improvements. Switching in and out of screens within the app is much faster.

- Scrolling in contacts has become much smoother and it doesn't get stuck quite as often.

- Browser scrolling has improved. Seems much smother zooming in and out.

- App Catalog Initial load is much faster.

- Google maps loads much quicker.

Phone App:

- Contacts logo in the top right has been changed to match the contacts app logo.

- Answer calls and hanging up is much smoother less buggy.

- New option to allow international calling. In phone > Preferences you can slide option left to right.

- Now when on a call the picture is full sized and the end car and details bar is over the top and bottom of the picture with a clean pane.

Contacts App:

- When linking accounts to a contact it no longer changes the default profile to the most recently linked contact.

- Two more options have been added to Contacts > Preferences & Accounts: Company & first name, Company & last name

Clock App:

- When an alarm goes off you can 'Snooze' by tapping up or down on the volume rocker rather than unlocking the screen and tapping the yellow Snooze button.

Calendar App:

- When you tap and hold an event without moving your finger, then lift, you can edit the title of that specific event.

Photo App:

- Options are now displayed at the bottom of the screen.

- Photos are now only displayed in their respective folders. There is no 'All Folders' view anymore.

- Screen captures no longer takes two screen shots when pushing the hot key combo one time.

- No when swiping through pictures the bar shows what number picture you are out of how many total are in that folder.


- Default applications app is there and you can change the default app for phone, emails, addresses, or web links as well as different file types. (This option is greyed out)


- When you tap on a single message in the messaging app you now have the options, Forward, Copy Text, and Delete.

- If you set a custom tone for the messaging app it will only play it when the card is not in focus. Otherwise it plays the default notification.

Music App

- Now when listening to a song in the music app you can bring the drop down menu up and choose to add that song to a Pandora playlist, Search it on YouTube, or search it on Amazon MP3.

- You can now bookmark your place in multiple songs. Any songs or podcasts you start on in the music app will now all be saved afterwards. In 1.2.1 Palm added the feature that allows your music app to remember where you last left off but only for one track.

- When you tap and hold fast forward or rewind the selection scrubber comes up allowing you to move through the song. (You can also do this by simply tapping below the album art, this was noted in Palm's feature list)


- Empty trash button is now available.

- You can now search for folders in the search option on email by simply typing that folders name.

- You can now use short cuts to complete some specific tasks while viewing an email.


Gesture + M = Move To Folder

Gesture + G = Set Flag

Gesture + S = Show Recipients

Gesture + K = Mark as Unread

These commands can also be found in the drop down menu.

- New Gesture hot keys are also available while writing a message.


Gesture + J = Set as High Priority

Gesture + D = Discard Message

Gesture + S = Save as Draft

These commands are also available under the drop down menu.


- Under preferences there is a new 'Default Search Engine' option. (Google is the only choice right now)

- Browser now scores a 77 on an Acid3 Benchmarking Test. It previously scored zero. Benchmarking tests score the browser based on rendering, functionality, and speed among other things.


- WebOS 1.3.1 has laid the groundwork for Adobe Flash's soon to be released Flash 10.1. Place holders are now in locations where Flash content is.

- WebOS 1.3.1 has laid the groundwork for video recording by including the Linux binaries needed to record video that is compatible with the stock media player. (Via Precentral)

- When holding shift and backspacing to delete a whole word rather than one letter, it will longer delete any words after the cursor, rather it will delete the word the cursor is currerently on or before.

- When you recieve a notification from the messaging app and it is from an IM client, you will see a green dot in the notification dashboard showing if that user is on or offline.

- When you receive a notification for a text message with an attachment, a small paper clip will appear near the senders picture in the dashboard.

- When 'Data Usage' is turned off in phone > preferences WebOS will not stay connected to your WiFi even when the phone is locked. If 'Data Usage' is turned on WiFi will automatiically turn off when the screen is locked.

- When you are out of space while trying to download a new app there is a new message. 'There is not enough memory in the application storage area'. (Please Palm fix this by the time the App Catalog is out of BETA)

- When the Palm Pre is now on a Touchstone charger you can set the screen to lock after a certain time.

- When you restart or shutdown your phone there is a new circle symbol on the screen.

- Shutdown screen now has additional options. You can hold down the power button and tap power and choose to reset or power off.

- Airplane mode as the small (i) next to it which will link you to the help menu about Airplane mode.

- LEDs on the center button no longer flash when you lock the phone.

Sprint TV:

- App UI has been changed

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Reader Comments (50)

When turning off the screen, screen slowly fades out and middle button no longer blinks. They added the blinking in 1.2.1 and I'm glad they changed it back.

November 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

Also, Google Maps loads at least twice as quickly. It used to take around 20 seconds for it to load and find my location. Now it takes 10 or fewer.

1.3.1 doesn't seem a whole lot faster overall, but the places where they did improve speed (Maps, Photos, Camera displaying image) really help the user experience.

November 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

Thanks guys! Those features have been added to the list. Let us know if you find anything else!

November 14, 2009 | Registered CommenterDaniel Rodriguez

In the Phone App contact photo / image size is larger larger for Facebook friends.

November 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMr.TramueL™

The Calendar app seems to be a bit faster when scrolling through months in the month view.

November 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjpenico

Well, it would seem palm got the message about the "Sorry, not enough memory" error when trying to download new applications. Unfortunately, they didn't actually fix the problem, but they did replace the old message with a nice new one saying there is not enough memory in the application storage area, with the only resolution being, delete apps if you want to add more. I was lucky to receive this new message on the first app I tried to update after the upgrade to 1.3.1. So much for hoping this problem was fixed in 1.3.1. Good luck to new application developers trying to earn a buck when willing consumers can't download the apps they want to buy because they are out of space.

November 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDon

Again, thanks a lot to everyone who is sending stuff in. The list is getting pretty big. Palm definitely needs to fix the storage limit for apps. It hurts the user and the developer.

November 14, 2009 | Registered CommenterDaniel Rodriguez


I'm pretty sure Google Maps is independent of and wholly unrelated to any Palm updates. This fact was evidenced in the update prior to this, 1.2.1; several people noticed new features to Google Maps (pedestrian and public transit options), as assumed they were a part of the update, but this is proven wrong when those that had not updated yet still had access to the new Google Maps options.

November 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNeo

1.3.1 now also tells you the size of the file when you ORANGE Key select/delete the app

November 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBill Wotring

@Neo, This is true. When Google makes changes to the maps app only people with the newest version can see these changes they make server side.

@Bill Wotring, Thanks a bunch for this tip, however this feature is noted in the official change log Palm released.

November 14, 2009 | Registered CommenterDaniel Rodriguez

I was disappointed to see that a fix for the out of memory condition was not fixed in this update. As soon as I updated the OS, I checked for other updates and there were several. I immediately got the "not enough memory" message. Bummer! I guess I won't be buying any new software in the forseeable future.

November 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterrogeratm


The speed boost could have been an update that Google snuck in with the 1.3.1 update, or it could be due to optimizations that Palm made to the API calls that Google Maps makes. Hard to tell, but I haven't updated anything else, so it definitely came with or at the same time as update. Whether Google or Palm did it, I don't know.

November 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

"You can now skip tracks within an album by placing your finger on the album art and swiping left or right to drag it over to the next piece of album art"

The music player has ALWAYS done this. Not a new feature.

November 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLeeZ

Install the "Package manager Service" from WebOSQuickInstall to allow you to install more apps from the App Catalog. The update broke this fix so you have to reinstall it. I removed the service and PreWare and then reinstalled them with the service first. The issue is fixed for me.

November 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRoss

The keyboard shortcut for taking a screen capture is now only Orange+Sym+P. Previously, Orange+Shift+P worked, also.

November 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRoy Sutton

what would be really nice is been able to select a bunch of pictures at the same time to delete them or send them

that feature i was really specting hope they dont forget about that

November 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteroscar

@LeeZ Your right! Thanks a bunch. It has been removed.

I personally like the new music app features. I don't have to rely on third party music apps anymore. I am still excited to see third party music apps as well as browsers, phone apps, and maps apps to hit the catalog so we can use the new feature in the launcher that lets us change our default apps and file types.

November 14, 2009 | Registered CommenterDaniel Rodriguez

Also, in the Photos, it now displays the number of pictures in the folder and what number you're viewing (I.E.: 3/12, when on pic #3 of 12 in the folder)

And something I don't think was specified yet, was that when you tap the photo preview icon in camera mode, the Photo Roll opens up in the Camera app instead of opening the Photo app independently now.

November 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterH. Sneyd

You can no longer swipe from left to right or vice versa in the gesture to put one card on top of the other. Whyyyyy? I loved that feature.

November 15, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterme

@Me ... What are you talking about? You can still rearrange the cards by holding it down then swiping left/right... Am I not understanding your point?

November 15, 2009 | Unregistered Commentervara411

@Vara411 & @Me: After the update the 'Advanced Gestures' might have turned off by defaukt. Go to tthe Screen and Lock app and turn Advanced Gestures back on

@H.sneyd You are right. That display number is new. I willupdate the post when I get to a computer. Also the camera roll feature in the Camera app was listed in Palm's original notes. Thanks though!

November 15, 2009 | Registered CommenterDaniel Rodriguez

Don't know if anyone noticed this or even if we had it before (!), but now when someone sends you a text with an attachment, you see a small paperclip on the sender's picture in the discreet notifications bar. Cute.

November 15, 2009 | Unregistered Commentervara411

Thanks so much! You guys are amazing. If you find anything else feel free to keep letting us know.

November 15, 2009 | Registered CommenterDaniel Rodriguez

is anyone else's txt messaging wrapping in the middle of words? Just me? The tones that were on the phone were cut short too after the install so I readded them to fix that error. Everything appears faster in general. Quick install has been updaed as well! Palm pre is coming along nicely.

November 15, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdre

I see that you can now set a "lock time" when on a touchstone - I used to like being able to dock the Pre and have an application always visible... can anyone point me to where you set this touchstone pref? (Or is referring to the touchstone a mistake - I know there's now a time before lock pref in the security screen, but that's independant of touchstone use.)

November 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTim

One more -- in several apps, deleting by word (shift-backspace) no longer erroneously deletes the word AFTER the cursor as well. Psyched for camcorder and app limit fix sometime in the not-too-distant future. Keep it up, Palm!

November 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterZam

why did my sprint tv application stop working after the update? All I get now is error 3000. Also, I'm not sure where the virtual keyboard in preware went.

November 16, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpat

@Pat You have to first load Sprint TV one time with WiFi OFF. After it loads one time with EVDO as the data provider it will load fine with WiFi on.

@Zam Thanks for the tip! It will be included in the post.

@Tim That new Touchstone functionality was listed in Palm's 1.3.1 release notes.

November 17, 2009 | Registered CommenterDaniel Rodriguez

My phone has locked up twice after the 1.3.1 update. Thats new. The only way to get it to start working is to remove the battery.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBill

Can you Pre users comment if the Pre's battery life got any better than it used to be when it first rolled out? What's the average number of hours you can go from a fully charged battery to a low battery indicator, and from a low battery indicator to complete shutdown?

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCecil

@Bill I have not heard of this issue. I will keep an eye out for others who have this problem.

@Cecil I would say battery life in 1.1. and 1.2 improved a little bit and 1.3.1 stayed the same however people are having battery life issues in 1.3.1 because of Yahoo Synergy. Seems like the 'Get Mail' Option when set to 'As Items Arrive' seems to drain battery life significantly throughout the day.

November 17, 2009 | Registered CommenterDaniel Rodriguez

you can drag events in your calendar!

tap & hold an event until it is highlighted. tap & drag to a different time!

The only problem is that the 'accordion' feature (when you have the beginning & end day events manually added to your calendar) will expand and minimize every time you tap and hold the event.


November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLorenzo

sprint tv is still ot working with EvDo for me. With that, the error is when I run it, with wifi, the error is when I tap all channels or something. Not that I use sprint tv much but i'd like it to work.

because for pre recorded shows, sprint tv needs to have play and playback controls, especially because the app closes out of the video when you minimize the card, so you hafe to start from the beginning

November 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpat

Nice post & nice blog. I love both.

November 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterforex robot

@pat Hmm.. that is very weird. I haven't heard of anyone else with the problem but if I do and find a way to fix it I will let you know.

@Forex Thanks! ^^

November 18, 2009 | Registered CommenterDaniel Rodriguez


November 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpat

I don't see anyone commenting on the "time wrong" issue with Palm Pre. My Pre is still off by 30 minutes or so. Is this being fixed? Please, please, PLEASE, say it's being fixed!

November 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel

@Bill (lock-up): I had mine lock up this morning, & had to remove the battery to restart. This occurred after it had linked to my car's Bluetooth, and either when or before I tried to place a call. Hoping this won't be an issue... that was one of my biggest headaches with my Treos.

@Daniel (clock time wrong): I also had this issue (even prior to 1.3.1) where the time would be ahead by several minutes. I discovered that when the WiFi is connected the time comes back in sync, but it apparently doesn't sync via EVDO or phone.

November 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergeodosch

You can change the ringtone for your SMS now with 1.3.1 software and youcan forward text.. the google contacts will only sync MY CONTACTS not all the contacts in your google.

November 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPacFan

I see no way to change the SMS sound after the 1.3.1 update? Someone have instructions?

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChicagoBearsFan

I read this blog and would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except NICE BLOG with a lot of information.

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMemory Upgrade

Since upgrading to 1.3.1 I have noticed several strange things...

1) I have had the "too many cards" error way too many times. Before this upgrade I think I may have had it less than a handful of times and I bought my pre on day one. Since the upgrade I can't count the number on two hands and two feet. I have had to reset my pre at least 10 times since upgrading and I'm not running any new apps.

2) Pressing the power button to activate the display (to unlock it or use the device) seems unresponsive at times. The screen stays black. Takes 3 or 4 presses sometimes just to get a response.

3) The battery seems to drain much quicker than it did pre-1.3.1

4) Palm seems to have gotten rid of the 'Cancel' button on the unlock screen and replaced it with 'Done'. So now, should the unlock screen come up, the only way to get rid of it seems to be to hit the power button. Not a big thing, but still, what's the point.

Is anyone else seeing these types of problems?

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDon

I had the same rapid power loss as Don, but it only lasted a day. It improved after installing the 8 or so updates, leading me to believe that some programs needed changes for proper power use in the new system. I have no proof of that, but power use has been stable or even improved since the first 2 days of rapid drain.

I haven't seen the "too many cards" error. I agree that reposonse to the power button seems slow.

November 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

When using Bluetooth in my Toyota, a "beep" is now heard whenever a call terminates. This is new behavior in 1.3.1.

November 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

i got my problem fixed! my device phone number was wrong while my sprint phone number was right, and so the phone was trying to access sprint tv with my device phone number and so it wouldnt work. sprint had me do a reset in the reverse logistics support of the phone and this fixed my number, so now i can get on sprint tv, and this also allowed me to send picture text messages. thought i'd give you an update Daniel!

November 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpat

I don't know if you guys noticed but the WiFi is buggy. Before if you left the phone after a minute the wifi would automatically shut off and turn on automatically when you want to use the phone again. Now it's always on even when the screen is turned off and It drains the battery.

Also if you leave your present wifi location and go to another wifi it doesn't automatically detect it, you have to tunr Wifi off and back on.

November 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Barba

@Jorge Barba - I know that the WiFi stays on if you have Data Services turned off. I will keep an eye on if WiFi sometimes stays on. For me it seems like WiFi will only stay on if I am plugged into a charger or if the 'Data Usage' setting is set to 'Off' in the Phone app preferences.

November 24, 2009 | Registered CommenterDaniel Rodriguez

My sprint tv stopped working after I updated my palm pre. It shows error 7000. Does anyone know why?

March 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

I had the same problem. I got my palm pre a few days ago while visiting FL at radioshack (because of the offer ending this saturday). Well, I couldn't get my sprint tv to work. I even tried the nascar function to avail. After spending three days on the phone with Sprint's customer service, I ended up changing the phone out at another Radioshack. Obviously, I tried the Sprint TV first and it worked! So I happily went on my way with my brand new phone. Later that day, I had to update the OS to 1.4~ something and sure enough, it stopped working again, giving me the same " not available... (7000)!!!!" I tried a restart, erase apps and info, and full erase. Still nothing! I am beyond frustrated with this! Can anyone provide me with some help or advice? It would be most appreciated.

March 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDL Nunez

Same thing with mine.. Updated to 1.4 and no more sprint tv, radio, on demand etc. I heard from my local Best Buy that its a problem on Palms end and they are working on a fix and hopeing to have something later this week. But who knows if thats true... I was kinda mad because I just bought the phone and wanted to show it off and none of the sprint specific features work!

April 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKeith

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