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More Details on the CDMA Versions of Touch and Diamond

Phone Arena has the full scoop on what exact new HTC hotness we can expect for Sprint and Verizon, but here's the short version:

Sprint's getting the Diamond first (HTC codename Victor) and it pretty much has the same specs as the Telus Diamond. Expected ship date, as we guessed the other day, is still Sept. 2nd.

Next up for Sprint is their version of the Touch Pro (HTC codename Herman). True to the 'Pro' in the name, we've got double the ROM (512) and a MicroSD card slot. Plus, of course, that keyboard. Expected ship date sometime in October.

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HTC on pace to move 1 million Touch Diamonds by mid month

PC World reports this morning that everyone's favorite device manufacturer HTC is on pace to have sold 1 million Touch Diamonds by the middle of this month, and that it "is definitely able to reach its goal of shipping 2 million Touch Diamond handsets by the end of 2008."

And as if that weren't enough:

However, sources at the Taiwan handset industry speculated that HTC will eventually revise upward its shipping target for this year, and that HTC is likely to ship 2.5 to 3 million Touch Diamond handsets before the end of the year.

That said, as Dieter and Mal pointed out in their latest podcast, saying you've sold a million or so "units" doesn't necessarily mean that there are a million people walking around with Touch Diamonds. But, the Diamond's numbers are hardly anything to sneeze at, and we still have a little while longer before it's even released in the U.S

By comparison, Palm recently announced it had shipped 2 million Centros, and the iPhone 3G sold 1 million units in its first three days.

Via MoDaCo

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Weekly Software Wrangle - Week 12

Better late than never (hopefully), it's time once again to rustle up some apps for this week's Software Wrangle. This week the featured new software for WM Standard is Mobiola Screen Capture and Diccionario Ingles - Spanish to English Dictionary and Phrasebook. Updated software includes Softick Card Export and Bejeweled. Free software is DashWire.

WM Professional new software is Cliquick and ppcStopwatch. Updated software includes SpoonAlarm and Spb Mobile Shell. Freeware is Pocket Lemmings.

Let's jump in to this week's Wrangle!

WM Standard: New

The first new WM Standard app is Mobiola Screen Capture v1.0.7 by SHAPE Services.

Mobiola Screen Capture allows you to show your device screen on your PC real-time; do snapshots, record videos, share it on Skype. Connects via WiFi, Bluetooth or USB.

Try it now!

Note: Trial version limits single connections to 5 minutes and has 7 days evaluation period.

Compatible with Windows Vista.

Features: - Shows SCREEN CAPTURE from your phone on PC screen real-time - Connects via WiFi(NEW!), Bluetooth or USB - Snapshot functionality - Record video with MS MovieMaker or other video recording apps using webcam driver component of the application - SHARE your SCREEN on SKYPE, IM and other video conference applications. Just select "Mobiola Video Source" as web camera in this applications

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Motorola's 'Last Stand' Alexander Phone is Windows Mobile

What a strange, strange confluence of events. Not long ago, Malatesta and I were pondering during the podcast whether or not we'd ever see a Windows Mobile vertical slider again. We've also been wondering whether Motorola would be able to dig themselves out of the hole they're in (and whether their new Co-CEO could help). One thing that had been on our radar was this rumored “Moto-saver” the Boy Genius referenced awhile back, dubbed 'Alexander.' It was is to be an 8-megapixel wunderphone, but we figured it would run some variant of the OS found on the Ming or, as BGR guessed, UIQ.

We figured wrong, it turns out, as BGR comes through again with the details:

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Congress will HANGUP on In-Flight Cell Calls

WME has discovered through the WWW that the HTIC of the USHR approved the HANGUP Act this past Thursday. If you can decipher all of that, then you too could be a U.S. Congressman.

Seriously though, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives approved the "Halting Airplane Noise to Give Us Peace Act. Dont bother with the calendar, its not April 1st. Thats really the name of the proposed law.

According to IT World.com the HANGUP Act would make permanent the long standing ban on such calls by the FAA (thats the Federal Aviation Administration) and FCC (the Federal Communications Commission). Flight Crews and USAM (United States Air Marshals) would be exempt from the ban. Indeed, the House of Representatives' Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has approved the act already.

While the alphabet soup seems to be over abundance in this story, the bill would stop in-flight cellular calls despite developing technology that would make such calls possible. Cellular calls while in-flight have been a illegal for some time due to concerns about interference the signals may have with on-board navigational and communications equipment. While other countries are moving forward to such services, Congress appears to be shutting the door on it.

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IBM spending $360 million on the cloud

We're big fans of cloud computing here at WM Experts, be it Google and the myriad ways to sync to it, Microsoft and its new Live Mesh, Dashwire, Yahoo Go, Apple's Mobile Me or any of a number of other ways to keep your data stored safely off your device and in the ether.

Friday's New York Times brings word that IBM (you've heard of them, right?), is spending $360 million for one data center in North Carolina and another in Tokyo to offer cloud services to corporate types.

Writes Steve Lohr:

The I.B.M. statement says its North Carolina facility will afford its lucky customers “unparalleled access to massive Internet-scale computing capabilities while gaining the cost and environmental protection advantages of I.B.M.’s industry-leading energy efficiency data center design.” Yes, yes, a veritable technological second-coming.

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Microsoft Releases WM API Scanner tool

Over at the WM Team Blog, msaffitz writes up the details on a great new tool for developers (and maybe power users): the Windows Mobile API Usage Tool. The basic idea is that it will scan a .cab file and then spit out all the APIs (the tools that programs use to interact with the core WM operating system) that program uses. Why is this useful? Well, not all APIs are created equal -- some are more efficient, some are better supported, and some are scheduled for the chopping block in future versions of Windows Mobile.

Definitely a must-download for any WM developer looking to keep their app up-to-date and potentially fun and interesting for enterprising power users who want to figure out which apps are doing what on their devices.

[via Smartphone Thoughts]

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Touch Diamond coming to Sprint this month?

The HTC Touch Diamond is coming to Sprint. We know this. We've just been waiting to find out when.

But those of you/us who have been patiently waiting to get your hands on an honest-to-goodness U.S. version may not have to wait much longer.

A Bloomberg article (via Engadget Mobile) notes in its final sentence that HTC "will begin selling the handset through Sprint Nextel Corp. in August."

Why, that's this month! Engadget Mobile also has reports that both Best Buy and Radio Shack are getting the Diamond in this month -- Best Buy on the 17th and Radio Shack on Sept. 2nd.

Other questions remain. Will it have the multi-faced "Diamond" back? We'll see. Pricing? Remember that Canada's Telus is offering the Touch Diamond for $149. That's in Canadian dollars - and with a three-year contract, which is the norm up there. It's going for $349 with a two-year deal. Do your own extrapolating from there.

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Sorry, Mr. Block, Motorola has decided to take their handset business in another direction. To wit: they've named Sanjay Jha their next CEO of their mobile devices business, he'll serve as Co-CEO with Greg Brown. Jha, we assume, reads email directly on the computer (unlike, according to rumors, his Co-CEO), as he's formerly of Qualcomm. There's a tiny twinge of irony here since Motorola recently ditched Qualcomm chipsets in favor of Texas Instruments. Then again, given Jha's Qualcomm roots, one could be forgiven for secretly hoping for Motorola devices powered by Snapdragon (Jha's understandably fond of the platform).

Jha headed up Qualcomm's CDMA technologies unit - which we take to generally be a good sign for Motorola if only because he will probably have experience navigating US law after all that 3G chip ban and patent fight craziness that went down last year.

Eventually, if all goes according to plan, Jha will be a CEO minus that “Co-” part, as Motorola still plans on spinning off their handset division into a separate company.

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Can customs seize your Windows Mobile device?

A bit of hoopla was raised last week over border search policies disclosed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In almost every news story, the word "laptop" was used in the headline. And this is true. Your laptop can be seized and its information inspected for an unspecified amount of time, no suspicion necessary.

If you're visiting WM Experts, you're probably a fine, upstanding member of society, and a model patriot and benefit to the American way of life, blah blah blah.

But the next logical question is, "Can they take my Windows Mobile device?" Check in after the jump for the answer, and for some tips that could save you some time and embarrassment. (Though if you're looking for a way to completely sneak one past the government and cause some shenanigans, you're at the wrong place.)

Welcome back. So can The Man snag your phone and look at your data?

The answer is: Absolutely. Along with just about anything (electronic or otherwise) you have on your person.

From the Policy Regarding Border Search of Information (pdf link), dated July 16, 2008 (bold section emphasized by us):

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Google Maps for WM Hits 2.2, Gets Transit Info

The arms race between Google Maps and Live Search continues. The latest salvo comes from Google, who have finally given Windows Mobile a feature they released awhile ago on BlackBerry: directions for mass transit. Check the video above to get a feel for it (yes, sadly, demoed on a BlackBerry). They have around 50ish metro areas covered (see a list here), limited currently to the cities that are “forward thinking” enough to bother getting their data to Google in the right format. In other words, the list is California-heavy and has some startling omissions like New York City(!) and some strange bits like including Duluth, MN but not the Twin Cities. Fortunately, more cities are coming.

[via Pocket PC Thoughts]

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Microsoft misses 20-million-license goal

The good news: Microsoft sold more than 18 million Windows Mobile licenses in the last fiscal  year, which ended June 30.

The bad news: That's 2 million short of its 20-million-unit target.

Of course, it's all a matter of perspective. Worldwide, only Nokia and its Symbian OS is outselling Windows Mobile. Senior VP Andy Lees noted that Redmond's market share rose nearly 2 percentage points, to nearly 13 percent of the world smartphone market.

And Lees dumps some of the shortfall blame on device manufacturers, saying that some devices went to market later than expected. But he was mum on who the slowpokes were.

"The OEMs give us predictions as to when they'll ship the devices, and I don't want to put them in the dunk tank, if that's a phrase, by implying that they didn't stay on time. That's confidential conversations that we have."

Being as this is the sort of thing investors worry about, Microsoft stock (MSFT) was down just a tick at 11 a.m. EDT, at 26.20 a share.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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Samsung Omnia - Hardware Hands-On

Samsung Omnia: HERE. Sure, sure, we've mocked the 'me-too' nature of the form factor, the somewhat strange 240x400 screen resolution, and the fact that we don't actually know when it's going to hit AT&T (we're still holding out hope for September). Here's what we haven't put enough emphasis on: the sucker is armed to the teeth with features:

  • 3G, WiFi, FM Radio, GPS
  • 5 Megapixel camera with Flash
  • 16gig of onboard storage
  • Accelerometer
  • Speedy 624 MHz processor
  • Respectable 1440 mAH battery
  • DIVX video supprt
  • Yes, that higher screen resolution
  • Opera 9.5 on-board
  • Surprising good software enhancements

We'll get to those 'surprisingly good software enhancements' in our next piece. For now, just know that our mantra of “don't throw features at a phone and assume it will be good” still holds and it looks like the Omnia has a decent chance of passing that test.

So check out the video above, check out the photo gallery after the break for more images and head-to-head comparisons with other Windows Mobile devices, and check back again very soon for a more in-depth look at the Omnia.

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Verizon faces Labor Strike -- Updated: Not wireless

Update: WME-a-culpa: the below story is about Verizon Telecom, not Verizon Wireless. Bob writes in to let us know that Verizon Wireless is actually almost completely non-union and thus not involved with Verizon's labor problems. In fact, the two companies don't actually have all that much to do with each other. So Verizon Wireless customers: move along, nothing to see here. Verizon Telecom customers, read on.

The question “Can you hear me know?” may have a different answer for Verizon customers in the coming days. A strike by 65,000 union workers for the communications provider is looming if a labor contract is not agreed upon by midnight Saturday.

According to various news sources including the Syracuse.com and the Boston Globe major unresolved issue between the unions and Verizon is the preservation of jobs and health care. According to reports, Verizon has been outsourcing jobs to other countries. Adding 1.5 million subscribers is all well and good, but it's not too helpful if there aren't employees around to support them.

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I've long been looking for a personal holy grail: using Windows Mobile's built-in support for Exchange Active Sync Push to access my information on Google. I had hoped that it would be MailShadowG, but it turns out that service is a desktop-only client that talks only to Exchange. Forwarding gmail to a 3rd party Exchange server is an option, but it's a hassle and doesn't usually provide a very good sync'ed up experience.

Enter NuevaSync [via], a free service that offers an Exchange server that is automatically synced up to Google Calendar and Contacts (Plaxo too, but let's leave Plaxo aside, eh?). They don't have email support yet, but they're working on it and it looks like they're going to do it right -- which is to say they'll be doing it via an IMAP gateway for proper folder sync.

Anyhow, once you've set up your NuevaSync account and connected it up to your Google account, the last step is to set up Exchange on your Windows Mobile phone, you can find those instructions here. Syncing Google's PIM to your device is well and good, but you'll need to also get that info synced from your desktop to Google -- we'll leave that as an exercise to the reader.

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Skype for Windows Mobile Now Compatible with 6.1

Skype's mobile client for Windows Mobile has been updated to 2.2, it now is compatible with Windows Mobile 6.1. GSM Arena put it through its paces and found it to work well over WiFi, over 3G not so much. Otherwise you're looking at a pretty full-featured client, with support for calls, Skype-out for calling regular numbers, Skype's text-chat, etc.

One downside that GSM Arena notes is that, unlike when making normal calls, the screen stays on during a call and is therefore likely to get “cheek taps” that might accidentally end your call. 'Course, that's not a problem for WMExperts' readers, because y'all know about the clever software that just turns your screen off with the push of an assigned button.

Download Skype 2.2 for Windows Mobile [via Gear Diary]

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AT&T Disallows Peer to Peer on Your Smartphone

You already (should) know that your 'unlimited data' isn't actually unlimited in terms of sheer bandwidth -- every carrier has either official or unofficial data caps. Transfer more than, say, 5 gigs of data and you might be looking at a nasty call and an unceremoniously cancelled account. Add another limitation on to that there 'unlimited' plan: the type of data you're allowed to send or receive:

[AT&T] told the FCC on Friday that if they catch you using their mobile broadband network for P2P, they'll nuke your account. Specifically, senior VP of dealing with the government Robert Quinn said that “AT&T's terms of service for mobile wireless broadband customers prohibit all uses that may cause extreme network capacity issues, and explicitly identify P2P file sharing applications as such a use.” - Gizmodo

Exactly what qualifies as “P2P” is sadly (and expectedly) vague -- just apps on the phone, P2P on your laptop via a tethered connection, all are likely up for grabs. We're guessing that AT&T is feeling the pain of a 3G network that doesn't have the capacity for serious, heavy use by a large population, especially on the upload side of things. Yes, we probably have the iPhone to blame thank for AT&T sudden vulnerable feelings.

Thanks to Rene for the tip!

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Take your smartphone for a swim, if you dare

Monty Python fans, help us out here. If the iPhone floats, it's a witch, and it should be burned at the stake, right?

OK, OK. Maybe that's a bit harsh.

Making the rounds is the Golden Shellback splash-proof (or dunk-proof, apparently) coating, which appears to protect your device not just from the occasional spill, but from total immersion in water.

It appears to work just fine in these demonstrations, though it's not yet available to to the public. Don't believe us? Just watch the unholy iPhone work under water in the video above. And check out a demonstration from Thursday morning's "Today Show" after the jump.

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Live Search to get a Rebrand?

Seems like every time we mention Microsoft's Live Services here we always start with the complaint that the branding is confusing, mixed, and/or just plain wacky. There's been a plan in the works since at least February to rebrand some of these services to clear up just what refers to what. According to Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet, that plan is still in motion.

First up, Live Search, Microsoft's straight-up search competitor to Google. It looks like Microsoft has begun asking users what they think of several new names, the leading contenders being:

  • Bing
  • Hook
  • Kumo (which means either “cloud” or “spider” in Japanese, depdnding on which Kanji characters are used)

Again, these are being floated strictly (we think) to rebrand the actual Search in Live Search and not necessarily the Live Search client, Live Mesh (Mac client for that is out now, by the way), or any of the other various services called “Live” out there. Ok, honestly we don't know, but that's our best guess. What we do know is that the URLs for all of the above are already taken and, really, it wouldn't exactly be a tragedy if Microsoft went another direction. Then again, they're all better than “Cuil.”

Here's our suggestion: Wythwo. As in: “Wish (that) Yahoo Thing Had Worked Out.”

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With all the innovation going on, you have to ask your self why we are still using middleware when it comes to getting our PIM info. Jason Langridge sees this and sheds some light on the subject in his blog. Companies like RIM and GoodLink depend on you going through them in order to get your info. Palm and Nokia are wising up and are treating their services like a scene from Scarface. They

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Update: Sprint AIRAVE confirmed for Aug. 17

Update: OK, Sprint made it official this morning.

Starting August 17, Sprint customers will be able to purchase the AIRAVE at Sprint stores across the country for $99.99 (taxes excluded). Customers are required to subscribe to the AIRAVE enhanced coverage plan, which is priced at just $4.99** per month in addition to the customer's regular wireless voice plan. Customers who do not have one of Sprint's unlimited voice plans, such as Simply Everything, can get unlimited in-home calling by subscribing to the optional AIRAVE Unlimited Voice plan for an additional $10 per month** for individuals or $20 per month for families.** For more information, customers can visit www.sprint.com/airave.

Get the full lowdown here.

The Internets were slightly abuzz Tuesday with word that Sprint's AIRAVE signal booster has gone on sale nationwide.

As you undoubtedly remember from our previous coverage, AIRAVE - for an additional $99 for the base station, $4.99 per month per base station and $10 per month for single-line use ($20 for multi-line) - borrows your broadband Internet connection and spits out a CDMA signal where you otherwise might not have one.

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Video goodness of the HTC Touch Pro

The HTC Touch Pro (aka Raphael) recently made its way through the FCC. And to celebrate, The Unwired brings us a pair of review videos, giving you get a pretty good idea of what's in store once it hits the U.S. The first video focuses on software, while the second takes a look at the hardware.

The HTC Touch Pro is the slider keyboard version of the Touch Diamond. A quick rundown of what we can expect when it finally hits the states:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1.
  • 512 megs ROM/288 megs RAM.
  • 528 MHz Qualcomm processor.
  • TouchFLO 3D (presumably with the updated ROM).
  • Bluetooth 2.0 w/EDR.
  • WiFi.
  • Built-in GPS.
  • 3-2MP camera.
  • Slide-out keyboard.
  • 1340 mAh battery.
  • MicroSD.

And without further ado, we bring you The Unwired's:

Hands-on software review
Hands-on hardware video review

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Touch Diamond in GSM 3G Flavor hits the FCC

Phone Scoop [via Mobility Site] caught the Touch Diamond over at the FCC yesterday. Ordinarily, this wouldn't bother us much, as we have long figured that it would show up in CDMA flavor here first. Oh ho, but wait, this Diamond is GSM: “This new version seen on the FCC site includes WCDMA 850/1900, and also confirms Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and Wi-Fi.”

Those WCDMA 850/1900 bands are the bands that AT&T uses for 3G here in the states. That means, of course, that the Diamond isn't going to be stuck as an EDGE-only device here. What we don't know is whether or not AT&T is going to officially pick it up. They gave the original Touch a pass and we haven't heard any rumblings yet about them picking it up, so the outlook isn't great on getting this thing at a subsidized price.

As usual, HTC has asked the the rest of the details they sent to the FCC be kept confidential, this time “indefinitely.” Ouch.

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Windows Mobile 6.1 for Moto Q9h Leaks onto the Web

Head on over to the UK site MOTOMODDING and take a peek, the expected Windows Mobile 6.1 update for the Motorola Q9h has leaked out, as we see from this post from mexiken:

Finally !!!! A very very special thank you to the Verms, aka The Verminator, for without him, none of this would be possible. Thanks dude !!!! Please give all credit to him for actually getting the file. I just downloaded, verified, and let everyone know

It looks pretty legit, too,

SHIP_NORMAN_AP_U_01.09.28R_MODEM4_U_40.11.40R_04_U : This is the official, AT&T branded 6.1 update !!!! Enjoy !!!! (70.58 MB).

“Norman” was (/is) the codename for the Q9h. Installing ROMs on the Q9h is a little more complicated than with HTC's devices, requiring that you use RSD Lite (which is itself a little nefarious). Read through the whole MotoModding thread to get a feel for it.

For those of us who aren't as daring, this is at least a good sign that the official update is coming soon. :D

Big thanks to Mike and Paul for the tip!

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Treo 800w: Selling a lot or Not enough to sell?

Palm, Inc. has been having a decent week so far, hitting 2 million Centro sales and getting out that BT voice-dial patch.

On top of that JP Morgan has some interesting things to say regarding the Treo 800w:

Bad news: Sprint and Best Buy stores are woefully short

...nearly all of them complained of a lack of inventory. Four of ten Best Buys...in the NY tri-state area complained of zero inventory, and weekly deliveries of just 5 units... We heard similar complaints at Sprint stores, where inventory levels ranged from zero to just 5 units, typically.

Good news: Demand appears to be high for the device

The stores reported strong demand for the recently-introduced 800W...
...and weekly deliveries of just 5 units, which sell out nearly immediately.

So why the constraint? According to Palm, they were not expecting anymore supply problems for the Centro (like they had earlier) and it seems odd, though perhaps plausible that the 800w would.

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