Articles

0

Zune runs on Windows Mobile or CE?

Ok, so I'd assumed that the Zune ran on top of Windows Embedded CE (maybe version 5, maybe version 6), which also supplies the underpinnings for Windows Mobile (version 5 of CE provides underpinning for WM5 and WM6. CE 6 is supposed to underpin Photon). It's all very confusing, this article helps a bit.

In any case, the New Zunes hit and everybody's a atwitter over them. Which, of course, makes people ask about Zune Phones to compete with the iPhone. We already knew that Microsoft is more likely to build a Zune into future versions of Windows Mobile than they are to build a phone into the Zune's OS (thus sayeth the Ballmer). Check out this quote from J Allard, though:

J Allard, the Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) executive in charge of Zune, was interviewed by Reuters and one of the questions was: So are there any thoughts about a Zune phone?
“A: (Points to head) Yes. (Points to mouth) No. (Laughs) The thing we are focusing on is that Zune is music first. We think there is a lot of runway first in redefining the music experience with partners. That said, we built it on the same operating system as that phone right there. (Points to Motorola (NYSE: MOT) Q running Windows Mobile) So we have the flexibility to take these in a different direction where our customers, our partners and we are ready.”

Read: mocoNews.net

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0

Tilt. $299. October 5th.

We expect it to be the Best Damn Windows Mobile Device. Ever. But expectations do not a smartphone make, so we won't know for sure until tomorrow, which is when the Tilt is finally available in retail. We all know the slider form factor has been tweaked so the screen can tilt up for easy viewing. We all know the specs by now:

  • 3G (HSDPA and UMTS)
  • WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0
  • Integrated GPS
  • 3 megapixel camera
  • Windows Mobile 6

...What we didn't know was the price, it's much less than I expected. $299 with contract. Without contract - we don't know yet, but our battered and beaten wallets will find out tomorrow.

The AT&T Tilt is the first AT&T-enabled Windows Mobile 6 smart device and features an innovative slide-out QWERTY keypad design, a 3-megapixel camera, 3G data speeds from AT&T's UMTS/HSDPA-based BroadbandConnect network and complete global connectivity.

Read: AT&T- News Room

I guess the "tomorrow" I previously mentioned was, in fact, just the "internal to AT&T" release of information. Oh well, if you take shots, sometimes you miss.

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3

Verizon: Still Evil

So Verizon will let you change your plan without re-upping your contract. That's Good.

Verizon, like all carriers, are very unforgiving about letting you get out of contracts early without paying early termination fees. That's Bad.

Verizon can choose to cancel your contract on you for "good cause" and then still charge you the early termination fee. That's ugly Evil.

Consumerist found the nasty clause in Verizon's contract:

We're all very familiar with the idea that a consumer has to pay an early termination fee if they drop service before their contract is over, but this clause comes as somewhat of a surprise: "An early termination fee will apply...if we terminate [your service] early for good cause."

Sorta makes two empty cans o' corn and a bit of string look a little more appealing as a communication option. The Green Giant won't be charging you any early termination fees. He "stands for goodness", not evil. If only tin cans ran Windows Mobile.

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
24

Great New Soft Keyboard

Just yesterday I hoped that we'd see a thumable QWERTY/suretype mashup keyboard from HTC, well today it looks like somebody's beaten them to the punch: CooTek. If you're one of the 800,000 Touch users, it behooves you to go check out TouchPal. As you can see from the screenshot above, it's eminently thumb-able and has a very nice word prediction setup. It also handles punctuation very well.

Basically you can just tap tap tap away and use the auto-word completion dictionary to get your words right. But if you need to be exacting, you can tap-slide in any direction to get a specific character or punctuation mark. The upshot is that each button can put out up to 4 different characters, but in 90% of your usage you don't really have to think about it. Using it for 10 minutes has pretty much convinced me to make it my primary input method.

Best of all, it's a free download until Dec 8th, 2008 (a bit random, but I'll take it). It comes in both QVGA and VGA flavors.

They claim you can get up to 300 characters a minute. Check out the video after the break to see somebody with faster thumbs than I have do just that.

via PocketPCMag

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
4

The First Device

I'm in the midst of writing Part 3 of my iPhone vs HTC Touch series (Part 1 here and Video Part 2 here), partially because my comrade Mike over at the iPhone blog, Phone different has said that he's going to call me out on our iPhone podcast because I recently used the phrase "iPhone killer" in my Sprint Touch Hands-on Impressions. The upshot of this link-heavy introduction is that I have a new concept in my arsenal of smartphone punditry that I learned from the Foleo and its curious absence (of all things): The First Device.

It's an awkward name for an important thing, which I'll explain after the break.

Foleo Cancellation One Last Time

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
1

Zune Marketplace Getting some DRM-Free Music

So Zune Marketplace only works with the Zune - not Windows Mobile - despite that fact that both the Zune and Windows Mobile share the same underpinnings. With any luck, though, that may change in November. In November, Microsoft is going to make approximately 1 million of their 3 million song catalog DRM-Free.

It's still unknown whether or not Microsoft is going to change their policy regarding the strange and obscure incompatiblity between Plays For Sure and Zune's PlayReady (my guess: not likely). But we might have another non-subscription option for buying music for our Windows Mobile besides what's available on iTunes or the new Amazon Music Store. In this writer's humble opinion, Amazon is your best bet right now -- let's see if that changes in November.

Here's the bit from the press release, though I suspect nobody is really feeling any real "shockwaves" just yet:

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
1

Great Video Streaming Link Site

zbop, bringer of Full YouTube on Windows Mobile software, posts up a link in our forums. And what great link it is: http://www.channelchooser.com/mobile.php, which is a ginormous link list of sites that stream video for free over the web. The list is broken down by category and features some relatively big heavy-hitters that I'd previously assumed I would need to buy mobiTV to get.

You'll want 3G or WiFi for most of this stuff - it's mainly streaming WMV and thus should work on pretty much any Windows Mobile smartphone.

My DirecTV package doesn't include Chess TV, so I'm glad zbop has shared this site with us all. Thanks!

Read: Watch television and videos on your mobile & PDA

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Join us in reading Hobbes' epic How-To install guide, the definitive one for how to get the stuff you want on your Windows Mobile device. It's geared to the new user, but even an old-hat like myself has learned a thing or two from this monster guide. If you're like me, you have a friend or family member who's always hitting you up for help with their Windows Mobile smartphone. My new advice to them: read this article. -- Ed.

Window Mobile (WM) phones can certainly make a huge impact on your productivity on a personal level as well in your professional career. It can offer hours of entertainment with games, movies and music while making sure you never miss a beat from the office while away from your desk. When someone buys their first WM phone, they can usually be placed into two different camps. Those who have only owned a regular cell phone and this is their first smartphone... and those who have owned smartphones in the past, but never a WM phone (i.e. they have only owned Palm OS, Symbian, Blackberry, etc.). In either case, as with anything else in this world, there is a learning curve in order to reach that level of comfort and understanding with their new phone, though this learning curve is probably smaller than some might think at first.

This is going to be the first part in a series aimed at addressing the most common questions, beginner misunderstandings, avoidable unneeded frustrations, etc... that many brand new WM users face. Or for some long time or casual WM users, it may simply answer questions you might have been too embarrassed to ask about!

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0

Samsung SCH-i760: Not So Hot

Forum user levinda was one of the "lucky" few who managed to sneak in an order for the Samsung SCH-i760 when it was briefly available via a backdoor method. The i760 looked like a sweet device to me, if only because the unique keypad on the front would give it a bigger screen. The devil, though, he's in the details, and according to levinda, the details suck:

- [...] Basically, unless you have really big hands it is almost impossible for me to use one-handed, even when I didn't need to slide the keyboard out!

- I thought the front keypad would enable one-handed use for quick typing of SMS. Wrong! It only has ABC text input. [...]

- Power button. Any time I wanted to turn on the phone I had to hit the power button on the top (not easy one-handed for a lefty) or slide out the keyboard. [...]

- No abilty to diable the touch screen during a call. Why don't all WM phones have this option? [...]

- WM softkeys not alingned under their screen functions

Read: I Jumped To The i760...For Less Than 48 Hours - WM Experts

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
4

Amazon MP3 Store Launched

amazon mp3 store logo

[editor's note: Dieter's leaving a jet plane for NYC today, Any breaking news today will probably have to come from me, Mike Overbo of diametrically-opposed evil twin sibling smelly-iPhone-centric site Phone Different.]

Amazon has launched a beta of their MP3 store. This store will probably actually make its own stand, as opposed most of the other online stores that try to compete with iTunes that end up as also-rans. Case in point, Virgin's online store just closed down. Exactly how Amazon got EMI and UMG to kowtow to the MP3 format is beyond me, but they got them to do it. Here's the sweet and low-down:

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
8

Ultimate Search hits 1.5

Not everybody can have a Treo with a search bar right on the Today screen. And not everybody has Windows Mobile 6 yet, either, sadly enough. What to do? Perhaps take a peek at Ultimate Search, which puts a souped-up search bar on your today screen. Here's what's in the soup (does that metaphor even work?):

  • Google
  • Wikipedia
  • Movies
  • Local
  • Dictionary
  • YouTube
  • Flickr
  • Answers.com

That looks pretty nice, actually. If the point of a search bar on your today screen is to get info fast, then being able to use a specific search type makes that point ...pointier. It's $11.95 and there's a free trial.

Oh, and notice that "YouTube" search? I suspect you'll be a lot happier using that particular option if you've installed the "Full YouTube on Windows Mobile" hack. I should mention that the whole system has been significantly improved since we first posted about it, so definitely revisit it if you haven't.

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Apologies for the ghost town on Friday. We (ok, it was just me) were in New York City last week, covering an antiquated OS in a new package (aka the announcement of the Palm Centro). Digital Life is a pretty ho-hum conference overall, featuring mainly also-ran video games. Microsoft's announcements were limited to talking about their Media Center initiatives.

Microsoft did have a few devices out, showing off Windows Mobile 6. Pictured above, a Blackjack on AT&T running Windows Mobile 6. Why hasn't this been released yet? Why hasn't Windows Mobile 6 been released for the Treo 750 yet? Canada, Australia, and Europe have it. What's it gonna take, guys? A hunger strike?

...We now return you to your regularly scheduled Windows Mobile News and Reviews. Coming up later today, part 2 to HobbesIsReal's Guide to Windows Mobile Installation! Update: Let's make it tomorrow, a crazy big news day today.

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
1

Office Mobile 6.1 Coming Soon

An update to Office Mobile, which will finally add full support for the latest file formats from the desktop version of office, is coming soon. It was actually available briefly, due to a little mixup:

On his blog, Langridge discussed the upcoming release of Office Mobile 6.1 which was perfectly acceptable, except he said that it was currently available and provided a working link. The link's public availability was a complete accident as it was only intended for internal testing, and Langridge ended up having to remove it on Thursday evening.

Read: Office Mobile 6.1 coming soon

That's the way of things with blogging, sometimes. No worries, Landridge, we've all been guilty of hitting the "post" button a little too quickly. We're all looking forward to the update, it was announced back in June that it will be available for both WM5 and WM6 and it will be free.

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0

Untamed Workforce: Hilarious Windows Mobile Marketing

Microsoft has a freaking hilarious new online campaign: Are you Untamed? - www.untamedworkforce.org. It features great videos of mysterious mobile species like "Emailius Nonstoppicus," and "Cantfindicus Phonicus." There's a more standard site where can sign up for updates and the like as well. Go on, embrace your inner mobile nerd and watch the video below. You know that's been you at one time or another.

Via David Ciccone

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0

HTC's Q4 Lineup: Shift, S730, p6500, Touch Dual

Yowza. At a press event today HTC unloaded its big guns - 4 new Windows Mobile devices to arrive by year's end. No word yet on when exactly we can expect these monsters in the states, but here's the breakdown:

  • HTC Shift: Likely the best UMPC yet, a dual-booting Windows Mobile / Vista beast with HSDPA, WiFi, Bluetooth, 7" screen, and a full keyboard.
  • HTC Touch Dual: The Touch but with a slide-out keyboard. If the pictures are anything to go by, it looks like it will come in a standard T9 flavor and also a Blackberry-eqsue suretype keyboard. Oh, and full 3G, whapow!
  • HTC S730: The successor to the HTC S710/Vox that fixes the keyboard layout and adds 3G speed
  • HTC P6500: HTC's industrial entrant, whose 3 megapixel camera doubles nicely as a barcode scanner.

All of them will come with HTC's very nice new home screen. After the break, full spec rundowns and pictures of the Touch Dual and the S730.

via: the::unwired

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
5

Sprint Touch Hands-on Impressions

Ok, I lied earlier, something sweet DID happen at Digital Life. I got a sneak preview / hands-on with the upcoming Sprint Touch. It looks pretty much like the photo above, which is to say it has the Sprint logo on the lower front. Sadly, the hands-on was so brief and hurried that I wasn't able to snap any pictures.

Details? You want details? Wilco:

  • The new keyboard looks very much like the "Happy type" keyboard. It's decent, but I'd likely keep recommending SPB Fullscreen keyboard.
  • The TouchFlo "cube" is still there, linking to some Sprint-specific stuff but still very useful. Still only 3 sides.
  • WiFi is dropped in favor of EVDO. I confirmed that will be updated to EVDO Rev A eventually.
  • It's a hair thicker than the original Touch, but still very svelte.
  • That fourth icon on the right of the HTC Custom Home screen is a super-convenient profile switcher.

Sprint Touch == iPhone killer? Well it lets you buy directly from the Sprint Music Store, has 3G, is shorter, does full music, video, YouTube, Full Office Mobile, etc etc etc. I know which one I'd rather use.

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
1

Sept 25th: AT&T Gets Tilt, Q9 Global

In our forums, bubbatex reminds us that yesterday Boy Genius gave us solid leads on some releases. Exactly one week from today, on Sept 25th, we should see the AT&T Tilt (we thought it would have been released by now), the Q9 Global (nee Q9H, I guess). He's also mentioning the Pantech Duo (which I've been studiously ignoring here at WMExperts, but no more) should hit on October 9th.

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0

HTC to Manufacture WM Devices for Sony Ericsson

You know what I hate - when I make a prediction about technology but forget to tell somebody. Then, when I am proven right, I can't legitimately say "Ha ha! Told you so!" Case in point: Sony Ericsson wants in on the Windows Mobile game and has tapped HTC to manufacture the handsets for them.

"Volume shipments of the smartphone - Sony Ericsson's first Windows Mobile-based smartphone and HTC's first ODM orders from a first-tier handset vendor - are expected to top over one million units and to account for 10-20% of HTC's total shipments projected for 2008," said the Chinese newspaper

Read: cellular-news

These things take time, so we're likely a year out from seeing anything in the stores. I'll make another prediction now - actually it's more like wishful thinking: Sony will resurrect the "Clié" name for these smartphones. Sony saw the writing on the wall back when they pulled out of the PalmOS. At that time, they were making the coolest PDAs available, bar none. Hopefully they'll bring back some of that hotness -- only this time on a smartphone platform that actually has multitasking and, you know, a future.

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
18

Sprint, Microsoft Using gpsOne Chips for Really Real?

That seems to be the case, check out the details that crossed the wires yesterday:

Starting on Tuesday, when Sprint Nextel customers use the search bar in their phone browsers, the results will automatically incorporate the users' location. Some customers will also be able to use voice commands to conduct searches.
The capabilities are an extension of a relationship that Microsoft and Sprint formed late last year that initially involved including Microsoft's Live Search in the browser on Sprint phones.

Read: Yahoo! News

I ignored this story initially because the handsets mentioned were bland feature phones. Then DrDoom pointed out that there's no reason LBS can't work on devices like the Mogul very very soon. Seems like a no-brainer that it should be built into Live Search.

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

In a thread in our forums where folks are discussing the fact that the Treo 500v doesn't have WiFi (more on that below), Windows Mobile superuser surur points something out that I didn't know:

Mal, did you know this neat trick. If you go to PIE, and type in the address bar file://computername/ you can browse your shared network files. No additional software needed. This of course only works when connected internally to the network, usually via WIFI.

That is a neat trick. As surur says, it will only work on Wifi-enabled Windows Mobile devices that are on a network with Windows-shared files. As Malatesta (the referenced "Mal") points out, it's a little eerie for open networks. If nothing else, consider it yet another reason to make sure your WiFi network is secured and that you know what you are and are not sharing on your computers.

Anyhow, the whole thread is a great discussion on whether or not WiFi is a necessary component on modern Windows Mobile devices. My own personal feeling is that:

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3

HTC US Head Honcho Resigns

If you love Windows Mobile, you probably love HTC. The company has done more than any other to innovate on the Windows Mobile platform, consistently releasing a dizzying array of new models and new form factors year after year. HTC's United States HQ in Bellevue, Washington has an open office right now, though, as the man in charge there resigned earlier this month:

Todd Achilles, the face of HTC Americas in the United States and throughout the Americas, resigned about a month ago, a company spokesperson said.

The smartphone vendor is actively pursuing candidates to replace Achilles, said Jason Gordon, an HTC spokesman.

Read: RCR Wireless News via Engadget Mobile

I doubt we'll see any serious repercussions, though that's not to say that Achilles hasn't been an important force in the company. As the linked article mentions, Achilles appears to have been big on innovating by helping HTC release devices that aren't strictly Windows Mobile - HTC Shift anyone? Here's a suggestion for the replacement guy: You can quit pretending HTC is a tiny niche player and start throwing your weight around. Your first opportunity: force carriers to name the devices consistently, so I can stop referring to your gadgets with slash after slash after slash. HTC Tilt / 8925 / Kaiser, I'm looking at you.

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0

Blackjack 2 Rocks Touchscreen?

After reading Andrew's full-throated defense of the Treo over at Treonauts, I was slightly abashed to realize that the Treo really does still have a very nice form factor - it's just that Palm got it right early and hasn't managed to significantly improved on it. To wit:

The Treo 680, 750 and 755p are still the smallest and lightest smartphones featuring both a large high resolution touchscreen and full QWERTY keyboard on the market today!!! [The Treo weighs 5.4 ounces while competing devices in this category are between 5.6 and 6.33 ounces.]

Exclamation points aside, he's right that a combination of a one-handed QWERTY keyboard and a hi-res screen is still an ideal form factor and one that I'd like to return to someday. "Someday" being "when Palm finally gets off their duff and throws a 320x320 screen into the Treo 750," because that really shouldn't be all that difficult (they've done it just fine with the PalmOS 755 and 680).

However, in the past few days I've realized that some other company is likely to challenge Palm in this particular form factor space - that company just might be Samsung. Mobility Today is one among many sites showing a photo and video of this sweet-looking Blackjack-esque device. The spec sheet is literally a list of the things that Palm has failed to deliver on (in the US, anyway):

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0

AT&T Tilt, Samsung SCH-i760, XV6800 in the wild

Mobility Today scored some live shots of the hottest sliders coming this fall. On the Verizon side we have the UTStarComm XV6800, which has a blue casing that manages to look even uglier than its name sounds. Also on Verizon we have the near Samsung slider and I agree with Ciccone - it's a lot chunkier than I expected.

The real hotness, though, is our first real shot of an AT&T branded Tilt instead of unlocked Kaisers. The good news is that, except for the badge, there appears to be virtually no change. The bad news is that, according to Engadget Mobile, the Tilt will be missing it's rumored launch date tomorrow due to "some pesky network certification issues."

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
9

Palm Treo 500 Emerges, Updated with New Pics

Well look what we have here, a shiny new image of the Palm Treo 500, nee the Palm Gandolf, which will be announced officially on Sept. 12th. Things that we have confirmed now:

  1. It's not as ugly as the PalmOS Centro and it thankfully a bit wider, making typing easier
  2. 3G, thank the lord, though no word if it's HSPDA or UMTS for sure (put your money on HSDPA)
  3. Windows Mobile 6 Standard Edition (i.e. no touch screen, a first for Palm)
  4. It's a Treo, the Treo 500.

(In short, we were right all along.)

We're happy to see that Palm is keeping the "Treo" moniker on it, contrary to recent rumblings. We're also happy to see that it's being called the Treo 500 - sorta makes sense since many consider a non-touchscreen device to be less powerful than touchscreen brethren. Sadly, the screen here is dark, so we don't know yet if Palm has cooked in any of their fabled UI improvements onto Windows Mobile Standard or not.

After the break, the full image along with some nice marketing copy from a phone shop in the Netherlands, plus babelfish's best attempt at a translation.

Update 1: When it rains, it pours, Alles Windows Mobile has specs:

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
53

Palm Announces Treo 500v

I present you with an equation:

Yet Another Qwerty Keyboard Windows Mobile Smartphone +
Thicker than the competition +
No ringer switch (!) +
Tri-Band GMS and only the 2100 Band on UMTS means it won't work well in the United States +
We already gave you all the deets ourselves yesterday
=
Yawn.

Sorry, Palm. I'll give you points for trying and maybe I'll change my tune when I get my hands on one, but after all this, I still don't understand why I wouldn't get a Dash, or a Blackjack, or a Q9H (when it arrives). The Treo 500v is a big, wet kiss for Vodafone and their network, but on this side of the pond I can't say we're especially jealous. See, we had our first kiss a long time ago when the Q hit and have been smooching thin little smartphones ever since. Er, not so much smooching and holding them up to our cheeks, but you get the idea. YAQKWMS indeed.

Ok, ok, ok. I will give you points for the generous 150mb of user storage and the long battery life. Plus, nice job finally ditching that hateful Treo Athena connector in favor of miniUSB. Don't ever go back.

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Pages