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App update: Twikini hits v1.6

Twikini, one of our more favorite Windows Mobile Twitter applications, just hit Version 1.6. First, the change log:

  • Bug fix: Fixes connectivity issue many T-Mobile users were experiencing when downloading timelines.
  • Bug fix: After a re-tweet, the highlighted tweet would be lost, and the newest tweet would be highlighted. Fixed this.
  • Improved: Tapping on a user's picture in the profile or tweet window will show a large picture of the user.
  • Improved: The profile window will show the date on which a user joined Twitter (this can be useful when deciding whether to follow someone).
  • Improved: Added "My Profile" (under the Tools menu) to quickly check your own profile.
  • Improved: URL shortening will use http://j.mp instead of Bit.ly, which will give you 2 extra characters. (Note: j.mp is part of Bit.ly).

Now, the real interesting part: If you've previously purchased Twikini from the Trinket Software Web site, you can head on over there (or use the in-app version check feature) and get the upgrade.

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The dust has quickly settled from Microsoft's launch of Windows Mobile 6.5 and the introduction of the Windows phone.  The launch drew mixed reactions ranging from the positive to the down right hostile.  Having seen cooked versions of Windows Mobile 6.5 as well as the numerous screen shots and reports the actually release of WM 6.5 wasn't earth shattering.

Did Microsoft accomplish what they set out to do with Windows Mobile 6.5?  One article described the Windows Mobile 6.5 launch week as "Microsoft Mobile's worst week ever".  Ease on past the break to see why I think most of these naysayers may be missing the boat.

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Welcome to the Microsoft Store

Hey, so what if Microsoft borrowed an idea or two from other successful retailers. These things happen. It's good to see them getting the brand out there. And a Microsoft store is just the way to do it. Commercials are good, but you have to get products in customers' hands. And judging by the reaction the video above, it opening day either was a rousing success, or they were pumping in some good stuff.

Any of you guys and gals out there hit up a store yet? Let us know in the comments.

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Ballmer confirms Zune in next version of Windows Mobile

By now it's hardly a secret that we're expecting some sort of Zune integration in Windows Mobile 7. Microsoft has been fairly coy about it, though nobody's really been buying that.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (that's him on the right) dropped word today during The Engadget Show that Zune will be coming to the next version of Windows Mobile.

For Zune he says Windows Mobile is going to get integration in the next release -- which is a comforting thought, if perhaps a bit late.

So there you have it. Good riddance, Windows Media Player.

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Ballmer takes the WinMo numbers game

It's easy for us to forget that smartphones are, first and foremost, a business. We (and you) certainly love our devices. Good thing we have Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer around to remind us it's really all about the numbers.

Gizmodo recently had a sit-down with the boss and grilled him on Windows Mobile 6.5. We mostly got the standard, partner-pleasing lines:

"I think there's a lot of great Windows phones out there now, coming to market now, based upon Windows Mobile 6.5. ..."

On 6.5 not really being up to snuff:

"I think Windows Mobile 6.5 enables a new generation of exciting Windows phones. That's what I believe. Reviews aside, that's what I believe."

On the future:

"Will there be a next release? Sure. And a release after that? Sure. And a release after that? Sure. There will always be new releases."

And, those blessed numbers:

"It's kind of a horse race right now. It's not like any one of the phones, at least on a unit volume, ah, perspective, has distinguished itself from the others -- except Nokia."

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HD2's multitouch shows its stuff

Just realized we'd made you guys go more than 24 hours without some drool-worthy HTC HD2 footage. Sorry about that. Hope the shakes weren't too bad. To make up for it, here's some video goodness from TechBlog.gr of the HD2 in all its 4.3-inch, capacitive touchscreen, slap-your-momma-Snapdragon-is-so-fast goodness. Oh, yeah, and that is multitouch you see in action.

Bring it, HTC. Bring. It.

Via Mobile Tech World and wmpoweruser

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Shake it for a screenshot ...

Say you like screen shots. And say you really like to shake your phone. (C'mon, who doesn't?) Now, would you believe the two have been combined? ShakeandSave (CAB file) allows you to now only shake your phone whenever you want -- it'll take a screen shot when you do it. Brilliant!

Extreme-Apps via AllShadow

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Speaking of Xbox and Windows Mobile ...

Just yesterday we were reporting about Mobile GamerTag, a free application that pulls down your Xbox information (we suppose for  literal "in your face" bragging rites) and now, MobileTechWorld how found some hints about Xbox & the future of Windows Mobile 7 via that old standby: Microsoft help wanted ads.

Specifically, two jobs are being offered, one being a Developer Account Manager "...to own and drive the relationship with our top mobile entertainment development partners. You will work closely with our...Windows Mobile and Xbox LIVE platform teams..."

Basically this lucky dude or dudette gets to fly around, talking to and working with game developers, showing them just how sa-weet Windows Mobile 7 is at gaming.  (I'm pretty sure I want that job! --Mal)

Second job is for a 3PP (3rd Party) Account Manager  who "..will act as the day to day contact for publishers within Microsoft" including securing exclusive games for Windows Mobile.

Hey, sounds all good to us.  Actually any mention of Xbox and Winodws Moible in the same sentence sounds good. We just hope WM7 delivers on this end because it is sorely lacking and way, way overdue.  Read much more on the job details here.

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Dashwire shutting down Dec. 31, will be re-branded

Back on Oct. 5, Dashwire announced an exclusive partnership with Best Buy to offer its services for free to new customers buying smartphones. Certainly a unique choice. But with Microsoft's MyPhone being nearly ubiquitous now, we suppose not so much a good one.

The bad news is for you existing Dashwire users.  Evidently on Dec. 31, 2009, Dashwire will stop working.  You apparently have the option to back up your data to a desktop and/or "...migrate your information to services from Dashwire licensees if you’re interested" -- though we're not too sure how to do that just yet nor are we sure if it'll cost anything.

Anyways, now may be a good time to explore alternatives.  Dashwire, we wish you luck with that Best Buy thing.

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Windows 7 launching tomorrow - who's in?

Unless you've been living under a rock, you're probably well aware that Windows 7 will be officially released tomorrow, Oct. 22. For you new folks out there (and we know you're there), we've been using Windows 7 since the first beta was released in January, and it's played quite nicely with Windows Mobile. So, no worries there. No get to upgrading!

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AT&T Tilt 2 for $149 on Amazon; $99 at LetsTalk

It's hardly a secret that you almost always can find a phone for less just days after its release, if you know where to look. And one such place for the AT&T Tilt 2 is Amazon, where the Touch Pro 2 variant is going for $149.99, plus free activation. That not enough of a discount? How about $99 at LetsTalk? (Thanks to kxs783kms in the forums for that one.) OK, raise your hands. Who's kicking themselves right now?

Amazon via Gear Diary

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Xperia X2 passes the FCC, but it comes without US 3G

The good news: The Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 has passed the FCC. The bad news: This is the European variety, which lacks the U.S. 3G bands. But, it does mean you can import the X2, if you're so inclined. Whether you'll be willing to spend that kind of cash for great hardware and a sometimes-frustrating software experience is a completely different question. (Peep Dieter's hands-on if you need a reminder why.)

FCC via Unwired View

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Hands-On: Xperia X2

Maybe I'm a little jaded after waiting so long for the Xperia X1 only to have it land, look impressive, but fail to make a big impact on the Windows Mobile world. Don't get me wrong - the Xperia X2 is very nice: the build quality is amongst the best of the couple dozen devices I've handled here at CTIA. From the slider to the feel of the keyboard to the subtle curve on the lower-rear of the phone, everything is top-notch.

Not so top-notch, the latest iteration of Sony's Panel's interface. It's awfully pretty and definitely the sort of things you can use to wow your friends and shame your enemies, but only if you're careful to stick with one panel and not switch between your different options, as the lag starting them up is a little disappointing. Perhaps it's time Sony moved beyond the standard 256RAM/512ROM 528MHz Qualcomm processor and into the big time if they're going to try to power interfaces that are this dynamic.

Still, the 480x800 screen and 8mp camera can't help but impress. I can definitely see Sony fans coveting this and I can't blame them for it, the X2 is a very futuristic-looking rig, I just wish the internals we are futuristic as its looks.

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Touch Pro 2 & U.S. Cellular: Getting Ready to Launch


Anyone remember how U.S. Cellular is suppose to get the famed Touch Pro 2?  And anyone remember how we told you that they'd be the first CDMA carrier to launch it with WM6.5?

We bet U.S. Cellular customers do.

Good news is it seems like that carrier is gearing up for launch days as an information/specifications page has shown up via backdoor access. And yeah, Windows Mobile 6.5 is on board, so the wait was probably worth it.  And do we spot Manilla 2.5 with those colorful icons too?  Hmmm...

Possible bad news? No confirmation on a 3.5mm headset jack but we do see it includes a Multifunction audio cable, which doesn't bode well.

thanks bassgeek!

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Xbox on Windows phones (kinda) with Mobile GamerTag

Since it seems like ol' Microsoft is never going to get around to giving us even the slightest bit if Xbox integration with our Windows phones, at least not until presumably WM7, it'll be up to intrepid developers to fill in the gap.

I'm not sure why it has taken literally years for someone to do this (the Palm Pre has had this for months now--for shame!) but alas, someone has and that would be at x360me.com with Mobile GamerTag.

Now the program is still early in development, so all you can do now is view a single Xbox gamertag along with some game stats albeit render beautifully in VGA graphics (seriously, it's very nice).  You can search for any gamer and it checks with a 3rd party server to pull down the info. Not amazing but cool.

Future option include auto-updates, more resolution support and adding/maintaining friends.  Grab it here.

See Microsoft, it's not too hard to throw us a bone.

via BestWMApps

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How's the Marketplace treating you?

All right, folks. We're gonna leave this one totally up to you guys. We're two weeks into the Windows Marketplace for Mobile. At the time of this writing, there are 273 apps available, the majority of which are not free.

So, how's your Marketplace experience been? Hit up the poll below and give us your take in the comments. Oh, and while we're thinking about it, take the time to add your own review of an app in the Marketplace, and use the start rating system. It'll help us all when it comes to time decide whether to purchase.

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We don't usually cover the ins and outs of ROM-cooking community for several reasons. No. 1, it's huge. No. 2, cooked ROMs are updated seemingly daily, especially for HTC phones. And No. 3, it's a little nefarious, and Microsoft should be commended for giving it a nod and a wink.

All that said, let's talk cooked ROMs for a minute.

The first official releases of Windows Mobile 6.5 in the United States have come on the AT&T Pure and Tilt 2, and the Samsung Intrepid on Sprint. As we discussed in our review of Windows Mobile 6.5, the builds we're seeing largely have the same look and feel of what was first announced nearly eight months ago. Meanwhile, we've seen newer and newer builds leak out, dubbed Windows Mobile 6.5.1.

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Palringo 2.0 Gets Released, Overhauled

Looks like Palringo, a free and popular instant messaging program, has been officially bumped up to v2.0. See our full review/feature tour here.

Of note is that starting with v1.42, you can now hide the gangly status bar & adjust font sizes, addressing one my complaints of earlier versions.

Download here. (Note: the mobile site is still hosting v1.42, so use this link instead).

The changelog is quite large, though the app still basically looks the same:

  • Completely new install/uninstall process
  • Automatic updates now only notify users that an update is available - downloading is manually approved
  • Settings->Display->Group join/leave alerts
  • Settings->Display->Contact List (item size) option
  • Settings->Display->Tab size option replaces "Large Buttons" option.
  • Contact list can now be filtered by service type, so you can effectively have a separate list for Facebook/MSN/Yahoo etc.
  • Added private message spam filter for Palringo service
  • Edit Profile link from overview screen
  • Automatic detail expansion display on reduced contact list items
  • Optimized list rendering code
  • Optimized avatar rendering
  • Default filenames for saving images
  • Reformatting of photos has been made more reliable
  • Miscellaneous other bug fixes and optimizations
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