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Video: 56 seconds of Touch Pro 2

Not sure which we're more disappointed about here: That we only get 56 seconds of Touch Pro 2 and TouchFLO 3D action, or that there was some good blogger smack talk going on and we didn't get to hear the end of it. Oh, but to be a fly on that wall.

Via wmpoweruser

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GPSToday: Killer GPS app for WM

There are a few true killer apps on Windows Mobile and GeoTerrestrial's GPSToday is certainly a contender (Live Search is the other).

What is GPSToday?

As far as I can tell, it fills in the gaps that other GPS programs leave open. From my experience, its main function is to simply tell you where you are in the world. But unlike Google Maps/Live Search, which just shows your physical location on a map, GPSToday goes one step further by getting your coordinates, translating that into a real street address and displaying it directly on your Today screen (via the plugin).

All of this happens within about 15 seconds and a simple touch of an icon.

There is also the ability to attach your GPS coordinates automatically to photos, see your location of your contacts automatically and get directions to and from places. Plus the new feature: GPS weather, where it will show your weather directly based on your GPS coordinates. All wrapped up in a nice, simple (and currently free) program.

Read on for the feature breakdown and brief review!

Breakdown

 

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IM+ Gets Major Update to v6

 

If you're already a user of the popular instant messaging app IM+, you may have been notified of a "major" update last night.  Upon downloading it seems the Shape Sevices guys have bumped it to v6.0.1.  (Read Tim's earlier review for WM Standard)

In short, they overhauled the graphics, added buddy icon support (finally), Facebook chat (in addition to MySpace) and a new feature whereby you can sign off but IM+ will keep you logged in, then when an IM comes in for you, they forward it as an email aka 'Push IM'.  Interesting. The Today plugin also got a bit of graphics sharpening, though no major changes.

So far I'm liking the new look and added features, though for $39.95 it is mighty pricey for an IM program.  On the other hand, free upgrades sweeten the deal a bit.  Unforuntaltey, there is no sign of any "speech to text" feature as was reported for BlackBerrySigh.  Maybe later?

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More evidence of a Touch Pro 2 world edition

We'd seen rumors that two of HTC's soon-to-be-released phones, the Touch Pro 2 and Snap, could well be sporting CDMA and GSM radios for some worldwide fun, and now we've got some official evidence to go with it.

Engadget spied a document in FCC testing of the Touch Pro 2 (aka Rhodium) that states there are in fact two radios on board, and that the GSM side "has been disabled by firmware and is SIM locked for all US operators."

So what's that mean? It's a world phone all right, but don't expect to be rocking dual CDMA/GSM in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Another item of note here is that there are two FCC IDs, the Rhodium 400 and the Rhodium 500, which very likely means versions for Sprint (which we just saw) and Verizon (which we don't expect to see anytime soon - see VZW Touch Diamond). Stay tuned.

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T-Mobile gets new hotness, old (er, former) hotness

That's right. Not only is T-Mobile expected to get the new HTC Snap and Touch Pro 2, it's also bringing back Catherine Zeta-Jones to pitch the phones. Not that we needed another reason to pick one up, but we'll take it. [via Fierce Wireless]

To help drive home the message that millions of Americans could save money on their wireless service, a familiar face and voice, Catherine Zeta-Jones, is again featured in T-Mobile's television advertising. In the ads, she prompts people to get a Mobile Makeover in order to help determine if they are currently paying too much for their wireless services, and where to find the best value, based on their individual needs.

"As an avid T-Mobile customer, I'm delighted once again to help T-Mobile carry its message to millions of Americans about the great value they deliver," Zeta-Jones said. "The Mobile Makeover campaign is a smart way to show consumers that they could save some serious money."

After the break, we relive some good times with our favorite Welsh actress. (Updated with the new commercial!)

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Zune integration listed in Windows Mobile 7 job listing

Microsoft is getting really good at giving us clues as to the future of Windows Mobile through its job listings. That's how we first learned of Windows Marketplace for Mobile. That's how we first learned of plans to finally fix over-the-air updates. That's where we learned of some mobile plans for Halo. And now, a biggie.

One of the worst-kept secrets in the mobile world is that Zune software is likely to play a big part in Windows Mobile 7. And a new job listing for a software developement engineer confirms this.

Responsibilities - Deliver core platform technology to internal and external partners. Effectively design, schedule, build and deliver on a v1 product and existing products. Collaborate with partners such as Outlook Mobile, Database, Zune, Shell, and OS. Deliver detailed specifications for the technical architecture of the system. Help mentor other members on the Dev team.

This looks like a job that will involve tying the room together, much like a nice area rug. Full job listing's after the break, but it's summed up here:

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First there was the CEO shakeup, then the revelation that the Xperia X1 was "an experiment" that didn't really pay off as hoped, and now this. Sony Ericsson needs some money. When we say some, we mean something like 100 million Euros, which works out to about $135 million U.S.[NYT via Giz]

That's not to say all's lost for ol' SE. We've seen what a large infusion of funding can do to a mobile company (lookin' at you, Palm). And while SE's not seeking anywhere near that level of funding, these are different times from when rock star Bono and Elevation Partners came to the resecue, and money's not flowing so freely. But hang in there, SE. Maybe that rumored X2 will turn things around.

[image source]

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Well, following up on our earlier post about those fancy-schmancy new HTC devices reportedly heading to Sprint, some much wanted specs have since come out.

Paul over at MoDaCo not only has the quite lovely features but also their launch names:

  • HTC Diamond = HTC Touch Diamond
  • HTC Raphael = HTC Touch Pro
  • HTC Titanium = HTC Touch Dual Pro

That latter one we haven’t heard much about but evidently it’s the updated version of the current Touch Dual, which makes sense if they are refreshing the regular Touch. The Titanium/Touch Dual Pro is speculated to have that current slider dial pad but otherwise keeps the Touch Pro’s specs.

And what are those specs for the Touch Pro (Raphael) and Touch Diamond? Lets just say please make sure you are currently sitting down before you click that "read more" link!

Now it's unclear if all of these specs will be in the CDMA versions, as features like FM radio can be disabled, etc. But here is what we know about the Touch Diamond & Raphael:

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Palm Treo 800w - Noooooo disassemble!

Maybe you're the kind of person who just has to know how things work. Maybe you like picking the wings off flies. Or maybe you broke your Palm Treo Pro 800w and actually want to try to fix it yourself.

There's a disassembly (and, thus, reassembly) guide over at MyTreo.net. Among the tools you'll need: A Torx T5 screwdriver, Philips screwdriver, a small flathead screwdriver and a pair of big brass ones that would make ol' Chester Nimitz stand up and applaud.

Update: Yeah, yeah. It's an 800w. Photo label/link/sleep FAIL. Sorry 'bout that.

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Sprint Touch Pro 2 spotted, may drop mid-June

We've been hands-on with the unbranded HTC Touch Pro 2. We've seen it with T-Mobile markings. And now we're seeing it in its Sprint CDMA finest. User bigchico68 over at SprintUsers [via Engadget] got some time with it during an in-store demo. He says it should be available in mid-June, and says the Snap is on for July (that doesn't quite add up with what we've previously heard, but these things happen).

Not sure about the color scheme on the keyboard — the stock HTC look is much sexier, IOHO. But to each his own.

Couple of more pics after the break, including a new look at the back case.

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Review: Resco Keyboard Pro ver 5.22

 

There are all kinds of WM users.   Everyone has their own perfect way to use their mobile phone to do what they personally like to do best. Some like to send 386 text messages an hour, each with less than 4 characters each… while others tend to need to write mostly long emails. Some phones have hardware keyboards, while others do not. Because of these reasons, many WM users will often times throw everyone into two groups of WM users… those who love to use a hardware keyboard, and those who love to use a software keyboard.

If I had to lump myself into one of these two groups, I would honestly have a foot in each camp. Because of my work I tend to have to write long emails quite a bit. When this happens, I slide out my hardware keyboard on my Sprint Mogul phone and type away. But when I send a quick text or need to type only two keywords to do a Google search, I will use a software keyboard.
But have you tried to use the standard WM software keyboard without a stylus? If you haven’t, don’t even try it. It is just an exercise in frustration of hitting the wrong keys.   This is what led me to try Resco’s Keyboard Pro version 5.22 (I know the Resco website still says ver 5.21, but 5.22 is the latest). They promise that it is one handed finger friendly. After using it exclusively for several months now, I am ready to give my opinion on this claim…
 
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Microsoft opens Marketplace developer forums

The buzz is starting to grow among developers as we continue to wait for the official launch of Windows Marketplace for Mobile, and with it the launch of Windows Mobile 6.5.

The Microsoft Developers Network has opened developers forums, and the chatter is growing. Threads so far include "Do you have to use Microsoft's Development Tools?", "Wishlist for Windows Mobile Marketplace", "When can we expect a WM 6.5 SDK?", and a slew of others.

Most end users probably won't get too much out of it, but it's an interesting look at what goes on behind the scenes.

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Here we go, folks. We've combed through a mountain of entries (sorry it took so long) as we look to give away an AT&T Fuze and HTC Touch Dual. And we've learned a lot about you. Namely:

  • You guys need to be more careful in the bathroom.
  • Some people just don't get that water and phones don't mix.
  • Yes, the dog can eat it.
  • A bunch of you shouldn't be allowed outdoors. Period.

That said, all of the entries were great, and we had a heck of a time narrowing them down. But narrow we did. After the break, the winners, and their stories.

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Microsoft My Phone now an open beta

That little maintenance outage Microsoft My Phone underwent? Turns out it was an update to the Web portal. And alongside that will come an update to the phone client.

Oh, and the service is moving to an open beta. From the My Phone Team blog [via]:

With today’s release, we’re opening the beta to all users -- no more waiting list or promotional codes!

Can't put it any more plainly than that. So if you're looking for a way to sync your contacts, photos, text messages and more to the cloud and didn't get in on the closed beta, head on over to myphone.microsoft.com and give it a shot.

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Samsung GT-I8000 spotted

Back in February the WiFi Alliance outed a future Samsung Windows Mobile phone, the GT-i8000, which was sporting Windows Mobile 6.1. And that's about all that was known about it.

And we don't know too much more today, except that it's GSM-bound. The Unwired spied the above shot at the Global Certification Forum, which shows the radio frequencies it'll support. OK, that's not entirely true. As you can see, it'll have HSDPA, MMS and video telephony. Fairly standard stuff these days, huh?

Gentlemen, start your speculating engines.

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Ozzy Finally Steps up to a Smartphone

We'd seen Ozzy Osborne fiddling around with previous Samsung offerings - but they were featurephones.  Well now he's finally stepped up and gotten himself a real phone -- the Samsung Jack.  Said phone should be hitting AT&T's website for sale tomorrow -- anybody out there planning on joining Ozzy?

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Expect My Phone outages today

For all you users of Microsoft's My Phone sync service, things may be a little spotty today.

The My Phone service will be not be available on May 18 to enable deployment of a service upgrade.  During this maintenance period, you will be unable to access the My Phone web site or to sync your phone with the service.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

Hang in there, folks. This, too, shall pass.

Via LiveSide

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One burning question about Windows Marketplace for Mobile has been whether you will be able to purchase an app and use it on more than one phone. Granted, most people don't have a desk drawer full of Windows phones, but it's not unheard of to have a few in a household.

Computerworld reports via a Tech-Ed session that phones will have to be registered with the Marketplace, via Microsoft's Live ID system. But doing so will allow you to install an up on as many as five phones with a single purchase.

This is far from unheard of. You can purchase and load apps onto as many iPhones and iPod Touches as you want, provided that they're all under the same iTunes account. No biggie.

Even for Windows Mobile, it's not that huge a step. Most apps – not all – employ only a basic protection scheme. They're either limited in function under a "trial" basis or time out after a specified amount of time. (Kinoma Play is the first exception that comes to mind. It reports home to the mothership if you load it onto another phone.) But in most cases you can load the same app on a number of phones, provided you have the registration code.

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AT&T Samsung Epix unboxing

Remember the Blackjack III/Mirage/Samsung i788/AT&T Epix? The Boy Genius has gone and gotten his hands on one.

His first thought? This thing is fat. Not phat, not pfat, FAT. "Probably the thickest phone in their lineup," he says.

What else do we get?

  • An actual model name. i907, which a launch sheet originally leaked to BGR called the Mirage and said was is to be released Oct. 23. (Will it and the AT&T Fuze make it on time?)
  • Windows 6.1 Professional with haptic feedback.
  • That optical mouse Dieter cough loves so much.
  • GSM bands of 850, 1900 and 2100Mhz represented.
  • GPS.

BGR says the screen leaves much to be desired. Head on over, check out his gallery, and see for yourself. Well played, sir.

Edit: Fixed Fuze release date to Oct. 23 sted Oct. 2. What? You were squinting, too.

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Best of SPE, 17 May 2009

Each week we bring you the Best of SPE and this week is no exception. From Android to Windows Mobile and everything in between, we've got your smartphone news fix right here.

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