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Quick Tip: You May Not Want aGPS On

We've gone to great lengths to explain the differences between GPS and aGPS and also generally celebrated the arrival of full-on aGPS on many a carrier. One thing, though, if you have one of these fancy, aGPS phones, you may not necessarily want to have the thing on, because it could potentially make your GPS acquisition times worse.

The advice comes to us by way of MyTodayScreen and here's the nut of it: if you're using an unlocked device or an otherwise non-carrier-supported device, it's a good bet that turning on aGPS is going to lengthen your acquisition time as the assisted part of it tries (and fails) to get location information from the local tower. They ran into the issue using a TouchHD, where turning off aGPS sped up acquisition time significantly. I've had the same issue on the HTC s740 on AT&T: turning off aGPS made a big difference for me, too.

Yeah, sorry, it's not a simple situation (this stuff never is). Even if you are using a fully-supported device on its proper carrier and aGPS is up and running in your area, it's still one more potential point of failure. Just because things are getting better on the GPS front doesn't mean that Microsoft, manufacturers, and carriers don't have a long way to go to making location hardware simple.

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3

Rogers to Carry a Bootload of WinMo Devices

Canadian GSM carrier Rogers has decided that they like Windows Mobile, apparently, as next year they'll be snapping up pretty much everything that's on the roadmap. What's in store for the first half of 2009? Xperia X1, Check. HTC Diamond and Touch Pro: Check. Heck, they're even snapping up also-rans like the Motorola Q11 (Think Q9 minus 3G plus WiFi), Touch Viva, and Touch 3G.

These and more juicy details at the HoFo thread where the leaked slides of their roadmap appear.

Get some reasonable data rates on the network and, well, we might just consider brushing up on our Canadian accents.

Thanks, Bla1ze!

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Grab Some Free Icons for SBSH Calendars

SBSH Mobile Developers have released three icon packages that are available as free downloads. The new icon packages are the medical, personal and sports packages that are compatible with Calendar Touch for Windows Mobile Professional devices and Calendar for Windows Mobile Standard devices. The icons can be used with appointments and agendas within these two calendar applications.

Here are the links for each icon package.

SBSH Medical: Windows Pro or Windows Mobile Standard

SBSH Personal: Windows Mobile Pro or Windows Mobile Standard

SBSH Sports: Windows Mobile Pro or Windows Mobile Standard

The three icon packages include eighty-four icons ranging from basketballs to a band-aid to power drill. All destined to add a little more flair to your SBSH calendar.

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Qik Adds Yet More WM Phones for Live Video Streaming

Qik, an awfully good live video streaming service, has added over 20 Windows Mobile phones to their compatibility list. The latest Treos from Palm, the Epix and Omnia from Samsung, and a slew of HTC devices from the Touch Pro to the Vodafone PDA 9600 have all been added.

Add this to their last round of updates and there's a better than average chance that Qik will support your Windows Mobile Smartphone at this point.

[via MobileAppsToday

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1

Sony to drop HTC as ODM, OMGBBQ

Digitimes reports [via the Unwired View] that Sony has selected Taiwanese Original Device Manufacturer Mobinnova to produce future WinMo devices for them, dropping HTC. Mobinnova was new to our ears, but it turns out it's just a subsidiary of Foxconn, so the grand tradition of only having a half-dozen or so big WinMo manufacturers continues.

It's not uncommon for a company to bounce around their ODMs between devices (Exhibit A: Palm), but we're seriously wondering if this was really a good idea for S-E. Sure, Mobinnova might have given them a better price -- and given the price and lack of availability of the Xperia X1, it's tough to blame Sony Ericsson for looking elsewhere. On the other hand, Sony Ericsson is still pretty new at this WinMo thing, you'd think that having HTC's experience for at least another device or two would be helpful.

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It's Not the Specs, It's the Experience

mystery-phone.jpg

So tell us, how does this sound for a dream WM phone?

  • 800x400 Tetra-VGA resolution
  • 3.9 inch Projected Capacitance Touch technology with 95 SVI
  • WCDMA / HSPA: 900/2100MHz. HSDPA 7.2 Mbps + LTE
  • Scaled integrated WM architecture
  • WLAN: 802.11b/g + WiMax
  • Dynamic distributed 4mb cache
  • Optimized multimedia protocol (RiGB, Tif, Xled)
  • Connectivity: Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz + CDMA 1x
  • An integrated object-oriented protocol
  • 624mhz Snapdragon main processor; 412mhz Xtel Preprocessor
  • BlueTooth 2.1 (EDR, GAP, GOEP, SPP, HSP, HFP 1.5, PAN, BPP, AVRCP)
  • 1GB Pseudostatic RAM (PSRAM)

...all for running the yet unannounced "WM6.5 MultiMedia Ultimate" set for a Q2 wide release.

If you are like most people who read this and other tech sites, your jaws should be on the floor upon reading those specs. You may now lift your cracked chins, my little Guinea Pigs. Not only is that phone made up, but so are some of those "specifications". Why the cruel joke? As it turns out, you fell in line just like a bunch of nerdy researchers predicted you would.

Read on to find out why spec hounds like, ahem, us have skewed perceptions of device reality.

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Unlock GPS For Verizon: Touch Pro (Not Omnia or Saga)

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No surprises here if you've been following the ROM modding community, but it looks like lllboredlll over at ppcgeeks has figured out how unlock the standalone GPS on that odd Verizon Touch Pro. This is of course before Verizon "officially" does it sometime next year.

The method is old hat for many and is unfortunately not as easy as installing a simple .cab. but it's not too bad either. Basically you have to copy a .dll to your card, install a .cab, navigate to find ppst.exe, run it and follow the prompts.

There is also an updated hack to fix the banner (as it changes with this hack) and to enable aGPS, but this one is more tricky as it involves running QPST (Qualcomm Product Support Tool), which is a pretty serious program for modifying core radio properties--so be careful!

What about you Verizon Omnia and Saga users? Sorry, no luck so far on those ends but people are trying (and Verizon is promising).

We'll keep you posted.

ppcgeeks via BGR

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5

LIVE Tonight: Smartphone Round Robin Round Table

Tonight at 8pm Eastern, get yourself away from your families and point your browser at http://www.imore.com/live. As we did two weeks ago, we're recording another Smartphone Round Robin Roundtable podcast. This time, though, we'll be LIVE. We'll be rounding out our smartphone discussion, focusing on the T-Mobile G1 and the Fuze, then talking about the Round Robin overall.

Best part, though, is we'll have a chat going where you can chime in, talk to each other, and ask us questions -- which we'll answer LIVE towards the end of the show. We've let UStream know that we'll be hitting their service hard, so head on over and take a listen!

Again, that's 8pm Eastern tonight at http://www.imore.com/live.

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Last Day to Enter to Win a Fuze from WMExperts (Updated)

In case you missed it earlier this week, HTC has given us a Fuze to give away to one of our gentle readers -- that's you. Seriously, we have the box right here at HQ and, well, it's the first time in years we haven't torn open a smartphone package like hungry dogs looking for steak. Head on over to the contest post and comment before 8am Eastern on Friday morning -- any comment that offers some sort of tip, trick, or advice about how you'd use the Fuze will do.

If you don't luck out here, though, fret not. Over at http://howifuze.com, HTC is giving away 120 of the suckers, along with a grand prize of twenty five grand. Yeah, really. Heck, even if you don't luck out there either, you still can use it as a nice demo to send to people who don't understand how to use TouchFlo 3D (Hi Rene!).

Update: Since we're already all Meta-WME here on this post, one more thing. CrackBerry Kevin is starting the penultimate round of the Smartphone Round Robin a little late and could use some help with the Fuze. Go on and help him out at this thread and, yes, it's yet another chance for you to win a Fuze. That plus a Redfly C8N. Show Kevin that Windows Mobile don't need no stinkin' virtual BlackBerry software slapped on!

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Notification Fix for Epix Pops up

Got an Epix? Noticed that when the sucker is in standby/powersave mode, no matter what you do in the notifications settings, emails just won't make noise? It's not your fault. No no no, it's not your fault. It's not your fault.

Now that you've let that angst out, go on and grab the pdf explaining how to download the hotfix. Or really, just grab the cab file from here (hint: click the 'etc' link at the very bottom of the software tab). This direct cab link, but don't forget that since it's a cab and not a ROM patch, you're going to need to reinstall after a hard reset.

via pocketnow

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8

CrackBerry.com Excoriates the Fuze in Video Fashion

The Smartphone Round Robin is nearly done, everybody, as each site works on its final round 'away from home.' This week, Kevin at CrackBerry.com throws some hate down on the HTC Fuze. Apparently, like Rene at TiPb, he's not a fan of the reponsiveness of the touchscreen, which appears to be causing the majority of his problems with the UI.

That's actually a complaint I've heard elsewhere as well and I've also heard that the Euro-version, the Touch Pro, is better in this regard. For me, the trick for 'getting' how the Fuze's touchscreen works is that there seems to be a significant different between how it deals with flat-finger swiping and fingertip tapping. If you use the flat of your finger and swipe, it almost always registers correctly as a swipe. To tap/select, you use the tip of your finger and press just a little harder. To be sure, neither is as responsive as a capacitive touchscreen would be, but it is a pretty elegant way of dealing with the resistive limitation -- once you know about it, that is.

What say you, did we mess up going with the Fuze for this year's Round Robin? Would a BlackJack II have gotten a better reception? Comment here on that or any other Round Robin subject to be entered to win a Fuze and a Redfly C8N.

Speaking of Fuze giveaways, our Fuze Sweepstakes Extravaganza ended on Friday and we've randomly chosen a winner: dlevymd! dlevymd looks to be currently using a Tilt, so this will be a nice upgrade:

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4 of 5 Consumer Reports Top Smartphones Run Windows Mobile

The thing that always scares me about Consumer Reports is that their smartphone recommendations always seemed a little ..off.. to me, so I would worry that their preferences for things like washing machines would also be off and I would never know it.

This year, though, Matt Miller points out that they gave some love to Windows Mobile and kindly lets us glimpse the important deets from their January paper-edition to see what their top five are:

  1. BlackJack II
  2. T-Mobile Wing
  3. Motorola Q9c
  4. T-Mobile Shadow
  5. BlackBerry Pearl Flip

Some kudos to ya, CSR -- the BlackJack II is probably one of the most under-rated smartphones out there. It's fast (though not fast enough for me), solid, well-built, and has great battery life. I'm also inordinately fond of the T-Mobile Shadow and the Motorola Q9c is pretty darn good too. All around, these phones are a great mix of power and affordability, a factor I have to assume kept such phones as the Touch Pro and, yes, even the iPhone 3G out of contention -- though it could also be, as Miller surmises, that they just didn't get to them in this round.

I have to ask, though, T-Mobile Wing? Really? It's a great phone and all, but build quality and speed leave much to be desired.

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Look for the Shadow II in late January

There's been another sighting of the T-Mobile Shawdow II, and this time we have a release date to go with it, courtesy of TmoNews.

When last we saw the Shadow II, we were reporting a delay past the holidays and into the first quarter of 2009. The TmoNews post is in line with that, citing Jan. 28 as the day to mark on your calendars.

It's also looking more and more like this thing won't have T-Mo's brand of 3G out of the gate. But there should still be WiFi and T-Mobile @Home access, so that's still better than nothing for you data hounds.

The story also specs the phone with Windows Mobile 6.1, so we're still in search of the first device to launch with the fabled Windows Mobile 6.5.

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