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7

Who's on board the Windows Marketplace

Microsoft recently touted a list of developers that already are on board for Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Someone the names are familiar. Some we talked to about their plans to join the Marketplace. Other names are a little more obscure.

Who's missing? Obviously scores of other developers, some small, some large. But this is a sure sign that the Marketplace will have some momentum when it's launched later this year.

After the break, we take a quick look at all of the names Microsoft released earlier at CTIA.

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When iPhones congregate, it's not unusual to hear a sucking sound – from the mass amounts of bandwidth being digested. So much so, that AT&T cracked under all the Apple weight at South by Southwest.

But the iPhone's sole U.S. carrier reportedly is again beefing up its network – it did so for EDGE before the original iPhone (2G) launch and again before the iPhone 3G – and that would mean faster speeds for all of us.

So the next time you're multitasking with your WinMo phone on AT&T's network, and you see someone with an iPhone, go ahead and thank them. Better yet, give 'em a hug and tell 'em "Thanks, from Windows Mobile." Then back away slowly. You can't be too careful. :)

Via The iPhone Blog

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OK, we were just about to break out the tinfoil hats and officially hop on board the Windows Mobile 7 conspiracy train over this one. We've already seen a couple of purported screenshots of the operating system that we're not expecting to see until next year. Now comes a video from the mothership itself. [via Engadget Mobile]

Take a look for yourself, as our curiosity was momentarily piqued. But it turns out that it was just a little flash presentation set up for the spot. So we're now going to go sit in the corner and remind ouselves (yet again) that there are months and months to go before we expect to see Windows Mobile 7.

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3

HTC Snap = T-Mobile Captain; No Inner Circle?

Here's an interesting tidbit: seems as if Conflipper (known for his custom-ROM work, especially with WM6.5) had gotten his mitts on the finalized ROM for the upcoming T-Mobile/HTC Snap which is rumored for a July release (see Dieter's video hands-on)

This is what he can discern from the ROM files:

  • Internal codename for T-mobile is "Captain" (aka Maple aka Snap aka Dash 3g)
  • Model number for HTC is S522
  • The much hyped "Inner Circle" files are not in the shipping ROM (!)
  • "A new feature...lets you send an Audio Postcard to your contacts, You take a picture from the camera, the camera will then give you a selection of boarders you can add to it. From there you can add a 60 second audio clip the the picture. And send it to either an email or a MMS account."

Obviously it is not 100% confirmed that HTC's new "Inner Circle" won't be there but as of now, it appears that in the final/shipping ROM, those files are currently missing and that is worrying.  Reasons for this decision, if true, are not known--perhaps HTC is still tweaking that new app?

We'll keep you posted.  Thanks Conflipper

One more bit: a headache inducing animated Gif after the break that's supposedly the startup screen for the T-mobile Captain.

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Here we have an unboxing of the HTC Touch Diamond 2. Unfortunately, it's not yours truly doing the unboxing; instead this video is shared by KnowYourMobile. [via wmpoweruser]

But good things come to those who wait, right? Dieter got a hands-on with the Touch Diamond 2 back at Mobile World Congress, and hopefully it won't be too much longer before it makes its debut, for reals, for all the good boys and girls.

And as a bonus, after the break, we bring you another hands-on video of the Touch Pro 2, courtesy of PocketPCItalia.

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8

Windows Mobile 6.5 Themes Surface

While we've learned that honeycombs are out with Windows Mobile 6.5, we are now getting a peak at some of the themes that should be included with WM 6.5. Istartedsomething.com has run across screen shots of the latest leaked version (build 21202) of Windows Mobile 6.5. The seven themes are attributed to designers Ron Arad, Vera Wang, Rock, Issac Mishrahi, and Diane von Furstenberg. Follow the break to see all seven leaked themes plus a video from pocketnow.com showcasing the themes.

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Best of SPE, CTIA 2009 Edition

This week three of our intrepid editors headed out to CTIA 2009 in Las Vegas to catch as much coverage as we could -- and catch it we did. From the Palm Pre emulating the PalmOS to BlackBerry App World to Hands-on time with the Nokia E71x to hands-on time with half a dozen Windows Mobile devices, it's been a pretty crazy week.

It wasn't all Vegas Baby, however. TiPb has been all over the rumors of next-gen iPhone hardware and both the iPhone and Android picked up new document editing capabilities.

You'll find the details on all of that and much more inside as we round up the best of Smartphone Experts!

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6

Verizon Touch Diamond rumored for April 10

It's release date rumor day here at WMExperts, and the latest nugget surrounds Verizon and the long-awaited release of the HTC Touch Diamond.

The Boy Genuis Report says that the Diamond finally (FINALLY) will see the light of day on April 10 -- that's this Friday!

Better late than never, we guess, and we'll go ahead and through out our prediction for the Touch Diamond 2: Verizon will get it on May 2, 2010; the rest of the world will get it in the next couple of months.

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1

T-Mobile Snap, Touch Pro 2 rumored for July

We've been halfway expecting for a little while now that some new HTC goodness would finally be making its way to T-Mobile, and now we've got some tentative release dates.

TMoNews is reporting that the HTC Snap (aka the Maple) will arrive July 1 to replace the venerable Dash, and the Touch Pro 2 (aka the Rhodium) could be released July 22 and be branded the Wing II.

Of course, this is all very unofficial and is subject to change. But in any case, it'll be nice to see some fresh Windows Mobile devices coming to T-Mobile.

 

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In what may end up being the shortest lived Terms of Service modifications we've witnessed, AT&T effectively banned and then unbanned some major data usage.

From the now rescinded AT&T TOS (emphasis ours):

This means, by way of example only, that checking email, surfing the Internet, downloading legally acquired songs, and/or visiting corporate intranets is permitted, but downloading movies using P2P file sharing services, customer initiated redirection of television or other video or audio signals via any technology from a fixed location to a mobile device, web broadcasting, and/or for the operation of servers, telemetry devices and/or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition devices is prohibited. Furthermore, plans(unless specifically designated for tethering usage) cannot be used for any applications that tether the device (through use of, including without limitation, connection kits, other phone/PDA-to computer accessories, Bluetooth® or any other wireless technology) to Personal Computers (including without limitation, laptops), or other equipment for any purpose.

After re-evaluating the language changes (and probably fielding countless complaints and reading a couple of blog posts), AT&T has retracted the changes.  By the end of the day, AT&T backpeddled at 3G speeds to make ammends.

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4

Update: Iris Mobile Browser

We're up to version 1.1.6 with the latest updated version of Torchmobile's Iris Mobile Browser. The enhancements of this latest version include: new registry flag to control the minimum/maximum zoom levels; history fixes; EUC-KR support improvements; performance improvements including 25% faster page loads, improved scrolling performance, and improved paint speed; as well as the customary improvements on hidden and site specific fixes.

You can download your copy of Iris at Torchmobile's Website or if you're already enjoying Iris, simply go to your options menu and check for updates.

[Read: FuzeMobility]

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The folks at PhoneScoop turned us on to a hidden little gem – a new Windows Mobile Satellite Phone that doesn't have a bulky external antenna. So, we made it a point to visit the TerreStar's booth here at CTIA and get our hands on a hybrid Satellite/3G Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional phone.

It's a prototype made up by Elektrobit, designed to use an upcoming satellite service by TerreStar. TerreStar plans on putting its satellite into geosynchronous orbit over North America in two to three months, providing satellite voice and data coverage for the U.S. and Canada. Follow the break for all the details and some pictures of this unique Windows Mobile phone.

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While most of us are waiting for widespread use of OLED screens on smartphones, there's another little screen technology -- brand name "mirasol" -- that Qualcomm is pushing.  It's based on MEMS and the short version is that it's highly reflective, takes very little power, and is currently monochrome only. 

At any rate, Inventec was hiding out at Qualcomm's booth with their v112.  Except for the aforementioned mirasol display, it's your standard Windows Mobile 6.1 GSM slab -- running a custom version of SPB Mobile Shell as a skin.  The mirasol display sits underneath a touch-sensitive area that acts as your 5-day d-pad and displays notifications, current song, or just the date.

Price and availability unclear, but Inventec claims they are hoping for a worldwide launch.  A few more shots below.

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Hands-On with the LG GM730

LG's most interesting / innovative phone at CTIA09 is definitely the GD900, which sports a multi-touch slide-down keypad that's also transparent.  It's pretty slick and we're hoping it's a sign of the innovation they intend to bring to all those Windows Phones they committed themselves to back at Mobile World Congress. Something else they committed themselves to at MWC: the LG GM730 (aka the Eigen).  It's a slab-form WinMo machine with the "S-Class UI," 240x400 screen, and a 5 megapixel camera.

Holding it in your hand, it's so obviously cribbed from the original iPhone it's hard to know what else to say about it -- the curves along the side are straight up iPhone.  The backing is a little classier, though, with a nice texture to it.

So while we expect great things from LG, we're hoping a bit of the innovation they're bringing to their featurephone lineup is able to cross over to Windows Mobile and do so right quick.

You know the drill: pics after the break, with bonus CTIA Booth Etiquitte complaint.

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2

Seven brings new Google calendar support

Ask us about ways to push e-mail to your phone, and the Seven beta inevitably comes up. And for good reason. It's pretty darn good. Now Seven has given a boost to calendar support, with specific love for Google calendar.

Here's what's being rolled out:

  • Ability to accept, reject or reschedule meetings and appointments: users can manage their calendar the same way they would on their desktop, enabling them to better manage their time.
  • Real-time, two-way synchronization: with SEVEN's true push capabilities, calendar updates are automatically, in real-time, synchronized between the server and the mobile device. The two-way synchronization increases users' productivity by letting them manage their Google Calendar on their phone while ensuring that changes are reflected on the server.
  • Meeting reminders: reminders, one of users' favorite calendar capabilities, are also available. Users can choose between visual and/or sound alerts as reminders of upcoming meetings. Users can dismiss or snooze the reminder.
  • Read/Write Offline Accessibility: with SEVEN, the Google Calendar is also accessible offline, for access outside of coverage areas or in places where the use of mobile phones is banned. When offline, users can not only view their Google Calendar, but they can also create, edit and change calendar entries. Server synchronization occurs as soon as the phone is connected back to the network.

Seven's still in a free, open beta, which you can get in on here.

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Hands-On with the Samsung Mondi

After being pleasantly surprised by the rate of WiMAX growth in the states as evidenced in yesterday's keynote, I decided to go and give the Samsung Mondi the once-over.  It's a big ol' tablet with a recessed screen, a somewhat interesting custom interface, middle-of-the-road specs, and a slide down keyboard that's a pretty poor affair.  Oh, yes, and of course, it has WiMAX. Naturally, as is the universal law of all WiMAX demos at conventions, things weren't quite working yet.

Maybe it's that the Mondi was pretty beat up by day 2, but even so, the Mondi is not the device that will spearhead  WiMAX adoption.

More pics after the break

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2

Meet the Samsung B7610 Louvre

The Samsung B7610 Louvre has made an appearance at The Phone House, the Netherlands' version of Carphone Warehouse.

Apparently this is a smartphone version of Sammy's F700 and will sport Windows Mobile 6.1.

Other than that? Not much else is known, but a 5-megapixel camera is rumored. Anyone want to make a guess as to whether Samsung's going to get (back) in the slider game in the U.S.? It's been a while.

GSMHelpDesk via Unwired View

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Vito to offer Tuned-In Bundle

Vito Technology, developer of the popular Winterface user interface, announced today the availability of a new bundled application package, Tuned In. Tuned In rolls AudioNotes, SoundExplorer and Ringtone Editor into one convenient package.

AudioNotes is an, as the name implies, an application for recording and managing audio notes. SoundExplorer not only allows you to record notes, lectures, etc. but also allows you to reproduce these audio recordings using different playback speeds, formats and create playlists. RingtoneEditor is an application that allows you to make ringtones from any MP3 file.

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Abdullah writes in with an interesting question, as the title states: How can you select where to transfer your BT files and can you have them go automatically to the your SD card?

The answer is ye,s and chalk it up to those smarty guys at XDA for coming up with a freeware solution.

ObexInboxEx (v0.93), developed by alain.j.j, allows you choose where you want your BT transfer files to go to automatically.  Just install and then go to

Start -> Settings -> Connections -> OBEX Inbox to choose where u want to recieve files

Another free option that is a little more fancy would be MoBlue (v2.1), developed by Martin Kaldma and which has more detailed options and a cool UI.

Hope that does the trick for you, Abdullah!  Have a technical question for us that other readers may benefit from? Drop us a line and we'll see if we can find an answer!

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2

Omnia, Treo Pro headed for Canada's Telus

Looks like the Palm Treo Pro and Samsung Omnia will be on Canada's Telus network, at least if recent newspaper ads (check out Page 5) have anything to say about it. [via BGR] We're not entirely certain, but the price could well be $149.99 for the standard 3-year deal. Interesting that the Treo Pro gets that much more of a discount than the Omnia, but then who are we do question our benevolent neighbors to the north?

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9

Microsoft's Robbie Bach live at CTIA

Come one, come all as we join Microsoft's Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment & Devices Division, who will "discuss his thought-provoking response to the question, 'What does "Mobile Life" mean to you?' " Other than that? We've got no idea what's in store.

So check in after the break for a live stream (fair warning, you're going to need Silverlight) of Bach's talk, and tune your favorite twitter client to @wmexperts as our own Dieter Bohn liveTweets the event.

(Note: Microsoft's saying 10 a.m. Pacific, CTIA and Dieter are saying 9 a.m. Pacific - likely it's the case that 10 Pacific is when Bach will take the stage). In any case, you should be glued to WMExperts regardless!)

Update: Miss it live? It's all after the break in its embedded glory, along with Dieter's tweeted thoughts.

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Hands-on: Samsung Propel Pro

Oh, Samsung, we'd had decent hopes for your Propel Pro. But once we got it into our hands, we're left wanting.  Don't get us wrong - we like the form factor and the speed of the device seems up to snuff - but some of the design details are a little disappointing.

First off, the whole phone is a little thicker than we expected. The keyboard is passable, but maybe the Snap has already raised our standards. The five-way D-pad has been replaced by a joystick that just isn't up to snuff. It seems to sit on some little rubbery ball and while you can get used to it, it's still bad. Hey, at least it's not a little touchmouse, right?

The Propel Pro had potential, but it just doesn't feel all that Pro compared to other WM devices. On the bright side, at least it's a Windows Mobile Standard phone with greater than a 240x320 screen. It definitely makes for a decent texting machine, but we're just not feeling that you put the same effort in here that you did with the BlackJack II - which so far appears to be the better device. More pics after the break.

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Windows Live for Mobile ... goes live

Not all the news is coming out of Vegas this week, as Microsoft has made Windows Live for Mobile available for download.

Now you can get to all your favorite Microsoft programs and features – Hotmail, Windows Live Spaces, Live Search, MSN Mobile – straight from your phone. (Messenger is still a separate download, apparently.)

Strangely, only AT&T and Sprint are mentioned in the carriers section. If anyone on Verizon or T-Mo wants to give it a shot, let us know in the comments. (Commentor emoney says everything's a go on Verizon. Where's our T-Mo peeps at? emoney also reminds us that Hotmail pushes now, which is very nice.)

Otherwise, head on over the Windows Live for Mobile site (link fixed, thanks wwejason!), or download it directly onto your phone.

Via Pocketnow

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Bolt Browser Updated

Bitstream has announced an updated BETA version of its mobile browser BOLT. We were impressed with the original BETA version and these updates are expected to only improve a very good browser.

The update represents a considerable number of changes which include a new 3XL magnification mode bringing content 33.3% larger than 2XL; double tap protection to eliminate inadvertent clicks; Wifi auto-selection as a default option; Save/View pages locally on the phone; landscape view feature; improved video quality on mpeg4 capable devices; support for folders in Favorites; improved scrolling speed and the ability to reduce menu clutter in the preferences menu.

The BETA2 download can be found over at the BOLT website and it is a free download.

[Read: IntoMobile.com]

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10

Hands-On Impressions, Video of the HTC Snap

 

If you've followed the site fairly closely you may know that my form-factor of choice is the front-facing QWERTY keyboard and that I slightly prefer Windows Mobile standard to WM Pro.  My most-used phone of 2008 was, believe it or not, the Q9h – and it was the phone I always went to when I needed to "give'r."  Lately, though, it's gotten tired.

I give you all this history because, well, the HTC Snap is something I've been hoping HTC would make ever since I first laid eyes on the T-Mobile Dash.  I've handled the Snap on three separate occassions and will go have another look today.  Since this is 'my' form factor, I care a lot about whether HTC got the details right on the Snap.

For the most part, they did.  Read on for a hands-on gallery, a brief video (hall noise removed), and my thoughts so far on the device. 

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