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Update: OK, Arne. You got us. :) Oldest trick in the book. We're wearing the dunce caps the rest of the night. Now go find Bohn and make the man buy you a beer for our stupidity.

Ok guys - just to make it sure for *everybody*! It was a *joke*! It's a screenshot from the Acer Liquid! http://tinyurl.com/ydblkg2

Sure, HTC CEO Peter Chou said not to expect Android on the HD2 (actually what he told Forbes was" Technically, we could make the HD2 an Android phone, but I have to take care of Windows Mobile"). But that doesn't mean it hasn't happened.

Exhibit A: This twitpic from Arne Hess of the::unwired, who (alongside our own Dieter Bohn) is at Mobius, clearly shows Android running on the Snapdragon-powered beast.

Needless to say, many a tail is wagging in the mobile world tonight.

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Sprint Snap free at Best Buy with contract

This is actually been at this price for about a month now, but it was news to us, so perhaps news to you.

If you're looking for a cheap and halfway decent Windows starter phone, the Snap is completely free at Best Buy (down from $149, then $99) with a 2-year contract. See our full review for a refresh.

We'd say the phone is about worth that with a 2 year contract and it's actually a fun device, especially if you slap WM6.5 on it before that official release comes down the road.

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The sixth annual SPB Survey

It is time, ladies and gentlemen, for the sixth annual SPB Survey. SPB Software House is looking to get a better look at your needs in the mobile applications, and they're doing so worldwide, with the survey going out in 10 languages.

And your time may be rewarded. Three winners, picked at random, will receive the following:

  • First place: A free smartphone of your choice from a major Internet retailer (such as Amazon or Expansys), valued up to $1,000.
  • Second place: $100 worth of accessories from Smartphone Experts (that's us), plus $100 worth of SPB Software.
  • Third place: $100 worth of SPB software.

So, really, you have no excuse for not taking the survey, which runs through 7 p.m. GMT Dec. 4, 2009. Take the survey now!

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Off to Mobius

Just a quick note that I've been lucky enough to be invited out to the mobius event out in Seattle this year. If you're not familiar, mobius is a group of mobile enthusiasts who periodically get together with Microsoft to discuss the current and future state of the mobile industry. There's sometimes news that comes out of the event, which I'll dutifully pass along as I'm able. What's better and more important than that are the insights and conversation with people who are smarter-than-I.

All of which is to say that you should keep a heads up on hashtag #mobius09 on Twitter where many of us will be posting up thoughts and insights. Microsoft is hosting the event, so full disclosure: they're covering my flight, hotel, and eats.

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Mobihand's Windows Mobile Appstore

Mobihand, who powers the WMExperts.com Software Store, has launched their Windows Mobile Appstore.  You will still have access to popular software titles from our WMExperts.com Software store but now will be able to access the store with Mobihand's Appstore Application.

Here are some of the features you'll see over at Mobihand's Appstore.

  • Deal-of-the-Day: Exclusive offer of a new top-selling app every day for 50% off
  • Specials: Loads of discounted apps and bundles can be found daily
  • Nearly 5,000 Apps which can be browsed by category, top free, top paid, and new
  • Great everyday prices: apps are priced as low as $0.99
  • Fast pay with credit card
  • Dedicated customer service – to ensure complete customer satisfaction
  • Version-tracking -- email notification when new versions become available

It is our understanding that Paypal interface will be added soon to offer an alternative payment method.  You can get all the deets about the appstore at software.wmexperts.com/appstore.asp as well as loading a mobile version to your Windows Mobile phone by pointing your mobile browser to http://software.wmexperts.com/appstore.

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WMExperts Podcast Episode 77


Malatesta and Phil talk up the Windows Marketplace for Mobile being updated and cracked at the same time, more on the HTC HD2, whether Windows Mobile is dying and how to get every last ounce of performance out of your phone. Join us!

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Konami coming to Windows Mobile in Dec.

It's time to break out that old Konami code and see what treats are in store -- the longtime videogame maker is bringing a half-dozen apps to Windows Mobile in December. On tap are Dance Dance Revolution S, Mobile Pawafuru Proyakyu (a baseball game), Konami Sudoku, Konami Solitaire, and shooters Gradius II and TwinBee. The releases also coincide with the launch of the Windows Marketplace for Mobile in Japan. With the exception of Mobile Pawafuru Proyakyu, all of the games will be available in the U.S., Canada and Japan. [Akihabara News via Slashphone]

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Office 2010 on track for Windows Mobile 6.5

It should come as no great surprise that Microsoft's upcoming Office 2010 (now in beta) will bring a refresh to Windows Mobile. After all, we've covered it here and here. (And here's the one you really should watch.) But just in case you were worried that Microsoft was holding out until Windows Mobile 7, fear not. Office 2010 will be coming to Windows Mobile 6.5. Some features (such as Sharepoint and Exchange) will be dependent on your Exchange provider having upgraded to 2010. But you've been looking for another reason to bug them, right? [Microsoft via Mobile Tech World]

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Touch Pro 2 is HOT! No, Seriously

Actually, despite the title, the Touch Pro 2 does not actually reach the ambient temperatures of the original Touch Pro ('hot burrito' is a good description).  Having said that, it can still get quite warm, especially when running GPS and pulling data.

Bored and evidently well-equipped TP2 user Unsane recently put his device under a Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) camera and took some snaps.

What do we learn from these images about that Touch Pro 2? It looks just awesome under FLIR, that's what we learn. That and it still needs lasers.

But the more important thing is we now know how one of the most popular Windows phones looks to a Predator and that's a good thing.

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So you like your current setup on your Windows phone but are looking to add that extra oomph to give it just a little extra speed and fluidity? Well, look no further as I’ll share some of my favorite tweaks to help get your phone running as zippy as the processor can handle.

Most of these tweaks will not even require us to alter directly the registry. Instead, we will rely on various third party programs to do that for us. This will allow a method to record our changes as well as a quick way to “undo” anything you find unsatisfactory.

Oh and none of this involves over-clocking the processor—I’m just not a fan of that technique.

Regardless of your ROM build (custom or official), OS type, or device make, so long as you are running a Windows professional OS, you will be able to apply these changes. For the sake of audience reach, we will be using a Sprint Touch Pro 2 running a custom WM6.5.1 ROM.

 Read on for the only guide you’ll need as I reveal all I know on this topic.

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WM7, Motorola and Head Mounted Display...Borg-a-licious

No doubt the future of mobile technology is heading towards Head Mounted Displays (HMDs) where the user constantly can visually interact with an OS and be in touch via radio/phone, etc. to a remote location. The possible applications are myriad--military, industrial, Windows phone nerd.

That latter one were are particularly interested in as Motorola has their HMD unit nearly ready to go, as discussed in this white-paper detailing the product (warning: .PDF).

Specifically, on page 6 where Motorola states:

Golden-i currently runs the latest Microsoft WinCE 6.0 OS, and both Microsoft Windows Mobile 7 and a full kernel Linux OS can be offered in 2009.

Golden-i?  Nice, very James Bond.  Well, we guess 2009 is out, right?  We did hear Motorola was going to return to the Windows Mobile front with WM7, so this isn't too much of a surprise, though this particular application is certainly...unique.  All I know I totally want one.

Who wants Phil or Dieter to do a full on review?

[via PPCGeeks]

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Having problems with the Marketplace update?

After last nights update to Windows Marketplace for Mobile, we're getting lots of reports that Windows Mobile 6.0, 6.1 and unofficial WM6.5 builds are having problems accessing the store (myself included, using SSK 3.0).

One thing you can try to restore service is by using a .cab file that makes a change in the registry to "trick" the Marketplace.

It fixed my problem so it may be worth a shot. Simply download the .cab and install on your device, then re-launch Marketplace (soft-reset not needed).  Leave us a comment on your success or fail!

Download the patch here (filesharing sites) or here at PPCGeeks. For those who just want the whole .cab, you can download v1.1.1109.000 at XDA.

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Here's the Toshiba Dynapocket X02T from Japan's Softbank. If it looks familiar, it should. It's really just a rebranded Toshiba TG01. But what's new this time is that Softbank has U.S. filmmaker Quentin Tarantino (perhaps you've heard of him) shilling for it, and it's definitely entertaining. Peep video of the Q-Man (that's what he asked us to call him -- really) and more of the Dynapocket X02T (great phone, lousy name) after the break. [dvice via newlaunches]

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About those market share numbers ...

It's that time of year when smartphone market share numbers are released, and we see even more stories about the death of one platform or another. Android kills WinMo. Android kills BlackBerry. iPhone kills everybody. (OK, hard to argue with that one.) But whatever.

It's not that the numbers are unimportant. It's just that we could all use a little reminder about context. The chart you see above from Gartner [via Ars Technica] is from the third quarter. Windows Mobile 6.5 and the rebranded "Windows phone" launched in October, thus the corresponding marketing push isn't reflected here.

That said, at least one analyst isn't overly optimistic. From Computer World, which broke down the results and said that Windows Mobile's market share fell 20 percent in Q3:

Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi, asked by e-mail today if Windows Mobile will get a boost in the fourth quarter from the new Windows Mobile 6.5, responded: "No, not really ... you might see enough traction that might stabilize the decline."

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Marketplace app gets on-phone update

We saw the Web portal to Windows Marketplace for Mobile go live earlier this week, and now the one-device app has gotten a refresh as well.

So what's new in Version 1.1.1109.0000? Visually, nothing. Everything looks the same. Perhaps just bug fixes? (We were having problems with the Marketplace apparently hanging as it was installing the occasional app. The app itself would load just fine, but the Marketplace app balked.) Perhaps more behind-the-scenes support for things to come? Security fixes? (Update: Just read over the advanced security white paper again, and it does tie in with the Marketplace app, so that's a pretty good bet.)

Let the speculation begin! And sound off in the comments if you've found anything new.

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Here we go again. A couple of days before the Windows Marketplace for Mobile officially launched in October, XDA Developers member Chainfire published his workaround to Microsoft's minimal security measures. When you load an app from the Marketplace, it's done transparent to the user, with no CAB file left behind.

Fast forward to today, and Chainfire's let us know that he's bypassed Microsoft new "advanced" security, which was rolled-out along with Web access to the Marketplace. New is the use of license keys that can be baked into apps. These keys are controlled by Microsoft, not the developer. Says Chainfire:

This new "advanced" protection was released today by Microsoft, and as far as I know no app available already uses it at the time of this writing.

So I got the code snippets you are supposed to put in your app and it was simply jawdroppingly WTF. While it was not exactly easy to beat, it took me less than two hours to devise a "generic" hack, without modifying any files on the device. (Well hey, at least it's better than the 5 minutes it took for the "basic" protection, right?)

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Toshiba TG01 poised for a Verizon launch?

Let's play our favorite game: Guess the carrier. For those of you who don't work in cell phone stores, the photo you see above from Phone Arena is of a CelleBrite unit, which transfers info from one phone to another (presumably) pretty seamlessly. Note the "source model" here is the Toshiba TG01 (See our latest hands-on), and it's said that this one's from a Verizon store. Far-fetched? Not really. Remember that we've already seen a CDMA version slide through the feds.

If this pans out, it would give Big Red a pair of black slab Windows phones -- the TG01 and the HTC Imagio. That could be a tough call for VZW customers. On one hand you have the TG01 and its 4.1-inch (resistive) touchscreen and 1GHz Snapdragon processor. On the other hand you have the HTC Imagio, and all the custom ROM hackery that goes along with it.

This also probably all but rules out the HTC HD2 hitting Verizon first, but anything's possible, we guess.

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What's on your Today Screen?

Fess up: You can't leave good enough alone. You can't just use the stock Windows Mobile 6.5 interface. You have to crack open TouchFLO 3D and tweak every little setting you can. SPB Mobile Shell. Point UI. The list goes on.

After the break, see what we're all rocking here at WMExperts. Then, it's your turn. We want to see what you guys and gals have come up with on your Windows phones. (But let's keep it clean, folks. PG-13 and under.) Head into the forums and show us your stuff. And no need to fret if you don't have Windows 6.5 yet. We want to see from you guys, too.

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Vodafone now offering HTC HD2 for free

More often than not, the way it works overseas is you pay more for a phone up front, then save on the carrier plan. But Vodafone UK's now offering (a day ahead of when we expected) a deal that you simply can't refuse: A free HTC HD2 with a data plan of at least £35. That's 4.3 inches of screen, 1GHz of Snapdragon processing power, Windows Mobile 6.5 Pro and the possibility of an upgrade to Windows Mobile 7 (that's still not official though, so simmer down). For free. Don't bet on finding that kind of deal in the U.S. [Vodafone via coolsmartphone]

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We've talked a little about Phase II of Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Tonight, those changes (or at least some of them) went live. Chief among them for consumers is the ability to purchase and browse apps from a desktop PC. From the Windows Mobile Developer Blog:

Starting today, Windows phone customers can browse, buy and download applications online at the Windows Marketplace for Mobile site. The selected applications are delivered wirelessly to the customer’s Windows phone and install the next time the Windows Marketplace client runs on the device. This creates another way for customers to easily find and purchase applications and gives developers a whole new level of exposure.

There also are a number of improvements for developers, including increased security to prevent app piracy.

Check it all out at marketplace.windowsphone.com.

Update: Oh, yeah, you folks running Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1 are still going to have to wait a little longer ("later this month") for official Marketplace access. In the meantime ...

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