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Toshiba TG01 partying in London on July 9

There's still no sign of the Toshiba TG01 getting any love in the United States, but one of the first Snapdragon-powered phones is sure starting to make the rounds elsewhere. Already released in Japan as the T01A, and appearing in a few other nations, an official coming out party is scheduled for July 9 in London.

We're still not totally sold on the TG01's custom interface. And we want to scream every time we see a touchscreen-only phone with icons that are smaller than a fingertip. But we're desperately wanting that 1GHz Snapdragon processor on a phone released here in the United States.

Slashgear via Engadget

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Skyfire updated, still can't play Hulu videos

While we were busy frantically trying to get Hulu videos to play, Skyfire went and updated the browser on us. Here's what's new in build 1.0.0.12113 for Windows Mobile:

  • Reduced Memory footprint.
  • History is presented in the proper order.
  • Cookies in the UK data center are handled more reliably.
  • Sharing links via SMS are handled more reliably.
  • Reconnect correctly loads the last page in history plus we’ve improved reliability.
  • Site specific issues have been resolved for Rooftopcommedy.com and thefind.com.
  • Zoom buttons behave properly and disappear after a couple of seconds.
  • Default browser setting works more consistently.
  • Text entry on Symbian has been improved with one caveat below.

Hit up m.skyfire.com to download the new build.
 

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28

Hulu blocking Skyfire browser

One of the great reasons for using the Skyfire browser is because it could load just about anything on the Web, thanks to its proxy nature. No more. Hulu.com has shut out Skyfire (and the PS3, as well, apparently). As you can see above, you're greeted with the following message when you try to view a video:

Unfortunately, this video is not available on your platform. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Inconvenience? INCONVENIENCE?!?!?!? How will we watch our stories?!?!?!? (I'm at least getting audio out of the Firefox mobile Alpha 2. Anyone have any luck with any other browsers? IE6 Mobile?)

The good news for PS3 users it that there's a workaround. For us Windows Mobile types? Not so much. Might that mean a true Hulu mobile client, alluded to many, many moons ago, is finally coming?

Via Engadget

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11 minutes of the T-Mobile Dash 3G

We've manhandled (or is it Mal-handled?) the Sprint Snap, we've see the launch of the Verizon Ozone, and now we're just waiting on the T-Mobile Dash 3G to round out the initial HTC Snap invasion in the U.S. Well, not everyone's waiting, as Noah from PhoneDog snagged an early Dash 3G a week or so before general availability. Looks like it'll be here on or about July 8 (we've heard later) for $170, or more than three times what Verizon's selling its version of the Snap for.

So, here are 11 minutes of the T-Mobile Dash 3G. And when you think about how long fans of the original Dash have had to wait for a follow-up, 11 minutes really isn't too much to sit through.

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The upcoming Samsung Omnia II is tossing another nugget onto the Windows Mobile 6.5 rumor pile. Microsoft Austria makes it known (in German) that the Omnia II will be available on the Austrian A1 carrier at the end of September.

So does that mean Windows Mobile 6.5 will be released globally at the end of September? It's certainly within the Windows that we've been expecting. Stay tuned.

TamsPPC via wmpoweruser

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Omnia Pro vs. Touch Pro 2

One of the better Windows Mobile battles we expect to see in the coming months may be between the HTC Touch Pro 2 and the Samsung Omnia Pro. Both are horizontal sliders with large touchscreens (though the screens themselves differ). Both have custom user interfaces. And as you can see in the above picture from a side-by-side gallery by AreaMobile [via pocketnow], it could well be a good fight.

Click on through for a tale of the tape between the two phones.

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Hotmail finally pulls in other POP e-mail

Good news for your guys and gals who have been wanting to consolidate other e-mail accounts into Hotmail. (You know, like most other e-mail services have been able to do for, say ever.) This has been available for Hotmail users elsewhere but just opened up to the U.S., Canada and Brazil. Go figure. The process is as straightforward as it could be, and you can now push multiple services through one Windows Live account to your Windows Mobile phone.

Windows Live via Seattle PI

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HTC lines up to sponsor Tour de France team

What do you get if you combine a great outerwear manufacturer with a great smartphone manufacturer? (A really comfortable black slab?) You get Team Columbia-HTC. Owned by High-Road Sports, Team CHTC is prepped for the Tour de France, which begins on Saturday in, er, (Monaco) and ends, er, in France. We'll get a look at the team jersey on Friday.

Said HTC CEO Peter Chou:

"The HTC High Road Sports partnership is a great match of like minded organizations driven by innovation, excellence and competitiveness and we are excited about the opportunity to communicate HTC's brand value through the great sport of cycling. HTC's sponsorship of Team Columbia-HTC is one step in HTC's commitment to increasing its global brand value and recognition."

So, expect to a bunch of HTC logos zooming around on two wheels in the coming weeks.

Thanks, Luke, for the tip!

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Some cool mobile UI concepts

There's been a bit of hullabaloo over some recent UI shots linked to from I Started Something that originated from designers at the Microsoft Advanced Technology Center. ZOMG, is it Windows Mobile 7?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?! Eh, maybe. Maybe not. As Long Zheng puts it: 

What many people don’t know is that the ATC has been largely responsible for the user experience design of Windows Mobile. This however is no longer the case as WM 6.5 was their last project.

So, that's that. There's also some more clarification in the ISS post in that not all of the concepts were specifically designed with Windows Mobile in mind. And remember, folks, this is all conceptual stuff. Yes, there are design cues from some other leaked UIs that we've seen, and it's possible that we'll see some of this in a future version of Windows Mobile. But let's not be counting our chickens before they hatch just yet.

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HTC Snap likely will get Windows Mobile 6.5

The HTC Snap can't claim to be the first Windows Mobile Standard phone to announce it'll get the Windows Mobile 6.5 upgrade — that honor goes to the Samsung Jack. But an upgrade is an upgrade is an upgrade, and if the above shot from the Bluetooth Special Interest Group [via wmpoweruser] is any indication, the CDMA version of the HTC Snap also may be rocking 6.5 in the near future. (You'll recall that the codename for the Sprint and Verizon versions of the Snap was the Cedar.)

As for when the Windows Mobile 6.5 update will become available? That's still anyone's guess. But summer's churning by, and we're still expecting 6.5 sometime this fall.

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Kinoma Play update fixes Youtube issue

Kinoma Play just got another update that fixes some nagging issues some of you were seeing previously. The Youtube function was having trouble playing the occasional video and has been fixed. There also have been a number of improvements made to the embedded Twitter app in Version 5.1.56, as well as to the App Store by Mobihand and a few of the advanced settings.

There's more info about all the fixes on the Kinoma blog. You may be prompted that the update's ready for download, or you can go to the Right softkey>Player>Check for updates to get things rolling.

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What seemed to be light years ago, we reported during the 2009 CTIA that Terrestar was developing a Windows Mobile satellite phone. It now looks like Terrestar and AT&T are partnering up to bring this phone to market. According to Wireless Week, Terrestar is planning on launching a communications satellite on July 1, 2009 to be used in this endeavor.

The satellite phone is reported as being capable of 3G speeds while on AT&T's network or on Terrestar's satellite networks. But all this comes with a hefty price. On top of the estimated $700 price tag for the Windows Mobile satellite phone and AT&T service, it is expected that users will have to shell out $1 per minute to talk over the satellite feed. No word as of yet on how much data roaming will cost.

There was no information available on when this service or the phone will be available.

 Via Pocketnow

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Micro-USB now becomes the European standard

The European cellphone market, led by the European Commission, has adopted  Micro-USB as the standard for cellphone charging/sync ports. We first made mention of this movement back during the 2009 Mobile World Congress and it appears the movement has picked up a little steam.

Cellphone manufacturers including Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Apple, Motorola, NEC, LG, RIM, Qualcomm, Samsung and Texas Instruments support the standardization.  The surprising name on this list has to be Apple because of its long-standing and widely used licensed, proprietary connector.  The most noticeable company missing from the list is HTC, which uses the mini-USB port.

The standardization should be an across-the-board savings from reducing production costs, eliminating everyone's drawer full of chargers, and reducing waste at the local landfill.  The first devices under the new standard should hit the shelves in 2010, eventually leading to devices and chargers sold separately.

Now if we can only get that pesky 3.5mm headphone jack as standard.

Via SlashGear

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Verizon HTC Ozone available online now

Just a reminder that the Verizon Ozone is on sale today, online anyway. It'll be in stores in a couple of weeks. Here's what $50 and a two-year contract gets ya:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard.
  • World phone.
  • 1500mAh battery.
  • 4.5 x 2.5 x 0.5 inches.
  • 256MB ROM/192MB RAM
  • WiFi b/g
  • Bluetooth 2.0.
  • 2.4-inch screen.
  • 2MP camera with autofocus and video.
  • MicroSD.
  • VZ Navigator.

Head here to snag one. And if you do, let us know if the GPS works on apps like Google Maps or Bing Mobile (previously Live Search), or if it's locked down to just VZ Navigator.

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Official T-Mobile Touch Pro 2, Dash 3G specs

There's almost nothing here that we didn't already know about the Touch Pro 2 on T-Mobile, but here you go anyway, courtesy of TmoNews. Official looking specs are official looking specs, and we're not about to turn that down. Click the pic to make things more readable. But for those who don't like to squint, here's what we've got:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional (upgradable to 6.5).
  • Dimensions: 4.19x2.36x0.67 inches.
  • Weight: 6.45 ounces.
  • Bluetooth 2.0.
  • 480x800 display.
  • 512MB ROM/288MB RAM
  • Radios: Quad-band EDGE plus T-Mo's 3G flavor of 1700MHz.
  • WiFi b/g.
  • 3.2MP camera.

And so on and so forth. We're still looking to see the Touch Pro 2 on T-Mobile in the middle of July.

A spec sheet on the Dash 3G, which we're expecting a little before the Touch Pro 2, is after the jump.

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Best of Smartphone Experts, 28 June 2009

In case you missed it, each site in the Smartphone Experts Network posted our Smartphone Experts Roundtable podcast, where we discussed the biggest smartphones announced and released this month: BlackBerry Tour Review, Nokia N97 Review, iPhone 3GS, Palm Pre Review, and the HTC Hero Announcment.

Here's the rest of the big Smartphone news of the week!

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A look at the next generation of TouchFLO 3D

And you thought the Android kids were the favorite child of HTC now with that whole Sense thing. We couldn't tell you at the time, but HTC has been hard at work updating TouchFLO 3D. And quite an update it is. Our sources had told us that Manila 2.5 (Manila's the not-so-super-secret nerd name for TouchFLO, btw), basically takes the Windows Mobile out of Windows Mobile, and boy howdy does it ever.

You get a pretty good feel for it in the above video from German site handy-faq. [via pocketnow] Even the deepest settings don't appear to take you out of the TouchFLO 3D environment and kick you back into Windows Mobile. That's been one of our biggest gripes about TouchFLO in the past – it looks great at first, but you lose the experience of it pretty quickly. Well, no more. And although we don't see it in this video, we're also told that there may be some pretty massive Facebook integration to look forward to.

In the beginning of the video you hear mention of the Firestone, which we believe is the first device we'll see with Manila 2.5. (We've also heard the name Leo being thrown around, which may well be the Firestone's more official moniker from HTC, just as the Maple evolved into the Snap, Rhodium to Touch Pro 2, etc. Or it could be the other way around.)

Now that you're salivating ... Will we see Manila 2.5 on upcoming phones such as the Diamond 2 and Touch Pro 2? Let's hope so. And if not, we'll remind you of three little letters.

X. D. A.

More screen shots of Manila 2.5 after the break, courtesy of Italian site UDK-lab.

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Firefox mobile browser hits Alpha 2

When Firefox released the first Alpha build of its mobile browser -- aka Fennec -- in May, it left a lot of you underwhelemed. Hey, it was an Alpha build. Don't say we (and Mozilla) didn't warn you. But work has been progressing, and Mozilla just released the Alpha 2 build. Here's what's new in Alpha 2: [via Pavlov's blog]

  • Improved panning performance
  • Newly designed theme
  • JavaScript error console is now built in
  • Improved add-on support
  • Numerous bug fixes
  • Improved UI polish

As per the usual, Mozilla is developing for the HTC Touch Pro. So back up your info, and get to testing. Here's the download link. (Don't have a Touch Pro? Try out the desktop versions.) And let us know in the comments how things look.

Update: Here's one fairly big known bug worth noting:

Allow panning/scrolling in iframes - Websites that display large amounts of content in IFrames, including Google Mail and Reader, will be very hard, if not impossible, to use.

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Two weeks of parties for Dash 3G, Touch Pro 2

As much as we're not exactly enjoying what feels like the world's ... longest ... roll-out ... of HTC phones this summer – love the phones, hate the wait – we are happy to see carriers putting s little more muscle that usual behind Windows Mobile phones. Case in point: T-Mobile's throwing a little shindig from San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale starting July 14 for the Dash 3G (which should actually be released on July 15) and Touch Pro 2 (which we're looking for on July 22). Here's the breakdown of events, and hit the links to register:

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A look at new Exchange and Outlook Mobile features

We've previously discussed some of the upcoming changes Outlook Mobile may see with the launch of Microsoft Exchange 2010 (we say may because it's up to your IT department to actually implement them). A recap:

  • Threaded e-mail.
  • Voicemail transcription.
  • Sync SMS.
  • Block/quarantine phones.
  • See when messages you've replied to or forwarded.
  • See if a contact has some free time for you.

And, the really cool part: When your business (or Exchange provider, at least) upgrades to Exchange 2010, an upgraded version of Outlook Mobile can be pushed to your Windows Mobile 6.1/6.5 phone.

Now, see a few of those changes in action. Part 1 is above, and the second part of the video is after the break.

Technet [via wmpoweruser]

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Marketplace will have 600 apps at launch

Inevitably, all app stores will be compared to Apple's App Store. Never mind that Windows Mobile has had apps for sale back when Steve Jobs was saying he'd never build a phone. But consolidating all the apps under the Microsoft umbrella presents some interesting quandaries. Submitting your app to Windows Marketplace for Mobile means following Microsoft's guidelines, and that can mean changes to an app that's used on Windows Mobile for some time, lest you end up on the banned list.

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