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Microsoft has made the Office 2010 beta available for public consumption, which means you and I can download it for your desktop as well as your phone. The mobile version is available in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile, and you can get the desktop version here. The beta includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, SharePoint Workspace and OneNote. Exchange 2010 will require your Exchange provider to push it out once it's released.

Do note that the beta will expire on April 5, 2010, so don't be expecting to use this forever. We'll be tinkering with Office 2010 over the next few days. Share your thoughts in the comments, and let us know what you would like to see.

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Opera Software has announced the public availability of Opera Mobile 10 for the Windows Mobile platform. According to Opera, "this version for the Windows phones will elevate mobile browsing to a desktop-like experience, helping people to search, socialize and stay connected while on the go." And, really, who doesn't want that?

Some of the Opera Mobile 10 highlights include:

  • Speed dial feature that serves as a table of contents for your Web
  • Tabbed Browsing
  • Improved Password Management
  • Touchscreen or keypad navigation compatible

The Beta version is available as a free download at Opera's website or point your mobile browser to to download the cab file directly to your Windows phone. We'll take the Beta version out for a test drive and we'll have a review up soon.

If you curious, follow the break for the full press release from Opera Software and a few more screenshots.

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Mobihand, who powers the Software Store, has launched their Windows Mobile Appstore.  You will still have access to popular software titles from our 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 as well as loading a mobile version to your Windows Mobile phone by pointing your mobile browser to

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Windows Mobile User Interface Roundup

Gone are the days Windows Mobile fans had to settle on the "stock" Today Screen. Third Party user interfaces have grown in popularity and capability over the past year to give you plenty of choices for your Windows phone. Choices that include SPB's Mobile Shell, Vito's Winterface.  Proprietary interfaces have also increased in popularity and capability such as HTC's Touchflo 3D and Samsung's Touchwiz. The variety isn't limited to Windows Mobile Professional and those who fancy Windows Mobile Standard have a few choices as well.

So, what's your favorite user interface? The Windows Mobile Today Screen has come along way and may very well be tops on many user's lists. Choose your favorite in our poll then ease on past the break to see some of the choices available for your Windows phone.

Which Windows Mobile User Interface do you prefer?(trends)
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SPB Releases Mobile Shell 3.5.1 Beta

SPB Software has released the beta version of Mobile Shell 3.5.1. The updated version of Mobile Shell 3.5 is designed to fix known bugs and, according to SPB, not designed to add additional "stand alone" features.

Some of the key fixes and changes in the Beta release include:

  • SPB Pocket Plus close button makes Shell unresponsive
  • Set Ringtone doesn't work for Contacts
  • 6.5: Theme shows incorrectly for Carousel and Tiles views
  • Agenda: One day is shown twice, 25 Oct date is the transition to "winter" time
  • 3D SMS viewer: First word disappears after enter
  • Twitter issues fixes
  • 3D SMS viewer: Picture is absent
  • 3D viewer: Date isn't shown for SMS and Email
  • Birthday widget doesn't update itself when contact info is changed
  • Task widget makes task sychronization with Outlook longer

SPB did tweak the weather widget to where you can now choose between displaying the forecast or current conditions in the weather widget. You still have orientation issues with some layout designs where the widgets get jumbled up when going from vertical to horizontal. I have not experienced the power drain some have reported in the forums concerning version 3.5 with the 3.5.1 Beta.

SPB Mobile Shell 3.5.1 Beta can be downloaded from the SPB Club website.

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It's been no secret that Microsoft has been trying to get iPhone developers to hop on board the Windows Marketplace for Mobile, and we're starting to see some very similar apps emerge.

After the break, we take a look at Flight Commander for Windows Mobile (available for $6.99 in the Marketplace), along with video of the gameplay.

Update: In the course of this review we'd contacted Firemint, maker of the iPhone Flight Control app (see more of that after the break) to see if they'd developed Flight Commander under a different name. Looks like we've poked the bear, as Firemint has replied and says it has nothing to do with this app and "will be investigating further and taking all appropriate actions."

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For those who just can't wait till Opera 9.7+ and want to add Flash support to your existing in-ROM Opera Mobile browser, aDEO at XDA has updated that amazing little tool called fixOperaFlash.

Hacking Flash into Opera has been around for awhile, but aDEO's app makes it the process a matter of clicking a few buttons with a fancy and sophisticated installer. The program was just recently updated to v1.5.2, with updated Flash library package and some minor bug fixes.

Basically you just download the .exe, put it into your \Windows\Opera direction, run it and follow the directions so detailed here.  Make sure you choose the right device from the selector.

So how does it work? Pretty well though any limitations come clearly from our aging MSM processors, which struggle to run Flash inside of the resource intensive Opera Mobile browser--in other words, don't plan on too much multi-tasking when watching embedded YouTube videos! Still, it works well on the Touch Pro 2.

Having said that, this is a great example of smart programming, so give it a spin if Flash is what you need.

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Being Windows phone users basically invites endless tweaking and modifying and while the Touch Pro 2/Diamond 2 is nearly perfect, there are still some niggles that bother some folks.

Lyriquidperfection, over at XDA, has made a nice little (and free!) program called "TD2 Tools" which just hit version 2a (look for v2b soon).

The program is simple enough and contains the following features:

  • General: Contains options for PopUp Menus, Start Menu Size, SMS Options.
  • TouchFLO: All TouchFLO related settings will be found here including TouchFLO Rotation, Enabling/Disabling TouchFLO Start Menu and HTC's Custom PopUp Menus.
  • Performance: Contains settings for altering: 'File System', 'File System Filter' and 'GDI / Font' Cache Sizes and GPS performance options will be in here.
  • Power: Wake Device on SMS and Wake Device On ANY Button can be found in here. More options will be included soon.
  • White List: White List integration so you can easily add or remove an application you want to rotate. Just browse for your '.exe' file, press the 'Capture' button & load your desired program. Then its just a simple case of inserting the 'Stylus' back into your phone to 'grab' the Window information.
  • Bluetooth: Various options for altering Bit Pool, Sample Rate, Device Name and Enabling / Disabling Audio Gateway Service and Obex Service etc.

The Performance section is really nice, helping to speed up the device graphics/processing.  Of course we always recommend a backup, just in case, but overall this program is pretty safe and well worth the 5 minute investment. Keep an eye on that page too as the developer is constantly adding new tweaks. 

And don't forget a donation if you like the developer's work!

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Elecont Weather with WM 6.5 Plug-In

Elecont Weather is one of the more popular weather apps available for your Windows phone and is keeping pace with the new Windows Mobile 6.5 (Professional) Today Screen. The Elecont Weather Today Screen plug-in is now compatible with your Windows phone Titanium Today Screen.

The plug-in will display current weather conditions and a 10-day forecast. From the Today Screen you can enter the full application to access all the features of Elecont Weather from hourly forecasts for the next 48 hours, UV alerts, severe weather alerts, and air pressure graphs.

The latest version of Elecont Weather with the Windows Mobile 6.5 plug-in can be found over at the Software Store.

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A couple of us have been passing this review off on each other. Guess who drew the short straw. TouchTwit isn't the worst Twitter app in the world. It's just a little awkward. Slow in some places, and a little too quick in others. A lot like you were in high school. Fortunately, you've got 24 hours in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile to try out an app and return it. TouchTwit's available now for $4.99.

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It's been quite some time since Resco has updated their Radio program (see earlier review), so it's no surprise to see them set their sights on giving it an overhaul.

So far, not too much has changed as can be seen below.  There is still a limited selection of stations (you can manually import Shoutcast) and no way to search for new stations, in that regard, Kinoma Play is still easier with full Shoutcast integration.  List of changes so far:

  • Touch optimized list of radios (All Stations)
  • Letter bar for easier navigation in Categories
  • Icon for stream quality visualization

Still, if you just want a streaming radio app, Resco Radio is a beaut with its simplicity and speed (plus you can record streams, natch).  It's running smooth on the my Touch Pro 2, so go and give it a shot and give the Resco team some feedback!

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While we AT&T Pure users here in the States enjoy our spanking new Windows Mobile 6.5, the unlocked Touch Diamond 2 released months ago is still awaiting the official upgrade from HTC. Gasp!

The date for the upgrade keeps coming and going, but it looks like Froidstar at XDA has gotten his/her hands on the official version, unofficially, of course.

It's an older build (2.07.58475) from July, which is evidently what HTC will be releasing to the masses. Hands-on reports are that it is very stable and fast so far.

So if you haven't rocked a custom WM6.5 update already (hard to believe) then you may want to give this a shot, or perhaps you "Chefs" need a new stable base to work from?

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Twikini, one of our more favorite Windows Mobile Twitter applications, just hit Version 1.6. First, the change log:

  • Bug fix: Fixes connectivity issue many T-Mobile users were experiencing when downloading timelines.
  • Bug fix: After a re-tweet, the highlighted tweet would be lost, and the newest tweet would be highlighted. Fixed this.
  • Improved: Tapping on a user's picture in the profile or tweet window will show a large picture of the user.
  • Improved: The profile window will show the date on which a user joined Twitter (this can be useful when deciding whether to follow someone).
  • Improved: Added "My Profile" (under the Tools menu) to quickly check your own profile.
  • Improved: URL shortening will use instead of, which will give you 2 extra characters. (Note: is part of

Now, the real interesting part: If you've previously purchased Twikini from the Trinket Software Web site, you can head on over there (or use the in-app version check feature) and get the upgrade.

But Twikini also is available in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile. And while it's not the first app in the Marketplace to be updated (Facebook is another one that comes to mind; there may be others), we've gotten a feel for how long it took the update to be pushed out. From Twikini's Twitter feed:

Twikini 1.6 now available in the @wmdev Marketplace. Wow...that certification was FAST! less than 24 hours.

That certainly passed muster faster than anything in Apple's app store. Of course, that's hardly a fair comparison, as Apple's seeing 8,500 submissions a week, and there's no way the Marketplace is at that pace yet. But it does give us an early baseline, and it will be interesting to see how Microsoft keeps up with submission demand.

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Back on Oct. 5, Dashwire announced an exclusive partnership with Best Buy to offer its services for free to new customers buying smartphones. Certainly a unique choice. But with Microsoft's MyPhone being nearly ubiquitous now, we suppose not so much a good one.

The bad news is for you existing Dashwire users.  Evidently on Dec. 31, 2009, Dashwire will stop working.  You apparently have the option to back up your data to a desktop and/or "...migrate your information to services from Dashwire licensees if you’re interested" -- though we're not too sure how to do that just yet nor are we sure if it'll cost anything.

Anyways, now may be a good time to explore alternatives.  Dashwire, we wish you luck with that Best Buy thing.

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Since it seems like ol' Microsoft is never going to get around to giving us even the slightest bit if Xbox integration with our Windows phones, at least not until presumably WM7, it'll be up to intrepid developers to fill in the gap.

I'm not sure why it has taken literally years for someone to do this (the Palm Pre has had this for months now--for shame!) but alas, someone has and that would be at with Mobile GamerTag.

Now the program is still early in development, so all you can do now is view a single Xbox gamertag along with some game stats albeit render beautifully in VGA graphics (seriously, it's very nice).  You can search for any gamer and it checks with a 3rd party server to pull down the info. Not amazing but cool.

Future option include auto-updates, more resolution support and adding/maintaining friends.  Grab it here.

See Microsoft, it's not too hard to throw us a bone.

via BestWMApps

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Palringo 2.0 Gets Released, Overhauled

Looks like Palringo, a free and popular instant messaging program, has been officially bumped up to v2.0. See our full review/feature tour here.

Of note is that starting with v1.42, you can now hide the gangly status bar & adjust font sizes, addressing one my complaints of earlier versions.

Download here. (Note: the mobile site is still hosting v1.42, so use this link instead).

The changelog is quite large, though the app still basically looks the same:

  • Completely new install/uninstall process
  • Automatic updates now only notify users that an update is available - downloading is manually approved
  • Settings->Display->Group join/leave alerts
  • Settings->Display->Contact List (item size) option
  • Settings->Display->Tab size option replaces "Large Buttons" option.
  • Contact list can now be filtered by service type, so you can effectively have a separate list for Facebook/MSN/Yahoo etc.
  • Added private message spam filter for Palringo service
  • Edit Profile link from overview screen
  • Automatic detail expansion display on reduced contact list items
  • Optimized list rendering code
  • Optimized avatar rendering
  • Default filenames for saving images
  • Reformatting of photos has been made more reliable
  • Miscellaneous other bug fixes and optimizations
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GrooveShark is an interesting free service that allows you to search for music (artist, song, album), stream it directly and even create playlists from your computer.

Now Barguast at XDA has created...wait for it...a free application that will do most of this from your Windows phone (he's constantly adding features). It's called GrooveFish (nice).

GrooveFish itself is an excellent application.  Visually it matches GrooveShark and is quite pleasant to look at and furthermore it works very well (audio fidelity is way better than Pandora).  It's simple: search, select and play.  Heck, it'll even auto-pause on a phone call or when you remove your headset. Ability to create playlists and save favorites is coming in future versions.

But the big issue here is of course U.S. copyright law and GrooveShark: this is not just streaming a ShoutCast station but rather allowing you to stream on demand any song/album/playlist you create, which is a bit sketchy, legally speaking. To their credit they do have a way to notify them of DMCA violations and they will comply. But as this service becomes more and more widely known, you can bet you'll start to see your favorite tunes cooperatively pulled down from the site.

In other words, enjoy it while it lasts.

via 1800PocketPC

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It was first on a select few devices, then ripped and pirated for the masses, then rescinded under DMCA notices, but now MusicID has returned as Shazam and it is now legally available under Windows Marketplace for Mobile (although it hasn't showed up in our listings yet).

For a non-whopping (and oddly priced) $4.69 you can have unlimited music identification on your Windows phone, or use the free version which is limited to 5 IDs a month.  You are also treated to a full 7-day trial.  All of which we think is worth it.

(Anyone else notice their old MusicID doesn't work anymore or is it just us?)

See the official press release.

[via Tech Kritik]

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...and the Marketplace news just keeps on rolling today. Quite a bit considering the darn thing hasn't officially launched yet!

Looks like XDA member Chainfire has already "cracked" the security protection of distribution of paid-for-apps in the Marketplace.

Long story short, when you "buy" a program, you download the .cab file, which automatically installs to main memory.  After the installation, the (registered) .cab file gets deleted from your system immediately.

Chainfire has figured a way to circumvent this system, thereby saving the .cab file. One can then simply and illegally re-distribute this file to friends, warez groups etc.  Ouch.

Now the good news is Chainfire did not release how he did this (and has no plans to), but considering it took him only "five minutes", it doesn't bode well for long term security. The question is, how else could this have been done while not breaking the OS and keeping things uniform? Could they not pre-register the .cab files with your user ID, like Kinoma offers?

[XDA via Fuzemobility]

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