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PhoneLog: Cool freeware for documenting calls

Every once in awhile I come across some really neat freeware that I think you folks could benefit from.

PhoneLog is a freeware app from InfinityBall (click for more screenshots) that simply logs your call log directly to your calendar app.

This is all done instantly in the background with no noticeable performance issues--it just works seamlessly and efficiently which is the best kind of WM app.  After a call, in your calendar it will say "Talked to " with the start/end times and call duration.  The info shows up as a simple entry in your cal and you can even assign it a custom category.  

The app does require .NET compact framework 3.5 and has many configuration options such as log missed calls, all calls, run on startup and even log your text messages (!)  Very cool stuff.  Get it here.

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Looks like HTC has released an update for the AT&T Fuze. According to the HTC Support site, here's what's included:

  • Microsoft's Windows Mobile Adaptation Kit Update (AKU) 1.4.6
  • Slide to Answer
  • Push To Talk Button is now re-assignable
  • FM Radio Application
  • Enhanced MS Voice Command
  • Call waiting indicator is now audible when using Speakerphone
  • HTC Music player supports Album art/info
  • Improved TouchFlo3D (TF3D) and User Interface performance
  • A-GPS Update: Speeds up the time it takes the GPS to get a fix on your location
  • Quick GPS is still recommended for the optimal operation of GPS based applications and services

Based on the features, it looks like a polished version of the Test ROM that leaked a few months ago. HTC does a good job walking you through the update process and we'll concur with HTC's recommendation that you really need to back up your data before you update the ROM. The update can be found here.

UPDATE: As many have noticed, the ROM download page is no longer available. According to some of the comments over at FuzeMobility, it looks like the S/N requirement was not supposed to have happened and HTC is modifying things.  Hopefully the updated ROM will be available soon.

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Major Update for "TodayAgenda": v1.5

Here are WME, there are a few programs that we swear by and fall under our "must haves" and TodayAgenda is certainly one of them (others are GPSToday, Live Search, Mobile Shell 2)

For one, it's totally free and well supported.

Second, it's one of the best calendar/agenda/tasks plugins for WM Pro and completely blows away the stock calendar plugin.

Basically it allows you to completely customize how your important calendar and tasks appear on your today screen and it's very simple to use. Control the amount of content, size, fonts, colors, plugin height, etc.

More info, including bug fixes and the slew of new features added in v1.5 can be found at the developer's home site ..::TIEWS::.. or click here for a direct download.

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One of my favorite (and free, ahem) IM solutions (Google Talk, AIM, Yahoo, VOIP) is Octro as I have always found it easy to use and streamlined for simple use--plus the plugin is nifty.

Getting updated to 2.0, the Octro team has added some cool new features including

Obviously the Video conferencing is the big one here. We'll be giving it a spin here at WME headquarters this week and let you know our thoughts. Chime in with yours in comments.

Download it here

(Quick note: you need to have at least one Google Talk or Jabber account logged in before Octro will let you set the other stuff up! Download their manual from the above link to find instructions)

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Skyfire Browser Gets Updated: 8.0.7081

Trying to keep up with Skyfire's updates is becoming a little bit hard these days (no obvious change log, their help forum makes no mention and their Twitter is not that active).

All we can say is that version 8.0.7081 is out today and that it probably fixes some things ;-P

So if you are having problems or just want the latest and greatest, make sure you get the update. You need to login here and go through their cumbersome "send me and SMS" thingamajig--seriously guys, get an auto-update feature stat!

Dunno what Skyfire is? Check out Dieter's video walk-through right here.

Thanks chocmatic for the heads up!

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We've mentioned that SPB Software was working on Mobile Shell 3.0.1 Beta and it appears that the Beta is now the current version. The update is free to those who have already purchased Mobile Shell 3.0 and all you need to do is go here, download the .cab file (trial version) and install it over Mobile Shell 3.0.

Version 3.0.1 makes minor additions and fixes issues discovered in version 3.0. Such modifications include:

  • Saving unknown phone numbers from the call log has been added
  • Showing/hiding SIM contacts has been added
  • “Show Today” widget has been added
  • “Remove All” option in call log added Performance of portrait/landscape switching has improved
  • Some issues with “Edit Profile” dialog box on Treo devices has been fixed
  • Contact matching in call log has improved
  • Performance of hardware accelerated carousel has improved

In using Mobile Shell 3.0.1, the screen rotation from vertical to horizontal is almost instantaneous and the overall performance appears to have improved. Some users reported a power drain with version 3.0 but it doesn't seem to be present with 3.0.1.  Overall, the modifications included in 3.0.1 have made a very good application a little better.

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Released: Skyfire 1.0

Earlier this year, we took a look at the Beta version of the mobile browser Skyfire for Windows Mobile Touch and non-Touch Screen phones.  We liked the potential Skyfire had but found it to be noticeably slower than the competition.  Well the developers over at Skyfire have been working diligently to iron out all the bugs on the mobile browser and today released Skyfire 1.0 for Windows Mobile Touch and non-Touch Screen phones.

According to Skyfire,

"Skyfire remains committed to providing everything the PC web has to offer in a mobile experience with blazing fast speeds. For the first time, consumers can use their phones to watch any web video and live events, stay connected with friends, share web pages instantly, and use the full-featured PC versions of their favorite websites. Skyfire is the only mobile browser to support popular web standards and plug-ins such as Flash 10, Silverlight 2, Ajax, Javascript and more, so the rich media on websites work on phones just like the PC. Known for its speed, Skyfire launches quickly and loads web pages quicker than other mobile browsers."

"Skyfire users can customize the start page with RSS feeds from their favorite websites. In addition, they can integrate their Facebook and Twitter accounts to import status updates and tweets, and easily publish their status to these networks. Skyfire is the only mobile browse to share and publish any web page to Facebook and Twitter networks with one click."

Follow the break for some screen shots and our impressions on the Skyfire 1.0.

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Released: SBSH GoNews Touch

A few days ago SBSH released a teaser video for their newest application, SBSH GoNews Touch, and today the software developer officially released the news reader.

GoNews Touch will let you subscribe to your favorite RSS channels, update them (manually or on a schedule) and swipe your way around them. We were able to test drive the beta versions of GoNews and found it to be a simple, straightforward application to keep up on the latest news, sports, financial news or any other of your favorite RSS feed.

Follow the break for a few more screen shots and a product tour video.

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GPSToday: Killer GPS app for WM

There are a few true killer apps on Windows Mobile and GeoTerrestrial's GPSToday is certainly a contender (Live Search is the other).

What is GPSToday?

As far as I can tell, it fills in the gaps that other GPS programs leave open. From my experience, its main function is to simply tell you where you are in the world. But unlike Google Maps/Live Search, which just shows your physical location on a map, GPSToday goes one step further by getting your coordinates, translating that into a real street address and displaying it directly on your Today screen (via the plugin).

All of this happens within about 15 seconds and a simple touch of an icon.

There is also the ability to attach your GPS coordinates automatically to photos, see your location of your contacts automatically and get directions to and from places. Plus the new feature: GPS weather, where it will show your weather directly based on your GPS coordinates. All wrapped up in a nice, simple (and currently free) program.

Read on for the feature breakdown and brief review!

Breakdown

 

There are two main parts to the program: the Today plugin and the Maps application. There is also a useful configuration screen for setting up and modifying the settings.

Plugin: This is the main interface for the app and it’s pretty simple, it’s also “touch friendly” so your stylus need not apply. To the left is the Red icon with a little satellite icon—it turns green when trying to pull your GPS signal and displays the number of satellites found. In the middle is the “display” section which shows your street address (or optionally coordinates).

The little person/icon is “Save to Contacts” which allows you to directly copy the current info to a current or new contact.

 

The “stopwatch” icon is the option to automatically lookup your current location at timed intervals (1 minutes, 5, 10, 30, 1 hour, Auto or Off) so in theory you could have your current location updated every 30 minutes automatically, all you have to do is glance down at your screen and you’ll know your street address.

 

Finally the Map icon brings up the mapping portion. Tapping the Map will download mapping data of your current location and will optionally show points of interest (POI) and/or Contacts, which is very cool.

 

For those concerned with battery life, GPSToday can do a one-time Quick Fix: it will turn on, do the lookup, display the street address and then turn off the GPS system meaning you only have GPS/data activated for about 20-30 seconds—all the work is done for you! This is probably my favorite part as nothing beats finding our current street address. What good is there in knowing your visual location on a map or your coordinates when trying to meet up with some friends? It’s much easier to tell someone “Yeah, I’m at…435 Motts Street right now”. (Note: due to GPS sensitive, the exact location lookup is sometimes off by a few houses, so YMMV. But for the most part, this will get your address within a few stops.)

Maps: the Map is accessed via the Today plugin and has your usual assortment of options: display POI, contacts, zoom in/out, refresh, weather and geocaching/geotagging of pictures options.

 

Weather: the weather option was just added to the latest version and is pretty simple but very neat. Basically it pulls down your current temperature and basic weather based on your GPS location. It can display this on the today plugin as the temperature or on the maps:

 

Geotagging of photos: here’s another very useful feature. Simply enable it via the add on freeware program (it’ll prompt you to download) and whenever you snap a photo, the GPS coordinates will be tagged to the picture. This of course can then be used for stuff like Flickr, where built in mapping of your photos can add a cool twist to your collection.

 

Conclusion and the future

GPSToday is just a fantastic application. It was quickly updated by the developers for 320x320 resolution devices (Samsung i780, Treo 800w/Pro), has new features being added all the time (e.g. GPS Weather) and I’ve heard we can expect some more features in later versions (think “friend finder/social networking” abilities).

If you have GPS built in, this is one of the most useful programs available as knowing your current street address, seeing your contacts in relation to you, being aware of the current weather, geotagging your photos, etc. are all things we can use in our daily lives.

In short, programs like GPSToday are what make “smarpthones” truly smarpthones—they do the work for you, seamlessly and provide really useful information in an instant.

Any downsides? Probably just these two major limitations:

  • Only WM Pro devices (WM Standard is not currently supported)
  • Mapping data is U.S. based only

Hopefully some of that will be addressed in later versions.

Download Here and read their FAQ with some tips and tricks right here.

Ratings (out of 5)

  • Function: 5
  • Ease of use: 5
  • Cost (none): 5
  • Features: 5

Overall:

Pros

  • Unique GPS app
  • Currently freeware
  • Very useful
  • Easy to use
  • Great features with more to come

Cons

  • Not for WM Standard (non-touchscreen)
  • U.S. mapping data only
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IM+ Gets Major Update to v6

 

If you're already a user of the popular instant messaging app IM+, you may have been notified of a "major" update last night.  Upon downloading it seems the Shape Sevices guys have bumped it to v6.0.1.  (Read Tim's earlier review for WM Standard)

In short, they overhauled the graphics, added buddy icon support (finally), Facebook chat (in addition to MySpace) and a new feature whereby you can sign off but IM+ will keep you logged in, then when an IM comes in for you, they forward it as an email aka 'Push IM'.  Interesting. The Today plugin also got a bit of graphics sharpening, though no major changes.

So far I'm liking the new look and added features, though for $39.95 it is mighty pricey for an IM program.  On the other hand, free upgrades sweeten the deal a bit.  Unforuntaltey, there is no sign of any "speech to text" feature as was reported for BlackBerrySigh.  Maybe later?

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Review: Resco Keyboard Pro ver 5.22

 

There are all kinds of WM users.   Everyone has their own perfect way to use their mobile phone to do what they personally like to do best. Some like to send 386 text messages an hour, each with less than 4 characters each… while others tend to need to write mostly long emails. Some phones have hardware keyboards, while others do not. Because of these reasons, many WM users will often times throw everyone into two groups of WM users… those who love to use a hardware keyboard, and those who love to use a software keyboard.

If I had to lump myself into one of these two groups, I would honestly have a foot in each camp. Because of my work I tend to have to write long emails quite a bit. When this happens, I slide out my hardware keyboard on my Sprint Mogul phone and type away. But when I send a quick text or need to type only two keywords to do a Google search, I will use a software keyboard.But have you tried to use the standard WM software keyboard without a stylus? If you haven’t, don’t even try it. It is just an exercise in frustration of hitting the wrong keys.   This is what led me to try Resco’s Keyboard Pro version 5.22 (I know the Resco website still says ver 5.21, but 5.22 is the latest). They promise that it is one handed finger friendly. After using it exclusively for several months now, I am ready to give my opinion on this claim… 
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SPB Mobile Shell 3.0.1 Beta

SPB has released a Beta Update to their Mobile Shell 3.0, SPB Mobile Shell 3.0.1 Beta 1.  The update Beta fixes several "bugs" in the original and adds a few minor features. According to SPB, the release is not designed to add additional "standalone" features but rather to fix known bugs and add small features.

I installed the Beta update on the AT&T Fuze and the overall performance of Mobile Shell seemed to improve. The application felt more responsive to the touch. One fix was to resolve the tremendously slow screen rotation between portrait and landscape modes. The rotation speed was back to normal levels (maybe a hair faster) when you extend the keyboard of the Fuze. However, when you rotate the Fuze horizontally (without the keyboard extended) the screen no longer rotates. The fix is still in the Beta phase so I'm sure SPB will correct this.

A few of the more notable additions/fixes with the Beta include the addition of a "Show Today" widget; the addition of a "Remove All" command in the call log menu, and support for the "call" button in certain screens. From an individual contact screen, when you highlight the desired number to call and hit your "call" button the number is now dialed. In the original 3.0, the "call" button pulled up your dial screen.

There's no word from SPB when the update will be finalized and it's nice to see the prompt response SPB has made in addressing these issues. The SPB Mobile Shell 3.0.1 Beta can be downloaded here and for those interested, follow the break for the complete change log provided by SPB.

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Woo boy, another browser has entered the fray. This one is called Mach5 and hails from Hong Kong and is currently available as a trial. It seems NetAcceler has eventual plans to charge for the browser sometime after May (when this demo expires).

Anyways, Mach5 is like a combo of Opera Mobile 9.5 and Skyfire in that it can render full sites and even do YouTube/media, all proxied through a remote server to compress the data.

From my experience, it's pretty darn good. Graphics are nice, options are plentiful (but not overwhelming) and speed is pretty fast. Watching a YouTube video opens a unique media player (see above) that goes full screen — very nice touch. Downsides? Like Skyfire, this thing will zap your battery, and reports from users say that it makes their devices hot as a microwaved burrito. On the plus side, it looks fantastic on VGA screens.

But don't count Skyfire out just yet. For one, Skyfire plans to remain free indefinitely, and two, look for v1.x coming soon with a slew of new features and improvements — so don't count it out just yet. Still, it's good to have some competition to keep the Skyfire team on its toes. Download/Register here and after the jump, check out a video demonstration.

[via PocketNow]

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Quite awhile ago I wrote up on Marshall Wait Cursor 2, which is a really cool donationware app that allows you to change that old, boring WM5/6 wait cursor aka WinPie.

Well, he's back now with version 3 and much improvements all around. The app now has a very modern, finger-friendly interface. In addition, there is a whole bunch of new icons that are available as separate "icon packs" (note: the large ones only seem to work with VGA devices). These new icons are gorgeous and even hilarious (Famous dancing PB &J bananna? Done.  Beavis and Butthead?  Ready.).

Other notable changes with v.3:

  • Works on any resolution device, even non-touch ones
  • Autostart option
  • Cursor timeout option
  • Confirmed working with WM6.5 (natch)

I'm currently using the "Processing" box one because I'm just a tech nerd.  Anyways, give it a shot.  It's free and really spices up your device in a simple, painfree way.  Of course, we recommend doing a backup JIK and note that this will consume some memory, so Mogul and Sprint Treo Pro users take heed. 

Take a peek after the jump to see more of the UI and cursor choices!

[Download here!]

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SPB TV Adds 40+ Channels

SPB announced today that they have added over forty channels to its SPB TV application. The majority of channels added are the result of user feedback bringing the total number of channels available on SPB TV to more than 100. New channels include Comedy Time, Fox TV affiliates, Chick Comedy, and several others. Compared to the initial review of SPB TV, the channel selection has grown by leaps and bounds.

SPB is still interested in what channels users want to see added to SPB TV. If you have a channel you'd like to see added, simply follow this link to suggest it to SPB.

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Customizing Mobile Shell 3.0

It was only a matter of time before some adventuresome soul found a way to customize SPB's Mobile Shell 3.0. Pocketnow.com is reporting about a few third party "tweaks" that are popping up at XDA Developers so we decided to take a gander that way to see what all the excitement is about. Follow the break for more details on these customizations and a few screen shots.

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Software: Twit Today (Twitter plugin)

Confession: I don't really understand who wants to mini-blog their life daily to share with friends and family (probably because my life is so boring).

Of course I'm talking about Twitter, that odd (and free) phenom which fills that "gap" between emailing your friends and posting a blog. (Still confused? Watch this entertaining YouTube vid for an explanation).

Heck, thanks to Dieter, even WMExperts has it's own Twitter feed for those big events like CTIA, etc.

Anyways, if you're into this minute-by-minute documentation of your life, then you'll be pleased to know that there is a simple, freeware plugin for your WM Pro device from Dale Lane.

Hop to his site for the quick and fast download and be on your merry way of boring your friends and family with your daily minutia, ;-)

Via Solsie

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Lordy knows what exactly has been updated with YouTube's dedicated video client, but it jumped from v2.0.2 to v2.0.9 sometime...recently.

One obvious and welcome change is program compatibility – finally – with 320x320 devices (before it would rotate and crash on Treos), so that's pretty cool. We also imagine they've improved their streaming codecs and optimized the app a little. 

So if you had some problems back when it debuted, you may want to take another chance: http://m.youtube.com

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