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Software

As much as we loved the idea of Manila 2.5, the "no landscape" and slowness of the messaging app has kept us at arms-length from it.

Of course the no-landscape issue was addressed a few weeks ago, but things like Twitter still only took half the screen; clearly it was not finished (and perhaps there were ulterior motives for that leak).

Well, as you can see above, in build 2011 the Twitter in landscape feature is fixed. There are probably some other enhancements, though it remains to be seen what those are specifically. Though at lest according to one who is using it, "It is as fast, if not faster than Sense 2.1!" which jives with the idea that it comes from a "shipped Topaz ROM", meaning this is final baby.

Expect your favorite ROM chefs to start rolling this out soon.

[Thanks, tek818, for the tip & screenshots!]

   

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Foursquare, an app that until now has been only available on iPhone, Android and recently BlackBerry, is coming to Windows Mobile. Well, in an unofficial way.

Of course, you're probably wondering what is Foursquare?  It's one of those new wave, social networking apps where you can share your location with friends as well as interesting things nearby.  Or rather:

Think of foursquare as an "urban mix tape." We'll help you make lists of your favorite things to do and let you share them with friends. Think beyond your standard review - we're looking less for "The food here is top notch" and more for "Go to Dumont Burger and try the most amazing Mac and Cheese ever." Foursquare will keep track of the things you've done, help you create To-Do lists and even suggest new experiences to seek out.

Sounds sort of neat.  It's like Google Latitude on steroids. 

Anyways, the APIs for the Foursquare system are evidently public, like Twitter. So third-party companies are filling in the platform gap and making clients for other OSs like Windows Mobile.  That company is Touchality, their app is called WinMoSquare and is currently entering beta testing.  Eventually they plan on offering via the Windows Marketplace. 

Check out the site if you want to sign up/be notified about beta testing and the app itself. Could be fun.  And read more on Foursquare here.

[via TechCrunch]

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While we gave IM+ a fairly positive review months ago, a lot of folks balked at the hefty price tag ($39.95), especially compared to free IM clients like Palringo.

Well, it looks like maybe the folks at ShapeServices, who make IM+, are going to do something about it as a "lite" version is floating around. More importantly, it appears to be free.

The main difference between "full" and "lite" is the latter doesn't have that "push" feature for IMs, GPS-MyLocation, Facebook chat or Twitter.  

However, it still supports AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo!, MSN, ICQ, Jabber and MySpace (hah!). In addition, there's a green bar on the top that scrolls about the "full version" with an arrow to download it. Overall, not to shabby.

What's curious is the build date: September 29, 2009 Version 7.1.1 Lite. So either this is an old build or perhaps IM+ abandoned the idea? We're also hearing an update for the paid version is coming soon. Thanks goes to CaliBoyPhillip for originally posting about about this version here.

For those with MS Tag, just scan and download below ;-)

Update:  Speak of the devil, the paid version just got updated (bumped to v. 7.6.1) Early reports indicate that it finally includes Skype chat.  More later.

 

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One of our favorite pocketpc freeware sites, Freeware for PocketPC, has released a pretty darn good marketplace app dubbed OpnMarket (hey, it's freeware, they evidently have to pay for extra "e"s).

In fact, dare we say, it's snazzier than Microsoft's own attempt?  Best analogy is it feels similar to the Netflix Mobile Manager application, with kinetic scrolling and tight graphics. Of course, it only works on touchscreen devices. Sorry WM Standard.

So do we recommend?  Heck, yeah!  For one, it showcases a lot of hobby developer software and number two, it's all freeware. The store itself works well enough, and did we mention free?

The application does require registration, which can be done on the device or on their website.  This will allow you to manage your programs via a "dashboard" interface as well as keep your software up to date.

Use MS Tag to download now and give it a go.  Read more on it here.

[Thanks, Veselin N., for the tip!]

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Remember NetFront?  Made by Access, they were the original must-have browser on Windows Mobile, going back years ago when Mobile Internet Explorer was even worse (and called PIE).  (See the v3.5 review as a refresher).

While Opera Mobile and Skyfire have mainly taken the lead, it seems Access is making an attempt to woo us back, releasing NetFront 4.0 "Concept Version".  We imagine the concept part makes this a beta, so not everything will be peachy.

The big thang that Access is pushing is their new JavaScript engine, which is suppose to be way faster than....the one in version 3.5.  So how this racks up to Opera Mobile and Skyfire is anyone's guess at this point, though we'll take a look soon enough.

Our initial opinion of 4.0?  Meh.

Read their full press release and info here.  Go through the download process here.

And look for a full review from George, coming up next week.  In the meantime, why not comment on your experience with 4.0?

If you're hip and cool, you'll use your MS Tag app to just download directly to your phone, see below.

[thanks John Kreuzer!]

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Resco, creator of several quality applications for Windows Mobile including Resco Photo Manager and Contact Manager, has announced in our forums that the Beta 3 version of Resco Explorer 2010 has been released.

Resco Explorer is a File Manager that is packed with features. Explorer offers a number of tools to improve navigation such as touch optimization, search functionality, and favorites. Advanced file features such as FTP, Network Browsing, and encryption are some of the more complex functionality you can expect to find in Explorer.

If you like to have total control over your files, hit up Resco (or preferably our Software Store) for the full lowdown on what Resco Explorer offers you. To play with the beta version, visit the thread our forums.

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SplashData acquires Iambic

Today it was announced that software developer SplashData (SplashMoney, SplashID, SplashShoper, Splash ad nauseum) have bought Iambic, who make the popular Agendus program as well as some other not so memorable apps.

What does this mean for Windows Mobile fans?  Not much and perhaps even bad news, if you use Agendus.

SplashData used to be all about Windows Mobile software years ago. Then they went all iPhone crazy and never looked back, killing off or leaving to die all their "Splash apps". No kidding, their lineup is as fresh and hip as jokes about  "Snakes on a Plane".

So if you're a fan of Agendus, we're sorry to say we don't have much hope that it will be re-vamped anytime soon (it's gone from 3.0 to 3.4 in fourteen months, already not a fast upgrade path).

Read the official press release here for more information.

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9

Add Call History to HTC Manilla 2.5

I've been running NRG's cooked Leo ROM for a few weeks now and while I like the features and appearance of HTC's Manila/Sense 2.5 I really miss having the Missed Call notification on the Home Tab. If you're in the same boat, XDA Developer Member netdrg may have the solution.

Netdrg has worked up a plug-in for Manila versions 2.5.1921.XXX that will not only add the Missed Call notification but will also increases the quick links on the Home Tab from 9 to 16. The plug-in also applies any wallpaper changes to all your tabs, not just the Home Tab.

In reading the comments over at XDA there may be some compatibility issues with the more recent version of Manila, version 2.5.1922.  Just keep in mind that this is home cooking and it may not sit well with some phones.  If you're interested in giving it a try,  you can find the cab file here.

Read: Pocketnow

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It's been awhile in the making with lots of false releases and half-fixes (Soft SPL anyone?), but at last the full Hard SPL is now available by the DarkForces Team (bepe and Cotulla) for the much coveted HD2 (see hands on and review)

(And yes, it should work on the U.S. T-Mobile version, but we'll have to actually wait for its release to verify)

Get it here.

Not much else to say except find your favorite chef and forum and start browsing for some custom goodness.  As usual, be aware there is a risk with flashing a Hard SPL and using custom ROMs, so feel free to wait on the sidelines for 48 hours, m'kay?

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One neat feature that often gets left out of discussion on the HD2 (see review) is the built in digital compass.

Although occasionally useful, one major downside is it can't be used by third-party apps e.g. iGO, Google Maps, etc.  Well, that is until XDA member Mach2003 decided to play with and alter the GPSModDriver.

Stressing that this is still beta, the .cab file will allow interaction of the compass with those GPS apps, though each one will vary in terms of action.

For instance, Google Maps won't rotate the map for you  (shame) but it will give you a constant blue arrow for direction status (sort of like when you a driving, but now it will work at all times and be more sensitive).  iGO8 in 3D mode will "...rotate with the entire screen according to your compass heading, as long as you have a GPS fix"

Of course this is the tip of the iceberg and we're sure digital compasses and GPS on Windows phones is just starting.

[thanks you know who for the tip!]

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Add some color to those Manila 2.5 clouds

Growing tired of the white, fluffy clouds on HTC's Sense/Manila 2.5? (The way God and HTC intended, of course.)  If so, XDA Developers member Hubie has created something you might find useful -- a plug-in that will give your clouds a blue highlight.

The plug-in is compatible with WVGA/VGA/QVGA screens and can be found here. If the blue tint isn't for you, simply uninstall the plug-in, soft reset and you back to plain old white clouds. No word as of yet if Hubie will add orange, pink, yellow or other color options to this plug-in.

Via Pocketnow

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We know two things about HTC

  1. They know how popular Sense 2.5 has become
  2. They move pretty fast

We know this because a new build of Sense 2.5 (1922; last leak was 1921) officially supports landscape now.  Of course the excitement has lead to it being cooked into some GSM ROMs and it looks to be making its way to CDMA Touch Pro 2's in the next 24-48hrs.

So what does this mean?  Is HTC doing this for an eventual HD2 with a slider keyboard?  Or are they just doing the obvious: updating their UI for various future devices, including ones with slide-out QWERTYs?  We'll go with the latter for now as this seems like an obvious progression of the TouchFLO/Sense paradigm.

[via HTCPedia]

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SBSH updates PhoneWeaver

SBSH, makers of Facade, continues its upgrade march through the product line. PhoneWeaver, which is a "profile and phone management solution," has been updated to version 2.0. PhoneWeaver can be used to customize a number of settings and create a profile. This gives you the ability to manipulate a number of settings in just a few simple clicks.

New features include a much-improved touch-friendly interface featuring sliding panels. PhoneWeaver supports automatically changing profiles based on your time, location, agenda (Outlook Calendar), or sync/charge status. Support for various new features in Windows Mobile 6.5 and various performance enhancements are included as well. Visit SBSH for the full version history.

SBSH PhoneWeaver can be purchased from the WMExperts store. New purchases of PhoneWeaver are $14.95, with an upgrade price of $6.95; a 12-day trial is also available.

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One neat feature found in the "Leo" TouchFLO aka Sense 2.5 is the ability to set the update frequency of the weather tab.

For folks using Sense 2.1 aka the "Weather clock" version, this option does not exist--you only have "update automatically" which seems to go about every 2-3 hours.

Seeing as Windows Mobile fans are united in their desire to tweak and set every feature on their Windows phone, it was no shock that people were clamoring "fix it, fix it, fix it, fix it!" (to quote  philosopher Philip J. Fry).

Well, it's been fixed. Seems XDA member Notaliberal found the registry entries that control the frequency:

Create this DWord entry in the following key:

  • HKCU\Software\HTC\Manila\

  • Dword Name:  Weather.AutoDownloadInterval

  • DWord Value: 30 (Decimal)

Change the value to whatever time you want in minutes. Reboot. Voila!

And if you don't like trudging through your registry, here are some pre-set .cab files made by WarlockW to install at XDA or PPCGeeks. Just remember, this will have a negative effect on battery life!

Update: like a lot hacks, this sometimes works and sometimes doesn't . Seems it is depenedent on what software version you are running and other unidentified factors.  So while this works for many, for some it won't.

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XDA Developers has done it again. You’re probably familiar with Google Voice and what it does for you. One of the features that Google Voice offers is free SMS messaging. The problem is that it is a pain to create a message from within Windows Mobile. This is where those fine folks at XDA come along.

In his first post ever, msullivan offers “Google Voice Easy SMS”; which despite the unimpressive moniker, gives Google Voice users access to functionality that was previously inaccessible while mobile. This software uses your data connection and Google Voice account to send SMS messages without counting against your monthly allotment.

Easy SMS does require .NET Compact Framework 2.0 (3.5 is also available), a data plan, and obviously a Google Voice account. The software interfaces with your contacts and allows you to send to multiple recipients at once. For those of you who routinely see black helicopters (and we’re not saying that they’re not there) Easy SMS connects directly to Google’s servers using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer).

Google Voice Easy SMS is free, and msullivan states that his software will be released as open source once he gets a chance to comment his code and get it cleaned up so that the rest of us can make sense out of it.

[via TiltMobility]

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Opera Beta 2u now available

Just in time for the holidays comes a small update to the rapidly evolving Opera Mobile 10 browser (see earlier hands on video and review here).

This new update contains the following fixes/additions:

  • Support for auto-rotation
  • Support for right-to-left rendering of web content
  • Quicker launch, up to 70% faster on some phone models
  • Nicer shortcut icon for WM 6.5 (requires device reboot after install)
  • A few stability fixes
  • Several other minor bug fixes

Download here.

 

[MobileTechWorld via PPCGeeks]

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One e-mail standard that Windows Mobile has been missing since day one is IMAP idle--an advanced form of the IMAP standard.  The idle version is essentially push e-mail and it's very popular (Gmail officially supports it) as it is quick and is pretty good with battery life.

Fixup over at XDA has taken the open-source IMAP Pusher Service and made a handy WinMo client--one that also supports multiple IMAP Idle accounts.  He points out some interesting drawbacks in using Exchange Gmail too:

  1. Almost all mail servers now support IMAP idle, including Gmail, while AS only works with MS's proprietary Exchange server.
  2. Gmail's AS push is still not reliable enough to be practically usable. It does not let you use your own domain as reply email address. When you delete a gmail message in AS, it goes into Achieve instead of Trash.
  3. AS does not support multiple accounts. You can use both AS and xImapPusher at the same time on the same phone.

To setup, have your IMAP account setup already in Outlook; set it to check once daily.  Install the xImapPusher .cab to your device (soft-reset for good measure), run the 'Accounts Config' followed by running 'xImap Pusher' application.  You should then see your data-arrows activate and begin pushing your email.  You also need to have .NET CF 3.5 installed.

Downside is there is no scheduler, so you'll have to remember to turn it off (run 'xImap Pusher' again) if you don't want it checking.  Still, we've been using it for a few hours now it seems pretty solid and simple to us, so give it a shot.

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We first introduced you to Waze back in September. Waze is a free, turn-by-turn GPS application that uses crowd sourcing to detect traffic conditions in real time. A social network for motorists of sorts.

Today Waze is releasing a holiday version of it's navigation application that includes holiday-themed "road goodies", a treasure hunt contest, bi-lingual support and integration with the location based, geo-game foursquare.

Ease on past the break to read more about Waze's holiday version.

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For those of you running WM6.5.x, you will have noticed that the volume on-screen slider is not the the standard HTC one.  Turns out, Microsoft has been playing with the volume hooks and HTC's skin is no longer compatible. 

Instead, we're left with the functional but ugggggly old-school windows volume rockers.

One solution is from XDA member Ponchofiesta (love it) who has a new app that improves the graphics tremendously.  The app is still in early beta, so expect some bugs and you need to have .NET CF 3.5 installed. Make sure you lend a  hand with feedback.

Still, once stable enough, this is something ROM chefs can cook right in and make it all bettah.

Alternate solution?  SetVolume 0.7.

[via Technology Paradise]

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Just the other day we were talking about how the "L337 |-|4> Swype from the Verizon Omnia II.

We also lamented both in print and the podcast about how this is a double edged sword for the little Seattle company: tons of exposure and praise, but peeps are stealing your goods!  Then again, we suggested that OEMs may see the great press featuring Swype and see they want that on their devices.

Looks like the latter happened (we won't say told you so). Nokia and Samsung have invested $5.6 million into the fledgling company, which has to have caused a lot of popping of corks this week.

Guess we can look forward to more Swype in official (and unofficial) devices in 2010.  Sounds good to us.  Speaking of, are you using Swype yet?

[via UnwiredView]

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