For those of you lucky enough to have the T-Mobile HTC HD2, you may have been surprised to see that your Barnes & Noble eReader received a nice and much needed update.
User Jason M was kind enough to send us his report of the update and its new features noting
I opened up my Barnes and Noble eReader tonight and noticed an alert for a new update. I allowed it to install on my HD2 and noticed new features such as an option for a nice looking grid view of the book covers, access to the Lend Me function, a huge number of addition settings (font changes, background colors, day/night themes, dictionary lookup, etc), and finally bookmarks! Basically, the HD2 version has been brought in line with what is offered on other platforms. This is good news since Amazon is ignoring Windows Mobile completely.
Indeed! The 'Lend Me' feature is one the most coveted updates as it basically allows you to share your eBooks to a friend for a short duration--think controlled DRM. This is something that Amazon is sorely missing, but as Jason points out, Amazon so far as given a cold shoulder to Windows Mobile with no Kindle access for us.
Lets hope Barnes & Noble and Amazon both bring some eReaders to Windows Phone 7. (BTW, small plug: been using the Kindle 3 for the last few days and it's great, but it needs a 'Lend Me' feature ASAP).
Now it looks like LG is the first major smartphone OEM to commit themselves to the powerhouse CPU coming out Q4 of this year. The Tegra 2 is no slouch, featuring
...the first mobile dual-core CPU, the only ultra low-power NVIDIA GeForce(r) GPU and the first 1080p HD mobile video processor. Taking full advantage of the two speedy 1 GHz processors sharing the workload in Tegra 2, consumers can experience up to 2x faster web browsing and up to 5x faster gaming performance over single core processors running at 1 GHz. NVIDIA's leadership in graphics also delivers flawless 1080p HD video playback, console-quality gaming and amazing 3D capabilities.
Sounds quite promising and LG intends such a CPU for their Optimus line, which includes Android and Windows Phone 7 devices, though no word on whether both OSs will get the Tegra 2 treatment.
Finally, no word on whether those current LG devices featuring Windows Phone 7 (C900/E900) have a Tegra 2 or Qualcomm, though we're leaning towards the latter. Who knows about production-ready devices though. We'll keep an eye out.
Rumors are circulating that HTC has scheduled a press event for September 15, 2010 in London to introduce the HD3 Windows Phone 7 device.
The HTC Windows Phone 7 is reported to have a 4.5" AMOLED touchscreen, dual core 1.5ghz ARM-based processor, 1GB RAM, 32GB storage, 4G capable, a 8mp camera with HD recording capabilities, all powered by a 1800mah battery.
We've seen signs that the HD3 will be headed to the UK provider O2 as the HTC HD7. However, some are reporting the HTC Windows Phone 7 is headed to Australian provider Telstra on an exclusive 3-month deal.
Hopefully, after the 15th, we all will have a better picture on the where and when the HD3 will make it to market. We're also curious to know if anything will be mentioned about the U.S. market time-line.
It's a shame the screening wasn't for a re-make of 2001: A Space Odyssey. You could have had the black monolith replaced with a Windows Phone 7 and have HAL the computer announce the start of the revolution (or would that be too 'droid like?).
So, what do you think? The ad is a teaser and void any substantive information on the new phones. It does match the desert theme of Lawrence of Arabia but for those not as familiar with the new Windows Phones, is it enough to spark an interest? It will be interesting to see what Microsoft does as a follows up ad.
We recently reviewed the Wavetooth IPX8 waterproof Bluetooth headset and found it to be an interesting Bluetooth accessory. Not necessarily for everyday use but if you want to stay connected to your Windows Phone while in, on or around water it's a nifty gadget to have.
Now that we're through reviewing the Wavetooth, we want to give it away. To have a chance at winning the waterproof headset, simply post a comment on one of our stories between now and Monday, August 30, 2010 at 9:00pm PST. We'll then randomly pick the winner from these postings.
You will need to register to be eligible (no anonymous comments will win) and you can tackle that process here. Good luck to everyone!
The rumors are true, folks. There's actually a Windows Phone here at the IFA conference in Berlin, Germany. It's the LG Optimus 7, aka the GW910 aka the Panther. It's not a full production unit just yet, and it was on hand really to show off DLNA media sharing -- which lets you wirelessly pipe video, photos and the like from your phone to your TV. Photos and video after the break.
HTC has tweeted that Peeps is back up and running. Actually, according to Twitter it's been up and running for a few days.
Earlier this week everything went dark due to a problem when Twitter changed their authentication protocol. It's nice to see that the conflict wasn't too hard to resolve. Now that everything is up and running again, we can sit back, enjoy the weekend and tweet about our favorite College football team. War Eagle!
update: Might have spoken too soon based on the first few comments. It appears that some devices might be up and running while WinMo is still down.
Verizon Wireless is now offering pre-paid monthly data plans without the need for service contracts. This includes a $30 pre-paid unlimited plan and a $10 pre-paid 25mb plan (anything over 25mb will cost you $.20 per MB).
The limitation is that these pre-paid data plans are only for 3G enabled phones and the list of eligible phones doesn't include any Windows Phones. On the list you have Blackberry devices, Palm devices, and Android devices but not a single Windows Phone.
The tiered data plans are similar to what AT&T moved to back in June and you can find all the fine print on these new plans over at Verizon.
While the new data plans might make smart phones more attractive, the lack of any Windows Phones being eligible gives us pause. We have seen indications that Verizon's existing Windows Phones may be short lived and there seems to be a lack of interest from Verizon on Windows Phone 7.
Could the new data plans be just another sign that Verizon will be dropping Microsoft completely from it's lineup? Or are we reading too much into this on a slow news day?
When it's a slow news day and you have a quote from an official at a company, you can quickly make a mountain out of a molehill.
In an interview with Reuters, Samsung was quoted as saying
We are prioritizing our Android platform. Android is very open and flexible, and there is a consumer demand for it
Translation: Android is selling very well for us, we're going to continue to do that. We're not sure when it became news that a company who is having success with a 2+ year old mobile OS decided they will continue that path, but evidently that's the case.
Of course, the other half of the non-news news is what YH Lee, head of marketing at Samsung Mobile said about the upcoming Windows Phone 7, namely that "There is still some professional, specialized demand there", which is also not so controversial. Sure, it's not hurling accolades either, if anything it is sort of vacuous marketing speak that dominates 90% of business dialog.
Samsung is, for the first time in a long time, making big strides in the smartphone market, actually challenging HTC with their Android offerings (specifically the Galaxy S series). All of those silly iPhone knock offs that Sprint and other had, their mediocre Windows Mobile offerings, etc. never really paid them and now we're supposed to feign surprise that they want to keep with this Android thing? Feh.
And what of Windows Phone 7? It's an unreleased OS, not tested in the finicky, volatile market. Despite how good it may or may not be, how much money MS throws behind it, there are no guarantees and to think Samsung would put everything behind it and not the current money-maker Android is just bizarre. If WP7 is popular, Samsung will no doubt "prioritize" it. You know, follow the money.
We've seen snippets of applications under development for Microsoft's new operating system and this one definitely stands out. Developed by Herm's Software the fart piano delivers tunes in an assortment of tones including the short fart, the escape, the bubbly, the beans and the wet one.
Herm's Software already offers a variety of light-hearted applications for Windows Mobile phones. It was only a matter of time before their influence was seen (or should I say heard) with Windows Phone 7.
Windows Phone 7 is, likely, just over a month away from hitting the store shelves in Europe and just over two months away from seeing the light of day in the States . We've seen manufacturer devices, app development, and (obviously) development of the OS itself over the past several months.
The one thing we haven't seen much from is the wireless providers. Who's getting what and how much is going to cost us when it gets there? While the "how much" is well in the shadows right now, we do have some idea on the "who" with respect to wireless providers. Here's how we see it breaking down.
AT&T: Billed as one of the "premiere launch partners", AT&T appears to be in a position to offer the largest selection of Windows Phone 7 devices. We've heard rumors of HTC (T8788 or HD7?), Samsung (Cetus), and LG (C900 and GW910) devices headed to AT&T. Our count shows as many as four Windows Phone 7 devices hitting AT&T's shelves this Fall. Unless something changes over the next two months, AT&T will be at the forefront of Windows Phone 7.
T-Mobile: We are confident that T-Mobile will have a Windows Phone 7 device on the shelf at some point and the HTC Schubert has been quietly rumored to be that device.
Verizon: Verizon and Microsoft may not be on good speaking terms these days after the KIN adventure. Rumors are that Verizon is simply not interested in Windows Phone 7 and a leaked "end of life" report has Verizon removing any existing Windows Phones from their line-up by March of 2011. Coupled with the signs that Verizon doesn't have any Windows Phones on their2010/2011 product road map, we won't be shocked if Verizon shifts their smartphone focus from Windows Phones to Android or Blackberry.
Sprint: Listed as a launch partner when Windows Phone 7 was announced back in February (but that was a non-binding agreement), Sprint could go either way with Windows Phone 7. They could keep everything under wraps and surprise everyone with a Windows Phone 7 or simply taking a "wait and see" approach (as they did with Android). Fared Adib, Sprint's Vice President of Product Development did say back in February, "Sprint and Microsoft have had a 15-year-plus relationship together. And we believe that the Windows Phone 7 Series will continue that relationship into a new decade." Our guess, Sprint will let Microsoft work out the kinks with Windows Phone 7 and eventually have a Windows Phone 7 device in their line up. Maybe the Dell Streak Lightning?
Granted all this is speculation and the carriers still have plenty of time to throw in a few twists before Windows Phone 7 hits the shelves.
We still have the nagging questions of "when will the carriers get these phones?" and "how much will they cost?". The OS was just released to manufacturers and best guess is still seeing mid-to-early November for availability. Pricing points are still anyone's guess.