As if we needed any more convincing that the HTC HD2 is an outstanding Windows Phone. Just in case there are those still on the fence, HTC has released a pair of short commercials highlighting the HD2.
Now if we could only get an AT&T branding on the phone?
Update: Added video above. Level of skepticism still fairly high.
Microsoft has said that the HTC HD2 won't be getting an official upgrade to Windows Phone 7 Series, but that's never stopped anybody before, has it? Tom at HTCPedia says he's got the WP7S Metro UI running on the HD2, and most of the big bells and whistles are up and running, including WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth. There are issues with the graphics drivers, he says, causing some lag.
Now that Slacker has officially come to Windows Mobile, we thought we would take the opportunity to entice readers to tell us what you think. To help sweeten the pot, Slacker has been kind enough to provide a few complimentary subscriptions.
What you'll need to do is install Slacker to your Windows Phone, sign up for the Free Account, give it a test drive and tell us what you think. Could it be better? What do you like or dislike?
Once you've gathered your thoughts, post them over on the forums in this discussion. And please, try to post more than the easy two word thoughts (e.g. love it, hate it, it sucks, it rocks, etc.). We will randomly draw two grand prize winners who will receive a one year subscription to Slacker and three runner's up will be selected to receive a three month subscription.
Posts must be submitted by 5:00pm CST on April 3, 2010. You'll need to be registered to participate and that painless process can be found here.
Once a year or so we get another look at a Windows Mobile satellite phone, and such is the case with the TerreStar Genus, billed as the world's first smartphone with 3G and satellite capability. Unfortunately there's no hand-off directly from 3G to satellite, so you effectively have to throw a switch from one to the other.
But is that really something we worry about? Heck, no! It's a feakin' Windows Mobile 6.5.3 satellite phone! It's running the 850/900/1800/1900MHz bands, so you'll be rocking it on AT&T. It sports a 2.6-inch 320x240 QVGA touchscreen, 100MB of "end-user memory," a 1400 mAh battery, H.264 video playback, a 3MP camera, microUSB, microSD, GPS, WiFi b/g, USB 2.0 (Class 2 only, though) and ... oh, yeah, it talks to satellites.
Not exactly the sort of thing we expect to be using, but if you're up in, say, Alaska, you're gonna want one of these babies.
More pics and hands-on video at CTIA after the break.
Then came word about Verizon striking an exclusive deal with Skype, which went into effect today for certain BlackBerry's and Android devices. People did the math and figured the Verizon deal must have had something to do with it and sure enough, we heard this quote from Verizon recently on PhoneNews:
“The fact that we’ve partnered with Verizon and the fact that we’re withdrawing these apps are related only to the extent that they’re part of our drive towards a better Skype mobile experience. What we’ve announced is that we’re withdrawing the Windows Mobile and Lite apps from our website. If you already have one of them, you’ll be able to carry on using it.“
Now a tipster at our sister site, PreCentral, has sent an internal memo (see above) regarding today's launch. At the bottom it mentions:
Stay tuned for more detail in the near future about Skype Mobile on more Smartphones and platforms such as BREW, WinMo and Palm.
So it sure sounds like, at least on Verizon, Skype will be coming back. None of this should be surprising in the least, but it's nice to have more confirmation. Plus, last we checked, WinMo carrier-exclusive programs don't stay exclusive for very long...
We've only seen Windows Mobile 6.5.3 officially on a handful of handsets. Now hows about on a 7-inch tablet? Enter the Mangrove 7 from C-motech, which we spied this week at CTIA in Las Vegas.
Windows Mobile 6.5.3 is Windows Mobile 6.5.3. And if you're used to Titanium (and clearly as you'll see in the video, I've been using Sense), then you'll be used to it here, for better or for worse. The OS looks like it's just slapped atop a larger screen, with no customizations. The photo gallery hardly uses the massive screen real estate, and the on-screen keyboard is -- and we're putting this kindly -- laughable, at best. (We're really not being mean ... Just watch the video.)
As for specs, the 7-inch screen is powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor ... which is severely hobbled by the fact that there's only 512MB of ROM and a very meager 256MB of RAM on board. The RAM's a killer.
Anyhoo, it's great to see Windows Mobile 6.5.3 on a tablet of this size, and it was a pleasant surprise at CTIA. It's just a shame that it appears to have been done on the cheap, and it's not like you're going to see this in stores anytime soon. Check out the video after the break.
While HTC is enjoying the successful release of the HD2 over at T-Mobile, they are also sliding another Windows Phone past the FCC. The phone is identified as "PB92100" and is described as a Windows Phone throughout the FCC documentation.
As is customary, HTC has requested the FCC hold the specifications and images of the "PB92100" confidential. So we are left to speculate what this phone could be. We know from the FCC documents that "PB92100" has GSM/EDGE 850/1900 bands, Wifi, and Bluetooth (narrows it down a lot, doesn't it).
There is some speculation that this could be a Windows Phone 7 Series device but HTC has been relatively quiet on the whole WP7S topic. It's also awfully early for a WP7S device to land at the FCC.
Could it be the HTC HD Mini? The HD2 headed to another wireless carrier? Or maybe the "fact or fiction" Trophy? Only time will tell and we'll keep you posted if more is discovered on the HTC "PB92100".
For those who use Foursquare, that social network app that pre-dates Google's Buzz and lets you share your location with others, you'll be pleased to see what they have in the works for Windows Phone 7.
The former shows a "heat map" of the immediate area, which is a representation of the most popular spots in your locale. We suppose this is great for finding where everybody be at, as this kids would say.
The other feature, directions, is just that: once you find where your friends are, you can get directions to that spot within the app itself, instead of hopping into Bing or Google Maps (we won't even touch the multi-tasking issue).
One thing looks certain, with companies like Netflix, Twikini, the Associated Press, EA mobile, IMDB, Weatherbug, Pandora, Photobucket, Sling Media, Seesmic, SPB and now Foursquare, WP7s should have the basics ready to go on launch.
Microsoft has recently updated its My Phone service. The new version is 1.06.22718.01. What's in the update? So far nothing stands out and the update is listed as "fixes and enhancements based on your feedback."
The next time you sync your Windows Phone with My Phone you will be prompted for the update. Once you download and install the update, soft reset your phone, and you'll be back in business.
Don't have My Phone yet? Simply point your Windows Phone browser to myphone.microsoft.com/install to download and install the application to your phone. Full official release after the break.
The proliferation of games in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile has made the decision on which time-waster to invest ones money in a difficult one. A big part of the choice is based on what types of games you enjoy playing. For those of you who enjoy games that fall in the racing genre, this one’s for you.
Asphalt 4 is a street racing game from Gameloft which gives you many of the features that you would expect from a racing game. Keep reading for the full review.
Back in the day, we had an app on Windows Mobile called CityID (Flashback: 2006!). It recently reared its dormant head on the Verizon Imagio (see full review). The app was basically an area code database that compared that was compared to an incoming phone call, resulting in a City, State caller ID.
Turns out that many HTC devices, likewise, have a database that stores states, but not necessarily anything else. Saumaun, who is quite well known in various Windows Mobile communities, managed to whip up a detailed registry change to give us back that function. He basically included all the major metropolitan areas and referenced them via area codes, giving a pretty decent shot at city accuracy.
The best part of his "hack" is that there is no running programs or increased resources--it simply uses the device's registry to enhance caller ID. ROM chefs are encouraged to incorporate it into their builds and end-users can just download and install the simple and tiny .cab file, found in this thread.
So you want a T-Mobile HD2 but not sure about the price? (Even though we feel $449 is pretty good with no contract already).
Fret not as Microsoft's Bing is offering a whopping 35% off of the full $449 price which brings down the total cost to a nice comfy $292, give or take a few cents.
To take advantage, simply follow these directions:
Open web browser to www.bing.com
Type in "T-mobile HD2"
Select the "Sponsored Links" at the top with the 35% off info
Now to be clear, you won't get the 35% savings right away. Bing cashback works by refunding the difference after 60 days (read 'How it works' here, their FAQ here). The refund is either by check or, if you have Paypal, they will automatically deposit the money after the alloted time.
Still, for customers who want this baby for a fair price without committing to a two year contract, is $292 your number?
By Tim Ferrill, Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 10:23 pm EDT
AT&T today announced plans to roll out their 3G Microcells nationwide starting in mid-April. The Microcell (otherwise known as a femtocell) is designed to function in the same way as a cell tower, but utilizes a home broadband connection as the back-haul to the cellular provider. AT&T is pushing the 3G Microcell as a solution for those who get little or no cellular signal while at home.
In addition to the Microcell hardware, AT&T is announcing a companion rate option for $19.99 per month that will give Microcell owners unlimited calls through the 3G Microcell without cutting into their monthly minute allotment.
The 3G Microcell will cost a one-time fee of $149.99. Customers who choose the calling plan at the same time they purchase a Microcell are eligible for a $100 rebate, cutting the net cost to $49.99. An additional $50 rebate is available for those who sign up for an AT&T Broadband connection at the same time.