Oh, Eldar, just what are we going to do with you? The Russian behind Mobile-Review.com apparently got his hands on a very early version of Windows Mobile 7 and talked about it on (where else) Twitter. He mentions that "Zune HD is more simple UI) and that "for WM users it will be a great step ahead. For market it's a copycat of Android 3.1/3.2 [ed. note: Android's currently at Version 2.1] or iPhone" with "a lot of horizontal movements, a lot of additional info by clicks etc."
And the kicker, which you see above, is that it might well not be compatible with current Windows Mobile applications. That's something we've been hearing for a while now -- a clean break from kernels of days (and years) past. And while that's not necessarily a bad thing -- fresh start and all that -- if it's true, it'll be sure to upset a portion of the current cadre of developers. Or, maybe they'll appreciate a clean start, too. Glass half-full and all that. Stay tuned, folks.
Hot on the heals of Verizon's recent rate changes, AT&T has announced matching rate changes. Effective Jan. 18, smartphone users can enjoy a new $99.99 unlimited voice and data plan. The new plan doesn't include texting, which will still cost an additional $20 a month for unlimited SMS.
A Family Unlimited Talk plan will also be available for $179.99 (for the first two phones) per month with unlimited voice and data. The cost of additional phones was not mentioned and we can only assume it will stay at $9.99 per line. Adding unlimited texting will run you $30 per month on the Family plan.
AT&T will also offer unlimited talk plans for Feature Phones ($69.99 individual/$119.99 family) and Quick Messaging Devices ($89.99 individual/$149.99 family). As with smartphones, texting plans will run $20 for unlimited individual plans and $30 for unlimited family plans.
They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Somehow, I don't see Luke Wilson spinning it that way in the commercials that are sure to follow this announcement.
Evidently though, today is the day to grab the "official" fix for the dreaded future-SMS bug, whereby SMS messages were coming dated from the year 2016, coinciding with the New Year (see our epic earlier coverage for full context).
This fix updates rilphone.dll, which is the key component that interacts with Sprint's SMS server. In that sense, it is different from the "ziggy" patch, which simply enabled a function that time-dated received messages using your device's clock.
If you are happy with the current "ziggy" patch, there is no immediate necessity to download this patch. Then again, some prefer to have their SMS messages dated by the server, not their device, so this update makes sense.
What about Verizon, U.S. Cellular and others? No word yet, but we'll keep an eye out. Also, no word on the Sprint Snap either.
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.
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.
It looks like Verizon is preparing to make some significant rate and feature changes to their wireless services effective January 18th. The Boy Genius Report has learned that Verizon is dropping the all-inclusive Premium Plan and re-branding the current Basic Plan to Nationwide Talk and the Select Plan to Nationwide Text and Talk. A 30% drop in pricing on the unlimited minutes options for each of these plans is expected as well.
Unlimited voice plans with Verizon will run $69.99 with a $89.99 option to include unlimited texting. Family plans will run $119.99 a month for the first two lines and $49.99 per additional line.
There will also be some changes to Verizon's data packages. A new $9.99 plan will be available with 25mb of data and mobile email. Overcharges for this plan will drop from $.50 to $.20 per MB. You will also have a $29.99 unlimited data plan with mobile email. All of Verizon's 3G multimedia phones will require at least the $9.99 data plan. Verizon's smartphones will require at minimum the $29.99 data plan.
According to slides obtained by BGR, Verizon states, "These new plans are designed to attract and retain high value customers in the marketplace and recognize the growing popularity of devices with more capabilities than ever before." We've seen claims of who has the biggest map, fastest coverage and most reliable networks. One has to wonder if Verizon's pricing changes will spark a pricing battle as well.
Follow the break for graphics comparing the new Verizon rates with the competition.
One of the games that has defined cross platform gaming is Sid Meier’s Civilization. I remember back in the late 90s when Linux was starting to get more widespread, many of the Linux flavors shipped with Civilization. Because of this, it was no surprise to me when I saw it listed in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile.
Hit the jump to see what this game is capable of, and if it’s worth the $4.99 that it will cost you.
Looking for more juice out of your HTC Touch Pro 2 but don't want the unsightly bulge from an extended battery? Check out the Seidio Innocell 1750mAh extended battery. It has 16 percent more power over the standard Touch Pro 2 battery but take up an extra space and doesn't require a new battery cover. Available now for $49.95 in the WMExperts Store.
To recap, Windows Mobile 6.5.x has been in development since last summer. Yes, even before Windows Mobile 6.5 was released, builds of this version were floating around. It recently started to appear on official devices like the TG01. It will feature
The company is purportedly so disappointed with Windows Mobile 6.5 sales since launch that the company is rolling out a 6.6 update in February
... makes our head spin. What is the logic here? Microsoft in, what, December decided sales were so awful that they're going to release another OS milestone within 2 months? An OS upgrade that isn't actually intended for a lot of current devices?
We're to believe the same company that cannot get Seven out on time (aka WM7), can now spit out major OS upgrades with a snap of their finger? So they are both crazy fast and crazy slow for OS upgrades. How convenient!
Or perhaps, just perhaps, Microsoft had always planned on releasing WM6.5.x, regardless of sales. That WM6.5.x will be developed even into the Seven life-cycle because Microsoft plans to continue selling that OS on lower-cost devices.
That latter one seems to make the most sense, since it adheres to, you know, basic logic and facts. Why else would Microsoft spend nine months of development on 6.5.x if they never planned to actually release it?
The other rumor is saying Microsoft will be showing 6.5.x off in Barcelona next month instead of Seven. We're going to side with Mary-Jo Foley here of ZDNet and say no, Seven will still be at least discussed, if not flat out shown off and that 6.5.x will have a subtle, quiet roll out instead.
Either way, we'll be in Barcelona to cover the event, so place your bets now on what you think will happen.
Well, it's not a mighty re-flash of the whole ROM, nor does it bring any new features to the table and in fact, it actually looks kind of dangerous to apply (see below), but Samsung has released a radio firmware update to help with dropped calls on the Verizon Omnia II (see hands on video).
Yeah, not exactly thrilling, though we suppose if you have been experiencing poor call performance, you may want to look into this lil' patch.
Now the caveat: its a finicky update, meaning it official doesn't work on Windows 7, only XP. Going further, a few users have reported problems with "bricking" their phone during the update. We don't want to be alarmist, but make sure you follow the directions exactly as described. Oh, and if you run the update in compatibility mode in Win7, evidently that can work too.
If you're the kind of person who just has to wait for official fixes to come out, well, fine. We understand. And official fixes are starting to trickle out for the 2016 SMS bug that we helped bring to light.
HTC has hotfixes for the Sprint Touch Diamond and Touch Pro that in all liklihood do the exact same thing our workaround does. But if you need the HTC stamp of approval, well, here you go.
Edit: The links to the CAB files are being squirrley, so just use the ones above.
Edit 2: Odd. Now the HTC pages are borked. Hang in there, guys.
If you are rockin’ an HTC Touch Pro2 (or one of the many carrier variants), chances are you are a power user when it comes to Windows Phones. For myself, the Touch Pro2 is the perfect form factor for a Windows Phone. The massive high- resolution screen, spacious QWERTY keyboard, in a fairly thin phone is the perfect balance of features and portability.
When it comes to power users, there is one feature that we can’t seem to get enough of no matter what the specs are; and that is battery life. Traditionally, the quest for an extended battery meant compromises when it comes to portability because larger battery capacity meant larger physical size. Seidio’s Innocell Extended Battery comes in an OEM form factor that gives you extended battery life without adding bulk or requiring a replacement battery door for your device.
For the full review of Seidio’s Extended Battery, hit the jump.
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.
Rumors abound in regards to Windows Mobile 7, HTC's HD2, and Microsoft's purported Chassis 1. Speculation stems from the story that Microsoft has a "reference chassis" for Windows Mobile 7, and the fact that the HD2 is the only device which qualifies based on the rumored hardware requirements.
The latest round of conjecture is based on an XDA post detailing the response that he received when he asked HTC about Windows Mobile 7 for his HD2. The core of HTC's response is as follows.
"What we do it ROM Upgrades from our website, however 6.5 windows mobile has only been out 2 months and windows mobile 7 hasn't even been developed. This wont be out until next november at the earliest. But when it is available it will be a free download."
Overlooking the underwhelming English skills, let's break this down. First of all, HTC does indeed release ROM updates from their website. Windows Mobile 6.5 was released in October, so this is more or less true. The statement that Windows Mobile 7 has not been developed is probably not true, but we can be fairly certain that it is not a finished product at this point. The statement about November is very noncommittal, and doesn't seem to come from anyone with actual knowledge of the timeline. The final statement, that it will be a free download once it is released, is simply in line with HTC offering free updates for their devices. While you could read into the response and take out that HTC is committed to bringing Windows Mobile 7 to the HD2, the response doesn't actually say that in so many words.
My personal prediction is that the HD2 will get Windows Mobile 7, at least unofficially. Until Microsoft shows Windows Mobile 7 to the world, speculation about what devices will get the upgrade is simply speculation. Stay tuned for news out of Mobile World Congress next month.
The third annual Smartphone Round Robin is back, everybody! And we're kicking off the second half with CrackBerry Kevin himself and his bevy of BlackBerries. (Actually, we concentrated on the Bold 9700 and Storm 2, but you know how we are about alliteration.)
Anyhoo, I've started a forum thread at CrackBerry.com to figure out why these things are just so darn addictive. Check it out, and remember that anytime you post in an official Round Robin thread, you're entered to win a phone of your choice from that site (up to $1,000). So get to posting!