Now let's try to wrap our minds around this one ... Sprint is going to be announcing a Windows Phone that makes use of WiMax, which is the technology behind Sprint’s 4G network. The logic behind this theory is that Sprint has an event scheduled for January 6 with announcements by Dan Hesse (Sprint’s CEO) and Steve Ballmer (Microsoft’s CEO). Also, Sprint and LG have been sending out invitations to an event scheduled for the following evening; giving possible insight into the identity of the device manufacturer. InformationWeek points out that the January 7 event is being hosted by Brooke Shields, and states that a celebrity of that magnitude isn’t brought in for a small announcement.
To this point, we haven’t seen ANY WiMax-capable smartphones hit the market. We’ve seen rumors every now and again, but nothing solid. If Microsoft could be the first to market with this technology, even over Palm and its current exclusivity with Sprint, this could be a major coup for Microsoft.
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.
We've got the LG Expo from AT&T (minus the piggyback pico projector) and we will be posting a full review shortly. In the meantime, here's a video hands-on with the Expo.
The initial impressions on the Expo are good, and I'm interested in seeing how well the Snapdragon processor performs. Does it drain the battery in half a day? How well does it handle multitasking? The Expo is also fitted with a optical scanner capable of fingerprint recognition and it will be interesting to see how well that performs as well.
What do you get when you put the best of Windows Mobile into a self-proclaimed BlackBerry addict? You get the third annual Smartphone Round Robin, of course. And this week, CrackBerry Kevin's putting down the front-facing QWERTY and picking up the HTC Touch Pro 2 and HD2.
So you've got an HTV Imagio on Verizon. Now it's time to protect that gorgeous touchscreen. Enter the Smartphone Experts Snap-on Case. It's slim, so it adds very little weight or bulk to the Imagio. It also has cutouts for the 3.5mm headphone jack, speakerphone and touchscreen. And the case is smooth, so it won't get caught in your pocket or purse. Available now in the WMExperts Store for $12.95.
So awhile ago I picked up a nifty car mount for my Touch Pro 2 (on eBay) and lo and behold it has a cut out for the camera. It also swivels, so it is actually easy to get an almost completely clear visual path with the lens.
In short, this is how a Touch Pro 2 works as a in-dash video camera. On top of filming yourself driving through a blizzard, we suppose it's also good if you are in an accident or want to record some yahoo driving erratically.
And if you think I drive fast, I'm from New England and live New York ... that's how I roll.
Are you rich? Do you only like chatting with rich people? Meet Fortunatus, a $500 Windows Mobile app that does nothing but display a diamond and allow you to chat with other fat cats who could have fed a family of five for a week or more but instead bought this app. You have to appreciate the honesty of the feature listing, though:
Show you are rich
For the wealthy gentlemen
Show you have the money
Chat with fellow rich people
Nice. Oh, and the developer's Web site? It's blank. Well, it does say "Website coming soon." Don't buy this. Ever. [msm via wmpu]
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:
Almost all mail servers now support IMAP idle, including Gmail, while AS only works with MS's proprietary Exchange server.
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.
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.
"Wow, that's a lot of apps." Those were some of the first words out of my mouth when I sat down to take a look at the iPhone. You know, the platform that has single-handedly killed off every other smartphone known to -- oh, wait. We're all still here? Good.
So, to get the discussion going, I've started a thread in The iPhone Blog's forums. And I expect each and every one of you go post in it. Often. Oh, and each time you do, you have a chance to win a smartphone of your choice (up to $1,000). Plus there's the whole thing about keeping the Windows Mobile end up, and that's important, too.
Hit up the video after the break, where Rene Ritchie, editor at The iPhone Blog, learns me a thing or three about the iPhone. And be sure to check out all the other goings on in the third annual Smartphone Round Robin.
Word is that Verizon is set to get a mysterious WM6.5 LG device called the VS750. Not much is known about the guy at this time, but call us crazy if it doesn't sound like the CDMA variant of the GM750 recently released in Europe (see our hands-on from October).
If true, it's not as tech-tastic as the LG eXpo on AT&T but it ain't half bad either. The GM750 had the following specs:
3-inch 240x400 display
1000 mAh battery
5 MP camera
And if this is not a CDMA variant of the GM750 well...LG get better naming schemes. And congrats on landing on Verizon, we're kinda psyched about your growing U.S. presence.
We could go on, but there's egg nog to be spiked and presents to be wrapped, so hit up the updates page for a list of reviews by platform and hit this post up after the break for the best of Smartphone Experts this week.