Recently we got wind that India's Touch Diamond 2 had been blessed with their official update (available here), which could please a few million users we suppose.
Likewise, Orange has released their WM6.5 upgrade for their Touch Pro 2 (available here).
Finally, Australia's open-channel Touch Pro 2 is also eligible for their WM6.5 upgrade. Open-channel is down-under speak for non-branded versions aka not on Telstra. Get that update here.
While having cooked ROMs is a blast, using official released base ROMs is even better for stability, plus not everyone has time for customs. So if you're one of the few who needs these (and you do), go get 'em.
You almost have to feel sorry for the companies that dare place their proprietary software onto a Windows phone these days. For if it is good software, the hounds are let loose to rip it out and .cab it for all others to use within moments.
The app is available in .cab form and acts just like another optional input system on your device, so there is no need to only use it while learning its funky moves. It is suppose to work on Touch Pro 2, Diamond 2 (Pure) and other VGA+ devices, though mileage may vary (reports of ROM variation having an effect have been reported).
There's a little bit of confusion regarding whether Vodafone is letting the HTC HD2 die on the vine as it prepares to launch the iPhone 3GS.
A report from Electric Pig (and picked up by Engadget) says that Vodafone wouldn't be restocking stores in order to deal with a current backlog of orders. And that's just the case. Not that Vodafone is "ditching" the HD2. Not that the iPhone 3GS has anything to do with anything. Subsequent forum posts from Vodafone spell it out:
We just wanted to update you all on the current situation with the HD2:
We haven't recalled or stopped selling it, at the moment we have simply ran out of stock. When our next batch of stock arrives, this will be used to fulfil our outstanding back orders but we won’t be taking any additional orders via Telesales.
Now everybody simmer down. You Vodafone customers should consider yourselves lucky to be on the same continent where the HD2 is selling! :-/
For those who don't want to buy through Sprint or if you just have a ton of Best Buy gift cards available, this Saturday may be your day if you're in the market for the Sprint Touch Pro 2 (see review).
Rumor has it that the big ol' Best Buy is finally receiving the phone in stock for a Saturday launch. Forum user dbldwn02, who evidently works at the chain store, has seen the boxes with his very own eyes, so you know this has to be real [/sarcasm].
The bad and surprising news, if true, is that even after rebates you are still looking at a hefty $350 price-tag. At least though those rebates are instant.
Skyfire 1.5 has just been released. After the break, we take a look at the proxy-based browser (meaning the rendering work is done on Skyfire's end, saving your phone the trouble), which allows full Flash functionality, among other goodies. Join us!
One annoying side effect of the Touch Pro 2's slide-out keyboard is magnets in close proximity tend to wake the phone. And if you don't have a screen lock, your battery could be heading south right quick.
Magnets often are found in your favorite phone cases — specifically the side pouches with the flap. Having your TP2 in one of these can cause it to power-on randomly, draining your battery throughout the day. (This is an issue we found during our initial reviews of the Touch Pro 2.)
A simple fix for this is to disable the "slide to wake" feature of the Touch Pro 2. What this refers to is if the phone is off and you slide the keyboard out, it'll wake up. It's actually a smart feature as the only reason you would slide out the keyboard is if you were to use it. However, this mechanism relies on magnets to pass under the screen and trigger it.
Cool, eh? Unless you have a case with magnets, then it's a nuisance.
Here's another great way to not only sync and charge your HTC Touch Pro 2, but to show it off, as well. the Seidio Innodock Jr. Desktop Cradle presents your phone vertically. The Innodock Jr. will charge and sync at the same time, comes with a USB cable, has an LED power display and is compatible with Seidio's skins, Innocases and extended-life batteries. Available now in the WMExperts Store for $29.95.
A QR code, seen above, is a 2D tag system that is gaining popularity as the standard for matrix codes. Google is sending out decal codes to 100,000 local businesses that are the most searched on Google. In turn, they can place these decals in their store front. When a tech-savvy (and probably Android wielding) customer walks by, they can scan the code and pull down coupons, information, reviews, etc.
The question is where is Microsoft on this front? A few years ago they had a QR development program called 'Windows Live Barcode', later renamed 'Confucius'. It then vanished and presumably reappeared as 'MS Tag' which is now a proprietary matrix code system, albeit a very nice one. However, QR code support is gone.
There are really nice third-party alternatives right now for Windows phone, specifically 'BeeTag' (download here) which works flawlessly on our Touch Pro 2 (give it a shot, scan the above QR code). But in order for Microsoft to at least match what Google is now doing, they'll have to put QR code support back into MS Tag, something we hope they will do. Furthermore, can MS Tag survive up against QR now that Google is actually deploying it?
We are ridiculously excited to announce that today we're launching the 3rd annual Smartphone Round Robin! If you've never heard of the Round Robin, buckle up: Each year the sites of the Smartphone Experts Network spend some time out of our comfort zone, examining the platforms of our sister sites and learning how other smartphone users live. This year, the event will span six weeks, eight sites, over a dozen phones, over five hours of video, hundreds of photos, several hours of podcasts, dozens of discussion threads, and of course dozens of comparison reviews. Seriously.
What's in it for you? Plenty, we hope. To start with, each site will be giving away one smartphone (or your choice!) representing its platform. We have a Twitter contest for accessory prizes every week too. You can find contest details here.
More than that, though, every year we hear from grateful readers who have said the Round Robin helped them decide on their next smartphone, made them happier about the one they have, or even compelled some to switch outright. Researching and learning six platforms and all the phones on each is a massive undertaking - so we're doing it for you and you can just follow along.
If you want to know more about how to play along with this crazy event, hit up SmartphoneRoundRobin.com, where we explain the contest, the schedule, the participants, and even have an archive of the last two events.
The event begins in earnest on Monday, but today we're releasing the first of several podcasts, all of which are hosted by our friends at The Cell Phone Junkie. We'll toss direct links to download and subscribe after the break, plus let you know who's playing along this year.
The mobile browser battle is heating up again, and Skyfire is bringing it. The release of Skyfire 1.5 brings full-screen action, smoother scrolling and an even deeper experience. Here's the full rundown of what's new:
Full VGA Support. Skyfire now provides native support for the VGA and wVGA resolutions as seen on many recent Windows Mobile phones.
Smooth Scrolling. Kinetic scrolling has been added to Skyfire. Flick and you will see that scrolling has become very smooth.
Finger friendly UI. There are many UI updates to enable finger friendliness, increase the ease of use and add a bit of fun to the Skyfire experience. We updated as well the start page to be simpler-to-use with high-resolution devices
Full screen mode. For touch screens we have a mode that will completely remove all UI elements from the screen to provide maximum visibility onto the page. Tap the bottom right corner to bring back the toolbar.
Auto-Move text entry. This keeps any text entry box visible when the virtual keyboard is used. This convenient feature assures that web site forms are easy to use, in case the SIP (i.e., virtual keyboard) covers it.
Latest versions of Flash 10 and Silverlight. 1.5 has been updated to the newest and most stable versions of both rich-media formats.
Performance enhancements. Both Skyfire’s client and servers have been upgraded for faster, more responsive browsing.
We've seen some odd things of late, but the G3 is definitely on top assuming that this ad is accurate (we're skeptical, see below). Perhaps HTC was just getting lazy or they were like "eh, forget it, lets just throw WinMo on this and see what happens!".
The new HTC G3: a clone of the HTC Hero but sporting WM6.5?
320 x 480
128MB RAM, 256MB ROM
3.5mm headphone jack
On the other hand, look at the image: clearly that's Android copy/pasted into this mockup, with the Android buttons and no Windows Start key. This is starting to look more like an advertising error or maybe HTC is confusing everyone. We have a feeling we'll be seeing more of these situations in the future as Android and Windows Mobile routinely swap bodies....they're swingers like that. Yeesh.