Just a reminder that we're taking a break from the Smartphone Round Robin this week to cover CES. But that doesn't mean we don't have something special for ya: A pair of podcast with all your favorite SPE editors.
First up is the second podcast we recorded during the Round Robin, brought to you by our pals at The Cell Phone Junkie. It's embedded below, but you've already subscribed to TCPJ, right?
How to listen to the Smartphone Round Robin Podcast Part 2:
That's right, it's that time of year when we descend on the desert to check out the latest offering from just about every tech firm in existence. Remember that tonight (9:30 p.m. EST, 6:30 p.m. PST) we'll be liveblogging Microsoft's keynote, with CEO Steve Ballmer and Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division. Does that mean a rumored tablet? Might we finally get some official word of Windows Mobile 7? Only one way to find out.
As for the rest of the week, we'll be bringing you more Microsoft product news just as quickly as we can cover it. If you're the type who prefers the raw feed, follow the entire SPE team on Twitter.
If there's anything we love about trade shows like CES, it's when big surprises are dropped on us. And if The New York Times Bits blog is correct, well, we'll just let them tell it.
On Wednesday, Mr. (Steve) Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, will unveil a novel take on a slate-type computer during his evening keynote at the Consumer Electronics trade show in Las Vegas, according to people familiar with Microsoft’s plans. The slate will be made by Hewlett-Packard and possibly available by mid-year, these people said.
Threaded email has been the holy grail for many and for good reason. Being an "Exchange centric" operating system, Windows Mobile has a lot riding on its image as the premier business (and more and more consumer) email machine. Seeing as Google has left us high and dry for their Android platform, it only seems fitting that Microsoft fills the gap, as nothing beats native support.
Coming from the WM6.5.3 build 23517 (or 23515, there is some issue there), the Outlook client features a "Conversations" button near the top that gives different options for sorting (From, received, subject, etc.).
Messages act just like in Gmail: they are organized by a single topic, opening up the meta-message will reveal all the email in response. There is also about three lines of text to preview the message, saving you time from having to open up every message.
Overall the system is very efficient and a huge win for an added feature. Granted, we would have like to have seen this like yester-year, but we'll take what we can.
Update: to clarify, this is notExchange 2010 dependent. It will work with your regular Gmail account or other services. It is the default sort option in Outlook, built into its core and independent of any Exchange account.
I've been running NRG's cooked Leo ROM for a few weeks now and while I like the features and appearance of HTC's Manila/Sense 2.5 I really miss having the Missed Call notification on the Home Tab. If you're in the same boat, XDA Developer Member netdrg may have the solution.
Netdrg has worked up a plug-in for Manila versions 2.5.1921.XXX that will not only add the Missed Call notification but will also increases the quick links on the Home Tab from 9 to 16. The plug-in also applies any wallpaper changes to all your tabs, not just the Home Tab.
In reading the comments over at XDA there may be some compatibility issues with the more recent version of Manila, version 2.5.1922. Just keep in mind that this is home cooking and it may not sit well with some phones. If you're interested in giving it a try, you can find the cab file here.
While porting Android to our WinMo phones is not that new, nor still far from perfect (most are plagued with hardware integration issues), progress is still creeping along.
We'll just let Drellisdee summarize:
I've gotten android 2.01 to boot on Imagio based on the topaz work on xda. After changing the the startup config's I've got the touchscreen responding properly but the hardware keys arent mapped right. The latest kernel noted in post 602 on xda didnt boot but the original pkg did. PS vol down is for vol and backup key as its mapped currently and the bottom right onscreen button on the press the android to start will let you change the lang to english.
Of course now comes the areas that "still need work," which are numerous:
What do you get when you shove an HTC Touch Pro 2 and HD2 into the hands of a longtime Android user? Besides a pair of hands that tremble under that much power, you get Casey Chan (of AndroidCentral fame) in the opening round of the third annual Smartphone Round Robin. Casey gets a look at how HTC Sense and TouchFLO 3D stand up to stock the Android OS, as well as on HTC Android fare. Check out the fun here.
Although the title makes it sound like the LG eXpo's ROM (see review) is now single and ready to mingle with the ladies, in pseudo-technical parlance it means its OS and LG custom goodies have been extracted.
What usually happens next is similar to vultures: ROM chefs swoop in and tear apart the remains, pulling out all of LG's unique software (Music player, LGIdles UI, Mutli-task application, etc.) and then cooking into their own ROMs or re-distributing the software as standalone .cab files.
Fine line between piracy and having fun. Or is it?
It's been awhile in the making with lots of false releases and half-fixes (Soft SPL anyone?), but at last the full Hard SPL is now available by the DarkForces Team (bepe and Cotulla) for the much coveted HD2 (see hands on and review)
(And yes, it should work on the U.S. T-Mobile version, but we'll have to actually wait for its release to verify)
Not much else to say except find your favorite chef and forum and start browsing for some custom goodness. As usual, be aware there is a risk with flashing a Hard SPL and using custom ROMs, so feel free to wait on the sidelines for 48 hours, m'kay?
So you're sitting back, enjoying your the new Windows phone you received over the holidays. Downloading apps, emails, and sending text messages to your hearts content on that "unlimited" data plan? Did you know that there may be a restriction on your "unlimited" plan? Restrictions, if violated, could result in your service being terminated?
We checked the fine print with the four major carriers in the U.S. market and found some interesting language as it relates to unlimited packages. Language that many may not be aware of and we felt it important to pass it on. A public service announcement of sorts. Ease on past the break to see what limits are in place.
The saga of the Year 2016 text message bug continues. While there's not an official fix as of yet we, do have a workaround (download here). And we just received an official statement from a Microsoft spokesperson:
“Microsoft is aware of reports that phone messages received after 1/1/2010 may be dated 2016. These reports have not yet resulted in widespread customer inquiries; however, we are working closely with our manufacturing and mobile operator partners to investigate the cause and correct the issue as appropriate.”
So, they're on it. Sort of. Hopefully we'll see an official patch soon.
The bug is also affecting EFTPOS terminals in Australia. Retail stores can't charge transactions to customer's credit cards, because the EFTPOS terminal thinks the data is 2016 and therefore the customer's card is considered expired.
The only thing better than a moment of nostalgia, is a moment of geeky nostalgia. Classic video games are making a comeback for a number of reasons. Reason number one is that it doesn’t take a lot of hardware to run the games that we used to play 20 years ago. Reason number two is that the games have already been developed; they just need to be adapted and ported to a modern platform. The biggest reason in my opinion is that you don’t have to sell a game like Tetris or Galaga, because your customer is already familiar with the game and in many cases is simply renewing an addiction that has been on pause for the last 15+ years.
Namco is one of those names that is synonymous with classic games. I’ve already looked at Galaga and found it to be a fun game experience, but limited by the controls that are available to you. Another Namco classic, Dig Dug, is available from the Windows Marketplace for Mobile. While Dig Dug isn’t as high paced as Galaga, there are some definite benefits to the way the game is constructed that lend itself to Windows Phones and the hardware that is available.
Market Share by Net Application is a company that analyzes website traffic and generates a trend analysis based on this activity. While there are many naysayers about how successful Windows Mobile 6.5 has been, Market Share's latest trends analysis may put some of the "Windows Mobile is dead" comments to rest.
From November to December 2009, Windows Mobile experienced a 50% increase in web traffic measured by Market Share. Windows Mobile jumped from a .04% share of the traffic to .06%. The growth is second only to the Android OS. The iPhone remains at the top of the heap, claiming .44% of the traffic, with Symbian pulling in .23% of the traffic.
There was no explanation for the increase, but the increase could be a sign that a)Windows Mobile 6.5 is more successful and inviting than many thought b) Microsoft's advertising campaign for Windows Mobile is more successful than first thought or b) the spike is device related. We are seeing more powerful Windows phones hitting the market (LG Expo and HTC HD2) that improve Windows Mobile's browsing capabilities.
Regardless of the reason behind this spike, it will be interesting to see if this trend continues into this new year.
Malatesta and Phil are joined by special guest Matt Miller of Nokia Experts (and a longtime Windows Mobile user) to talk about the Smartphone Round Robin, the great SMS Fail of 2016, Windows Mobile 7 and where we all think the platform is going in the next year.