Malatesta and Phil dive deep into the HTC HD2 and what the Motorola Droid means for Windows Mobile, talk a lot more about custom ROMs and answer your e-mails and voicemails. (Oh, and Phil's battling a hurricane.) Let's go!
See what we did there? Used the alternated spelling of colored. You know, for Canada. Anyhoo, Electronista says "sources familiar with its [HTC's] plans" have it that the Canadian network will be the first in North America to pick up the HTC Touch2, a lower-end touchscreen Windows Mobile 6.5 phone, and that they'll be available as red, black ok blue slabs. No word on actual availability. [Electronista via Engadget Mobile]
Cases come in all shapes and sizes. Different styles of case tend to cater to certain phones. For example, a form fitting leather case wouldn’t work very well with my Tilt. I’ve used a Seidio holster in the past with a Samsung Blackjack (and loved it), but I was a little unsure how well one of their holsters would work with a phone as bulky as the Tilt.
If you're anything like us, you've been mad flashing your CDMA Touch Pro 2 left and right with every new custom ROM released. But do you ever wish you could just change that one thing? Maybe add a program or remove one from ROM that you'll never use?
Fear not, as Scott Crosler of SSK (Scott's Simple Kitchen) has released his combo of Kitchen and starter ROM package for you Verizon and Sprint peeps. Don't really know what you're doing (and you're not alone here)? He also has a swanky PDF guide to show you how it all work (see release thread).
In short, you can now make your own ROMs off of his starter builds.
And simple it is. It's commonly referred to as a "visual" kitchen, meaning it's actually easy to navigate and operate with just picking and choosing what you want and what you don't. Want the Sprint version of TouchFLO? Done. Don't like that and want the HTC Sense version instead? Just as easy.
The kitchen comes with two starter ROMs: WM6.5 (21854) and WM6.5.1 (23037), the former is rock-solid while the latter is an older, early beta of WM6.5.1, so fun to work with but quirky. From there Scott has included a bunch of commonly used programs, e.g. latest versions of Bing, Google Maps, CHome Editor, etc. which you can add or remove from your custom ROM.
Of course, nothing is risk-free. But if you're ready to move beyond flashing other folks' custom ROMs, then SSK is a great place to start. (We had our ROM customized and flashed within 15 minutes--didn't even read the guide! Huzzah.)
The Zune HD has been given a firmware update, moving it from V4.1 to 4.3. We were not-so-secretly hoping the first update (or second, if you're counting the initial one on launch) would enable a hidden 3D World-band phone inside, Bluetooth and a speakerphone. But that's just us being a little crazy.
Instead, here's the official line, as cribbed from the Zune forums:
Zune HD firmware update: Today we released the v4.3 firmware update for Zune HD players; this update adds support for upcoming 3d games and applications, as well as an auto-suggest feature for better text input, and other minor improvements. Enjoy!
And digging through the forums, we're also seeing:
Much-improved Web browsing, both in speed and rendering. You can toggle between desktop and mobile. And there's now a landscape keyboard. (Huzzah)
New display settings for video out. You can choose HDMI Auto, 720p or 480p in addition to compositie video.
Get the update by connecting your Zune, then going to Settings>Device>Player Update. And after the break, instructions for those with 16GB Zune HD's who may not be seeing the update
1. HTC phones featuring Windows 6.5 are designed to handle your daily life, with only one consideration: You.
2. You can customize with programs, ringtones, TouchFLO 3D options, and more.
3. Connect with the people you care about most using Windows Live, Facebook and other chat clients available for download.
4. Backing up with Microsoft My Phone is as easy as typing in a username and password and selecting what you want to back up. Everything else is automatic. You can even let it run in the background while you surf the net, chat with friends, or have it just resting in your pocket while you relax on the couch.
5. All this and increased convenience with a one stop shop for applications available for free and for download in the brand new Marketplace.
Still, if you're not using a custom ROM already and want the official version, well here ya go. Get it here.
Good news for our friends overseas. A little birdie just dropped us the above shot of the HTC HD2 in Vodafone UK's internal system, and it clearly points to a Nov. 13 launch. Frustrating, sure, that you have to wait seven more days for 4.3 inches of high-res, capacitive goodness (and we've mentioned the 1GHz Snapdragon processor once or twice, right?), but if that's what it takes, that's what it takes. Now, who's ready for some Windows Mobile 6.5 and Sense UI?
We're about to get into some pretty heavy inside baseball here, so bear with us. Microsoft has given control of licensing and distribution of Windows Mobile to Bsquare and will no longer be handling things itself. From the presser:
Bsquare will begin supporting approximately 30 select Windows Mobile partners with licensing, technical support and go-to-market activities as their current direct agreements with Microsoft end. Bsquare will offer personalized account management and highly-responsive technical support to ensure these Windows Mobile OEMs are successful with current Windows Mobile products.
Why, you ask? Said Daren Mancini, general manager in the OEM division at Microsoft:
“As developers and OEMs expand the number of mobile applications, services and devices, Microsoft is taking a new approach to sell and support Windows Mobile to a broader base of both consumer- and enterprise-focused Windows Mobile customers. Bsquare is uniquely positioned to leverage its deep knowledge of the Windows Mobile operating system, ecosystem and marketplace and serve the broader base of customers with its consultative approach.”
Um, so, why, you ask, would Microsoft not want to handle the licensing of its own product? (And if there's anything Microsoft loves to do, it's license products.) Guesses are all over the map right now.
JKontherun opines that it could distance Microsoft from its partners enough to allow it to develop its own hardware. (Something Microsoft has repeatedly said it does not want to do, will not do, and we should all quit asking if it'll do it.)
IStartedSomething's Long Zheng offers that it could fuel competition and let Microsoft concentrate on the OS more. He also says that could be the reason for the recent (and very much supposed) crackdown on some of the latest cooked ROMs. Zheng also worries that this could cause even more delays in getting future versions of Windows Mobile (and updates) out the door.
As for us? We're on the fence. We're less worried about delays, given that we know Microsoft is at least thinking about over-the-air updates for its OS, and you wouldn't just hand over control Windows Mobile if you thought the new company would sit on it. So will this this a good thing? (And, like you, we're trying to suppress or feelings of "Can it get much worse?") Only one way to find out.
SBSH recently updated its most popular Windows Mobile Standard app, SBSH Façade 2.0 [full review] This-top selling app normally sells for $14.95. But for today only, it will be the Deal of the Day at 50 percent off — that’s $7.48 off the retail price. Get it now it now in the WMExperts Software Store.
Generally, I think that we are all looking for the same thing when considering a case for our Windows phone. How the case fits, how it looks, the protection and durability it offers are the keys to finding the perfect case. Often, though, there are several cases that meet all of those qualities. Cases that set themselves apart by offering unique features are often the best option when you are shopping for that perfect holder for your phone.
Ecolife is one of those companies that make its living being fundamentally different than the rest of the market. The Element top case for HTC’s Touch Pro 2 line is made of 100 percent recycled fabric. Now I don’t know anyone who intentionally chooses to do things that are harmful to the planet -- most people just don’t think about it as much as they should. If you’re stuck looking for the best case for your new phone, let me introduce you to an option that will keep your new investment safe, while also investing in the long-term health of the planet that we call home.
Gone are the days Windows Mobile fans had to settle on the "stock" Today Screen. Third Party user interfaces have grown in popularity and capability over the past year to give you plenty of choices for your Windows phone. Choices that include SPB's Mobile Shell, Vito's Winterface. Proprietary interfaces have also increased in popularity and capability such as HTC's Touchflo 3D and Samsung's Touchwiz. The variety isn't limited to Windows Mobile Professional and those who fancy Windows Mobile Standard have a few choices as well.
So, what's your favorite user interface? The Windows Mobile Today Screen has come along way and may very well be tops on many user's lists. Choose your favorite in our poll then ease on past the break to see some of the choices available for your Windows phone.
We have two new goals in life. One is to get the HTC HD2 on every damn carrier in the United States. The other is to post as many HD2 stories as we can until Malatesta sees the light and gets on the bandwagon.
Don't care for how it looks? Simply uninstall the cab and restart your phone again. Choices include Eras, Century Gothic, Jott, Helvetica (great film by the way), Droid, Lucida Handwriting, Comic Sans and 13 others.
We have to admit, these new fonts breathe new life into our phone (we're partial to Kabel, pictured) and there seems little risk, so give it a shot.