Well it only took about 12 months but the Palm Treo Pro (full review) finally caved in today and had its finicky ext ROM unlocked thanks to cmonex and the first custom ROM by CFay, which just happens to be one of the latest versions of WM6.5.1 (Build 23409).
CFay has also released a "clean" WM6.1 ROM, stripped of bloatware and tweaked for style and performance.
The Palm Treo Pro, designed by Palm but built by HTC, has much more in common with other HTC devices than previous Treos. However, unlocking the ROM files so new ones can be rebuilt has eluded many developers so far, proving to be as tough as Motorola devices.
And since we've heard nary a peep from anyone about an official ROM update from Palm, this is probably your only chance.
Users should be warned that this is in the very early stages of development and currently *only CDMA Treos* can do this, so let the dust settle before jumping, m'kay?
I've had the chance to use the device extensively ever since the quick hands-on report weeks ago. In short, Verizon customers are very lucky to have such a great WM Standard device. Packing WiFi, EvDO Rev A and a GSM radio with a cozy keyboard, the HTC Ozone sets the bar for non-touchscreen devices and breathes new life into this series.
Waze is a free turn-by-turn GPS application that uses crowd sourcing to detect real time traffic conditions and has been available for the iPhone and in Beta form for Android phones. We have learn that a Windows Mobile version of this application is entering the Alpha stage.
In looking at the Guided Tour of the application, it does look promising. Waze is a social network of sorts for motorists, relying on users to report traffic conditions. Most information is reported passively by the user's driving habits. But users also have the option to report conditions, upload photos of the conditions and report mapping errors.
To expand the potential of this application, a live map can be found at Waze's site to allow anyone to check out the reported conditions nation wide. The live map gives you a decent feel for what the application is capable of.
If you're interested in registering to be an Alpha tester, just head on over to the Waze download page. Once released for public use, we'll take it for a test drive and give you a full review.
While the HTC Touch Pro 2 is on everyone's mind, the Touch Pro and Fuze still have a faithful following. And that faithful following will likely be on the lookout for a quality case to carry their Windows Mobile phone in. Prima has been making nice mobile phone cases for years and WMExperts is offering their Lateral Pouch Case over at the Accessory Store.
We took it out for a test drive and had mixed feelings over this leather case. Follow the break to see the highs and lows of the Prima Lateral Pouch Case.
Skyfire users have been wondering why Hulu videos are currently not playing in Skyfire. The answer is simple: Hulu has decided to block you from watching Hulu videos in the Skyfire browser, as part of blocking all mobile access to Hulu, as well as TV access such as with Boxee and PlayStation.
There is nothing wrong with your Skyfire browser, and you can watch other videos on the web.
For decades, the TV/movie industry has built its business model on a windowing strategy. Content rights are granted for limited time periods across specific distribution channels. For example, a movie starts in theaters, then moves to pay-per-view and DVD, then to pay-cable channels, later to broadcast, and so on down the line. Similarly, TV shows are available on TV first, then in repeats, then to DVD and possibly syndication, etc.
Distribution availability across platforms — theaters vs. TV vs. recorded media like DVDs vs. online streaming vs. mobile phones — was always implicitly or explicitly controlled in that world. But a few factors have made the barriers between those platforms more permeable: the rise of the web, increased broadband availability, the ease of digitizing video, and the increase in the computing power of devices like gaming consoles, set-top boxes, and mobile phones.
However, in the near-term, the windowing strategy is still dominant in the business. Billions of dollars flow in across these different windows, and entire companies are organized around them. Nothing productive comes from flouting that reality (except to law firms who work on the occasional lawsuit).
Hulu did say "We do, however, expect these windows to converge over time. There's no way around that." Translation: It'll happen; we just have to figure out a way to make more money off of it. (OK, there may well be other licensing issues, too, but that's hardly sexy, now is it?)
That massive screen looks big enough to be the full on 4.3 inches, and the specs show it running at 800x480. (And, dayum, it makes the 3.6-inch screen on the Touch Pro 2 look small!) Also on board is 512MB storage memory and 320MB RAM. The Qualcomm 8520B Snapdragon processor indeed is running at 1GHz.
It was an awfully big week for Smartphone Experts. In addition to coverage of the iPod and Android announcements, we also celebrated the ten year anniversary of our network, which began back in 1999 with the launch of VisorCentral. It's been a wild ride and we look forward to another ten! Let's get on to the week's news, here's what you may have missed.
Resco Photo Viewer 7 seems to be a fast study. Just a few weeks ago we reported on the Alpha version being sighted and now Resco has up and released a public Beta version of their popular photo viewer. We were very impressed with the Alpha version ("awesome" according to Maltesta) and unless Resco really dropped the ball the same level of quality is expected with the Beta.
Admittedly, I'm more comfortable with my Canon DSLR and Photoshop but I understand that camera phones and portable image viewing can be equally important tools. I don't always have my digital camera with me but it's rare that I don't have my AT&T Fuze with me. If I need to show a potential client examples of my work or simply need to update a contacts photo, a photo viewer can come in handy. A good, feature rich photo viewer will compliment your camera whether it be a stand alone digital camera or the on-board camera on your phone. To see how well the Resco Photo Viewer 7 Beta measures up to the "awesome" status, follow the break.
There's been quite a bit of consternation over the initial prices that carriers are charging for the HTC Touch Pro 2. Officially, Sprint and T-Mobile are on the high end, at $349, and Verizon's undercutting them at $199. That's all with the usual rebates and contracts, of course and it's a bit moot because we all know it's fairly easy to sweet talk a rep into getting you a lower price.
And that's the whole game of subsidizing phones — they want to lock you into that much more lucrative two-year contract, where the data rates and voice charges really start to make money. (And don't even get us started on text messages.)
After the break, we take a look at ballpark total two-year costs for the T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon Touch Pro 2. (AT&T, as we all know too well, is still MIA on the Touch Pro 2, save for a leaked pic and a possible FCC listing.)
“As I’m sure you know, Microsoft and its partners are squarely focused on introducing the Windows phone brand through the launch of Windows Mobile 6.5 in October [October 6], which includes working closely with ISVs and developers to add even greater value to the Windows Mobile platform and new business opportunities for its mobile channel ecosystem. To properly set your expectations, wanted to let you know that Microsoft is not planning any sessions for PDC that look past the Windows Mobile OS in market at that time.”
As far as PDC goes, Microsoft will be talking about WM6.5 but nothing about the rumored WM6.5.1.
Disappointing, yes. Surprising? Not really. We suppose it is good marketing to concentrate on your current "big thing" and not invalidate all that work by simultaneously making it seem obsolete.
Expansys, everybody's favorite UK importer/exporter, has the Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 listed on its site for the low, low price of 604 British pounds, or right about $1,000 U.S. That's only hundred more than the original X1 initially went for when it trickled out in its U.S. release, so you could do worse, we guess. Also listed is an "expected release date" of Jan. 11, 2010. This is an Xperia, after all, so we'll believe it when we see it.
So, strictly speaking, this doesn't really have anything to do with Windows Mobile. But after the cerebral attacks we've seen our poor Palm-loving brethren undergo from the creepy Pre ads, we just wanted to help balance the universe a little bit. (And, see, it's not all fire and brimstone coming out of Redmond ...)
And, hey, Microsoft, remember us when you do the commercial for Windows Mobile 7, m'kay?
Holy cow, that's a lot of news tucked into an hourlong podcast. Windows Mobile 6.5. Upcoming phone releases. New phones announced. Free copies of Kinoma Play given away. Join Malatesta and Phil (and Charles from Kinoma) as they sift through it all.
We're still working on our review, but the makers of Google Voice app OneDialer took to our forums to announce the latest version of the app. Currently for Windows Mobile 6 Professional (touchscreen devices) only, here's what you get:
SSL encrypted communications.
SMS and voicemail notifications.
Native dialer interception.
Use your own contacts for dialing and SMS. NOW VERY FAST!
Threaded SMS conversations.
Visual Voicemail with transcripts.
Audio voicemail streamed directly from Google.
Voicemail and SMS management: Archive, delete, mark as read, reply, and callback from the client.
Option for silent notifications.
OneDialer runs $7 for a single license, but there's a 15-day trial so you can get your bearings. Give it a shot at OneDialer.com.