There is little doubt that the HTC Touch Pro 2 is a quality Windows phone. The AT&T version, the Tilt 2, is the final of the four major U.S. carriers to see release. Will the Tilt 2 be another outstanding Windows Phone? Can HTC hit four-for-four with the Touch Pro 2 models?
The Tilt 2 is in limited release through AT&T until October 18 and we've gotten our hands on one to review. This is the fourth Touch Pro 2 that I've reviewed, so let's cut to the chase. Follow the break to see if the Tilt 2 lives up to the standard the T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon versions have set.
After being available for a week or so through various back channels, the AT&T Tilt 2 (see our hands-on and full review) now is available to the masses, in stores and online for $299 after rebate and two-year contract. That rounds out the release of the HTC Touch Pro 2 on the four major U.S. carriers in a relatively short amount of time. And unlike its brethren, the AT&T version comes with Windows Mobile 6.5, and in all likelihood we'll see an update to 6.5.1 (or whatever the future version number turns out to be) in the coming months.
Ecolife is a new addition to the WMExperts Accessory Store that puts an eco-friendly twist the their phone cases. Ecolife manufactures its cases from 100 percent recycled material called PET. What is PET you say?
Ecolife had us worried for a second by describing the fabric as being created from post-consuming PET container flakes. Fortunately, post-consuming PET flakes are not generated by Fido in the backyard. PET is short for PolyEthelenTerephtalate which is more commonly known as the primary material used to create water bottles.
We took the Ecolife Elements Side Case for the HTC Touch Pro 2 out for a test drive and was somewhat surprised at the cases performance. Ease on past the break to see how well a case made from 100% recycled material performs.
The one sparky interchange -- no surprise -- seems to have been initiated by angel investor (and former Lotus exec) John Landry, who said it seemed to him that Microsoft is still very much focused on desktop computing, and considers all other devices to be peripherals to the PC. Landry waved his iPhone and said he does 80 percent of his work on that device. Ballmer responded by saying that Microsoft was aware that it has to do much better with Windows Mobile 7, its forthcoming mobile operating system (the release of which has been pushed back into 2010). "We know we have to kill on that one," a meeting attendee recalled Ballmer saying. (I've got a call in to Landry, to get his version of the discussion about the iPhone.)
Twitter entrepreneur Laura Fitton also noted that very few people are developing Twitter apps for Windows Mobile. Ballmer responded by saying Microsoft realizes that the company is engaged in a long campaign to get more developers writing apps for the Windows Mobile OS.
Oh, what the heck. It's Friday. One more HTC HD2 video for ya. Our pals at Intomobile got in deep with the HD2 (aka the Leo) back at CTIA. Obviously they love the huge screen (who doesn't?). But it's also because it's a capacitive screen that it's better than anything Windows Mobile's had before, they say. There. We told you so.
Here's a rumor that comes from a Phone Area tipster who has a reliable source, so, um, that makes it, like, fourth-hand twice removed or something. Anyway, the reported rumor is that the Samsung Omnia II will be released on Verizon on Nov. 1.
Will that be the case? Will the mid-October launch we heard about still happen? Will any "delay" mean it'll launch with Windows Mobile 6.5 instead of Windows Mobile 6.1? (Seriously, Verizon, let's get that done.)
News at 11.
Update: No sooner then we posted this did we get an e-mail of our own saying that the mid-October date is blown out of the water and a VP said to look for it sometime in January. (Thanks, R!)
So what, exactly, is T-Mobile's "Project Dark?" We don't know. Nobody knows. OK, somebody knows. But it's not us. And it's not TMoNews, though they do give us the picture you see above, which throws some fuel on the fire. Maybe it's new rate plans. Maybe it's new phones. Maybe it's new shirts.
It should come as little surprise that the boys and girls at Revision 3 have a cool job than you. Look no further that this episode of Tekzilla in which Patrick Norton and Veronia Belmont go hands-on with the Verizon Imagio as well as ... wait for it ... the HTC HD2. As if we needed another reason to want that phone. Head in to about the 28-minute mark for the goods. [via pocketnow]
GrooveShark is an interesting free service that allows you to search for music (artist, song, album), stream it directly and even create playlists from your computer.
Now Barguast at XDA has created...wait for it...a free application that will do most of this from your Windows phone (he's constantly adding features). It's called GrooveFish (nice).
GrooveFish itself is an excellent application. Visually it matches GrooveShark and is quite pleasant to look at and furthermore it works very well (audio fidelity is way better than Pandora). It's simple: search, select and play. Heck, it'll even auto-pause on a phone call or when you remove your headset. Ability to create playlists and save favorites is coming in future versions.
But the big issue here is of course U.S. copyright law and GrooveShark: this is not just streaming a ShoutCast station but rather allowing you to stream on demand any song/album/playlist you create, which is a bit sketchy, legally speaking. To their credit they do have a way to notify them of DMCA violations and they will comply. But as this service becomes more and more widely known, you can bet you'll start to see your favorite tunes cooperatively pulled down from the site.
On top of building phones that continue to increase in sophistication, HTC also has continued to evolve its custom OS skin. We're all used to TouchFLO and TouchFLO3D on Windows Mobile. Android now has the Sense UI, and it's coming to WinMo on the HTC HD2. Above, a presentation from HTC that shows Sense in great detail, and hopefully what we can expect on more Windows phones in the future. [via Mobile Tech Addicts]
And speaking of Sense, be sure to check out Android Central's review of the HTC Hero and its implementation of Sense.
To recap: A large number of Sidekick users learned that their data — e-mail, contacts, calendar, etc. — had gone up in smoke, on the server side. The Sidekick ecosystem once was run by Danger, which is now owned by Microsoft, which has taken responsibility for the outage and/or data loss. T-Mobile's sending $100 "customer appreciate cards" for the trouble, if you permanently lost data.
Microsoft now says "we have recovered most, if not all, customer data." (Read Microsoft's full statement from T-Mobile's forums [via Giz] after the break.)
So, let's ask the obvious: This has been a high-profile outage and data loss. And as often is case after an event such as this, we'll see alot of "Is the Cloud safe?" headlines. Oh, and lawsuits. Our take? The Cloud is a service, and an important one. But reliability and redundancy go hand-in-hand. Any service that puts all its eggs in one basket is just asking for trouble. And we're not even getting into the reported trouble surrounding Project Pink, and more recent claims that the Sidekick snafu was sabotage. Unsubstantiated at best, though certainly not out of the realm of possibility.
For most services — Gmail, Exchange, whatever — it's pretty simple to export your contacts and the like and back them up elsewhere. jkOnTheRun offers a few tips on backing up your Gmail e-mails themselves. Have other tips? Let us know in the comments.
Let it never be said (at least today, anyway) that we forget about our Canadian brethren. The Boy Genius Report has it that the Samsung Omnia II (see our hands-on) will be available on the Bell network for $349.95 on the standard 3-year deal or $549.95 outright. This coincides with Bell launching its HSDPA network, so you'll have fast data speeds to go along with the Omnia II's fast processor. Huzzah.