AT&T is sending out e-mail notifications to wireless subscribers in certain markets letting them know that next month their account will be converted to a national billing platform. In the notification AT&T explains how some the change might impact your current account as follows:
You will see some slight differences in how charges are displayed on your invoice.
You will be assigned a new billing account number. It will appear on your first bill after conversion.
You will receive a new payment remittance address (known as a “lockbox”).
Your new lockbox address will appear on your first bill after conversion. Accounts Payable information may need to be updated, particularly if you use an automated purchasing system.
Your Monthly Service Discount which you receive due to a qualified company affiliation will apply to the monthly service charge of the primary wireless number only. It does not apply for add-a-line plans.
If you receive a Monthly Service Discount, it will be applied after all other discounts have been processed.
Some features, discounts and promotions may no longer be available after conversion.
The e-mail has a conversation letter code that you can use to reference AT&T's Customer Service Agents to in order to better explain what's going on. Some of the older service rate plans may be modified to bring them in line with current plans. If you haven't updated/upgraded your AT&T service in a while, it may be best to check with your AT&T representative for more specifics on how this conversion will effect your service plan.
In talking to AT&T, it appears this is an effort to bring billing networks from the Cingular platform in line with the national AT&T billing standards.
Back in March we made mention of the slide to unlock utility, S2U2. It's a home grown application that brings an iPhone-esque slide lock to your Windows Mobile phone. Well, the application was recently updated to address some of the bugs the previous version possessed. S2U2 version 1.62 most notably addresses the occasional system hangups on the Caller ID screen.
This is actually the second update of this application since we first brought it to your attention. Previous updates have added more features to S2U2 such as adding smaller styled clocks to the unlock screen, adding the option for a second clock display, adding an option to set the vibration LED, and several other option add-ons and bug fixes. There were times with the previous versions where the system hesitated a little, as if it was trying to determine if the screen should be locked or not, but with the updated version everything seems to run smoother (as expected).
As a side note, I'm using this on the AT&T Fuze that's running the leaked Test ROM, that has a slide to answer feature. If you are running this ROM, you need to disable S2U2's Caller ID/Slide to Answer feature to avoid conflicts.
In case there were any doubt that the HTC Touch Pro 2 was coming to T-Mobile, the causes for concern appear to be shrinking.
Here we have but one of a number of pics of a T-Mobile-branded Touch Pro 2 from d474rpr.com. [via] The pictures aren't of the greatest quality (sigh). But at this point, if T-Mo doesn't release the TP2 sometime this summer, we'll put down our Windows phones and use a Crackberry for a week. We're that confident.
Ever wonder where that Windows Mobile error report screen comes from, and what information you're actually sending back to Microsoft if you still have the thing turned on? OK, us, either. But it's nice to learn that the reports actually do go somewhere and are read by someone, as the Windows Mobile blog details:
What you might not know is that this window is generated by Watson, which is a component of Windows Error Reporting (WER). Specifically, Watson is the client-side executable that is activated when an unhandled exception occurs on your phone. Watson is responsible for preparing an error report (stack details, system information, variable information, etc), notifying the user about the error (happy window), and with the users consent sending the file to Microsoft (via data or ActiveSync). Assuming the user chooses to send the report, these encrypted files are then added to a WER database where they can be reviewed by Microsoft technical support personnel and Microsoft developers.
There's plenty more developer mumbo jumbo to be had in the full post, but it is an interesting look behind the curtain.
As cell phones get smaller and thinner, Acer apparently has gone against the grain and is launching 3-foot-phones in Singa- ... Wait. This just in. No giant phones. Phew.
But what we do have is a launch event for a slew of new phones in Singapore. It's worth a mention here because we've seen a number of these before, most recently on the floor of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year. The initial five either available now or in the near future are the DX900, DX650, X960, F900 and M900.
During the speech, Mr. Roger Yuen mentioned about Acer and its current plan. Plus information of ETEN. Apparently, there will be NO MORE products from ETEN. New handsets will be in the name of ACER. Currently, the Acer Smart Handhelds are designed in Europe, Paris, according to Mr. Yuen.
So there you go. More phones we won't be seeing here anytime soon. And that's a shame.
Don't know U.S. Cellular? Not too surprising, seeing as how the carrier's not available in all states. But that's OK. It's good to see Windows Mobile spreading through the MVNOs other carriers that don't get much pub.
As you heard in the latest WMExperts podcast (you have listened to it, right?), Dieter explained his thoughts behind importing (or not) an HTC Touch Diamond 2. While he's still on the fence, we'll point you to an excellent breakdown of the TD2 and its touchscreen-lovin', 5-megapixel (er) camera-in', ready-for-WinMo 6.5-in' self when put up against none other than the iPhone 3G and its upcoming 3.0 software upgrade.
And for that we point you to ZDNet's (and from our own Nokia Experts) Matthew Miller in the finale of his excellent Clash of the Titans series. Enjoy.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you're fully aware of Bluetooth, that little radio that lets you talk hands-free, stream music, transfer files and a host of other cool things.
If you buy a Windows phone today, chances are it'll have Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR (enhanced data rate), which has a transfer rate of 3 Mbits/second.
Now we're ready for the next standard, and Bluetooth 3.0 has been announced. If the bottom line's your thing, Try 24 Mbits/second transfer rates, thanks to the introduction of the 802.11 standard, which was all know as WiFi.
Things get technical from there, so we'll let you hash out the rest after the break, along with a video of Bluetooth 3.0 in action, thanks to the kids at Engadget.
Anyone want to guess who's going to have the first BT 3.0-enabled phone?
Our frenemies at The iPhone Blog are gonna have a field day with this, but feast your eyes on a leaked shot of the Toshiba TG02 and its 4.1 inches of high-res bliss, thanks to Techblog.
As you'll remember from the leaked Toshiba roadmap we saw not so long ago, the TG02 (the follow-up to the TG01, natch) reportedly will sport a 3.2MP camera and Windows Mobile 6.5 at launch, possibly (but we're not holding our breath) before the end of the year. And protecting the 1GHz Snapdragon processor is a waterproof shell.
But that's not all, folks. Thanks again to Techblog, here's a shot of the Toshiba TG03. And, believe it or not, the specs are even better. Along with the same 4.1 inch touchscreen and Snapdragon processor comes a 5-megapixel camera (let's hope it's got decent optics), 5.1 (simulated) audio pumped out of two speakers, and "video box" mode to easily get video off the device.
So we've said it before and we'll say it again. There's some exciting stuff coming from the Toshiba camp. Let's cross our fingers that we get to see any of it on an official basis here in the U.S.
When the iPhone 3.0 software was announced, there was a lot of hullabaloo about its use in the medical community for things like checking blood pressure. That's old news. Here in the Windows Mobile world we're stepping up to ultrasound and, pretty soon, may be performing entire surgeries on an HTC Touch Pro 2. (OK, we made that last part up.) How cool is that?
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis turned a mild-mannered Windows phone into a mobile medical imager, thanks in part to a $100,000 grant from Microsoft. In return, they've come up with a device intended for use in developing countries that have cellular service but where using a full-blown imaging system would be too costly or not practical. So, using a standard USB connection, they've come up with a way to watch food as it passes through your digestive system, and, you know, tell whether it's a boy or a girl, or if that all-important artery is blocked – important stuff like that.
We're trying to get excited over this one. We really are. But another rumored brand name for Windows Mobile/Search/Whatever just doesn't do for us what it used to. But we're going to suck it up and and remember that it's all about confusing informing you, the reader, that two more names have surfaced.
Joseph Tartakoff over at PaidContent now brings us Sift.
The name appears to be intended for use with mobile phones, judging by the trademark description. It reads, “operating system software for mobile phones; computer search engine software; computer programs for searching email, text messages, address and contact information.”
But wait. There's more. Enter: Swivel.
However, the company is expected to unveil new online services by the time it launches Windows Mobile 7 next year, and Sift could be one of them. Microsoft trademarked another brand, Swivel, in March, which it said in the application it wants to use for “operating system software for mobile phones (cell phones).”
So let's do a roll call here and see if we've got it all down. There's Kumo, which is a rumored successor to Live Search. Then there's Kiev (or Kyiv, or ???? - please, let's not go down that road again) and Bing, which also are contenders. Throw in Sift and Swivel, and, well, we've just got more names. There you go. Hope everybody's happy.
If you're in the market for a free, lightweight RSS reader, here's one you might want to check out. FeedMe does all the usual things you'd expect from an RSS reader. You set up the feed, and it pulls in the stories. But it goes further than that, allowing you to actually search the Web, Yahoo and Google News, search within feeds, Feedster, Live Search, etc.
Here's the full feature list:
Supports RSS, RDF, and Atom feed formats
View feed content in full HTML fidelity with pictures
Download Manager: Allows you to view the progress of current downloading podcasts
Downloaded Podcast channel allows you to view all your downloaded podcasts easily
Today folder, Watch folder (find content with certain keywords)
Cache all the content for seamless reading experience
Play all downloaded podcasts in a playlist in Downloaded Podcast channel
Pick a feed from an OPML file (You can open the OPML file from local device or from a URL)
Options to automatically download latest episodes of a podcast and purge old files
Config file auto-save and auto-recovering
It comes pre-loaded with everything you see in the picture on the left, though it was missing the WMExperts feed. Surely that's just an oversight. FeedMe is available on Windows Mobile Pro and Standard phones (.net 3.5 needed), and you can download it here.
HTC has released a couple of hotfixes for the original Touch Diamond that should take are of a couple of annoying bugs. (As opposed to the bugs we like, I guess.)
The first hotfix takes care of problems a number of people were having with audio playback skipping.
The second involves the Sounds and Notifications settings, specifically that you couldn't uncheck the Repeat Reminders option. So, apply this fix, and all should be well.
Note that these are hotfixes and not a full-on ROM update. Hotfixes install just like any other program. So if you hard-reset your phone at some point, you'll need to reapply the hotfixes or risk having the problems again.
AT&T Mobility VP Scott McElroy says software updates will double the downstream speed to 7.2 megabits per second and are already being tested in two markets. The rest of the network is targeted for an upgrade thereafter.
But AT&T's looking past that and toward HSPA+, which will increase speeds to 21 Mb/s. And looking even further into the future, tests with the 4G LTE standard should begin sometime next year.
Acronyms and numbers aside, what does this all mean? Quite simply, be on the lookout for faster speeds on an AT&T network near you.