The other day we published a review of the LG Incite and made note that along with Internet Explorer, it had Access's NetFront browser installed. Concentrating more on the phone's performance and features, NetFront was given little attention. A reader asked what we thought of NetFront and to be fair to our response, we found a copy of Netfront v3.5, the Concept Version, and took it for a test spin around the mobile web. Follow the break to see what we thought of NetFront.
Yet another cool app has been unceremoniously yanked from the unreleased Touch Pro 2 (aka Rhodium).
Up till now, HTC has been content with modifying more of the superficial aspects of WinMo. But now it's tackling notifications ... making 'em all purty-like.
Over at XDA (via ppcgeeks), dharvey4651 has pulled up this app and .cab'd it up for your convenience. Users are advised to have build 21000 or higher before installation. There also is a little bug that requires you to dismiss the notification manually, which causes an extra step.
But if you just can't wait for that new HTC goodness, by all means hop on over and give it a shot!
In business, it's all about doing better. Month over month, quarter over quarter, year over year. You need to do better than before. That's growth.
And numbers published today by the analysts at Gartner show that Windows Mobile is far from dead. Specifically, worldwide sales to end users were up 12.2 percent from 2007 to 2008, giving Windows Mobile 11.8 percent of the 2008 market share, behind Symbian and Research in Motion.
OK, WinMo's growth wasn't anywhere near as strong as RIM's (96.7 percent) or Apple's (245.7 percent!) or even Palm's (42.2 percent). But it's positive growth. The Symbian OS fell 6.1 percent from 2007 to 2008 but still has a little more than half of the world's market share. (For more on that, check out Nokia Experts' own Matthew Miller over at ZDNet.) BlackBerry has 16.6 percent of the market, followed by Windows Mobile at 11.8 percent. The iPhone came in fourth at 8.2 percent.
What's it all mean? The smartphone industry is growing by leaps and bounds. Windows Mobile isn't dead, and there's still plenty of geeky goodness to go around.
Annual registration is $99 and includes submission of five applications. Each additional submission within the annual period is another $99.
Devs will set their own prices.
Devs will keep 70 percent of the sales revenue.
Student developers can have the registration fee waived through the DreamSpark program.
Before anyone starts with the M$FT comments, that 30 percent cut Microsoft takes is right in line with what Apple's doing in its App Store, and the rest is pretty much in line, too. What remains to be is see is what the ramifications will be on other vendors, such as Mobihand and Handango, and whether large software houses such as SPB and SBSH will join in.
We're still pretty sure Microsoft is planning its own app store, but we really don't have more more than that. But Pocketnow's noticed a "coming soon" site at client.marketplace.windowsmobile.com that, low and behold, appears to be formatted for a mobile browser. And it also looks like the Skymarket name may have given way to "Marketplace," which probably is a good thing.
In all likelihood this will just be a download site for a standalone application, but that's speculation on our part. Either way, it looks like things are moving ahead.
While we await an official release of HTC's Touch Pro 2 (hands-on) and Touch Diamond 2 (hands-on), some gold nuggets are still being mined from the leaked ROMs that are floating around.
While threaded SMS is nothing new — Palm's been doing it since Windows Mobile 6, and everyone else caught up with 6.1 — HTC is putting a little sex appeal in it in its upcoming releases.
Brandon from PocketNow has been playing with one and brings us a look at two very different SMS designs. On the left is the old and busted. On the right, the new hotness, courtesy of HTC's unified communcations screen.
Not bad at all. But why does everyone insist on making the headshot images so darm small? Come on Microsoft, everybody's using Exchange now, time to help it support some larger contact images.
While we patiently await the release of the new HTC Touch Pro 2 (read Dieter's hands-on here), reviews are starting to surface. While the website is in German, the translation gives us a good deal of information on this new Windows Mobile phone. AreaMobile.de [via] notes that the Touch Pro 2 is noticeably heavier and larger than the original Touch Pro, but elegantly designed. Touchflo 3D and battery life are improved, and the screen was responsive. The phone lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack, and it appears there is some concern over the slide mechanism, described as stiffy and doughy.
The ability to angle the screen was well received and the larger spaced keyboard was easier to type on. All in all, the review was favorable of the Touch Pro 2. I'm curious about the comments on the slide mechanism. There's a possibility that this could be a pre-production model and the final production model will perform as smooth as its predecessor. Regardless, the review left very little doubt that the Touch Pro 2 will be a quality device and it makes the choice between the Touch Pro 2 and Diamond 2 all the more difficult.
Sources in the telecommunications world have been telling me that Sprint is testing Long Term Evolution, or LTE, equipment, which seems a bit odd given Sprint’s cheerleading for WiMAX and 51 percent stake in Clearwire, which is building out a nationwide WiMAX network.
GigaOm got this response back:
As a prudent Technology Development organization we are always collecting competitive information about various technologies/equipment to monitor and assess the competitive landscape and any potential impacts to Sprint’s plans.
Sure. But there's testing, and then there's testing. We're still way early into the LTE/WiMAX battle, and we're nowhere near being able to even begin declaring a winner. (That, and there are zero mainstream phones on either service right now.) So maybe Sprint's poking its toes in the LTE pool, and maybe it's not. Let's finish getting 3G built out and under everyone's belts first, shall we?
Fine. You caught us. The Windows Mobile Marketplace aped Android's oh-so-unique idea of putting its logo on a shopping bag. We're guilty. And while we're confessing, here are a few more things we did to our open-source cousins:
We stole your ball.
We broke your crayons.
We took your lunch money.
We tied your shoelaces together.
We pulled your hair.
But don't let that cute little green robot fool you. After the break are a few things we believe might have been pilfered by Andy the Android, if that is his real name.
We ran across an interesting user interface that brings widgets, similar to Samsung's TouchWiz UI, to your Windows Mobile phone. FEWidgetsLite is a Windows Mobile freeware application that allows you to create you own widgets as well as utilize pre-set widgets such as calculator, RSS Feed Reader, Date widget, Weather, Appointments, and many more.
FEWidgetsLite is a beta application (current version v0.2.6) and there may be a few bugs left in the application. It does require .NET Framework 3.5 and Flash Lite 3.1 to be installed on the device. So if you're a fan of widgets but for whatever reason don't find the Omnia appealing, FEWidgetsLite may be an alternative to consider.
Work continues on the Windows Mobile version of the Firefox mobile browser (heretofore known as Fennec), but the Nokia version is farther along. And it's there that we take a quick peek at what we expect to eventually see in our version.
At the top of our list is Weave, which basically is a monster sync extension that will connect your phone's Firefox browser with your desktop version of Firefox.
If you use the XMarks (formerly Foxmarks) extension, you're already used to syncing bookmarks and passwords. Weave does even more, as you can see in the picture above. You also can sync cookies, tabs, history, forms and input.
A bit ago we reported on a "slide to unlock" application for your Windows Mobile phones, S2U2. One of the more common remarks heard when people see S2U2's unlock screen is "Wow, just like the iPhone." which, for some, is synonymous to fingernails scratching a chalkboard.
XDA Developer member demonizator, has developed TPro v1.0.0, a skin for S2U2 that gives the application a Touchflo 3D appearance for those prefer less of a iPhonish appearance. The application is still in the Beta stage but works nicely. In using TPro on the AT&T Fuze, I only experienced one brief delay when unlocking the phone. Otherwise, the Today Screen popped up instantly. I have to admit, I like the appearance a little better than the stock S2U2 appearance.
You do need to turn off S2U2 before installing TPro and there is a separate .cab file to uninstall the skin. So if you like the concept of a slide to unlock application but don't want to loose the Touchflo feel, TPro might be worth a look.
But we do know that Sprint has given the "end of life" (EOL) tag to the Touch Diamond for July and looking at Sprint's past practices, a device's EOL date is usually around 2 months after the launch of its replacement (e.g. Treo Pro (orig: 2/09)/800w EOL (4/09); Diamond (9/08)/Touch EOL (~11/08); Touch Pro (11/08)/Mogul EOL (~1/09) etc.). Coupled with the fact that Sprint did get the original Touch, Diamond and Touch Pro pretty darn quick and you know, it could be possible.
So perhaps there's some truth to this? Guess we'll find out more from booth N120 as CTIA approaches!
Unless you've been living under a rock, you're probably aware of the excitement surrounding the Palm Pre. And that that quickly turned the long-awaited carrier-supported versions of the Treo Pro into a red-headed stepchild. (The same sort of thing happened when the Treo Pro was announced not long after the Treo 800w first became available, much to the chagrin of a number of 800w owners.)
Of course, all that affects the bottom line.
Last week, Palm announced that its revenue for the third quarter would be $85 million to $90 million. Wall Street had been expecting $150 million for the quarter.
So what's it all mean? Basically, the future of Palm (at least for now) appears to be solidly resting on the Palm Pre. And that directly affects Windows Mobile, which we're still expecting to be supported on the Treo line. So let's keep our fingers crossed for our WebOS cousins, shall we?