Microsoft and Verizon have entered into a five year deal to pre-install Microsoft's Live Search on Verizon Windows Mobile Phones as the default search engine. The announcement was one of many made at 2009 CES and may give Microsoft new hope in tackling the popularity of Google search engines.
This comes on the heels of Microsoft updating Windows Live Search mobile recently which makes it compatible with non-GPS enabled phones and older WM 5 phones.
While we originally thought that the Mobinnova Ice boded well for the company's ability to manufacture future Xperias, our hands on during CES 2009 almost fills us with foreboding. See, the fit and finish of this model leaves a bit to be desired, although perhaps our expectations were a little too high. This is actually a pretty standard 'black-slab' WinMo device -- the main innovation here is that '2nd screen,' which in our testing didn't do much more than act like a sub-par D-Pad. It worked, but it also made us wish they'd just added more pixels to the main screen and then used software magic to add in a D-Pad there.
....Or not. Although Mobinnova did go through the now-required motions of adding their own custom software on top of Windows Mobile, it's not much to look at (see the photos after the break).
So yeah, we're not huge fans of the Ice, but that doesn't mean that the future is necessarily grim for the Xperia line. It just means that Sony Ericsson will need to do all the heavy lifting on design and software (something we figure they're doing anyway), and just leave it to Mobinnova to pump out the darn things.
MobilitySite.com has spotted a new Windows Mobile phone on the horizon. The Mobinnova ICE is the latest device from the company Sony has tapped to help develop the next Xperia Windows Mobile phone. While one must scratch their heads at hearing about plans for the "next" Xperia when the "first" Xperia hasn't fully hit the shelves, the Mobinnova ICE may give us some insight on what to expect.
The ICE is a WM 6.1 device with a 3" WQVGA 262K color screen. Based on the online brochure it sounds as if the ICE has dual screens; the larger main screen and a shorter navigation screen that rests just below the main screen. Otherwise it's pretty standard kit: quad-band GSM, Tri-Band 3G, Bluetooth, GPS, WiFi, and an FM reciever. The ICE is powered by a Qualcomm MSM7201ATM (528mhz) processor and has a modest 256mb ROM/128 RAM with a micro-SD expansion slot. Measuring 4.48" x 2.1" x .51" and weighing only 4.23 ounces, the ICE may be a very interesting device. It clocks in for 349 Euro, but what interests us is knowing that Foxconn/Mobinnova are able to build some good devices.
It's been no great secret the past year or so that Motorola is struggling, and that's putting it nicely. Now comes word from Phonescoop that the manufacturer is canning half of its handset division as soon as this week.
And, according to Phonescoop's anonymous source, Moto won't be at the CTIA show in April, and will significantly cut back the number of phones it launches.
Now the kicker: The only smartphones it will produce will be Android-based. As in, no more Windows Mobile. Does that mean the leaked concept shots we saw late last year will all run Android? Maybe. But the time it takes to develop phones leads us to bet against that. More likely, we'll see a few more Windows Mobile phones from Moto before the switch to the Big A.
Putting on our "speculation hat", we’d say that the Treo Pro for Sprint was always in the works, whether or not the 800w was a success or not—that is this was a long term plan of Palm and Sprint. Of course had the 800w not been delayed from late 2007, this hardware-refresh would not look so premature. The other interesting bit is that perhaps this was never planned for AT&T, who since has gone with the Samsung Epix, but rather it was Sprint all along. So anyone actually excited about this? [via EngadgetMobile; link to FCC files]
After seeing this post at jkOnTheRun, I hot-footed it over to Mio's booth to check out their new device -- which is a Mobile Internet Device running Windows Mobile Pro 6.1. It's still very much a prototype, they're still deciding on final specs, and they're not even sure that they're going to bring it to market. Price, final RAM, even whether or not it will have a SIM card slot for connectivity are all up in the air.
Nevertheless, it's one sweet piece of kit and the best Windows Mobile device I've seen at CES. Find out more after the break and check out our hands-on gallery!
Once the Round Robin is "officially" over tomorrow, Dieter will be able to return to Windows Mobile and will share his thoughts on his triumphant return. Look for it next week and in the meantime, take your chances at winning one of the smartphones involved in the Round Robin and post in one of the discussion forums.
Seems as if that popular tweaking app Schaps Advanced Configuration program and perhaps other GSM-based "tweak" apps (e.g. Diamond Tweak) might be causing a nasty side effect on CDMA (Sprint & Verizon) phones.
Problem: Ever had an incoming phone call and when you answered it lagged big time?
Turns out that this occurs when you have an active data connection. In theory, the phone should immediately shut that connection and you should be able to answer the call instantly. And it does...unless you inadvertently change some registry settings, specifically ones related to "force data disconnect".
If that value reads ~GPRS, you have a problem; Its should be set to #777 (a least for Sprint users). While manually editing the registry is probably the best way, Juggalo_X created a .cab file which may work for some. Remember to wait about 10 seconds and then soft-reset to take effect.
We'll obviously be swallowing this one with a decent grain of salt, but all-things-Microsoft blog uxevangelist [via] has a roadmap that shows a Windows Mobile 7 beta slated for sometime this year, with the actual release in the "future." We heard a while ago not to expect the final build of WM7 until well into 2009, and none of that's really cleared up with this.
That said, we'll probably be staring at this thing for quite a while, hoping to glean some other tiny morsel from it. Or, if we squint just right, maybe we'll see a sailboat.
RadioTime, Inc., developer of radio applications, and Weather Underground, a popular online weather source, have combined forces to bring WunderRadio to Windows Mobile devices. Previously available only for the iPhone, WunderRadio offers access to 50,000 AM/FM/Internet radio stations.
Programming can be searched by local radio, location and genres. Expected launch of WunderRadio is January 15 and will be priced at $9.99 under a special 30-day promotion. After the promotion the cost will rise to $14.99. Once the application launches, we'll try to get our hands on WunderRadio for review and try to have it available over at the Software Store as well.
Microsoft announced this week that the mobile version of Live Search has been updated to include the ability to detect the location of the mobile user even if their handset is not GPS-enabled. The update also includes predictive search query input and more detailed views of maps. Also included in the update is the "bird's-eye-view" that's popular on Microsoft's maps.live.com. It's not quite the same as Google Maps' Street View, but it does do a better job of spying on your neighbors.
Also of note is that latest version still works with Windows Mobile 5.
According to Jeremy Beasley, Live Search Mobile product manager, "if you're not running the latest version of Windows Mobile, don't worry. We've built in support for Windows Mobile 5 phones to make sure that you can use these new features as well."
To download the latest version (4.012158.1) of Windows Live Search mobile, just point your browser to wls.live.com or go here on your desktop for more options.
Well, not exactly. One of the many subjects Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer covered during his keynote address to the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show was the introduction of a new Windows Mobile application that will let people manage and update their Netflix queues from their WM devices. Check out a brief demo of it here at the 2:10 mark.
The application ties into the Netflix-Xbox Live partnership, which was also a highlight of the keynote address. The Xbox gaming system remains the only game system that lets consumers instantly watch movies and television episodes streamed from Netflix. The Windows Mobile application will let you schedule and prompt these streams.
Stay tuned today for more on Ballmer's keynote as well as the rest of the 2009 CES.
Yep, you read that right. Microsoft apparently is planning to scale back the number of devices it puts Windows Mobile on. And this really isn't that surprising and almost definitely is a move in the right direction.
The New York Times reports that Microsoft is planning a "major announcement" next month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, so we'll likely get more details then. For now, here's what Todd Peters, VP of Marketing for Windows Mobile, told the Gray Lady.
The reason that Microsoft is limiting the number of phones with the operating system is because, he said, the company does not want to have its efforts diluted over too many devices.
“I’d rather have fewer devices and be more focused,” he said. That way “we get better integration” between phone and operating system.
This really makes sense to us. We've ranted talked about how AT&T in particular has too many Windows Mobile phones to pick from, and the NYT story spells it out — there are 140 phones that currently run Windows Mobile. There is, in fact, too much of a good thing. Concentrating on a smaller number of outstanding devices definitely should be better in the long run for the platform, and for Microsoft in general. Sure worked out well for these guys.
While the news of a new HTC device, the S743, is still hot off the press, another Windows Mobile phone from the Taiwanese manufacturer has been spotted: the HTC Iolite.
The Iolite is very similar to the Touch Diamond's form factor but with a more rounded look. The Iolite sports a 2.8" WQVGA display, a 3.2 megapixel camera, 512mb ROM, 228mb RAM, a microSD expansion slot, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and the typical HTC Windows Mobile features.
It is a TouchFlo 3D device and, for now, the radio is European focused (doesn't support U.S. 3G networks). No word on pricing or availability, but it is anticipated that the Iolite will be "officially" unvieled at next month's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
(Update: Yep, it's Iolite with an i, sorry about that)