A couple of policy changes are taking shape over at Verizon, as first spied by the Boy Genius Report. First, with regards to Verizon's rebate policy, is that all rebate forms now must be submitted alongside a copy of the relevant customer agreement. That means you have to have a new contract (or re-up on a current one). Before, you could buy a phone at the full off-contract price and still collect a rebate. (Not that any of our readers *cough* would ever do that.) So: loophole closed.
Next is the change in policy with regards to Verizon's Test Drive Program. Effective February 15, 2009, Verizon will be discontinuing this program, which allowed new customers to try out Verizon's services for 30 days, risk-free. If you weren't satisfied, Verizon would waive the wireless access and usage charges, and you'd quietly go your separate ways. After the 15th, you'll have to pay those fees if you opt out. Verizon notes that the Test Drive Program remains in effect for new lines of service that activate up to and including February 14, 2009, and port out within 30 days of the activation date. So, if you're thinking of giving Verizon a test drive without penalty, Valentines Day is the cutoff.
Another change in store for the 15th involves the New Every Two Program, which discounts new phones when you re-up every two years. Customers with an existing monthly calling plan that is $79.99 or greater currently enjoy a $100 discount on new handsets. Effective February 15, this discount will drop to $50. Customers with a $34.99 to $79.99 plan who have enjoyed a $50 discount will now settle for a $30 discount. Bottom line, if you're eligible for the NE2 discounts and are considering changing phones, to get the most out of this program you might want to visit your local Verizon Store before February 15.
First released at $200 after contract and rebates, you can now grab a Shadow for $150 (white or black burgandy). How about it, folks? Picked one up yet? And if not, is this price drop going to entice you?
Do you have a commute to work through frustrating traffic? Would you like to have real time traffic updates, including accidents and traffic flow? Then you should start looking at how your WM phone can help you with this. Today it is a 50 / 50 chance that any given WM phone has built in GPS. We wanted to take a look at a possible Traffic solution for those who do not have built in GPS in their WM phone. To see if e-Mobile Traffic ver 1 is the smartest $19.99 you ever spent to save you hours in your daily commute or if it is a gimmicky option that is not worth the money... read on.
If you're the kind of person who enjoys seeing things taken apart and put back together, feast your eyes on the above video. [via inxperia]
Yep, that's a Sony Xperia X1 with its guts spilled out all over the place in a smoking heap of twisted metal. And that doesn't really bother us that much, seeing as how it's still a figment of our imagination.
OK, OK, our impatience is showing again. We're just itching to find out when the X1(a) will finally make its way over to our side of the world. Nov. 3 can't come soon enough.
HTC announced at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show that they will be introducing the S743 to U.S. Market later this year. The S743 is a Windows Mobile Standard device with a slide-out keyboard and who's non-U.S. cousin is the popular S740. While there was some concern over the future of WM Standard the announcement of the S743 might be the spark needed to breath new life into WM Standard. Windows Mobile Standard is a fantastic operating system for those who want the power of Windows Mobile but don't necessarily want to worry with all that's going on behind the scenes. While the S743 isn't available for review yet, HTC was kind enough to provide us with a test model of the S740 during last Fall's Mobius Conference. To give us a little insight on what to expect from the S743, we decided to take the S740 out for a test drive. Read on after the break to see how it handled the test track.
Becoming hands free in the car with your phone is now becoming more of a necessity by law than a luxury of convenience. One of the easy solutions is to get a Bluetooth speakerphone for your car. But it can be challenging picking out which one is best, easiest to install, and which one has the best sound quality. Well, I have reviewed the Mr Handsfree BlueSmart which has a unique option of actually hardwiring the unit into your car or simply using it as a plug and play speaker phone by simply plugging it into the cigarette lighter. To see if this one holds up to our standards read on.
Normally we're all about leaks. We love getting our hands on the latest and greatest phones, operating systems and software before anyone else, being a guinea pig, and then sharing the results with you.
This is not one of those times.
We first noticed a leaked version of Mozilla's Fennec browser floating around the Internets on Thursday. And the early consensus was that it's nowhere near ready for prime time and is definitely not the beta we're expecting on the Touch Pro in the coming days. Our guess? The code's been compiled but certainly wasn't intended for mass consumption. So we let it go, but kept our eyes on it. But that hasn't stopped other brave souls from trying it. So, after the break, we bring you a video from Pocketnow of a browser that doesn't yet work.
Why are we getting our registry entries in a twist over this? For one, our excitement for Fennec has grown as we've waited. With all the power we're used to in Firefox with bookmarks, add-ons and Mozilla Weave, this could be the first mobile browser to really give Safari on the iPhone a run for its money (with apologies to Skyfire and the Opera 9.5 beta — ya know we've got love for ya). Ask us what our top gripes about Windows Mobile are, and a proper browser will always be in the Top 5. And that's why we'd prefer to put Fennec through its paces once the real beta build is released. Even then, it will be a beta, so there undoubtedly will be some niggles. So, Mozilla, take your time. Let's get this right.
I never thought that as an adult that popping bubbles while doing connect the dots could be so engaging and addictive, but Resco Bubbles has opened my eyes to (and fulfilling) these needs that I didn’t even know existed deep inside me.
As I am sure you have seen on TV, read about here at WMExperts, or discovered in your own WM phone that you have recently purchased, many of the new phones now come with G-Sensor built in. What is that? It is the phone’s ability to detect which way the phone is moved or tilted. And with this new technology, games that take full advantage of it are starting to hit the market as well. We here are WMExperts will continue to highlight and share the best of, and the worst of, this new genre of games. Resco Bubbles ver 1.20 is the first one of this new genre that we are reviewing here at WMExperts in detail. As I mentioned above, it is addictive, but it is too simple to not be worth the money? Read on to find out if wasted hours of popping bubbles is destined to be a must have for your current or future phone.
There was a fleeting moment of consternation in the run-up to the Windows 7 beta as it was rumored to lack support for Windows Mobile. The definitive answer: Fugetaboutit.
Speaking as a longtime Windows XP user who had avoided Vista at all costs, I've had nary a problem using Windows 7 with my Motorola Q9h, though I did have to download Microsoft's Windows Mobile Device Center -- aka WMDC (for you anti-Vista folks, that's basically Activesync with a nice UI on the front end). Hopefully we'll see WMDC built in to the final release of W7. For now, you can get it here.
If you're already used to WMDC, you should have no problems in Windows 7. If you're still looking to get in on the beta program, go download it here (at least through Feb. 10, when the official download ends).
Granted, we were hoping for a little more functionality with Windows 7 and Windows Mobile — Microsoft has this whole darn ecosystem it's working on, it'd just be nice if we could do more than simple sync, install, and file transfer. But, hey: working's working, at it appears to be a step up over ActiveSync.
Engadget got their hands on a Verizon roadmap for 2009 and as you might expect, there's some Windows Mobile-related hotness, specifically:
There will be at least two HTCs released this year: a version of the Touch Diamond and an unnamed handset closely resembling the Touch HD.
This has the ring of truth to us, as HTC was very adamant that the Touch HD wouldn't make it to the US, which made us sad. So marketing it as a new version of the Touch Diamond makes sense maybe also matches up with that seminal HTC tweet "sad news, US. we looked into it- by the time we could bring Touch HD to the states, it would be old news. we do have other cool stuff coming"
Well if Seeqpod can do it surely Spotify can too. Well that's what Gustav Sodersrom figures since they have been such a big hit in Europe. Spotify is a music streaming program that lets you rock out to your favorite tracks over the web.
Development and planning will start in February but still no word on when it will be ready. Being that Gustav is a former head honcho at Yahoo mobile its safe to say he knows what hes doing, but lets hope its a tad bit sexier than Yahoo GO. I like that these companies are actually realizing that there's a big demand for music on the go. Were always going to keep our favorite Madona tracks on our memory card, but sometimes the party demands something different. After figuring out everyone loves a quick search and a click could come in handy when using our devices to provide the music. via unwiredview
Microsoft has confirmed that Steve Ballmer will be taking center stage for its Mobile World Congress press conference. Ballmer will be joined by Andrew Lees, Senior Vice President of Microsoft's Mobile Communications business. Microsoft says Ballmer "will highlight the company's latest innovations and partnerships, as well as share insights on the companies strategies and approaches that will enable more opportunities for mobile operators and device manufacturers to deliver exciting solutions for consumers and mobile workers."
It shouldn't be out of the ordinary for Microsoft's CEO to be present or even take the lead, but last year Robert Bach, Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division President, represented Microsoft at at the conference. With all the rumors surrounding Windows Mobile 6.5 and Skybox/Skyline/SkyMarket Ballmer's presentation only adds to the buzz.
Mobile World Congress takes place in Barcelona, Spain, on Feb. 16-19. The Microsoft presentation will be on the opening day of the congress. And our own Dieter Bohn will be there to send back the latest from the Windows Mobile world.
Microsoft has applied for a patent for a device that could well turn your future smartphone into your next desktop PC.
Unwired View tracked down the documents for a "Smart Interface System for Mobile Commications Devices."
A universal smart interface and peripheral management system for portable devices such as mobile phones. The smart system includes a connector interface that connects peripherals to a phone and/or personal digital assistant (PDA), through the smart system. The smart system includes a cradle for receiving a cell phone and interfacing the phone to external systems such as peripherals, networks and other systems through a USB hub and other suitable connector interfaces. The peripheral devices to which the smart system can interface include, but are not limited to, large displays (e.g., television), external monitors, input devices such as mice and keyboards, external storage devices, and networks (wired and/or wireless). The smart system also facilitates connectivity to large display systems such as TVs, computer displays and monitors.
The "Smart System" would have its own operating system, CPU and RAM and would work inconjunction with your phone, unlike mobile companions such as the Celio Redfly, which rely solely on your phone for processing power.
Undoubtedly this would still be a long ways off. But with the advent of Tegra processors and graphics power, this coiuld well be more than vaporware.
If you're anything like us, you just can't get enough speculation over exactly what Windows Mobile 6.5 is going to look like. And you just can't go wrong when your home screen has a big, crazy bird on it.
We should find out for reals in a couple weeks at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and our own Dieter Bohn's going to be there. For now, we've found some more screenshots on XDA Developers of what user xaoc747 says are "Real screens of Windows Mobile 6.5!"
Read on for more pictures and our thoughts on them.
UPDATE: Here's yet another thread over at ppcgeeks. Seriously. Has this thing been launched yet?