Despite a previous update from the Mozilla team, it now looks like the Firefox Mobile browser, codenamed Fennec, could be ready for a Windows Mobile beta as soon as next week, and they've chosen a phone to do the honors.
Adding fuel to the fire that is the rumor of Motorola getting/not getting out of the Windows Mobile business, the South Florida Business Journal reported over the weekend that the big M is laying off 77 workers from its Plantation facility by the end of the first quarter. Also, "The company said it will no longer conduct new Windows mobile development at the facility."
Needless to say, that's not good news for 77 employees, and we certainly with them and their families the best. But we're not quite ready to sound the death knell for Windows Mobile on Motorola just yet (though we've got our finger on the trigger, given the bigger picture). But we just don't know Moto's intentions. If it's scaling back on Windows Mobile, then scaling back the division would be in order. But scaling back isn't the same as killing off.
So, we'll keep our fingers crossed that Moto's still got some WinMo magic up its sleeve. But time's running short, and we're going to need more than just another Q variation to keep us interested.
We recently showed you how to go hands free with Vito Voice 2 Go and many of you use WinMo's built-in Voice command, but both take up quite a bit of RAM. If you're still looking to go hands free and control your phone with your voice, then you might want to try dial2do. Although less robust, it doesnt take up any memory on your phone and is a killer hands free GTD application.
Instead of hibernating on your phone's memory, it's all done in the cloud. Simply call into 12133252615 (usa) and tell dial2do what you want to do. You can say things like text, email, calender and more. Its social friendly, so it works with some of your favorites like Gmail, Evernote, and Remember The Milk. What separates this app from competitors Jott or Nuance? It's free. If your phone is memory sensitive or you just want to control email and others with your voice then dial2do may be worth a shot. You a voice-command junkie? Tell us your solution in the comments.
Arne over at the::unwired points us to a blog post from U.K. phone dealer eXpansys that says Samsung has a couple of new Windows Mobile phones coming out in "early 2009."
Up first is a TyTN II (and AT&T Tilt) -type phone, code-named "Louve." It's said to sport Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, a 3.2-MP camera, and, of course, the tilting screen. It's also said to have the same sort of customized UI that we saw with the Omnia.
Next is the "Pivot." This is a follow to the i780, which never made it to the U.S., though we know its cousin, the Epix. Anyway, the Pivot is rumored to have a 5-MP autofocus camera with flash, QWERTY keyboard (not known is if it's front-facing), aGPS, Bluetooth, WiFi — the usual fare.
And speaking of the i780, it just got an official update to Windows Mobile 6.1 (for U.K., Italian and Nordic flavors). So if you've got one, go get it. [via]
Not to be outdone by Microsoft in tossing out bad news while they're hoping the rest of the country is still busy wondering just what smartphone the president of the United States is using, Sprint just dropped this press release about how they're going to save $1.2 Billion (with a B) in labor costs. That's one way to write a press release headline, another way is to not hide the sad truth: They are going to lay off 8000 workers by March 31st. The layoffs will come at all levels and in all areas, so basically nobody's safe (though we guess CEO Dan Hesse will stick around a little while longer). We wish these folks the best of luck finding new work.
Sprint also cops to the fact that of the big 4 in the US, they're the only carrier to have lost net subscribers quarter after quarter, but they do point out that they're happy about the Palm Pre and how it may save their bacon. We're impressed with the Pre to, Spint, but you're going to have to do a little better than that. You've dropped subscribers, the physical infrastructure behind your network (which you now lease), and now a bootload of employees. There's getting down to your fighting weight and then there's wasting away, we're starting to worry (again) that we're looking at the latter.
We've mentioned home signal extenders such as Verizon's Network Extender and Sprint's Airave and now it appears AT&T is joining the femtocell bandwagon with their 3G MicroCell. While pricing and availability aren't indicated on AT&T's site, we do know that it will cover up to 5,000 square feet, allow up to four simultaneous, secure voice or data connections, and will require a broadband connection to operate. It is also only compatible with 3G phones. This may end up being an advantage because similar cells offered by Sprint are limited to 2G coverage.
Another feature, according to the AT&T site is "Unlimited nationwide calling: With the 3G MicroCell, you have the option of unlimited minutes in the home or on any 3G MicroCell* with a 3G MicroCell service plan." We don't know if this is an additional cost feature or if the MicroCell will require a monthly fee to use period. Sprint charges for the Airave device ($99.99) and also charges a $4.99 monthly fee. Verizon eliminated the monthly fee but their Network Extender is a more costly device ($250). It will be interesting to see what the final pricing details for AT&T turns out to be.
Everyone is raving about the sales the iPhone is making and it deserves its props, but its still not putting up Windows Mobile numbers. In fact, during the third quarter of 08 apple only shipped about 4.4 mill iPhones while Windwos Mobile put out a healthy 5 mil. Now, part of the the drop in the iPhone sales is that they may have finally reached all the markets they hadn't yet with the iPhone 3G, so they may be coming close to some kind of geographic saturation.
It's still a close race, but then again close only counts in horse shoes and hand gernades -- not bragging rights. Will Windows Mobile be able to maintain its lead? We'll have to see if WM 6.5 can stir up some excitement -- but frankly even though we know it's software that makes a phone good, we're guessing the average consumer still looks to hot new hardware -- so both Microsoft and its manufacturers will have to do their part. via mobiletopsoft
Various leaks of Windows Mobile 6.5 seem to be poppingupeverywhere. Now it's appeared on the funny looking Compulab Exeda, the crazy little guy that runs Windows Mobile and Android. OK, the phone's not really a looker. But it's the interface we're after here. What we're seeing is a different take on that honeycomb interface, so we're pretty much expecting some variation of that when the real thing's released.
It's possible that this is still an alpha build of the OS, but we're still expecting an official announcement about 6.5 (and all those cloud services) soon at Mobile World Congress. Will the syncing be seamless like Microsoft says? Or will we have just another skinned Windows Mobile phone in our pockets? Let us know what you think in the comments
"Sprint inadvertently posted information on Sprint.com regarding an upcoming product, Palm Treo Pro, this morning. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Sprint looks forward to welcoming this exciting, new device into our portfolio as soon as it has been approved through our customary testing process. We will share details on the correct availability date as soon as the standard testing of both the device and its interaction with our network has concluded. Thank you for your interest in Sprint products."
And now we're hearing that the release date has been pushed back to Feburary 15th. This makes sense if they still need to finish testing and make possible changes to the radio/ROM. It also coincides with the rumored Palm Pre release date, which we now think may be a confusion with the Pro ;-)
We suppose your orders will continue to be on "backorder" till this is resolved. We'll keep you posted if we hear anything different.
We can also now confirm memory: 128mb RAM/512mb ROM; but out of that only 42mb RAM and 360mb ROM is available for use. This puts the Treo Pro's RAM pretty low in comparison to other WM devices, including the Pro's GSM cousin who has 70mb RAM available.
While the principle is the same as Sprint's AIRAVE — the router-looking piece of hardware uses your broadband Internet connection to spit out a short-range cell signal — the pricing is different. Instead of paying, say, $100 for the hardware, then a monthly fee for the service, Verizon's Network Extender costs $250 up front, with no monthly fees.
We're all for paying more up front to forgo the monthly shakedown. You'll save money in the long run. But we keep coming back to the same ol' argument when it comes to femtocells. If you're already paying for service on a company's network — and Verizon arguably still has the best — why would you want to pay more for a signal that you're supposed to have in the first place?
So, any of you Verizon chaps going to shell out for this?
I've gotta admit I've never really understood (though I'm sure I'll be corrected in the comments) just why a touchscreen has to be manually aligned after a hard-reset. For as high-tech as our phones are, its accuracy relies on my steady hand? That's no good. I certainly don't have a surgeon's touch, thanks to all the caffeine, nicotine and a few other -ines that got me through law school late nights blogging.
But, like with so many things in life, the folks at XDA Developers have us covered with AutoAlign Screen, which conveniently enough, will automatically align your screen. As XDA member azharsunny puts it, you'll save time, precisely calibrate your screen, and keep you from digging out that stylus.
We caught word just a few days ago about a HTC Diamond ROM update for Sprint and worldwide, but now it look like the Touch Pro is getting ready for one too.
Evidently, Alexandr Skaryd from XDA had a conversation with HTC Europe about the GPS lag problem. The crux of the convo is below:
Dear Mr. Skaryd I just wanted to get back to you in order to see if you have gotten the GPS working better. I would also like to inform you that there will be a ROM upgrade available in the near future (1.19). Please feel free to get back to us at any time if you have any further questions or queries. Kind Regards Dave Montanya HTC Europe
The bigger news is that HTC appears to be aware of this GPS lag and one can hope that this upcoming ROM addresses this problem.
We've been hearing rumblings that AT&T has restructured data plans and believe we have finally deciphered things where it's understandable. If you are currently using a MediaNet plan, they are being discontinued and replaced with an Unlimited Data/Messaging Plan that will run $30 a month. Instead of having a variety of MediaNet flavors to choose from (Basic, the Works, MediaNet 200, MediaNet 1MB), you have one data package. The common line of thinking is that this move was done to compete with Verizon's data plans. It appears that there are some additional incentives for customers on AT&T's Family Plan as well.
There is one word of caution, these plans are intended for use with non-PDA phones (Motorola Razor, Samsung A737, etc.) that have internet and messaging capabilities. For Windows Mobile devices, AT&T requires their PDA Data plan which, coincidentally, also runs $30 a month. We bet that some of you may be paying more than $30 for the AT&T PDA plan (heck, some of us are!). In other words, it might be worth a call (and some savings) to AT&T and see if you are on the current $30 PDA Data plan and if you're not -- get on it.