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5 years ago

Taste the rainbow of Touch Diamond

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Taste the rainbow of Touch Diamond

Speaking of the Touch Diamond, it looks like you can now get it in myriad colors — if you're in France. [via]

Will we see these colors (black, fuchsia, white, brown, blue, purple, red and yellow) here? That'll be up to the carriers, unless HTC decides to send us some of that rainbow goodness in an unlocked device. And remember that Sprint worked up a cool red-backed scheme for its Diamond.

The real question: Would a fuchsia Touch Diamond get ol' Malatesta to warm up to the black slab form factor?

Thanks, Diego!

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5 years ago

'Oops, I'm Late' now tweets and, er, Facebooks

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If rule No. 1 in business is "Location, location, location," rule No. 2 should be "Your butt better be on time."

Consider the following:

You're on your way to an important meeting full of important people, but there's just no way you're going to get there on time. If only there were a way to discretely — or, not so discretely — let a colleague know you're on your way, but running late.

Enter "Oops, I'm Late", which uses your GPS (built-in or Bluetooth) to determine if you're going to make it to your appointment on time. It's recently been updated Version 1.2.2 with support for Twitter and Facebook, and it's now available for free, if you don't mind putting up with some third-party advertising.

More on the application, those third-party ads, pricing options and our (brief) concerns after the jump.

The application

We were fans of "Oops I'm Late" after our first taste of it more than a year ago. The basic premise is this:

Take an appointment. The app attempts to automatically find its location with Yahoo maps and GeoNames.org. It initially thought my HR Conference Room was in eastern Europe, but whatever. You can help it out with the address.

You then designate who you want to notify in the even that you're going to be late. That can be one of your contacts by SMS, or you can go hardcore and let everyone know you're behind schedule by posting on Twitter of Facebook.

We'll stick with the personal touch, for now, thanks.

"Oops I'm Late"  then uses your GPS to determine where you are, how fast you're moving and whether you're going to get to your destination in time for the appointment. If you're not, it fires off a customizable message and gives the recipient an ETA. Here's the default:

Time is very important, both yours and mine. If possible, I attempt to be on time, but cannot always control traffic; this message is intended to inform you. I'm running late but will be there in a moment. Current ETA: %ETA%. Thanks. %SYSOwnerName%

Actually, these messages are stupidly (as in holy crap!) customizable, calling on your phone's system properties to plug in the variables. We're not quite talking constant updates to twitter as to your location/status, but it's close. Here's another example, from www.twitter.com/oopsimlate:

Sitting in my office and am 0.13 mi close to 7-Eleven. Likely to arrive 5:10 PM. My battery is only at 86% full. I haven’t read 39 emails.

It takes a few clicks to get everything set up. But once you get the hang of things, it at least becomes a little quicker (natch).

Advertising on the free version

When I first launched "Oops, I'm late," I was prompted to install a third-party app called Soma Launcher. Needless to say, this caused some hesitation and seemed to scream "Malware!" — and not as in, "Hey, Malatesta's got this great program ..." After all, we began this adventure to test out a free app, which any self-respecting Windows Mobile user will do before forking over any money.

After doing a  little digging at www.smaato.com, it appears that the Soma software is just a means to push advertising to a specific application (or applications) on your phone. Check out more at their Web site, but here's the company line:

Smaato Inc. is an ad-enabler for mobile phones, pioneering with its mobile advertising platform SOMA™ (Smaato Open Mobile Advertising) for the delivery of targeted mobile advertising. Smaato is partnering with international brands, advertising agencies, media companies, carriers and software developers for its cutting edge mobile advertising platform.

With its services Smaato addresses the rapidly growing mobile advertising market. Research company Informa Telecoms & Media predicts over US$11.35 billion of advertising spend on mobile channels by 2011 (informa research September 2006).

Silicon Valley based Smaato provides smarter, ad-enabled choices for global mobile phone users in their daily communication needs. Smaato News is an ad-enabled mobile RSS newsreader and ad-enabled Smaato Cost provides mobile cost control in real time. Independent software developers and content publishers are invited to use the open SOMA™ mobile advertising platform for their own mobile applications.

From the looks of things, this could have legs. There are beta clients for the iPhone and Android platforms, and Symbian S60, Java, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and Palm clients are already up and running.

The question is: Just how much free advertising are you willing to put up with to us an application for free? You already see it in iPhone apps, as well as in gaming consoles such as the xBox.

The big difference here is that you have to consciously download a third-party application to do it, and that's when the hesitation comes it. Force-feed me free advertising, and I'll grudgingly swallow it. Give me a choice, and I'll likely eat elsewhere.

The bottom line

Fortunately, you don't have to put up with the free advertising — and that said, other than having to load an application just for ads, their placement within "Oops, I'm Late" is clean and for the most part non-intrusive.

And if you want to skip the ads altogether, there are several pricing options (Windows Mobile Standard and Professional): Add supported (free); Economy ($4.99); Standard ($14.99); and Professional ($24.99.) The features unlocked in each pricier version are a bit numerous, so check out the Web site for the full deets. Be forewarned: You can't send e-mail notifications that you're late unless you buy the full professional version.

The real bottom line here is that the app works. If being late is a problem for you, and you need to discretely alert someone that you're on your way, "Oops, I'm Late" will do it. If you're not prone to gridlock or procrastination, you can probably live without.

Or, you could just get your butt there on time.

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5 years ago

Touch Diamond appears headed to Alltel

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Touch Diamond appears headed to Alltel

We've known for a while that the HTC Touch Pro is likely going to Alltel. Now it appears that the Touch Diamond see get some love from the little carrier that could.

Alltel's Website has a Touch Diamond page up, though it's not yet accessible from from the main phones and devices page. We don't think this is a typo, mistaking the Touch Diamond for the Touch Pro (that darn name game again), given the previously leaked Alltel Touch Pro photo that Engadget got hold of.

Also, no word on pricing. Or an availability date. While there is a link to download the rebate form (pdf warning), it expires Oct. 30 and specifically mentions the HTC Touch. So we'd expect that to change.

Either way, look for the Touch Diamond on another CDMA carrier in the near future.

Thanks, Brandon, for the tip!

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5 years ago

Review: Solio Solar Charger

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5 years ago

HP to add another WM device to line-up?

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HP to add another WM device to line-up?

Just when we started getting used to the name game with Samsung (Omnia, Mirage, BlackJack II) it looks like Hewlett-Packard is getting into the mix. We first heard about the Silver, then the Oak and now an un-named iPhone rival? Luckily, it looks like in HP

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5 years ago

Xperia X1 appears at the FCC - AT&T next

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Xperia X1 appears at the FCC - AT&T next

We never thought we'd see the day, but the Sony Ericcson Xperia X1 (we were getting ready to dub it "The Unicorn") has made it through the Federal Communications Commission's testing, reports Cell Phone Signal.

And as we suspected, AT&T should be the lucky carrier with this one, given the 850/1900/2100MHz bands.

Also confirmed are two versions of the phone - the X1 for Europe, and the X1a for the U.S. And while you can buy an unlocked X1 and use it on T-Mobile, remember that TMo uses the 1700 MHz band for 3G, and you won't get that with this device.

The silver paint scheme that we've gotten to know remains. As an added bonus will be a black skin, too. No word on if it's version- or carrier-specific.

No word yet on pricing, carrier-subsidized or otherwise. Also no word on an actual U.S. release date, or whether any of the delay rumors are true.

Hit up Cell Phone Signal for a few user guide pics.

Thanks, Marco!

Update: Here's the link [via Giz] to the FCC testing, if you're into that sort of thing. It's OK. We won't tell.

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5 years ago

Rogers gets its Blackjack a 6.1 upgrade

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Rogers gets its Blackjack a 6.1 upgrade

It's good to see some forward movement this week on the Windows Mobile 6.l front, first with the Touch Cruise getting its long-awaited update, and now Canadian carrier Rogers rolling it out for the Samsung Jack — that's Blackjack for the rest of us. [via]

That's the good news.

The bad news is that this is still a Black-, er, Jack we're talking about, so the upgrade process isn't anywhere near as smooth as it should be, with the usual USB drivers wonkiness. Be sure to read all of in instructions first, and for the love of all that is holy, back up your information first.

Then head on over to the download site and get your well-deserved upgrade.

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5 years ago

Your weekend Touch HD fodder

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Your weekend Touch HD fodder

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It's been a few days since we've done any drooling over the HTC Touch HD, and that's been long enough.

Above is a short promo video [via & via] for the upcoming device — someone get us a date and price already! — that serves to pique our interest that much more.

What we'd really like to see is this thing in a few more hands (I'll gladly volunteer if Dieter's busy), and some light at the end of the tunnel. This wait is starting to get painful.

Thanks, Jeremy, for the tip!

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5 years ago

Another look at the T-Mobile Shadow II

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Another look at the T-Mobile Shadow II

We've known for a while now that the update to the popular T-Mobile Shadow would be dropping on Oct. 15. We're still expecting it for $149.99 after rebate. We know it will support the T-Mobile @ Home service (UMA, for you acronym-lovers). We're still not sure if it'll have TMo's 3G service.

And what we're pretty darn sure of is that the paint job is sexy as hell. Granted, a little of that could just be light playing tricks on us. But even if that's the case, throw us in the briar patch. Check out more pictures here.

The Android fanboys better hope this isn't sitting next to the G1 in the store.

Via BGR and Cell Phone Signal

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5 years ago

First the Silver, and now the Oak?

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First the Silver, and now the Oak?

It now looks like a couple of HP devices could be getting a resurrection, or at least some resuscitation.

Word recently came the the HP Silver is back from the dead, and the Wall Street Journal snuck in a piece describing a Windows Mobile 6.1 device with a touchscreen and keypad that will also soon be coming to Europe. It will get the iPaq branding.

The WSJ story doesn't name any names, but WM Power User and Slashphone are speculating that this "new" phone could the forgotten "Oak," which like the Silver was one of the devices we first got wind of in January and then quickly forgot about.

Notice in the photo above the original target launch of September 2008, which obviously has come and gone, just like the Silver missed its July target.

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5 years ago

Zune-esque Music Interface to Come to Windows Mobile: Ballmer Confirms

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We've known for a long time that Microsoft never intends on making a “Zune Phone”. We've also long known that Microsoft doesn't intend on making any phone themselves. Instead, we've we told you that the music features of the Zune would make their way onto Windows Mobile. J Allard said it back in November. In April we started tracking some mysterious new “Pink and Purple” projects coming out of Microsoft's “eLive” team (Go ahead and add “Rouge” to the red-tinted projects related to Windows Mobile, by the way).

So now the news that Steve Ballmer himself has weighed in [via Engadget] and reiterated that Zune functionality will come to Windows Mobile is, um, no surprise.

Now, we built the Zune hardware with the Zune software - and what you’ll see more and more over time is that the Zune software will also be ported to and be more important not just with the hardware but on the PC, on Windows Mobile devices, etc.

We'd argue that it's about time that Microsoft paid attention to making Windows Media Player suck less, but we really don't want to go beating that dead horse again right now. It turns out that if you leave a dead horse lying around for as long as Windows Media Player on Windows Mobile has needed work, it gets a little rank. Instead we just ignore WMP altogether and until these Pink/Purple/Rouge/Zune features hit, recommend you do the same. Here's how: check out our Media Player roundup and install something better.

Thanks to Leo for the Tip!

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5 years ago

Sena Extended Battery Vertical Case for the Motorola Q9h

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5 years ago

Touch Cruise updated to Windows Mobile 6.1

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Touch Cruise updated to Windows Mobile 6.1

Remember that Twitter post saying that a Windows Mobile 6.1 update was coming to the forlorned HTC Touch Cruise?

It's heeeere. [via]

Finally, the phone that time forgot gets its updated operating system. And along with the usual 6.1 goodness, HTC also is throwing in fixes for:
  • Bluetooth Headset: It may happen that you cannot hear anything when using Bluetooth headsets (Jabra JX10, Jabra BT500 or Samsung WEP 150) even when it has already successfully reconnected with the Touch Cruise.
  • Default Onscreen Keyboard: It may happen that the device will not remember the last onscreen keyboard used. Before, the onscreen keyboard always defaults to the Touch Keyboard.
  • Title Bar: It may happen that the Title Bar disappears when you go back to the Home screen.
  • Camera Viewfinder: It may happen that the viewfinder is cut when you open a Powerpoint file and then tap Options.
  • GPS Mode: It may happen that the display becomes “abnormal” after taking a picture in GPS mode and then going into Suspend/Resume mode.
  • FM Radio Speaker/Headset Mode: It may happen that the FM Radio program uses the incorrect output mode (Speaker or Headset) before the application launches.
  • TouchFLO Setting: It may happen that the TouchFLO setting does not appear in the Settings > System tab.
  • TomTom in Home Screen: It may happen that TomTom does not show in the Home screen.

So here you go, Touch Cruise owners. You've waited long enough. Download here.

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5 years ago

XOHM live in Baltimore; T4 Show talks WiMax

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Say what you want about Sprint — and we've certainly done our share of sayin' — the company keeps on pressing ahead with its EVDO follow-up, the 4G network known as XOHM (pronounced zoam) or WiMax. (This is the 4G competitor to LTE, or Long-Term Evolution, which AT&T and Verizon have signed on for.)

The service is officially up and running in an initial major U.S. city, with New York Chicago Los Angeles Washington Baltimore getting the honors.

Devices that can use WiMax are still a bit scarce, but Sprint promises more in the near future.

Customers can purchase XOHM-branded Samsung Express air cards for $59.99 and ZyXEL modems for $79.99 via XOHM web, telesales or select Baltimore-area independent retailers. Additional WiMAX devices such as a ZTE USB modem, Intel Centrino 2 WiMAX notebook PCs and the Nokia N810 WiMAX Edition are expected in market later this year.

Check in after the jump for Sprint's full press release on the launch, and visit the XOHM Web site here.

T4 Show talks XOHM and WiMax: Speaking of XOHM and WiMax, Michael Manna, host of T4 Show, had Sprint regional media rep Mark Eillott back on his most recent podcast (Episode 86) for an excellent talk about XOHM and WiMax. Give it a listen.

(And while you're over there, be sure to check out our man Dieter Bohn's appearance on Episode 77.)

XOHM WiMAX Broadband Service Debuts in Baltimore

New 4G wireless era dawns as unique business model revolutionizes mobile Internet access

HERNDON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

A next-generation 4G wireless network based on mobile WiMAX technology debuted today in Baltimore, heralding the start of a new era for wireless consumers as Sprint (NYSE: S) officially launched XOHM(TM) mobile broadband commercial service in the first major U.S. city.

"This is truly an historic day with the birth of a completely new Internet-based business model that alters the dynamics of the traditional telecom industry," explained Barry West, president of Sprint's XOHM business unit. "Wireless consumers will experience WiMAX device and XOHM service innovation on multiple levels as the computer, Internet, telecom and consumer electronics industries converge to redefine wireless mobility."

XOHM WiMAX will extend the home or office Internet experience and mobile multimedia applications to other places and additional devices. With XOHM, consumers, businesses and local governments will ultimately be able to experience new forms of interactive communications, high-speed mobile Internet browsing, social-networking tools, location-centric services and multimedia including music, video and on-demand products at faster average downlink speeds of 2-4 Mbps. The data-centric XOHM broadband service differs from present wireless offerings in that:

  • No long-term commitments or contracts are required, freeing customers from restrictive long-term subsidized plans;
  • Monthly home, on-the-go and day-pass Internet plans provide service choices;
  • A single monthly charge covers service for multiple WiMAX access devices;
  • WiMAX devices are purchased like other computing/consumer electronic devices,
  • XOHM broadband service is self-activated and includes future updates capability;
  • Customers can enjoy an Internet portal offering enhanced mobile services;
  • The Open Internet business model transcends other carriers' wireless walled gardens that restrict services, choice and innovation.

Starting today, customers can purchase XOHM-branded Samsung Express air cards for $59.99 and ZyXEL modems for $79.99 via XOHM web, telesales or select Baltimore-area independent retailers. Additional WiMAX devices such as a ZTE USB modem, Intel Centrino 2 WiMAX notebook PCs and the Nokia N810 WiMAX Edition are expected in market later this year.

Introductory offers allow customers to choose from both daily and month-to-month service options. At launch, mobile WiMAX service plans include a $10 Day pass, $25 monthly Home Internet service and $30 monthly On-the-go service. Special launch pricing includes a $50 "Pick 2 for Life" monthly service option covering two different WiMAX devices. Visit www.xohm.com to view the current XOHM WiMAX coverage area, details of the introductory broadband service offerings and device sales information.

XOHM subscribers will be given free access to a unique and customizable Web site, called MyXOHM, focusing primarily on local services and entertainment content, as well as providing security services, hosted storage and interactive communications. After choosing preferences, subscribers will have their content pushed to a customized and location-aware portal via small digestible widgets.

XOHM continues to work with WiMAX ecosystem partners and others to incorporate WiMAX technology in a range of computing, portable multimedia, interactive and other business and consumer electronic devices, including the availability of XOHM WiMAX in vehicles for navigation information, news and entertainment.

Sprint will be the first and only national wireless carrier to offer customers a dual-mode 3G - 4G device that extends the power of Sprint's NOW network. Expected to launch in the fourth quarter, this Sprint device will operate on the nation's largest 3G mobile broadband network and the 4G network in Baltimore and other markets as WiMAX service becomes available.

The Baltimore XOHM service launch is one of the most rapid ever for new network development, approximately two years after Sprint's selection of WiMAX IEEE 802.16e as a technology standard and the formation of a charter WiMAX ecosystem with Intel, Samsung and Motorola. Those firms shared a common vision of next-generation mobility services predicated on an embedded chipset model and the wireless enablement of millions of consumer electronic devices that lack wireless connectivity or Internet capability. Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, Google, ZTE, ZyXEL and others have since joined the XOHM WiMAX ecosystem.

Sprint's XOHM business unit focuses on developing the WiMAX ecosystem and standards to bring the latest broadband wireless technology to U.S. customers while pursuing roaming and interoperability agreements globally. The XOHM WiMAX network utilizes the 2.5 GHz spectrum holdings that were combined in the Sprint and Nextel merger to deploy next-generation technology. XOHM uses WiMAX infrastructure developed by Samsung Electronics Corporation Ltd. and has worked with them in deployment and buildout of the Baltimore-area WiMAX network. Additional markets are in various stages of infrastructure development for commercial readiness. These efforts are ultimately intended to allow customers to experience a nationwide 4G mobile broadband network that is designed to offer faster speeds, lower cost, greater convenience and enhanced multimedia quality.

As announced earlier this year, Sprint expects to complete the anticipated combination of its XOHM WiMAX business assets with Clearwire to form a new company in the fourth quarter. This new company, to be called Clearwire, will continue to expedite the deployment of a nationwide mobile WiMAX network. Following the transaction, Sprint will be the only national wireless carrier to sell 4G services through an MVNO structure with the new Clearwire.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two wireless networks serving nearly 52 million customers at the end of the second quarter 2008; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.

For more information on Sprint's XOHM business unit, visit www.xohm.com.

SAFE HARBOR

This news release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the securities laws. The statements in this news release regarding plans for the development and deployment of a broadband network based on WiMAX technology; the timing, availability, capabilities, coverage, and costs of the WiMAX network; products and services to be offered on the WiMAX network; and other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. The words "estimate," "project," "forecast," "intend," "expect," "believe," "target," "providing guidance" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are projections reflecting management's judgment and assumptions based on currently available information and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements.

Future performance cannot be assured. Actual results may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors, including, but not limited to:

  • the uncertainties related to the implementation of the company's WiMAX business strategy;
  • the costs and business risks associated with deploying a WiMAX network and offering products and services utilizing WiMAX technology;
  • the inability of third-party suppliers, software developers and other vendors to perform requirements and satisfy obligations necessary to create the products and software designed to support WiMAX features and functionality, under agreements with Sprint Nextel;
  • the impact of adverse network performance;
  • other risks referenced from time to time in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006, in Part I, Item 1A, "Risk Factors" and subsequently filed quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.

Sprint Nextel believes the forward-looking statements in this press release are reasonable; however, you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations and speak only as of the date of this release. Sprint Nextel is not obligated to publicly release any revisions to forward-looking statements to reflect events after the date of this release.

Source: Sprint Nextel

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5 years ago

Get Voter Registration Info from Google Mobile

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The Google Mobile Blog lets us know that they've compiled comprehensive state-by-state information on what you need to know in order to register to vote. Voter registration deadlines are approaching within a matter of days, so if you're mobile check out http://m.google.com/elections to get the info you need. If you're not mobile, http://www.maps.google.com/vote has the same bits over on the lefthand sidebar. In other words, if you're not registered yet and want to vote you can get the info that you need right now.

We'll not discuss politics (or the financial crisis) any further except to note that, darn it all, we can't think of a single candidate who's ever been spotted with a Windows Mobile smartphone.

[via Mornin Paper]

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