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5 years ago

Review: Fizz Traveler

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5 years ago

Verizon plans to unload 15% of Alltel customers

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Back in June we mentioned all the legal wrangling going on between Verizon and Alltel - some of it related to the former's $28.1 billion purchase of the later, and some not.

It became pretty apparent that Verizon would have to sell off some of the Alltel markets to keep the feds happy, and that's just what it's planning to do. Verizon says it will unload its interests in 85 markets in 18 states - about 15 percent of its 13 million subscribers.

Who needs to keep an eye on this?

Verizon Wireless said the markets — mostly rural service areas — encompass wireless assets that overlap with those of Alltel throughout North Dakota and South Dakota as well certain areas in California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.

Look for AT&T, Leap Wireless, Metro PCS and others to scoop up the homeless subscribers.

RCR Wireless (via Engadget Mobile [via PhoneScoop])

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5 years ago

The Ringer Switch: Treo 800w vs. iPhone

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The Ringer Switch: Treo 800w vs. iPhone

Well now, it looks like a defector from WinMo to iPhone (full disclosure: I myself use both right now) has taken issue with a certain line from my Treo 800w Review:

And finally we have the top of the device featuring the silence switch. I’ll point out to my iPhone using friends (and, yes, my own alter ego) that this is a proper ringer switch, not the bollocks that you’ll find on the iPhone. When you enable the ringer switch on a Treo, the external speaker is silent, period, whether you’re getting an SMS or playing a game or having an alarm go off. That’s how it’s supposed to be, folks, and that’s how it works on the 800w.

Bearxor (a frequent poster at PPCGeeks) is contending that the ringer switch on the Treo is “dumb” and the switch on the iPhone is “smart” because, well, if you're playing music, you want to hear music, regardless of the ringer switch. Ditto alarms -- if you set an alarm, you darn well want to have it wake you up, ringer switch be damned.

Reasonable people can disagree, of course, and Bearxor is right when he writes that “There’s just no such thing as a ‘proper ringer switch’ though.” Fair enough, I shouldn't have called the iPhone's “bollocks.” On the other hand, I still prefer the Treo's ringer switch behavior to the iPhone's. I don't think it's “dumb” at all. I just think it's better for pocket usage. When I reach into my pocket and set the ringer switch to vibrate, I want an iron-clad guarantee that it's never going to make noise. If I want to watch movies or listen to music through the external speaker, I don't mind switching the ringer back to “on.”

How 'bout you, though? Which do you prefer: the Treo's “Silence all” behavior or the iPhone's “Silence the stuff we figure you want to silence and leave the rest on” behavior?

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5 years ago

T-Mobile Handing out Free Extended Batteries to Shadow Users

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We never thought the Shadow's battery was all that bad. Although it clocks in at a very small 920mAh, it's always managed to get through a day of average use for us. It's crazy-small, but it's not joker-crazy-small. Apparently we haven't really been putting our Shadow through its paces hard enough, though, as T-Mobile has decided to start packaging an extended battery (and battery door) with all new Shadows. The new battery is 1350mAh, which means it should last about 50% longer -- it better, given that it adds a new hump to the back of the phone. Click on through to see the hump -- it's noticeable but not, ahem, crazy thick.

A nice bit for current owners: you should be able to call up T-Mobile and ask them to send you one, free of charge.

Read: AllShadow

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5 years ago

Samsung Omnia: Totally fab? Or another slab?

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We're still waiting official word on the U.S. release of the Samsung i900 -- aka the Omnia -- which hopefully will still be dropping on AT&T sometime this year.

For those keeping score at home, we're talking:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional.
  • 624 MHz Processor.
  • 16 gigs ROM. 128 megs RAM.
  • Quad-band EDGE & HSDPA.
  • 3.2-inch, 400x240 screen.
  • Micro SD.
  • WiFi.
  • FM radio.
  • Built-in aGPS.
  • 5MP camera with flash and autofocus.
  • 1440 mAh battery.

But unless you're willing to shell out $1,000 or so, you're still going to have to wait. However, reviews are coming in, and we're getting a better picture as to how it stacks up against the likes of the iPhone, the (recently much improved but still unreleased in the U.S.) HTC Diamond, or your other favorite black slab.

PhoneArena just cranked out a very thorough review.
HardwareZone seemed mostly impressed.
MobileCrunch gave us a quick hands-on.
GSM Arena gave it a run-through.
The Unwired takes a look with a 14-minute video review.
Mobility Today gets in on the action too.

So, c'mon, Samsung. C'mon, AT&T. Let's get this sucker released here and unleash the American masses upon it, and find out if really is the best Windows Mobile device this side of the X1 with a shot at taking down the apple of, er, Apple's eye.

Edit x2: Another added to the list.

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5 years ago

FCC Shows HTC Touch Pro / Raphael, Nov 30th Availability?

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Well, it looks like the HTC Touch Pro/Raphael has popped up at the FCC! You can take a gander at the FCC documents here, though a quick perusal doesn't appear to show anything out of the ordinary: the standard sort of “here's where we'll put the label” and “here's proof it won't melt your brain” sort of thing. The really juicy details aren't available because HTC's confidentiality request to the FCC asked that they keep the rest under wraps until November 30th, 2008. Ain't that a nice little date to mark on your calendar?

Still, though, nice to see the RAPH100 show its face, makes it a little more likely we'll be able to use it to impress our friends and bludgeon our enemies. That bludgeoning might be cathartic, too, as there doesn't appear to be 3G testing results in these documents. TmoNews speculates this means it's bound to (3G-less) T-Mobile, but we're still hopeful that those tests just haven't arrived. Of course, “hopefulness” is just on the other side of the coin from “denial,” so your guess is as good as ours.

read: TmoNews [via]

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5 years ago

More Treo 800w: Enable RevA Upload increase

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More Treo 800w: Enable RevA Upload increase

Two steps forward, one step back is today's theme on the 800w.

Awhile ago some crafty people were lurking around their device and found out that going to "Dial Pad" and typing in ##EVDO# (aka ##3836#) brought them to one of those secret programming menus.

The first thing you see is a big ol' checkbox that says "Rev A" unchecked. Of course people flew into a tither but in reality, a lot of did not see any increase in our download speeds (via Mobile BBR)--in fact, a few people have experienced some odd behavior with it checked (mostly because they didn't choose "Automatic").

Step in kaptainchump who decided to check upload speeds and sure enough...that's the difference.

Without the "Rev A" box checked, upload speeds cap at around 120kbps. When enabled, you easily and consistently hit up in the mid 300kbps range (that'd be doubling your upload speeds in case you didn't notice).

Now, why is this not checked to begin with? Forum member Ebag333 speculates it might actually have to do with Sprint's programming, while others may think it's currently unstable.

Who knows at this point, but if you're feeling a little risky, take this trick for a spin.

See: "Are you really running Rev A (EVDO)?" & "PROOF!! Rev. A Checkbox Makes A Difference"

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5 years ago

Treo 800w: Voice Dialing Over Bluetooth Update Coming Soon

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Well, chalk this one up to fast turn around...in fact one of the fastest we've ever seen from Palm.

First some background: when the Sprint Treo 800w was in it's final stages of release, one of the more anticipated features was the ability to use Microsoft's Voice Command 1.6 over Bluetooth (after all, that brilliant apps comes built into the device's ROM). This would allow you to hear the program's responses and reminders over your headset and just as importantly, bark your commands via the headset.

In our forums there has been lots of discussion over this because once the phone was released it turns out this feature was missing--leaving lots of people quite upset (the phrase "deal breaker" is mentioned a lot).

Fast forward 2 weeks and Palm already has a space reserved for an update to enable this feature. The page simply reads:

"Palm

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5 years ago

Outlook Connector -- Sync Outlook Desktop Calendars to Live Mail

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We've been wall-to-wall Microsoft services lately and for good reason -- Microsoft's Live offerings are really maturing lately. One hassle, though, is that most people's desktop PIM manager is Outlook and Outlook hasn't (until now) fully synced calendars with Live Mail. No more, as Paul Thurrott points out: Microsoft has released a beta of Microsoft Office Outlook Connector 12.1. It's good stuff, adding calendar sync capabilities to the already existing contacts and email sync, though there is one tiny caveat that some users may need to know about:

Note to Premium Subscribers:The Outlook Connector will automatically upgrade your MSN Calendar to the new Windows Live Calendar beta. Once upgraded to Windows Live Calendar, you will be able to synchronize multiple calendars, including shared calendars to Outlook! You will no longer be able to access MSN Calendar.

...It's still not a full fledged solution for mobile (unless you're an old-school, cable-based ActiveSyncer, in which case we presume those synced calendars can be synced over USB just fine), but it's a sign that Microsoft is heading in the right direction. Those “right direction” signs are all over the place these days, now we just need some unification.

Thanks to Rene for the tip!

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5 years ago

Pocket Informant updated to 8.1

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Pocket Informant updated to 8.1

If you were wooed by our five-star review and snagged a copy of Pocket Informant 8, be aware that the popular Personal Information Manager has been upgraded to 8.1.

Highlights of the upgrade include (get the full list here):

  • 2 Key Search for Pocket PC - this is like T9 for search
  • Contacts rewritten so that it now is very fast
  • Improved Events view with groupings and more options
  • Improved Journal view with groupings and better view
  • Improved Touch mode
  • Major improvements to Smartphone all over the place
  • SmartPhone now supports Linking
  • Better one-handed usage
  • Default Number (SmartNum) now editable in the editor
  • A number of Template improvements

The upgrade is free if you already have Pocket Informant 8, or if you purchased Pocket Informant 2007 after Sept. 1, 2007. If you bought it before that date or got a copy as part of a promotion, the upgrade will cost $16.95. Full retail of Pocket Informant 8 is $29.95.

Pocket Informant is available on Windows Mobile Professional (touchscreen) and Standard (no touchscreen) devices. Find it directly at www.pocketinformant.com, and we've got it in the WM Experts Store.

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5 years ago

Hands on With Windows Live App

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Hands on With Windows Live App

We all know the new Windows Live app is out and has been giving us what we need. Push! In order to get your real push up and running you will first need to set up an account with Live mail. Then once set up you can download the app, input your info, and start to sync. Another cool option is the ability to sync contacts with your Live mail account. I had the option checked to merge contacts with outlook contacts but I still ended up with duplicates. That's a persistent issue with the Windows Live client, but a little contact cleanup is a small price to pay for instant email. Check out the video in action and let us know if you're switching to a @live email address.

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5 years ago

Microsoft Shake Up to Lead to Zune Phone?

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Microsoft Shake Up to Lead to Zune Phone?

Apparently we weren't the only ones who found Microsoft's services strategy utterly confusing and slapdash -- Microsoft did too. To that end, as reported by All About Microsoft, they're splitting up their Platforms and Services unit into two different units as well as giving the previous president of that division a retirement to go work for Juniper networks.

The two new divisions will be “Windows/Windows Live” and “Online Services Business.” The W/WL will have three folks in charge and the OSB will get a new guy. Steve Ballmer sent out a letter to the company about the changes with some interesting tidbits about their feelings on Google, Apple, and Yahoo. Short version: We're working on search and Apple's done better with the “end-to-end” experience.

There's plenty to parse here, including the possibility of a Zune phone, so read on!

Zune Phone?

When Ballmer writes “We'll do the same with phones--providing choice as we work to create great end-to-end experiences,” it's likely to start up the rumor mill again with regard to that Zune phone he's repeatedly denied being interested in. Well, that and the fact that JKOnTheRun has it from an inside source that we'll see it based on Windows Mobile 7 (oh, btw, congrats guys!).

I'll stay neutral on the Zune Phone -- ok no I won't: I'm not opposed, but I'd prefer to see Zune features included in all Windows Mobile Phones, okay? I still like Microsoft's strategy of working with hardware partners to make Windows Mobile quite a bit, I just wish there'd be some more consistency (and hotness) across the different handsets. If Microsoft were to throw their own hat into the hardware market, I hope they can find a way to do it that doesn't undercut the entire ecosystem by introducing yet another non-standard Windows Mobile interface into the mix. So Microsoft: go ahead and make your Zune Phone, but offer the innovations therein to your partners, ok?

Services

Back to the Windows Live branding debacle. I'd like to think that this new split is going to help things along. I'd like to think that, but I don't. Windows Mobile is precisely the sort of platform that needs to straddle the gap between traditional business space services that will fall under the “Online Services Business” and consumer-focused services that are part of “Windows Live.”

It's all very frustrating, because the truth of the matter is that Microsoft's offering is much better than anything anybody else has put out there except for RIM. There are some quirks and bugs with Windows Live on Windows Mobile, sure, but they're nothing compared to the Mobile Me mess right now. Toss in Live Mesh and Live Search and you have yourself an excellent suite of great online, cloud-based apps. That's not even counting what we see coming, consumer-wise, after the Danger acquisition.

In poker terms, Microsoft has a straight right now, they just haven't noticed yet because they can't seem to put the cards in the right order. With any luck, they'll be smart enough to keep betting, stay in the game, and take a shot at the big money.

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5 years ago

Diamond Gets Official 850 (EDGE) Band from HTC Hong Kong

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Engadget Mobile lets us know that HTC Hong Kong has posted a World Wide English ROM that supports the 850 MHz radio band for EDGE data. The folks over at XDA are poking away at it and finding that it does indeed support the 850 MHz band for GSM (read: EDGE speeds) but that 850 3G data is still tough to come by. Reports are mixed on that front -- as Engadget notes and a read-though of the XDA thread confirms, there's some weirdness with the band selection in the settings.

On other fronts, though, the ROM apparently rocks. TouchFLO 3D is reportedly much faster! The other nice thing is that the weird “we're turning the screen off whether you like it or not during a call” behavior now defaults to friendlier settings based on your global power preferences (after the initial default power-down. Yes, it's confusing, but if you have one you know what we're talking about).

We were very pleasantly surprised when a hacked ROM came out a week ago with 850 support, we're just as pleased to see HTC officially supporting the 850 band. Looks like, for once, CompUSA has been somewhat vindicated. Whoodathunk?

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5 years ago

CommMgrPro - the Ultimate Profiles App

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CommMgrPro - the Ultimate Profiles App

CommMgrPro, developed Daniel Herrero Rey with all sorts of input from the good folks at XDA is seeing an official version 2.1 release today. We've had some questions about profiles management in our Podcast before and this here software just might be the the bazooka to kill your profiles bug. It does it all -- managing ringers, radios, data connections, auto-sending of SMS, screen light levels, and more. All of which can be based on a ridiculously powerful set of customizable criteria.

Want silence when you walk into a certain (GSM) cell tower's range? Done. Want super-loud-ringer + dim screen when your calendar appointment has the word “discotheque” in it? Done (and we won't judge you for the fact that a. you use the word “discotheque” regularly and b. find it necessary to schedule it on your smartphone).

The software's 15 Euro and available for Windows Mobile Pro devices.

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5 years ago

IM meets conferencing with Persistent.im

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IM meets conferencing with Persistent.im

From Shape Services, the makers of the popular IM+, comes Persistent.im, basically an always-on private conference that allows you to use your current IM client.

Each conference shows up and behaves as a contact in the IM contacts' list. Conference participants may use accounts in AIM®/iChat, MSN®/Windows Live™ Messenger, Yahoo!®, ICQ®, Jabber®, Google Talk™ and MySpaceIM and keep using their preferred instant messenger client.

You can use multiple IM clients and load your contacts from your favorite IM service, and there are a few bot commands to make conferencing command line-like friendly.

The free service works across desktop and mobile devices - wherever you choose to IM from.

Try Persistent.im

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