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5 years ago

GPSToday: Killer GPS app for WM

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GPSToday: Killer GPS app for WM

There are a few true killer apps on Windows Mobile and GeoTerrestrial's GPSToday is certainly a contender (Live Search is the other).

What is GPSToday?

As far as I can tell, it fills in the gaps that other GPS programs leave open. From my experience, its main function is to simply tell you where you are in the world. But unlike Google Maps/Live Search, which just shows your physical location on a map, GPSToday goes one step further by getting your coordinates, translating that into a real street address and displaying it directly on your Today screen (via the plugin).

All of this happens within about 15 seconds and a simple touch of an icon.

There is also the ability to attach your GPS coordinates automatically to photos, see your location of your contacts automatically and get directions to and from places. Plus the new feature: GPS weather, where it will show your weather directly based on your GPS coordinates. All wrapped up in a nice, simple (and currently free) program.

Read on for the feature breakdown and brief review!

Breakdown

 

There are two main parts to the program: the Today plugin and the Maps application. There is also a useful configuration screen for setting up and modifying the settings.

Plugin: This is the main interface for the app and it’s pretty simple, it’s also “touch friendly” so your stylus need not apply. To the left is the Red icon with a little satellite icon—it turns green when trying to pull your GPS signal and displays the number of satellites found. In the middle is the “display” section which shows your street address (or optionally coordinates).

The little person/icon is “Save to Contacts” which allows you to directly copy the current info to a current or new contact.

 

The “stopwatch” icon is the option to automatically lookup your current location at timed intervals (1 minutes, 5, 10, 30, 1 hour, Auto or Off) so in theory you could have your current location updated every 30 minutes automatically, all you have to do is glance down at your screen and you’ll know your street address.

 

Finally the Map icon brings up the mapping portion. Tapping the Map will download mapping data of your current location and will optionally show points of interest (POI) and/or Contacts, which is very cool.

 

For those concerned with battery life, GPSToday can do a one-time Quick Fix: it will turn on, do the lookup, display the street address and then turn off the GPS system meaning you only have GPS/data activated for about 20-30 seconds—all the work is done for you! This is probably my favorite part as nothing beats finding our current street address. What good is there in knowing your visual location on a map or your coordinates when trying to meet up with some friends? It’s much easier to tell someone “Yeah, I’m at…435 Motts Street right now”. (Note: due to GPS sensitive, the exact location lookup is sometimes off by a few houses, so YMMV. But for the most part, this will get your address within a few stops.)

Maps: the Map is accessed via the Today plugin and has your usual assortment of options: display POI, contacts, zoom in/out, refresh, weather and geocaching/geotagging of pictures options.

 

Weather: the weather option was just added to the latest version and is pretty simple but very neat. Basically it pulls down your current temperature and basic weather based on your GPS location. It can display this on the today plugin as the temperature or on the maps:

 

Geotagging of photos: here’s another very useful feature. Simply enable it via the add on freeware program (it’ll prompt you to download) and whenever you snap a photo, the GPS coordinates will be tagged to the picture. This of course can then be used for stuff like Flickr, where built in mapping of your photos can add a cool twist to your collection.

 

Conclusion and the future

GPSToday is just a fantastic application. It was quickly updated by the developers for 320x320 resolution devices (Samsung i780, Treo 800w/Pro), has new features being added all the time (e.g. GPS Weather) and I’ve heard we can expect some more features in later versions (think “friend finder/social networking” abilities).

If you have GPS built in, this is one of the most useful programs available as knowing your current street address, seeing your contacts in relation to you, being aware of the current weather, geotagging your photos, etc. are all things we can use in our daily lives.

In short, programs like GPSToday are what make “smarpthones” truly smarpthones—they do the work for you, seamlessly and provide really useful information in an instant.

Any downsides? Probably just these two major limitations:

  • Only WM Pro devices (WM Standard is not currently supported)
  • Mapping data is U.S. based only

Hopefully some of that will be addressed in later versions.

Download Here and read their FAQ with some tips and tricks right here.

Ratings (out of 5)

  • Function: 5
  • Ease of use: 5
  • Cost (none): 5
  • Features: 5

Overall:

Pros

  • Unique GPS app
  • Currently freeware
  • Very useful
  • Easy to use
  • Great features with more to come

Cons

  • Not for WM Standard (non-touchscreen)
  • U.S. mapping data only
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5 years ago

IM+ Gets Major Update to v6

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IM+ Gets Major Update to v6

 

If you're already a user of the popular instant messaging app IM+, you may have been notified of a "major" update last night.  Upon downloading it seems the Shape Sevices guys have bumped it to v6.0.1.  (Read Tim's earlier review for WM Standard)

In short, they overhauled the graphics, added buddy icon support (finally), Facebook chat (in addition to MySpace) and a new feature whereby you can sign off but IM+ will keep you logged in, then when an IM comes in for you, they forward it as an email aka 'Push IM'.  Interesting. The Today plugin also got a bit of graphics sharpening, though no major changes.

So far I'm liking the new look and added features, though for $39.95 it is mighty pricey for an IM program.  On the other hand, free upgrades sweeten the deal a bit.  Unforuntaltey, there is no sign of any "speech to text" feature as was reported for BlackBerrySigh.  Maybe later?

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5 years ago

More evidence of a Touch Pro 2 world edition

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We'd seen rumors that two of HTC's soon-to-be-released phones, the Touch Pro 2 and Snap, could well be sporting CDMA and GSM radios for some worldwide fun, and now we've got some official evidence to go with it.

Engadget spied a document in FCC testing of the Touch Pro 2 (aka Rhodium) that states there are in fact two radios on board, and that the GSM side "has been disabled by firmware and is SIM locked for all US operators."

So what's that mean? It's a world phone all right, but don't expect to be rocking dual CDMA/GSM in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Another item of note here is that there are two FCC IDs, the Rhodium 400 and the Rhodium 500, which very likely means versions for Sprint (which we just saw) and Verizon (which we don't expect to see anytime soon - see VZW Touch Diamond). Stay tuned.

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5 years ago

Samsung Epix gets a ROM update for that nagging 'SLOG DUMP' error

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OK, you patient Samsung Epix owners. Here you go. After suffering through forced slog dumps and the radio problems that came with a supposed hotfix, AT&T has released an honest to goodness ROM upgrade that actually tackles several issues.

  • "Slog Dump" Fix: On certain circumstances, the handset may report a “Slog Dump” error message. This software provides an update to the network layer which prevents the problem from occurring.
  • Missed Email Audio Notifications: A previously released cab file for notifications is included in ID1. This enables the EPIX to provide audible notifications alerts for your emails when the device enters an unattended power saving mode.
  • Outlook Notes SSP Support: The update contains the ability to synchronize the popular Notes feature available within Microsoft Outlook.
  • Ascending Ringtone: Ringtone behavior design was set to ascending/escalating volume during inbound call regardless of setting specified. With this update, the handset will act in accordance to the volume settings selected

So back up all of your important data (this is a ROM upgrade after all, which means hard reset and a virgin device), head on over to the download site, and read the instructions. Then read them again. And read them one more time, just in case you missed the part where it said to take out the SIM card or downloaded the XP updater instead of Vista. Don't say we didn't warn you.

Then get to flashing.

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5 years ago

T-Mobile gets new hotness, old (er, former) hotness

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That's right. Not only is T-Mobile expected to get the new HTC Snap and Touch Pro 2, it's also bringing back Catherine Zeta-Jones to pitch the phones. Not that we needed another reason to pick one up, but we'll take it. [via Fierce Wireless]

To help drive home the message that millions of Americans could save money on their wireless service, a familiar face and voice, Catherine Zeta-Jones, is again featured in T-Mobile's television advertising. In the ads, she prompts people to get a Mobile Makeover in order to help determine if they are currently paying too much for their wireless services, and where to find the best value, based on their individual needs.

"As an avid T-Mobile customer, I'm delighted once again to help T-Mobile carry its message to millions of Americans about the great value they deliver," Zeta-Jones said. "The Mobile Makeover campaign is a smart way to show consumers that they could save some serious money."

After the break, we relive some good times with our favorite Welsh actress. (Updated with the new commercial!)

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5 years ago

Review: HTC Touch Diamond 2

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Review: HTC Touch Diamond 2

HTC took center stage at the 2009 Mobile World Congress with the introduction of the HTC Touch Pro 2 and the HTC Touch Diamond 2. While we patiently wait for these two new devices to hit U.S. soil, they are finding their way into the European and Asian markets. When offered the chance to review the European version of the Touch Diamond 2, we didn't hesitate. There will may be differences between the European and U.S. versions of this phone, but there should be enough similarities to give us a good idea of what to expect when the Touch Diamond 2 hits U.S. shelves later this year.

Follow the break to see what type impression the European version of the Touch Diamond 2 made.

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5 years ago

Zune integration listed in Windows Mobile 7 job listing

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Microsoft is getting really good at giving us clues as to the future of Windows Mobile through its job listings. That's how we first learned of Windows Marketplace for Mobile. That's how we first learned of plans to finally fix over-the-air updates. That's where we learned of some mobile plans for Halo. And now, a biggie.

One of the worst-kept secrets in the mobile world is that Zune software is likely to play a big part in Windows Mobile 7. And a new job listing for a software developement engineer confirms this.

Responsibilities - Deliver core platform technology to internal and external partners. Effectively design, schedule, build and deliver on a v1 product and existing products. Collaborate with partners such as Outlook Mobile, Database, Zune, Shell, and OS. Deliver detailed specifications for the technical architecture of the system. Help mentor other members on the Dev team.

This looks like a job that will involve tying the room together, much like a nice area rug. Full job listing's after the break, but it's summed up here:

The Communications Foundations team is the engine room that powers these social experiences - the team builds the connectors and Unified Storage models that power all the social & communications experiences for WM7.

Via I Started Something

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5 years ago

Sony Ericsson is looking for handouts ... Anybody seen Bono lately?

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First there was the CEO shakeup, then the revelation that the Xperia X1 was "an experiment" that didn't really pay off as hoped, and now this. Sony Ericsson needs some money. When we say some, we mean something like 100 million Euros, which works out to about $135 million U.S.[NYT via Giz]

That's not to say all's lost for ol' SE. We've seen what a large infusion of funding can do to a mobile company (lookin' at you, Palm). And while SE's not seeking anywhere near that level of funding, these are different times from when rock star Bono and Elevation Partners came to the resecue, and money's not flowing so freely. But hang in there, SE. Maybe that rumored X2 will turn things around.

[image source]

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5 years ago

More details: HTC Diamond and Raphael = Touch Diamond & Touch Pro

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Well, following up on our earlier post about those fancy-schmancy new HTC devices reportedly heading to Sprint, some much wanted specs have since come out.

Paul over at MoDaCo not only has the quite lovely features but also their launch names:

  • HTC Diamond = HTC Touch Diamond
  • HTC Raphael = HTC Touch Pro
  • HTC Titanium = HTC Touch Dual Pro

That latter one we haven’t heard much about but evidently it’s the updated version of the current Touch Dual, which makes sense if they are refreshing the regular Touch. The Titanium/Touch Dual Pro is speculated to have that current slider dial pad but otherwise keeps the Touch Pro’s specs.

And what are those specs for the Touch Pro (Raphael) and Touch Diamond? Lets just say please make sure you are currently sitting down before you click that "read more" link!

Now it's unclear if all of these specs will be in the CDMA versions, as features like FM radio can be disabled, etc. But here is what we know about the Touch Diamond & Raphael:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
  • Qualcomm MSM 7201A @ 528MHz
  • 256MB ROM / 128MB RAM
  • 7.2MB HSDPA / HSUPA (rev A EVDO for Sprint versions)
  • 2.8" VGA screen
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR
  • eGPS
  • 3.1MP Camera with flash
  • Forward facing camera
  • 4GB internal flash storage (Diamond only) - Samsung MoviNAND
  • TV out (Raphael only)
  • Orientation sensor (a-la-iPhone)
  • FM Radio
  • microSD expansion
  • 900mAh battery (!!!)
  • Diamond: 51x99x10.7mm
  • Raphael: 51x99x17mm

What is eGPS you ask? Talk about cutting edge, this stuff was just officially announced by the UK company CSR in February. Basically it’s like aGPS but better. Way better. (In fairness, Qualcomm has their gpsOneXTRA to compete)

A typical eGPS push-to-fix will be available in less than 4 seconds, accurate to within 10 meters and require the equivalent power of less than 1 second of handset talk time.

It works indoors, when the device is powered down, uses less battery, acquires the sat signal faster and works globally. Holla! And did you see that mention of 4gb internal flash storage on the HTC Diamond (but not Raphael?)

We guess the only downside is possibly that wimpy 900mah (!) battery though with such new technology, it’s a bit premature to suggest that these will necessarily be battery hogs. Lets hope not!

Oh and yeah…there will be GSM versions of all of these too, in fact they may be coming out very soon ;-)

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5 years ago

AT&T Getting ready to launch the "HTC Fuze" aka Touch Pro?

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Well here's a little gem...

We're hearing from a tipster that AT&T is getting not only ready to finally launch their Tilt ROM update, but a little something called the HTC Fuze.

What's the HTC Fuze you ask?

We have very strong reason to believe it's that AT&T branded Touch Pro device...

Look for this device sooner rather than later ;-)

Thanks to the tipster for "fuze"!

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5 years ago

Palm Treo 800w - Noooooo disassemble!

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Palm Treo 800w - Noooooo disassemble!

Maybe you're the kind of person who just has to know how things work. Maybe you like picking the wings off flies. Or maybe you broke your Palm Treo Pro 800w and actually want to try to fix it yourself.

There's a disassembly (and, thus, reassembly) guide over at MyTreo.net. Among the tools you'll need: A Torx T5 screwdriver, Philips screwdriver, a small flathead screwdriver and a pair of big brass ones that would make ol' Chester Nimitz stand up and applaud.

Update: Yeah, yeah. It's an 800w. Photo label/link/sleep FAIL. Sorry 'bout that.

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5 years ago

Sprint Touch Pro 2 spotted, may drop mid-June

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We've been hands-on with the unbranded HTC Touch Pro 2. We've seen it with T-Mobile markings. And now we're seeing it in its Sprint CDMA finest. User bigchico68 over at SprintUsers [via Engadget] got some time with it during an in-store demo. He says it should be available in mid-June, and says the Snap is on for July (that doesn't quite add up with what we've previously heard, but these things happen).

Not sure about the color scheme on the keyboard — the stock HTC look is much sexier, IOHO. But to each his own.

Couple of more pics after the break, including a new look at the back case.

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5 years ago

Review: Resco Keyboard Pro ver 5.22

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Review: Resco Keyboard Pro ver 5.22

 

There are all kinds of WM users.   Everyone has their own perfect way to use their mobile phone to do what they personally like to do best. Some like to send 386 text messages an hour, each with less than 4 characters each… while others tend to need to write mostly long emails. Some phones have hardware keyboards, while others do not. Because of these reasons, many WM users will often times throw everyone into two groups of WM users… those who love to use a hardware keyboard, and those who love to use a software keyboard.

If I had to lump myself into one of these two groups, I would honestly have a foot in each camp. Because of my work I tend to have to write long emails quite a bit. When this happens, I slide out my hardware keyboard on my Sprint Mogul phone and type away. But when I send a quick text or need to type only two keywords to do a Google search, I will use a software keyboard.But have you tried to use the standard WM software keyboard without a stylus? If you haven’t, don’t even try it. It is just an exercise in frustration of hitting the wrong keys.   This is what led me to try Resco’s Keyboard Pro version 5.22 (I know the Resco website still says ver 5.21, but 5.22 is the latest). They promise that it is one handed finger friendly. After using it exclusively for several months now, I am ready to give my opinion on this claim… 
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5 years ago

Microsoft opens Marketplace developer forums

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The buzz is starting to grow among developers as we continue to wait for the official launch of Windows Marketplace for Mobile, and with it the launch of Windows Mobile 6.5.

The Microsoft Developers Network has opened developers forums, and the chatter is growing. Threads so far include "Do you have to use Microsoft's Development Tools?", "Wishlist for Windows Mobile Marketplace", "When can we expect a WM 6.5 SDK?", and a slew of others.

Most end users probably won't get too much out of it, but it's an interesting look at what goes on behind the scenes.

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5 years ago

LG, Acer added to WinMo 6.5 upgrade list

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It's still kind of a mystery as to what future phones will launch with Windows Mobile 6.5, and which current ones will be upgraded. We already know that the HTC Touch Diamond 2 and Touch Pro 2 should get it, and we're pretty sure the Toshiba TG01 will.

And now a blog from the Microsoft MVP community is adding to that list. Nuno Luz, aka The Windows Phone Guy, says the LG HQ and Eigen will be upgraded, as will four unnamed Acer phones.

Missing from Nuno's list is the Samsung Jack, which also will get an upgrade, according to last week's announcement press release. Speaking of the Jack, it was supposed to be available today but as of this writing isn't on AT&T's (main) Web site, and the two stores I called in my town were negative for Jack. We'll track that down. (Update: It's on the business site, we're told.)

Do note that we haven't had an official announcement about the release of Windows Mobile 6.5, but the Dev Team noted the other day that it's done and ready to go.

Thanks to fellow WMExpert Tim for the heads up!

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