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5 years ago

Wired gets inside Android and its battle against the status quo

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WMExperts is, strictly speaking, a Windows Mobile site. But we recognize good wireless industry prose when we see it, and we see it in Daniel Roth's piece in Wired magazine, "Google's Open Source Android Phone Will Free the Wireless Web."

Roth details the birth of Android - the brain child of Andy Rubin, seen above - and the Open Handset Alliance, created to directly compete against WinMo and Apple's iPhone, as well as to challenge the status quo among device makers, carriers and software/OS developers.

"But WMExperts," you say, "you were quick to post on a reported Android delay, and we could see the smirk on your face as you chalked up another point in the Windows Mobile column."

OK, we've been skeptical. But the story provides an interesting look at some of the behind-the-scenes problems with developers and carriers that Microsoft currently has to deal with, that Apple largely has bypassed, and that Google is learning to live with.

And besides. We're trying to be a little less evil.

An excerpt:

Microsoft's system, however, was the ugly stepsister of what Rubin was proposing: Redmond executives cared less about opening up the Net to mobile users than about tying the mobile operating system into its desktop dominance. A decade ago, Microsoft had underestimated the growth of the Web and then lost control of it to Google. Now it looked like it was Google's turn to be caught flat-footed.

Read "Google's Open Source Android Phone Will Free the Wireless Web"

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5 years ago

Unofficially Official Part Deux: Sprint Touch Edition

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Hot on the heels of the unofficially official Windows Mobile 6.1 ROM for the Mogul, Frank tips us off that the same soon-to-be-official style Windows Mobile 6.1 action has been bestowed on the Sprint Touch, courtesy of XDA (by way of PPCGeeks). It's Windows Mobile 6.1, it's at your-own-risk, it's likely to be officially official in the very near future, what more can we say?

Frank's looking for confirmation that it's not going to fry his Touch and we suppose we are looking for the same. Anybody dare take the plunge? Perhaps lalala, who saw the Mogul's update and became forlorn because the same wasn't available for the Touch?

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5 years ago

HTC Diamond and TouchFLO 3D: Vid and Gallery

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5 years ago

Review: Motorokr T505 Speakerphone / FM Transmitter

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5 years ago

Review: Motorola PC850 Bluetooth Adapter

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5 years ago

Dashwire Gets Official With 2.0

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Dashwire Gets Official With 2.0

Remember when we reported about Dashwire beta and raved about how great the service was. Well now it looks like their ready for their big debut. Dashwire officially launched 2.0. Engadget explains some of the great features such as synchronization between contacts, photos, and bookmarks are still available. Now you also get the share photos to Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and even Friendfeed. Big ups to Scott for the tip.

I personally feel this is a must have for my fellow Windows Mobile users. Its free, it syncs seamlessly in the background, and now you can share what you sync. You can even update your status right from the Dashwire application. What more could you want? Maybe there is one more thing. I would like to be able to edit my photos through Dashwire. Till then its baby steps. You have to walk before you can run.

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5 years ago

T-Mobile Shadow II Coming in Q4

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T-Mobile Shadow II Coming in Q4

Folks waiting for the T-Mobile Shadow II can now block out the last three months of 2008: that's when it's expected to drop. The Shadow II looks to be a relatively minor upgrade -- similar form factor, different looks (we prefer the original, but glossy black is the new, erm, black), and most importantly: UMA. UMA stands for

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5 years ago

Toshiba Portege G810 loaded with Spb goodies

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Spb Software House has teamed up with Toshiba to create what's being billed as "The ultimate user experience" with the Portege G810, a quad-band, 3MP European monster.

We're well-known fans of Spb's products and how they make Windows Mobile more usable, and, dare we say, enjoyable. And while there's a phalanx of apps to tweak your phone and get you through the day, Spb and Toshiba have gotten rid of the middleman - that'd be you - and created the Mobile Shell-based Toshiba Touch Interface, with Spb Full Screen Keyboard and Spb Pocket Plus also built in from the get-go.

Along with the software goodies, you'll also find:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro.
  • Quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900).
  • 3MP auto focus camera.
  • 256MB ROM/128MB RAM, plus micro SD.
  • Bluetooth 2.0 w/ EDR.
  • WiFi b/g.
  • aGPS.
  • A 400MHz Qualcomm processor.
  • 1500MaH battery.

Not too shabby, but expect to spend around $700 at your favorite importer if you want to play.

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5 years ago

Your Weekly Fix: More Sprint Treo 800w Pics

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Ahh...right on time for our weekly leak of Treo 800w info and/or blurry spy pics. Not much to say here, just look on with envy or scorn for you square haters. Oh and we now know that it comes with unicorns and puppies. Now are you intrigued?

Note: these are clearly early tester versions, not final release/design. How to tell?
(1) blurred our serial number top right corner (2) not the final paint scheme

Thanks Matthew_Love84!

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5 years ago

Sprint HTC Mogul 6.1: (Unofficially) officially out

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For those who just can't wait till get the "official" and final WM6.1 ROM for the Sprint HTC 6800 (aka Mogul, or Mongrel if you're bitter), it is now out there floating on the 'nets.

That can only mean Sprint is just about to let this one go any second.

Here are the deets:

File Name:

RUU_TITAN_SPRINT_WWE_3.56.651.0_RS_3.42.02_SPCS2.0 4_PPST_0619_Ship.exe

OS:

CE OS 5.2.19208 Build 19208.1.0.2

Radio:

3.42.02

Get it here. As usual, use at own risk. Post feedback in comments!

Via Sprintusers.com

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5 years ago

The Big Nokia / Symbian Shakeup: Effect on Windows Mobile?

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The big smartphone news today is that Nokia finally got their act together and set forth a unified game plan for the Symbian platform. They're buying up the rest of it and then re-jiggering the Symbian Foundation as a non-profit that will offer its members Symbian for free to use on their smartphones. Or at least, that's the thumbnail version.

Most folks (right) see this as a big shot across the bow at Google's Android platform. If you have a choice between Android and Symbian you're choosing between two free smartphone platforms - one is brand new with a handful of developers, few shipped phones (none yet) and is tied very closely to Google, the other is well-estabilished with a legion of developers, hundreds-of-millions of shipped phones, and helps out Nokia but can also be tied to whatever carrier-based services you like. Google: that's gotta hurt.

What about the rest of the market? What about Windows Mobile? After the break, y'all.

Ok, so we're not entirely sure. WM is no slouch worldwide (as the above, slightly outdated graph shows, WM is maintaining a foothold despite Symbian's dominance and the iPhone's comeuppance), but will it be able to continue to attract developers and users? The short answer is yes, WM will do just fine.

Let's start with North America. While the new Symbian will eventually mean that they'll be able to make a real push into North America in a couple of years, it's still not going to make a significant dent in what is increasingly a fractured US market. By the time Nokia massages Symbian's S60 (or whatever the successor will be) so it's more palatable to US consumers, they'll be trying to make an entry into a market where BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Palm's Linux / Palm's Garnet, and of course the iPhone all will have marketshare that is not to be sniffed at. Sure, that gives Symbian a chance to grab a chunk, but it will be such small potatoes that I wonder if Nokia will really be able to put their heart into trying. They haven't in the past, I tend to doubt they will in the future.

Internationally, Windows Mobile is still competitive (very competitive) in the enterprise market. If anything, the new Symbian system might hurt BlackBerry more than it hurts Windows Mobile. The hot WM devices are coming a lot faster than what RIM is able to put out and should help WM keep a spot as a 2nd or 3rd fiddle to Symbian worldwide. Witness the Touch, Touch Diamond, Touch Pro, Samsung's offerings, and more. All of these are selling and selling well. RIM has a bunch of stuff coming -- but after the Bold hits the rest is still pretty mysterious. Everywhere except North America, Smartphone == Symbian for most people, and for those that opt-out the question is what the backup choice is. I think Windows Mobile has the best shot at being that choice -- both for consumers and developers. That goes double for enterprise.

Since we're discounting BlackBerrys as too slow to come out to stay competitive in Europe, discounting Android as too Google-nichey (and not out either!), and believe that WM is going to be able to hold its own, the only X factor left is the LiMo Foundation and/or Palm's upcoming OS (read: Linux). We're pretty sure that Symbian puts Linux in a box too, but it's too early to say.

What do you think? Will Nokia's gambit pay off?

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5 years ago

Alltel Tried to Buy Everybody Back in the day

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We'll have our thoughts on what the big shakeup in the Symbian world means for Windows Mobile in just a bit, meanwhile it's time for yours truly to crow just a teensy, tiny bit. See, Engadget points us to this this interview with Alltel CEO Scott Ford filled with crunchy industry wonk stuff. My favorite part is that apparently before they went private (and way before the now in-process buyout by Verizon), Alltel had dreams of being more than the rural-niche player they are today. My favorite part -- they apparently wanted to purchase Sprint, T-Mobile, and heck, AT&T back in the day:

I didn’t get to buy one of the national businesses, which is what I had hoped to be able to do and was something that we had tried in our old [business], back when we were a public business. I won’t go into the details of it, but we tried to buy Sprint three times, we tried to buy AT&T Wireless, we tried to buy T-Mobile. Some of these times we went with partners, some of these times we didn’t. We were doing everything we could to get to a national platform.

I enjoy this because I've often dreamed in our Windows Mobile Podcast that Alltel would buy Sprint now that they're struggling so much and it turns out that although they were interested awhile back. Glee! Of course, even this pundit doesn't know everything, because it turns out that the 'struggles' were exactly what nixed the possibility. Quoth Ford: “Sprint fell in the tank almost right on cue, they fell so totally apart that there wasn’t really an opportunity to go get them.”

Enough of that, though. There's more crunchy details in the interview about the possible merger, including possible job cuts, anti-trust concerns, and what Alltel intends to do in the interim. Hint on that last: keep working. They're rolling out EVDO Rev A as we speak and it's a good sign they don't intend to laze around on the couch playing XBox until the merger happens (if it does, of course).

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5 years ago

Alltel: Now with more Rev. A

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Alltel: Now with more Rev. A

Faster than a speeding bullet 1xRTT, more power than a locomotive mere EVDO, Alltel is rolling out EVDO Rev. A, just in time for its little coming out party with Verizon.

What should you expect, if you're one of the lucky ones?

  • Download speeds in the neighborhood of 600 kbps to 1.4 Mbps, with bursts up to 3.1 Mbps. That's increased from an average of 400-700 Kbps.
  • Much higher upload speeds, at 1.8Mbps on a really good day, compared to the 50-70 Kbps you're getting now.

Of course, this won't cover everybody at first, with Charlotte, N.C., New Orleans, Phoenix and Tampa first in line for the upgrade. Alltel says the expansion should cover about 82 percent of potential customers by the end of 2008.

And you'll still need a Rev. A-capable device. Alltel is pimping a couple of laptop cards, the Huawei EC228 USB and the UTStarcom UM 150. Or, you could finally do that ROM update for the HTC Touch or the 6800.

The upgraded service (and regular EVDO) will cost you $59.999 a month, with or without voice plan.

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5 years ago

Samsung Omnia headed for AT&T? Still has bizzare-o screen. Matches other black slabs.

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Oh boy, the Samsung i900 aka Omnia appears to be heading to...wait for it...AT&T in Q3.

If you recall, the i900 has some pretty nice specs for a media device (that is in no way a response to that other phone, we swear..uh huh):

  • QuandBand Edge and HSDPA that should work in the US
  • Five Megapixel camera
  • FM Radio, Bluetooth, Wifi
  • 400 x 240 screen
  • Custom interface on top of Windows Mobile
  • GPS
  • 624 MHz Processer
  • 16 gigs of storage and a microSD slot

Pretty nice iClone except for that strange screen, which if it were VGA might be worth talking about. But that GUI seems interesting at least, we suppose.

Samsung will also receive the honor of being the 6 billionth "Black Slab" phone on the market (Instinct, Diamond, Diamond Pro, iPhone, Voyager, p560, Xenium, BB Thunder, Shine, Glyde, Prada, iPerformer, LG Vue, Paris, e66, etc.) Once again, "innovation" in the industry wins out.

Congratulations Samsung! Next.

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5 years ago

HTC Video Drivers: Coming to your hobbled device soon?

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For awhile now we've been covering the whole "HTC/Qualcomm Video driver drama" (read our insider Q&A for some perspective and more here).

So far we know that the unbranded HTC TyTN II (aka "Tilt") is getting WM 6.1 with a video performance boost, but no gurantees that the AT&T branded version will be getting the same. We also know that the HTC Touch Diamond, which is a powerful VGA device, does have the DirectDraw video drivers on board, though up until recently they too have underperformed.

The big question was whether the lot of other HTC devices that are based on the MSM-7xxx series chipset would be getting any help from HTC? So far, the answer appears to be "no".

Enter some crafty hackers and dedicated software pros to start piecing together bits and pieces from the TyTN II, Touch Diamond and the K620 and have a somewhat working version of the OpenGL ES driver, which according to the HTCClassAction.org site:

...provides the DirectDraw (2D) capability; so getting the OpenGL ES driver to work correctly is a big step in getting the D3D and DD working.

As you can see from their demo video, the tester app flickers during the test, but that is a result of a problem with the tester program, not the OpenGL drivers. But this proof-of-concept demonstration definitely hints that exporting and enabling these advanced video driver capabilities is possible.

Click the link to watch the the OpenGL ES Driver in action!

We'll continue to follow this story as usual!

Via Tilt Site

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