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5 years ago

HTC Raphael / Touch Pro: New Picture and Specs

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In our forums, Surur finds some specs and a new photo of the HTC Raphael [from GSM Help Desk]. It's due to be released as the T-Mobile MDA Vario IV in Europe, sometime during “2nd quarter 2008”.

Size:103 x 52 x 18 millimeters
Weight:158 grams
Maximum talk time:300 minutes / Maximum standby time:320 hours
Display resolution: 480 x 640 pixels
Network support: GSM 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz
Speed processor: 528 MHz
Internal memory: 256 MB RAM / 512 MB ROM mem.
Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, FM Radio
Camera 3.2 megapixel

Since this is Tri-Band GSM, it's not going to be a US Release. We're actually expecting that, like with the original HTC Touch, the Raphael / Touch Pro is going to be making its first appearance stateside in a CDMA flavor on Sprint. Still - it won't be long now!

Thanks, Surur! Update: And POW, it's been announced.

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5 years ago

Early Terminations Fees Dropping Like Flies

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5 years ago

MS aiming for 50% Windows Mobile Growth

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MS aiming for 50% Windows Mobile Growth

When we said that Microsoft is aiming for 40% of the entire smartphone market by 2012, there was a bit of the pooh-poohing. Looks like Microsoft is undeterred in setting high goals and, well, good on them. The latest: they're hoping to grow WinMo 50% within the next year:

Microsoft has optimistically announced that it expects at least 50% growth for Windows Mobile in 2008 and 2009 as smartphone sales rise rapidly.
“Fifty percent growth is the minimum,” says Eddie Wu, the software company's managing director of OEM embedded devices Asia.
Microsoft expects to sell 20 million units in the fiscal year ending in June, far higher than the previous year's 11 million.

That actually seems realistic, truth be told. The key issue, though, is that even if Microsoft reaches the goal of increasing Windows Mobile sales by 50%, that doesn't necessarily mean they'll be picking up any market share because of it. See, the smartphone market is still growing and growing fast (having the majority of people on the planet using phones to access the internet in the near future can do that), so everybody is going to be selling more devices.

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5 years ago

Weekly Software Wrangle - Week 2

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Weekly Software Wrangle - Week 2

Time to open the stables, saddle up, and start wrangling this week's software. This week we'll rope in some new and updated software for WM Standard and Professional, as well as take a peek at some freeware.

This week we're looking at new software for WM Standard, including GPSed and Genius Converter. Updated software includes Elecont Smartphone Manager and PDA Tuner PRO Live Online Radio and TV. Featured freeware includes Ilium Software Screen Capture and SplashNews for Smartphone.

Over on the WM Professional side, new software this week includes Pocket Workout Wizard v3.2 and Skybox. Updated software includes HiCalc - Your Trusted Calculator and Pocket DB for WM6 Professional. The freebies include IRCy Dictionary and Scatto.

Without further ado, let's start riding over to this week's Wrangle!

WM Standard: New

First up is GPSed: Track and Map Your Trips - beta v1.0 by SHAPE Services. Right out of the chute, you'll notice that this beta is FREE to download and use with the tag line "Mapping Your Impressions."

GPSed is a location-based service for trip tracking from Windows Mobile Smartphones. In real time tracks are traced on Google maps and stored in an online archive. With a simple geotagging feature it is possible to pin photos to a map precisely at a place they where taken.

Record tracks of your trips anywhere on the Earth from a PDA. Tracks are traced on Google Maps and stored in an online archive. All you need to start tracking is a WM PDA with an internal or external GPS receiver. In areas without network coverage it is still possible to record tracks by your Smartphone. These tracks can be imported to GPSed online service when you are in the area with good network coverage. Positioning data can be transferred online via GSM, EDGE, 3G or WiFi networks.

Pin your photos to a map with one-click geotagging feature. Take photos while traveling and link them to a map precisely at a place they were taken. The geotagged photos will be stored on your computer for easy and private access. See your geotagged photos in one click on Google Earth. You can get free desktop service GPSed Photo Take'n'Pin on GPSed web site. Then, share your position coordinates and tracks with friends and family. Just select "Email to Friend" and your friends will receive a link to your public tracks. Let your friends see your instant position on a map when you are recording tracks with GPSed.

Features: - Send your position coordinates to your friend via e-mail or SMS. - Make your tracks Public/Private. - Waypoints with geotagged notes. Stop at a point of interest and record a memo. - Detailed track information. - Tracks auto-zoom. - Search among your tracks and public tracks of other users. - GPSed is fully compatible with WM Smartphones equipped with the internal GPS receivers. GPSed is also compatible with mobiles that can connect to the external GPS receiver via Bluetooth and with any GPS receivers (like Garmin GPS, TomTom GPS and others) that can record tracks in GPX, PLT, KML and other formats.

Get GPSed beta for FREE here.


Next up is GeniusConverter v1.0 by Total Wireless Solutions. This is a very inexpensive and handy unit conversion program that you can carry around on your Smartphone.

GeniusConverter is an advanced unit converter containing over 360 units in 31 categories that will take care of all your unit conversion needs be it complex scientific conversions related to Radio Activity, Thermal Conductivity, .... or practical daily conversions like Fuel Usage, Temperature, ....

With GeniusConverter on your smartphone you no longer need to remember those complex conversion factors and formulas. A must have utility for everyone who is related with units and measurements.

Features: - 31 Different categories comprising a total of 360 Units. - SWAP option available for swapping 'From' & 'To' units. - ROUND option available for rounding-off the results. - High degree of Accuracy & Reliable conversions. - Easy to use and friendly User interface.

Get GeniusConverter v1.0 for only $5.00 here.

WM Standard: Updated


Elecont Smartphone Manager v1.0.145 by Elecont starts off our Updated WM Standard apps this week.

Elecont Task Manager is the easiest way to manage running programs on Pocket PC or Smartphone. It is similar to Windows taskbar. Activate or close any program with your finger or joystick in two clicks. Explore memory usage for each program and close the most expensive program before you start a new one.

Features: - Windows-like taskbar on Home and Today screen - Memory usage information for each program - Animated effects - Whole memory and battery usage on Home and Today screen - The easiest finger and joystick interface - Activate any program in two clicks - Close any program in two clicks - Close all programs in two clicks - Exclusion list for running programs - Free full-functional 4-day trial version. Free updates.

Get Elecont Smartphone Manager v1.0.145 for $9.99 here.

PDATuner PRO LIVE Online Radio & TV v3.1 by Beta3 is our second featured updated software. How 'bout some music, online radio and TV from around the world in your pocket?

PDAtuner - LIVE Music, Online Radio & TV. Online - updated weekly online - no upgrade costs - NO download required - save on memory - uses your existing Windows Media Player or any of the free mp3 players! - Visit PDAtuner com on your pda/smartphone to see all channels available

Features: - LIVE Music, Online Radio & TV from around the world on your Pocket PC. - Over 1000 US & Canadian streams. - Over 1000 international (Non US) streams. - Channels categorised by Country, State... - Channels grouped by genres - 60s70s,.. Contemporary, CHR, Christian, Classical....News, Sport - over 30 genres. - Windows Media and mp3 formats listed giving you the widest channel selection. - NO download required - save on memory. - ALWAYS up-to-date - NO future upgrade / version costs. - Simple - Buy, get Registration key and visit PDAtuner.com to register on first visit - login is only required on first visit. - Reliable - we check every channel weekly. - Favourites - add and remove with one click - stored online so you can access PDAtuner on any device/computer. - Clean fast interface designed by a usability expert.

Get PDATuner PRO LIVE Online Radio & TV v3.1 for $11.90 here.

WM Standard: Freeware


Ilium Software Screen Capture - Free for Smartphones v1.1 by Ilium Software is a free, fast, and easy to use screen capturing program for your Smartphone. Download a copy today and you'll be able to take screenshots quickly, whenever you need to!

Using Ilium Software Screen Capture takes just six simple steps:

  1. Start the program on your device
  2. Use the Options menu to define the key you want to press to take your screenshots
  3. Leave the program open - do not hit the Exit button yet
  4. Take your screenshots! (If you have sound on, you will hear a camera "click" noise when the screen is captured)
  5. To stop the program, open it again and hit the Exit button
  6. Find your screen captures in your My Documents folder on your device

With Ilium Software Screen Capture, it's fast and easy to get any screenshots you need from your device. Download it today and you'll be ready to take screenshots on your Smartphone anytime!

Features: - Ilium Software Screen Capture lists several keys that you can choose from to take your screenshots. - These keys correspond to different buttons on your Smartphone. You can use the pound sign (#), asterisk (*), or one of the numbers on your keypad. - Whenever you press the button you've defined, a screenshot will be taken and saved to your My Documents folder, until you stop the program as described above. - Please note: Because Ilium Software Screen Capture is a free utility, we will be unable to provide phone and email support for it. However, the complete instructions are listed above, and following those steps is all that is required to run the program properly.

Get Ilium Software Screen Capture for FREE right here.


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5 years ago

Diamond to get Opera 9.5

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Diamond to get Opera 9.5

A lot of you in Windows Mobile land have been drooling over the new HTC Diamond, we know we are. One of the aspects we're most excited about that you may have missed in the myriad of spec run-downs: Opera 9.5.

...Actually, it's a customized version of Opera 9.5. Minor adjustments have been made so that the Diamond can function properly with one-handed navigation and proper alignment of web sites. It even goes head to head with the iPhone's accelerometer and does a cartwheel when you turn it on the side for wide screen viewing. Here's some more details on the new stuff.

For most of us, though, the big news here is that Opera Mobile 9.5 should be landing for other devices soon. How soon? ....Not soon enough. If you missed the new Opera 9.5 browser take a look here to see the magic.

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5 years ago

Treo 850 specs leaked

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5 years ago

HTC Releases WM 6.1 for TyTN II

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HTC Releases WM 6.1 for TyTN II

Just as we expected, HTC has let us know that they've released the Windows Mobile 6.1 update for the TyTN II. That's the first official Windows Mobile 6.1 upgrade available on any device, meaning that along with the Touch Dual, HTC is selling the only official Windows Mobile 6.1 devices at the moment.

Just to reiterate, that update is only available to folks in Europe who have the straight TyTN II. As for 'branded' TyTN II devices like the HTC Tilt, there's going to be wait, as “[HTC looks] forward to providing similar updates for certain carrier and HTC-branded devices in the near future.”

We look forward to it too, HTC, and hope that future is indeed near.

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5 years ago

Touch Dual to Hit Best Buy this Weekend

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Touch Dual to Hit Best Buy this Weekend

Here's a quick note to spice up your weekend: The first official Windows Mobile 6.1 device is going to be available in the US this weekend. Specifically it's the Quad-band Touch Dual, which HTC is selling fully unlocked at Best Buy locations for $549.99. You should also be able to pick it up at their website.

The Touch Dual is a very nice device, with it's sliding 20-key suretype-y keyboard and 3G wireless and TouchFLO 2. It's not too surprising that the first official Windows Mobile 6.1 device we're seeing is something unlocked and un-related to carriers. 6.1 isn't that different from 6, is the approval process really all that difficult, guys?

Thanks to Ray for the tip! [via

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5 years ago

Review: Alarm Master for WM Standard

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5 years ago

Review: BlueTrek UFO Bluetooth Headset

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5 years ago

Review: Sony Ericsson HBH-GV435 Bluetooth Headset

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Review: Sony Ericsson HBH-GV435 Bluetooth Headset

In the wide world of electronics, Sony (four letters or not) is a household name. From the Playstation gaming consoles to the drool-worthy Xperia X1 (read the review here, or more details here), the Japanese company has been making quality electronics for a very long time. The joint venture between Sony and Swedish telecom company Ericsson has resulted in a mature line of mobile phones (and accessories).

The HBH-GV435 Bluetooth Headset ($59.95 at the WMExperts store) was designed by Sony Ericsson for maximum comfort and sound quality. How does it stack up? Read on...

Look

In one word
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5 years ago

Treo 850 (GSM) Pics emerge....

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Treo 850 (GSM) Pics emerge....

Well, looks like Palm has a busted dam as leaks are appearing everywhere these days

BGR managed to get some exclusive first shots at the GSM Treo 850 (expected for Vodafone this summer) and we gotta say...looking sharp!

Of course the question now arises: why does the 850 look so cool and yet the 800w looks so...."eh"? Heck, it even looks quite...dare we say...thin.

The only specs known so far are it that is 100mb of RAM (post OS, like the 800w--so 128mb stock) and a 400mhz processor. Also, it's sporting the Centro-style soft keyboard, has two-shift keys (ahem!!!) and what looks to be a Wifi button on the side. Natch.

In addition, from that Vodafone roadmap, it stated that this device would have:

  • Quad-band GSM
  • Windows Mobile 6.1
  • 320x320 Flush (!) screen
  • 2mp camera
  • 1500 mAh battery (huge!)
  • GPS, WiFi (!), Bluetooth 2.0

(Palm, any chance of swapping out the 800w's guts and shoving them in the 850s hot bod?)

Look for this to drop later this summer on Vodafone, probably with a brief exclusive and then a general GSM roll out thereafter.

One more pic after the jump (side shot compared to BB 8800...fight!)

Thanks Phil750 for spotting this in our forums.

Update: Yes, it is running WM 6.1 Professional, that is this is a Touchscreen device, despite what others are saying. Pro devices have "OK" buttons and softkey support ;-)

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5 years ago

HTC Kaiser 6.1 Update Official Any Day Now

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HTC Kaiser 6.1 Update Official Any Day Now

A Windows Mobile 6.1 update for the HTC TYTN II / Kaiser will be officially available any day now (likely by the end of the week). So says Paul of MoDaCo, adding:

The update is for HTC TyTN II devices, and will be followed later by a AT&T branded update. The update adds Windows Mobile 6.1 with improvements such as the 'Getting Started' wizard, Threaded SMS and general performance and battery life updates, as well as HTC's 'video performance' update. So what's it like? Performance IS improved, however with no real video acceleration, don't get your hopes up TOO much!

...So it looks like our fears last week that the update would never be seen on the Tilt were unfounded. We're happy to hear that the update is 'improved' and though we understand (and partially agree with) the decision not to try to develop better video drivers, the lack of them here still stings, just a little.

(Oh, right: following that MoDaCo link will start you on a path towards hunting the leaked version of said ROM, which is indeed out on the internets as of this moment.)

Thanks to surur for the tip!

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5 years ago

Sprint Busts a Cap on Yo ....Data

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Sprint Busts a Cap on Yo ....Data

It's bad enough that we bash Sprint and give them grief every now and then, but when they bash themselves in the head... that's just crazy. See, the one thing Sprint had going for them may be coming to and end. That's right boys and girls: Sprint's unlimited internet plan now is "unlimited" with those scare quotes. The rumor is that they'll cap you at 5 gigs a month, joining the likes of AT&T and Verizon. Really, it's tough to blame Sprint, after Verizon and AT&T made record earnings, if they jumped off a cliff Sprint would probably think about doing the same.

Maybe after losing 1 million customers Sprint just snapped like a crazy parent fed up with the kids, and like any angry mom decided to restrict privileges. Now sprint users are grounded from unlimited internet. Since all the major the companies will be rocking similar data caps, might we suggest switching to the fastest provider? If you're sticking, then the expected dooms day is July 13th 2008 -- get your download on while you still can.

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5 years ago

Smartphones and Identity: You Are What You Dial

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Here we have another WMExperts editorial that starts relatively small and ends up turning into a big ol' discussion of what a smartphone is and what it should be. Today's question: how does your identity define your smartphone and, more importantly, how does your smartphone define your identity? Here we go!

Darla Mack asks the following question: (trackback here)

Men think that women want pink phones and cute phone charms and such. Women think that men want to have the “biggest, first, most expensive, etc. etc.”. But does anyone really know?
In my mobile journeys I've found that women do in fact want the same as men.

I'm inclined to agree -- the idea that you can slap a pink cover on a gadget and call it “female-friendly” is more than a little silly. It might be slightly less silly to argue that a given operating system's interface is “gendered,” though. I'm far from an expert on questions of gender and find the whole thing somewhat difficult to talk about (more on that in a moment).

It's more than just gender, though, there's a whole swath of people worldwide that don't seem to be getting properly addressed by the way smartphones get marketed these days. Can Microsoft (et al) find a way to direct their development and their marketing to address the needs and desires of different demographics without pandering or stereotyping?

I don't know, but I have a few thoughts. Read on!

Are Smartphones Gendered?

The default assumption, I'm guessing, is that Windows Mobile is too analytical/left brained overall and therefore oriented towards the typically male way of thinking about the world. All those regimented menus, submenus, lines, squares, checkboxes... it all seems to read decided “male.”

The numbers bear that reading out, as we reported last November:

According to a recent research by Microsoft, only 14.6% of the Windows Mobile users are women, compared with 85.4% of men.

I doubt that the divide is as stark as that for all smartphones, but at the recent BlackBerry WES 2008 conference I heard the same refrain from the few women I spoke with: “I wish there were more women here and in this industry.” There's definitely a problem here: Smartphones seem to be designed by men and for men.

I mentioned that talking about different demographics and the needs of those demographics is a little difficult to talk about. Here's why: While it's clear that smartphones are primarily designed by men and (for now, anyway) primarily used by men, it's much less clear that smartphones are “gendered.”

I have argued before that while Windows Mobile is not intuitive in a basic “I just get it / lizard brain” sense, it can be intuitive in a “Now I understand the metaphors for how this works” sense. Just as a manual transmission car isn't intuitive at all, it can still become “intuitive” to a frequent user (or, in smartphone parlance, a “power user”).

Take the earlier list of the things that are purportedly 'male' about the Windows Mobile interface. Are all those lines and checkboxes and questions of memory management and registry edits more intuitive to a male brain than to a female? Many would probably argue yes. I think that I would argue it's much more complicated.

I also think that Mack might agree, she writes:

We may take a back seat to being a mobile front runner when it comes to dropping bucks but that doesn't mean that we aren't technologically equipped to know a powerful device when we see it.

The line between “how a male brain works” and “how a female brain works” is movable, fluid, and fuzzy at best. Is “left brained” as “typically male” as we think it is? Frankly, no. The inverse also applies.

Since I'm no longer the academic I once was (and wasn't much of one even then), I can't name off the various studies about gendered interfaces, but they exist and they're a hell of a lot more nuanced than what you're reading here. Trust me - start digging into the concept of the “Cyborg” and you'll find enough material to set yourself up with complex and interesting reading for life.

So with Windows Mobile, while there seems to be evidence for it being 'gendered' based on who's making it and who's using it, trying to actually pin down the 'gendered elements' of the OS with any kind of accuracy and without blatant stereotyping is a task that's pretty much impossible to tackle.

Instead I think Microsoft ought to try to just make the interface more “lizard brain intuitive” than it is now -- more automatic transmission than manual transmission. As they do it, though, they ought to at least be aware of what their concept of “lizard brain” intuition is -- that concept needs to be much, much larger than upper-middle-class-white-male-executive-with-money-to-burn.

A Global Understanding of Who a Smartphone User is and Can Be

Saying that the target market is “upper-middle-class-white-male-executive-with-money-to-burn” may sound harsh, but the data bears it out. Gartner just released a study last month saying as much:

Sixty-eight percent of the world’s population is women and children who could benefit much from mobile technology, but the majority of mobile devices are designed by men, for men, according to Gartner, Inc. The user profile to which most mobile products are targeted is a western adult male (age 20 to 64), but this represents just 32 percent of the global population.

As I attended SOFCON 2008: The Mobile Future Conference last month, I heard the same thing over and over again: the internet is going mobile and phones are becoming more important than computers.

As people described this issue it became clear it was more than just a catchy marketing phrase (though, yes, it was that too): in the very very near future more people will be accessing the internet on cell phones than do on computers. Accessing it for the first time and nearly every time via a cell phone. The cell phone is literally going to be how the vast people understand and interact with the internet.

People might get excited by the One Laptop Per Child project, but that's nothing compared to the cellphone.

A cell phone is power, it is in an increasingly real sense a cornerstone of modern identity. Who I am is as much my phone number and email address as it is my name and physical address. Imagine having a very close friend of yours who doesn't have an email address, or a voicemail box, or -- yes -- a telephone. Barring snail mail, there would be no way to communicate with this person unless you were in person. This disconnected person would seem like a ghost, adrift in a world of connected nodes of communication, a neuron without a synapse. Where would he or she speak from or be spoken to except their physical place? Nowhere -- and as physical place becomes less important being disconnected make you more ghostlike.

This still describes the majority of people on the planet, but that's changing and changing rapidly. What companies like Microsoft and Nokia and RIM and Apple and Palm should be thinking about is much much more important than who has the most market share in North America:

  • What does it mean to make a smartphone that is a person's sole means of interacting with the larger world?
  • What does the internet look like when seen only through the screen on a smartphone?
  • What kind of smartphone do you need to make when it's the only means of communication for an entire family? An entire village?

...and most importantly:

What does it mean not only to supply somebody with a smartphone, but to supply them with an identity?

I don't know the answer to these questions, but they are the real stakes of the smartphone market. If you're in the business of providing tools that give people a “21st Century Identity,” you better be damn sure that it's not limited by a gendered way of thinking, a “western” way of thinking, or whatever superstructure you want. You had better do your best to design it to free people's minds instead of limit them.

In a couple hundred years I'm confident that the smartphone will be considered just as important as the PC as or as the Internet in terms of how it changed the world. It will be the primary 'PC experience' and the primary 'internet experience' for the vast majority of the planet. It's a revolution of technology and of identity. I know that people who work on creating smartphones are beginning to think of them this way, we as users should do the same.

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