MWC 2008 is still swinging, the latest to come out is the HTC P3470. It's a lowish-end Windows Mobile 6 Pro device: Think HTC Touch minus TouchFLO and WiFi, but you can add in GPS. The P3470 comes pre-equipped with TomTom for navigation and has the HTC Home Screen we've all come to know and love. It's “lowish-end” because it's EDGE only, folks, no 3G or WiFi. One nice bit, it looks like that 5-way pad might double as a scroll wheel.
That said, it's awfully tiny (see the specs below) and clocks in at 449 Euro before subsidies. Note the “Euro” in that price, there, looks like this thing will be launching on Orange first. We might see it here in the states someday, though, as it is Quad-Band.
You smell that, folks? It's the excitement coming out of Barcelona and the Mobile World Congress. First up: we have a new manufacturer in the Windows Mobile camp, and it's Sony Ericsson! The picture above is the Sony XPERIA X1 (do we really have to capitalize it like that?). The X1 is a Widows Mobile 6 Professional Slider - a combination of a Touchscreen and a slide out QWERTY keyboard is nothing new. But check out this pic of exactly how it slides out - it arcs:
Shiny, no? They've added some interface tweaks on top of WM too, some ZuMobi-esque “Panels” that you can slide around to you heart's content. There's also the “optical joystick” that we panned on the Samsung SGH-i780. Thankfully there's also the standard 5-way on there as well.
Specs are hotness too:
HSDPA/HSUPA (Quad Band, too), WiFi
3.2 Megapixel Camera
110 x 53 x 16.7 mm
Read that last one again, why don't you? That's “VGA” (Sony's term, not ours, thanks for the correction tferrill!), as in 800x600. It should be arriving “second half of 2008” in “selected markets.” Select us! Select us!
More photos after the break! Also after the break, a fancy video commercial snippet that will show you the new panels interface
Note - the device doesn't show its face until a full minute in.
This coming Tuesday, WMExperts turns 1 year old (yarly!). We've been growing fast and we're a bit past due to pick up some new writers -- that's where you come in. Want to join our already awesome team and make it, um, awesome-r? Let us know:
Send an email to email@example.com with the subject line “Writing for WMExperts” and some info in the body:
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Tell us how often you would be able to submit posts or articles
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Things are heating up right quick in the Windows Mobile Browser space, aren't they. We had our socks knocked off by SkyFire, only to wake up the next morning and wonder if maybe a complete server-side browser isn't necessarily such a good idea. Then Opera, our current fave, teased us with video of their upcoming 9.5 version. We loved it. Well, not to be outdone, Access has revealed that they're still working on their NetFront browser and that they are beating the others to the punch by letting you download a
Now, don't get too crazy over this, but ITWire is reporting that Microsoft might be pitching Windows Mobile to ....Nokia. While Microsoft has confirmed that they've been talking to Nokia, it doesn't look like Nokia has any plans to adopt the Windows Mobile operating system on their devices. Symbian, Nokia's OS of choice, is still far and away the global leader by margins that would make your head spin.
Nokia does use some Microsoft tech, namely some connectivity with Exchange, compatibility with PlaysForSure, and a Live Search client. Not to mention that MSN Chat is more popular globally than it is here in the US ...just like Symbian. Our guess is that this is all more likely about extending those services on the Symbian platform.
But if you're feeling crazy, dig this quote from Microsoft's John Starkweather:
“We work closely with Nokia and we would love to have them go all the way,” he said.
Wouldn't we all. :) Of note, the Mobile World Congress (nee 3GSM) is coming up in a few short days, so if there was a ridiculously weird and game-changing announcement like Nokia hardware running Windows Mobile, we'd likely hear about it next week. But don't hold your breath.
Update: Yeah, you really shouldn't hold your breath. ITWire took a little "creative license" in suggesting that Microsoft and Nokia were seriously considering a huge OS shift like this. Still, though, it's nice to dream.
Dear carriers: This is how you roll out a ROM update. You make a nice website for it. You clearly lay out the benefits of the update. And you throw in some freebies like ringtones so that the average Joe--who would ignore a “bugfix update” like he ignores his aunt Betty's ranting--will go and download it. Kudos all around.
If you have a Shadow, go on and get the update here. You'll get yourself “Audio postcards” (aka MMS with Audio), some music control enhancements, and the aforementioned bugfixes -- like improved typing on that suretype keyboard of yours. Oh, and that persistent multiple alarm issue will finally be fixed.
We've complained with more than a touch of bitterness that Windows Live Services are confusing. You've got your Live Search, your Windows Live, your Windows Live Search, and so on. Some of which may be used either over the web or as applications, both on desktop and mobile. We could also bring up that “MSN” still seems to be hanging about here and there as well. It's a mess of dot-Net-size proportions.
So seeing this story over at Ars Technica was nice. Microsoft apparently intends to fix up the branding for Windows Live fairly soon as well as add some mystery features later on this year (“wave 3”), which will be much more search-centric. Internally the code name for this action is “Rome.”
Of course, this is all up in the air pending what shakes out of Microsoft's proposed buyout of Yahoo. We said the merger would be good for mobile services and we meant it. Hopefully the first benefit will be clearer names for all the goodies that Microsoft offers us in the cloud.
Over at LiveSide.net, a blog about Windows Live, we get some more details about what MS is thinking:
Re-branding Live Search on its own, without the Yahoo! acquisition, would be a move ripe for derision by Microsoft's detractors, seen as another flailing attempt to make a move on Google. But a new brand combining Live Search with Yahoo!, when it comes on board, makes much more sense. The new brand, with new market share and the combined engineering talents of Microsoft and Yahoo!, would lead the way in restructuring Microsoft's live services to accomodate the inclusion of Yahoo!. And for those who dwell in the past at Microsoft's laughable naming conventions, consider Silverlight and Popfly and a new generation of Microsoft branding, and that Live Search has already been disassociated with the Windows Live brand, possibly in preparation for exactly this move. With the need to consolidate search products as the top priority once the Yahoo! acquisition is in place, a move now to establish a new brand, neither Live Search or Yahoo! but a new brand for a new generation of search, comes at the right time.
In other words, they're hearing us loud and clear. Bravo!
Engadget Mobile has caught word that the Verizon Touch XV6900 is set to land on the network very soon, late February or Early March. Get those credit cards ready, because the rumor that the on-board GPS will be enabled (unlike Sprint's version). Also true: it's white.
Unconfirmed but highly likely is that Verizon will be putting some of their own software on there. I'm hoping that they don't absolutely destroy TouchFLO by loading it up with crap apps. Following the voting on which device I'm reviewing next, I'm using a Sprint Touch now and TouchFLO is crippled in its current form, loaded with links to Sprint applications I do not want.
Well check it out, our little free PointUI got itself a bit of a makeover (see previous review here)! Still free and still zippy (even more so now), the little Aussie program has all sorts of fixes and additions, including Smartphone (WM Standard) support. Yowza!
So what has changed, read on to check out a brief overview plus some thoughts and a couple of pics...
Just some of the fixes and additions are as follows:
Not too shabby and I have to say it's running very smoothly on my 700wx (I'll try it out on the Moto Q later this week).
However, if you didn't like it the first time, there is probably not enough changes here to convince you otherwise. Then again, if you just had a couple of issues, maybe this will be the fix you desire.
Yet for the novice or even someone who needs the all the basics covered, we still recommend this sweet app. Plus, the black version just has to look great on the Sprint Touch ;-)
Having your finger on the pulse of Windows Mobile news is a blessing... until it's a curse. Making the rounds this afternoon is the HTC Magnum, supposedly revealed in an exclusive hands-on given to PocketPT from the fine folks at HTC. Now, PocketPT hit us with some great Windows Mobile 6.1 screenshots last week, so it's not like these guys are just merry pranksters. On the other hand, the idea that such a gigantic device would actually see production is so far fetched that you'd have to give Lassie some steroids to retrieve it (get it? far-fetched... moving on).
In any case, the Magnum supposedly will sport an 11-inch OLED screen, 800MHz processor, an 80gig hard drive, WiFi, Bluetooth, and 30 hours of battery life. Our take: this has got to be some sort of demo unit for HTC to show off their customizations that they'll add to Windows Mobile 6, a demo unit they'll be using at the Mobile World Congress next week. We shall see.
Either that or it's a great snow job - take a look at the video after the break, proving that if nothing else there's a working copy of Windows Mobile 6 Pro with some HTC add-ons on this beast.
Update: Surur confirms in the comments that it's just a display that has been attached to the video-out of a standard WM device. Ah well, it was fun when it lasted.