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5 years ago

Mogul Gets Rom Update

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Mogul Gets Rom Update

Big ups to codyppc for tipping us that the expected Mogul Rom is indeed upon us, with the following updates:

  • Improves Bluetooth compatibility and performance.
  • Corrects keypad function when using On Demand.
  • Corrects Alarm so it will ring when device is charging.
  • Corrects several Sprint Music performance issues like fast-forwarding.
  • Enables Sprint Music store to function on early production devices
  • Adds new Sprint start up and sign off screens

Go download it at the HTC: Support page. Oh, and just so you know, we're still hoping for an update that will enable the GPS "lite" chip on the Mogul in January or February as well.

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5 years ago

CTIA: Blackjack II Hands On!

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CTIA: Blackjack II Hands On!

We're going to save the best for ...ah, screw it, here's the highlight of the CTIA conference: The Blackjack II. Specs are much improved:

  • Triband HSDPA / Quadband GSM
  • Windows Mobile 6
  • 2mp camera
  • 128 RAM, 256 ROM
  • 1700 mAh battery (!)
  • 260 MHz Dual Core ARM 9 Proc
  • AGPS (more on that after the break)

Improvements over the original Blackjack are myriad and manifold: slightly better screen, significantly improved battery life, Windows Mobile 6. The scroll wheel has been integrated into the 5-way, which is really slick and easy to use. It should be standard in every 5-way from now on.

More of our impressions and photos after the break!

Photos

You know that's what you're really looking for, here they are first:

Impressions

The Blackjack II, when I first heard of it, looked pretty lame to me. I wonder why Samsung was even bothering with it - it's pretty much just a product refresh and didn't seem to add significant features.

However, after my hands-on I take it back. The build quality on the Blackjack II is significantly better than the original - nary a creak or battery door shuffle. This is no small feat, as I was generally happy with the quality of the original Blackjack.

I was also a little nervous to see that my scroll wheel had been taken away, but moving it to the 5 way was totally the right way to go. It cleans up the lines of the device (and let them add chrome on the sides, for whatever that's worth) and takes away what might have been confusing redundancy with that OK button. What is adds is a very quick-scrolling wheel - it practically flies under your thumb. It also means you no longer have to keep re-positioning your thumb in order to keep scrolling. Instead, just keep that circle moving until you're finished.

The screen is supposedly slightly larger, but I didn't have a Blackjack on me to test - it did look very bright and crisp. Also better: the keyboard. The keys felt much less cramped in a way that's difficult to describe but very real. They also stuck out a bit more than the original's.

Now, on to the AGPS. Witness our confusion about the differences between gpsOne, AGPS, and full GPS. It's a crime that carrier-intervention has made these things so confusing and has locked them down so often. Expect more of the same with the Blackjack II: Microsoft tells us it works great with Windows Live Search, but they don't know what AT&T plans. AT&T says, well...

WMExperts: So this has AGPS, right?
AT&T Rep: (after they grabbed the one who "knew") Yes, it works great with TeleNav and allows you to get directions easily.
WMExperts: So will it be locked down or will I be able to use it with Google Maps?
AT&T Rep: It works great with TeleNav and allows you to get directions easily.
WMExperts: Um. Windows Live Search? Anything else?
AT&T Rep: It works great with TeleNav and allows you to get directions easily. WMExperts: Cough

Some uncomfortable silence ensued, as you might imagine.

Anyway the Blackjack II is a "product refresh," but it's a great product refresh. It's supposed to be available for the holiday season, so you can probably expect this to be in stores by November at the latest.

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5 years ago

Treo 750 to WM6: 2008 now? Update: Probably not

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Treo 750 to WM6: 2008 now? Update: Probably not

As Jennifer Chappell notes over at TreoCentral, Palm has announced that they're a big partner for the upcoming Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008 (yes, that's what it's called - that whole phrase. I'm just happy they didn't put the word "Live" in there.)

If you're interested in seeing what's coming in 2008 with MSCDM, check out our liveblog of the announcement. If you're interested in what it means that Palm is going to support it with a software update to the Treo 750, well, we don't exactly know.

...but it makes us think that the Treo 750 on AT&T won't see an official upgrade to Windows Mobile 6 until then. Please, Palm, prove us wrong.

In the meantime, the Australian Hack to WM6 suddenly look quite a bit more appealing.

As expected, Palm today announced that it will make the Palm(R) Treo(TM) 750 smartphone compatible with Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008, delivering increased security and easier phone management, as well as access to information on the corporate network. IT professionals will be able to confidently manage large Treo 750 deployments with features such as policy enforcement, inventory and reporting, and software targeting.

Read: treocentral.com

Update: Well look at this: the AT&T booth has a flyer for the Treo 750 that claims that HSDPA and Windows Mobile 6 will be available in 2007. Prying about doesn't really yield anything substantial except some winks, nods, and hints that it's coming very soon. Go ahead, get your hopes up, it won't hurt again. We promise.

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5 years ago

CTIA: Liveblogging the Steve Ballmer Keynote

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CTIA: Liveblogging the Steve Ballmer Keynote

Updated: We've added a ton of photos to the liveblog, after the break. Don't forget - there's real live shots of the all new Blackjack II in red inside!

We're waiting for Steve Ballmer's keynote to start. We're expecting him to announce some server-side services for Windows Mobile to compete with the Blackberry Enterprise Server stuff - device management and whatnot. But you never know - this is, after all, a conference dedicated to “Wireless IT” and “Entertainment.” Dieter wants Slingbox capability built into Windows Media Center - but that's shooting the moon.

In any case, click through and get ready to hit that refresh button. We're starting up in 10.

(all photos by Joel Martin)

9:25
We're starting in 5. The Tilt failed us for DUN for some reason, so we're stuck updating over Internet Sharing on a Touch. Oh EDGE, how I hate thee.

9:28
I don't know who thought these pre-event commercials were a good idea, but when your “texting” commercial makes me think of a Mattress Warehouse commercial, that's not a big help to your company.

9:30
You can tell we're starting because they're shining a bright, white spotlight into the crowd and playing some song with deep bass. So much for saving my vision and hearing. Here comes Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA.

We're at the “largest data event” in the world. New keynote format this year - just one speaker per day. That's a nice change, it got a little schizophrenic before. About to list some stats from CTIA's wireless survey. Let's see:

  • Subscriber count: as of June 30th, 243 million wireless subscribers in the US. About 81% of the population.
  • text messages, about 1 Billion per day in the US. That's a lot, baby. 28.8 were send in 2007.
  • the full survey is at http://CTIA.org

...and now the Ballmer intro.

- that's new, ain't it?

9:35 Ballmer's on stage! He's looking sharp. Plans on talking about “trends” in an “increasingly mobile” world and the change from “software” to “software services.” Code for: We still want to take on Google, eh?

How have things changed in 6 years? 6 years is an eternity in the mobile space. He's showing off the Sprint Touch - retail on November 4th (we knew that). It's a “crossover” device that's good for business and also TV, video, etc. Small, lightweight, and sexy form factor. You damn skippy, Ballmer.

Talking about how WiFi was just getting popular 6 years ago, but now we got ourselves 3G and WiFi isn't as important.

User expectations have changed, too. Thin vs. Thick clients in PCs

Top, most-desired item in every emerging market: smartphones. Yep. 6 years ago, Microsoft had ONE phone, ONE model, on ONE model, in ONE country. Today: 160 models, 140 form factors, 20 million WM will be sold this year. Don't forget that when you next hear iPhone sales numbers, folks, 20 million WM phones.

9:42
Microsoft's improvement over the past 6 years - they're getting interested in cellular networks and providing services over that. Models of computing:

  • desktop computing (thick clients)
  • enterprise
  • online (services in the cloud, talking to thin clients)
  • devices. (Pictures of WM devices, Zune, XBOX 360)

Devices are #1 on Microsoft's innovation agenda. Yesterday's idea: having all these models separate, having multiple email, text, phone accounts. Will advertising work with devices the way it does with online? Maybe not so much - there needs to be a more sophisticated meld of business models (am I stretching too much to read Google digs in all these).

Mobile phones are the most popular device out there, period. How to we get it to “fully participate” in the same experiences you can get in the other computing models? That's Microsoft's target. Enterprise brought to the phone.

Oh, there's a picture of a Blackjack up there, it's red? It has a few different buttons - looks like a Blackjack II to me.

“In many countries, the phone will be the PC, for people with less money.” Talking about a “docking station” to turn your phone into a PC. Basically he's talking about opportunities for growth in the mobile space. “Think of it like a universal remote” for your business and personal phone. The phone needs to be able to cover both sides of your life.

9:48
Making fun of people who carry multiple devices, well, not mocking so much. “It strikes me as odd.” Pushing multiple form factors to meet multiple tastes. Yet despite that, the basic services and things you want to do are often the same from person to person. In other words - he's fond of the Windows Mobile busines model of licensing the OS to partners who innovate on form factors.

“Microsoft has a fairly expansive view of the mobile space.” Focused on partnership with operators, developers.

Work, Life, Platform: the themes for today.

Work

Security management, deployment, applications, communication, IT integration. Listing through th myriad of types of communications and applications necessary in enterprise computing. Need to offer tools to IT departments to manage all that. See's a “clash” coming - IT needs to manage some things, but end users want to control the devices they're using (especially in their personal life). Need to balance IT's need to manage with personal users' need to customize.

Announcement

Microsoft System Center, Mobile Device Manager 2008. Helps IT manage, secure, and provide secure access for smartphones. Will work with “forthcoming versions of WM devices.” Versions coming in Q2 next year to support this service. It will manage the phone like it would manage “mission critical data” on a PC. What can it do? Provisioning, data encryption, password requirements, data compliance, mobile VPN management. They're trying to make it standards-compliant, too. The idea is to bring devices (from the 4 above) closer to enterprise. Brian Hoskins up for a demo! 9:56: Demo

Setting up a new device, in case you lose yours. “Self enrollment website” You can create an “enrollment request” yourself - anybody who can log into active directory can request to set up a new device.

You get the password from the site, punch it into your new phone, and it automagically enrolls into your management system. Sets up policies, password settings, the whole shebang. Fast, easy, cool.

Showing stuff on server side now. Device status, device history, blocked devices, pending enrollment, recently wiped devices. Ha - Steve Ballmer has had his wiped a buncha times for this demo.

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5 years ago

CTIA: Hands-On With the Sprint Touch

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CTIA: Hands-On With the Sprint Touch

As we mentioned in the sidenote yesterday, we're at the CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment Expo this week. The conference starts today, but last night we got a chance to hang out with Vincent Nguyen of Slashgear and ogle his Sprint Touch for a spell.

New details and photos after the break, y'all.

Form factor

As you can see below, the Sprint Touch is different, subtly different, from the HTC Touch. It's a smidge (technically speaking) taller and (as we mentioned in our first hands-on with the Sprint Touch) just a bit thicker. It's also slightly “blockier,” denser, and heavier. Still, it's basically the same shape and feel as the original Touch: great in the hand.

In all the pics below, the one that's just barely bigger is the Sprint Touch.



(Photos by Joel Martin)

TouchFlo 2 and Keyboard

I wasn't expecting the Touch to feature the improved TouchFlo features that HTC has been showing off lately. Stuff like:

  • “circle to zoom in on a picture,”
  • a nice new “big theme” start menu,
  • HTC's Today-screen close submenu with large thumbable buttons
  • Much faster flick-scrolling

...So seeing it on the Sprint Touch was a welcome surprise.

Even better is the “suretype-esque” keyboard that Sprint/HTC have put on there. It's very similar to TouchPal but with an added feel of refinement. It really does make the Sprint Touch very usable - I can't wait for somebody to hack it off there and make it available to the GSM crowd.

Last bit - the touchscreen on the Sprint touch seemed much more responsive to my thumbs. I don't know if that's a sign that I've been beating on my GSM Touch too much or if they've genuinely improved the screen on it. Just pointing it out.

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5 years ago

CTIA: Hands-On with I-Mate's 8502

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CTIA: Hands-On with I-Mate's 8502

If you're not familiar with I-Mate, you're forgiven and absolved. They're the little Windows Mobile Smartphone Company That Could - releasing devices with tiny but passionate followings but somehow always managing to get completely snubbed for the big dance. As in: they don't have any carrier support in the US and they're perennially "working on it."

All of which is a real pity, because they were showing off some fancy gizmos yesterday. My favorite: The 8502. If they ever release this thing for real (it's slated for Decemberish) and if they ever bring the price down (retail for around $6-800!), it will be killer.

  • Full QWERTY keyboard, one-handable
  • 240x320 Screen
  • WiFi, GPS, Quadband HSDPA/GSM radio
  • a claimed 4 hours of battery life (put on your skeptic face)
  • Thinner than a Treo 750

I mention that last because, believe it or not, the Treo 750 is the thinnest smartphone with a font-faced full QWERTY and a touchscreen widely available in the US. Anyhow - the keyboard on the 8502 felt a little "clacky" to us but was usable. I still am not a fan of I-Mate's tiny 5-way joysticks, but if it gives me a bigger screen I won't complain.

Bottom line, though, is the 8502 basically offers all the benefits of the AT&T Tilt in a candybar form factor.

Photos after the break.




Compared to the AT&T Tilt and the iPhone

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5 years ago

Windows Mobile Browser Smackdown

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Windows Mobile Browser Smackdown

Over at pocketables, Jenn K Lee has posted up a comprehensive comparison of the most popular browsers on Windows Mobile. She obviously wanted to eliminate variables like whether or not a given device's power would get in the way, so she used a beefy HTC Advantage X7501 to compare Opera 8.65, IE Mobile, Minimo 0.2, Picsel 1.0.0, and NetFront 3.4. The results surprised me a bit and actually got me to change my default browser to her winner.

Oh, you thought I was going to ruin the fun and tell you the winner? Nope. Go check out the smackdown yourself.

A sidenote: WMExperts is at the CTIA Entertainment conference this week, so expect tragically desolate spaces of not-posting interspersed with glorious liveblogging and hands-on posts.

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5 years ago

Windows Mobile 6.1 Coming with New Interface?

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Windows Mobile 6.1 Coming with New Interface?

In our forums, surur tells us that pocketinfo.nl had reported that Microsoft would be announcing Windows Mobile 6.1 in February, devices shipping in May. The story has since been pulled (interesting), but the scuttlebut is that the main feature of 6.1 will be a new interface very similar to what Microsoft and Vodaphone developed for the Treo 500v: a carousel.

The carousel (check out The Unwired Video of the interface) is actually really cool. You move left or right to switch between different "zones" and then up and down to choose an "action." The idea is that instead of thinking in terms of "applications," you can think in terms of "what do I want to do today?" (Ah, Microsoft slogans, how I love them). So instead of having to go into the Tasks app to make a new task, you just flip to the proper portion of the carousel to do it directly.

6.1 is apparently going to be a vertical scroller with horizontal options in place of the 500v's horizontal scroller. Improved WiFi, Exchange integration, and Bluetooth are also in the mix.

I wasn't expecting any significant improvements to Windows Mobile until we saw Photon hit. Careful readers will note that this interface sounds quite a bit like the recent patent that Microsoft filed:

a list centered around a user's current day can include items corresponding to meetings scheduled for that day using a calendar application, E-Mail received on that day through an E-Mail application, and a weather forecast for the day provided by a weather service application.

We can only hope that Windows Mobile 6.1 will be made available as upgrades to current devices in addition to shipping on new devices in May.

Big ups to Surur for the find!

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5 years ago

Verizon Releases Samsung i760

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Verizon Releases Samsung i760

Given that the Samsung SCH-i760 was already kinda sorta released over a month ago, the news that it's officially available online tomorrow and in stores on November 2nd is a little underwhelming. Still, it's an intriguing form factor and the specs on the i760 are decent enough:

  • Windows Mobile 6
  • EVDO
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • 128 megs ROM, 64 megs RAM
  • microSD slot

Early reports have indicated that the i760 doesn't quite get the details right - there's some little devil in there. Still, it might be worth checking out if you have $350 to drop (after rebates, that is). Me, I'd wait to see just how well it stacks up against the XV6800.

via: jkOnTheRun

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5 years ago

WM6 on Treo 750: Delayed?

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WM6 on Treo 750: Delayed?

The long (looong) wait for Windows Mobile 6 on the Treo 750 may soon be over, according to a document leaked on the TreoCentral forums. Of course, said document states that the target date for releasing it was October 15th.

Grumble.

People have been getting themselves WM6 the hard way, either through a leak or, more recently, by hacking the Australian version. We still don't know what's causing all the delays. It's certainly not Good Mobile Messaging, they've already released their updated software (congrats on that, by the way).

We're more than 6 months out from the original announcement and I'm just plain exhausted. Seriously: I was so excited about Windows Mobile 6 on a 750 that I haven't slept since they told us we'd get it. It's been rough.

Read: treocentral.com >> Stories >> Rumors >> Treo 680 and 750 Updates Coming on ATT

Update: Thanks to tommc4 for the tip!

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5 years ago

Review: Jabra JX-10 II Bluetooth Headset

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5 years ago

iPhone vs Windows Mobile, Email Smackdown

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5 years ago

Sprint Touch Official: Nov 4 for $249

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Sprint Touch Official: Nov 4 for $249

Here it comes: Sprint Touch, November 4th, $249 after contract and rebates.

It's Windows Mobile 6 (of course), has EVDO for data (upgradable to Rev A), no Wifi (frowny face), 2 megapixel camera, TouchFLO fancy-ness, and so on and so forth. It's a great little (seriously, it's little) smartphone, as we learned in our Hands-on with the Sprint Touch.

I'm very happy to see the Touch get official carrier recognition here in the states - the GSM version is way WAY more popular than anybody expected, selling more than 800,000 units as of October 1st. The lack of WiFi is a bummer, but EVDO helps make up for that. The price is also a bit of a bummer, but not a mega bummer, dude.

Put a TouchPal keyboard on this thing and you'll be a happy camper come November 4th.

Combining a dynamic touch screen experience with industry-leading network speeds, Sprint (NYSE: S) and HTC Corp. (TAIEX: 2498; "HTC"), today announced the upcoming availability of Touch by HTC™, a full touch screen wireless phone integrating Windows Mobile 6 with advanced entertainment features. Operating on the Sprint Mobile Broadband network, the stylish Touch by HTC brings together email and other essential business applications with Sprint's exclusive multimedia content including over-the-air music downloads, live TV and more.


Read: Sprint Announces Touch by HTC(tm), First High Speed Wireless Device to Offer Full Touch Screen

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5 years ago

Windows Live Search for Windows Mobile: Now Fortified With More Awesome

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Windows Live Search (which we rave about all the time) has just come out of Beta and has a sweet new feature built-in: Voice Input. That's right - you can just speak your search instead of tapping it in when you're in the Live Search app. Go get it, have some fun: http://wls.live.com. (I suppose the voice search feature counts as a workaround for Mogul users who have experienced problems typing characters in wls).

Update: Another new feature: local gas prices. Lord knows that's going to be more and more important in the coming years.

The Live Search online search engine (http://m.live.com) has also seen some updates, but I'm not going to write about them because Microsoft is still insisting on calling every damn thing "Live" and I'm tired of it.

Live Search for Windows Mobile with voice input. The updated Live Search for Windows Mobile® 5.0 and 6.0 will be available for download for free on Tuesday, Oct. 16, and now includes voice input (beta version), gas prices, and hours of operation for businesses. The service can also use Global Positioning System (GPS) data on GPS-enabled phones to provide location-aware local search for customers.

Read: Rob's Rhapsody : Live Search for Windows Mobile -- Now with Speech Recognition!!

After the break, a neat video showing wls in action.


Video: Live Search for Windows Mobile -- Now with Speech!

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5 years ago

Microsoft's Mobile Interface patent

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Microsoft's Mobile Interface patent

The Unwired shows us details from a recent patent application from Microsoft. Normally, the right reaction to patent applications is to shrug, perhaps engage in some wishful thinking, and then move on. One can rarely tell whether or not a given patent represents actual plans for devices or just a company covering its bases when an employee has an interesting idea.

This one, though, I believe is a sign of things to come. It's reminiscent of the recent Vodafone interface put on top of the Treo 500v, which is basically a "carousel" of functions. If you want to send an email, you just rotate to email and choose send. That same carousel lets you do other bits like view your calendar. In other words, details like this from the patent sound very familiar:

a list centered around a user's current day can include items corresponding to meetings scheduled for that day using a calendar application, E-Mail received on that day through an E-Mail application, and a weather forecast for the day provided by a weather service application.

Basically, it lets you think "what do I want to do right now" instead of "what do I want to do right now, what application do I need to open to do it, and how to I interact with that particular application." I dearly hope we'll see the fruits of this patent in Photon, the next version of Windows Mobile.

After the break, more patent drawing fun.

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