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5 years ago

Hands on With Windows Live App

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Hands on With Windows Live App

We all know the new Windows Live app is out and has been giving us what we need. Push! In order to get your real push up and running you will first need to set up an account with Live mail. Then once set up you can download the app, input your info, and start to sync. Another cool option is the ability to sync contacts with your Live mail account. I had the option checked to merge contacts with outlook contacts but I still ended up with duplicates. That's a persistent issue with the Windows Live client, but a little contact cleanup is a small price to pay for instant email. Check out the video in action and let us know if you're switching to a @live email address.

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5 years ago

Microsoft Shake Up to Lead to Zune Phone?

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Microsoft Shake Up to Lead to Zune Phone?

Apparently we weren't the only ones who found Microsoft's services strategy utterly confusing and slapdash -- Microsoft did too. To that end, as reported by All About Microsoft, they're splitting up their Platforms and Services unit into two different units as well as giving the previous president of that division a retirement to go work for Juniper networks.

The two new divisions will be “Windows/Windows Live” and “Online Services Business.” The W/WL will have three folks in charge and the OSB will get a new guy. Steve Ballmer sent out a letter to the company about the changes with some interesting tidbits about their feelings on Google, Apple, and Yahoo. Short version: We're working on search and Apple's done better with the “end-to-end” experience.

There's plenty to parse here, including the possibility of a Zune phone, so read on!

Zune Phone?

When Ballmer writes “We'll do the same with phones--providing choice as we work to create great end-to-end experiences,” it's likely to start up the rumor mill again with regard to that Zune phone he's repeatedly denied being interested in. Well, that and the fact that JKOnTheRun has it from an inside source that we'll see it based on Windows Mobile 7 (oh, btw, congrats guys!).

I'll stay neutral on the Zune Phone -- ok no I won't: I'm not opposed, but I'd prefer to see Zune features included in all Windows Mobile Phones, okay? I still like Microsoft's strategy of working with hardware partners to make Windows Mobile quite a bit, I just wish there'd be some more consistency (and hotness) across the different handsets. If Microsoft were to throw their own hat into the hardware market, I hope they can find a way to do it that doesn't undercut the entire ecosystem by introducing yet another non-standard Windows Mobile interface into the mix. So Microsoft: go ahead and make your Zune Phone, but offer the innovations therein to your partners, ok?

Services

Back to the Windows Live branding debacle. I'd like to think that this new split is going to help things along. I'd like to think that, but I don't. Windows Mobile is precisely the sort of platform that needs to straddle the gap between traditional business space services that will fall under the “Online Services Business” and consumer-focused services that are part of “Windows Live.”

It's all very frustrating, because the truth of the matter is that Microsoft's offering is much better than anything anybody else has put out there except for RIM. There are some quirks and bugs with Windows Live on Windows Mobile, sure, but they're nothing compared to the Mobile Me mess right now. Toss in Live Mesh and Live Search and you have yourself an excellent suite of great online, cloud-based apps. That's not even counting what we see coming, consumer-wise, after the Danger acquisition.

In poker terms, Microsoft has a straight right now, they just haven't noticed yet because they can't seem to put the cards in the right order. With any luck, they'll be smart enough to keep betting, stay in the game, and take a shot at the big money.

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5 years ago

Diamond Gets Official 850 (EDGE) Band from HTC Hong Kong

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Engadget Mobile lets us know that HTC Hong Kong has posted a World Wide English ROM that supports the 850 MHz radio band for EDGE data. The folks over at XDA are poking away at it and finding that it does indeed support the 850 MHz band for GSM (read: EDGE speeds) but that 850 3G data is still tough to come by. Reports are mixed on that front -- as Engadget notes and a read-though of the XDA thread confirms, there's some weirdness with the band selection in the settings.

On other fronts, though, the ROM apparently rocks. TouchFLO 3D is reportedly much faster! The other nice thing is that the weird “we're turning the screen off whether you like it or not during a call” behavior now defaults to friendlier settings based on your global power preferences (after the initial default power-down. Yes, it's confusing, but if you have one you know what we're talking about).

We were very pleasantly surprised when a hacked ROM came out a week ago with 850 support, we're just as pleased to see HTC officially supporting the 850 band. Looks like, for once, CompUSA has been somewhat vindicated. Whoodathunk?

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5 years ago

CommMgrPro - the Ultimate Profiles App

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CommMgrPro - the Ultimate Profiles App

CommMgrPro, developed Daniel Herrero Rey with all sorts of input from the good folks at XDA is seeing an official version 2.1 release today. We've had some questions about profiles management in our Podcast before and this here software just might be the the bazooka to kill your profiles bug. It does it all -- managing ringers, radios, data connections, auto-sending of SMS, screen light levels, and more. All of which can be based on a ridiculously powerful set of customizable criteria.

Want silence when you walk into a certain (GSM) cell tower's range? Done. Want super-loud-ringer + dim screen when your calendar appointment has the word “discotheque” in it? Done (and we won't judge you for the fact that a. you use the word “discotheque” regularly and b. find it necessary to schedule it on your smartphone).

The software's 15 Euro and available for Windows Mobile Pro devices.

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5 years ago

IM meets conferencing with Persistent.im

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IM meets conferencing with Persistent.im

From Shape Services, the makers of the popular IM+, comes Persistent.im, basically an always-on private conference that allows you to use your current IM client.

Each conference shows up and behaves as a contact in the IM contacts' list. Conference participants may use accounts in AIM®/iChat, MSN®/Windows Live™ Messenger, Yahoo!®, ICQ®, Jabber®, Google Talk™ and MySpaceIM and keep using their preferred instant messenger client.

You can use multiple IM clients and load your contacts from your favorite IM service, and there are a few bot commands to make conferencing command line-like friendly.

The free service works across desktop and mobile devices - wherever you choose to IM from.

Try Persistent.im

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5 years ago

Sprint Selling off Cell Towers, Leasing Service

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Fire sale? Sprint is selling off a ton of its cell towers to a private equity firm, TowerCo, for an infusion of $670 million in cash. They'll then lease the towers back from the company. The reason? “Significantly, this transaction provides Sprint Nextel with additional liquidity which gives us greater flexibility in managing our company.” Yeah, that extra liquidity is probably something Sprint could use, but a less optimistic observer might suggest that getting rid of physical assets makes it easier for another company to buy them up. Of note -- this is very similar to the arrangement Sprint has set up for their WiMAX network: let somebody else handle the physical towers, Sprint just leases them.

Sprint is selling around 3,300 towers, give or take, which the Wall Street Journal says is “nearly all” of them, though that seems like a lowish number to us since Steel in the Air estimated they had 25,000 of them back in 2005.

Sprint Press Release

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5 years ago

Cancer doc warns staff, faculty about cell phones

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The arguments over the effects of cell phone radiation go on, but the head of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute is taking no chances.

Dr. Ronald B. Herberman has warned his 3,000 faculty and staff members to limit cell phone use, and he says children should only use them in emergencies because their brains are still developing.

"These waves have been shown to have the ability to penetrate into the brain," said Herberman, who based his advisory on international studies from countries such as France, Germany and India. "This provides a plausible basis for concern that it might be contributing to an increased incidence in brain tumors."

Score another point for Bluetooth headsets, I guess.

Read: UPMC memo: Cell phones pose cancer threat

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5 years ago

Swiss Mobility Legion Smartphone Case Review

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5 years ago

Review: Resco Explorer 2008

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5 years ago

Other Black Slab news: Touch Pro gets priced and a date (it was lonely)

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And speaking of trendy black slabs, HTC's much anticipated and feature packed Touch Pro has been picked up by Expansys.com for a expected release date of August 4th.

Hey, that's pretty close.

But sit down for the price. Thanks to our awesomely weak economy and dollar, this puppy will set you back just over $1k ($1,047.38 to be exact).

Yikes.

Perhaps if you're a CDMA user, you'd best sit back and wait for the U.S. debut, which we're hearing will be around December on Sprint.

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5 years ago

Battle of the Black Slabs: Round 1

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Battle of the Black Slabs: Round 1

What do you get when you combine pictures of the upcoming Samsung Omnia, iPhone 3g (eww..) and the HTC Touch Diamond?

A whole lotta deja vu, that's what. (Or yawns if you're a cynic like myself)

PortalPPC managed to get their hands on all three and literally stacked them up against each other for some comparisons. You certainly get an idea of screen resolution, brightness and size between all three.

Too bad the writing is all in some bizarre alien language.

Oh wait, I'm being told by our crack team of linguists it's Portuguese. Never heard of it, but if you can read it by all means sharesies! (We imagine it will involve discussing how awesome "black slab" is for a phone).

Click the link to see their full gallery!

Thanks dim!

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5 years ago

AT&T's TeleNav goes global

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AT&T's TeleNav goes global

 

If you're anything like us, you're tired of getting lost for those weekly lunches in Paris. (Note to Dieter - start hosting weekly lunches in Paris.)

But if you're a fan of TeleNav, AT&T's got you covered. The company's subscription navigation service has gone live outside the U.S., offering 3-D maps, voice and turn-by-turn directions in 20 other nations. And that includes a number of cities in China, just in time for the Olympics, of which AT&T is a sponsor.

Currently, the only Windows Mobile devices AT&T lists as supporting its Navigator Global Edition are:

  • AT&T Tilt
  • Samsung Blackjack II
  • Motorola Q9h

Seems they only like integrated GPS. What, no love for us Freedom Keychain users? Hey, AT&T, if you're looking for testers, our passport's up to date. Just sayin'.

Via CNET

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5 years ago

Review: Motorola H12 Bluetooth Headset

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Review: Motorola H12 Bluetooth Headset

CrystalTalk is Motorola’s latest audio technology that is reported to deliver maximum audio performance in even the noisiest of environments.  The Motorola H12 Bluetooth Headset ($89.95) is Moto’s first headset to incorporate this technology.  According to Motorola, CrystalTalk uses dual microphones to cancel out background noise, enhance your voice and channel pure, clear audio directly into your ear.  On paper, it would seem the H12 is leading the pack of mini-headsets on the market today.

To see if CrystalTalk and the Motorola H12 deliver the maximum audio performance, read on!

Out of the Box

The Motorola H12 is a lightweight headset, weighing only .4 ounces, and is very similar to the Motorola BH680.  Measuring 1.65 inches long and .7 inches wide, the H12 is a smidgen larger than the H680.  The best way to describe the headset’s diamond cut metal surface is sleek.

The H12 comes packaged with two charging cradles, the AC adapter, a few ear buds of assorted sizes, a Quick Start Guide and a clip that allows you to snap the headset to a shirt button.  The headset also has a clear plastic ear hook that can be reversed for left ear use.

I don’t understand Motorola’s thinking on providing two chargers.  One is a charging case (just like you get with the BH680) that the headset sits down into that the other is a stylish cradle that the headset leans on.  Both charge through magnetic contacts and with only one AC adapter, having one in the office and the other at home doesn’t make sense. I would have preferred a single charging cradle and a means to charge the H12 in the car instead of the two cradles.  As is, the cradle is the only way to charge the H12 and probably the H12’s greatest limitation.

The H12 has a dedicated power button which is nice because there is no doubt as to whether the device is on or not.  Volume keys are found on the top side of the headset and a main button rests on the top surface of the H12.  The buttons are large and easy to manipulate while the headset is worn as well as when it’s not.  A small LED light is just below the main button to alert/confirm functions through various blinks and colors.

Performance

The H12, after fully charged, goes into pairing mode when first turned on.  Pairing the H12 with my Samsung BlackJack II was uneventful and in a matter of seconds, I was connected.  The Bluetooth connection between the phone and headset was strong.  No static was present when carrying the phone on the opposite hip in a case.

The H12 was extremely comfortable to wear.  While you can wear the headset without the ear hook, the hook was not uncomfortable and added a level of security to the wear.  The shirt clip is an interesting accessory which allows you to clip the H12 to a shirt button.  It’s essentially a “U” clip that goes around a button and the H12 snaps in between the thongs.  Using the shirt clip is a little awkward and takes some time to get used to.  While it adds a level of convenience, I prefer a lanyard carry option better.

I was interested to see if CrystalTalk was as good as Motorola claimed.  Earpiece volume was good but a little muffled.  Increasing the volume helps but you still have a slight muffle to the volume.  In looking at the ear bud design a good portion of the earpiece is covered with the rubber ear bud.  At first I thought the cut out was dependant on the ear bud size but the other ear buds had small cut outs for the speaker as well.  Taking the ear bud off noticeably improved the volume but made the H12 noticeably uncomfortable to wear.

Microphone performance and volume was good, maybe a touch better than any other headset on the market.  In using a normal tone and volume, my voice came in clear.  Background noises such as traffic and the air conditioner were almost eliminated.  Louder noises such as the car stereo were filtered out nicely.

The H12 has a nice feature set including last number redial, call reject, voice dialing (phone dependant), call mute and call hold.  The H12 also has the ability to answer a second call or reject a second call.  The LED confirms these actions as well as alerting owners to low batteries through a series of colored flashes.  Battery life is rated by Motorola to be approximately 8 days of stand by time and 5.5 hours of talk time.  With the limited charging options, battery power should last you the day or in between destinations when traveling. 

Overall Impression

So is the Motorola H12 Bluetooth Headset ($89.95) with CrystalTalk technology leading the pack of Bluetooth Headsets on the market today?  The H12 is a solid performer that is comfortable to wear, has good microphone performance, a good feature set, and decent battery life.  But with the volume muffled by the ear bud design and limited charging options, if it’s leading the pack it’s not by much.

I have to recognize the dedicated power button one more time.  This feature of the H12 is something that other headset engineers should strongly consider.  I’ve tested several Bluetooth headsets that power on through the call/main button and it is difficult at times to tell if the headset is on or off.  I’ve caught myself staring at headsets waiting for the blinking blue light and turned the headset off when I thought I was turning it on too many times.  It’s refreshing to look at the headset and know for certain the thing is on or off.  It may be a minor feature to some but I think Motorola hit the nail on the head by having a dedicated power button.

Compared to the Motorola BH680 Bluetooth Headset ($59.95) the H12 is more comfortable, has slightly better microphone performance but the BH680 has slightly better speaker volume and battery life.  Otherwise these two headsets are almost equal. 

I really think if Motorola redesigned the ear buds the H12 would be very hard to beat even with the limited charging options.  As is, the H12 simply makes choosing a mini-headset a little harder to make.  It should be on everyone’s short list.

Ratings (out of 5)

  • Ease of Use: 5/5
  • Build: 4/5 (those darn ear buds)
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Battery Life: 4/5

Overall: 4.5/5

Pros

  • Really comfortable to wear
  • Strong Microphone performance
  • Dedicated Power Button

Cons

  • Ear Buds seem to muffle headset volume
  • Limited Charging Options
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5 years ago

Sweet Windows Mobile Car

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Sweet Windows Mobile Car

Renault has been producing cars since late 1898 and a hundred and ten years later they get it right. Years after they launched the Renault Voiturette 1cv, they bring Windows Mobile into the picture to control a car! The company that was started by a family of brothers has come so far from when they sold their first car to a friend. Not even their Nissan alliance is as big as Windows Mobile controlling your cars lights, doors, and

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5 years ago

Sony Xperia X1 comes out of hiding

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Sony Xperia X1 comes out of hiding

It seems like an eternity since Dieter got some serious hands-on time with the Sony Xperia X1. And in the tech world, it certainly has been, what with the launch of the HTC Diamond and that other "smart" phone taking center stage recently.

But the X1 has been lurking and still appears headed for a fall release. IntoMobile recently mentions a November launch on Australia's 3 network, and inexperia's got a French connection stating mid-October, for about $1,000 sans contract.

As for the U.S., we're still hoping for a September release, with AT&T the likely carrier.

Check in after the jump for Dieter's hands-on specs.

What's under the hood

  • HSDPA/HSUPA (Quad Band, too)
  • WiFi and Bluetooth
  • aGPS
  • 3.2 Megapixel Camera
  • 110 x 53 x 16.7 mm
  • 145 grams
  • 1500 mAH Battery
  • Qualcomm's MSM7200A CPU, 528Mhz (confirmed)
  • 800x480 resolution Touchscreen (flush)
  • MicroSD for expansion
  • MiniUSB for data and charging
  • 3.5mm headset jack for music
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