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5 years ago

Shiny Kaiser Pics at MEDC Europe

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Shiny Kaiser Pics at MEDC Europe

There's another Microsoft Mobile and Embedded DevCon happening, this time in Germany. Which means that HTC is trotting out its latest and greatest. That's probably the best look I've had yet of the hinge on the flip-up slider to come, the HTC Kaiser. Looking good, HTC, I just wish that sketchy leaked roadmap had a US release date on it.

Also new (at left) is this docking station for the HTC Advantage, which adds USB ports (for keyboard and mouse), a headphone port, and a VGA-out. As in - Windows Mobile Device as Desktop Replacement. Foleo, eat your heart out.

Read: Jason Langridge's WebLog

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5 years ago

Silverlight: Bearing Down on Flash?

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Silverlight: Bearing Down on Flash?

Ars Technica is reporting that there's now a Linux-based browser plugin for Microsoft's Silverlight. Silverlight is a cross platform "media plugin" that looks to be positioned as a very nice Flash competitor. With all the brouhaha about YouTube not working so well on WM phones (er, not working at all except on a select few, like the HTC Touch in my pocket, Nyah Nyah!), Silverlight's cross-platform abilities could make it a real competitor in internet multimedia. There was already a great demo of a Baseball app on Windows Mobile that looks really slick.

Anyhow, the good news here is that Microsoft made the necessary tools available for Silverlight to work cross-platform and somebody got it working on Linux. There are big players on board (hello streaming movies on Netflix!) so I'm hopeful that we're going to see some really dynamic, media rich stuff on mobile phones soon.

Actually, what I'm really hoping is that Photon (the next version of Windows Mobile, also known as "The Second Coming") is going to sport a Silverlight-based UI. That would add a lot of fancy graphical features without much overhead and help Windows Mobile have the speed and eye-candy of a certain other mobile phone that you may have heard of.

After 20 days of "intense" programming, Novell's Mono development team has successfully produced a functioning prototype of Moonlight, an open-source Mono-based implementation of Microsoft's Silverlight rich-media application development framework

Read: Mono Silverlight implementation emerges after epic hackathon

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5 years ago

Google Buying GrandCentral?

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Google Buying GrandCentral?

...that's what TechCrunch believes, anyway. Bully to Google, I say. GrandCentral is a great service (but I still wish it offered SMS forwarding) and a purchase by Google means that I would be much more likely to use it. Why? Because Google's backing allays my fear that the service would go belly up as soon as it ran out of Venture Capital funds.

In the meantime I'm still using Mobile Secretary for my SMS forwarding needs.

I'll tell you what, though, I'm starting to fear Google and their insidious tendrils. Microsoft used(still?) to be known for their "Embrace and Extend" policy of stealing aping other technologies and then adding their own services to it to force users to stick to their solution. Looks like Google's version of "Embrace and Extend" is "Just Freaking Buy It Outright."

Google is in acquisition discussions with telephone management startup GrandCentral, we’ve learned, and we have a high degree of confidence that the deal has actually been closed. We are trying to nail down the acquisition price.

Read: Google To Acquire GrandCentral

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5 years ago

Friday NerdFun: 3D Lawn Darts

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Friday NerdFun: 3D Lawn Darts

Here comes the weekend and I'll be spending some of it working and the rest of it playing Concrete Software's 3D Lawn Darts (buy at WMExperts Store) - a fun little game that uses the camera on your Windows Mobile device to detect how hard and in what direction you're throwing the dart. It's a blast.

Below, for your viewing pleasure, is myself and Chris Kingree nerding it up with the Lawn Darts game. We're playing multiplayer over bluetooth, but it also comes with a fun single player mode that you can demo for free (choose "install now" at this link to have a link to the demo SMS'd to you auto-magically).


(Concrete Software also makes a Texas Hold'em game that's my favorite of the poker-on-your-WM device bunch.)

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5 years ago

Amp'd Deathwatch: Brief Stay of Execution

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Amp'd Deathwatch: Brief Stay of Execution

Poor Amp'd. They are as deep in debt as a teenager who just got a new credit card and spent all their money on a new amp'd phone but can't actually afford to pay for it (see what I did there?). So Verizon told them to pay up the $33 million they owe - Now. Then their CEO was ousted. Finally a tiny glimmer of hope: Amp'd gets to use some of its cash to keep the company running for another few days, though June 25th.

Of course, that cash actually belongs to Verizon, who's none-too-happy about the judge letting Amp'd spend it on frivolities like keeping a network running. Actually, Verizon is worried that Amp'd will use the cash to pay for legal fees necessary to weasel out of negotiate their bankruptcy terms.

Not even 'Lil Bush (originally an amp'd cartoon, now headed to Comedy Central) can save them now.

Judge Brendan Shannon of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., Monday signed off Amp'd Mobiles's request to use Verizon's cash collateral to keep its so-called mobile virtual network up and running through June 25.

Read: Amp'd Mobile's Use of Lender's Cash OKed | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

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5 years ago

HTC Product Roadmap Leaked?

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HTC Product Roadmap Leaked?

There are a few surprises, though nothing earth-shattering, in this PDF of upcoming HTC Windows Mobile Devices. I wasn't expecting a CDMA version of the HTC Touch, much less one that includes EVDO Rev A with gpsOne.

Also new (to me, anyway) is the HTC Iris (s620), a Standard-edition CDMA phone with standard-edition specs, and the Volans, which appears to be the HTC Wings, aka the 3G successor to the disappointing* HTC S710/HTC Vox. And pictured at right is the Shangri-La, the slide-and-fold-up super-PPC (which will succeed the HTC Advantage). Had enough code names yet? Me too.

I put the question mark in the title there because a) the source site looks pretty new (even compared to us!) and b) the PDF slides look a little off to my eyes. On the other hand, all the info looks spot-on, so take my grain of salt with a grain of salt.

Read: CTI Miami’s Blog via BGR

*(What?! Disappointing you say? ...I'll explain in my review on Monday.)

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5 years ago

Skweezer updated

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Skweezer updated

Greenlight wireless announced earlier this week that they've updated and improved skweezer, which is at heart a proxy service that re-jiggers web pages so they look better on mobile phones. They have their work cut out for them when it comes to competing on Windows Mobile devices, and Microsoft's Live Search for mobile already does that (and does a fairly good job of it). Plus, on Windows Mobile 6, you can put a Live Search field right on your today screen. I do like that skweezer has a built-in "search within page" feature - that's a feature sorely lacking in most mobile web browsers these days.

Still, it's pretty ho-hum for me, but I have a few feature-phone-using buddies who will care. A few.

the user interface has been redesigned to reduce keystrokes and take advantage of "hot key" navigation that utilizes a phone's keypad. Skweezer will now also use a robust, new search system to provide highly relevant Web searches across multiple mobile device platforms. Skweezer's code-base and hosting infrastructure have been updated to provide the fastest Skweezer ever.

Read: Greenlight Wireless :: 06/18/2007 Greenlight Wireless Press Release

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5 years ago

SlingPlayer Updated for Windows Mobile 6

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SlingPlayer Updated for Windows Mobile 6

That was pretty quick! Just over two weeks ago Sling put out a call for Beta testers for a new version of their SlingPlayer Mobile client that would be compatible with Windows Mobile 6. And badda-bing, today Smartphone Thoughts reports that the client is ready to rock. Now, granted, Windows Mobile 6 isn't all that different from its predecessor, but this humble writer suspects that the SlingPlayer digs pretty deep into the OS to get its great video quality - so it makes sense that it would take some tweaking to make it work with the latest and greatest.

Now, I don't have a Slingbox myself just yet - but its definitely my plan to pick up one of those suckers just as soon as I get, you know, a TV. If you're one of those folks who happens to own both a TV and a Windows Mobile device (imagine that!), I heartily recommend you pick up a SlingBox posthaste.

Read: Sling Media - SlingPlayer Mobile

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5 years ago

Yahoo Go! Graduates from Beta - Whither WM Support?

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I really liked the first version of Yahoo Go on Windows Mobile. When the 2nd beta came out, that old version of Yahoo Go disappeared. It was replaced with the new! improved! Yahoo! Go! that was incompatible with all Windows Mobile phones except portrait-style smartphone-edition devices. Now a check of their Windows Mobile page drops compatibility for even those. They're all "coming soon." Yahoo says "Coming Friday" for the general, java-based, feature phone version of Yahoo Go.

I hope that applies to WM as well - Yahoo Go was (and would be) a great push email solution for the average joe. I'm guessing that "soon" doesn't mean Friday, but does mean fairly soon. They struck that that deal with HTC to pre-install Yahoo Go on HTC phones. It's taken way too long for all this to happen. What's the deal? Was their estranged CEO in charge of it or something? ;)

Yahoo! Go 2.0 is now available in the US and 13 other countries (Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom, Thailand and Vietnam) offering a totally new Internet experience on your mobile phone.  The new version offers a lot of new features including:

Read: Yahoo! Go 2.0 via jkOnTheRun

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5 years ago

Open Letter to Warez Jerks

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Open Letter to Warez Jerks

The president of WebIS, makers of great software like Pocket Informant and FlexMail, has posted an open letter to software pirate sites. I'm linking it for a few reasons:

  • It's very well-written
  • It's right
  • It brings up a very good point:
If you actually use our software please pay for it. [...] WebIS has always been extremely liberal in our licensing as well. We don't use activation (we've thought about it), we don't lock our license to your username, we don't do anything to make licensing hard. We let you run our software on as many devices that you personally use and we use the honor system. Heck, we even make 2-3 versions of our software in most cases and let you pay for one and get them all.

Indeed, I've trialed many of WebIS' products, probably all of them. A lot of them don't fit with my habits of using a smartphone, but many do. I wanted to point out that 95% of WM developers get it when it comes to shareware for smartphones. It's simple: charge reasonable prices and avoid don't have annoying methods for registration. That's a big deal - in the fight against software piracy it's easy to lose your way and get too restrictive with activations. Activation in itself is highly annoying to me personally as I find myself switching phones basically on a weekly basis for my job here.

Anyhow, the point is that having 3rd party apps for your platform is a good thing, and paying for those apps is the only real way to keep them coming. I tend to think of shareware prices not in dollars but in "Lattes" or even "Value Meals." When you look at a piece of software you will likely use every day as a handful of premium coffees or a couple trips to a fast food joint, then paying for it becomes a no brainer.

Read: Open Letter To Warez Sites - WebIS, Inc. Forums via PocketPC Thoughts

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5 years ago

First Look: HTC Touch Video

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First Look: HTC Touch Video

We weren't the first on our block to get an HTC Touch, but we may be the most excited. Check out the video first look, below.

Summary for those of you who can't watch the video at work: It's thin, light, and very good looking. Entering text is going to be a hassle without some 3rd party solutions, but the TouchFLO interface is really neat. I'm almost as enamored as this guy. Did I mention thin and light? I never thought a full-featured touchscreen device could be this small (iPhone notwithstanding). Oh, and it works just fine with the new mobile YouTube (thanks to Gwalio for the tip!)

One thing I didn't mention in the video, I really wish there was a 4th screen to TouchFLO. As it is, you get Contacts, a 6-panel app launcher, and a 3-panel media launcher. What I'd like is a 2nd 6-panel app launcher to "complete the cube", as it were, that I could customize with my own apps. Actually, in a perfect world, HTC would snap up the rights to Spb Mobile Shell and combine both TouchFLO and Mobile Shell into a super-launcher. Ah well.

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5 years ago

ATT's new Video Share Service AND WM6: Coming to Blackjack This Summer?

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In World of Warcraft (yes, I play), whenever you gain a new level you often get a whole slew of new abilities - your avatar can do more than it could before. When that happens, the standard thing to yell is "Ding W00T!" Well folks, this summer I think the Samsung Blackjack will be calling out Ding W00T!

When I loaded the hacked Windows Mobile 6 ROM on there, I noticed something very, very odd. There was a new setting and a hidden application that kept loading itself in the background no matter what I was able to do, and it was called "Video Share." So today Mobility site points us to an AT&T announcement that this summer they'll be rolling out a real-time video sharing service. The page that displays compatible phones on the Video Share site doesn't list the Blackjack (yet!), but it does list two other Samsung phones. The fact that Samsung is on board with Video Share and the fact that there's a funny little "Video Share" application on my WM6-hacked Blackjack tells me it will be added to the list.

It also makes me strongly suspect that my earlier doom and gloom about the Windows Mobile 6 date for the Blackjack was wrong. A late July release for Video Share bodes well for the new Windows Mobile 6 ROM that supports it on the Blackjack.

Ding W00T!

A&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has announced the launch of AT&T Video Share, the first-ever service in the U.S. that allows users to share live video over their wireless devices while participating in a voice call. AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson highlighted the service during the opening keynote of the NXTcomm industry event.

Read: AT&T- News Room

Read: Video Share Site

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5 years ago

Spb Mobile Shell Updated to v1.5

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Spb Mobile Shell Updated to v1.5

When somebody asks me "What should I install on my Windows Mobile PPC / Professional" phone (well, they never ask like that, but you know what I mean) my default answer is always Spb Mobile Shell. It's a great all-in-one customizer app that gives you a lot of the most-wanted features (weather, nice thumb-able interface, and some good eye-candy) in a single, simple package. It looks like Spb Software House has just updated the sucker, adding a ton of requested features:

Professional layout for Now Screen
Spb Menu customization
Now Screen as lock screen
Easy pinning on Today
Integration API for third party programs

I'm a big fan of the menu customization and the API - it means that Spb shell is starting to look like a great platform that will be able to give you access to stuff that's not included by default by Microsoft on your device. Bravo, Spb.

Read: Press Releases - Press Information - Spb Software House via PocketPCThoughts

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5 years ago

Review: HTC S710 (Vox)

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5 years ago

numbr - free temporary phone number

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numbr - free temporary phone number

Well this is new to me, a little service called "numbr" that provides you with a temporary call-in number that you can forward to up to two other numbers (of your own). It's meant for online listings primarily - i.e. if you're selling something on craigslist and you're not keen on publishing your actual phone numbers. The service is free while in beta and offers a few features like blocking non-caller ID numbers, do not disturb times, and it will even forward you a log of your call history via email. Pretty slick.

You can't call out with the number, however, which is probably for the best.

Read: numbr:: Auto expiring. FREE anonymous phone numbers for online safety. via uneasy silence

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