All Articles by Phil Nickinson

Hands-on at CTIA with the Mangrove 7 Windows Mobile 6.5.3 tablet

We've only seen Windows Mobile 6.5.3 officially on a handful of handsets. Now hows about on a 7-inch tablet? Enter the Mangrove 7 from C-motech, which we spied this week at CTIA in Las Vegas.

Windows Mobile 6.5.3 is Windows Mobile 6.5.3. And if you're used to Titanium (and clearly as you'll see in the video, I've been using Sense), then you'll be used to it here, for better or for worse. The OS looks like it's just slapped atop a larger screen, with no customizations. The photo gallery hardly uses the massive screen real estate, and the on-screen keyboard is -- and we're putting this kindly -- laughable, at best. (We're really not being mean ... Just watch the video.)

As for specs, the 7-inch screen is powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor ... which is severely hobbled by the fact that there's only 512MB of ROM and a very meager 256MB of RAM on board. The RAM's a killer.

Anyhoo, it's great to see Windows Mobile 6.5.3 on a tablet of this size, and it was a pleasant surprise at CTIA. It's just a shame that it appears to have been done on the cheap, and it's not like you're going to see this in stores anytime soon. Check out the video after the break.

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Foursquare on Windows Phone 7: looks nice

For those who use Foursquare, that social network app that pre-dates Google's Buzz and lets you share your location with others, you'll be pleased to see what they have in the works for Windows Phone 7.

Demo shots were shown off by Windows Phone Senior Product Manager Anand Iyer on his blog recently.

While we have a decent version already for Windows Mobile 6.x, this new version for WP7s certainly looks very smooth and minimalist. In addition, there are two new features that as TechCrunch points out, not even the revamped iPhone version has: "Society" area and 'Directions'.

The former shows a "heat map" of the immediate area, which is a representation of the most popular spots in your locale. We suppose this is great for finding where everybody be at, as this kids would say.

The other feature, directions, is just that: once you find where your friends are, you can get directions to that spot within the app itself, instead of hopping into Bing or Google Maps (we won't even touch the multi-tasking issue).

One thing looks certain, with companies like Netflix, Twikini, the Associated Press, EA mobile, IMDB, Weatherbug, Pandora, Photobucket, Sling Media, Seesmic, SPB and now Foursquare, WP7s should have the basics ready to go on launch.

[TechCrunch via Rene Ritchie]

     

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Microsoft updates My Phone

Microsoft has recently updated its My Phone service. The new version is 1.06.22718.01.  What's in the update? So far nothing stands out and the update is listed as "fixes and enhancements based on your feedback."

The next time you sync your Windows Phone with My Phone you will be prompted for the update. Once you download and install the update, soft reset your phone, and you'll be back in business.

Don't have My Phone yet? Simply point your Windows Phone browser to myphone.microsoft.com/install to download and install the application to your phone. Full official release after the break.

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Slacker Radio for Windows Mobile 6.5 is Official

After teasing us with a leaked .cab in February, Slacker Radio has been officially launched for Windows Mobile 6.5 devices. The Slacker Mobile application is "optimized" specifically for the HTC HD2 and is launched in conjunction with the release of the HD2 on T-Mobile. Slacker should work on other 6.5 phones with WVGA (800x480) screens; those specifically listed are the HTC Imagio, HTC Pure, HTC Tilt 2, LG eXpo and the Samsung Omnia II.

Slacker Radio for Windows Mobile provides access to your Slacker Radio account (Free or Premium), over 100 stations, the ability to create your own stations, and various information about the current track and artist. To give it a try point your mobile browser to m.slacker.com. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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T-Mobile HD2 available today; we go hands-on at CTIA

The T-Mobile HD2 is finally available today for $199 on contract, and we got our hands on it Tuesday at CTIA. Obviously the star of the show is the hardware, but you've already seen that from our hands-on and full review of the European version.

T-Mobile has loaded its version with a major video partner -- namely with the Blockbuster app. You can download or stream movies at will. And speaking of movies, Transformers 1 and 2 come preloaded on the HD2. And, really, watching Megan Fox on an HD2 is a small price to pay for a two-year contact, don'tcha think?

Check out our video hands-on after the break.

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WMExperts Podcast Episode 93


Malatesta finally chimes in on Windows Phone 7 Series. Plus, Phil's at CTIA, and the Best. Voicemail. Ever.

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Sprint Touch Pro 2 Windows Mobile 6.5 update is now available!

For those of you on Sprint with a Touch Pro 2 who haven't gone the custom ROM route, the Windows Mobile 6.5 update -- at long last! -- is finally here.

The official rundown of features is:

  • Upgraded OS to Windows Mobile 6.5
  • Added HTC Sense UI enhancements
  • Improved Social Networking integration
  • Includes a variety of minor bug fixes

Our big question: Are we talking Sense 2.5 (as in the HD2 ROM) or what?

As usual when flashing ROMs, be sure to have a battery charge of over 50 percent, and be sure to read all of the instructions. Then report back what you find! [HTC | Download link ] Thanks, Joe!

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HTC Responds to Apple Lawsuit: It disagrees

Late last night, HTC took the time to release an official statement in response to the Apple lawsuit recently filed.

Sounding a bit like an old Family Guy episode, HTC respectively disagrees with Apple's claim that it has infringed on its patents:

“HTC disagrees with Apple’s actions and will fully defend itself. HTC strongly advocates intellectual property protection and will continue to respect other innovators and their technologies as we have always done, but we will continue to embrace competition through our own innovation as a healthy way for consumers to get the best mobile experience possible,” said Peter Chou, chief executive officer, HTC Corporation. 

Of course HTC was not going to address the content of the claim specifically (save that for the courts) nor were they going to go "ya got us!" either, so in a lot of ways, this is no news.

Still, after rehashing their admittedly impressive track record of innovation in the smartphone business, this is just the beginning of the ordeal and we're sure it'll get more interesting in a few months.

Anyone ready to see Phil reporting from outside a court room? Full press release after the jump.

[via AndroidCentral]

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Windows Phone 7 Series Promo Video

A new promotional video has surfaced on the internet for Windows Phone 7 Series.  It highlights the "life maximizing" capabilities of the new mobile operating system from Microsoft.  istartedsomething.com has the minute long video and it's likely only a matter of time before the video is diced up into thirty second, ready for prime time spots.

One has to wonder if the actors got to keep the phones after the shoot.

Update: Check out the video after the break.

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Twikini already gearing up Twitter client for Windows Phone 7 Series

Twikini has long been one of our favorite Windows Mobile Twitter clients, and it's already getting the ball rolling for Windows Phone 7 Series. Developer Trinket Software has teamed up with Mist Labs (and our old pal Mel!) for the new project, and we must say, they're following the right people, if the screen shot above is any indication. More screen shots after the break. [Mist Labs]

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Sprint Touch Pro 2 update definitely coming tomorrow

Need more proof that the Sprint Touch Pro 2 is finally getting the official Windows Mobile 6.5 update on Friday? Look no further than the official Sprint playbook itself.

And so you can go ahead and torture their servers, bookmark Sprint.com/downloads and htc.com/www/support_select_product.aspx and get your F5 on. Thanks, 99accordv6!

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How I (might) stop worrying and learn to love the Start Experience

LAS VEGAS -- I want to noodle a bit about the Start Experience in Windows Phone 7 series, but before that happens I need to get something off my chest as a way of opening the conversation: I have an unhealthy obsession with notifications in Windows Phone 7 Series. There are two reasons for this.

The first and most important reason is that Microsoft is following Apple's cue by suggesting push notifications can replace functionality normally handled by third-party multitasking. If you remove the ability to multitask, you better make damn sure that your push notification replacement system works well.

The second is that we already have two mobile operating systems that do an excellent job handling notifications -- Android and webOS. Both allow notifications to appear without interrupting you, both let notifications "stack," and both offer a unified place to view and manage your notifications. Knowing that there are two systems out there for handling notifications well makes me want to see a similarly elegant system from Microsoft. Despite what I wrote in a recent tweet, WP7S does have a way to manage (some) notifications -- but it's going to require a shift in how users think about their messages.

Read on for more on notifications and how they relate to Start.

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Live from the T-Mobile HD2 event

We're at T-Mobile's HD2 event in New York City. Follow us on Twitter or check out the stream below for all the happenings.

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No copy-and-paste for Windows Phone 7 Series

Just got the bad news from another session at MIX10 in Las Vegas: There won't be any copy-paste action going on, at least at first, as apps are going to be pretty well sandboxed.

That's the long and short of it. Whether you really need copy and paste is one of those things that'll be debating until the end of time -- or at least until it actually comes to WP7S. So strap in, everybody. It's gonna be a long ride.

Also gleaned from this afternoon's sessions is that despite Silverlight crawling all over the operating system, it won't actually be baked into Internet Explorer. That means you won't be able to take advantage of the usual Silverlight fodder you find online.

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Sprint Touch Pro 2 Windows Mobile 6.5 update may come this week

For all of you who have kept on us about the Sprint Touch Pro 2 Windows Mobile 6.5 update, well, good on ya. We now may finally (FINALLY!) have an answer, courtesy of a post at ppcgeeks. What you see above purportedly is an internal Sprint memo that points to March 19 as the day of days. "Sense UI enhancements" are mentioned, but it's still anybody's guess as to whether we're talking Sense 2.5 or what. So stay tuned, folks. [ppcgeeks]

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A look at the WP7S Metro coffee table design book

So there's that Windows Phone 7 Series "Metro" coffee table design book thingy that Dieter and I were just talking about in the podcast, and istartedsomething's Long Zheng has gone and photographed the whole darn thing for the world to see.

Taking pictures of a physical book and posting them online -- kinda gives a new definition to e-reader, huh? Check out istartedsomething for the entire slideshow.

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WMExperts Podcast Episode 92


Phil grabs a few minutes with Dieter at MIX10 to talk about the latest Windows Phone 7 Series developments.

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Yes, there's a WP7S emulator; No, you can't have a ROM yet


Before we all wet ourselves over this supposed "leak" of a Windows Phone 7 Series ROM, let's clear a few things up:

  • It's not a "leak," unless by "leak" you mean a public download straight from Microsoft.
  • It's not a "leaked ROM." Hell, it's not even a ROM.

What's happened is the folks at XDA are furiously ripping apart the code from the Windows Phone 7 Series emulator that's part of Microsoft's developer tools. And there are plenty of reasons to be doing this (and not just "because it's there"). They should be able to find out some interesting things.

But this is not a ROM. It's not going to be a ROM. And while we may, someday, see WP7S ported onto existing hardware (and I'm not going to bet on it), we're still a very long ways away from that.

Don't believe me? Try this, then, straight from XDA:

All you guys asking when and how and if we can have a ROM.....

We can't yet.

This is simply the emulator tools designed to run on x86 compliant hardware. This is by no means a ROM or will it ever be a ROM in this form, let's not clog the thread with continuous useless requests to have this converted to a ROM or 'how can I get it on my device ASAP'... We need to be patient.

That's right. Everybody chill out a little.

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Opera Mobile 10 final build now available

And you thought this day would never come. The official release of Opera Mobile 10 is now available for Windows Mobile, marking the end of several long beta periods. If you still need to see what you're getting into, check out our video review of the Opera Mobile 10 beta. Then head on over to Opera and get your download on. [Opera Mobile]

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