On the heels of the news that Windows Mobile out sold iPhone during the third quarter of 2008, we are know learning that the WM platform is preferred for most enterprise applications. According to statistics from Evans Data's Wireless Development Survey (registration required to access the report), the number of developers that plan to build enterprise apps for Windows Mobile surpasses those that are focusing on Apple iPhone by 40%.
John Andrews, CEO of Evans Data, states
“Largely, this is a matter of Windows being a more mature platform while Apple has only been in the market a relatively brief time. It should be noted that during the past year, while Windows has remained flat in terms of adoption, Apple has increased three-fold, thus closing the gap,”
The introduction of Windows Mobile 6.5 next month at the Mobile World Congress and the potential release of a fully functional application store, should address the concerns of flatness and keep the gap from closing too much. We point that out because, well, Redmond Developer News definitely points out the glass-half-empy side of the report, noting that .Net development has seen some reduction since the iPhone came out. As with political polls, sometimes the trendlines are more important that the numbers.
We were largely underwhelmed when we got our hands on the iPaq Data Messenger earlier this month at CES. The hardware was solid, but there just wasn't much else there to make us want it over, say, the HTC Touch Pro. And it's still not seeing any carrier love here in the U.S. As a refresher, here's what's under the hood.
Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
2.8-inch 320x240 touchscreen
Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.74 x 11.4 cm
128 megs RAM, 256 megs ROM.
Standard slider keyboard
Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR
Quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900), the European flavors of HSDPA (900/1900/2100 MHz)
3.1MP camera with 5x digital zoom and LED flash.
1140 mAh battery.
Micro USB for sync and charge.
Micro SD card, up to 8 gigabytes.
If you just have to have one, you can now pre-order it from HP for the low, low price of about $600 (US).
Matt has a ton of knowledge about a subject that the rest of us at Smartphone Experts have historically lacked, namely Nokia, S60, and the Symbian OS in general. He gives himself a brief introduction here, in the unlikely event you're not familiar.
Nokia has, as yet, not successfully made a big smartphone push in the United States, but that's quite likely to change as they have a slew of exciting new devices coming out and are also likely to have their E71 messaging smartphone picked up by AT&T very soon. In other words, if, like us, you're relatively new to Nokia and S60 but want to learn more, Nokia Experts is surely going to be one of your best resources. Heck, Matt's already published a full review of the Nokia 5800 Tube XpressMusic touch screen S60 device. The 'Tube' is already a best-selling device overseas and is more of a worthy contender than you might think, so the review is definitely worth a read.
Go on and head over to Nokia Experts now and give 'em a big ol' hello!
We've been pretty on-the-ball covering all the Sprint Treo Pro news out there of late -- so on the ball, in fact, that we're starting to get a little tired of it. From the going up for sale, to disappearing from the same, from the Feb 15th delay to the question of RAM based on internal document leaks, it's been pretty oversaturated. In fact, we were starting to worry that nobody much cared about the device, so when Joe and Scott both sent in tips last night that it was available on "backorder" at BestBuy.com for a whopping $699.99, we'll cop to telling them "If we post one more time on the Treo Pro, there will be a riot." Apparently not, however, because here we are, reminding you that it should officially go on sale on Feb 15, but Best Buy will let you lay your hard earned down now.
Now that we see sister-site TreoCentral and Engadget Mobile getting in on the action, we figured we may as well admit that, yes, despite the lingering question of whether or not it's Pocket IE 6 that's sucking the Program memory out of it (listen to our podcast for more) or if it's just plain old gremlins, we do think the Treo Pro should be a great device on Sprint's network and also sorely needed. Now, we have to ask, what on earth is driving the price up to $699? Even considering that it's the unsubsidized price, that's the opposite of "reasonable and affordable."
Thanks (and apologies for not believing in the Treo Pro) to Scott and Joe!
Update: One last bit because we can't help ourselves. We expect the unsubsidized price to be $549 and have pretty much confirmed that, so this Best Buy Preorder, we're going to recommend you give it a pass.
Did you know that you had a program on your AT&T Fuze that serves as a business card scanner? It's often overlooked amongst the AT&T Bloatware but WorldCard Mobile is down at the bottom of your Program listing and is a handy tool if you have to deal with a lot of business cards. It's not without challenges and does have a slight learning curve but if you have a lot of business cards to sift through, it may make the job a little easier.
WorldCard Mobile (version 1.0f.080901b on my Fuze) is a product of PenPower Technology that utilizes the Fuze's camera to take a snapshot of a business card and then matches the fields on the card to match the fields on a contact entry. Sounds simple enough? In testing WorldCard, I found it to be more productive with business cards with simple layouts. The more elaborate layouts tend to throw the recognition software more curve balls but have no fear, when thrown a curve ball, the application can be adjusted manually.
In hitting "Browse" you are taken to the photo of the business card and you can highlight the text you want to identify for a certain entry field. When you finish highlighting the area, a pull-up menu appears with selections available for how you want to define the text (First Name, Last Name, Company, etc.). I found the more you use WorldCard Mobile, the more it learns the card layouts. WorldCard can also be used for other text documents such as return addresses on envelopes or advertisements in publications. Keep in mind that the recognition of fields may need a little more adjusting in these situations.
Once you get finished adjusting the field recognition, you check the correct entries and tap "ok" to save the information in your Contacts. At first it may seem as if manually entering the information off the business card is more easier than calibrating WorldCard. I don't know how efficient WorldCard would be if you only had one card to enter but with a stack, it may help prevent writer's cramp.
The folks at XDA Developers are still deciphering exactly what's been updated, though Opera and WiFi connections are being mentioned. As far as the dirty details, you're looking for ROM version 1.03.936.6, labeled R2A. It also looks like there are a bunch of language options, and those of us in the U.S. should be looking for X1a GENERIC NAM CDF1219-1224 KOV_R2AA008.rar.
This appears to be the read deal, even if SE's update system is saying otherwise. As always, read through the thread before you try updating anything. And above all, back up your data first!
Despite a previous update from the Mozilla team, it now looks like the Firefox Mobile browser, codenamed Fennec, could be ready for a Windows Mobile beta as soon as next week, and they've chosen a phone to do the honors.
Adding fuel to the fire that is the rumor of Motorola getting/not getting out of the Windows Mobile business, the South Florida Business Journal reported over the weekend that the big M is laying off 77 workers from its Plantation facility by the end of the first quarter. Also, "The company said it will no longer conduct new Windows mobile development at the facility."
Needless to say, that's not good news for 77 employees, and we certainly with them and their families the best. But we're not quite ready to sound the death knell for Windows Mobile on Motorola just yet (though we've got our finger on the trigger, given the bigger picture). But we just don't know Moto's intentions. If it's scaling back on Windows Mobile, then scaling back the division would be in order. But scaling back isn't the same as killing off.
So, we'll keep our fingers crossed that Moto's still got some WinMo magic up its sleeve. But time's running short, and we're going to need more than just another Q variation to keep us interested.
We recently showed you how to go hands free with Vito Voice 2 Go and many of you use WinMo's built-in Voice command, but both take up quite a bit of RAM. If you're still looking to go hands free and control your phone with your voice, then you might want to try dial2do. Although less robust, it doesnt take up any memory on your phone and is a killer hands free GTD application.
Instead of hibernating on your phone's memory, it's all done in the cloud. Simply call into 12133252615 (usa) and tell dial2do what you want to do. You can say things like text, email, calender and more. Its social friendly, so it works with some of your favorites like Gmail, Evernote, and Remember The Milk. What separates this app from competitors Jott or Nuance? It's free. If your phone is memory sensitive or you just want to control email and others with your voice then dial2do may be worth a shot. You a voice-command junkie? Tell us your solution in the comments.
Arne over at the::unwired points us to a blog post from U.K. phone dealer eXpansys that says Samsung has a couple of new Windows Mobile phones coming out in "early 2009."
Up first is a TyTN II (and AT&T Tilt) -type phone, code-named "Louve." It's said to sport Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, a 3.2-MP camera, and, of course, the tilting screen. It's also said to have the same sort of customized UI that we saw with the Omnia.
Next is the "Pivot." This is a follow to the i780, which never made it to the U.S., though we know its cousin, the Epix. Anyway, the Pivot is rumored to have a 5-MP autofocus camera with flash, QWERTY keyboard (not known is if it's front-facing), aGPS, Bluetooth, WiFi — the usual fare.
And speaking of the i780, it just got an official update to Windows Mobile 6.1 (for U.K., Italian and Nordic flavors). So if you've got one, go get it. [via]
Not to be outdone by Microsoft in tossing out bad news while they're hoping the rest of the country is still busy wondering just what smartphone the president of the United States is using, Sprint just dropped this press release about how they're going to save $1.2 Billion (with a B) in labor costs. That's one way to write a press release headline, another way is to not hide the sad truth: They are going to lay off 8000 workers by March 31st. The layoffs will come at all levels and in all areas, so basically nobody's safe (though we guess CEO Dan Hesse will stick around a little while longer). We wish these folks the best of luck finding new work.
Sprint also cops to the fact that of the big 4 in the US, they're the only carrier to have lost net subscribers quarter after quarter, but they do point out that they're happy about the Palm Pre and how it may save their bacon. We're impressed with the Pre to, Spint, but you're going to have to do a little better than that. You've dropped subscribers, the physical infrastructure behind your network (which you now lease), and now a bootload of employees. There's getting down to your fighting weight and then there's wasting away, we're starting to worry (again) that we're looking at the latter.
We've mentioned home signal extenders such as Verizon's Network Extender and Sprint's Airave and now it appears AT&T is joining the femtocell bandwagon with their 3G MicroCell. While pricing and availability aren't indicated on AT&T's site, we do know that it will cover up to 5,000 square feet, allow up to four simultaneous, secure voice or data connections, and will require a broadband connection to operate. It is also only compatible with 3G phones. This may end up being an advantage because similar cells offered by Sprint are limited to 2G coverage.
Another feature, according to the AT&T site is "Unlimited nationwide calling: With the 3G MicroCell, you have the option of unlimited minutes in the home or on any 3G MicroCell* with a 3G MicroCell service plan." We don't know if this is an additional cost feature or if the MicroCell will require a monthly fee to use period. Sprint charges for the Airave device ($99.99) and also charges a $4.99 monthly fee. Verizon eliminated the monthly fee but their Network Extender is a more costly device ($250). It will be interesting to see what the final pricing details for AT&T turns out to be.
Everyone is raving about the sales the iPhone is making and it deserves its props, but its still not putting up Windows Mobile numbers. In fact, during the third quarter of 08 apple only shipped about 4.4 mill iPhones while Windwos Mobile put out a healthy 5 mil. Now, part of the the drop in the iPhone sales is that they may have finally reached all the markets they hadn't yet with the iPhone 3G, so they may be coming close to some kind of geographic saturation.
It's still a close race, but then again close only counts in horse shoes and hand gernades -- not bragging rights. Will Windows Mobile be able to maintain its lead? We'll have to see if WM 6.5 can stir up some excitement -- but frankly even though we know it's software that makes a phone good, we're guessing the average consumer still looks to hot new hardware -- so both Microsoft and its manufacturers will have to do their part. via mobiletopsoft
Various leaks of Windows Mobile 6.5 seem to be poppingupeverywhere. Now it's appeared on the funny looking Compulab Exeda, the crazy little guy that runs Windows Mobile and Android. OK, the phone's not really a looker. But it's the interface we're after here. What we're seeing is a different take on that honeycomb interface, so we're pretty much expecting some variation of that when the real thing's released.
It's possible that this is still an alpha build of the OS, but we're still expecting an official announcement about 6.5 (and all those cloud services) soon at Mobile World Congress. Will the syncing be seamless like Microsoft says? Or will we have just another skinned Windows Mobile phone in our pockets? Let us know what you think in the comments
"Sprint inadvertently posted information on Sprint.com regarding an upcoming product, Palm Treo Pro, this morning. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Sprint looks forward to welcoming this exciting, new device into our portfolio as soon as it has been approved through our customary testing process. We will share details on the correct availability date as soon as the standard testing of both the device and its interaction with our network has concluded. Thank you for your interest in Sprint products."
And now we're hearing that the release date has been pushed back to Feburary 15th. This makes sense if they still need to finish testing and make possible changes to the radio/ROM. It also coincides with the rumored Palm Pre release date, which we now think may be a confusion with the Pro ;-)
We suppose your orders will continue to be on "backorder" till this is resolved. We'll keep you posted if we hear anything different.
We can also now confirm memory: 128mb RAM/512mb ROM; but out of that only 42mb RAM and 360mb ROM is available for use. This puts the Treo Pro's RAM pretty low in comparison to other WM devices, including the Pro's GSM cousin who has 70mb RAM available.
While the principle is the same as Sprint's AIRAVE — the router-looking piece of hardware uses your broadband Internet connection to spit out a short-range cell signal — the pricing is different. Instead of paying, say, $100 for the hardware, then a monthly fee for the service, Verizon's Network Extender costs $250 up front, with no monthly fees.
We're all for paying more up front to forgo the monthly shakedown. You'll save money in the long run. But we keep coming back to the same ol' argument when it comes to femtocells. If you're already paying for service on a company's network — and Verizon arguably still has the best — why would you want to pay more for a signal that you're supposed to have in the first place?
So, any of you Verizon chaps going to shell out for this?
I've gotta admit I've never really understood (though I'm sure I'll be corrected in the comments) just why a touchscreen has to be manually aligned after a hard-reset. For as high-tech as our phones are, its accuracy relies on my steady hand? That's no good. I certainly don't have a surgeon's touch, thanks to all the caffeine, nicotine and a few other -ines that got me through law school late nights blogging.
But, like with so many things in life, the folks at XDA Developers have us covered with AutoAlign Screen, which conveniently enough, will automatically align your screen. As XDA member azharsunny puts it, you'll save time, precisely calibrate your screen, and keep you from digging out that stylus.
We caught word just a few days ago about a HTC Diamond ROM update for Sprint and worldwide, but now it look like the Touch Pro is getting ready for one too.
Evidently, Alexandr Skaryd from XDA had a conversation with HTC Europe about the GPS lag problem. The crux of the convo is below:
Dear Mr. Skaryd I just wanted to get back to you in order to see if you have gotten the GPS working better. I would also like to inform you that there will be a ROM upgrade available in the near future (1.19). Please feel free to get back to us at any time if you have any further questions or queries. Kind Regards Dave Montanya HTC Europe
The bigger news is that HTC appears to be aware of this GPS lag and one can hope that this upcoming ROM addresses this problem.
We've been hearing rumblings that AT&T has restructured data plans and believe we have finally deciphered things where it's understandable. If you are currently using a MediaNet plan, they are being discontinued and replaced with an Unlimited Data/Messaging Plan that will run $30 a month. Instead of having a variety of MediaNet flavors to choose from (Basic, the Works, MediaNet 200, MediaNet 1MB), you have one data package. The common line of thinking is that this move was done to compete with Verizon's data plans. It appears that there are some additional incentives for customers on AT&T's Family Plan as well.
There is one word of caution, these plans are intended for use with non-PDA phones (Motorola Razor, Samsung A737, etc.) that have internet and messaging capabilities. For Windows Mobile devices, AT&T requires their PDA Data plan which, coincidentally, also runs $30 a month. We bet that some of you may be paying more than $30 for the AT&T PDA plan (heck, some of us are!). In other words, it might be worth a call (and some savings) to AT&T and see if you are on the current $30 PDA Data plan and if you're not -- get on it.
Well, here's the rub: we were wrong to call it a Windows Mobile device, turns out that it's a Windows CE device. The difference? Windows CE is the OS that underlies Windows Mobile. In essence it's a modular framework -- you can pick a little of this, a little of that, hit "Go" and kapow -- you have something like Windows Mobile, or a set-top DVR, or an embedded system for a smart car. (Ok, it's not that simple, but that's the gist of it). It's also quite a bit more secure than, well, darn near anything else out there on the planet. PCMag has a great write up on it if you're interested.
So that's the first thing. The second thing -- nobody outside the White House knows if this is his new smartphone. That's right -- all the reporting you've seen claiming that "Obama gets to keep his BlackBerry" or that this Edge is his new device is based on assumption. Near as we can tell, a bunch of tech-blogs like us were speculating about the Sectera Edge and it trickled its way out to the political blogosphere and then into the mainstream media and somewhere in that chain the "Maybe" part got stripped out. Turns out that "Maybe" part is, you know, kind of important.
Above, CNN manages to get the story right, showing the relevant part of the press conference where the administration says "He's keeping his BlackBerry" (for shame, btw, because "BlackBerry" is not synonomous with "Smartphone") and that it's secure. CNN then goes so far as to show a short demo of the Sectera Edge, but rightly admits that the White House is staying mum on what exact device Obama will have on his hip.
Here's the short version: He's got something and we don't know for sure that it's the Sectera Edge. Either way, you'll likely never get to have one yourself, no matter how hard you (ahem) hope.
One of the attractions to the new HTC line-up is TouchFlo 3D. There is no argument that graphically, Touchflo 3D is a eye catching application. While it may be pretty to look at, how functional is it? Before Touchflo 3D hit the market, one of the more popular Today Screen alternatives was SPB's Mobile Shell. There are some reservations over Touchflo 3D's usefulness and SPB Mobile Shell might be a viable alternative for those HTC owners who are looking for something different. Could Mobile Shell hold it's own against the animated graphics of Touchflo?
We decided to compare these two applications and as Michael Buffer so aptly put it, "Let's get ready to rumble!" (key techno dance music please). Read on after the break to see how they measure up against each other.
Believe it or not, Microsoft hasn't forgotten that for all of the hardcore work we do with Windows Mobile, it's still the little things that count (and about which we most often gripe).
Andy Lees, senior VP for Microsoft's mobile side, recently sat down with The New York Times for a heart-to-heart.
“Everyone who is a business person is also a human being,” he said. “We want also to do human things like photos, music, communications, IM, texting and social networking.”
We also get a glimpse of things to come, most likely with the birth of SkyMarket/Box/Line, and undoubtedly with Windows Mobile 7 (and Windows 7). And the word Lees is using to describe how everything's going to work: "Automagically."
“What should happen,” he said, “is when you take a picture it should automagically arrive on your PC and be in the cloud. I should be able to fix the red eye on the PC and have it automagically go back and fix the red eye everywhere else.”
Lees also goes on to say that a most of the services Microsoft will be offering should be free. “I don’t think anyone is going to make money on synchronizing data,” he said. “It is simply what people will come to expect.” Huzzah!
Looks likeDa_G, famous for his kitchens, has released his "very beta" port of WM6.5. He say very beta because he expects bugs and even gives a list of known issues already, so this is only for the brave of you who absolutey must have the latest.
Officially, this build is 5.2.21188.8.131.52 for you number counters and you can find the thread/download right here.
It does have the Pro version of "Chrome" which is also known as Sliding Panels found on WM Standard, so that should be fun. We should mention that this build of WM6.5 is built off of one ROM that is X-months old--so we don't know how much of this stuff is new, what has been left out, or what has been added since.
Hopefully once someone gets some actual screen caps, we'll post 'em here.