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5 years ago

Roadmap shows Windows Mobile 7 beta

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Roadmap shows Windows Mobile 7 beta


We'll obviously be swallowing this one with a decent grain of salt, but all-things-Microsoft blog uxevangelist [via] has a roadmap that shows a Windows Mobile 7 beta slated for sometime this year, with the actual release in the "future." We heard a while ago not to expect the final build of WM7 until well into 2009, and none of that's really cleared up with this.

That said, we'll probably be staring at this thing for quite a while, hoping to glean some other tiny morsel from it. Or, if we squint just right, maybe we'll see a sailboat.

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5 years ago

WunderRadio for Windows Mobile

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WunderRadio for Windows Mobile

RadioTime, Inc., developer of radio applications, and Weather Underground, a popular online weather source, have combined forces to bring WunderRadio to Windows Mobile devices. Previously available only for the iPhone, WunderRadio offers access to 50,000 AM/FM/Internet radio stations.

Programming can be searched by local radio, location and genres. Expected launch of WunderRadio is January 15 and will be priced at $9.99 under a special 30-day promotion. After the promotion the cost will rise to $14.99. Once the application launches, we'll try to get our hands on WunderRadio for review and try to have it available over at the Software Store as well.

[Read:Yahoo Finance]

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5 years ago

Microsoft Live Search: New and Improved

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Microsoft Live Search: New and Improved


Microsoft announced this week that the mobile version of Live Search has been updated to include the ability to detect the location of the mobile user even if their handset is not GPS-enabled. The update also includes predictive search query input and more detailed views of maps. Also included in the update is the "bird's-eye-view" that's popular on Microsoft's maps.live.com. It's not quite the same as Google Maps' Street View, but it does do a better job of spying on your neighbors.

Also of note is that latest version still works with Windows Mobile 5.

According to Jeremy Beasley, Live Search Mobile product manager, "if you're not running the latest version of Windows Mobile, don't worry. We've built in support for Windows Mobile 5 phones to make sure that you can use these new features as well."

To download the latest version (4.012158.1) of Windows Live Search mobile, just point your browser to wls.live.com or go here on your desktop for more options.

[Read:Clickthroughmarketing.com]

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5 years ago

Netflix on Windows Mobile?

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Netflix on Windows Mobile?

Well, not exactly. One of the many subjects Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer covered during his keynote address to the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show was the introduction of a new Windows Mobile application that will let people manage and update their Netflix queues from their WM devices. Check out a brief demo of it here at the 2:10 mark.

The application ties into the Netflix-Xbox Live partnership, which was also a highlight of the keynote address. The Xbox gaming system remains the only game system that lets consumers instantly watch movies and television episodes streamed from Netflix. The Windows Mobile application will let you schedule and prompt these streams.

Stay tuned today for more on Ballmer's keynote as well as the rest of the 2009 CES.

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5 years ago

Expect fewer phone models with Windows Mobile

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Yep, you read that right. Microsoft apparently is planning to scale back the number of devices it puts Windows Mobile on. And this really isn't that surprising and almost definitely is a move in the right direction.

The New York Times reports that Microsoft is planning a "major announcement" next month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, so we'll likely get more details then. For now, here's what Todd Peters, VP of Marketing for Windows Mobile, told the Gray Lady.

The reason that Microsoft is limiting the number of phones with the operating system is because, he said, the company does not want to have its efforts diluted over too many devices.

“I’d rather have fewer devices and be more focused,” he said. That way “we get better integration” between phone and operating system.

This really makes sense to us. We've ranted talked about how AT&T in particular has too many Windows Mobile phones to pick from, and the NYT story spells it out — there are 140 phones that currently run Windows Mobile. There is, in fact, too much of a good thing. Concentrating on a smaller number of outstanding devices definitely should be better in the long run for the platform, and for Microsoft in general. Sure worked out well for these guys.

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5 years ago

Iolite: Another Gem from HTC?

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Iolite: Another Gem from HTC?

While the news of a new HTC device, the S743, is still hot off the press, another Windows Mobile phone from the Taiwanese manufacturer has been spotted: the HTC Iolite.

The Iolite is very similar to the Touch Diamond's form factor but with a more rounded look. The Iolite sports a 2.8" WQVGA display, a 3.2 megapixel camera, 512mb ROM, 228mb RAM, a microSD expansion slot, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and the typical HTC Windows Mobile features.

It is a TouchFlo 3D device and, for now, the radio is European focused (doesn't support U.S. 3G networks). No word on pricing or availability, but it is anticipated that the Iolite will be "officially" unvieled at next month's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

(Update: Yep, it's Iolite with an i, sorry about that)

[Read: EngadgetMobile.com]

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5 years ago

iTunes unlocked for the Windows Mobile world

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As you've undoubtedly read by now, Apple has dropped the digital rights management (DRM) from some 8 million of its songs in the iTunes store, meaning you'll be able to play them on something other than iTunes or an iPod. Like, say, your Windows Mobile phone.

This also poses a bit of a dilemma for a number of us. Do we continue to use the Amazon MP3 store? Or bite the bullet and switch to iTunes and its AAC-coded files. We're not going to wade into differences of the formats, prices and if we think one store is better than the other. You guys can hash that out in the comments. But what we will do is warn you of a couple things:

  1. If you're buying new music from iTunes, be sure they're in the iTunes Plus format, and thus are DRM-free. Here's how you can tell. This is important because there still are 2 million songs out there with DRM attached.
  2. Not all media players play the AAC codec, with which iTunes songs are encoded. That said, Windows Media Player Mobile will play them out of the box, so you won't be left out in the cold. But if you're fond of a particular media player, here's a brief list of applications that can handle the AAC format, which you'll recognize by the extension (m4a, .m4b, .m4p, .m4v, .m4r, .3gp, .mp4, .aac). If you have another favorite app, share it in the comments.
  • Windows Media Player Mobile: It's the default media player on Windows Mobile phones, and one we love to hate for its lack of ease of use. But the simple fact is that it's all you need to play iTunes files on your phone.
  • Kinoma Play: Still the Cadillac of Windows Mobile media players, so far as we're concerned.
  • Core Player: Another favorite among WM users.
  • Pocket Tunes Deluxe: This one migrated over from the Palm world and still a must-have for many.
  • Pocket Player: Recently updated to Version 4.0, it now plays AAC-encoded files.
  • PocketMusic: Needs a $10 plugin, but it'll get the job done.

Really, when it comes down to it, it wasn't the AAC codec that kept Apple inside its sandbox for so long. It was the DRM. So how about it, fair readers: Will this persuade you to switch to iTunes if you don't currently use it? Or will you continue to use other services, such as Amazon's MP3 store? Let us know.

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5 years ago

Hands-on with the New Shadow UMA

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Hands-on with the New Shadow UMA

We still don't have a firm release date (though the folks at the T-Mobile booth did give a sly smily when we mentioned the "late January" rumor) on the new Shadow, we do have a full hands on.  As expected, you're not going to see any 3G here, but you are getting a Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard smartphone with support for T-Mobile Hotspot - aka UMA aka VOIP aka free calls over voicemail.

After the break, get your spec rundown, brief impressions, and photo gallery, including some shots of how that UMA software sets itself up for ya.  As for an offical name, it's "The Shadow with Hotspot," but we're going to go with "Shadow UMA" because "Shadow II" is played out and "Shadow 2009" is just wrong.

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5 years ago

Hands-on with the Motosurf A3100

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Hands-on with the Motosurf A3100

Motorola's press release calls it a "touch tablet," but we call the MOTOSURF A3100 a fair competitor to the HTC Touch -- you know, the phone that came out last year and has been replaced by the Touch Diamond, Viva, and 3G. 

Nevertheless, Moto is pressing on with their little guy, which sports:

  • 2.8" 320x240 screen
  • GSM and HSDPA (but not necessarily US bands)
  • aGPS
  • WiFi
  • 3 megapixel camera and a front-facing camera for video conferencing
  • A trackball
  • MicroSD expansion
  • 3.5mm headset jack
  • Opera Mobile 9.5
  • A mysterious Facebook app they couldn't get launched due to lack of internet connectivity

So kudos to Moto for the trackball, 3.5mm headset jack, and heck, we'll even give them credit for taking a ho-hum QVGA screen and stretching it out to a capacious 2.8 inches.  Moto even developed their own custom home screen with all the fixings plust some bonus RSS action. Despite all that, though, we gotta ask: who's buying this over a Diamond? 

Not us and that's not just because it's aimed at Asia and Latin America first, with US possibilities "sometime in the future, depending."  Photos after the break

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5 years ago

Microsoft Keynote Outs Sprint Treo Pro on the Sly

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Man, Palm just can't catch a break with these keynotes, can they?  Last year, we caught Microsoft accidentally showing a sneak preview of the Palm Treo 800w on the video screen.  This year, we have another Palm Treo, running Windows Mobile, popping up, that we're fairly confident is technically an unreleased and announced device.

See, during the keynote Microsoft very briefly touted Internet Explorer 6's flash support.  That's all well and good, but we also know that IE6 Mobile isn't going to be made available on current devices -- instead it requires a whole new ROM and a decent amount of power on whatever device it lands on.

We already have seen screenshots of Internet Mobile 6 leaked here on WMExperts and also seen speed tests from an unreleased Sprint Treo indicating the browser was Internet Explorer 6.  So sure, it's entirely possible that we are looking at a GSM Treo Pro running Internet Mobile 6 with a customized ROM.   But why go through all the trouble of creating a custom ROM when there's a perfect explanation of what we have here?  The explanation, folks, is that the photo you are looking at above almost surely is a Sprint Treo Pro.  Maybe next year Palm should ask to sit in on the dress rehersal for the Microsoft keynote, eh?

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5 years ago

Internet Explorer "6 on 6" Screenshots and Impressions From an Upcoming Device

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An anonymous tipster has sent in some screen shots and impressions of the upcoming Internet Explorer 6 browser that's coming to Windows Mobile in the very near future, the vaunted '6 on 6.' The bad news -- it's not at all clear that Microsoft will make this an independently-available download. We do know for sure that it will be baked-into the ROMs of many future smartphones. That leads us to the good news -- the screenshots we have here are from an upcoming WinMo device. Square Screen, 320x320 resolution, and the black theme are your clues as to what we're looking at (Yes, we have a guess).

The tipster sends these impressions along with the images: It's not going to bowl anybody over, not nearly impressive enough to replace either SkyFire or Opera Mobile 9.5. It's not all that much faster than the current generation of IE on Windows Mobile, though the added zooming functions are nice. Flash lite is here and works well (minus a few memory errors), though you're not going to enjoy videos much when you're zoomed-out.

You can set the browser to identify either as mobile (so you get served mobile pages by sites that auto-detect) or as desktop (so you get the full pages) and instead of a simple 'zoom out' feature as currently exists on WM6.1 there's a separate “Zoom / Panning Mode” for getting around.

After the break, we make with the screenshots and also toss in a couple of our own showing the current-gen IE from a Treo Pro for comparison.

6 on 6

Old School IE

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5 years ago

Live from the Steve Ballmer Keynote at CES 2009 (Updated!)

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5 years ago

REDFLY-maker Celio up to more mobile tricks

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Celio, the group that brought us the REDFLY Mobile Companion, reportedly is at work on some more goodies - one hardware-related, the other software.

Engadget reports that the REDFLY PC Software will let you essentially run Windows Mobile on any XP- or Vista-based computer. Real-life scenario: You've got a netbook or laptop but no WiFi. You've got some major blogging to do but don't want to bash it out on your smartphone. The REDFLY PC Software would let your laptop control your phone, data connection and all, with a much more reasonable keyboard.

Also on tap is the hardware-based Smartphone Dock (above). Think of it as a BYO keyboard and monitor sitution. Plug in your phone and you've got desktop-sized Windows Mobile goodness. Why do that instead of just using the desktop computer? Security could be one reason. Easy access to your contacts and e-mails when you're on the go could be another. Anyhoo, this is just in the concept stage right now. And the price would need to be very competitive to make sense.

Update: Wondering what that PC Software might look like?

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5 years ago

Fring Gets Updated, Now Supports Earpiece Use (huzzah!)

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Fring, that all in one VOIP and chat app, got a major bump today to v3.34.

Added new features:

  • Better fring addons (facebook, gmail, etc.)
  • File Transfer (Skype, MSN, Yahoo..no AIM?)
  • Typing indication
  • Some nav changes
  • Earpiece support for newer HTC devices

That last addon is something people who use VOIP services have been waiting for years. Anyways, it's a free service with a nifty Today Plugin, so if you use Skype, MSN, AIM, Yahoo, Twitter, etc. you may want to take it for a test run (or mobile site: m.fring.com)

And kudos to the fring developers who just got their official “Designed for Windows Mobile” certification.

 

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5 years ago

Slide to Answer on the AT&T Fuze?

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Slide to Answer on the AT&T Fuze?

One of the more common gripes about a touch screen device is that on incoming calls, it doesn't take much to accidentally tapping the screen, inadvertently answering the call. If I had a dollar for every time I accidentally answered a call while taking my AT&T Fuze out of the case, I could probably afford an early retirement.

Have no fear, a solution to this headache is available. Fuze Mobility forum member herg62123 has created a tweak for the AT&T Fuze/Touch Pro that will add a slider to your answer screen.  Instead of tapping the "answer" or "ignore" buttons on the screen you simply move the newly created slider over which action you want to take. Once the call is answered, a screen appears over the mute, speaker, etc. buttons than can be pulled down with a swipe of a finger. If it prevented the screen from blanking out during the call it would just about be perfect.

The "Slide to Answer" application comes in two styles, one with the standard white background and the other with a black background and can be found here. Currently Herg62123 is ironing out the finishing touches on v5 of this application. The black background works fine in V5 but you need to use V4 for the time being for the white background. The slider to answer flows nicely but the pull down for the screen takes a little more effort. Regardless, if you're all thumbs and find yourself accidentally answering calls, this app is definitely worth a try.

[Read:Fuze Mobility]

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