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5 years ago

Mobius 2007: Windows Mobile Overview

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Mobius 2007: Windows Mobile Overview

So we're deep into the Mobius conference here and it's great to be hearing about what's new and cool with Windows Mobile. Friend of the site (well, we like him, anyway) Jason Landridge presented on a few things that were pretty cool, notably “Oops I'm late” and “Lawn Darts.”

Another presenter Windows Mobile Shaman Derek Snyder1 also showed us the next version of Windows Mobile, and I'm not talking Photon. Good news: It ran quite well on on current hardware and is expected to be given to manufacturers in Q1 of next year. Our take (insofar as we're allowed to have a public take) is that you'll definitely want it, but you probably won't riot if you don't get it. The rest, as Hamlet might say, is silence under NDA.

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5 years ago

Norton Smartphone Security Launched

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Norton Smartphone Security Launched

Ever access your bank account on your phone? Ever use a password for a website on your phone? Do you download email attachment on your handheld? If you do any one of these, then do you really need a security app to help protect you or not? Symantec of the Norton fame says yes. (Ed. Note: we here at WMExperts have previously said "No, but someday soon that will change"). Norton's take:

[...]unsecure public WiFi or network connections can put users at risk. In addition, Web and e-mail viruses can directly infect smartphones, enabling hackers to remotely control the device, access sensitive information or disable applications. Norton Smartphone Security runs discreetly in the background, providing the confidence and peace of mind to engage in everyday activities like e-mailing, Web browsing or banking online from these handheld devices.

Their line of reasoning is that ”34 percent of respondents said they access their bank accounts via their mobile device and 54 percent of respondents said they access Web sites that require a password. As more users transact using their mobile devices, the financial incentives for virus writers and mobile hackers will follow.” I have to admit that I do all of these things on my phone. My main thought when someone says security for my mobile phone is not hackers but actually stealing my phone and browsing through my info at their leisure.

You can see all the details on their website here. It is a subscription based product at $29.99 a year…..which without using it or seeing how well it works sounds potentially a little steep for the average WM user. I also wonder about compatibility. They only list on GSM WM 5 device, the Palm Treo 750v, as being compatible with no mention about WM6 either way. (I just might see detailed a review in the future here at WMExperts.com)

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5 years ago

Google Maps Now Does Location By Tower Triangulation

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Ironic that we saw this over at our sister-site iPhone Blog, Phone different, since it doesn't yet work on the iPhone, but here's the skinny. The newest version of Google Maps will now take a shot at guessing your current location by looking at the relative signal strength of the cell towers around you. You can watch a cutesy YouTube Video to get an idea of how it works. No GPS necessary, baby!

This basically puts Google Maps a leg up on Windows Live Search, which had been our previous favorite map solution. Hopefully Microsoft will catch up soon, because we do prefer their directions and other features like movie times and gas prices. We also like WLS's voice search option, we just wish it worked a little more reliably.

Get Google Maps

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5 years ago

Verizon XV6800 Kinda Sorta Released

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Verizon XV6800 Kinda Sorta Released

Somebody needs to tell Verizon what the proper way to launch a product is. Seems like they've duffed everything but the Q9M lately. The Samsung SCH-i760 was kinda sorta released, kinda pulled (not really), and finally released. Finally and worst of all, it seems that folks were fairly disappointed with it.

Looks like we have the same situation with the delayed (and still ugly in name and looks as we remember) Verizon XV6800. Engadget is reporting that some folks at HoFo have managed to purchase it over for the phone for $249.99 after rebates.

I'm waiting to see if the XV6800 will have GPS enabled, because then it would actually be better than its Sprint-based cousin, the Mogul. That is, until the Mogul's new ROM is released next year.

Read: Verizon's XV6800 in the wild, finally available to order - Engadget

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5 years ago

Nifty Webcam Software

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5 years ago

Some BlackJacks Recalled

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Some BlackJacks Recalled

Engadget Mobile tips us off to this interesting bit of info about the Samsung BlackJack:

Samsung Blackjacks manufactured between November 2006 and February 2007 are the subject of a quiet recall due to an antenna issue

The issue is degrading signal strength and it definitely looks to be a hardware issue. You can look under the battery to see if your BlackJack falls within the date range. Actually - heck, if your BlackJack is getting bad reception it's probably worth a call no matter when it was manufactured. They ought to know if the problem extends beyond that 4 month span. Plus, you know, you could complain about the delayed Windows Mobile 6 ROM update. Just saying.

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5 years ago

Verizon Opening Up Network - “Any App, Any Device”

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jkOnTheRun has some great news for us: Verizon intends to get a little nicer with their network with a new program called “Any App, Any Device.” The upshot is that any customer can bring any compatible device to the big VZW and VZW will let 'em. This basically means that if you can get Sprint to unlock your phone, Verizon will pretty much take it.

Actually, it really means a whole lot more: If you can build your own cellphone that works on Verizon, Verizon will take it. After they test it and charge a testing fee, of course, they're not madmen. Still - this is great news, though I wouldn't go so far as to call it a seismic shift.

And as jk's Kevin Tofel notes, Verizon is thinking about moving to LTE (which is GSM-ish) for their 4G standard someday - which would mean that “Any Device” would cover a heckuva lot more devices.

Be still my heart - are carriers becoming less evil?

In early 2008, the company will publish the technical standards the development community will need to design products to interface with the Verizon Wireless network. Any device that meets the minimum technical standard will be activated on the network. Devices will be tested and approved in a $20 million state-of-the-art testing lab which received an additional investment this year to gear up for the anticipated new demand. Any application the customer chooses will be allowed on these devices.

Read: Verizon Wireless To Introduce ‘Any Apps, Any Device’ Option For Customers In 2008

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5 years ago

Smartphone Round Robin: BlackBerry 8310, Ciao!

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5 years ago

Replace Missing Sync with SyncMate?

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Replace Missing Sync with SyncMate?

It looks like there's a new contender for syncing Windows Mobile phones to Macs. The latest software from Eltima, called SyncMate, will do all the fundamental desktop syncing tasks for the low, low price of $0 American. SyncMate is a version 1.0 product, with the practically-necessary-nowadays "Beta" tag after its name. It requires Windows Mobile 5 or 6, and a Mac with OSX 10.4 or later.

Though I've long lobbied for the use of a Windows Mobile phone to actually test stuff like this before I report in Dieter's absence, success eludes me. I don't know if this will work with Palm's "secret recipe" threaded text messages on the Treo 750, or really if this will work at all, caveat emptor. [via]

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5 years ago

Windows Mobile a Man's Smartphone?

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Windows Mobile a Man's Smartphone?


(Photo by gregor_y, remixed)

Yikes - I would not have guessed this:

According to a recent research by Microsoft, only 14.6% of the Windows Mobile usrs are women, compared with 85.4% of men. This is a serious indicator that in the next generation of Windows Mobile phones marketed in Japan, they should design it so that women will be more comfortable to use it.

Read: Windows Mobile in Japan

I'd hazard a guess that this isn't just a Japanese issue. Is there something manly (or anti-woman?) about Windows Mobile? A bit of hunting doesn't show a definitive study (or rather, a definitive study we don't have to pay for), but it seems pretty clear that smartphone usage does tend to trend male.

...We'll give a shiny penny to the first person who can explain this divide to us without devolving into offensive gender stereotypes. In other words, saying there aren't enough pink Windows Mobile phones will earn you a slap on the wrist, not the penny.

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5 years ago

BlackJack II Must-Install: GPS Hack

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BlackJack II Must-Install: GPS Hack

Our First Look at the BlackJack II is coming just as soon as YouTube finishes processing it. Meanwhile, if you're one of the lucky ones to have picked up this mamma-jamma, MoDaCo has a download for you. See, the BlackJack II has GPS built-in, but by default it only wants to work with TeleNav (an issue we were worried about from the get-go):

[...]there is a problem with the implementation on the Blackjack (and in fact the Moto Q9H I understand, a device I believe this patch will help with too). The problem is that although the GPSID is configured and applications such as the built in Telenav and Windows Live Search can use the system fine, there is no COM port exposed to allow the vast majority of applications that use this connection method to use the GPS. DOH! And with no UI to configure it, you quickly hit a brick wall.

Well Nick Paul O'Brien over at MoDaCo has put together a little app that sets the GPS to COM4. You care about that because it allows other Windows Mobile apps, like Windows Live Search, Virtual Earth Mobile, or Google Maps, to utilize the GPS.

It also “app unlocks” the device so you can re-order the start menu. Be careful with the re-ordering, though, as in my case moving AT&T's apps around seems to have broken MEdia.net and thereby made PocketIE complain a lot.

Big Ups, Paul!

Read: Samsung Blackjack II GPS... ACTIVATED! - MoDaCo

(edit: Fixed the credit on the article, that's what I get for trying to post quickly on my way out the door!)

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5 years ago

Attending Mobius This Week!

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Attending Mobius This Week!

The posting schedule here at WMExperts may be a little topsy-turvy this week, fyi. I'll be attending the “Mobius” conference in Amsterdam. What's that? Well here's the blurb from their site:

A group devoted to following and reporting on topics and news related to mobile devices and consumer electronics.

...Which is code for:

People who know more about mobility and smartphones than I do deigning to grace me with their company.

Seriously, I'm excited: I am a former grad student in English so I love me a good academic conference. Replace “post-post-modern theory of the archive” with “Windows Mobile Smartphones” but keep the same basic format of “put interesting people from disparate places into the same room and let 'em talk about it” and, well, it pretty much is a setup designed to hit all of my buttons. (Full Disclosure: Microsoft is paying for a healthy portion of the trip).

Anyhow, friend-of-the-site-despite-the-fact-that-he's-a-dirty-iPhone-user Mike of Phone different has agreed to help chip in with news postings as has our incredible cadre of writers, HobbesIsReal, Malatesta, and Merlyn3D. So fret not - we'll still have the news (and some insights from Mobius) this week.

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5 years ago

Happy Thanksgiving from WMExperts

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Happy Thanksgiving from WMExperts

Yep, it's Turkey Day here in the US, but we figure our cute Smartphone Round Robin mascot is close enough to a turkey to count. Plus, it gives us chance to point out the great back and forth between iPhone Mike and Treo Jennifer on the venerable Treo 680.

You won't see another post up here at WMExperts until Monday - we're taking the holiday and tomorrow off and we hope y'all can do the same. Go on - turn off the RSS reader on your phone and talk to Uncle Ned, he won't bite. ...Ok, he will, so just be sure to grab his dentures first.

The point is this holiday take a moment to put down your phone - we're told that eating and interacting with people face to face is almost as satisfying as tweaking your WM registry. We don't believe it, but we're going to give it a try, we hope you can too.

For those of you heading out to brave the shopping extravaganza known as Black Friday - we wish you luck. Pick us up a Motorola Q9c from Sprint and a Samsung Blackjack II on AT&T, okay? They're both coming out tomorrow.

Have a happy, safe, and relaxing Thanksgiving, everybody!

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5 years ago

GPS On the Mogul Coming: CONFIRMED

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GPS On the Mogul Coming: CONFIRMED

Listen up, Mogul owners: we have some happy news to report, following up on some previous noodling and speculation about GPS on the Mogul. Sprint has posted an official statement about their ROM hijinks:

The Bad News:
So the last ROM update for the Sprint Mogul didn't go so hot - Sprint is currently suggesting you downgrade to deal with some nagging bluetooth issues - the very issues the upgrade was supposed to help with.

The Good News:
They intend to make a fix available by the end of the month.

The Awesome News:

Additionally, HTC is currently developing a separate ROM update which enables the EV-DO Rev. A and GPS capabilities that are already built into the Mogul hardware.  Sprint and HTC plan to make this software ROM available in early 1Q 2008. We would also like to extend our thanks to those customers that have taken the time to identify and report these issues to us.

Read: Buzz About Wireless

Thanks to Doc31 and TC99 for the tip! Looks like Malatesta was right, Sprint is indeed turning on GPS for WM devices!

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5 years ago

BlackJack II Surfaces, GPS Confirmed

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BlackJack II Surfaces, GPS Confirmed

When we had our hands-on with the BlackJack II a month ago, the AT&T reps at CTIA weren't exactly helpful on the subject of just what flavor of GPS was onboard - was it real or was it the tower-triangulation-fake-out kind. Well it's starting to look like it's really real for sure, at least according to the “coming soon” info now popping up on AT&T's website.

In one spot we see “GPS support,” but poking around more reveals “integrated GPS” and PDADB tells us it's SIRF III. Boom. Still no word on whether they've really managed to lock it down to just TeleNav (as was hinted to us at the CTIA conference), but let's hope not.

Otherwise the specs remain what we expected: slightly better than the original but not mind-blowingly better. You should be able to go get yours on Friday.

Oh, and AT&T - just one more thing. This doesn't count as the promised upgrade of the original Blackjack to Windows Mobile 6. We're all still waiting for that one. Remember us - your customers? You know, the ones who were disappointed when we thought it was delayed until Q3? (ah, if only we would have had it in Q3). Yeah, we're still here. Mmmhmm, yep, that's right, we didn't forget. You going to release that anytime soon?

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