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5 years ago

Smartphone Round Robin Round Table 2

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Smartphone Round Robin Round Table 2

It happened live last Tuesday, but you can listen in to the (slightly foreshortened) version in our podcast feed: the 2nd (and last) Smartphone Round Robin Rount Table. Join Casey, Kevin, Rene, and Dieter as we discuss the final two devices in our Smartphone Round Robin: the T-Mobile G1 and the the HTC Fuze. Plus, we answer your questions live -- well, it was live then, so forgive the slightly worse-than-usual sound quality.

Naturally, this is an official Round Robin post, every day you make an entry here qualifies you for a chance to win a Fuze and more. Full details here

Music: Our Slanted Voices by DoKashiteru

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5 years ago

Qik Adds Yet More WM Phones for Live Video Streaming

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Qik, an awfully good live video streaming service, has added over 20 Windows Mobile phones to their compatibility list. The latest Treos from Palm, the Epix and Omnia from Samsung, and a slew of HTC devices from the Touch Pro to the Vodafone PDA 9600 have all been added.

Add this to their last round of updates and there's a better than average chance that Qik will support your Windows Mobile Smartphone at this point.

[via MobileAppsToday

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5 years ago

Grab Some Free Icons for SBSH Calendars

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Grab Some Free Icons for SBSH Calendars

SBSH Mobile Developers have released three icon packages that are available as free downloads. The new icon packages are the medical, personal and sports packages that are compatible with Calendar Touch for Windows Mobile Professional devices and Calendar for Windows Mobile Standard devices. The icons can be used with appointments and agendas within these two calendar applications.

Here are the links for each icon package.

SBSH Medical: Windows Pro or Windows Mobile Standard

SBSH Personal: Windows Mobile Pro or Windows Mobile Standard

SBSH Sports: Windows Mobile Pro or Windows Mobile Standard

The three icon packages include eighty-four icons ranging from basketballs to a band-aid to power drill. All destined to add a little more flair to your SBSH calendar.

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5 years ago

Rogers to Carry a Bootload of WinMo Devices

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Canadian GSM carrier Rogers has decided that they like Windows Mobile, apparently, as next year they'll be snapping up pretty much everything that's on the roadmap. What's in store for the first half of 2009? Xperia X1, Check. HTC Diamond and Touch Pro: Check. Heck, they're even snapping up also-rans like the Motorola Q11 (Think Q9 minus 3G plus WiFi), Touch Viva, and Touch 3G.

These and more juicy details at the HoFo thread where the leaked slides of their roadmap appear.

Get some reasonable data rates on the network and, well, we might just consider brushing up on our Canadian accents.

Thanks, Bla1ze!

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5 years ago

Quick Tip: You May Not Want aGPS On

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Quick Tip: You May Not Want aGPS On

We've gone to great lengths to explain the differences between GPS and aGPS and also generally celebrated the arrival of full-on aGPS on many a carrier. One thing, though, if you have one of these fancy, aGPS phones, you may not necessarily want to have the thing on, because it could potentially make your GPS acquisition times worse.

The advice comes to us by way of MyTodayScreen and here's the nut of it: if you're using an unlocked device or an otherwise non-carrier-supported device, it's a good bet that turning on aGPS is going to lengthen your acquisition time as the assisted part of it tries (and fails) to get location information from the local tower. They ran into the issue using a TouchHD, where turning off aGPS sped up acquisition time significantly. I've had the same issue on the HTC s740 on AT&T: turning off aGPS made a big difference for me, too.

Yeah, sorry, it's not a simple situation (this stuff never is). Even if you are using a fully-supported device on its proper carrier and aGPS is up and running in your area, it's still one more potential point of failure. Just because things are getting better on the GPS front doesn't mean that Microsoft, manufacturers, and carriers don't have a long way to go to making location hardware simple.

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5 years ago

Review: SkyBook Facebook application

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5 years ago

Sony to drop HTC as ODM, OMGBBQ

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Sony to drop HTC as ODM, OMGBBQ

Digitimes reports [via the Unwired View] that Sony has selected Taiwanese Original Device Manufacturer Mobinnova to produce future WinMo devices for them, dropping HTC. Mobinnova was new to our ears, but it turns out it's just a subsidiary of Foxconn, so the grand tradition of only having a half-dozen or so big WinMo manufacturers continues.

It's not uncommon for a company to bounce around their ODMs between devices (Exhibit A: Palm), but we're seriously wondering if this was really a good idea for S-E. Sure, Mobinnova might have given them a better price -- and given the price and lack of availability of the Xperia X1, it's tough to blame Sony Ericsson for looking elsewhere. On the other hand, Sony Ericsson is still pretty new at this WinMo thing, you'd think that having HTC's experience for at least another device or two would be helpful.

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5 years ago

LIVE Tonight: Smartphone Round Robin Round Table

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Tonight at 8pm Eastern, get yourself away from your families and point your browser at http://www.imore.com/live. As we did two weeks ago, we're recording another Smartphone Round Robin Roundtable podcast. This time, though, we'll be LIVE. We'll be rounding out our smartphone discussion, focusing on the T-Mobile G1 and the Fuze, then talking about the Round Robin overall.

Best part, though, is we'll have a chat going where you can chime in, talk to each other, and ask us questions -- which we'll answer LIVE towards the end of the show. We've let UStream know that we'll be hitting their service hard, so head on over and take a listen!

Again, that's 8pm Eastern tonight at http://www.imore.com/live.

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5 years ago

VirtualMouse: A Stylus Alternative?

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5 years ago

Best Buy to sell Sprint Treo Pro (natch)

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5 years ago

Updated: Firefox Mobile (aka Fennec) Alpha 2 released

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5 years ago

New paint job, same ol’ Dash

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5 years ago

Unlock GPS For Verizon: Touch Pro (Not Omnia or Saga)

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No surprises here if you've been following the ROM modding community, but it looks like lllboredlll over at ppcgeeks has figured out how unlock the standalone GPS on that odd Verizon Touch Pro. This is of course before Verizon "officially" does it sometime next year.

The method is old hat for many and is unfortunately not as easy as installing a simple .cab. but it's not too bad either. Basically you have to copy a .dll to your card, install a .cab, navigate to find ppst.exe, run it and follow the prompts.

There is also an updated hack to fix the banner (as it changes with this hack) and to enable aGPS, but this one is more tricky as it involves running QPST (Qualcomm Product Support Tool), which is a pretty serious program for modifying core radio properties--so be careful!

What about you Verizon Omnia and Saga users? Sorry, no luck so far on those ends but people are trying (and Verizon is promising).

We'll keep you posted.

ppcgeeks via BGR

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5 years ago

It's Not the Specs, It's the Experience

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It's Not the Specs, It's the Experience

So tell us, how does this sound for a dream WM phone?

  • 800x400 Tetra-VGA resolution
  • 3.9 inch Projected Capacitance Touch technology with 95 SVI
  • WCDMA / HSPA: 900/2100MHz. HSDPA 7.2 Mbps + LTE
  • Scaled integrated WM architecture
  • WLAN: 802.11b/g + WiMax
  • Dynamic distributed 4mb cache
  • Optimized multimedia protocol (RiGB, Tif, Xled)
  • Connectivity: Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz + CDMA 1x
  • An integrated object-oriented protocol
  • 624mhz Snapdragon main processor; 412mhz Xtel Preprocessor
  • BlueTooth 2.1 (EDR, GAP, GOEP, SPP, HSP, HFP 1.5, PAN, BPP, AVRCP)
  • 1GB Pseudostatic RAM (PSRAM)

...all for running the yet unannounced "WM6.5 MultiMedia Ultimate" set for a Q2 wide release.

If you are like most people who read this and other tech sites, your jaws should be on the floor upon reading those specs. You may now lift your cracked chins, my little Guinea Pigs. Not only is that phone made up, but so are some of those "specifications". Why the cruel joke? As it turns out, you fell in line just like a bunch of nerdy researchers predicted you would.

Read on to find out why spec hounds like, ahem, us have skewed perceptions of device reality.

The Science

Evidently, consumers are strongly swayed by quantitative specification listings, even when they don't know what they mean or worse, they are made up. (See "Specification Seeking: How Product Specifications Influence Consumer Preference" in Journal of Consumer Research -- here's a scribd link). In fact, the researchers had a few hypotheses which included:

(1) Specifications will sway consumers, even when they provide no predictive information and can see and use the product

(2) Specifications have a greater effect on choice than on liking. (So if you really like Item B, instead of Item A, meaningless specifications will have less effect than if you were merely asked to choose between Item A or B.)

They ran five experiments looking to manipulate specifications on various products, including cameras, towels, sesame oil, cellular phones and potato chips. The phone experiment varied on screen vividness and screen size between two phones with two conditions. They also threw in a made up specification related to vividness called "SVI" with values attributed to each phone.

Sure enough, the "SVI Index" swayed people's choice between two phones with different values. This despite the fact that there is no such thing as SVI measurement.

An analogous situation is with digital cameras and the so-called "Mega Pixel Wars" which is really a Mega Pixel Myth. So while it is well known that more than 6MPs increases image noise and decreases sensor sensitivity, we still have cameras jacking up the MPs. Why? Because you fall for it.

Lesson Learned?

We've discussed these "Specification Wars" here at WMExperts for awhile--it's basically when companies are out of ideas so they just amp up specs with no perspective on real world differences. Think here of the dubious "benefit" of having "8x digital zoom" over "2x digital zoom", especially when the camera sensor and quality is just poor overall. Or simply adding more memory and gimmicks to a phone to differentiate it from the heard.

The article goes into methods that marketers of these fine products might consider using to sucker us. For you, the consumer, it offers this advice:

In making purchase decisions, consumers should at least do two things. First, they should seek experience, not just numbers. Seconds, they should avoid direct comparison and stimulate SE.

"SE" stands for "single-evaluation" and the essence is that head-to-head comparisons don't usually give you a clear idea of what your final experience of a device will be. Sure, in a Joint-Evaluation you'll favor the touch-screen spec of the HTC Tilt over the Motorola Q9h, but in a Single-Evaluation experience of the device you may find you'll get more done on the Q9h.

Basically, just be aware of this effect next time you're shopping or you see some Tech Blog drop a laundry list of "dream" specs on a new WM phone. Specifically, remember that higher specs may have little to no correlation to your overall happiness and satisfaction with the phone. Better to seek out single-evaluation reviews (or personal experience!) of each device separately and see which fits your needs better.

Who are we kidding? We want to know why the SVI Index on the Treo Pro is so much poorer than on the Touch Pro. Anything with an SVI of less than 78.3 is flat-out unacceptable! Ahem.

Thanks Ebag333 for the reference!

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5 years ago

CrackBerry.com Excoriates the Fuze in Video Fashion

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The Smartphone Round Robin is nearly done, everybody, as each site works on its final round 'away from home.' This week, Kevin at CrackBerry.com throws some hate down on the HTC Fuze. Apparently, like Rene at TiPb, he's not a fan of the reponsiveness of the touchscreen, which appears to be causing the majority of his problems with the UI.

That's actually a complaint I've heard elsewhere as well and I've also heard that the Euro-version, the Touch Pro, is better in this regard. For me, the trick for 'getting' how the Fuze's touchscreen works is that there seems to be a significant different between how it deals with flat-finger swiping and fingertip tapping. If you use the flat of your finger and swipe, it almost always registers correctly as a swipe. To tap/select, you use the tip of your finger and press just a little harder. To be sure, neither is as responsive as a capacitive touchscreen would be, but it is a pretty elegant way of dealing with the resistive limitation -- once you know about it, that is.

What say you, did we mess up going with the Fuze for this year's Round Robin? Would a BlackJack II have gotten a better reception? Comment here on that or any other Round Robin subject to be entered to win a Fuze and a Redfly C8N.

Speaking of Fuze giveaways, our Fuze Sweepstakes Extravaganza ended on Friday and we've randomly chosen a winner: dlevymd! dlevymd looks to be currently using a Tilt, so this will be a nice upgrade:

Hands down, the thing that attracks me the most to the Fuze is the out of the box memory. I run my medical practice from my device and have very large databases. I also use NotifyLink and I have UpToDate mobile loaded in. Even with everything loaded on my storage card, my ATT Tilt gets into low memory states.

Congrats dlevymd, expect an email from us very soon!

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