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4 years ago

Opera Mini 5 Beta Announced as Native WinMo App

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Browsing the Internet is one of those things that can be a major draw for people looking to purchase a smartphone, but can be rather hit or miss due to the lack of quality mobile web browsers. For my money, having a choice between which browser you use in different situations can be a deal breaker. Luckily, Windows Mobile has more browser choices than many of its competitors.

Opera has been in the mobile browser game as long as anyone and their browsers are among the best. Opera Mini 5 Beta 2 is the latest and greatest from Opera’s Mini product. Traditionally a Java based application; Opera announced today that Opera Mini 5 is available as a native Windows Mobile application. There are technical reasons why having a native application is preferable over a Java based version. The bottom line is that a native Windows Mobile application should offer better performance, stability, and compatibility across a large array of devices.

My first impression with Opera Mini 5 is that it is FAST, though the rendering engine isn’t perfect. Mini 5 uses server side rendering; meaning that when you request a web page, a server somewhere actually downloads the files and formats it and compresses it before sending it along to your device. This method keeps your data usage to a minimum and doesn’t require as much processing power on your device. The Mini 5 UI is also very similar to what we’ve been playing with on the Opera Mobile 10 betas, which I consider a very clean and usable interface.

More information on the features you can expect from Opera Mini are available from Opera’s site. To download the application, point your mobile browser to http://m.opera.com/next/mini.

 

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4 years ago

Verizon now at the center of the latest Pink rumors

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At some point we're all going to have to remember that the fabled "Pink" phones from Microsoft really aren't Windows Mobile. But that day is not today. Gizmodo says it has on good authority (leaked marketing materials, actually) that the phones it previously scored are in fact the same ones we're about to see launch on Verizon.

Also, and this brings us back to our opening sentence, the phones do not run the new Windows Phone operating system. That's not a great surprise. This is something different. Giz also says this platform is all about social networking, and there will be apps of some sort.

What Giz doesn't know: An actual name. They opine that we may see more at CTI in a few weeks, so we'll keep our eyes peeled. [Gizmodo]

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4 years ago

Google Analytics Mobile available for Windows Phones

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Synerge Tech Solutions has released Google Analytics Mobile. As the name implies, Google Analytics Mobile allows you to access your web site's Google Analytic's data directly from your Windows Phone. For those not familiar with Google Analytics, it is a program that tracks your website activity ranging from the number of visits to where your site visitors are located (geographic regions).

Google Analytics Mobile connects directly with Google's servers and offers the data in table, chart or graph forms. The mobile app also has the ability to generate reports from the data in Google Analytics. Synerge Tech Solutions is offering Google Analytics for $4.99 and it is available at the Synerge website.

Read: wmpoweruser.com 

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4 years ago

Microsoft Selects Navizon for Geolocation

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Today in a press release, Navizon announced their partnership with Microsoft to share their global location database. Presumably, this database will be used with Windows phone 7 although no word on Windows Mobile 6.5.

Navizon, for those who don't remember, have a Windows Mobile program called Mobifindr, which allows you to find your phone via text message or locate your friends. More importantly, they featured a "virtual GPS" system whereby your location could be ascertained via WiFi and/or cell-tower triangulation. This was a bigger deal in 2008 when GPS was still not the norm on many WM phones.

This deal actually makes a lot of sense since we know Windows Phone 7 Series uses 'Orion', the same location-bases service found in Windows 7. It too uses WiFi, cell-tower triangulation, IP detection and straight up GPS to identify your location with a simple API. So Microsoft has the hardware/software to find your location (coordinates), but what they don't have is access to some type of database of locations.

Unlike Google, who can collect your geo-location information via millions of cell phones (read that user agreement), Microsoft is still new to the whole location-based services game.  This deal with Navizon seems to give them that extra edge to compete with Google.

[Navizon press release]

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4 years ago

Developers chime in on Windows Phone 7 Series

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One of the hurdles Microsoft faces in making a success out of Windows Phone 7 Series is winning over the software developers.

Microsoft may be able to establish consistency with regards to the WP7S hardware but if you don't have functional software to put on the phone, it won't survive for long. To do so, Microsoft needs to garner the support of developers, large and small. Microsoft's willingness to tackle the fragmentation that Windows phones has historically possessed is a step in the right direction but there's still plenty of work needed to be done. 

Follow the link to read more.

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4 years ago

Windows Phone 7 Series: Graphically speaking

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Windows Phone 7 Series: Graphically speaking

 

What was your first reaction when you first laid eyes on Windows Phone 7 Series? I have to admit my first reaction was not unlike the response I give my wife when she asks what I think of her new dress, haircut, or when she experiments with a new recipe; cautiously positive. At first look, the Start Page lacked a certain zip or pizazz that I have grown accustomed to with Windows Phones. 

Often is the case that as you learn more you learn about something, your first impression changes. While the graphics of Windows Phone 7 Series felt like a step backwards, the more I learned about Hubs and the consistency Microsoft would strive to maintain the more Windows Phone 7 Series grew on me.

Still, while it may sound superficial, I wish Windows Phone 7 Series had a little more "pop" to it.  It reminded me of the generic Today Screen of Windows Mobile of yesterday, that while functional lacked pizazz.  What might help Windows Phone 7 Series's first impression is a Start Screen that is as graphically pleasing as it is functional.

I've gotten spoiled with graphical impact HTC's Manila/Touchflo screens offer and MaxManila really adds a flair (along with more functionality) to the Windows Phone experience.  Windows Phones have a developed a tradition for customization to allow owners have their phones reflect their individuality.  Hopefully that will carry over with WP7S's features.

Microsoft in their Mobile World Congress presentation stated they want to focus on the end user experience.  Isn't the ability to customize the appearance of your phone part of that experience?  Or will functionality win over aesthetics and the lack of customization become a non-issue? 

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4 years ago

T-Mobile HD2 release date spotted

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T-Mobile HD2 release date spotted

We've known that the HD2 is headed to T-Mobile for some time now and have recently learned the pricing information.   But the "when" has been a bit of a mystery.

The BoyGeniusReport has stumbled upon an out of focus events list that might bring the release date into focus.  The second entry on the sheet indicates a "Dark Handset" will launch on March 24, 2010.

"Dark Handset" is reportedly double-knot spy code for the HD2. All of this goes along with the rumors we heard last month about the release date.

Now if only the other carriers could come up with thier own code words for the HD2 and leak release dates!

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4 years ago

Apple sues HTC over alleged patent infringement

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The lawyers are in overdrive today as Apple's filed a patent infringement lawsuit against smartphone manufacturer HTC, a longtime partner of Microsoft and Windows Mobile. To help keep our ducks in a row, we're going to do the bulk of our coverage over at AndroidCentral. The lawsuit doesn't specifically target Windows Mobile or Android -- we just want to get things right, in one place. So head on over.

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4 years ago

Review: Jawbone Icon Bluetooth headset

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Review: Jawbone Icon Bluetooth headset

The Jawbone Bluetooth headsets from Aliph have been around for a few years now and have impressed many with their noise cancellation features. The original Jawbone would eventually be succeeded by the Jawbone Prime.

Aliph recently released the Jawbone Icon, a chopped down version of the Jawbone Prime, to bolster their line up. The Icon comes in an assorted colors and styles ranging from black dimpled to gray smooth to gold. Each with its own unique nickname (Hero, Rogue, Ace, Thinker, Bombshell, etc.)

We had the chance to take one of the Icons -- the Hero -- out for a test drive and just ease on past the break to see if the Icon lives up to standard its larger siblings established.

Pros: 
Fit and feel. Call Quality. Customization through MyTalk
Cons: 
Talk button not in the best location.
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4 years ago

Shameless self-promotion: Phil on The Cell Phone Junkie Unlocked

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Pardon the interruption, just wanted to take a second to let you know that I sat down with Mickey and Joey from The Cell Phone Junkie recently to record an episode of The Cell Phone Junkie Unlocked, the premium version of their podcast. Most of the talk was about the launch of Windows Phone 7 Series, and we had a nice chat about the Android-powered Google Nexus One, too.

You can subscribe and listen now at tcpjunlocked.com.

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4 years ago

T-Mobile's HD2 priced at $199.99 on contract, $449.99 outright

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As we await the official launch of the HTC HD2 on T-Mobile, we've all been wondering just what the price of the biggest, baddest Windows Phone available today would be. Wonder no more, my friends, as this leaked spreadsheet shows it'll go for $199.99 with the usual two-year contract and rebates, and $449.99 if you want to forgo such formalities.

Still unknown is exactly when it's going to be available, but it has to be anytime now. Stay tuned. [via TMoNews]

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4 years ago

WMExperts Podcast Episode 90

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WMExperts Podcast Episode 90


We're back, folks! After a week or so to recuperate from Mobile World Congress and the announcement of Windows Phone 7 Series, Malatesta and Phil return for a few good Windows Mobile -- er, Windows Phone -- rants.

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4 years ago

Google Sync Down Again

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Google Sync Down Again

 

For those of you syncing your Gmail and such using Google Sync, you’ve probably noticed that it hasn’t been feeling like itself the last couple days (not the first time). According to Google’s Mobile Help Forum, the issue stems from an extended problem with one of Google’s datacenters.

This problem only affects users running Google Sync, meaning a manual update should allow you to reach your data just fine. It’s also worth noting that this only seems to be a problem for Windows Mobile, iPhone, and S60 devices. Also those of you using a third party tool such as the SEVEN Beta, PushEffect, or XImapPusher to get your Gmail should be immune.

[via the::unwired]

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4 years ago

Review: Arkon Vehicle Mount Kit

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Review: Arkon Vehicle Mount Kit

With Bing, GoogleMaps and Waze getting more and more popular for your navigation needs you may find yourself looking for a car mount for your Windows phone. Arkon offers a universal Vehicle Mount Kit that not only includes a vent clip but also a Suction Cup Mount that can mount on the windshield or dash.

If your tired of sitting your phone in the passenger seat or sliding across your dashboard and need a vehicle cradle, follow the break to see what type of impression the Arkon Vehicle Mount kit made.

Pros: 
Build quality. Adjustable. Suction cup window/dash compatible.
Cons: 
Vent mount has a little bounce to it.
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4 years ago

Windows Phone 7 Series Upgrades: Now not possible?

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Last week we heard from Microsoft that some Windows Mobile 6.5 phones may be upgradeable to Windows Phone 7 Series. This brought a glimmer of hope that more recent Windows Phone releases could be upgraded to the new OS. Today we are hearing the opposite from Microsoft, in particular about the HTC HD2's potential for upgrade.

Natahsa Kwan, General Manager for Microsoft's Mobile Communications Business in the Asian Pacific Region, said the HD2 doesn't qualify (for upgrade) because it doesn't have three buttons (the HD2 has five buttons). Kwan explained, "Because we have very specific requirements for Windows Phone 7 Series the current phones we have right now will not be upgradeable." There is some indication that the button issue may not be sole reason behind the HD2 not being upgradeable.

Tony Wilkinson, Microsoft Australia's Business Operations Director, has said that "there are some hardware components that the HD doesn't have." We are expecting Microsoft to reveal the core specifications later this month at the MIX10 Developers Conference.  If this happens, we should have a better picture of what may or may not be eligible for upgrade to WP7S.  Until then, the topic of WM 6.5 upgrades may become another marathon, "on again/off again" topic (remember the Zune phone?) for discussion.

Read: apcmag.com

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