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5 years ago

Google Location-Based Search hits WinMo

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We have to admit that Google is one step ahead of the curve when it comes to mobile applications. They brought us everything from Google Maps, to Google Reader and even Google Search. What good is search if you always have to type in a zip code or grab an address to enter? Google understands our laziness and as Mobile Burn reports, is bringing us automatic localized search capabilities.

From any mobile browser head over to Google.com and below you should see a new

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5 years ago

Tilt End of Life'd?

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Tilt End of Life'd?

Smartphone and PocketPC Mag is reporting [via] that the Tilt will be EOL'd by the middle of December. Although we just got the 6.1 update for it, we're also expecting that the HTC Touch Pro should be coming out on AT&T to replace it -- we're looking at mid-December for that.

As the Tilt begins saying its Minnesota Goodbye (you know, the kind that means you're not actually leaving for a long time), we have to ask: was the "tilt" in the Tilt worth it? Do you use it much now? Will you miss it if you upgrade?

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5 years ago

Velocity: 103, 111, 83, 301, VOTA, Odyssey. Hands-on Extravaganza

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Above, an unboxing and first look at the Velocity 103, the Windows Mobile smartphone we just told you will be available in an unlocked from in the very near future. We took a slightly closer look at the Odyssey interface than we did with the Velocity 83. More importantly, though, that interface will likely see some improvements -- heck, the entire device will -- based on the Velocity over the Air (VOTA) service they've drummed up. Expect a full review of the 103 in the coming weeks, but so far we're digging the 640x480 screen, find the overall form factor a bit brick-y, and are rushing to install a 3rd party soft-keyboard.

For now, though, we're going to get into the VOTA stuff a bit more after the break, plus take a gander at the QWERTY Velocity 111 and an upcoming device from the upstart startup. Read on!

Velocity Over the Air (VOTA)

So here's the short version of VOTA: It's what Windows Update ought to be. Your device and the VOTA server speak to each other on a regular basis (which you can customize) and find out whether or not your device has the latest and greatest software updates for various pieces of the OS. If there are updates, Velocity sends them out to you, they get installed, and that's that.

Now, if you do a hard reset and lose all your data (and updates), what happens is VOTA talks to the server, the server notices that you're missing a whole lot of software updates it thought you had, and then it packages them all up in a single download and sends them out to you.

At first we assumed this referred only to the Odyssey interface, but in truth it pretty much can apply to whatever Velocity wants to track on your device -- from a (painful) lack of a custom software keyboard to 3rd party companies they decide to partner with. You will eventually be able to go into the app and decide which custom software updates you're interested in (keyboard) and which you're not.

In all, it's a very elegant solution and one that we'd love to see expanded a bit to include support for all sorts of 3rd party programs. Velocity -- sell this to Microsoft, kay?

Velocity 111

When we first saw the Velocity 111 back in April we were impressed and said as much:

We know that people throw the term “Treo Killer” around a lot, but the Velocity 111 just might do the trick. It's a Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro device with a flush touchscreen at 240x320 screen resolution and all the other trimmings of the 103.

Well, folks, that was then and this is now. The Velocity 111 is solid enough with a flush 240x320 screen, WiFi, GPS, and so on, but the form factor feels awfully boxy and stale next to the Treo Pro. On the other hand, the Velocity 111's keyboard approaches Q9h levels of usability -- it's capacious.

Velocity 83 (redux)

We already showed you a hands-on and a video of the Velocity 83, but there's a bit more to the story here. First up: it rocks two (count 'em) microSD card slots primarily because it's looking to be positioned as a good consumer-level GPS smartphone. It'll ship with GPS software (cross your fingers for CoPilot!) included on the SD card that's located underneath the battery. Clever, that.

Velocity 301

One more Velocity handset, the 301. Well, actually it's just a mock-up of what they're working on, a replacement for the 103 that will sport a higher resolution screen and a slightly thinner form factor. Since the “device” below is just a mockup, we thought it appropriate to leave you with slightly blurry images. Fitting, no?

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5 years ago

Velocity 103 Availability Announced

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Velocity 103 Availability Announced

Remember back in April when we showed you the Velocity 103 and how sweet it looked. Well today they are announcing the retail availability of it. It will be sporting Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, Velocity Over The Air updates (Vota), and its own GUI. The Vota is something special because they built it on top of the Windows Mobile platform. What that means is that consumers no longer need to worry if they have the latest software because it can get pushed to them automatically through the network. Kind of like Windows Mobile Update except this one might actually get used. Velocity says that they can update pretty much anything that isn't core to WM.

If you want to take a sneak peak of the interface action check out the video, but remember to put your bib on as were not responsible for any drool covered keyboards. Other specs include:

-Odyssey Interface -Qualcomm msm7201 chipset -Gsm/gprs/edge and umts/hsdpa/hsupa -WiFi -TV/VGA out -2.0 megapixel camera -256 MB ROM 128 RAM

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5 years ago

Sony Ericsson Opening Up the Xperia's Panel UI?

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Sony Ericsson is talking about opening up the sliding panel interface to the community so that developers can have a crack at it. The man we can thank is Ramanth Bhat of Sony Ericsson who is talking about releasing the whole UI to the developers.

We guess Sony believes in the whole sharing is caring and we love him for that. Or maybe they just realized the chances of building that developer community around panels they spoke about 6 months ago was precisely zero if it were only available on the X1.

As of what to expect from this, we're actually a little hopeful. We have already seen what can happen when developers get their hands on a little code. Hopefully if all goes well we can see Sony Ericsson

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5 years ago

Motorola Q9h Global, Hands On with the Silver Pinstripes

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Now, we're not going to apologize for our previous, ah, reservations about the Motorola Q9h Global in silver pinstripes (Rule #1: never be sorry about snark). However, it turns out there's slightly more to this Q9h story than meets the eye. The silver pinstripes really do look pretty slick and on the back of the device they're actually textured to add grip and, yes, a bit of class to the device. So that's fine and, dare we say, dandy (ahem).

But there are actually a couple new, hard-to-find features on this Q9h that we weren't aware of. We detail those and give you a handful of images after the break!

This Q9h Global earns the “global” part by supporting 3G worldwide. Additionally, it is AT&T's first WinMo phone to ship with 6.1 out of the box. Another first: it's the first to fully utilize AT&T's newly launched, full-on Assisted GPS sysem -- Moto claims they can get hotfixes in as little as 10 seconds with the device. Helllooo Nurse!

One last interesting bit, Moto tells us that there's a new Over-the-Air update system they've put into place with this Q9h -- something that isn't the under never-utilized Windows Mobile Update utility in Settings but about which the details are as-yet unclear. Things being slightly unclear with the Q9h line ain't exactly new, but we'll try to get the full deets on what exactly may be new here for ya as soon as we can.

We wouldn't recommend current Q9h-owners make the switch to Silver, but if you're in the market for a Q9h the Silver-edition looks to be the right choice. A few more shots for those of you on the fence:

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5 years ago

SkyData Tosses Your Social and Business Contacts into one app

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SkyData is introducing a new way to stay connected. SkyData plans to take all your Linkedin, Facebook, and even emails and put them in one place. No more hopping from one web site to another or opening five different apps for social networking. Two editions will be supported. The first is the free edition supporting things like Yahoo, Plaxo, and Google. The second is the paid version giving you access to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Salesforce, and much more. They have a 30 day free trial in order to see if the centralized mayhem is right for you. If you decide to stay with the basic edition then you can socialize all you want at no cost. The Business edition on the other hand will cost you $9.99 a month.

I think this app could have potential. Then, again, if it doesn

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5 years ago

Sprint Touch Pro: Hands On and Video

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Sprint Touch Pro: Hands On and Video

Sure, we just fed you the specs on the HTC Touch Pro on Sprint earlier today when it was officially announced, but they bear repeating: A WM6.1 slider with a 640x480 screen, EVDO, WiFi, 1340mAh battery, Opera 9.5, 512mb RAM and 288mb ROM, microSD for expansion, and a 3.2mp camera all make the Touch Pro the Touch Pro. Above, just a very quick little video of the new device.

So should you drop your $299.99 (after rebates) on October 19th? Well, we can't exactly tell you that, but we can give you our initial hands-on impressions and a photo gallery after the break.

Impressions

The Sprint Touch Pro is classy and professional, full stop. The back of the device has a silver, matte finish and is gently curved to improve the feel in the hand. The sides are finished with chrome and look really slick, and the front, while still a fingerprint magnet, is still fairly hot. The keyboard seems like a small step up from the Mogul in terms of tactility and usability, though I do think the keys are a tiny bit smaller. Notable: no more physical soft buttons on the front or when the device is open.

The thickness is, well, the thickness. It's thicker than I'd like by about half. The curve on the back of the device helps. However, comparing this to the Mogul is just night and day. HTC has trimmed up the width of the Touch Pro and it makes all the difference in the world. With the slider closed, the sucker feels like a phone, which is not something I've typically been able to say about WM Pro sliders with a straight face before.

Given that both the Touch Pro and the Mogul are .7“ thick, one might be tempted to say there's not enough innovation here. One ought not be -- going from 2.3” wide to 2“ wide while simultaneously adding a higher-resolution screen is feat enough and, again, I'm not fooling when I say it feels good in the hand. In the pocket, maybe not so much.

TouchFLO 3D, HTC's custom interface, is as snappy as I've ever seen it with the possible exception of the Sprint Touch Diamond I handed earlier today. It's darn good. One of my chief fears was that Sprint would muck it up like they did with the original TouchFLO and those fears have mostly been allayed. Everything is standard TouchFLO 3D here with two exceptions: they've added a Sprint TV shortcut (fine) and they've changed TouchFLO's music player to work with Sprint's instead of WMP. Now, Windows Media player on WM isn't much to begin with, so maybe it's no great loss, but Sprint's media player is worse, so that's disappointing. The good news is that you can still play the music direct through the TouchFLO Interface.

Gallery

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5 years ago

Toshiba G810: Hands-on

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Toshiba G810: Hands-on

Don't laugh at the specs on the Toshiba Portege G810:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro.
  • Quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900).
  • 3MP auto focus camera.
  • 256MB ROM/128MB RAM, plus micro SD.
  • WiFi b/g, Bluetooth, and AGPS
  • A 520MHz Qualcomm processor.
  • 500MaH battery.

You may laugh, guffaw even, at the 'buttons' at the bottom of the device, however. They are all touch, no tactility at all, and given the inevitable tiny delays that you see with Windows Mobile they don't inspire much confidence at all. Stil, it's not a bad try for Toshiba, they get bonus points for including SPB Mobile Shell on deck as well as an FM Radio for those who are afraid of internet radio.

We gotta ask, though: given how freaking sweet the Toshiba G900 is, who was in charge of the G810?

More images after the break!

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5 years ago

Hands-on with the Techfaith Vista 850

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One last hands-on for the day (We'll bring you a couple more tomorrow): the Techfaith Vista 850. Spec-wise, it's not especially impressive and hasn't changed a whit since we first saw it in March. Well, this version is a nice black as opposed to the earlier white. Also unchanged, the “Vista” moniker, which we're going on record as calling “a bad idea.”

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Stnadard
  • Quad-band EDGE
  • 200 MHz OMAP processor
  • 64MB RAM, 2 Gigs of ROM
  • 3.3 hours of talk time.

The only real new bit here is Techfaith is joining every other Windows Mobile maker in adding their own customizations on top of Windows Mobile. The transitions above are nice, but in terms of functionality the above doesn't hold a candle to the standard WinMo Sliding Panels in 6.1.

We'd say we're still intrigued by the 2 gigs of onboard memory, but we'd be liars -- the Diamond has stolen that thunder quite handily. What's left is a respectable low-end WinMo smartphone for Techfaith, one we don't really expect to get much play beyond this here post you're reading right now.


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5 years ago

Hands-on with the Velocity 83

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Hands-on with the Velocity 83

We're hoping to see more of Velocity -- ever since we first saw them back in March at the other CTIA, we've been hoping they manage to get their stuff out to market. We'll find out more soon, but for now take a look at their latest offering, the Velocity 83. It's a Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro device (the “Standard Slab,” as Malatesta calls them) with a few twists.

Twist the first: their interface, demo'ed above, called Odyssey -- it's basically a quick list of shortcuts you can scroll through plus some weather. Velocity is quick to point out that it's updatable over the air, so we may see some other features added.

Second twist: two microSD card slots. Nice.

Third twist: it does pack an accellerometer, which you see me valiantly trying to get working in the above video. It does happen, eventually, but apparently there's a knack to it.

Otherwise specs are as you' expec(t) on a low-to-midrange:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro
  • GPS, WiFi
  • Quad-Band Edge (but no 3G)
  • 2mp Camera
  • 400MHz Processor
  • 240x320 screen
  • 64mb Rom / 128 RAM

Unfortunately, it looks like it's dropped the trackball we saw on previous Velocity models. Price, availability, etc are unknown. What is known by now is the drill -- find a few more shots after the break!

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5 years ago

Hands-on with the Touch Pro (GSM)

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Hands-on with the Touch Pro (GSM)

Here's a few shots (after the break) of the Touch Pro on GSM. There's not much we don't yet know about the device, of course, including exactly when we'll see it with official support for US 3G bands (that's still the story on the Samsung Omnia too, by the way). You know the TouchFLO 3D, you may know that it turns into something quite a bit more basic when you open the slider (see the photo below). What you may not know is that I hereby apologize for ever calling the thing brick-like.

Sure, it's still relatively thick, but the fact that they've made it much less wide really changes the feel of the thing in your hand. This is easily the best-feeling slider I've ever held and the most phone-like when it's closed. We still haven't had a chance to really put the Touch Pro through any paces on either GSM or CDMA, but having finally handled one here at CTIA we're looking forward to doing just that a little more than we were before.

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5 years ago

AT&T gives your GPS a boost

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AT&T gives your GPS a boost

AT&T has flipped the switch on its Autonomous GPS service, which should help your aGPS enabled phone connect to the satellites much more quickly. (Surprisingly, AT&T hasn't had this enabled until now.)

"But Phil," you ask, "I already have GPS on my phone. What's aGPS going to do for me?"

To answer that question, we return to everyone's favorite WM Expert, Malatesta, who in January brought us a great tutorial on the kissin' cousins of the Global Positioning System.

Read GPS vs. aGPS: A Quick Tutorial.

Then step outside, fire up your favorite mapping app, and let us know in the comments if you can see a difference.

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5 years ago

Hands-On with the Sprint Diamond

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Hands-On with the Sprint Diamond

It's announced, it's coming in a matter of days, but until then, the best you can get is our hands-on gallery and impressions.

Those impressions now: Yeah, it's not as shockingly small as the GSM Touch Diamond, but it's still plenty wee. We prefer the finger-print-friendly paint on Sprint's Touch Diamond and are also digging the red color (seriously!). TouchFLO 3D seems ever-so-slightly snappier than we've seen it in the past, but without a full-on review don't take that as gospel.

One other note -- although I like the fancy zoom-in / zoom-out touchy-feely features of the d-pad (towards the end of the video), the standard up/down/left/right feel of it is a little sub-optimal -- a bit hard to distinguish from the surrounding area.

After the break -- some more images as well and a quick comparison to the current generation Touch.

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5 years ago

HP 910C Hands-on, with Bonus Treo Pro Comparison

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Not much more to say about what we have for you here, the first of our galleries of what Microsoft is showing off at CTIA this year. We've already reviewed both the Treo Pro and the HP 910C, two Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro devices that are pretty much in the exact same category: Front-Facing QWERTY, Touchscreen, 3G on GSM, and only available unlocked.

We're giving the slight edge to the Treo Pro here, but only based on size and the slightly larger screen resolution (320x320 vs 320x240). If you're looking to power through a lot of email, though, the 910 ain't no slouch and has a bigger keyboard.

Meet us after the break for more images!

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