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4 years ago

Verizon Palm Treo Pro? Yup. Sort of.

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Here's one that will blow your mind.  Evidently, Verizon is or was planning on releasing the Palm Treo Pro.

Yup, that device from last year, featuring Windows Mobile 6.1, WiFi and EvDO Rev A. from what we're told is making its rounds on Verizon (or was).

From the photos above, you can see the following:

  • Software: T850EWW-1.00-VZW
  • Firmware: 1.12.40v
  • Verizon plugin for email
  • Verizon network plugin

That is newer firmware than the Sprint version (1.11.30F) and we're told it features CE OS 5.2.20765 (Build 20765.1.4.4).

Our thought? Hard to make sense of it.  The firmware and photos don't really lie, but since there is no branding anywhere on the device it's hard to judge.  Plus, there's that whole 'Why in the world would Verizon get this phone now!?' issue.

Ah, but we will share what we think is the official explanation:  

...through my conversations with folks at VZW, it was made clear to me that this unit would not ever be officially released. Verizon has a number of them, and they are for sale (if you know how to get at them), but they will not be seeing any acknowledgment or release

So we'll just leave these here for you to discuss amongst yourselves.

Oh and sorry to 'anonymous' for losing these in our mailbox form a few weeks ago. Blame Phil.

Edit: The more we think about it, the more flashbacks we're having with the Motorola Napoleon--a device branded by Verizon, never officially on sale, but was still sold to a few select customers.  Verizon...you truly have some strange policies!

 

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4 years ago

Microsoft moving away from "points system" for XBox, other services

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Funny how on the last past podcast we were just lamenting the XBox Live's "point system" for purchasing games, videos, services, etc.  It was hardly transparent, made you do conversions and came across ... well ... as slightly dishonest.

How we pay for things in XBox is relevant for Windows phone users because, make no mistake, XBox and Zune integration are coming down the pike in addition to our Marketplace.  How we pay for those services across our "three screens" will be quite relevant to the success or failure of such an ecosystem, if we can be so bold.

Luckily, Microsoft has evidently heard the cacophony of complaints regarding this system and appears to be at least re-evaluating the process.  Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg said in a recent interview:

We never intended to ever mislead people. I think we want to be transparent about it, and so it is something that we're looking at. How can we be more transparent and let people see it in actual dollars?

Well, perhaps they won't be ditching the points system, but at least they are considering improving it.  

Microsoft, do us a favor: just ditch the points and go with dollars.  Things are complicated enough already, and there is NO benefit for the consumer with the points system.  Not a single one.

[via Gizmodo]

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4 years ago

Review: IM+ All-in-One Mobile Messenger

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Review: IM+ All-in-One Mobile Messenger

IM+ All-in-One Mobile Messenger from Shape Services is one of the top IM applications for Windows Mobile Standard and Pro (and increasingly its competition).

It is also hands-down the most expensive option, coming in at a whooping one-time fee of $39.95. At least that $39.95 is a lifetime license with free upgrades and even a transfer to another device-type (except iPhone). Is it worth it? Depends if you are an instant messaging nut -- if so, yeah as its a darn good app.

Curious about what changes have been brought with their 6.x and now 7.x updates? Read on for my full review.

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4 years ago

Windows Mobile 7 (or just Seven) rumor roundup...

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Since our big story on Seven a few days ago, leaks and information have continued to come forth.

We'll just summarize them all here since nothing is conclusive yet, but there are lots of interesting tidbits:

  • Windows Mobile 7 session at MIX 2010 announced: Evidently Microsoft is going to host a session on how to make apps and games for Seven in March at the big MIX '10 conference.  Looks like that Mobile World Congress debut is quite likely. (via MobileTechWorld)
  • Twitter comments are coming from some Microsoft/Danger employees. Mention WinMo7 team, doughnuts, private testing, and milestones. Tweets originate not from a Sidekick client but from Microsoft. Project Pink lives? (via EngadgetMobile)
  • Part II: List of those tweeting from Danger/Microsoft: Carlos Picoto, Director of program management at Microsoft; Jeff McKean - Senior Product Planner at Microsoft; Bruno Silva - Director of Development at Microsoft Corp., Zune; Daryl Welsh - Director of Test -Premium Mobile Experiences at Microsoft; Michael Ducker - Program Manager, Premium Mobile Experiences at Microsoft; Namrata Bachwani - Release Manager at Microsoft (Thanks azimmerm)
  • Our leak of the HTC Obsession gets backed up by another anonymous source at WMPU, who says that it is really the Diamond 3, which seems kind of obvious. Also AT&T may grab it too. (via WMPU)
  • Our own source reveals to us that Seven is backwards compatible with WM6.x applications (contra an earlier rumor), but it is limited to resolution restrictions. A security warning pops up on launch, but the program will work.  That info leads naturally to...
  • ...the idea that Seven is based on WinCE 7 aka Chelan, which our man with the knowledge Conflipper confidently states.
  • Finally, commenter drphysx, mentions this article from a few months back, which we think dovetails nicely with our big post.  It seems to fill in the background info on decision making. It's all theory, but we think its well thought out.

We're sure that's just the tip of the iceberg and we're expecting a lot more info to come forward in the next few weeks.  Stay tuned!

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4 years ago

T-Mobile Dash goes kaboom on '24'

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T-Mobile Dash goes kaboom on '24'

Sure, the Palm Pre and its multitasking mayhem may get prime placement in Fox's "24," but who does Kiefer Sutherland and the rest of the production team call when it's time to blow something up? That's right. Windows Mobile. User JohnCody at XDA Developers spotted the venerable T-Mobile Dash as the trigger for a bomb underneath a manhole cover. OK, it's had a few modifications. But when you want to assassinate a fictional head of state, you don't want to take any chances with a new OS, do you?

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4 years ago

Review: Panoramic FreeCell

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Review: Panoramic FreeCell

Video or computer games typically fall into one of two categories. Either it is extremely addicting and squeezes hours of playing time out of your schedule, or it is the kind of game that can easily be played for just a few spare moments. While both have their pros and cons, the latter is often a better choice for people just looking for something with which to kill a little spare time.

Panoramic software is a developer that is starting to gain some momentum with their software and the recognition that they get from various sources. One of their software packages, moTweets, is a Twitter client that is being mentioned in the same breath as applications such as Twikini. One genre that Panoramic has put extra emphasis on is card games. Panoramic FreeCell was released October 15, 2009. Now in version 1.2.0, FreeCell is a great example of one of the things that I really respect about Panoramic. When one of their products is first released, they are constantly fixing bugs and listening to customer feedback in order to perfect their product.

For the full breakdown of what Panoramic FreeCell offers, hit the jump.

Pros: 
Crisp Graphics. Easy to use. Inexpensive.
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4 years ago

Help Dieter with Windows Mobile - Smartphone Round Robin

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OK, that's singularly the weirdest headline I've every written. But it's true. Our fearless leader is championing Palm's webOS in the third annual Smartphone Round Robin, and its our job (you guys think I'm doing this by myself?) to teach him a thing or three about the latest in Windows Mobile.

You saw our sit-down during which Dieter took a look at the Touch Pro 2 and HD2, right? And you've been to the forums to answer some of his questions about the latest and greatest, right? And you know that anytime you do so you're entered to win a WinMo smartphone of your choice (up to $1,000), right?

C'mon. Let's show the boss the error of his webOS-lovin' ways, shall we?

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4 years ago

Bing going big: Apple's default search engine?

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We assume you've heard the whole China-Google-IE6 debacle that's going on, along with the the Apple-Google falling out, so it really comes of no surprise that Microsoft is using this opportunity to edge Bing over Google search.

In fact the rumor du jour is that Apple is seriously considering replacing Google search as their default search engine on the iPhone with Bing.  And why not?  Bing has turned out to be a big hit for Microsoft, which is no small feat considering the competition.

We expect as Google gets bigger and more powerful this will happen more often. How long do you think Firefox will continue their relationship with Google and Chrome? We've also heard recent inside report that some OEMs are not happy with Google and the Nexus One for obvious reasons.

Sure if Microsoft pulls this off, it's partially because they're a pawn, but a win is a win in business. Plus the better Bing does, the more money Microsoft can sink into fixing our Bing for Mobile 5.0 application, ahem.

[Businessweek via The iPhone Blog]

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4 years ago

OpnMarket: Freeware marketplace alternative

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One of our favorite pocketpc freeware sites, Freeware for PocketPC, has released a pretty darn good marketplace app dubbed OpnMarket (hey, it's freeware, they evidently have to pay for extra "e"s).

In fact, dare we say, it's snazzier than Microsoft's own attempt?  Best analogy is it feels similar to the Netflix Mobile Manager application, with kinetic scrolling and tight graphics. Of course, it only works on touchscreen devices. Sorry WM Standard.

So do we recommend?  Heck, yeah!  For one, it showcases a lot of hobby developer software and number two, it's all freeware. The store itself works well enough, and did we mention free?

The application does require registration, which can be done on the device or on their website.  This will allow you to manage your programs via a "dashboard" interface as well as keep your software up to date.

Use MS Tag to download now and give it a go.  Read more on it here.

[Thanks, Veselin N., for the tip!]

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4 years ago

Windows Mobile Train Race video also outs Windows Mobile 7 (surprise!)

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Everybody, meet Mel. Mel, meet everybody. See, Mel was part of a pretty cool thing Microsoft did leading up to the Professional Developers Conference last year in Los Angeles. A bunch of WinMo devs took a train from Seattle to L.A., and on the 36-hour journey they developed some eco-friendly apps. And Mel, as you can see, introduces himself as a member of the Windows Mobile 7 team. That in and of itself isn't that remarkable -- there surely are tons of people on it. But Mel did out himself before WM7's even been announced, and that makes us smile.

So thanks, Mel. Now check out more on the WinMo Train Race after the break.

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4 years ago

Battery Issues with Verizon Touch Pro2 6.5 Update

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We’re hearing rumblings of people randomly experiencing excessive battery drain after upgrading their Verizon Touch Pro2 to the official 6.5 ROM. Depending on whom you believe the problems could be attributed to the automatic weather updates or the new radio ROM. While this isn’t affecting everyone, there are enough reports of people having issues that this is worth discussing.

Recommended solutions include turning off the weather updates, performing a hard reset, or re-flashing your device entirely.

Any Touch Pro2 users on Big Red apply the 6.5 update yet? Are you guys having issues with battery life? Have you found any fixes or workarounds? Discuss.

Thanks to John for the tip.

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4 years ago

Review: Powermat wireless charger

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Review: Powermat wireless charger

My wife uses an iPhone, my son a Samsung phone, and I've got HTC, Samsung and Palm (as well as whatever I happen to be reviewing at the time) phones. Add my daughter's Nintendo DS Lite, a few iPod Touches and we begin to run out of electrical outlets and we also have to deal with the spaghetti pile of cords.

In the same boat? If so, Powermat may have a solution to help clean up the clutter numerous chargers present. The charger is offered in the WMExperts Store for $97.95. It will handle up to three devices at once, tying up only one wall outlet.

Ease on past the break to see how well the Powermat performs, not only in charging devices but also in clearing up some of the clutter.

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4 years ago

Bing to change privacy policy

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Bing to change privacy policy

Microsoft has announce a change in Bing's privacy policy. Bing, Microsoft's search engine, currently retains the IP addresses from searchers for 18 months before they're deleted. The change will lessen that time to 6 months.

Bing immediately takes measures to "de-identify" the data by removing account information that could identify the person conducting the search (email addresses, phone numbers, mailing addresses, etc.). Reese Solberg, Bing's Privacy Manager, states in the Bing Community Post that, "This is a strong step forward in our journey to protect the privacy of our customers while providing a great set of search tools.".

The new policy will be implemented over the next 12 to 18 months. You can find the full announcement over at Microsoft's "On the Issues" Web site.

Via Bing Community

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4 years ago

Review: Windows Live for Windows Phone

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Review: Windows Live for Windows Phone

One of the things that have made Google’s Android platform such a strong player in the mobile space is the simple fact that Google has so many popular services. Google’s ability to tightly integrate these services into the Android experience is one of the things that is so appealing. Microsoft may have the numbers, but Google has everything neatly and seamlessly on Android, where Windows Mobile does not.

Think about it. Where Google has Google Search, Gmail and Google Talk; Microsoft has Bing, Hotmail/Live Mail, and Messenger. Though the similarities between the two giants are well documented, the way that they have approached the integration of their services into their mobile platforms couldn’t be more different. While Google makes use of their services bordering on mandatory (you have to have an account to even use an Android device), Microsoft has chosen to take a much more low key approach through Windows Live for Windows Phone.

Windows Live for Windows Phone hasn’t received much face time; but is worth a quick look, which is waiting on the other side of the break.

Pros: 
Provides Push Email without needing Exchange. Supports Messenger chat. Free.
Cons: 
Not enough support for Windows Live services. Bland appearance.
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4 years ago

Windows Mobile hands on with Android - Smartphone Round Robin

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We're almost there, folks. It's the penultimate week of the third annual Smartphone Round Robin, and this week Android Central's Casey Chan teaches me a thing or three about the little green robot. I've said it many a time, but Windows Mobile and Android share a lot in common, and we're definitely going to get down to the bottom of it.

In addition, I've started a thread over at AndroidCentral.com to get the help of the Android faithful. Head on over and see what they have to say. And remember than anytime you comment in an official Smartphone Round Robin thread, you're entered to win a free smartphone from that site (up to $1,000). So get to it, boys and girls!

Oh, and check out my Android hands-on with Casey after the break.

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