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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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4 years ago

LG Windows Phone 7 Series Prototype Fondled on The Engadget Show

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Ever since Microsoft showed off Windows Phone 7 Series at Mobile World Congress, one of the major questions has been what kind of hardware can we expect from the device manufacturers. All we saw in Barcelona was a developer device.

But today on The Engadget Show, Microsoft’s Aaron Woodman brought a new toy. It was a prototype LG device, with the Windows Phone 7 Series OS, a sliding QWERTY keyboard -- which was a bit of a surprise -- all of the hardware buttons that we’ve been told to expect, a 5-megapixel camera with flash, and a 3.5mm audio jack.

Let's reiterate that this was a prototype, and we'd kind of like to see a production unit with a little more sophistication. An new OS of this caliber deserves something that at least looks like more than the hardware the old Windows Mobile (sorry, but it is) runs on.

Oh, and the fact that Paul and Nilay posted their hands-on with the LG device as The Engadget Show was taping live was more than a little sick. [Engadget]

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4 years ago

Get the Windows Phone 7 Series user interface on your Windows phone now

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We still don't have a clear picture if the new Windows Phone 7 Series operating system (also known as "Metro") will actually be made available on any current hardware (the HTC HD2 is a possibility, but its standing changes day by day). But you might be able to at least make your phone look like it's got what it takes, thanks to some clever skinning. Everything's still in the early stages and is a little janky, but you get the idea. [XDA]

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4 years ago

Windows Phone Starter edition is officially official

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Rumors have been floating since the big Windows Phone 7 Series announcement at Mobile World Congress that Microsoft would be offering a "Starter Edition" of Windows Mobile 6 aimed at least partially at emerging markets (see the original announcement by Bsquare). Up to this point all information on Starter Edition has been coming from "sources familiar with the matter." But Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet was able to coax a Microsoft mobile spokesperson into answering some questions.

Some quick details about Windows Phone 6 Starter edition:

  • Will be offered in multi-language versions
  • Versions with and without Microsoft Office Mobile will be offered. (Office Mobile 2010 will be made available to OEMs when it ships.)
  • Supports 2G (GSM), 2.5G (CDMA2000 xRTT, EDGE, GPRS), CDMA (Rev A, EV-DO Revision A), and TD-SCDMA radios. Engadget postulates that the conspicuous absence of HSDPA 3G is an attempt to encourage adoption of Windows Phone 7 Series devices internationally where 3G networks are substantial enough.

What are your thoughts on Starter Edition? [via ZDNet]

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4 years ago

Adobe to stop Flash development for WM 6.5?

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Adobe may have let it slip on its forums that it will no longer pursue development of Flash 10.1 for Windows Mobile 6.5. The question was asked about the availability of Adobe Flash 10.1 and a forum member, that some are identifying as a Adobe representative replied, "As for WinMo, we have made the tough decision to defer support for that platform until WinMo7. This is due to the fact that WinMo6.5 does not support some of the critical APIs that we need."  The same representative also mentions that the HD2 will be first Windows Phone to support Flash.

If Adobe doesn't plan on continuing development towards WM 6.5, instead will focus on WP7S and the first Windows Phone to run Flash will be the HTC HD2 ... could this add more credence to the thought that the HD2 might be upgradeable to Windows Phone 7 Series? Or are we stretching things a wee bit too much?

Read: Electronista.com

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4 years ago

AT&T extends Microcell availability

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AT&T extends Microcell availability

What feels as though it was a lifetime ago, AT&T started testing it's 3G Microcell in very limited fashion a little over a year ago. The 3G Microcell test market was extended shortly thereafter and AT&T is now extending the Microcell's availability again.

In response to one of our reader's inquiries into the Microcell, AT&T replied informing them that the Microcell availability has been extended to the following States and Metropolitan areas; Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, San Diego, and Las Vegas.

If you are lucky enough to live in these areas, all you need to do is visit AT&T's 3G Microcell website and enter your specific zip code to see if the Microcell is available. If you are in one of these trial areas, you will be provided with a list of retail locations where you can purchase the Microcell. There was no mention on the pricing for the Microcell itself but it appears, in reading the fine print, the service will run $19.99 per month.  There are still rumors that bundled discounts will be available to lower the monthly cost.

The 3G Microcell uses your existing broadband internet service to connect to the AT&T Network. The result is you get five bars of reception when you otherwise would have to suffer with one (or fewer) bars. The Microcell will provide up to 5,000 square feet of coverage.

There is no indication from AT&T when (or if) the Microcell will be available nationwide but for those in poor signal areas, it can't get here any quicker. Thanks goes out to jaffec for the tip.

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4 years ago

Windows Phone 7 Series Chassis Choices?

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During the unveiling of the Windows Phone 7 Series, Microsoft recognized that one size doesn't fit all.  Some Windows Phone users prefer sliding keyboards, some prefer front facing keyboards, and some would rather see a larger screen and no keyboards.  Some hope Microsoft keeps the door open for such design variations and a recent podcast from Australia is suggesting these options may be more than just a possibility.

In a recent "Frankly Speaking" podcast, hosts Michael Kordahi and Andrew Coates suggest that Microsoft may cut back the number of Windows phone designs to three styles or chassis.

Chassis one would resemble the “big touch screen” phones similar to what were used to demo WP7S at the Mobile World Congress.  Heck, it might even include the HD2 if an upgrade is made available.

Chassis two would incorporate a sliding keyboard into the design and Chassis 3 might be a candy-bar styled phone with a front-facing keyboard.

Keep in mind this is all speculation but having a choice on styles could make a lot of consumers happy and still maintain the consistency Microsoft is hoping to achieve with Windows Phone 7 Series.

Read: ZDNet.com

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4 years ago

Windows phone 7 upgrades may be possible; up to OEMs ... maybe

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The big news of the day (on an evidently slow one) is that Microsoft may allow OEMs to upgrade devices to Windows Phone 7 Series software.

Shocking, we know. You can sit back down now.

Considering we've heard a lot about a certain HTC HD2 aiming for an upgrade (from  HTC no less), it sure doesn't seem like a stretch to see this happen for certain "qualifying" devices.  Now what exactly constitutes qualification, is not too clear. Devices like the LG eXpo were slated to release with WP7, but since it lacks a capacitive screen ...?

Basically, Tracy and Matt asked Microsoft's Alex Reeve (Director of the company's UK Mobile Business Group) on Twitter about the upgrade possibility and he tweeted back with 

It's early days yet, and that's really for our hardware partners to think about.

So there you go, 100% definitive proof that OEMs can think about doing something with certain devices. Whether it actually happens? That's a whole 'nother ball of wax. Try not too loose any sleep over it tonight. [Updated to fix source]

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4 years ago

Where's the LG eXpo?

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Where's the LG eXpo?

For being the very first Snapdragon 1Ghz Windows phone in the U.S., the LG eXpo is sure hard to find these days.

Never listed on their consumer site, AT&T only lists it "Out of stock" in their business channel. Outstanding orders are being put on backorder-status and even 3rd party retailers like Amazon.com (who sell it for a fair $99 with contract) are reportedly having supply issues. (Side note: Canada's Telus seems to have them on hand still).

So what exactly is going on here? One would like to believe that the phone is selling so well AT&T simply cannot keep them in stock. But for those who frequent the various smartphone forums may notice that the eXpo crowd is quite tiny compared to other devices. So, yeah, probably not.

The issue appears to be on LG's end or whomever is actually handling the manufacturing. Unfortunately (and not surprisingly) no one is stating specifics, though we imagine there could be quite a few possibilities:

  • Chinese New Year: this time of the year, it is not uncommon for manufacturing plants to shut down, halting production.
  • Supply issues with Authen Tec's AES1711 fingerprint reader/sensor technology
  • Supply issues with Qualcomm's Snapdragon CPU

The Chinese New Year issue is common with electronic OEMs and not a surprise. In turn, many companies prepare for the temporary downward production by increasing production before the holiday. So not likely.

Supply issues with the Authen Tec's AES1711 sensor is a possible, being so new to market. Likewise, HTC could be gobbling up all the Snapdragon's they can for their hugely popular HTC HD2 (probably being massed produced now for T-Mobile U.S.).

AT&T told WMExperts this in response to the eXpo's shortage:

While AT&T and LG continue to work together to ensure a quality product is available to customers, we are currently facing limited quantity of stock on hand. AT&T is working to complete backfill orders and the remaining stock will soon become available for new customer orders for a limited time.

Why a "limited time" only? And why not for regular, non-business consumers? (Business & Premier users can order it here).

We're not sure but hope this situation doesn't last as the eXpo is quite the Windows phone and has, at least for the time being, supplanted my Touch Pro 2 as my favorite device (Hint: 1Ghz matters...a  lot). Stay tuned.

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4 years ago

Elecont Weather updated, adds Weather Clock

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Elecont Weather updated, adds Weather Clock

Elecont has updated its Windows Mobile weather application, Elecont Weather to version 1.0.1056 which adds a clock face to highlight the hourly forecasts.  The clock is designed to give you a more visual reference on what to expect weather-wise as you plan your day.  Elecont Weather continues to offer a 10-day forecast, weather alerts for UV, ice and severe weather, barometric and temperature trends, "feels like" temperature and sunrise/sunset times.

Since our initial review of Elecont Weather, the application has been updated to include richer graphics and Ice Alerts. Each update improves upon the original.

Elecont Weather is compatible with Windows Phones running either Windows Mobile Professional or Standard (touch and non-touch screens). Elecont Weather is available at the WMExperts.com Software Store for $14.95.

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4 years ago

Skype discontinued for Windows Mobile?

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This is sort of out of left field, but evidently Skype has discontinued and pulled the Skype Mobile software for Windows phones.

Why? They sort of answer in their FAQ, but to be honest it is more of a dodge:

Unfortunately, Skype Lite – a version of Skype for your mobile phone – and Skype for Windows Mobile are no longer available for download from our site.

We’ve chosen to withdraw Skype Lite and Skype for Windows Mobile because we want to offer our new customers an improved mobile experience – much like the version that has proved so popular on the iPhone, and which is now available on Symbian phones. Our focus is on providing a rich user experience that allows you to enjoy free Skype-to-Skype and low cost calls as easily on the move as you do at your desktop.

We felt that Skype Lite and Skype for Windows Mobile were not offering the best possible Skype experience.

Fair enough and we actually agree. Skype for Windows Mobile was really a huge program (~10MB) that ate a lot of resources. Granted, it did offer nearly the "full Skype experience" but at processing cost.

For Skype/VOIP, we here at WMExperts have always found Fring a much better alternative.

Still, Skype is obviously begging the question with their response: are they going to, you know, release a new version that is much more awesome and built better? Or are they just pulling it and wiping their hands altogether of Windows phone?

For the time being, you can still download and use Skype here. Or if on your phone, just scan the MS Tag to the right to direct download (11.7MB!) 

[WMPhone.de via WMPoweruser]

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4 years ago

Hidden programs on LG eXpo

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Hidden programs on LG eXpo

  

For the few of those with the hard-to-find LG eXpo (more on that later), there are three interesting applications hidden within \Windows that may be of interest:

  • GPSViewer
  • wifiEngMenu
  • TascalRegEdit

GPSViewer/GPS Utility is a simple app that shows you the number of satellites found and their strength, all in a nice graph form. (Of note is excellent GPS reception and accuracy on the eXpo).  It also gives your current speed, albeit in km/h.  Still, not a bad diagnostic tool.

"WifiEngMenu" is an advanced WiFi diagnostic tool that gives a ton of information related to your current network, including transmission rate test, WWM PS test, signal strength, etc.

Finally there is Tascal Registry Editor, a common (and ancient) freeware registry application. While nothing special, it's nice to have it readily available.

To access these apps, the first two (GPS Viewer, WifiEngMenu) require you to find them under \Windows and create a shortcut to the Start Menu. To make that easier for folks, we'll include the shortcuts for you to download directly: just unzip to \Windows\Start Menu and you should be all set.  For the Registry editor, find "TascalRegEdit.cab" under \Windows and simply run and install. A shortcut will be created for you to use directly.

Download to your device here.

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4 years ago

WiFi Remote Access: amazing freeware application

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Every once in awhile we here at WMExperts come across a truly remarkable piece of software: simple, elegant, useful and preferably free.

WiFi Remote Access by Julian Manici meets all of these criteria.

In short, you install the software on your Windows phone (with WiFi, ahem), pick a password and when ready, hit "Enable".

You'll now be shown your device's IP address which you simply type in your Web browser on your Desktop PC.  You are then prompted to enter a password, a pop-up notification on your phone appears and you're connected. 

Once that is done you can browse your pictures, documents, files, storage card, view and compose SMS messages, edit your registry, even listen to music. Best of all it's very fast and has a beautiful UI.

Heck, it now even features a "remote control" function whereby you can view and operate your phone via the web browser. Huzzah.

Of course, your connection is not encrypted (though password protected), so be aware of the security risks. But for home use, it should be of little concern.

What can we say? We're in love.

Give it a shot and let us know in comments your experience!

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