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5 years ago

Review: Fizz Weather for WM Smartphone - Week o' Weather Apps

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5 years ago

Yahoo 3.0 Shows Windows Mobile Pro Some Love

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Windows Mobile Pro devices will no longer be left out of the Yahoo 3.0 circle. As of a few days ago you can head over to Yahoo through your web browser and download the 3.0 for your Windows Mobile Pro device. Yahoo users can sync contacts, calendar events, and mail right from your device. The new 3.0 for Pro is the same as it is for Stadard Windows Mobile. This means we still get all the great features like Yahoo one search, widgets and weather.

One thing I noticed when I downloaded the 3.0 version is that it copies adjustments that I made on my very first go around. For example when I installed it on my BlackJackII I added Myspace, eBay, and the Facebook widget. It followed me to my Treo 750 and once I opened the app I saw the widgets already added. Cool! The cloud at its best and like it should be.

Thanks to Amar for the tip!

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5 years ago

Feds tell Verizon to Divest Unicel, Would Make Rural Cellular Corp Acquisition Easier to Digest

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Ah, the wireless world ... What an incestuous web we sometimes weave. Follow us on this one:

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday that Verizon Wireless must sell off a good chunk its assets in six areas of the northeast in order to go ahead with its $2.7 billion acquisition of Rural Cellular Corp.

Concessions aren't unusual when it comes to the business end of things, and consumer advocates went so far as to laud the FCC's handling of the AT&T-Bellsouth deal back in early 2007 that led to the rebranding of Cingular.

The DOJ press release doesn't mention the pending purchase of Alltel, just this:

According to the complaint, the proposed transaction would substantially reduce competition for mobile wireless telecommunications services in these areas, where, in each case, Verizon and RCC collectively serve more than 60 percent of subscribers.

Which makes sense. Until you recall an Engadget story in May noting that Rural Cellular is suing Alltel over customers it purchased previously in Minnesota.

So the question is: What does that mean for the current Alltel customers (or the Rural Cellular peeps) in the northeast? If anyone out there with a j.d. can shed some light on this one, do it in the comments.

Thanks to Erik for the tip!

Update: Changed the headline there, looks like the DoJ is more worried about the RCC deal, they're still mum on the Alltel thing. My bad -- Dieter

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5 years ago

SPB Backup 2.0 is released

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SPB Backup 2.0 is released

SPB Backup is on our list of must-have software for your Smartphone or Pocket PC, so it interested us to know that SPB Software has just released Version 2.0 of its popular device backup-and-restore tool.

New this time around are:

  • The ability to determine between a device reset and a ROM upgrade, allowing you to restore on a different device (We hope this works better than it has in the past).
  • A desktop backup unpacking tool, which allows you to explore the backup.
  • Separate text message restoration.
  • Sync backups on your desktop.

The usual scheduled and customizable backups are still there, and you SPB has added a file blacklist.

SPB Backup 2.0 is available here for Pocket PCs and here for Smartphones. A free, five-day trial is available. Full download costs $24.95, and an upgrade from Version 1.x is just $9.95.

Check back with us soon for a full review. But if you're going to try out SPB Backup in the meantime, be sure to, well, back up your device first. You can't be too careful.

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5 years ago

Sprint Treo 800w weighs in; gets spec'd out.

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We still don't have any better pics of the finalized version, but evidently Sprint is gearing up their internal promo materials for the Palm 800w (expected in mid July for $249.99) as some lovely 'coolgal' dropped us all the deets. Score.

And since this jives what we've been hearing (and sometimes keeping mum about) for the last few months, we're very confident in the accuracy and even eye numbing detail.

For brevity, we'll just stick to the majors and the new stuff, but click here for coolgal's full list, in case you're really, really curious and our older one here.

Radio - CDMA 800 (Digital Cellular), 1900 (PCS), and 1.5GHz (GPS) - EVDO and 1XRTT

Phone Features - Personal speakerphone - MicroUSB standard B connector (2.0-compliant; for sync cable, charger, and audio accessories) - External antenna port - Microphone mute option - HAC compatible (M4/T4 rating)

Processor technology - TI processor, 333MHz

Expansion - microSD/SDHC card slot

Operating system - Windows Mobile

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5 years ago

HP iPaq 910 Lands June 30th

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HP iPaq 910 Lands June 30th

We saw the HP iPaq 910 announced and now thanks to Brighthand we have a price and a date: June 30th, $500. The 910 looks like an awfully sweet device, what with Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro, a 416mHz processor, 128 RAM, 256 ROM, Quad-band EDGE and Tri-band 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and a 3 megapixel camera. So nice, in fact, that although we doubt AT&T will pick it up we secretly hope that rumors to the contrary are true.

The best thing about the HP910 is that it serves to fill a slot in the US that's currently only occupied by one (carrier-supported) device. The slot: A front-facing QWERTY-keyboard WinMo device with a touchscreen on AT&T's network. The device: the old and tottering Treo 750. (Yes, we know about the Samsung i780 and no, we're not interested). While we hope that Palm can get their act together and release the Treo 850 this summer, if they don't this iPaq could steal a bit of their thunder.

Anybody else think that keyboard bears a striking resemblance to the one on the Motorola Q9h?

...Check out the official iPaq 910 Product Page for more.

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5 years ago

Review: Handy Weather for WM Smartphone - Week o' Weather Apps

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(Join us this week as George reviews 4 Weather Apps for Windows Mobile Standard and then gives them all a big smackdown on Friday. Today's entrant: Elecont Weather)

Weather applications are increasing in popularity and Paragon Software Group has tossed Handy Weather ($17.95) into the growing selection of applications.  I’ve reviewed several weather applications lately and find them very useful to help plan your day on the go as well as planning for the days ahead.  There are a lot of good weather applications available and I was curious how Handy Weather would stack up.

Read on to see how it shapes up!

Installation was straightforward and easy but set up threw me a major curve ball.  Handy Weather claims to have over 40,000 preset cities in its database.  You first select you country, then State/Province/etc., then city.  I selected United States which prompted a listing of States.  I saw Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, and then it went on to California.  Alabama was missing!  I could pull up weather information for every State in the Union but Alabama.  I could pull up cities from the Federated States of Micronesia but not Alabama.  I could see the current conditions for Yap but not Birmingham!

Seeing that I couldn’t use any city in my home State, I choose Destin, Florida.  If I couldn’t be in Birmingham, I might as well be on the beach.

Handy Weather is a weather application and Home Screen Plug-in.  The application will place a weather forecast bar on your Home Screen that will show you the current conditions and the next four day forecast.  A series of weather icons are used and the temperature is displayed.

Clicking on the banner will send you to the application itself.  The main screen of Handy Weather is a seven day forecast and by clicking on the individual date, you pull up forecasted conditions including forecasted weather plus projected temperature, wind speed and direction, UV index, and humidity.

The application also includes three forecast maps; satellite, surface and temperature.  The maps are graphically pleasing but lacked detailed information.  Only eleven North American cities are shown on the Current Temperature Map, fourteen on the Satellite Map, and none are indicated on the Surface Analysis Map.  It would have been nice to have seen the selected Cities shown.

Handy Weather does not have animated maps, radar images or notifications of severe weather alerts.  It will allow you to see a graph of forecasted temperatures and conditions over a five day period.

The Options Menu for Handy Weather is limited.  You can change the language, units of measurement and update frequency.  Not much more.  I would have preferred to see the ability to modify the information bar content (current conditions or three day forecast as opposed to just the seven day) as well as graphical appearances.

Overall Impression

On the surface, I liked Handy Weather($17.95).  It gave you a snapshot of the seven day forecast along with a little more detailed information if you needed it.  Compared to other weather applications, Handy Weather would be a basic model giving you just enough information on the weather but not too much.  Unfortunately, it seems to be a work in progress.

Because Handy Weather does not include a single city in Alabama, it doesn’t do me or anyone traveling to Alabama any good.  In contacting Paragon Software, the omission of Alabama was an oversight on their part and steps are being taken to include Alabama in future releases, the first expected at the end of the month.

Based on the limited options, the oversight of including any city in Alabama, and basic features I’m almost of the impression that Paragon Software slapped this application together hastily in order to get a weather application on the market.

How do you forget a State?  When developers saw 49 States listed under the United States of America, shouldn’t that have been a sign?

Ratings (out of 5)

  • Installation: 4/5
  • Functionality: 3/5 (where’s Alabama?)
  • Graphics: 4/5 (more detail on maps)
  • Ease of Use: 4/5 (navigation is easy)

Overall:

Pros

  • Easy to navigate through

Cons

  • City Database missing an entire State
  • Lack of Detail in Maps
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5 years ago

E-TEN Breaks Out 3 Smartphones You'll Likely Never Get

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Apple Inc. on Monday announced the follow-up to it's wildly popular iPhone, the iPhone 3G ...

Sorry, even we get caught up during the silly season. And with that, Taiwan's E-TEN unleashed three new devices on its Glofish line last week at Computex 2008.

There's nothing terribly new here, as Phone Arena first showed us. Uou're unlikely to see any of these during your morning commute as E-TEN doesn't have the best (read: any) track record getting pickup from US carriers. Though we will say this: They rolled out WM6 updates earlier than the U.S. bigs.

But here's the skinny:

  • The X900 is a quad-band GSM follow-up to the X800, with a 480-by-640 screen.
  • The DX900 features dual sim cards, for those who swing that way, hitting up the 850/900/1800/1900 bands on one hand, and 850/1900/2100 on the other. It also sports a 3MP camera.
  • The X610 is another basic update to the X600.
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5 years ago

Qik Coming to Windows Mobile

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Qik Coming to Windows Mobile

Qik has announced it will be coming to Windows Mobile. The Windows Mobile version should be ready in the next few months and you can expect a review when it drops. Qik is the web casting service that streams video from your phone to the Qik website. If your one of the lucky owners of a Motorola Q or Samsung Blackjack then you might be able to get in on the invite only alpha.

In my opinion this is great because Windows Mobile has always been known for getting things done and with Qik we can add having fun to the list. With the ability to stream live video to Qik the possibilities could be endless. Now instead of 60 minutes of video share you can share more birthday parties, anniversaries, and graduations. I think it will be best for sharing moments with friends. For example if your buddies not at the movies with you, simply fire up Qik and he can watch it with you without eating your popcorn. Er, on second thought, don't try that last one, we wouldn't want the MPAA storming your house.

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5 years ago

Weekly Software Wrangle - Week 4

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Weekly Software Wrangle - Week 4

Hitch up the software wagon and let's head out on the range. It's time once again to Wrangle this week's new, updated and free software for WM Professional and WM Standard.

This week we are featuring new software for WM Standard, PBA Bowling and Flyder US and UK. Updated software includes SmartReg and USB Modem. Freeware includes All Mobile Mines SE and Maufait InstaFind.

WM Professional new software includes a look at mDesktop and Touch Commander Suite. Updated software includes PhatPad 4.5 and Fizz Traveller. In Freeware, we'll take a look at the apps available from www.spoontools.com.

Let's get started with the Weekly Software Wrangle Week 4 now!

WM Standard: New

First up is PBA Bowling v1.0 by Concrete Software, Inc. Special recognition goes out to Lightning Toads Productions, LLC who provided their Toadlet mobile game engine to Concrete Software. Concrete Software licensed the Toadlet Engine from Lightning Toads to incorporate many features, including life-like physics, into PBA Bowling. You can learn more about Lightning Toads Productions and their products here.

Now, more about the game:

The biggest name in bowling, Professional Bowlers Association is now available for your mobile device.

Choose from the most realistic bowling balls and lane conditions. Enjoy full 3D environments and motion enabled throwing technology (device must have a camera).

Test your skills against a long list of the internationally recognized professional bowlers. Unlock special ball abilities and patterns. After working on your game versus the professional bowlers it

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5 years ago

Moto may be close to hiring new handset chief

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Moto may be close to hiring new handset chief

Having already tried layoffs, splits, ritual sacrifice ousters and the emergence of yet another device in the Q9 series, Motorola reportedly is close to hiring a new shaman for its wireless unit, in hopes of salvaging the company's future (read: stock price) and get back to the glory days of the RAZR.

Todd Bradley is executive VP of HP's Personal Systems group, and he's been around the block a bit.

Bradley has a 25-year management career and has held senior roles at GE Capital Corp., The Dun & Bradstreet Corp., Gateway Corp., FedEx Corp and palmOne. Prior to joining HP, he was the chief executive officer of palmOne, where he led a successful turnaround of that company and established a new category of mobile devices for the industry.

Bradley reportedly is one of two people being considered to helm Moto's soon-to-be independent wireless branch. But with rumblings last week that the handset spinoff might not happen, we'll take this with a grain of salt until the ink's dry.

Update: Former Moto marketing manager James King apparently is jumping ship to Samsung.

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5 years ago

AT&T to Issue Credits for Scammy Ringtone Services

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If you have ever been Jamstered and have AT&T, then now might be a good time to call them up for a credit. AT&T is offering credits due to third party charges that occurred spuriously between Jan 1st 2004 to may 30 2008. AT&T has learned its lesson and will now require customers to confirm monthly subscriptions by text and have third party companies send reminders on how to unsubscribe. AT&T should be notifying customers in the coming weeks, but if its anything like a mail in rebate, well, you know... Instead you might be better off simply downloading the credit form from the AT&T website.

In my opinion its kind of sad that it took a lawsuit to help a company like AT&T realize there was a problem in this area. I can't tell you how many times I have looked at a bill and seen a ridiculous amount of ring tones and game charges from 3rd party companies. Just a helpful reminder that your Windows Mobile phones are packed full of features that we love and don't require you to pay some janky 3rd party service to use. If you have been janked, however, hit up the lawsuit link there and get the deets on your potential compensation.

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5 years ago

Samsung i900 Omnia Announced, Examined

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Listen Samsung, we know that you're trying to get some of the ancillary attention being paid to that other smartphone today, but we fear that might not work out so well for you. Nevertheless, we're actually pretty impressed with what you're offering with the i900. Good specs will out, as they say:

  • QuandBand Edge and HSDPA that should work in the US
  • Five Megapixel camera
  • FM Radio, Bluetooth, Wifi
  • 400 x 240 screen
  • Custom interface on top of Windows Mobile
  • GPS
  • 624 MHz Processer
  • Touchscreen (capacitive!) with haptic feedback
  • 16 gigs of storage and a microSD slot

All in all, it's awfully good stuff. We still think that 240x400 is going to give some users fits with 3rd party apps that might not be compatible. We also worry just a bit that, like with your i780, you're eschewing the traditional 5-way D-Pad for that little mousepad thing. But perusing the GSM Arena hands on makes us think that the i900 does a good job beating out the Diamond. CNet Asia's First Impressions makes us hanker to see this custom interface of yours as well. We do recommend you drop the price a bit though and we hope this makes it way out of the Asian markets.

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5 years ago

Google Maps Gets Update

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Google Maps Gets Update


There has been a big debate over which is better when it comes to maps. Some say Google Maps while others live in Live Search. Google is trying to change that and take the number one spot with the 2.2 update. Moments after Microsoft released their Live Search update, Google followed suit and added cool new features like favorites, public transportation directions, and center point on the map.

The new 2.2 will give users the ability to track bus and train schedules. With these ridiculous gas prices google maps could be a great tool in our never ending battle to fight the pump.

I gave it a spin and have to admit the pages seem to scroll a lot better than they did in the previous maps. I also fell in love with the favorites. I automatically added my house, work and family members as favorites making it easier to search in certain areas.

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5 years ago

iPhone 2.0 is a Serious Threat in the Enterprise Space

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We just finished the iPhone 3G Live Blog over at our sister site, theiPhoneBlog.com. The big news for Windows Mobile users is twofold:

  1. There was plenty of Windows Mobile mockery to be had. Most especially, they made fun of the Task Manager. The iPhone's solution is to offer a push notification feature to all developers in place of background tasks. While we here at WMExperts think that true multitasking is probably still a better way to go, we are a little jealous of the ability to have any developer be able to push out notifications for IM, Tweets, or whatever.
  2. The iPhone 2.0 software is coming soon and it's going to drive a much bigger wedge in the Enterprise Smartphone space than we'd previously thought. We already knew that the new software will offer Exchange push email support. It's not as good as what's available natively on Windows Mobile, but it might be 'good enough.' The bigger news, though, is that 35% of the Fortune 500 companies took part in the SDK Beta program. That's a lot of big companies giving serious consideration to full iPhone support.

We'll add one more - Apple beat Microsoft to the punch as far as offering “Exchange services for the rest of us.” Their new MobileMe, while poorly named, is full push email, contacts, and calendar for Joe User. Sure, it's $100 bucks a year (ouch!), but it's getting to market before Microsoft was able to integrate and utilize the services they acquired by buying Danger.

What do you think? Do the new iPhone software services and features pose a more serious threat to Windows Mobile than they did before?

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