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5 years ago

HTC Kaiser 6.1 Update Official Any Day Now

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HTC Kaiser 6.1 Update Official Any Day Now

A Windows Mobile 6.1 update for the HTC TYTN II / Kaiser will be officially available any day now (likely by the end of the week). So says Paul of MoDaCo, adding:

The update is for HTC TyTN II devices, and will be followed later by a AT&T branded update. The update adds Windows Mobile 6.1 with improvements such as the 'Getting Started' wizard, Threaded SMS and general performance and battery life updates, as well as HTC's 'video performance' update. So what's it like? Performance IS improved, however with no real video acceleration, don't get your hopes up TOO much!

...So it looks like our fears last week that the update would never be seen on the Tilt were unfounded. We're happy to hear that the update is 'improved' and though we understand (and partially agree with) the decision not to try to develop better video drivers, the lack of them here still stings, just a little.

(Oh, right: following that MoDaCo link will start you on a path towards hunting the leaked version of said ROM, which is indeed out on the internets as of this moment.)

Thanks to surur for the tip!

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5 years ago

Sprint Busts a Cap on Yo ....Data

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Sprint Busts a Cap on Yo ....Data

It's bad enough that we bash Sprint and give them grief every now and then, but when they bash themselves in the head... that's just crazy. See, the one thing Sprint had going for them may be coming to and end. That's right boys and girls: Sprint's unlimited internet plan now is "unlimited" with those scare quotes. The rumor is that they'll cap you at 5 gigs a month, joining the likes of AT&T and Verizon. Really, it's tough to blame Sprint, after Verizon and AT&T made record earnings, if they jumped off a cliff Sprint would probably think about doing the same.

Maybe after losing 1 million customers Sprint just snapped like a crazy parent fed up with the kids, and like any angry mom decided to restrict privileges. Now sprint users are grounded from unlimited internet. Since all the major the companies will be rocking similar data caps, might we suggest switching to the fastest provider? If you're sticking, then the expected dooms day is July 13th 2008 -- get your download on while you still can.

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5 years ago

Smartphones and Identity: You Are What You Dial

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Here we have another WMExperts editorial that starts relatively small and ends up turning into a big ol' discussion of what a smartphone is and what it should be. Today's question: how does your identity define your smartphone and, more importantly, how does your smartphone define your identity? Here we go!

Darla Mack asks the following question: (trackback here)

Men think that women want pink phones and cute phone charms and such. Women think that men want to have the “biggest, first, most expensive, etc. etc.”. But does anyone really know?
In my mobile journeys I've found that women do in fact want the same as men.

I'm inclined to agree -- the idea that you can slap a pink cover on a gadget and call it “female-friendly” is more than a little silly. It might be slightly less silly to argue that a given operating system's interface is “gendered,” though. I'm far from an expert on questions of gender and find the whole thing somewhat difficult to talk about (more on that in a moment).

It's more than just gender, though, there's a whole swath of people worldwide that don't seem to be getting properly addressed by the way smartphones get marketed these days. Can Microsoft (et al) find a way to direct their development and their marketing to address the needs and desires of different demographics without pandering or stereotyping?

I don't know, but I have a few thoughts. Read on!

Are Smartphones Gendered?

The default assumption, I'm guessing, is that Windows Mobile is too analytical/left brained overall and therefore oriented towards the typically male way of thinking about the world. All those regimented menus, submenus, lines, squares, checkboxes... it all seems to read decided “male.”

The numbers bear that reading out, as we reported last November:

According to a recent research by Microsoft, only 14.6% of the Windows Mobile users are women, compared with 85.4% of men.

I doubt that the divide is as stark as that for all smartphones, but at the recent BlackBerry WES 2008 conference I heard the same refrain from the few women I spoke with: “I wish there were more women here and in this industry.” There's definitely a problem here: Smartphones seem to be designed by men and for men.

I mentioned that talking about different demographics and the needs of those demographics is a little difficult to talk about. Here's why: While it's clear that smartphones are primarily designed by men and (for now, anyway) primarily used by men, it's much less clear that smartphones are “gendered.”

I have argued before that while Windows Mobile is not intuitive in a basic “I just get it / lizard brain” sense, it can be intuitive in a “Now I understand the metaphors for how this works” sense. Just as a manual transmission car isn't intuitive at all, it can still become “intuitive” to a frequent user (or, in smartphone parlance, a “power user”).

Take the earlier list of the things that are purportedly 'male' about the Windows Mobile interface. Are all those lines and checkboxes and questions of memory management and registry edits more intuitive to a male brain than to a female? Many would probably argue yes. I think that I would argue it's much more complicated.

I also think that Mack might agree, she writes:

We may take a back seat to being a mobile front runner when it comes to dropping bucks but that doesn't mean that we aren't technologically equipped to know a powerful device when we see it.

The line between “how a male brain works” and “how a female brain works” is movable, fluid, and fuzzy at best. Is “left brained” as “typically male” as we think it is? Frankly, no. The inverse also applies.

Since I'm no longer the academic I once was (and wasn't much of one even then), I can't name off the various studies about gendered interfaces, but they exist and they're a hell of a lot more nuanced than what you're reading here. Trust me - start digging into the concept of the “Cyborg” and you'll find enough material to set yourself up with complex and interesting reading for life.

So with Windows Mobile, while there seems to be evidence for it being 'gendered' based on who's making it and who's using it, trying to actually pin down the 'gendered elements' of the OS with any kind of accuracy and without blatant stereotyping is a task that's pretty much impossible to tackle.

Instead I think Microsoft ought to try to just make the interface more “lizard brain intuitive” than it is now -- more automatic transmission than manual transmission. As they do it, though, they ought to at least be aware of what their concept of “lizard brain” intuition is -- that concept needs to be much, much larger than upper-middle-class-white-male-executive-with-money-to-burn.

A Global Understanding of Who a Smartphone User is and Can Be

Saying that the target market is “upper-middle-class-white-male-executive-with-money-to-burn” may sound harsh, but the data bears it out. Gartner just released a study last month saying as much:

Sixty-eight percent of the world’s population is women and children who could benefit much from mobile technology, but the majority of mobile devices are designed by men, for men, according to Gartner, Inc. The user profile to which most mobile products are targeted is a western adult male (age 20 to 64), but this represents just 32 percent of the global population.

As I attended SOFCON 2008: The Mobile Future Conference last month, I heard the same thing over and over again: the internet is going mobile and phones are becoming more important than computers.

As people described this issue it became clear it was more than just a catchy marketing phrase (though, yes, it was that too): in the very very near future more people will be accessing the internet on cell phones than do on computers. Accessing it for the first time and nearly every time via a cell phone. The cell phone is literally going to be how the vast people understand and interact with the internet.

People might get excited by the One Laptop Per Child project, but that's nothing compared to the cellphone.

A cell phone is power, it is in an increasingly real sense a cornerstone of modern identity. Who I am is as much my phone number and email address as it is my name and physical address. Imagine having a very close friend of yours who doesn't have an email address, or a voicemail box, or -- yes -- a telephone. Barring snail mail, there would be no way to communicate with this person unless you were in person. This disconnected person would seem like a ghost, adrift in a world of connected nodes of communication, a neuron without a synapse. Where would he or she speak from or be spoken to except their physical place? Nowhere -- and as physical place becomes less important being disconnected make you more ghostlike.

This still describes the majority of people on the planet, but that's changing and changing rapidly. What companies like Microsoft and Nokia and RIM and Apple and Palm should be thinking about is much much more important than who has the most market share in North America:

  • What does it mean to make a smartphone that is a person's sole means of interacting with the larger world?
  • What does the internet look like when seen only through the screen on a smartphone?
  • What kind of smartphone do you need to make when it's the only means of communication for an entire family? An entire village?

...and most importantly:

What does it mean not only to supply somebody with a smartphone, but to supply them with an identity?

I don't know the answer to these questions, but they are the real stakes of the smartphone market. If you're in the business of providing tools that give people a “21st Century Identity,” you better be damn sure that it's not limited by a gendered way of thinking, a “western” way of thinking, or whatever superstructure you want. You had better do your best to design it to free people's minds instead of limit them.

In a couple hundred years I'm confident that the smartphone will be considered just as important as the PC as or as the Internet in terms of how it changed the world. It will be the primary 'PC experience' and the primary 'internet experience' for the vast majority of the planet. It's a revolution of technology and of identity. I know that people who work on creating smartphones are beginning to think of them this way, we as users should do the same.

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5 years ago

Office Mobile 6.1 Only Saves to .docx

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Sigh. We've complained already that Office Mobile 6.1, released last November and available to all WM6 devices, doesn't include the ability to create new documents on Standard Edition. Sure, there are ways around it, but that's a hassle.

Now find a way around this hassle: Office Mobile 6.1 won't let you save in legacy office formats, only .docx, RTF, and straight text. Foleo Fanatics1 pointed this out yesterday and it sure seems to be the case. We know a lot of folks who haven't updated to the latest office and will be forced to find converters for this sort of thing (and woe betide any Mac user who doesn't have the latest office trying to get a docx document converted). We know you're proud of .docx, Microsoft, and we like alright too even if it's not really the completely standards-based XML you kinda-sorta promised us way back when.

So: workarounds? Save everything in .rtf rich text formats? Switch to Docs to Go (If and when the Pro version supports .docx)? Include an extra attachment with every document you send out detailing to your recipients how to convert the .docx format if need be? What do you folks recommend?

1Making fun of 'Foleo fanatics' after the Foleo has been cancelled is beneath us. Besides, we sort of believed in the Foleo too. You guys keep fighting the good fight, we believe Palm will bring it back in '09!

Update: Lyle writes in:

I was just reading your article about Office Mobile 6.1 only saving to .docx. I am confused. The first thing I did when I got my phone was go to Menu>>Tools>>Options>>Default Template>>.Doc
Now, every time I write something in there and save, it automatically saves as .doc. I didn

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5 years ago

MultiTouch coming to WM? Yup.

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MultiTouch coming to WM? Yup.

Looks like Flick Software has made a program that successfully emulates the iPhone's patented "MultiTouch".

For those curious, even devices like the HTC Touch line (including the Diamond) all use resistive touch screens i.e. less cool than capacitive like in the iPhone.

The two programs, iSwish and iZoom, are still in testing and unfortunately looks like Flick Soft's website is down: www.flicksoftware.com

We'll keep you posted on any new info.

Via: Electricpig

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5 years ago

BlackBerry Bold vs. Windows Mobile: Form Factor Fight!

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5 years ago

Review: REDFLY Mobile Companion

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5 years ago

Review: Astraware Casino

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5 years ago

Review: Smartphone Experts Retractable Sync & Charge Cable

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Every geek (and most everyone else) on the face of the planet has experienced it, the tangled mass of wires resembling spaghetti that is caused by multiple gadgets and their associated cables. Various solutions to the cable management problem exist, but most are not meant for portability and are expensive.

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5 years ago

Review: Plantronics Pulsar P590E Bluetooth Stereo Headphones

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5 years ago

Treo 800w Comparison shot + Updated Specs + Some Monday Humor

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Ah the Treo 800w, so long rumored yet now almost everyday a new nugget of info leaks out.

Today, courtesy of BGR, we get some traditional "I have a new unreleased techno device but I can't use a camera" shots of the 800w. Nothing unusual or great about them, though the last shot is somewhat nice as it squishes the 800w between a 6800 and a Samsung Upstage.

Conclusion: it seems to be a hair thinner than the 6800, but perhaps that is being generous.

Speaking of info, the latest, updated specs for that 800w are listed below...

Click to read on!

  • MSM-6800 chipset
  • After OS: ~100mb of Program Memory / ~170mb of Storage Memory
  • WM 6.1 (5.2.1944)
  • ARM1136 processor
  • WiFi
  • Rubberized feel to final device
  • Dedicated Wifi button on top
  • Micro-USB connector
  • 2.1mp camera

We'll be keeping our running tabs on those specs here in our forums.

Which leads us finally into the first known "video review" of the 800w coming from Charles Knight.

Perhaps a bit mean? Yes. Hilarious? Definitely (though we feel bad for laughing).

Ouch. Palm is now the geeky, awkward kid in class (but who is also smart and reliable) Eh, either way here at WMExperts we know a few of us will be grabbing the device no matter what the cool and popular kids say ;-)

Thanks to Bigchris and CGK for the tips in our forums!

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5 years ago

Weekly Software Wrangle - Week 1

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Weekly Software Wrangle - Week 1

Like our sister sites, we thought it was high time to deliver to you a Weekly Software Wrangle, where we herd and rope in some of the new and updated software for WM Standard and Professional.

This week we're looking at new software for WM Standard, including PhoneyCall, Fizz Alarms, and WM Tip Calculator. Updated software includes Extreme Agenda, AE Button Plus, and CorePlayer Mobile for Smartphone.

Over on the WM Professional side, new software this week includes Lexisgoo English Dictionary, In The Bag Shopping List, and Ringtones Deluxe +250 Volume 4. Updated software includes Softick Card Export, Master Kick and Zoomboard.

So saddle up, partners, and ready your lassos! Be sure to holler "YEEEHAWW!" as you stampede over to this week's Wrangle!

WM Standard: New

First up is PhoneyCall by AIM Productions. This little gem seems diabolical and outrageous on the surface, but the ability to send yourself a fake phone call sounds like a great way to escape a long-winded conversation, for instance.

PhoneyCall comes with pre-recorded communications sounds, or you can create your own. So not only will the fake call ring on your phone, but you can have an interactive chat with the fake caller. For a bystander this sounds even more realistic!

Get PhoneyCall for $19.99 here.


Next up is Fizz Alarms 1.0 for Standard from Fizz Software Ltd. If you want a more robust and feature-rich alarm program for your WM smartphone, then Fizz Alarms may be worth a closer look.

Fizz Alarms is your every day time manager. From repeating alarms, stopwatches to counters. Its your time so take control.

Features: - Comprehensive Alarm Support - Control your alarm recurring options - Control your alarm volume playback - various options - WAV, WMA & MP3 support - Snooze Support - Stopwatch Support - Save your lap times - See your laptimes at a glance - compare the speed bar. - Multiple Counters - Name your counters - Select different sounds for each counter - Snooze time - at end of counter - Digital or analog main clock face - Windows Mobile 6.1 support - all screen sizes - Super Simple Interface - Localised in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch & Russian

Get Fizz Alarms 1.0 for Standard for $14.95 here.


Windows Mobile Tip Calculator v3.0 by Neutronix Corporation rounds out the new WM Standard apps this week.

Calculate your tip amount and split the bill faster and easier than ever before using Windows Mobile Tip Calculator.

Featuring the most powerful bill splitting and itemizing functionality available on the market today, Windows Mobile Tip Calculator allows you to split bills not just by the number of people in your party, but accurately, based on who had what, and how much. Your friends who only had a salad will be happy to know they're only paying for the salad they had, and not part of the two steak & lobster entrees your other guests enjoyed.

The built-in tipping guide provides you with suggestions for common tip amounts on most types of situations and services where tipping is customary or recommended. Whether you're tipping the paper boy, or your server at a fine dining restaurant, you'll know exactly how much to tip, and who owes what using Windows Mobile Tip Calculator.

Get Windows Mobile Tip Calculator v3.0 for $14.95 here.

WM Standard: Updated

Extreme Agenda - Your Organizer v3.26.1 by Birdsoft is our first featured updated software.

Extreme Agenda is the premier Personal Information Manager for your Windows Mobile Smartphone.

It features Powerful Agenda Views, Photo Contacts, Todos, Search, and even Notes and a Secure Wallet in one easy to use package!! And with complete customization and great high-end features found only on other platforms you can't go wrong.

And now we have taken Extreme to the Extreme in new Version 3.0. A Project view, Innovative Spinner Selection screen, timeline week view, and so much more... Free upgrade available if purchased after May 1st. Contact Birdsoft for details..

So if you want to upgrade your Smartphone's built-in Pocket Outlook Applications, there is only one real choice!

..::Take Your Agenda to the Extreme::..

You want more than just pretty icons! We offer more powerful features like Linking, Templates, and Notes, friendly one-handed operation, half the footprint, a smarter price-tag; the list goes on and on.... It justs works more!

Get Extreme Agenda for $21.95 here.


AE Button Plus v2.6.3 by AE Software extends functionality of hardware buttons by allowing you to directly assign built-in action (of more than 40) or remap to "virtual" button single, double, tripple and "long" keypress of almost any hardware button on Windows Mobile devices.

Features: - Intercepts almost any standard button: application buttons, WM5 softkeys, volume slider, red/green phone buttons, Win, Ok... - Distinguish up to 4 different keypress events on each button grabbed (single, double, triple and "long" keypresses) - Remaps each of the keypress event to "virtual" application button or dirrectly assign it to one of the more than 40 built-in actions - Contains built-in task manager, actions menu, clock display and other useful functions - Gather uptime statistics and makes prognosis on battery uptime left

Get AE Button Plus v2.6.3 for $7.99 here.


CorePlayer Mobile for SmartPhone v1.2.4 by CoreCodec, Inc. is at the center of the CoreCodec

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5 years ago

Motorola Q9h - Getting Cheaper, Getting Replaced?

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The Motorola Q9h (see full review here) is still one of our all-time faves here at WMExperts HQ. It's a stupendous device whose primary downfalls are battery life and lack of WiFi. Ok, there's one other downfall we failed to mention in our smackdown between the Q9h and the BlackJack II: the Q9h is more expensive.

Looks like that last part is getting slightly better, as we're seeing the after-contract price on AT&T's site down to $149 after rebate compared to the BJII's post-rebate price of $99. If you can snag a refurb (they're out of stock right now), the Q9h is actually cheaper.

What about that first downfall? Well, we're hearing a funny little rumor courtesy of Eric: apparently some AT&T stores are not only running out of stock on the Q9h, the manager is actually telling folks that it's been discontinued. That seems awfully crazy: the Q9h is a flagship device and we know that it's going to be getting the official update to Windows Mobile 6.1. There are two possible explanations:

  • Nothing to see here but a couple of mis-informed AT&T store managers
  • The Q9h might actually get updated?

It's a long shot, but we know that the Q9h has appeared before with WiFi: supposedly some pre-release models had it and BGR's Q9h has it for sure. Also, some enterprising diggers at MoDaCo have found hints of the of WiFi within the European version of the Q9h's OS (sans the WiFi hardware, of course). There's also that mysterious

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5 years ago

HTC Advantage 7510: Lawyered Out of the US

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Remember what Malatesta told you during last week's podcast? He told you that Qualcomm has been having a rough time here in the US lately. Add another data point to that trend as it turns out that their excellent chipset that's running the updated HTC Advantage 7510 isn't allowed for sale in the US. We're relatively sure this is part of their ongoing struggles with Broadcom, but don't hold us to that as we're neither lawyers nor do we aspire to be.

It's a real pity, too, because although we do think that that the Advantage has one of the weirdest niches in in the Windows Mobile world -- somewhere between a subnotebook and a proper smartphone -- the thought just occurred to us that this thing would be stupendous as a dashboard computer for our automobiles. Goodbye silly car stereo, hello über-connected mp3-gps-internet radio-WiFi WiFi bridge wundermachine. Ford Sync's got nuthin on this.

jkOnTheRun [via BGR]

Update: The real tragedy here? Matt Miller tells us the Advantage 7510 comes pre-loaded with Opera Mobile 9.5 as the default browser. I'm thinking we breaking out the pitchforks and torches and head over to the patent office. Who's with me?!

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5 years ago

Is This the Sony Ericsson Xperia X2?

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Is This the Sony Ericsson Xperia X2?

Take a gander at the mystery device in the video above (whilst being soothed by the dulcet tones of Underworld's “Jumbo.”). Although the video seems to use some PSP-Esque graphics, this is definitely a communication device that the big SE has up its sleeve. It's new to us, at any rate.

We bring it up because during our Q&A about the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1, the execs were pretty adamant that “Xperia” is going to refer to an entire line of devices -- which is why the first is called the “X1.” It sure doesn't seem to fit well into any of SE's other other device brands. Now, it's not even certain that the above promo is for an Xperia device, or that said device will run of top of Windows Mobile, nor even that everybody else but us knows exactly that this mamma jamma is and we're posting here with Sony-flavored egg on our face.

In any case, we threw some grabs from the video after the break. Anybody care to enlighten us?

[via]

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