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5 years ago

Palm Skywriter - The Drucker in Beta?

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Palm Skywriter - The Drucker in Beta?

We already knew that the 800w is in a closed beta program pending it's upcoming release on July 22nd - we know because the Beta program sign-up page explicitly said it was for the Zeppelin, the internal code name for the Treo 800w. Well now TamsPPC [via TreoCentral]notes that Palm also has a new program that will allow Windows Mobile developers to get in on the promotional materials for a couple of upcoming devices, the Zeppelin and the Skywriter. The image that accompanies the email explaining the program is pretty clearly just a dummy casing (or just a mockup) to hide the final look of the device - as you can see it's ugly as sin.

The squarish shape to this Skywriter reminds us of another mysterious squarish shape from the Vodaphone's leaked roadmap for 2008: the Palm Drucker. Honestly we're only expecting a couple of Windows Mobile Treos from Palm this year: the 800w and a GSM version of the same, codenamed Drucker. Seems pretty obvious that it's in testing now and that it has this fancy new codename (companies like to switch up the names to throw folks like us off).

The target launch date for the Drucker (/Skywriter, we hope) is, coincidentally enough, July 2008. Could Palm actually be releasing two Windows Mobile Treos on July 22nd -- in both CDMA and GSM flavors? If so, it would be a welcome change for a company that traditionally only releases devices until a temporary exclusive for a single carrier (usually Sprint) before they deign to release them for the other guys.

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5 years ago

Sprint WiMAX WaTCH: Goodbye XOHM, Hello Clearwire

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We have a new twist of events in our WiMAX WaTCH: Sprint, after ditching Clearwire, is back together with them again. That's not the crazy part, though, the crazy part is that Sprint, along with Clearwire, has managed to cobble together $3.2 Billion US in investment to create a band new company, also to be called Clearwire. The money's coming from various sources, inclding Google, Intel, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks.

In other words, it looks like Sprint is dropping XOHM in favor of using this new company (which they'll control 51% of, by the way), though it may be that they'll keep XOHM as the Sprint-branded version of Clearwire's WiMAX services. These services, by the way, will also be available to re-sell to other companies:

“We've made an excellent start developing XOHM WiMAX services. Contributing those advances to a strongly backed new company - in which we'll hold the largest interest - provides Sprint with additional financial flexibility and allows Sprint management to leverage and focus on our core business.
”Additionally, the agreements allowing the new company and our cable company investors to bundle and resell Sprint's third-generation wireless services strengthen the distribution of our current services while reducing the complexity and enhancing Sprint's cable relationships,“ Hesse added. -[Clearwire Press Release]

Given Sprint's many, many woes, it's to be expected that they would do something to shake things up a bit. It remains to be seen whether or not this is the right move, but it smells to us like Clearwire is going to just offer ”big fat pipe“ services for data and voice. We've been begging for that since the inception of WMExperts -- here's to hoping that the new company can offer that.

In any case, it's clear now why Sprint signed a deal to use Google's services on their future handsets, innit?

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5 years ago

Windows Mobile 7 Makes Brief Appearance in Live Mesh Promotional Video

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A recent promotional video released by Microsoft, pimping its upcoming Live Mesh services, contained hidden treasure. The video depicts a typical suburban family, in a halcyon trance, engaged in various usage scenarios that Microsoft loves to employ as backdrops for its products. As a dreamy musical score plays on, a mother stands beside the family pool, using a Samsung i780 to capture photos of her son's swan dives. She then shares said photos with the rest of her proud family (because junior is obviously destined for great things with such impressive aquatic skills) using Microsoft Live Mesh. Go figure.

At 32 seconds into the video something interesting finally appears. An HTC Touch Dual comes into view, but blink twice and you'll miss that it's running an unmistakably different operating system - Windows Mobile 7. Its appearance is only brief, lasting a mere second or two, just long enough to get a quick look. Though somewhat distant and out of focus, the image clearly shows similar characteristics seen in other Windows Mobile 7 mockups, like a radically redesigned GUI and central Vista-like "Orb" (located in the softkey area) that replaces the venerable Start Menu.

Granted, this is only a promotional video, but it does at least provide an inside look at Microsoft's development roadmap for the platform, and proves that earlier mockups will bear a strong resemblance to the final product. This also isn't the first time Microsoft promotional material has leaked Windows Mobile deets --the Treo 800w image that appeared during Bill Gates' 2008 CES keynote was exciting too, but not quite as exiting as the future version of Windows Mobile that appeared during the same speech.

Who's up for some GUI goodness? I am!

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5 years ago

TouchFLO 3D: The Windows Mobile UI Remixed

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After reading around the web and looking at various reports, it's pretty clear that while the Touch Diamond's hardware is certainly top-notch, much (if not most) of the innovation is in TouchFLO 3D. Here's what's great:

  • Rather than having to initiate it with a swipe, it replaces Windows Mobile's standard Today screen (shades of the Xperia X1 Panel interface here)
  • TouchFLO 3D also appears to be very well integrated in the OS. It's less of an add-on and more of a new philosophy towards Windows Mobile. For example, the 5-way is also touch-sensitive so you can rotate your thumb around it to zoom in and out. It also demonstrates the power of Windows Mobile's data structure -- TouchFLO 3D has previews of emails, allows you to examine your pictures, and plays your music directly within the interface.
  • TouchFLO 3D tech is also built-into a custom build of Opera 9.5, which we've previously been enthusiastic about. But get this, no matter what your zoom level is, the text automatically wraps to the zoom. This is in contrast to the iPhone's browser, which sometimes is unable to get the text to wrap properly.
  • TouchFLO 3D is, in fact, 3D in its animation effects. The Touch Diamond, unlike previous HTC devices, appears to be fully hardware accelerated and uses that power to full effect.
  • Speaking of hardware, I can say from personal experience with some devices that Windows Mobile -- especially browsing on Windows Mobile -- feels like a completely different and more usable animal when it's on a high-resolution screen. 240x320 will be officially antiquated and a sign of a bad user experience when the TouchFLO 3D devices start hitting the market.

...The net effect is a device that we're not embarrassed to call an iPhone killer. The UI looks to be nearly as intuitive and there's a core tradeoff that I think a lot of people will be willing to make. The bad part of this trade: the occasional UI dissonance between TouchFLO 3D and the standard Windows Mobile is more than offset by the power of Windows Mobile's ability to use a giant swatch of powerful, enterprise-class applications.

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5 years ago

Yahoo! Go 3 Beta for Windows Mobile Released

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Looks like Yahoo Go development is continuing apace with the release of Yahoo Go 3 (Beta). You can grab a download here, but a perusal of the compatible devices list seems to indicate that it's only compatible with Windows Mobile Standard for now.

New features include:

  • An integrated at-a-glance Yahoo screen
  • Improved Yahoo oneSearch
  • Prettier design and navigation, complete with clouds -- because your data is stored, you know, in the Cloud. wink
  • Full-on widget support, with in-app widgets like MySpace and eBay

Interestingly, we haven't heard mum since Yahoo struck a deal with HTC over a year ago to pre-install the app on HTC devices. Perhaps, like ourselves, HTC was disappointed with Yahoo Go 2, which replaced the awesome Outlook integration with so-so in-app email. We're downloading Yahoo Go 3.0 now to see if that's changed, but not expecting it to. Now that the Yahoo Microsoft merger is not going to happen, Yahoo Go 3 is probably going to be your best bet for getting your Yahoo On for the foreseeable future.

Thanks to Amar for the tip!

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5 years ago

HTC Announces Touch Diamond

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HTC Announces Touch Diamond

Go take a peek at PhoneMag's Live Coverage (now archived) if you want the full experience, or you can also check out HTC's Touch Diamond page. There's not a lot of new information here, hardware-wise, because we already knew we'd be getting:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1
  • 256 ROM, 192 RAM, 4GB Internal Storage
  • 2.8“ VGA Touchscreen
  • Tri-Band (What?! Boo!) HSDPA
  • A-GPS
  • 3.2 MP Camera
  • Bluetooth, WiFi, FM Radio
  • 900, Yes 900 mAh Battery
  • Accelerometer

The new new is that TouchFLO, as rumored, has indeed received quite an upgrade. They're not calling it Manilla (and truth be told it looks a lot better than Manilla did), they're calling it TouchFLO 3D. It featured Email, Weather, browser, music, and photos in an integrated interface that allows you some access to the data you're interested in without ”dumping“ you back into standard Windows Mobile quite as often as regular TouchFLO does.

The Touch Diamond will hit Europe and Asia in June, everybody else (read: us) ”later this year.“ Until then, we'll be heading over to the cosmetics aisle. We're so green with envy of our European friends, we're going to need some serious foundation to cover all this up.

Update: Some YouTube vids after the break!

More on HTC's YouTube Page

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5 years ago

Alright, the BlackBerry 9000 is Hawt

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Alright, the BlackBerry 9000 is Hawt

Our sister site, CrackBerry.com, has just scored an exclusive first Review of the BlackBerry 9000. Kevin's doing it in several parts, this first part is just a hardware overview. Form-factor-wise, I'm shrugging my shoulders. Form factor + spec-wise, however, I'm thinking that even HTC's Magic Stuff today (more on that in just a bit) isn't going to win converts over from BlackBerry.

Why's that - because this 9000 has a front-facing QWERTY Keyboard combined with a 480x320 screen, GPS, WiFi, and Quad-Band GSM 3G. Sure, the OS is antiquated even with a pretty new skin on it, but slap Opera Mini on this thing and it's downright usable.

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5 years ago

Sprint Treo 800w Release Date (and more info)!

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Sprint Treo 800w Release Date (and more info)!

All righty folks, we teased you earlier, now we have the 411: here's when Sprint plans on releasing the Treo 800w:

Tues, July 22nd

Hopefully you put your guess in to our stupendous contest to win one of these bad boys. You can still head on over and make a guess, but July 22nd is now officially off limits for future guessing. Congrats to the lucky folks who already put in for that date, now we see if Sprint can actually make their self-imposed target date (or change it out of spite).

That's not the only inside info we have for you, though. A bit more after the jump!

While the specs and details on the Treo 800w have been pretty well known for awhile now, turns out that there were a few wrong bits and a few bits that needed confirmation. Here's the new skinny:

  • Threaded SMS (looks to be the Palm type, not Microsoft's)
  • WM 6.1
  • Autonomous GPS
  • KB is larger than the Centro, slightly smaller than the 750/755
  • KB keys still light up
  • It's very fast with no lag
  • Official color: Charcoal Black (noyce!)

That's on top of the already other confirmed specs that everyone knows:

  • 320x320 resolution
  • EvDO Rev A (though some tester units are not Rev A active as of now)
  • Wifi
  • 256/128 Memory

Now to throw some water on the speculation fire...

  • no QChat and no QChat smartphones this year from Sprint (boo!)
  • no hardware Wifi switch ala Ringer switch
  • no Picture Mail/MMS yet (though see here for some hope)
  • screen is not flush i.e it's slightly recessed

Interestingly, we're hearing that there are a few different color schemes floating around (silver is the prototype) as well as some models with WM 6.0 and varying firmwares, which is to be expected in the testing phase.

But Sprint and Palm are headed into final testing in the next couple of weeks and at least WM 6.1 and Charcoal Black seem to be a go for July.

In fact, we're expecting a few more changes to the final version, so stay tuned as the details roll in!

Special Thanks to Vyruz Reaper for the assist!

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5 years ago

Review: SPE Side Pouch Case for BlackJack, BlackJack II

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5 years ago

Samsung SCH-i770, World Edition of SCH-i760, Hits FCC

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While we've perhaps been a bit unfair to the Samsung SCH-i760 here at WMExperts, we do have to admit that it's a perfectly valid choice for Verizon customers who dislike the XV6800 for some unfathomable reason. Looks like the i760 is about to get an upgrade, as these FCC documents show.

The Samsung SCH-i770, if the battery cover at right is any indication, will be identical to the SCH-i760 in shape and functionality. Well, nearly identical. The i770 will add a SIM card slot making this device a true world phone.

We're expecting that GSM radio to be Edge-only (850/1900MHz), although on the bright side we're thinking Windows Mobile 6.1 isn't out of the realm of possibility.

[via]

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5 years ago

Block Unwanted Text with AT&T

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Block Unwanted Text with AT&T

Stalkees rejoice! It turns out we actually can block text messages with AT&T now. As in: "Oh, I'm sorry boss, I didn't get your SMS over the weekend. See, it's not on my phone. How weird. Snicker." While it's always been possible to block phone calls, blocking text messages has always been, well, impossible. Perhaps not impossible, but certainly there was no decent way to do it.

Now, if you have AT&T, you can simply log in, register, and within minutes start blocking and adjusting.

Cool new features include:

  • Block text messages sent as email (from email accounts)
  • Block all multimedia messages sent as email
  • Block all messages sent from mobile numbers
  • Block messages sent from specific email accounts or domains
  • Allow all messages sent from specific email accounts or domains

Now we have a little more control over what comes beeping in at 3am in the morning. I think a sprinkle of AT&T's SMS block and a pinch of Extreme Text could be the perfect mobile recipe.

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5 years ago

Get your Treo 800w Rumortastic Giveaway Guesses In

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Happy Monday, everybody. We have Sprint's planned release date (and some other juicy new details), courtesy of Malatesta. We're confident that the date is correct -- although, as release dates tend to do, the date could possible change. Still and all, we're going to alter our Treo 800w Rumortastic Giveaway at 4pm EST today. What we're going to do is declare that after 4pm EST today, nobody can guess the particular day we have in mind. Other days will still be open for guesses if you doubt a) our source or b) Sprint's ability to deliver.

Here's what we're giving away:

  • A Treo 800w after it is officially released. If they end up calling it something else, well, let's just say we're giving away the next Windows Mobile device Palm releases for the Sprint Network. Got it?
  • An 8 gig microSD Card. Yeah, the WMExperts Store has 8 gig cards now.
  • Any 2 software titles from HobbesIsReal's excellent “Must-Have Windows Mobile Software” article. Sure, Palm will include some “secret recipe” stuff on the 800w, but you can always make Windows Mobile a little better. We believe in the software in Hobbes' article, you should too.

Head on over to the thread and post your guess, make sure it's at least 2 weeks out!

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5 years ago

Whoops! Microsoft and Yahoo Deal is OFF.

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What many thought to be the biggest deal between two heavyweights, Microsoft and Yahoo, is offiically over.

Long story short, talks broke down as Yahoo refused to budge from their $37 per share requirement (MS would "only" go as high as $33). Clearly something changed with Microsoft as TechCrunch put it:

Microsoft is making it clear that this is not just a breakdown in discussions between the companies. They are withdrawing their earlier bid and are saying they will not go hostile. They
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5 years ago

HTC Diamond Specs Confirmed: Incredible

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HTC Diamond Specs Confirmed: Incredible

The Xperia X1 officially has some serious competition from HTC if this Translation of newsMobile [via Engadget] is accurate. Sure as heck looks to be accurate, as these images and specs confirm the Specs for the HTC Diamond and HTC Touch Pro we told you about last weekend. In case you forgot:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
  • Qualcomm MSM 7201A @ 528MHz
  • 256MB ROM / 128MB RAM
  • 7.2MB HSDPA / HSUPA (rev A EVDO for Sprint versions)
  • 2.8“ VGA screen
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR
  • eGPS
  • 3.1MP Camera with flash
  • Forward facing camera
  • 4GB internal flash storage (Diamond only) - Samsung MoviNAND
  • TV out (Raphael only)
  • Orientation sensor (a-la-iPhone)
  • FM Radio
  • microSD expansion
  • 900mAh battery (!!!)
  • Diamond: 51x99x10.7mm with sliding keyboard
  • Raphael (Touch Pro): 51x99x17mm

We'll find out for sure on Monday whether or not this is what HTC has up their sleeve. Even folks who aren't fans of slider devices need to stand up and take note: it doesn't get much better than this.

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5 years ago

Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile) To Buy Sprint? ...And T-Mo 3G

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This would be big, really big. We've been reporting on Sprint's woes for quite awhile now and apparently we're not the only ones who've noticed that Sprint has fallen on hard times of late. The parent company of both T-Mobile USA and T-Mobile Europe, Deutche Telekom, is reportedly looking into purchasing Sprint. They'd merge T-Mobile and Sprint with an eye toward competing with the two big guns in the US market, AT&T and Verizon.

Things are still at a very early stage, of course -- supposedly Deutsche Telekom is basically just “thinking about it” right now. The mess: Sprint has CDMA, iDEN, and is planning on WiMAX. T-Mobile is EDGE and just now rolling out 3G services. That's a whole lotta different radios to manage, it doesn't sound like much fun.

[Google Translation of Spiegel Online]

In other news, we reported earlier that T-Mobile has lit up New York city with 3G and is rolling it out in other areas as well. We also heard that they were just doing 3G for voice and not for data. Turns out that's only partially true -- T-Mo is rolling out 3G for data, just much more slowly and they basically can't guarantee whether faster data will work for you or not yet. It's catch as catch can. Also contrary to reports: they will do full HSDPA and not just UMTS. Phew.

Have you caught it yet?

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