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4 years ago

More Microsoft Courier details, renderings and video get leaked

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Today, Engadget got their hands on some more mock-ups and some new videos of Microsoft's "Courier," that project lead by J Allard (MS's Chief Experience Officer). If it comes to fruition, it looks as groundbreaking as Project Natal. The new videos are noted for showing real-life situations on how useful the Courier could be for professionals. But honestly, the device tells its own story, making it very drool-worthy.

The sophisticated and intuitive e-Journal is much smaller than previously thought, coming in under 1 inch thick, weighing in a little over one pound and not much bigger than a 5 x 7 photo when closed. Names like "Infinite Journal" and "Page Stream" are tossed around as is the necessity of the Courier Pen, making this centered around hand-writing recognition (something we've seen mentioned earlier in regards to WP7).

The device is said to be developed on CE6, the same as Windows Phone 7 Series, which seems to be Microsoft's new toy to be used on everything. The big question we have is will this in any way interact or sync with Windows Phone 7? It would seem a no brainer to have something like that on board between the two platforms, but until we hear more...

Either way, 2010 is looking very good for Microsoft: Windows 7, Windows Phone 7 Series, Project Natal, Zune and now Courier. Anyone else getting excited?

Anyone else shocked we didn't take a chance to poke fun at the iPad in this post? Feel free to take up the torch for us in comments ;-)

Read more at Engadget and Gizmodo

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4 years ago

Review: Mobi Products Touch Screen Stylus Pen

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Review: Mobi Products Touch Screen Stylus Pen

We Windows Mobile faithful tend to be the butt of jokes every now and then due to the fact that our flavor of Smartphone isn’t as finger friendly as some of the competition. The truth is, the stylus is one of the most versatile and easy to use input methods available on a mobile platform. I’m not saying that a stylus is a must have piece of hardware, but it is a tried and true solution.

Mobi Products makes a number of accessories for Windows Mobile devices. Their Touch Screen Stylus Pen is a step up for those out there who are still stylus dependent.

The full review is after the link.

Pros: 
compact
Cons: 
Rubberized tips makes sweeping motions difficult
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4 years ago

Microsoft talks a little more about what's coming with the new Windows Phone

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Without totally taking the lid off of our treasure trove of questions regarding Windows Phone 7 Series, Microsoft did answer some questions last night with a Q&A on Twitter and on the blog of Charlie Kindel, the Partner Group Program Manager for the Windows Phone Application Platform & Developer Experience.

First off, Charlie talked about app development (and we'll remind you that apps are going to have an overall different feeling in the way they run on 7). The major development languages will be .NET, Silverlight, XNA (which is already in use on the Zune HD), and Web 2.0 standards. And it's now officially official: No backward compatibility. Wrote Charlie:

For us, the cost of going from good to great is a clean break from the past. To enable the fantastic user experiences you’ve seen in the Windows Phone 7 Series demos so far we’ve had to break from the past. To deliver what developers expect in the developer platform we’ve had to change how phone apps were written. One result of this is previous Windows mobile applications will not run on Windows Phone 7 Series.

And that's the main theme. Windows Phone 7 Series is not Windows Mobile. Microsoft's going to be repeating that for a while, we fear, and so shall we. And a break of this magnitude is hardly unprecedented, as witnessed by our pals at PreCentral.net. It can be argued that Palm's move to webOS has hurt more than it's helped, but we're willing to bet that Palm's long exclusivity period with Sprint (thus keeping devices out of more hands) did more than the change in operating system.

Anyhoo, another repeated phrase was "there will be more at MIX" in a couple weeks in Las Vegas. And to Vegas we shall go. Stay tuned, folks. [Charlie Kindel's blogTwitter]

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4 years ago

Microsoft (again): No plans to upgrade HD2 to Windows Phone 7

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In what has to be one of the most cruel geek teases in recent Windows phone history, the back and forth about whether the HTC HD2 will receive a Windows Phone 7 ROM update seems to be coming to end.

Over at ZDNet, Mary-Jo Foley received a response from Microsoft on the question and Redmond restated their position that WP7S will have very strict hardware requirements that they plan to enforce.

No surprises there, but the Microsoft spokesperson ends with 

We currently do not have plans to update the HTC HD2 to Windows Phone 7 Series.

Of course that wording does leave open the possibility. After all, plans do change and there was no "it definitely won't". Still, we think if MS wanted to be cagey, they would have given their usual "we do not comment" response in regards to the HD2 question.

None of this would have been such a big deal had not HTC themselves tweeted that the HD2 would get the update. In the future, we hope these companies can all be on the same page.

Anyone still holding out thinking it will get the coveted update?

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4 years ago

First look at the Project Pink/Pure phone

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First look at the Project Pink/Pure phone

Looks like the folks at Gizmodo got their hands on our favorite traditional "blurry cam" shots of the new Pink-Pure phone, which looks to be coming to Verizon sometime soon. (More info on the Pure and Turtle here)

The Pure is thought to be running the same core OS as Windows Phone 7, but with a different UI on top. As we've previously speculated, the Pink phones appear to be high-end feature phones, where as the WP7S is more in the traditional smartphone category.

The source who leaked the images also said it was very intuitive and better than Android.

Besides those two images, Conflipper has been leaking out some actual screen shots from said Pink device, specifically of the dialer/lock screen. While nothing special, it does hint that these phones may be a good deal for the masses, who want a centralized social-media device without any learning curve and more limited power.

   

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4 years ago

Opera Mini 5 Beta Announced as Native WinMo App

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Browsing the Internet is one of those things that can be a major draw for people looking to purchase a smartphone, but can be rather hit or miss due to the lack of quality mobile web browsers. For my money, having a choice between which browser you use in different situations can be a deal breaker. Luckily, Windows Mobile has more browser choices than many of its competitors.

Opera has been in the mobile browser game as long as anyone and their browsers are among the best. Opera Mini 5 Beta 2 is the latest and greatest from Opera’s Mini product. Traditionally a Java based application; Opera announced today that Opera Mini 5 is available as a native Windows Mobile application. There are technical reasons why having a native application is preferable over a Java based version. The bottom line is that a native Windows Mobile application should offer better performance, stability, and compatibility across a large array of devices.

My first impression with Opera Mini 5 is that it is FAST, though the rendering engine isn’t perfect. Mini 5 uses server side rendering; meaning that when you request a web page, a server somewhere actually downloads the files and formats it and compresses it before sending it along to your device. This method keeps your data usage to a minimum and doesn’t require as much processing power on your device. The Mini 5 UI is also very similar to what we’ve been playing with on the Opera Mobile 10 betas, which I consider a very clean and usable interface.

More information on the features you can expect from Opera Mini are available from Opera’s site. To download the application, point your mobile browser to http://m.opera.com/next/mini.

 

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4 years ago

Verizon now at the center of the latest Pink rumors

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At some point we're all going to have to remember that the fabled "Pink" phones from Microsoft really aren't Windows Mobile. But that day is not today. Gizmodo says it has on good authority (leaked marketing materials, actually) that the phones it previously scored are in fact the same ones we're about to see launch on Verizon.

Also, and this brings us back to our opening sentence, the phones do not run the new Windows Phone operating system. That's not a great surprise. This is something different. Giz also says this platform is all about social networking, and there will be apps of some sort.

What Giz doesn't know: An actual name. They opine that we may see more at CTI in a few weeks, so we'll keep our eyes peeled. [Gizmodo]

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4 years ago

Google Analytics Mobile available for Windows Phones

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Synerge Tech Solutions has released Google Analytics Mobile. As the name implies, Google Analytics Mobile allows you to access your web site's Google Analytic's data directly from your Windows Phone. For those not familiar with Google Analytics, it is a program that tracks your website activity ranging from the number of visits to where your site visitors are located (geographic regions).

Google Analytics Mobile connects directly with Google's servers and offers the data in table, chart or graph forms. The mobile app also has the ability to generate reports from the data in Google Analytics. Synerge Tech Solutions is offering Google Analytics for $4.99 and it is available at the Synerge website.

Read: wmpoweruser.com 

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4 years ago

Microsoft Selects Navizon for Geolocation

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Today in a press release, Navizon announced their partnership with Microsoft to share their global location database. Presumably, this database will be used with Windows phone 7 although no word on Windows Mobile 6.5.

Navizon, for those who don't remember, have a Windows Mobile program called Mobifindr, which allows you to find your phone via text message or locate your friends. More importantly, they featured a "virtual GPS" system whereby your location could be ascertained via WiFi and/or cell-tower triangulation. This was a bigger deal in 2008 when GPS was still not the norm on many WM phones.

This deal actually makes a lot of sense since we know Windows Phone 7 Series uses 'Orion', the same location-bases service found in Windows 7. It too uses WiFi, cell-tower triangulation, IP detection and straight up GPS to identify your location with a simple API. So Microsoft has the hardware/software to find your location (coordinates), but what they don't have is access to some type of database of locations.

Unlike Google, who can collect your geo-location information via millions of cell phones (read that user agreement), Microsoft is still new to the whole location-based services game.  This deal with Navizon seems to give them that extra edge to compete with Google.

[Navizon press release]

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4 years ago

Developers chime in on Windows Phone 7 Series

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One of the hurdles Microsoft faces in making a success out of Windows Phone 7 Series is winning over the software developers.

Microsoft may be able to establish consistency with regards to the WP7S hardware but if you don't have functional software to put on the phone, it won't survive for long. To do so, Microsoft needs to garner the support of developers, large and small. Microsoft's willingness to tackle the fragmentation that Windows phones has historically possessed is a step in the right direction but there's still plenty of work needed to be done. 

Follow the link to read more.

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4 years ago

Windows Phone 7 Series: Graphically speaking

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Windows Phone 7 Series: Graphically speaking

 

What was your first reaction when you first laid eyes on Windows Phone 7 Series? I have to admit my first reaction was not unlike the response I give my wife when she asks what I think of her new dress, haircut, or when she experiments with a new recipe; cautiously positive. At first look, the Start Page lacked a certain zip or pizazz that I have grown accustomed to with Windows Phones. 

Often is the case that as you learn more you learn about something, your first impression changes. While the graphics of Windows Phone 7 Series felt like a step backwards, the more I learned about Hubs and the consistency Microsoft would strive to maintain the more Windows Phone 7 Series grew on me.

Still, while it may sound superficial, I wish Windows Phone 7 Series had a little more "pop" to it.  It reminded me of the generic Today Screen of Windows Mobile of yesterday, that while functional lacked pizazz.  What might help Windows Phone 7 Series's first impression is a Start Screen that is as graphically pleasing as it is functional.

I've gotten spoiled with graphical impact HTC's Manila/Touchflo screens offer and MaxManila really adds a flair (along with more functionality) to the Windows Phone experience.  Windows Phones have a developed a tradition for customization to allow owners have their phones reflect their individuality.  Hopefully that will carry over with WP7S's features.

Microsoft in their Mobile World Congress presentation stated they want to focus on the end user experience.  Isn't the ability to customize the appearance of your phone part of that experience?  Or will functionality win over aesthetics and the lack of customization become a non-issue? 

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4 years ago

T-Mobile HD2 release date spotted

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T-Mobile HD2 release date spotted

We've known that the HD2 is headed to T-Mobile for some time now and have recently learned the pricing information.   But the "when" has been a bit of a mystery.

The BoyGeniusReport has stumbled upon an out of focus events list that might bring the release date into focus.  The second entry on the sheet indicates a "Dark Handset" will launch on March 24, 2010.

"Dark Handset" is reportedly double-knot spy code for the HD2. All of this goes along with the rumors we heard last month about the release date.

Now if only the other carriers could come up with thier own code words for the HD2 and leak release dates!

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4 years ago

Apple sues HTC over alleged patent infringement

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The lawyers are in overdrive today as Apple's filed a patent infringement lawsuit against smartphone manufacturer HTC, a longtime partner of Microsoft and Windows Mobile. To help keep our ducks in a row, we're going to do the bulk of our coverage over at AndroidCentral. The lawsuit doesn't specifically target Windows Mobile or Android -- we just want to get things right, in one place. So head on over.

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4 years ago

Review: Jawbone Icon Bluetooth headset

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Review: Jawbone Icon Bluetooth headset

The Jawbone Bluetooth headsets from Aliph have been around for a few years now and have impressed many with their noise cancellation features. The original Jawbone would eventually be succeeded by the Jawbone Prime.

Aliph recently released the Jawbone Icon, a chopped down version of the Jawbone Prime, to bolster their line up. The Icon comes in an assorted colors and styles ranging from black dimpled to gray smooth to gold. Each with its own unique nickname (Hero, Rogue, Ace, Thinker, Bombshell, etc.)

We had the chance to take one of the Icons -- the Hero -- out for a test drive and just ease on past the break to see if the Icon lives up to standard its larger siblings established.

Pros: 
Fit and feel. Call Quality. Customization through MyTalk
Cons: 
Talk button not in the best location.
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4 years ago

Shameless self-promotion: Phil on The Cell Phone Junkie Unlocked

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Pardon the interruption, just wanted to take a second to let you know that I sat down with Mickey and Joey from The Cell Phone Junkie recently to record an episode of The Cell Phone Junkie Unlocked, the premium version of their podcast. Most of the talk was about the launch of Windows Phone 7 Series, and we had a nice chat about the Android-powered Google Nexus One, too.

You can subscribe and listen now at tcpjunlocked.com.

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