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4 years ago

Video Review: nanoGroove GrooveShark client

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Video Review: nanoGroove GrooveShark client

GrooveShark, the streaming music on-demand site, is still going strong and while we've had a Windows phone client in the past (see our video review of GrooveFish), it was lacking some finesse and advanced features.

Enter nanoGroove, a full-fledged (though not officially endorsed) GrooveShark client that adds some nice bells and whistles. Although it costs a one-time license of $4.99, we think it's a fair price for a nicely polished application such as this.

Here are some of the features which it's free GrooveFish cousin is lacking

  • Supports multiple resolutions (including 320x320)
  • GrooveShark Playlist support
  • Album art
  • Power button disables screen (keeps music playing, saves battery)
  • Better graphics

We've had no problem running it on our Touch Pro 2 or Treo Pro and of course you can't beat the sound quality of GrooveShark (it kills Pandora in that regard).

If we had any complaints it would be that the UI has a few extra steps than is probably needed (like having to refresh to pull down your playlists) and it is a little confusing to get songs to actually just play (first you search, then you add to the player, then you switch to player, then you  hit play). 

But overall we're very happy with it and have no problem surrendering $5 for it. If you want the time-limited demo, just scan the MS Tag or go to the NanoGroove site.

Check out our video review after the jump to see how it all works!

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4 years ago

Evidence for a 'Zune Phone' shows up in updated software

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Whatever Microsoft is up to, they are sure up to something big.

Long Zheng (iStartedSomething) has taken a look-see at the update Zune desktop software, which just came out today.

Going through the .inf file (responsible for identifying the driver, associating the device with USB) he was able to find a few lines of code that, for the first time, specifically reference a phone.

In fact, there are three hardware Product IDs associated with the 'phone' class in addition the the three current Zune players (see above image).

Zheng also contemplates whether this is just part of a larger integration with Windows Mobile and his tentative conclusion is 'no' stating 

Whilst it is possible there might be system-wide Zune integration into Windows Mobile 7, this particular driver references specific hardware IDs that are locked to a vendor (Microsoft) and product which under USB body regulations cannot be masked, thus this has to be Microsoft devices. 

That's right folks, it looks like we are looking a three-pronged strategy from Microsoft:

The big question is what is the Zune phone built on?  We wouldn't be surprised if it's not WinCE based but something different, putting it outside the class of Windows Mobile devices.  

Does this lend more credence to the idea that the 'Zune phone' is targeted towards the younger crowd and will be released within the next two months as one analyst has claimed?  Maybe the "Project Pink is DOA" story was Microsoft doing its own spinning? Like we've said, next month will be real interesting and we'll be there to cover it...

[via iStartedSomething]

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4 years ago

This is NOT the HTC Obsession

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This is NOT the HTC Obsession

Sorry folks, we're just throwing this out there to say this is in NO WAY the HTC Obsession nor the HTC Supersonic (a rumored Sprint WiMax Android device), so don't get your hopes up.

In fact, an anonymous comment at Andoid Central notes that this is actually a rendering from late 2008, made by a fella who loves to concept work as a hobby.

So yeah, move a long. Nothing to see here.

[Android Central via UnwiredView]

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4 years ago

IM+ Lite coming soon? Update: New paid version now available

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While we gave IM+ a fairly positive review months ago, a lot of folks balked at the hefty price tag ($39.95), especially compared to free IM clients like Palringo.

Well, it looks like maybe the folks at ShapeServices, who make IM+, are going to do something about it as a "lite" version is floating around. More importantly, it appears to be free.

The main difference between "full" and "lite" is the latter doesn't have that "push" feature for IMs, GPS-MyLocation, Facebook chat or Twitter.  

However, it still supports AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo!, MSN, ICQ, Jabber and MySpace (hah!). In addition, there's a green bar on the top that scrolls about the "full version" with an arrow to download it. Overall, not to shabby.

What's curious is the build date: September 29, 2009 Version 7.1.1 Lite. So either this is an old build or perhaps IM+ abandoned the idea? We're also hearing an update for the paid version is coming soon. Thanks goes to CaliBoyPhillip for originally posting about about this version here.

For those with MS Tag, just scan and download below ;-)

Update:  Speak of the devil, the paid version just got updated (bumped to v. 7.6.1) Early reports indicate that it finally includes Skype chat.  More later.

 

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4 years ago

HTC spreading false information and more? Yes.

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We normally don't want to weigh too heavily on rumors, let alone rumors about counter-espionage/intelligence that companies take in order to protect their upcoming releases.

But this time we have a little something to add to the story that we can now go public with.

Evidently, Eldar Murtazin from Mobile Review, has told Engadget Mobile that HTC has made "controled [sic] leak of some devices" and has been putting out false information to throw people off their trail. That article focuses on Android, tablets and the sort coming from HTC.

While the above applies to hardware, HTC is also engaging in this behavior in software too. How so?

Remember that T-Mobile HD2 ROM leak a few weeks ago that we broke here at WMExperts? That was v2.01.  We have it on good word that it really ticked off HTC as they considered that ROM pretty secure--it was limited access only.

To prevent that from happening in the future, they purposefully leaked another ROM, v2.02, the famous "landscape in Manila" version. They were trying to out the leaker and they knew no one could resist leaking that upgrade, even if it wasn't complete yet.  

We were told, from one of our most trusted sources, that

...its a trap, they have a certain Serial and IMEI of the device that it was suppose to be for...

Yup.  According to our source, Manila 2.5 with landscape was a 'Canary trap' by HTC (thanks BigDiesel07 for the reference).

HTC is getting aggressive in trying to prevent further leaks, especially ones that are related to high profile devices.  Whether they will be successful or not remains to be seen, but they are actively trying to find where these leaks are coming from within the company and they will use subterfuge to do it.  

So if we see a reduction in the future of "new builds", you can point to that moment as the turning point. Then again, you sure can't fault HTC for wanting to cut down on the leaks and protect their property.  Just part of the biz.

[Thanks anonymous]

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4 years ago

WMExperts Podcast Episode 87

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4 years ago

T-Mobile HD2 gets a memory boost

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T-Mobile HD2 gets a memory boost

Behold, the HD2 that we'll see on T-Mobile. HTC's product page for the device is now live, and we learn that it's getting a memory boost over its European brother. ROM capacity will be 1GB (up from 512MB); and RAM is up from 448MB to 576MB.

An easy answer for the change could be that's what T-Mobile ordered. But that's no fun, is it? A better guess is that in testing Windows Mobile 7 on it -- remember that we're all assuming it's getting WM7 -- a need for more memory was discovered. Either way, it's not a huge bump up, but we're not the types to turn down free RAM. (Thanks to everyone who sent this in!)

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4 years ago

Android from a Windows Mobile perspective - Smartphone Round Robin

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Of all the other smartphones and all the other operating systems we've looked at over the course of the third annual Smartphone Round Robin, none is as similar to Windows Mobile as Android. That's a little odd, as Windows Mobile at its core is rapidly aging, and Android is one of the newest players of the bunch. But it's true.

With Windows Mobile you get a high customizable operating system, with myriad options available to manufacturers, carriers, modders and end-users. We're constantly preaching the benefit of custom ROMs, chopped up from official releases and recompiled into smaller, faster packages. Android? Same thing. It's available on most major carriers, in several form factors (though front-facing QWERTY keyboards haven't really materialized), and with multiple versions of the operating system.

So is Android merely Windows Mobile's brother by another mother? Will its rapidly rising market share (and mind share) swallow up Windows Mobile and everyone else in its way? Let's talk about that a little after the break.

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4 years ago

Review: Samsung Omnia II from Verizon

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Review: Samsung Omnia II from Verizon

Quietly, amidst the multiple HTC Touch Pro 2 releases, Samsung refreshed its Omnia line with a slew of new Windows Mobile devices. The Samsung Omnia II is a black-slab, touchscreen device hone that sports a 5-megapixel camera and a hefty 8 gigabytes of storage memory. Verizon picked it up late last year.

Our initial impression has been positive. Our main concern was the customization that Samsung has installed on the Omnia II. Not only does the Omnia II have Samsung's TouchWiz user interface, Samsung also also tweaked the interior Windows Mobile screens and menus.

Follow the break to see if this customization makes or breaks the Omnia II.

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4 years ago

Verizon Palm Treo Pro? Yup. Sort of.

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Here's one that will blow your mind.  Evidently, Verizon is or was planning on releasing the Palm Treo Pro.

Yup, that device from last year, featuring Windows Mobile 6.1, WiFi and EvDO Rev A. from what we're told is making its rounds on Verizon (or was).

From the photos above, you can see the following:

  • Software: T850EWW-1.00-VZW
  • Firmware: 1.12.40v
  • Verizon plugin for email
  • Verizon network plugin

That is newer firmware than the Sprint version (1.11.30F) and we're told it features CE OS 5.2.20765 (Build 20765.1.4.4).

Our thought? Hard to make sense of it.  The firmware and photos don't really lie, but since there is no branding anywhere on the device it's hard to judge.  Plus, there's that whole 'Why in the world would Verizon get this phone now!?' issue.

Ah, but we will share what we think is the official explanation:  

...through my conversations with folks at VZW, it was made clear to me that this unit would not ever be officially released. Verizon has a number of them, and they are for sale (if you know how to get at them), but they will not be seeing any acknowledgment or release

So we'll just leave these here for you to discuss amongst yourselves.

Oh and sorry to 'anonymous' for losing these in our mailbox form a few weeks ago. Blame Phil.

Edit: The more we think about it, the more flashbacks we're having with the Motorola Napoleon--a device branded by Verizon, never officially on sale, but was still sold to a few select customers.  Verizon...you truly have some strange policies!

 

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4 years ago

Microsoft moving away from "points system" for XBox, other services

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Funny how on the last past podcast we were just lamenting the XBox Live's "point system" for purchasing games, videos, services, etc.  It was hardly transparent, made you do conversions and came across ... well ... as slightly dishonest.

How we pay for things in XBox is relevant for Windows phone users because, make no mistake, XBox and Zune integration are coming down the pike in addition to our Marketplace.  How we pay for those services across our "three screens" will be quite relevant to the success or failure of such an ecosystem, if we can be so bold.

Luckily, Microsoft has evidently heard the cacophony of complaints regarding this system and appears to be at least re-evaluating the process.  Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg said in a recent interview:

We never intended to ever mislead people. I think we want to be transparent about it, and so it is something that we're looking at. How can we be more transparent and let people see it in actual dollars?

Well, perhaps they won't be ditching the points system, but at least they are considering improving it.  

Microsoft, do us a favor: just ditch the points and go with dollars.  Things are complicated enough already, and there is NO benefit for the consumer with the points system.  Not a single one.

[via Gizmodo]

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4 years ago

Review: IM+ All-in-One Mobile Messenger

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Review: IM+ All-in-One Mobile Messenger

IM+ All-in-One Mobile Messenger from Shape Services is one of the top IM applications for Windows Mobile Standard and Pro (and increasingly its competition).

It is also hands-down the most expensive option, coming in at a whooping one-time fee of $39.95. At least that $39.95 is a lifetime license with free upgrades and even a transfer to another device-type (except iPhone). Is it worth it? Depends if you are an instant messaging nut -- if so, yeah as its a darn good app.

Curious about what changes have been brought with their 6.x and now 7.x updates? Read on for my full review.

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4 years ago

Windows Mobile 7 (or just Seven) rumor roundup...

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Since our big story on Seven a few days ago, leaks and information have continued to come forth.

We'll just summarize them all here since nothing is conclusive yet, but there are lots of interesting tidbits:

  • Windows Mobile 7 session at MIX 2010 announced: Evidently Microsoft is going to host a session on how to make apps and games for Seven in March at the big MIX '10 conference.  Looks like that Mobile World Congress debut is quite likely. (via MobileTechWorld)
  • Twitter comments are coming from some Microsoft/Danger employees. Mention WinMo7 team, doughnuts, private testing, and milestones. Tweets originate not from a Sidekick client but from Microsoft. Project Pink lives? (via EngadgetMobile)
  • Part II: List of those tweeting from Danger/Microsoft: Carlos Picoto, Director of program management at Microsoft; Jeff McKean - Senior Product Planner at Microsoft; Bruno Silva - Director of Development at Microsoft Corp., Zune; Daryl Welsh - Director of Test -Premium Mobile Experiences at Microsoft; Michael Ducker - Program Manager, Premium Mobile Experiences at Microsoft; Namrata Bachwani - Release Manager at Microsoft (Thanks azimmerm)
  • Our leak of the HTC Obsession gets backed up by another anonymous source at WMPU, who says that it is really the Diamond 3, which seems kind of obvious. Also AT&T may grab it too. (via WMPU)
  • Our own source reveals to us that Seven is backwards compatible with WM6.x applications (contra an earlier rumor), but it is limited to resolution restrictions. A security warning pops up on launch, but the program will work.  That info leads naturally to...
  • ...the idea that Seven is based on WinCE 7 aka Chelan, which our man with the knowledge Conflipper confidently states.
  • Finally, commenter drphysx, mentions this article from a few months back, which we think dovetails nicely with our big post.  It seems to fill in the background info on decision making. It's all theory, but we think its well thought out.

We're sure that's just the tip of the iceberg and we're expecting a lot more info to come forward in the next few weeks.  Stay tuned!

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4 years ago

T-Mobile Dash goes kaboom on '24'

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T-Mobile Dash goes kaboom on '24'

Sure, the Palm Pre and its multitasking mayhem may get prime placement in Fox's "24," but who does Kiefer Sutherland and the rest of the production team call when it's time to blow something up? That's right. Windows Mobile. User JohnCody at XDA Developers spotted the venerable T-Mobile Dash as the trigger for a bomb underneath a manhole cover. OK, it's had a few modifications. But when you want to assassinate a fictional head of state, you don't want to take any chances with a new OS, do you?

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