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5 years ago

CTIA 2008: Bill Gates Keynote LiveBlog

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CTIA 2008: Bill Gates Keynote LiveBlog

Howdy folks. After two hours of waiting (and about another hour to go, but we're live at Bill Gates' last CES keynote ever. We're not sure if there's going to be anything Windows Mobile-related, but we're pumped nevertheless. Stay tuned!

5:55 (Mountain Time, we're in Vegas Baby Vegas, don'tcha know?): We are still a half hour away. The room is jam-packed. If anybody has a BB gun, please come down here and take a few shots at the purple lights they have shining out into the crowd.

6:25: Here we go. Good sign: all the clipart images are of folks holding Windows Mobile phones and smiling a lot.

6:30: Funtime Intro Music over a montage of CES gadetry serenades us as we wrestle with a terrible connection. Too many people want to use our AT&T 3G. CEA Honco Gary Shapiro is on stage now, talking up the CES show.

6:35: Introducing Bill Gates - as though Bill Gates needs it.

6:40 Heeeere's Bill! Title of the talk "The Next Digital Decade." Sounds like fun. Bill takes us down a trip on memory lane - since his first CES keynote in 1994.

6:45 Calls attention to the fact that this is his last keynote and that later this year he'll go from fulltime at Microsoft to fulltime at his foundation. Sniffle. Looks like we're getting a video to help him prepare for his last day.

6:50 Bono and the Edge won't let Bill into the band. Aww. The video is heavy on the cameos - it brings the funny.

6:50: Whoa - that would be a white Palm something or other on the screen! def. an 800w or something that looks identical to the leaked version. He's talking about "connected experiences," but we're looking at that Treo.

6:55: Predicting "HD everywhere" and real 3D internet experiences. We've heard this 3D prediction before. Showing some mockup of a futurephone - looks pretty nice, actually. Meanwhile emphasizing how important it is for all devices to be connected via services invisibly so, say, you don't have to muck around organizing your photos and moving them from device to device.

6:57: the importance of "Natural User Interface" - Touch on "Windows PC and on the iPhone" (yes, he said it). Voice on the Ford Sync. Gestures, etc. "We're just at the beginning of this."

6:58: 100 Million people using Vista (whoa - much higher that I would have guessed). Neat new form factor PCs using Vista. 420 Million people use Windows Live. Windows Mobile: 10 Million new users last year, 20 Million users next year.

7:00: Ohh. Input causes problems with Vista, Live, and Mobile. Input Innovations coming.

7:00: Product Demo - Windows Live Services. Windows Live Calendar - overlay different people's calendars to see what's available. Windows Live Events - evite, basically, plus photo sharing. Windows Live Photo Gallery - automagically integrate multiple pictures of the same area into a panoramic photo. Sweet.

7:05: Windows Live Mobile - demoing on an HTC Touch. Adding photos to Windows Live Spaces.

7:05: Bill is back, he's demo'ing Microsoft Surface - their touch-based tabletop PC. Neat ideas - set your phone on the table to auto-upload stuff from surface to Windows Spaces.

7:07: Silverlight time. Announcing that NBC is using Microsoft as their exclusive US partner for the 2008 Olympics. That'll get people to install the Silverlight plugin, eh? NBC video of how happy they are about this partnership coming up.

7:10 - our laptop battery is dying everybody! We'll be back with more later!

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5 years ago

HP's upcoming offerings: Oak and Silver (Plus one more)

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We just said that BGR's roadmap was the gift that keeps on giving and boy did we mean it. Next up: HP is taking another swing at Windows Mobile devices and this time they're going for the fences. That's a welcome sign after their previous bunts.

The highlight is definitely the Oak, a WM 6.1 Pro device with a touchscreen, quad-band HSDPA, bluetooth, gps, wifi, and a thin slider form factor that looks hottt with three Ts. The thin comes at a price, though, a measly 1010 mAh battery that they're optimistically claiming will last for 3.5 hours of talk time.

Next up is the Silver, which is interesting because not only does it look a heckuva lot like a BlackBerry Peal, but it also sports a “SureType” keyboard that they're calling a “suretype” keyboard -- perhaps it's been licensed from RIM? It has nearly identical specs as the above Oak (though they mysteriously left Bluetooth off the list. Surely an omission). It's WM6.1 standard and due in July.

There was also a low-endish ODM v16xx on BGR's list - an inexpensive WM 6.1 Pro device that lacks WiFi but has GPS and a front-facing QWERTY. We suspect it's just EDGE, but don't know for sure. Due in September.

Is anybody else wishing Vodafone would hurry up and get their subsidiary, Verizon, onto GSM already? Because they clearly have the Windows Mobile goods coming to Europe and we're jealous. Very jealous.

Read: hp oak | The Boy Genius Report

Read: hp silver | The Boy Genius Report

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5 years ago

Palm “Wanda” to Succeed the Treo 500v

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BGR's leaked Vodafone roadmap is the gift that just keeps on giving. The latest: Palm Wanda. It takes some major design cues from the PalmOS Centro - the tiny keyboard and the thin (width-wise) shape. But switch that baby over to Windows Mobile 6.1 standard and throw in 3G and you have Wanda. The radio is tri-band EDGE/HSDPA so it's probably going to follow the 500v's Europe-only tack to start. We truly hope that's just to start, because this little sucker looks cute as a button and our pockets are begging for it.

Specs:

  • Tri-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE/HSDPA
  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard
  • 320x240 screen
  • 2mp camera
  • GPS
  • 1200mAh battery

It's due in September '08. Thanks to rener for the tip! Our money is on this getting the “Centro” branding.

Read: Vodafone Roadmap: Palm Wanda! | The Boy Genius Report

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5 years ago

Palm Drucker ( Treo 850v ?) to Replace Treo 750v

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CES may start tomorrow in Las Vegas, but there's big news from Europe coming out from BGR. They've scored a Vodafone product roadmap. As was predicted (accurately, by yours truly) over at TreoCentral, Palm is going to be replacing their Treo 750 in July of 2008. We don't have a full picture yet, but we do have some specs:

  • Quad-band GSM
  • Windows Mobile 6.1 (Pro? We assume)
  • 320x320 Flush (!) screen (gotta be touch? We assume!)
  • 2mp camera
  • 1500 mAh battery (huge!)
  • GPS, WiFi (!), Bluetooth 2.0

Basically is the GSM Windows Mobile Treo we've all dreamt of. It also seems to be a continuation of Palm's love affair with Vodafone - they got the Treo 750 first, the Treo 500v first (and probably exlusively), and come July (or thereabouts), they'll get the Treo XXX/Drucker first. Our money is on it being called the Treo 850v.

Thanks to Chad for the tip!

Read: Vodafone Roadmap: Palm Drucker! | The Boy Genius Report

p.s. We'd like to think that “Drucker” is named after TreoCentral's own “Michael Ducker,” but we wouldn't want Miradu to get too big a head, now would we?

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5 years ago

WMExperts Headed to CES 2008

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WMExperts Headed to CES 2008

That's right, folks, strap in for a deluge of Windows Mobile-related news. Frankly, we're not sure what the likes of Microsoft, HTC, and Samsung have prepared for us. It's CES, though, so you know there'll be plenty. It will all start out with what is slated to be Bill Gates' last CES keynote (please, Bill, don't trot out the “Kitchen of the Future” again!) on Sunday night.

Expect plenty of neat accessory and software bits in the vein of the HD Slingbox and ogling of new phones. We're hoping for a US-version of the upcoming Samsung i780.

Anyhow, stay tuned for the fun!

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5 years ago

Slingbox Pro to go HD

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Slingbox Pro to go HD

We suppose this sort of falls into the “it was inevitable” camp, but our favorite method for streaming media to our WinMo gadgets, Slingbox, will be getting an upgrade to HD. The details show they're not screwing around. Here's the info, with “not screwing around” parts in bold:

Slingbox PRO-HD includes multiple inputs and outputs, including digital audio and a digital (ATSC/QAM) tuner. Not only will the Slingbox PRO-HD stream up to 1080i content and 5.1 surround within the home to a computer, it can also be used to ship high-def material to another HDTV via our forthcoming SlingCatcher. In addition, the lucky ones with super highspeed broadband connectivity, such as FiOS, will get similar HD quality streaming to remote locations. Slingbox PRO-HD is slated for a Q3 release @ $399.99 (USD).

In other words, this Slingbox Pro HD will not only do what t'other Slingboxen have always done, it will also help let you watch your HD content on other televisions without paying for extra cable or satellite boxes. Nice.

Slingbox will hopefully be showing this (and a dirty dirty BlackBerry client) at CES in Las Vegas next week (yep, we'll be there, as if you doubted it).

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5 years ago

Redfly Ressurects Foleo Concept; Is Also Flawed

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So this Redfly thing made the internet rounds yesterday and we didn't post it because, well, we can't post everything. If you missed it, it's a “Smartphone Companion” that's designed to give you a full keyboard and a (relatively) expansive screen to work with when you're on the go. All your data lives on the smartphone. In shorts, it's darn close to filling the curious absence left in the wake of the Foleo cancellation.

Like we said, we weren't going to comment on it, but TreoCentral just weighed in on it, and that got us to thinking: It looks like the Redfly gets right what the Foleo got wrong in every aspect but one - price. What the Redfly appears to have gotten right is that the way to quickly construct a “mobile companion” is to make it just a “dummy terminal” to your smartphone. A glance at what little information is available seems to imply (though we're not sure!) that the Redfly is meant to work directly with Windows Mobile and to give WM a larger resolution (as in - hey, Windows Mobile, you know how you think you're working on a 240x320 device. Ignore that, we're bigger now).

IF that's how it works, then that's smart. It eliminates the need for complex synchronization software. However, if that's in fact how it works, then why on earth is it priced at $399 (or perhaps 499?)? Gah! Anyhow, like the Foleo before it, we want this. Should be available in March.

The REDFLY Mobile Companion is a sleek clamshell design that includes an 8“ display, a full function keyboard, and a touchpad mouse. Measuring just 1x6x9 inches and only 2 pounds, the REDFLY Mobile Companion offers over 8 hours of battery life and boots instantly! It also adds three new features - instant VGA output, access to USB flash drives, and the ability to charge your smartphone via USB.
REDFLY is very unique - it changes the resolution of your smartphone display so that applications, web sites, email, and attachments all have more room to play!

Read: treocentral.com >> Stories >> Commentary >> Redfly Mobile Companion Similar to Palm Foleo

Update: GerardoDada is on exactly the same page: a dumb terminal to your smartphone is the right way to go. We still wish it wasn't so darn expensive.

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5 years ago

WMExperts Top 10 of 2007, Plus Our Faves

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Hey, everybody else is doing it, why can't we? Below - our most-read articles and posts of 2007. A couple more months and it's likely we would have seen more from the Smartphone Round Robin - but no matter.

What do we learn from the list below? That people like the smackdowns (can't blame ya) and we all spent the bulk of 2007 champing at the bit to install Windows Mobile 6, then Windows Mobile 6.1 Of course, we're still waiting for 6.1 -- and many of us are still waiting for Windows Mobile 6 (Cough BLACKJACK cough!). We also learn that the HTC Touch was the sleeper hit of the year - it's certainly done much better than we expected. Don't get us wrong, though, we love the little bugger.

Anyhow, this is the spot where we say thanks a ton to all of you readers. We got started abound February of last year and have been growing in traffic ever since. Here's to hoping 2008 connects us with even more of y'all.

After the break, the top 10 by traffic of 2007 plus a few of our own favorite articles that you may have missed!

Top 10 by Traffic

  1. HTC Touch vs. iPhone, Part 2: Video Smackdown. #1 with a bullet - it's a 25 minute, point by point comparison between the HTC Touch and the iPhone.

  2. Giant ATT-Cingular 3G WM5 Smackdown: Treo 750 vs. 8525 vs. Blackjack. A little out to date, but still useful, this article is a comprehensive comparison between what were the top three on AT&T at the time. Yes, we're going to do a followup with the new devices.

  3. BlackJack WM6 Update: Q3 at best. Remember when getting Windows Mobile 6 on the BlackJack in October of 2007 seemed like a curse? We do.

  4. Windows Mobile 6.1 Coming with New Interface? Sure, Boy Genius may have gotten his hands on an actual Windows Mobile 6.1 device in December, but we told you it was coming and what it would look like in October. Boo. Yah.

  5. HTC Touch vs iPhone, Part 1. Twice in the Top Ten? Yep - y'all love your comparisons.

  6. Hack Available for PPC-6700/XV6700: AKU3.3. We still the a lot of 6700s in the wild even though it's been replaced on pretty much every network by the 6800. The 6700 may never see Windows Mobile 6, but at least it can be upgraded to the best that Windows Mobile 5 has to offer.

  7. How-To: Full YouTube on Windows Mobile. We sort of wish our iPhone YouTube Spoof had made the grade, but that's alright. It's more fitting that an article actually explaining how to do it get in.

  8. WM6 on a Samsung Blackjack. Yeah, we know, two “Windows Mobile 6 on BlackJack” articles. This second is the hacked ROM, and yes, seriously we still don't recommend you try to use it - it's slow and buggy.

  9. How To: Customize Your Tilt. One of the reasons the Tilt didn't fare well in the Smartphone Round Robin is that its out-of-box experience is just plain horrendous. So we threw together a “for the n00bs” how-to for customizing your Tilt.

  10. Review: Jabra BT8010. The BT8010s were one of the first “hybrid” bluetooth headsets on the market and they're pretty neat. We prefer the Voyager 855s now, but it's hard to argue strongly against the BT8010s, they're nice.

Our Faves

  1. How To: Buy a Windows Mobile Phone. So Windows Mobile is available on a dizzying array of devices on pretty much every network you can imagine. We break down what you need to do if you're thinking WM.

  2. How To: Install, Uninstall, and Transfer Files on Windows Mobile. We could have taken any article from our growing “How To” section, but we decided to stick with the basics.

  3. Video First Looks. We've done a ton of Video First Looks at a ton of smartphones. Check it: HTC Touch Dual, BlackJack II, Samsung SCH-i760, Sprint Touch, T-Mobile Shadow, Motorola Q9h, Pantech Duo, and ATT Tilt

  4. iPhone vs Windows Mobile, Email Smackdown. Point-by-point analysis of why Windows Mobile beats the pants off the iPhone for email productivity.

  5. Smartphone Round Robin: Triumphant Return to Windows Mobile!. It's our Love-Poem to Windows Mobile. Our Ode. Our Paean. If anybody ever asks you “Why Windows Mobile?”, send 'em here.
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5 years ago

New Rules for Traveling with Batteries

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It looks like somebody from the TSA has noticed all of the stories about batteries exploding and decided to do something about it. Of course, this being the TSA, “something” apparently means “introduce unnecessarily complex and bureaucratic policies that will mystify the average person.” Basically, the rules are thus: you can carry on spare batteries, but not check them. Except when you have too many batteries, where “too many” is determined by -- wait for it -- the number of grams of lithium content in your batteries. You can check batteries when they're installed, though, because why make things clear-cut?

Now, they do sort of try to make it clear that the vast majority of consumer-grade batteries are just fine, probably. Below, an excerpt from a not-too-distant interview before the law TSA:

Before the [Security Checkpoint] sits a gatekeeper. To this gatekeeper comes a man from the country who asks to gain entry into the [Security Checkpoint]. But the gatekeeper says that he cannot grant him entry at the moment. The man thinks about it and then asks if he will be allowed to come in later on. “It is possible,” says the gatekeeper, “but not now.”

We know, going straight to Kafka when complaining about bureaucracy is cliché, but he is the master. Happy new year, everybody, we're happy to ring it in with crazy new laws!

Read: Safe Travel via Matthew Miller

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5 years ago

Adios, Analog

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Adios, Analog

Well Golly - it looks like TDMA won't be the only thing to have its lights turned off next year - the Analog Cellular network is going too. I don't know which is crazier - the fact that folks are still using analog cell phones or the fact that this somewhat comforting fall-back technology is going away. AP suggests checking your grandma's emergency 911 cell phone (it might be analog), but that there's a very slim chance - 1% to be precise - that this will affect you or yours. That number is much higher if you have GM's OnStar in your vehicle - older OnStar-equipped cars use analog too.

Analog has long-been the more reliable option for rural areas and that may not change as quickly -- Alltel will take a bit longer to drop analog and some smaller carriers will keep it. Still and all - my first “cell” was analog and I still have a soft spot for the Ericsson.

Meanwhile, it reminds me of the first digital phone I got - I was told my multiple people that this “digital thing” was a phase. People want to hear your real voice, not some digitally de- and re-constructed facsimile. I, on the other hand, have always welcomed our digital overlords.

Read: chicagotribune.com

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5 years ago

Treo 500 Getting Unlocked Soon

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Treo 500 Getting Unlocked Soon

Ah, Treo 500, you arrived on a wave of crazy, mixed up “gandolf” rumors, landed with a splash, and were promptly washed away across the sea - we'd hoped you'd be available in the United States, but our hopes were dashed. Turns out, though, that though the Treo 500v is slightly underwhelming on paper, it's actually not to shabby in person. Great build quality and a relatively small price make it a modest success. Palm looks to capitalize on that modest success by offering it unlocked (instead of tied to Vodafone), according to Reg Hardware. It should happen sometime next year.

Good on Palm. Now, if they'd only make a version that would work in the United States (and bring back the ringer switch!), we'd be happy. During the TreoCast recording last week (and getting published soon-like), Mike suggested that such a move would help the 500v out in China. See, China requires miniUSB on all their cell phones .... and the Treo 500v is the only Treo (heck, the only anything) that charges via miniUSB. hmmmm.

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5 years ago

ATT's 1-800-YellowPages Now Free (with Ads) - For Suckers

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AT&T is now switching their telephone directory service, 1-800-YellowPages (that's 1-800-935-5697), to ad-supported instead of cost-per-call. That's a good thing, we suppose, but we are reporting it here mainly to thumb our nose at, well, pretty much anybody not using a Windows Mobile Smartphone. See, we have Live Search, which is a stupendously awesome directory app that only costs whatever your data plan charges - i.e. nothing extra for most folks. Maps, Movies, Gas Prices, Restaurants, you name it.

“But WMExperts,” you say, “Typing in a search while you're driving is incredibly unsafe. Dialing into an ad-supported directory service is a much better idea.” You might be right, except that Live Search does voice recognition too. Oh, and GPS (for free). And you can even get it to do tower triangulation-style location with a little help from Navizon if you don't have GPS pre-loaded.

So, yeah, we still really like Live Search. Yes - someday it might have little ads of its very own, but that day is not here. So quit calling into directory services, start using your smartphone like god intended it.

AT&T has announced that its 1-800-YellowPages directory service is now available free of charge. The service is available on any landline or wireless phone in the United States, and offers directory lookup service for callers

Read: AT&T Frees Up Directory Assistance (MobileBurn)

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5 years ago

Hack to Improve GPS on Sprint Motorola Q9c

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Hack to Improve GPS on Sprint Motorola Q9c

So as a few of you may know, the Motorola Q Q9c on Sprint is the first Windows Mobile device on that network to have GPS enabled (throw your hand-made confetti in the air!). Not only is it enabled, but it is fully “open” meaning the COM Ports are visible to external programs, like Google Maps or the arguably superior Microsoft Live Search with Speech input (cue more confetti).

Interestingly, it appears that the GPS enabled on the device is only set for direct satellite connections--there are no connections to Sprint’s aGPS assistance servers. In this sense, the Moto Q9c’s GPS is more like a true-standalone unit. Good, right? Not really, it could be better.

StarmanDX over at Sprint Users kindly posted this little trick which will not only keep your satellite guidance, but add Sprint’s assistance servers. The benefit? Your GPS signal acquisition should be a lot faster, stronger, and work indoors as well as city environments. Win-win if you ask me.

Full instructions after the break!

Preliminaries

One caveat: you need your MSL, which stands for "Master Subsidy Lock" and is a 6 digit code to program your phone. Remember when you called Sprint to activate your phone and they had your program in your number in that “special menu”? To get there you had to enter your MSL. Some of us tricksters now know to write that down for future use. But you probably haven’t done this, so here’s the trick: you need to call Sprint and get it. It’s technically not a big deal and are supposed to give it to you if you ask, after all it is your phone not theirs. So here are some things to say to the Sprint CSRs or better yet, try Tech Support:

  • Just ask, sometimes they give it. Worked for me!
  • Say you took your phone to a Sprint store and they need your MSL to reprogram part of the phone
  • Tell them that you are trying to change your user name within the settings on your phone and the phone is requiring the MSL code
  • Say you are developing application for the phone

Yeah, it’s a wee bit of a white lie, but it’s worth it. Now once you have that number, store it somewhere safe and remember to do this for all your WM devices in the future, you may never know when you need it.

One other note before the actual hack: you have to trust the settings are saved. If you go back into this menu, it’ll all be erased, but once entered it’ll stay. So have faith that they stuck.

And now for the trick and thanks again to StarmanDX!

Enable aGPS Sprint assistance servers for Moto Q Q9c

  • Dial ##073887*
  • Hit Send/Green Key
  • Enter your MSL
  • Hit H (GPS Settings)
  • Enter 68.28.31.49 for the IP address
  • Enter 5017 for the port number
  • Save/Exit

(ps Nope, I do not know how to do this for AT&T Q9h's or Verizon's Q9ms. Sorry, Sprint only!)

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5 years ago

Review: PointUI

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5 years ago

Review: Seidio 1300mAh and 1600mAh Extended Batteries for your Treo 750

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