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5 years ago

Treo 750v Gets WM6 -- In Europe (Updated)

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Update: We have a couple of Treo 750vs lying about, so we downloaded the update. I just tried to install it on an AT&T Treo 750 and the software wouldn't let me - unsupported device. Bummer. So don't bend over backwards to try to grab this update if you're an AT&T customer - sit tight for the official release. Like you haven't been already.

What's the deal? First Australia gets WM6 on a Treo 750, now Europe is getting it too. When Palm first released the Treo 750, they said that dropping the antenna was important for the European market, thereby implying that us neanderthals in the US didn't care about the gigantic thumb-like obelisk sticking out of the top of the then-available-in-the-US Treos. What, we can't handle Windows Mobile 6 on a Treo either? It's just too.. too.... sophisticated. Pah! Where's the love, Palm?

The love, I suspect, is completely sucked dry by AT&T, who clearly is the hold up here. I had previously assumed they'd release WM6 for the Blackjack, Treo 750, and the 8525 at the same time, so the Blackjack's rumored date of Sept 17th is a good bet. Or you could, you know, get googling on the leaked Windows Mobile 6 on Treo 750 ROM, which is peachy.

Anyhow, if you're in Europe or have a Treo 750v (the "v" is for "Vodaphone"), you can get the official update here.

Palm also released its Windows Mobile 6 upgrade in Europe - at the moment for the Vodafone Treo 750v only and available right from now for UK, Irish and Dutch users. The generic, non branded Treo 750 upgrade for the rest of Europe is expected to be released during September

Read: the::unwired - AVAILABLE: Palm releases first Windows Mobile 6 upgrades for the Treo 750v

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5 years ago

LG's Prada-esque Windows Mobile Smartphone

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When we speculated that the new Broadcom/Micosoft Design center built at LG's behest meant we've have the Prada phone running Windows Mobile, we figured it would be a long time before there was confirmation. Like, a week. Or not - because two days later LG has unveiled the KS20 -- announcing availability in Europe by the end of the year. Pah - snooty Europeans getting their fashion phones before us.

All I know is that I'm thankful that they've ran far away from the design elements of the prototype shown at CTIA in March 2007. Fugly? Super fugly.

Although the KS20 shares much of the looks of the KU990, they've actually trimmed back the display to 2.8-inches (compared to 3-inches on the KU990) while acing that 5.1 megapixel shooter for a skimpy, business-minded 2 megapixeler all riding atop a Windows Mobile 6.0 OS. Expected Q4 in Europe r

Read: LG's KS20 ready for the suits with WinMo 6 and HSDPA - Engadget Mobile

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5 years ago

Windows Mobile 6 on the Blackjack - Sept 17th?

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Windows Mobile 6 on the Blackjack - Sept 17th?

We have been wrong before about the release date for the Windows Mobile 6 upgrade for the Samsung Blackjack, so take this one with a grain of salt. Smartphone Thoughts is reporting:

Now, word is circulating that the production release of Windows Mobile 6 for the BlackJack will hit the streets (or maybe just AT&T's website) on September 17th. I know that sounds far away, but really it's just a couple weeks. We can hang on until then, right?

Ok. The 17th sounds fine. That's the day the US Constitution was signed, after all. ...You're expecting a strained metaphor about Windows Mobile 6? I'm not going there, just saying. Also just saying: we know for a fact (or at least we're really sure) that the release is coming in Q3. We also know for a fact (or at least really hope) that the leaked WM6 Blackjack ROM was far from ready on June 6th -- so three months to work out the kinds sounds reasonable. Right?

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5 years ago

The Best Windows Mobile Phone Ever. Period. HTC TyTN II

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The HTC TyTN II has been announced for Europe, on pretty much every European carrier. You may know it as the Kaiser or the Tilt, but from now on you should just think of it as the Awesome. I was already impresssed with:

  • 3G
  • WiFi
  • GPS
  • 3 megapixel camera
  • innovative tilting design.

...Now a glimpse at what they're including software-wise seals the deal: like the title says, the HTC TyTN II looks to be the most powerful Windows Mobile Device ever put into production. Check this out (emphasis mine):

HTC HomeTM, HTC's new homescreen, offers easy access to photo dialing, text messages, calendar entries, emails and contacts, as well as one touch access to live weather conditions plus four-day forecasts. [...] In addition, HTC has included further applications such as a business card scanner and TomTom Navigator 6 (Taster edition) to complement the in-built GPS.

Read: HTC launches the HTC TyTN II in Europe @ Mobility Today

Sadly, I don't have high hopes that the evil empire of AT&T will be as generous, but nevermind that. When the Tilt reaches these shores on September 3rd it will be the de facto king of the hill.

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5 years ago

Yahoo Mail Adds Free SMS, Yahoo Go Microreview

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Yahoo Mail's new interface is finally out of beta and they've added a nice little bonus: Free SMS in the US, Canada, India, and the Philippines:

The main addition of the new version which we care about is the ability to send free text messages to any mobile phone number in the US, Canada, India and the Philippines. The feature is seamlessly incorporated into the new Yahoo! Mail, and all you have to do is enter a mobile phone number into the “To:” field, type your text message and hit sent.

Read: IntoMobile

My favorite part - you don't have to know which carrier you're sending to. A lot of free SMS services make you pick the carrier from a drop-down menu -- a huge hassle.

Yahoo Go Microreview

In somewhat related news - my elation about Yahoo Go finally arriving to Windows Mobile completely evaporated when I installed it. Yahoo's decision to make the User Interface the same as the feature-phone version of the app means that it no longer utilizes Windows Mobile's built-in features in any interesting ways. It's slow, unwieldy, and a pain overall. Some of the integration features (like uploading to Yahoo Pictures/Flickr) are nice, but the fact that it no longer seamlessly integrates with Pocket Outlook is a deal breaker for me. I don't have the heart to give it a full review. Boo urns, Yahoo.

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5 years ago

Alltel Gets HTC PPC 6800

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Alltel Gets HTC PPC 6800

You can call it the Sprint Mogul, you can call it the UTStarcom XV6800, you can call it the Titan, or you can call it the PPC6800 -- which is what Alltel settled on. Whatever you call it, it's the premier slider Windows Mobile device right now - a title it will likely keep in the CDMA world for quite awhile (the AT&T Tilt will usurp it on GSM, natch). Alltel just snapped it up and so can you for $249 after rebates.

The linked Alltel product page claims that the PPC6800 runs Windows Mobile 5, but don't believe their lies, this is the PPC6800 we all know and love - Windows Mobile 6, WiFi (with a convenient switch), and EVDO. If you're on Alltel you won't see anything better come along for awhile, so now's the time.

Read: Alltel (via Engadget Mobile)

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5 years ago

LG to make Windows Mobile Smartphones?

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LG to make Windows Mobile Smartphones?

We've been awfully hard on Broadcom here at WMExperts, mainly because we (ok, me, for various reasons) have an inherent bias against patents getting in the way of companies releasing new shiny gadgets. It may be time to leaven that harshness, however, as it appears that Broadcom is going to be a new dealer provider of 3G chips for future Windows Mobile smartphones:

A recent sign of Broadcom's newfound footing in basebands came May 31, when Broadcom said it and Microsoft (MSFT), the world's largest software company, had jointly created a design center in Taiwan where the companies will develop basebands that run Microsoft's Windows Mobile software.

So instead of preventing Sprint and Verizon from getting 3G phones, Broadcom's patent will enable the CDMA-duo to get them - with Broadcom's chips. So the system is working. Now the interesting part, who exactly is interested in using these Broadcom chips to make Windows Mobile phones? Apparently it's LG(!):

"Several [manufacturers] have been pushing Broadcom and Microsoft to build this development center," says John Starkweather, general manager of mobile communications at Microsoft. He adds that, later this year, a major manufacturer will release a Windows Mobile device based on a Broadcom baseband chip. Neither company would identify the handset maker or say how much they're spending on the design center. But Starkweather says Korea's LG Electronics asked Broadcom and Microsoft to work together and that Microsoft is spending as much on the center with Broadcom as it has on comparable efforts with TI and Qualcomm.

Read: Broadcom Reaps Patent Suit Benefits

If LG can bring hotness like their Prada phone with Windows Mobile on board, I can break out my credit card -- despite my claims to be more practical about my smartphone purchasing.

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5 years ago

Palm Releases Sprint 700wx ROM Update

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No, it's not the Treo 750 ROM Update we just asked for a minute ago. Neither, sadly, is it Windows Mobile 6, which I think we need to give up hope on seeing on the 700wx in any flavor. Neither, sadly, is it the pulled ROM for the Verizon 700w|wx. No, instead it's a simple update for the Sprint 700wx that we'd seen previously for the Verizon version. It's still good news, though, as it adds some great features:

High-speed dial up networking (DUN) – use your Treo smartphone as a wireless modem for fast web access virtually anywhere1. Supports USB and Bluetooth connections.

Advanced audio support (A2DP) – enjoy your music in full stereo with new support for Bluetooth stereo headsets.

Hands-free enhancements – Drive safely and work more efficiently. Get support for even more Bluetooth carkits and the Palm wired carkit.

Read: Palm - Support

Inexplicably, it still doesn't have threaded text built in. We know the hack to added threaded SMS on the Treo 700wx works and works well. Ah well, I guess you'll just have to reapply that one.

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5 years ago

Motorola Q9M Unboxing and First Look Video

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5 years ago

Palm Announces Windows Mobile 6 -- in Australia

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Palm's Australian site is officially showing that the Treo 750 will be getting a free update to Windows Mobile 6 "soon" (people are betting "soon" equals early September, as we previously reported). Is anybody else thinking about putting on a sandwich board reading "Give us WM6 NOW" and marching around AT&T's headquarters? The ROM is ready, it's been ready for a long time. Maybe with the rough week Palm's been having they could cap it off with a little good news - convincing AT&T to just let them release the darn thing in the US.

Windows Mobile® 6 for your Palm® Treo™ 750 smartphone is Microsoft’s latest release featuring an improved calendar, more email options, great security features, and Windows Vista™ compatibility. This update also includes additional enhancements like Voice Command via Bluetooth® wireless technology, USB cable charging, and active call access.

Read: Palm Australia - Products - Palm Treo 750 Smartphone - What's New

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5 years ago

How To: Buy a Windows Mobile Phone

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How To: Buy a Windows Mobile Phone

PCWorld has just posted a general overview of the basic issues that face somebody interested in buying a Smartphone. For those of us in the mobile world, there's no new information here, but it's a nice one-stop article for new people who don't know the difference between UMTS and IMAP (mixed categories.. shudder):

There is no single greatest handset for all users, but with a little bit of forethought, you can easily choose the best phone and service plan for your own business needs.

Read: PC World - How to: Buy a Mobile Phone

I link it for two reasons: 1) the above mentioned "save this link for the next time somebody asks you about mobile phones" and, more importantly, 2) I think the article is exactly backwards when it comes to buying a mobile phone. Let's assume you're interested in buying a smartphone and, naturally, you think that you're going to want a very powerful device -- so you've settled on Windows Mobile as your platform of choice. What next?.

If you're not careful, you'll let the gadgetlust tail wag the smartphone dog. So read on for the "default advice" I give to friends, family, and even enemies (turn the other cheek, right?) about how to buy a Smartphone.

Step One: Pick Your Carrier

Seriously, this is step one and failing to make this step one is, I think, most often the biggest pitfall for a new smartphone buyer. It's very easy to be taken in by the gadget lust, but let me speak from long, personal experience:

Paying cancellation fees sucks. Getting stuck with a carrier whose coverage and plans don't fit your needs sucks a lot. I've paid 4 cancellation fees in the past two years. If I'd followed my own advice, I would have paid just one and been happier in the long run.

Really, there are stupendous Windows Mobile devices available now on every single carrier in the US. Even with the new stuff coming out soon, you'll be much happier in the long run sticking with the one carrier that best fits your needs instead of switching around to get the latest and greatest. So, how do you pick your carrier? There's no one way, but this is what I recommend:

  1. First, coverage. If you don't have good signal at home and in your office, find the carrier that has the best signal. Invite friends over who are on other carriers and check their bars. Check with your coworkers. Heck, waltz into a store and ask to borrow a test device for an hour. You might think you can "get by," but I promise you: if you have horrible signal in the places you live and work at, you'll end up switching again.
  2. Second, plans. If you're lucky enough to have several carrier options when it comes to coverage in your area, the next step is to delve into the mysterious and hateful world of cell phone plans. Here's a fair warning: this step will depress you. Nearly every carrier has overpriced data plans, overpriced text messaging, and confusing-as-all-get-out choices. Generally: assume that you'll need slightly more minutes than you think; Get unlimited data, period; get more text messages than you think you'll need, too -- as every single carrier is milking text message costs these day as a part of their master plan to be as evil as possible.
  3. Third, the little things. Maybe your family uses a certain carrier. Maybe your friends do. Maybe, like me, it's important to be able to switch up devices by swapping your SIM card out. Maybe you need a phone that will work in Europe. Maybe you think the customer service at certain carrier is better. I should say, though, that in the mobile space, the grass always seems greener on the other side. Take it from me, with the possible exception of T-Mobile, every carrier's customer service is slightly worse than you'll get from the most offensive fast food employee you can imagine. Maybe you prefer a certain 3G technology, or believe that a certain carrier will have better 4G tech.
    ...Maybe, just maybe, you're loyal to a certain carrier. ...Ok, scratch that last.

Step Two: Pick Your Moment

This step is tricky. If you're caught in a contract, it might be worth it to wait it out and avoid the cancellation fee. If you're not, it might be worth it to wait for the latest and greatest smartphone that's coming out soon. Or heck, your life is a little hectic right now, you can afford to stop hitting refresh on your favorite gadget blogs for a few hours and go outside. Go Fishing or something: HobbesIsReal swears by it. :)

The point is don't act hastily. Let the decision sit in the back of your mind for a bit. Let it stew (or fester, if that's your style). Eventually you'll feel that, yes, now is the time.

Step Three: Pick your Smartphone

FINALLY, you get to the good part. Reading reviews. Fondling the device at the store. Going through a spec breakdown device by device. Oohing and Aahing. Still, I advise caution here. I oohed and aahed at the Vox, only to find it wasn't for me.

We're assuming, of course, that you want the power, work-friendliness, and customization you can only get on Windows Mobile. That basically means your decision tree is very simple.

Decision One: Pro or Standard?

With Windows Mobile 6, the Touchscreen devices are "Pro" and the non-touchscreen devices are "Standard." On windows Mobile 5, the nomenclature is "PocketPC Edition" and "Smartphone Edition." At this stage in the game, anything you're considering will either be WM6 or will be upgraded to it very soon. So relax.

The real question is whether or not you need the extra power and ease of use of the touchscreen. Nobody can answer that for you but you - so you'll really need to get the gadgets in your hands and play around. Generally speaking, the Pro editions are slightly faster and slightly easier to use because you can interact directly with the screen instead of navigating around with the 5-way pad. Also, generally speaking, the Standard editions are slimmer, sexier, and have slightly better battery life.

So it's power or pocketability, basically.

Decision Two: Which one?

Well, we've finally come to it, you've already done your due diligence, having:

  • Picked a Carrier and a Plan
  • Waited to be sure you made the right decision
  • Picked your platform

...here's the good news / bad news - once you've made those decisions, it's highly likely that you'll only have 2, or at the most three, devices to choose from. The only exception is if you're considering importing some unlocked GSM phone, but let's leave that out of the picture for now.

When you're choosing between the devices that are available for your carrier and your platform, you basically just go with your gut. Maybe one-handed use is important so you go with a Treo 750. Or maybe you want a super-powered device, so you wait for the HTC Tilt. Or maybe you think the MotoQ9 is ugly as sin so you get the Blackjack. The best thing to do is get ahold of an actual phone and play around with it, plus read as many reviews as you can.

Here's a teaser: WMExperts is currently working on a comprehensive buyer's guide that you can use to compare specs, comment on phones, and generally figure it all out. Coming in September, Web Gods Willing.

Wrapping Up

Sad but true, nearly every point I've made here comes from personal experience. More specifically, personal experience doing the wrong thing. I've switched carriers out of a desire for a different phone, only to find that my signal was unacceptable. I've left carriers in a huff over customer service only to find it was worse with the new guys. Most often, though, I've snapped up too many new phones to count only to find they didn't fit my needs.

So slow down, chill out, and follow my easy three step plan to smartphone bliss. I know I will from now... OHH, SHINY! Where's my credit card!?

Did I get something wrong? Let us know in the comments!

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5 years ago

Congrats to the Folks Behind Our Store

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Congrats to the Folks Behind Our Store

Our parent company, Smartphone Experts is in the news today - they/we ranked #37 in the Inc 500 list of fastest growing private companies in the US and #1 (Number ONE BABY) in the retail category.

In case you're wondering, we always have and always will keep a strict firewall between our writers and our online stores, but I'll break it just a tiny bit now and say that the folks that run the e-commerce here are simply awesome. I'm sorely tempted to start naming names here, but I'm pretty sure I'd be end up writing about everybody in the company.

So I'll just say kudos and congratulations to everybody on the store side. I can't take any credit for the list (though I'm 2 for 3 when it comes to working for privately-held companies that make the inc ;) ), but I'm incredibly lucky to be associated with such fine folk.

I'll also say that, from personal experience, buying accessories from our WMExperts Store is better than most online stores I've dealt with (Yep-- I pay for stuff too when I need to). Oh, and there's a new corporate site at http://www.smartphoneexperts.com , too, complete with a not-horrendous picture of yours truly.

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5 years ago

Nokia Gets Windows Live Mobile Services

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One of us! One of us! Either Microsoft and Nokia decided to bury the hatchet or else Nokia decided they couldn't live without online services. Either way, more buy-in to Windows Live services is good news for Windows Mobile users, even (especially) if it's on a competing platform. Windows Live is so tightly integrated in Windows Mobile 6 that it's almost a crime not to use them (thankfully, though, you're not forced to use them). More users, especially on MSN Messenger, is a Good Thing.

Welcome to the fold, Nokia users. Pay no attention to the fact that after the Beta these services might not be free. Gooble gobble!

Nokia announced today that it has teamed up with Microsoft to offer Windows Live services directly on S60 compatible Nokia smartphones.

Read: Nokia announces Microsoft Windows Live suite download for phones

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5 years ago

Verizon Releases Motorola Q9M

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Verizon Releases Motorola Q9M

It's here, kids, in all its multimedia glory. Officially listed as the unwieldy "Motorola MOTO Q™ Music 9m Smartphone," the Q9M doesn't really offer any surprises (and with all the leaks, that's to be expected). Spec highlights:

  • Dimensions: 4.6" (H) x 2.6" (W) x 0.47" (D)
  • Weight: 4.76 ounces
  • Usage Time: up to 273 minutes OR Standby Time: up to 212 hours
  • Exclusive Multimedia User Interface (UI) with dedicated Multimedia and Standard home screen toggle key
  • 64 MB end user memory
  • 2.4" 320 x 240 TFT display with up to 65K colors
  • Windows Mobile® 6 OS with Documents–to–Go for viewing and editing email attachments
  • V CAST Music Capable
  • Wireless Sync capable
  • Bluetooth® Stereo Wireless Technology
  • miniSD™ removable memory support
  • Dual stereo quality speakers

The thing I'm itching to try is this new "Exclusive Multimedia User Interface," which actually looks pretty sweet. Also pretty sweet - that they're including DocsToGo by default. I still think it's absolutely insane that Microsoft kept Windows Mobile 6 Standard from having a full-powered office suite.

Now all we need to find out is what those Mystery Qs are. Also, how to console Sprint users who are going to have to wait until November.

The media–centric Motorola MOTO Q™ Music 9m Smartphone offers 2 Home Screen options – one Multimedia and Standard. The exclusive multimedia home screen together with the thumbwheel and center navigation key allows the user to maximize the V CAST Music experience while the standard home screen offers one–touch access to voice, email and Text messages.

Read: Motorola MOTO Q music 9m Smartphone

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5 years ago

Sprint Roadmap: Touch, Treo, Blackjack

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Sprint Roadmap: Touch, Treo, Blackjack

Here come the leaks, this time courtesy of Sprint. Phone news has a pretty clear idea of what's coming based on a leaked roadmap. The Windows Mobile highlights:

I've read elsewhere that the Treo 800w will have WiFi and GPS. I've heard rumors like the before regarding the Treo. These rumors - they are almost always lies. WiFi on a Treo - don't be ridiculous. More likely it will just be a Windows-version of the Treo 755p hardware [Edit: I meant 755p, not 700p. Thanks for the tip, D-Bo!], and I'm just fine with that. That's "just fine," and in "it's fine, but I still wonder why the heck Palm is so allergic to WiFi."

Read: Phone News - Sprint Roadmap Explains All New Devices

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