We haven't been covering too much the ongoing attempts to get Google's Android OS to run on Windows Mobile hardware--it's a moving target with varying results depending on your device--but mtllc555 has gone ahead and shown what a fully-functional Android looks like on a Diamond 2.
The OS is relatively fast for basic functions (a little sluggish on graphics) and overall seems to be working for every function (call, web, market, etc.).
Unfortunately, to get Android to run on your phone will depend on your hardware and radios (GSM vs CDMA) as each phone requires its own 'team'--some are more ahead than others. For instance on the CDMA Touch Pro 2, sound doesn't work and battery life is not that spectacular.
A good place to get started if you're interested (and have some time) is XDAndroid, which has info on the raphael/fuze, diamond, blackstone, topaz and rhodium. The process is not too difficult, can do no permanent damage and is a great way to kill a few hours.
Full video of Android 2.1 ('Eclair') on the Diamond 2 after the break.
BirdieSync 2.0 has been released which supports synchronization of Pocket Outlook with Thunderbird cards and mails, and Lightning or Sunbird events and tasks.
Birdiesync has it's own synchronization engine and does not rely on ActiveSync. The synchronization engine maintains a history, manages unresolved items, and allows for multiple computer synchronization. The independent sync engine may create an unexpected benefit for those wanting to sync their Windows Phone with a home computer and an Exchange Server.
Reading from the FAQ of BirdieSync's website, "It is possible to synchronize your mobile device with Outlook if it is installed on a different computer (without Thunderbird/Sunbird being synchronized on this machine). So you can synchronize your mobile device with Outlook and Thunderbird if they are installed on 2 different machines. Simply be aware that all the modifications performed on either computer will be replicated on the other one." This may not be possible if you're running Windows XP the drivers for Windows Mobile Device Center (needed to connect your Windows Phone to your computer) are bundled with Activesync. But if you're running Vista or Windows 7, it might be worth a try.
BirdieSync is compatible with Thunderbird 3.1, Lightning 1.0b2 and Sunbird 1.0b1. It is available for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 (32 and 64 bits). You can download a 21 day trial version of BirdieSync here and it will set you back 19.95 Euros (about $25 USD if my conversion rate is correct).
While nothing spectacular--it is after all just a Twitter app, it does have some nice features like embedded photos and 'Nearby' which shows all Tweets based on your geographic location. Overall it looks pretty smooth.
The speakers in the video are French, so any secret info they are probably not discussing will remain hidden to us, but the demonstration of the app more than speaks for itself.
Verizon's ETF lawsuit has apparently come to a close with a California Appeals Court upholding a $21 million refund that will go to about 175,000 customers. The lawsuit came about when customers challenged Verizon's Early Termination Fees. The plaintiffs claimed that Verizon violated California consumer protection laws and similar State and Federal laws by imposing flat ETF's.
The class action settlement, originally agreed upon in 2008, was appealed twice by Verizon with the funds being held in escrow until all appeals of the case have been exhausted. Verizon could appeal to the California Supreme Court but a spokesperson for Verizon stated this ruling ended all ETF related litigation.
Scott Bursor, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, stated "Yesterday's ruling by the Court of Appeal confirms that this is a terrific settlement for Verizon Wireless customers, and now more than 175,000 of those customers will get a substantial refund."
There are no reports on how much the attorney fees in this case will be (likely millions) but the settlement breaks down to about $88 per plaintiff. They were challenging a $175 fee, which has increased since the litigation but is now prorated to comply with applicable laws.
Verizon claims the increase and change in ETF policy is completely unrelated to the litigation. No word if the Microsoft KIN was ever a part of the settlement agreement.
Though Windows Phone 7 is primarily aimed at consumers during the initial launch, Microsoft already has a strong focus on enterprise built within the the OS (Office, Sharepoint, Skydrive, remote management, etc.). This enterprise focus will no doubt become even more robust during further revisions to the OS, hopefully giving Microsoft that edge once again over RIM.
One area that is of interest would be security and encryption. Turns out WP7 supports quite a few forms of data protection algorithms, including the following:
This doesn't mean that encryption is directly supported out-of-the-box for end users, but it does mean that developers have a wide assortment of tools to handle data encryption when writing their own software for the platform. Rob Tiffiany demonstrates this by writing an app to encode some simple data on the fly. His impression is that WP7 has a very solid base for security, which to bring it around again, is not only is good for business but for corporate environments.
LG has announced an all-new LG Application Store with more than 3,000 applications consisting of a mixture between feature phone apps and Windows Phone apps. The good news is that the LG App Store is available in 23 countries and will expand to 33 countries by the end of the year. The bad news is that the U.S. market isn't among them.
In the Press Release, Dr. Skott Ahn, President and CEO of LG's Mobile Communications Division said, "Today, more and more people want mobile devices that make their lives easier and more exciting through the right combination of applications. To meet this growing demand, we've put a great deal of effort into strengthening our application offerings for all types of phone owners"
While research noted in LG's press release indicates that 90% of feature phone owners in the U.S. and United Kingdom are interested in downloading application, neither of these countries are included in the initial 23 Country launch. The U.K. is included in the next group of ten countries but, again, not the U.S.
Rumors of the HTC HD3 running Windows Phone 7 device have surfaced yet again. The modestly detailed images have the HD3 sporting a 4.5" AMOLED screen, measuring 4.53" x .4" x 2.56", as well as having 1GB RAM, 1GB ROM, and 16GB memory under the hood.
Additionally, the HD3 will have a 1.5ghz Snapdragon processor and a 8mp camera capable of recording at 720p with 1080p playback. This could be another "fantasy phone" rendering of the HD3. The specs are almost identical to those we saw in the first imposter and both first surfaced from Chinese tech sites.
Real or not, the specs and pictures are impressive. However, for now we'll keep this filed under hopeful rumor.
Update: It should be noted that this was actually an old, concept rendering not attributed to HTC going back to March. In other words, quite far from fact. --Malatesta
LG is re-affirming its commitment to the Windows Phone 7 movement.
Ahn Seung-kwon, LG's Mobile Business Chief, stated:
"We will boost our premium lineup, LG Electronics will concentrate on developing devices that take full advantage of the Android and Windows Mobile 7 systems for the next year or two."
He explained that 10 design-focused and specification-rich smartphones will be marketed with North America and Europe targeted for these new phones.
Asked when we will see a Windows Phone 7 device, Ahn said the schedule to market a Windows Mobile 7 in the second half of the year was underway. This would put LG in line with the "by holiday 2010" statements we've heard from others on the WP7 availability.
We've like what we have seen from LG recently with their Expo and Fathom. It will interesting to see what the company can do with Windows Phone 7.
If you are a regular reader of this site, chances are that your Windows Phone isn’t the only gadget you keep around. For gadget lovers, getting your device battery charged is one of the few limitations that constrain our phones. On this site we’ve reviewed portable battery chargers, solar chargers, etc; but we’ve never seen anything quite like The Sanctuary from BlueLounge.
Consolidates device charging. Allows for simultaneous charging of multiple devices.
Wasn't it yesterday we heard rumors of a software update for the Microsoft KIN? Just as we had hopes a software update would breath new life into the KIN, we are now hearing that Microsoft has pulled the plug on the Windows Phone. The official statement from Microsoft reads,
"We have made the decision to focus exclusively on Windows Phone 7 and we will not ship KIN in Europe this fall as planned. Additionally, we are integrating our KIN team with the Windows Phone 7 team, incorporating valuable ideas and technologies from KIN into future Windows Phone releases. We will continue to work with Verizon in the U.S. to sell current KIN phones."
While Microsoft will site the need to focus on Windows Phone 7, poor sales might have played a role in the decision as well. You also had issues of the KIN not having any apps (YouTube would have been nice), no calender, and pricing issues (hardware and data) that didn't help matters.
The one shining feature of the KIN was the KIN Studio. Hopefully, Microsoft will salvage that feature and find a way to incorporate it into the WP7 picture.
Skyfire has announced that they will be scaling back operations and development beginning July 1, 2010.
The decision appears to be the result of demand out pacing resources. Skyfire users have grown 400% in the past year and Skyfire has been approached by several vendors and wireless providers to become default browsers for their handsets.
The scale down will call for a stop for all future development on Skyfire 1.0 (only used on Windows Phones and Symbian phones) architecture and focus on Skyfire 2.0 as the flagship product. Additionally, Skyfire 1.x will no longer be supported outside of North America and Western Europe. Skyfire 1.0 and 1.5 will remain available as a free service in the following countries after July 1st: United States, U.K., Canada, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Korea and Taiwan.
Jeff Glueck, CEO of Skyfire, stated, "We know this decision is an inconvenience to many Skyfire 1.5 users in emerging markets, and while it’s a free service, we appreciate how important and valuable Skyfire has become to people. We have read the many impassioned messages from users in affected countries, and the choice to focus on our flagship product does involve trade-offs which are never easy." Skyfire will move forward with continued development for Android phones, submit a version to the iPhone App Store and hopefully have a product available for the Windows Phone 7.
McObject, developer of data management technology, has announced it will be offering support for its Perst object-oriented, open source embedded database on the Windows Phone 7 platform.
The open source software was successfully ported to WP7 by APPA Mundi, a England-based consulting firm. Andy Wigley, from APPA Mundi, stated, "Using Perst for .NET, developers using Silverlight can now include true database management system features in their Silverlight applications, including adding persistence to this data by storing it in a container file in isolated storage."
According to McObject, there was some doubt from developers that WP7's tight memory, CPU size and storage constraints might limit the use of embedded databases. Perst will see it's greatest impact with business applications that require complex databases and hopefully, this announcement will open the door further for WP7 development.