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5 years ago

Open Letter to Warez Jerks

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Open Letter to Warez Jerks

The president of WebIS, makers of great software like Pocket Informant and FlexMail, has posted an open letter to software pirate sites. I'm linking it for a few reasons:

  • It's very well-written
  • It's right
  • It brings up a very good point:
If you actually use our software please pay for it. [...] WebIS has always been extremely liberal in our licensing as well. We don't use activation (we've thought about it), we don't lock our license to your username, we don't do anything to make licensing hard. We let you run our software on as many devices that you personally use and we use the honor system. Heck, we even make 2-3 versions of our software in most cases and let you pay for one and get them all.

Indeed, I've trialed many of WebIS' products, probably all of them. A lot of them don't fit with my habits of using a smartphone, but many do. I wanted to point out that 95% of WM developers get it when it comes to shareware for smartphones. It's simple: charge reasonable prices and avoid don't have annoying methods for registration. That's a big deal - in the fight against software piracy it's easy to lose your way and get too restrictive with activations. Activation in itself is highly annoying to me personally as I find myself switching phones basically on a weekly basis for my job here.

Anyhow, the point is that having 3rd party apps for your platform is a good thing, and paying for those apps is the only real way to keep them coming. I tend to think of shareware prices not in dollars but in "Lattes" or even "Value Meals." When you look at a piece of software you will likely use every day as a handful of premium coffees or a couple trips to a fast food joint, then paying for it becomes a no brainer.

Read: Open Letter To Warez Sites - WebIS, Inc. Forums via PocketPC Thoughts

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5 years ago

First Look: HTC Touch Video

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First Look: HTC Touch Video

We weren't the first on our block to get an HTC Touch, but we may be the most excited. Check out the video first look, below.

Summary for those of you who can't watch the video at work: It's thin, light, and very good looking. Entering text is going to be a hassle without some 3rd party solutions, but the TouchFLO interface is really neat. I'm almost as enamored as this guy. Did I mention thin and light? I never thought a full-featured touchscreen device could be this small (iPhone notwithstanding). Oh, and it works just fine with the new mobile YouTube (thanks to Gwalio for the tip!)

One thing I didn't mention in the video, I really wish there was a 4th screen to TouchFLO. As it is, you get Contacts, a 6-panel app launcher, and a 3-panel media launcher. What I'd like is a 2nd 6-panel app launcher to "complete the cube", as it were, that I could customize with my own apps. Actually, in a perfect world, HTC would snap up the rights to Spb Mobile Shell and combine both TouchFLO and Mobile Shell into a super-launcher. Ah well.

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5 years ago

ATT's new Video Share Service AND WM6: Coming to Blackjack This Summer?

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In World of Warcraft (yes, I play), whenever you gain a new level you often get a whole slew of new abilities - your avatar can do more than it could before. When that happens, the standard thing to yell is "Ding W00T!" Well folks, this summer I think the Samsung Blackjack will be calling out Ding W00T!

When I loaded the hacked Windows Mobile 6 ROM on there, I noticed something very, very odd. There was a new setting and a hidden application that kept loading itself in the background no matter what I was able to do, and it was called "Video Share." So today Mobility site points us to an AT&T announcement that this summer they'll be rolling out a real-time video sharing service. The page that displays compatible phones on the Video Share site doesn't list the Blackjack (yet!), but it does list two other Samsung phones. The fact that Samsung is on board with Video Share and the fact that there's a funny little "Video Share" application on my WM6-hacked Blackjack tells me it will be added to the list.

It also makes me strongly suspect that my earlier doom and gloom about the Windows Mobile 6 date for the Blackjack was wrong. A late July release for Video Share bodes well for the new Windows Mobile 6 ROM that supports it on the Blackjack.

Ding W00T!

A&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has announced the launch of AT&T Video Share, the first-ever service in the U.S. that allows users to share live video over their wireless devices while participating in a voice call. AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson highlighted the service during the opening keynote of the NXTcomm industry event.

Read: AT&T- News Room

Read: Video Share Site

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5 years ago

Spb Mobile Shell Updated to v1.5

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Spb Mobile Shell Updated to v1.5

When somebody asks me "What should I install on my Windows Mobile PPC / Professional" phone (well, they never ask like that, but you know what I mean) my default answer is always Spb Mobile Shell. It's a great all-in-one customizer app that gives you a lot of the most-wanted features (weather, nice thumb-able interface, and some good eye-candy) in a single, simple package. It looks like Spb Software House has just updated the sucker, adding a ton of requested features:

Professional layout for Now Screen
Spb Menu customization
Now Screen as lock screen
Easy pinning on Today
Integration API for third party programs

I'm a big fan of the menu customization and the API - it means that Spb shell is starting to look like a great platform that will be able to give you access to stuff that's not included by default by Microsoft on your device. Bravo, Spb.

Read: Press Releases - Press Information - Spb Software House via PocketPCThoughts

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5 years ago

Review: HTC S710 (Vox)

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5 years ago

numbr - free temporary phone number

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numbr - free temporary phone number

Well this is new to me, a little service called "numbr" that provides you with a temporary call-in number that you can forward to up to two other numbers (of your own). It's meant for online listings primarily - i.e. if you're selling something on craigslist and you're not keen on publishing your actual phone numbers. The service is free while in beta and offers a few features like blocking non-caller ID numbers, do not disturb times, and it will even forward you a log of your call history via email. Pretty slick.

You can't call out with the number, however, which is probably for the best.

Read: numbr:: Auto expiring. FREE anonymous phone numbers for online safety. via uneasy silence

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5 years ago

Opera Mini 4 Beta Released

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Opera Mini 4 Beta Released

Opera Mini's always been the go-to browser for the techsavvy-but-still-using a featurephone crowd. I've also found myself using it on Windows Mobile despite the fact that there are native versions of the browser available. It looks like that trend is set to continue with the latest Beta of Opera Mini, codenamed "dimension." It is, in a word, sweet. check out this feature list:

  1. "X marks the spot" — start at the right place. When you load a page, Opera Mini will automatically suggest a place to begin reading. When it's time to dive into the page, Opera Mini zooms in and cleanly focuses on the content you want.
  2. Opera Mini dynamically changes the size of text and images to make it convenient to read without a lot of unnecessary scrolling.
  3. A mouse! We included a virtual mouse to make it easy to scroll in any direction. The mouse cursor will look for content and links, and snap the view to them.
  4. Scroll faster using the keypad. Simply hit 2 to go up, 4 to go left, 6 to go right and 8 to go down. Opera Mini will snap the view to the content. Hit 5 to zoom in and out.
  5. Page loads more than 2x faster than other mobile browsers. Opera Mini speed comparsion
  6. CSS support

The big points to me are the PC/Zoom mode that's so popular with the kids these days (ex. from the Wii and the iPhone's browsers) and the full support for standard CSS. A mouse pointer is a neat idea, but I'm not really sold on it. There are plenty of other new features to the beta, so it's worth the download. More screenshots after the break.

Oh, and here's chutzpah for you: Opera Mini vs iPhone. Bang!

Read: Opera Mini™ 4 beta: Features

Update: More Opera Mini details where you'd likely expect them, the Opera Watch Blog. Added because - dang, check out these Acid2 Test Results - insanely close to perfect:

More screen shots

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5 years ago

Jawbone Bluetooth Headset Price Drop

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Jawbone Bluetooth Headset Price Drop

Oh, hello. I'm told that our peerless sponsor, the WMExperts Store, has just dropped the price on the Jawbone Bluetooth Headset down to 99 bucks. As in, $50 less than it originally cost back when I first reviewed (and loved) it.

The Jawbone Review is here, complete with all its heavy-metal-as-background-noise-getting-completely-cancelled video goodness.

Buy: Aliph Jawbone Noise Shield Headset >> WMexperts Store

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5 years ago

Verizon Q9M

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Verizon Q9M

Figures, the moment we make a "Nelson" joke the actual Nelson - AKA the CDMA version of the Motorola Q9 pops up over at The Boy Genius Report. Details look pretty good, as does the gallery. Big ups to Motorola for bringing back the scroll wheel.

On another note, this clears up the Motorola Q9 naming convention weirdness that confused us before. With the Motorola Q9h, the "h" is for HSDPA, as in: it'll work on GSM networks. I'm still hoping for that August release date The "M" in Verizon's version? ... Shoot, I have no idea. Maybe it stands for "Mighty tasty!"

Edit: Strike that last. Qusers grokked that the "m" is for "music edition." That makes sense. I still like "Might tasty" better myself. I can see the lolcat ad campaign now: the Motorola Q9M, Mighty tasty edition. It has a flavor.

Another Verizon customization was the home screen. It displays shortcuts for commonly used applications like the camera, messaging, web, music in a circular pattern on the screen. The icons in Windows Mobile are completely customized, and look for VCast music support on here as well.

Read: Motorola Q9M (Nelson) Hands On! : The Boy Genius Report

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5 years ago

Palm Gandolf Specs: Believe it.

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Palm Gandolf Specs: Believe it.

We saw the spy shot of the new Palm Gandolf and I suspected that they wouldn't call it a Treo since it wouldn't have a touchscreen. Shows what I know. Now specs for the device have been leaked and they look pretty darn plausible to me:

  • Naming convention will be Treo 5XX
  • One version with Windows Mobile 6 Standard, the other is a new non-touchscreen edition of the Palm OS
  • Multiple colors
  • 135 grams; 117 x 65 x 13.8 mm
  • 2.4 inch QVGA screen with 65k colors
  • 2 megapixel camera
  • Bluetooth 2.0 w/ A2DP support
  • 3G + HSDPA
  • 256 MB onboard memory with 64 MB of RAM

Palm still has a little usability "secret sauce" left in 'em - their Treo 750 really is nicer to use that your average WM5 phone. Apply that to Standard edition and give me those specs above and I'll drop my Blackjack like a bad habit - even with my hacked Windows Mobile 6 ROM on it.

Read: Exclusive: Palm Gandolf specifications - IntoMobile

(Oh, and nobody will believe me, but I totally called the non-touchscreen version of the PalmOS at least two years ago. I'm expecting Gandolf won't have their Linux-based OS Yet, but still be stuck with Garnet. Windows Mobile connection to this aside? Simple: Ha Ha! )

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5 years ago

YouTube Mobile: WM still needs that hack

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Bummer, YouTube finally gets around to launching a mobile version of their site that's free for anybody to use - http://m.youtube.com - and it won't work with Windows Mobile. As in, it won't work with the default Windows Media Player or even the fancypants CorePlayer. That's annoying. Look like you're still going to have to download that add-on to the venerable TCPMP to get your YouTube on.

Seriously, people, how hard can this really be?

The RTSP tested and working on Treo 700p phones. We don’t have it working on Windows Mobile devices yet as we have not yet found a 3GP player which supports RTSP (alas, CorePlayer won’t work).

Read: SolSie.com

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5 years ago

Sprint's HTC Mogul (finally) released

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Yeesh! After a rumored delay, an "update" to June, and even a "in the wild" shot over the weekend, we can finally say it: The HTC Mogul has been released. As expected, it has really, really good specs:

  • Windows Mobile 6 Professional
  • EVDO (Not Rev A, but it's upgradable. Thank you, Sprint, for not making us wait for it to release)
  • 2 megapixel camera
  • WiFi (b and g)
  • 400MHz processor
  • 64MB RAM, 256MB ROM

We'll pick one up this week to give you a hands-on and a review. The Mogul is probably the only thing out there right now that makes me regret being a GSM-man. In the meantime, Engadget Mobile has a gallery for you. Looks like you Sprint folks can finally take your old PPC-6700s out behind the shed and put them out of their misery.

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5 years ago

HTC Touch "Viral" Campaign

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HTC Touch "Viral" Campaign

Normally, the words "Viral marketing campaign" are enough to send me running to the hills, screaming about out-of-touch marketers and their misuse of catchphrases. HTC, though, seems to be getting their viral sea legs under them. Sorta. I wouldn't call their new video about the HTC Touch "viral", per se, but I would call it pretty funny. Not informative, mind you, just funny.

They've gone into this territory before, with a series of videos from the "DoS Clan" about the HTC X7500 / HTC Advantage that went over better than I expected them to. Somebody over at HTC has a sense of humor. Keep 'em coming, guys.

watch: HTC Touch Video

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5 years ago

HTC Kaiser Delayed

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HTC Kaiser Delayed

When the Boy Genius Report said that we'd see the cool flip-up slider in July, I was skeptical. Now that it's looking like I was right, I can't say I'm especially happy about it. The more I think about it, the more I think that flip up bit is cool, but not really what excites me. What excites me is the 3mp camera and the built-in GPS.

In any case, BGR says August. I'm going to stay mum on this one -- I don't want to be proven right again.

Read: HTC Kaiser delayed till August? : The Boy Genius Report

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5 years ago

iPhone Watch: Microsoft's Response?

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iPhone Watch: Microsoft's Response?

phone different's slices points us to a blog post over at ZDNet wondering why Microsoft doesn't seem to be out there talking about how they're not worried about the iPhone:

Where the heck is Microsoft? Earlier this year, Microsoft launched the newest version of Windows Mobile (version 6) and there’s a slew of devices built on the new mobile OS (we have video of them here) with more coming (like the new HTC touchscreen handset).

Read: » With respect to iPhone, Microsoft rolls over and plays dead

Well, Steve Ballmer's been talking plenty, thank you very much; not to mention the HTC Touch. But it seems to me that keeping a low profile isn't a horrible idea for now, anyway.

The blogosphere may be a constant and unabating stream of news, but to the larger public news comes in cycles. Apple is winning this cycle, but frankly that's ok. Horning in on this cycle would not only be difficult, it would probably be counterproductive. In a fight against an unreleased product, all you can do is speculate about how your product is different/better/etc. That sort of speculation would just be begging people to revisit it later to crow about how you were wrong. Much better to wait and see.

If I were Microsoft, I'd be ready for the post-iPhone cycle - the one where you get tally off the "Cons" of the iPhone and mention how many (most? all?) of them are "Pros" for your platform.

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