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5 years ago

PPC-6800 in the Wild

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PPC-6800 in the Wild

Phone News points us to a forum thread where a lucky devil got some face time with the upcoming Sprint PPC-6800. It was a prototype, so some things may change. My vote for one of the "things that may change" is definitely the bit about the OS - it's running Windows Mobile 5. FIVE? That's so last year.

Anyway, look forward to getting rid of the antenna, spring-loaded slider (going the other way), and.... not much else. Processor and Memory look to be about the same as its predecessor, the PPC-6700. Ok Ok, look forward to the pretty, because this thing is a lot less bricky than the 6700, thank the gods.

Windows Mobile 5 AKU 3.3
qualcomm MSM7500 400 MHz processor
173.63MB of storage memory
48.54MB of Program memory

Read: PPCGeeks.com :: View topic - Sprints HTC-6800 Prototype Seen! (Pix and some specs inside)

Update: Here's the Telus version for you Canadians - which is called the HTC P4000, for those of you keeping track.

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5 years ago

Blackberry Network Went Down Last Night

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I'd say this is a good opportunity for WM users to crow a bit about how much better using an Exchange server for syncing is - but Exchange servers can go down too. Nevertheless, it looks that US users of Blackberry's email service didn't get emails for awhile and that RIM is currently working it - email should be back up, but they're going to push out the blacklog slowly so they don't crash again.

Oh, what the heck, I'll do it. I got email last night, neener neener!

The BlackBerry wireless e-mail service from Research In Motion Ltd. appears to have suffered a widespread outage that started last night in the U.S.

Customers on the BlackBerry Forums discussion board complained of having no service starting at about 5.15 p.m. PDT yesterday.

Read: Update: BlackBerry service hit by widespread outage in U.S.

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5 years ago

MotoQ9 now MotoQ9h. Same Phone, Different Name

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The folks at Smartphone Thoughts must be hitting "refresh" on Motorola's Q9 page every couple minutes in anticipation of its pending release. Which is why they seem to be the first to notice the name change from Motorola Q9 to Motorola Q9h:

*When did Moto change the strange name of its upcoming Q q9 to an equally strange Q 9h? The good news is that the specifications haven't changed. *

Lord, who could possibly guess what goes on in the brains of people who name these devices? Why 9? No idea. Why h? My guess is support for HSDPA. Why now? My guess is that it must get really boring for the dude who has to name these things for a living. Especially at Motorola, where they're not even allowed to use vowels.

Read: Smartphone Thoughts - Daily news, views, rants and raves

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5 years ago

US Internet Radio: Doomed

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US Internet Radio: Doomed

Fairly soon I'll be moving to a place where the standard FM Radio fare will not offer anything I want to listen to. Sadly, my plan for music in my car took a big blow yesterday as the Copyright Royalty Board denied the last ditch motion to stop the coming royalty rate increase for internet radio stations. The BBC has a good article on it.

If these rates stand... I believe we'll see a virtual shutdown all of US webcasting," wrote Kurt Hanson, CEO of AccuRadio, on the SaveInternetRadio.org blog. "That will be bad for listeners, webcasters, musicians, and the record industry alike."

(Note - rather than try SaveInternetRadio.org, which appears to be dead and camped by nobodies right now, try savenetradio.org instead). The new fees include a $500 base fee and then a per-song/per-user fee. They pretty much represent the death-knell not only for independent internet radio stations (like my favorite somafm.com) and also deal a heavy-blow to non-profit Public Radio internet feeds.

One of the great things about Windows Mobile is that it has built-in support for most internet radio stations - just click on a feed link in Pocket IE and up comes the media player, streaming away. It's an under-utilized and under-reported feature that will likely be pointless this time next month. Hopefully this petition and letters to Congress people will help, but I'm not hopeful.

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5 years ago

Rumor: Dell Taps Quanta to Make WM6 Smartphone

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Rumor: Dell Taps Quanta to Make WM6 Smartphone

Think of Quanta as "HTC Lite" - They design and manufacture smartphones for the likes of HP and Orange, but they lack HTC's brand and HTC's ambition to sell HTC phones as HTC phones to help build their brand. In any case, the rumors surround Dell's plans in the aftermath of the Axim's demise keep swirling. Earlier in the week the rumor was Dell would buy Palm, which caused me to snort in derision so hard I fell backwards over the back of my chair and therefore didn't post it.

This rumor, though, seems much more likely:

the Dell PDA handset project, codenamed "Fly," will develop a model using the Windows Mobile 6 Professional platform and supporting HSDPA. It probably will feature a QWERTY keyboard, though feature details have yet to be determined, the sources said.

Read: Quanta may be developing PDA handset for Dell

...as I said in the TreoCentral Treocast on Monday, if I were Dell I'd probably just focus on making computers and finding ways to fix their margin there instead of trying to make every gosh darn widget that can plug into a computer. Then again, who am I to complain about another WM6 smartphone? Nobody, that's who.

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5 years ago

iLaunch iPhone iAlike iUI

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iLaunch iPhone iAlike iUI

iLaunch is a $9.95 application that's reminiscent of the earlier iPhone app/skin, but with a couple of key differences. The main one: this app/skin (presumably) contains 95% less sue-able intellectual property. Different graphics and icons, but basically similar design cues and methods for getting around.

Me, I'd rather use Spb Mobile Shell - which is a great "thumbable" interface for WM that grabs into a lot more functionality.

It looks like the iPhone, but it’s not ! However, it can do a few things that the iPhone can’t do.

Read: DVD to iPhone®

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5 years ago

Silverlight: Cross Platform Media Plugin

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Over at the Backstage at MED Blog I see this post about Silverlight - which looks to be a browser plug-in that allows you to view Windows Media over the web, much like the ubiquitous flash plug-in. What's great about Silverlight, though, it that it's heavily cross-platform, supporting IE, Firefox, Safari, and - here's the exciting part, Windows Mobile.

Why so exciting? Well, it looks like Microsoft has lined up a bevy of partners who will be using the technology to stream video and other media. The partner I'm most excited about: Netflix. They already have a movie download service that I can't access on my Mac, but being to someday access that on my Mac and especially on my WM devices more than makes up for that.

Today at the 2007 National Association of Broadcasters conference (NAB2007), Microsoft Corp. unveiled Microsoft® Silverlight™, a new cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of media experiences and rich interactive applications (RIAs) for the Web. Early supporters of the new platform include Akamai Technologies Inc., Brightcove Inc., Eyeblaster Inc., Limelight Networks, Major League Baseball and Netflix Inc.

Read: Microsoft Unveils Silverlight

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5 years ago

WM6 Product Reference Guide Released

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WM6 Product Reference Guide Released

If for some unexplainable reason you're not sold on WM6 yet, you might want to take a look at this Reference Guide PDF Microsoft has just released. It's a 61 page document that goes over all the new features of WM6. If you're trying to convince your company to upgrade your devices to one of the great new phones coming out in the next couple of months, this PDF would probably go a long way towards convincing your boss.

Going through it, I'm starting to understand why Microsoft calls it WM6 instead of the WM5.5 that many people believe it should be called. Sure, it's based on the same core as Windows Mobile 5, but the sheer number of new features justifies the uptick in the version number. Give it a download and start salivating.

Here's a handy reference guide that illustrates the new features of Windows Mobile 6 as well as the reason for the new naming convention.

Read: Backstage at MED : Windows Mobile 6 Product Reference Guide available

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5 years ago

Review: SPE Leather Hardcase for Treo 750

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5 years ago

1st WM6 Device Released (in the UK, Sadly)

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I'm not surprised, just disappointed, that Europe is getting the first WM6 device to be actually sold to the public. I'm happy to see that it's the SPV e650 (aka the HTC Vox). It's not showing up on their site yet, but the linked press release shows its coming. The Vox is probably my most-anticipated device this year, so I can't wait to get my hands on it.

Orange Business Services today launches the first MicrosoftWindows Mobile 6.0-powered smartphone on the UK market. Available exclusively from Orange until the beginning of May, the compact SPV E650 combinespowerful functionality with sleek design and the ability to connect withWi-Fi, EDGE and GPRS networks, making mobile messaging easier than everbefore.

Read: Orange Launches First Windows Mobile 6.0 Device for Business Users

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5 years ago

Palm Developing Linux OS, Still Keeping WM

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Microsoft's job of offering the best mobile OS in the market just got a little more interesting, as Palm announced today that they're working on a Linux-based PalmOS. The current PalmOS is, to put it gently, a dog. It's user-friendly, sure, but it can't multitask and is, in my humble opinion, ugly. In any case, by the end of the year the number of players in the smartphone space with modern OSes wil be much larger than it is now: Microsoft, Apple, Palm, Symbian, and heck, probably some other random Linux platforms from the likes of Access and LiMo.

  • PalmOS 5 devices (currently the latest version) will still be released later this year
  • Devices based on the Linux kernel should be released by the end of the year.
  • The OS is separate from the Access Linux Platform, it is Palm's own homegrown OS.
  • Palm will not license the OS to other manufacturers
  • It is highly likely that the new OS will use Opera as its default browser, given the recent agreement between Palm and Opera.

Palm, by the way, has no intention of dropping Windows Mobile. They'll still be releasing WM Treos.

Read: treocentral.com >> Stories >> Business >> Palm Developing New Linux Powered PalmOS

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5 years ago

T-Mobile Wing

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T-Mobile Wing

Well slap me! Hot on the heels of talking about putting the MDA out to pasture, Gadgets on the Go points out this neat little rumor of a replacement: the T-Mobile Wing.

Specs are fairly similar to the MDA, actually, but the Wing speeds up that same OMAP processor a bit. It also has OK and Start menu buttons (thank you!) and a rubberized finish. Any doubts that this is coming to T-Mobile can be taken care of handily by pointing out the "MyFaves" icon on the back of the phone - plus, you know, the T-Mobile logo on the front.

Here's my only question: will it be 3G and therefore a harbinger of network upgrades for T-Mobile?

T-Mobile Wing (HTC Atlas) which scheduled to release in Aug, 2007.

Read: MyMobile911 Homepage - Exclusive News: New PDA Phone from T-Mobile coming in August 2007

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5 years ago

I <3 Mobile Secretary

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I <3 Mobile Secretary

Following up on my last post about T-Mobile, here's a quick software tip: The Mobile Secretary, which is a great little piece of software developed by Brian Cross as a sort of proof-of-concept for what you can do with the .net framework.

It's main feature is to auto-send text messages to people whose call you can't answer, because you're in a meeting or whatnot. However, it has another great feature that I'm using now:

Just enter in the phone number in which to forward to, and all text messages sent to your device will be resent to the other device. There is also the option of appending the sender info to the message so that you know who it originally came from as well.

Last month I complained that "Single Number services" like GrandCentral will forward calls but not texts. Now, however, I have a great service that forwards both calls and texts: a Windows Mobile phone. That's why this is a followup to my complaint about T-Mobile - I had to switch carriers due to T-Mo's poor signal in my soon-to-be-neighborhood and I had to get a new number. The Mobile Secretary lets me hang on to my old # for a little while longer - everything that goes into that phone gets forwarded on to my new #.

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5 years ago

MDA Vanishes from T-Mo's Website

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MDA Vanishes from T-Mo's Website

Not to be mean, or anything, but I've found the Dash to be snappier and more powerful than the old warhorse slider, the T-Mobile MDA. The MDA was my first slider, its big screen is nice and all, but the processor always felt underpowered. It's still a pretty good WM5 device because it has so many freaking buttons that you can customize to do what you'd like. Set it next to an 8525, though, and you'll start to see why T-Mobile suddenly isn't selling the MDA on its site anymore.

alas, the time has come to kiss the MDA goodbye it seems. As such, the handset has completely disappeared from T-Mobile's website. Is this just a short-term omission or is the MDA gone for good? Is this a sign that a replacement is near?

Read: MDA gone from T-Mobile's website - Engadget Mobile

And now, an open letter:

Dearest T-Mobile,

You're really hurting us power users. First you faddle around instead of bringing us a proper 3G network (but I hold out hope they'll have something within 6 months), now you're killing off your high-end PPC phone. Great customer service will only get you so far, my back-of-the-carrier-pack friend. Quit giving all the joy to Germans and give the Americans some. Those Germans are too dour to properly appreciate it, anyway.

Love,
Dieter

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5 years ago

MS to Offer EMI's Non-DRM Tracks

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MS to Offer EMI's Non-DRM Tracks

To be fair, this quote from the MS spokeswoman is surely accurate, in that Microsoft was working on getting non-DRM tracks before Apple's announcement:

"The EMI announcement on Monday was not exclusive to Apple," said Katy Asher, a Microsoft spokeswoman on the Zune team, in an e-mail to the IDG News Service today. She said Microsoft has been talking with EMI and other record labels "for some time now" about offering unprotected music on its Zune players in an effort to meet the needs of its customers.

Strangely, Microsoft offering Non-DRM tracks isn't much more exciting to the Windows Mobile ecosystem than Apple doing it - mainly because it's tied to the Zune marketplace. It's a safe bet, however, that with these non-DRM tracks spreading (legally) around, we'll see them pop-up on some WM compatible stores soon enough.

Read: Microsoft changes tune on selling DRM-free songs

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