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5 years ago

HP On Board with Windows Mobile 6.5

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HP has issued a news release that Windows Mobile 6.5 will be used with its future devices. Quoting from the release:

"Windows Mobile 6.5 on HP smartphones will offer key enhancements to business productivity, personal messaging and mobile Internet capabilities, making it even easier for mobile customers to communicate and to manage critical business and personal information. With its new visual appeal, enhanced mobile Internet experience and greater personalization capabilities, the new operating system boosts the opportunities for Windows-based smartphones in broader market segments."

With LG pledging to make Windows Mobile its primary operating system for the foreseable future, the news release may be an effort to remind Microsoft (and the rest of us) that HP has been and still is a strong supporter. HP has a long-standing relationship with Microsoft's mobile systems dating back to the Jornada days that ran Windows CE and Pocket PC as well as the current Ipaq models running Windows Mobile.

HP didn't use this as an opportunity to announce any new devices that would be running Windows Mobile 6.5.  Does this mean that the Data and Voice Messengers will be compatible with Windows Mobile 6.5? Or delayed until WinMo 6.5 is released? Will a successor to the Ipaq 910c surface next? 

[Read: Engadget.com]

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5 years ago

Coming to (North) America: The Touch Pro 2

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For those who feared that the HTC Touch Pro 2 might go the way of the HTC Touch HD and never see the light of day in the United States, you can breath a collective sigh of relief. Shortly after the Mobile World Congress closed its doors, the company said via its Twitter feed:

"To answer the big question on everyone's minds, the Touch Pro2 will be broadly available in all major markets, including North America. We have not announced a launch date for the Touch Pro2 in any country yet. But we did announce we will start to roll it out late Q2."

One can only hope that the same will hold true for the Touch Diamond 2 and that "late Q2" holds true. And that this isn't some prank and that we'll have to gaze longingly at our Canadian neighbors.

[Read: Engadget.com]

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5 years ago

HTC releases update for Touch Pro

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HTC releases update for Touch Pro

While we all had our eyes last week on the Touch Pro 2 and Touch Diamond 2, HTC quietly released an update for the original Touch Pro. [via] Here's what's fixed:

  • The display of TouchFLO 3D sometimes may appear cracked.
  • When taking a picture, the auto focus function may malfunction in some circumstances.
  • In some circumstances, the preview screen will become black after taking picture.
  • In some circumstances, the device may hang while loading TouchFLO 3D.
  • When hanging up a phone call, there may be a delay in the display response.

This is a generic ROM available for the following languages: English (Pan Europe and UK), Italian, Dutch, German, French, Finnish, Portuguese and Spain. That also means if you're using the AT&T Fuze, you likely won't be able to use this update and if you do, your carrier settings likely will be wiped.

Consider yourselves warned. And as always, back up your data before updating anything. Now go get it here.

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5 years ago

Pantech Matrix Pro Available February 24th?

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Pantech introduced the Matrix Pro last week at the 2009 Mobile World Congress as the successor to the Pantech Duo. The Matrix Pro follows the tradition of the Duo by having a dual sliding keypad but better build quality. We have now learned through Pocketnow.com that the new Matrix Pro should be available at your friendly AT&T retail store beginning February 24, 2009. The reported price for the phone is $179.99 with a two year contract agreement. Non-contract pricing will likely be in the neighborhood $400-450.

The Matrix Pro will run Windows Mobile Standard and have a 528mhz processor under the hood. The new Pantech will have a 2.4" QVGA screen with GPS but no Wifi. The phone is noticeably thicker than its predecessor and appears to be thicker than other slider designs such as the HTC Touch Pro. We had our reservations about the Pantech Duo and while the build quality of the Matrix appears to be better, the thickness may be too much to overcome.

(Update: Brighthand has an early look)

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5 years ago

WMExperts Podcast Episode 46

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5 years ago

Around SPE for 22 Feb, 2009

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Around SPE for 22 Feb, 2009

It's been quite a week for SPE, we wrapped up a bootload of live coverage of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. With details on Windows Mobile 6.5, the new HTC Magic Android phone, the new Ovi Application Store at Nokia Experts, and even a sneak preview of a GPS App for the iPhone, we were chock full of breaking mobile news.

This week we'll be bringing you more of the same, of course. Be sure you are paying special attention to CrackBerry.com, as this will be a HUGE week for CrackBerry Nation. This coming Thursday, February 26th, the site officially turns 2 years old!! And when CrackBerry.com turns another year older, it doesn't mean a day of celebrating, it means a week birthday festivities! Whether you're a BlackBerry owner or not you'll want to stay glued to the site for great contests, deals and giveaways each and every day. If you're not a daily visitor but want to follow the action, you can always subscribe to the CrackBerry RSS feeds or follow the site on Twitter at @crackberry.

Speaking of giveaways, time is running out for your chances to win a Nokia N85 or E71 at Nokia Experts, so be sure to head over and learn how to enter this week.

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5 years ago

Hands-On with the Garmin-Asus nuvifone M20, A Little Wonder

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We grabbed some hands-on time with the first Windows Mobile phone of the Garmin-Asus alliance, the nuvifone M20. We gotta say, we're darn impressed. The styling is helped out by a multitude of color options, but in essence think "small," "wee," or "cute" — but in a good way.

The little guy has GPS down in its guts in exactly the way you'd expect from Garmin — maps are included in the 4 gigs of onboard storage, GPS location is added to photos, e-mails, texts, basically anything you'd like to add it, too. There's a special Garmin Car Mount that it ships with that will pass-through charge and holds the device in landscape. Better yet: When you get a call when the device is in the mount, it will automatically turn off your GPS direction audio (visual directions say) and go into speakerphone. Park the car and grab the phone to continue the conversation and the phone switches out of speaker automatically. Garmin-Asus also threw on a custom skin, which does the job but doesn't wow.

We're looking at dual-band 3G and tri-band GSM, so we may not see this thing in the states when it comes out "first half of 2009," and that would be a shame. The stats:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
  • Dual Band HSPA, Tri-Band GSM
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, Accelerometer
  • GPS (duh)
  • 2.8" 640x480 Touchscreen
  • 3MP camera
  • 4 or 8 GB of internal storage
  • 95.3 x 52.5 12.8 mm
  • 99g (including battery)
  • 528MHz Qualcomm 7200A
  • 920 mAh battery (yes, that is small)

More photos and some of the official press stuff after the break.

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5 years ago

LG HQ is Pearl-riffic

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LG HQ is Pearl-riffic

Now, we're not ones to complain about any Windows Mobile Standard device that comes out these days -- they're getting so few and far between that we don't want to further scare carriers away from asking for them.  So instead of kvetching about how the LG HQ looks and smells like a HP Voice Messenger, we'll note how the LG HQ also looks to put the BlackBerry Pearl in its place.  If LG puts some marketing weight behind it, it might actually manage to draw some of those Pearl users away, because the specs are nothing to sniff at:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard
  • 3G, Quad Band Edge
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • 2MP camera
  • miniSD HD
  • 256 ROM/128 RAM
  • 240x320 QVGA screen

By the way, if you were wondering, our dream of seeing a Windows Mobile standard device with a resolution greater than 240x320 is on its last legs.  

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5 years ago

HTC Makes 80% of WM Phones on the Market?

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AppleInsider (of all places) has put two and two together figuring out that HTC makes roughly 80 percent of all Windows Mobile devices out there. How they got to that number is they took Microsoft's report of 50 million WinMo devices sold over the lifetime of the platform, and HTC's claim that its has  sold 40 million WinMo devices worldwide= 80 percent.

That doesn't sound too far off the mark (give or take a little) considering that HTC, while only recently starting marketing its devices independently, still makes a large portion of devices for other companies, e.g. Palm's Treo Pro, T-Mobile Shadow, Xperia X1, etc.

Still this begs the question: Is this a good thing for the industry? Sure, HTC has done wonders for WM as it's one of the few companies who continually release new and innovating devices. But generally speaking, are (near) monopolies good for competition? Unfortunately, other companies (including Palm and Motorola) have been unable to launch widely successful Windows Mobile phones or maintain a consistent, innovative lineup (both can be considered one-hit wonders), so in a way HTC is just filling a gap left open by others as opposed to unfair or predatory competition.

But enough pontificating on our part, what say you? Think that number will change in 2009/2010?

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5 years ago

Opera Mobile 9.5 ... with Google Gears

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The lads over at Opera Labs have released a tech preview of Opera Mobile 9.5 that also has support for Google Gears.

Put in their words:

The use cases for Gears differ somewhat between mobile and desktop devices. On mobile, Gears is perfect for creating a better user experience by allowing applications to cache data more efficiently, so you can cut down on bandwidth, and carry out processes discreetly in the background. On the desktop, Gears has ideal functionality for allowing your applications to function offline and synchronize data with the server when you get back online again. You can try this out for yourself with the various Gears samples available on Google Code.

Read more about it here, and then head on over for the download.

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5 years ago

Pandora for WM: It's getting there

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Pandora for WM: It's getting there

Last we heard about Pandora on WM was from Phil at the begining of  December, who gave a great overview of this popular program.  Back then it was working, but wonky and not many devices were supported.

Today, well there are still only a handful of "officially" supported devices, but by most accounts it is working quite well on many e.g. Moto Q9c, Treo 800w, Treo Pro, Touch, Mogul, 700wx, Diamond, Touch Pro, i760 and Tilt.

Recently I took version 1.1.4 of the program for a spin (1.1.10 is out now) and notwithstanding a few glitches, it's quite the killer program on WM.

Read below for a smattering of screenshots and my experience.

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5 years ago

Touch Diamond 2 & Touch Pro 2 vs. Touch HD

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We've never been too shy about expressing our unabashed rage disappointment that the HTC Touch HD never made its way to the United States, at least officially and with U.S. 3G bands on board. So one of the more exciting hardware announcements at Mobile World Congress was HTC and the Touch Diamond 2 and Touch Pro 2, which have the sex appeal of the Touch HD.

Join us inside as we take a side-by-side look at what's under the hood.

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5 years ago

Verizon to launch 4G test this year?

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Verizon to launch 4G test this year?

Let the LTE/4G race begin! We've reported that AT&T is planning to have LTE service by 2011, but it looks like Verizon may get there first. Verizon Wireless Chief Technical Officer Dick Lynch, in a presentation at Mobile World Congress, announced that Verizon is committed to equipping two U.S. cities with Long Term Evolution (LTE) data networks by the end of 2009. Characterized as "pre-commercial deployments," the LTE networks would be a precursor to full commercial deployment slated for 2010 that would include 25-30 cities. It's anybody's guess which two U.S. cities will be the test sites, but LTE tests have been performed by Verizon in several cities including Minneapolis, Columbus (Ohio), and New Jersey. 

No word if AT&T has adjusted its projections in response to Verizon's announcement. If Verizon is successful in deploying the 4G service later this year, it may give them an advantage over AT&T. Then again, the timetable for devices capable of handling 4G is a lot more sketchy than the timetable for having the service available. Some projections don't see the 4G devices hitting the market until 2011. If this is the case, AT&T's timeline mirrors device development. Verizon may be leading a race for a data network very few, if any, consumers will be able to use.

[Read: ARS Technica]

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5 years ago

SPB Software made Microsoft Netflix app

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SPB Software made Microsoft Netflix app

If you've been around Windows Mobile for, say, longer than a day, chances are you've run across SPB Software. SPB (that stands for St. Petersburg - or Leningrad, if you're from the Old Country) is long known for quality Windows Mobile apps, including the uber popular Mobile Shell, which is a must-have for many using WinMo Professional.

And that explains why Microsoft turned to SPB when it came time to develop a proper official Netfix app. If you've been thinking for the past week that the app looked familiar, you were right.

The Mobile Manager for Netflix was developed in cooperation between Microsoft, Netflix, and Spb Software. The application interface is built on the Spb Mobile Shell UI engine (also used in such popular applications as Spb Wallet, Spb Online, Spb Weather, Spb Traveler), and allows optimizing the efficiency of the user interface and speed of service navigation. With this fast and finger-friendly UI, the Mobile Manager application streamlines the Netflix mobile user experience, allowing subscribers to preview movie trailers on the go, add selected items to the DVD queue, or the Instant Queue - to instantly watch movies on TV screens using Microsoft's Xbox 360.

Interesting, indeed. If you haven't checked out the official Netflix app yet, we recommed you do so here.

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5 years ago

SiRF (GPS) bought out by CSR (BT)

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SiRF (GPS) bought out by CSR (BT)

SiRF, which designs the popular standalone GPS systems like SiRF III, which found in just about every GPS device, has been bought out by CSR. Who’s CSR, you ask? They’re “…a global leader in the Bluetooth connectivity business with core expertise in multiple connectivity technologies.”

So basically SiRF designs GPS technology and CSR makes multifunction chips. Seems to make sense and an obvious response to such companies as Qualcomm that have been making “all in one” MSM solutions for years now and which also have the very successful GPSOne competitor to SiRF III. (Read up on GPS vs. aGPS here)

The big question of course is what does this mean for standalone GPS systems and mobile phones? SiRFIII has been demonstrated to be a more accurate system than aGPS, yet due to costs and Qualcomm’s near stranglehold on much of the mobile market, they have been mostly sidelined. However, with companies like Palm turning to Texas Instruments for their Pre, the resurgence of Marvel’s XScale chips, and now nVidia entering the scene, this new SiRF/CSR hybrid may stand a better chance of offering an alternative and superior solution to consumers.

We’ll be watching guys to see what you can come up with.

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