If you've been toiling at trying to find a way to sync up your Google Contacts and Calendars with your Windows Mobile phone -- switching between Nuevasync and Goosync and, well, whatever other kind of sync you've tried, take heart. Google just announced on their blog that WM finally gets some parity with BlackBerry on this front with the Beta release of Google Sync for Windows Mobile.
This is a good news / bad news sort of thing. If you're not already using Exchange to sync -- this is good news, because Google is basically mimicking an Exchange interface for you. If you *are* using Exchange to sync to your corporate email, well, see above for other options.
First they give us Latitude, now they give us Sync ...it's nice to see Google caring about platforms not named "Android." Now if they'd work with Microsoft on getting their email pushed out more easily, the Gmail users amongst us will finally feel complete.
Ok, one last update. The real story here may be that Google licensed Exchange ActiveSync from Microsoft, which is to say that they may use it for email down the line. More importantly, it also helps to cement EAS as the industry standard in Microsoft's ongoing war for the hearts and minds of IT managers. RIM: this news isn't a body blow for your push email and PIM solution, but it's definitely a slap in its face.
Here's a little gem that mostly slipped past the first run-through of the Netflix Mobile application (though one of our our eagle-eyed commenters spotted it - thanks, joeg!): Some movies in Netflix's library offer a trailer preview directly through the app onto your phone.
It's a little hit and miss as to which movies have the preview, so you'll just have to hunt around. But it's a nice feature in what is a very well-put together Windows Mobile application. If you haven't already, go get it here.
Our man Malatesta has spied an update to Windows Live Search Mobile. We're all sitting here in the WME mothership in our anti-gravity chairs (what, your office doesn't have them?) working with the new build, but for the life of us we can't figure out what's been updated. Microsoft also has been mum so far on the new version, which now stands at 4.1.2029.1, up from 4.0.12158.1. Could just be bug fixes, but jumping from 4.0 to 4.1 could mean more.
So we put it to you, dear readers. First one to leave a significant finding in the comments will live on forever in WME immortality.
Back to HTC, the device is apparently set for the 2nd quarter of 2009, which means it's anybody's guess as to whether or not they'll deign to show it off at MWC09. Also anybody's guess, which device in the massive HTC 2009 line-up leak we're looking at here. We figure it could actually be more than one, but a proc like the Snapdragon would be a good fit for a media-centric device like the above-pictured Whitestone W
After the completion of the hectic Smartphone Round Robin, your faithful bloggers at Smartphone Experts decided to keep things moving along at a heady clip. In the past week we have published somewhere in the neighborhood of 175 stories, from accessory and software reviews to news to the latest rumors. That's a lot to keep track of, so we're bringing back our regular "Around SPE" feature to give you a quick summary of what you may have missed in a format that's more helpful than just a list of links.
In that vein, our biggest recent news is that our newest sister site, Nokia Experts is starting strong with a launch contest. If you would like to earn some chances at winning a Nokia E71 or Nokia N85, make sure to enter the contest each week. There are two weeks left to go, so check back as each week we're changing up how you can enter to win!
There's plenty more smartphone news you may have missed, so read on!
Once again, Conflipper at ppcgeeks has manged to not only get his hands on but post some screen shots of what's new.
The now infamous "honeycomb" launcher is there, but not running smoothly, which tells us that some hardware graphics accelartion may be needed. We also see that Windows Media Player gets a healthy and welcomed makeover, resulting in a much more thumb friendly UI.
Today, Microsoft’s My Phone Web site went live prior to its scheduled debut. However, we are excited about the new Microsoft My Phone service, which will be available as a limited, invite-only beta. This is a significant milestone for Microsoft as it connects the phone to the PC and Web, making mobility a key pillar for the company’s software+services strategy.
This new Microsoft cloud service syncs critical information (e.g., contacts, calendar appointments, tasks, text messages, photos, video, etc) on a user’s mobile phone to a password protected Web site. Once synchronized, people can easily back-up and restore mobile phone data. My Phone provides an easy to use Web portal where people can access and manage content on the phone, and share that information with others.
My Phone helps people:
Keep their information backed up if they lose or break their phones.
Transition information if they switch to new phones.
Access the same information from their phone or PC.
We will have more details about My Phone and the limited invite only beta at Mobile World Congress.
Sounds good to us -- and it also sounds like Microsoft is starting to get serious about this whole services thing. Although we're interested in this whole My Phone service, we do wonder how it fits in to the larger Live Services strategy. As for the details and who's getting an invite to the beta, we'll be waiting until MWC for that.
Same bird. Same honeycomb. Only much larger pics this time, and in Chinese, from 592ppc.com (page translated here). And we see what looks like a games folder. (Or should we call it a cell?) This was running on a Dopod HTC Touch Pro. Any Chinese readers see anything else?
BAS is only running on the HTC Touch Pro/Fuze and the TyTn. GSM only, folks.
Internal GPS is a go, so BlackBerry Maps and other location-based services should work.
PIN-to-PIN messaging and BlackBerry messaging work.
This won't turn your Windows Mobile phone into a BlackBerry. Phone calls are still handled on the WinMo side. Same goes for Bluetooth and external GPS. Pictures still go to the default "My Pictures" folder. (Hey, that's a niggle for us, too.) Music is still janky, and MMS and SMS don't play well together from BAS to the WinMo side.
Obviously these early leaks are a long way from an actual hands-on. But for the moment, it sounds like BAS isn't going to replace the full-on BlackBerry experience anytime soon.