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5 years ago

Vito Technology Software Roundup

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Vito Technology Software Roundup

Note from Dieter: Welcome to Tim Hillebrand, who gives us his first article for WMExperts today, a round up of software that's available from Vito Techonology

Founded in 1999, Vito Technology employs 30 people and occupies four floors of a large building in Novosibirsh, Russia. While Vito offers an amazing array of software programs for handheld devices, it specializes in navigation and digital cartography. Vito also has considerable experience in custom software design, hardware development, and business solutions for mobile devices. Vito is a Microsoft Empower Program Partner.

Let’s take a look at some of the programs available for Windows Mobile devices. Note that I tested these programs on a Treo 700wx, so I left off applications that did not work on my device.

Vito Update, 15 March '07

Some time has elapsed between the time I reviewed the Vito products and the publication of the roundup. Let me take this opportunity to offer some updates.

Audio Player has a special “Play as an Audio Book” mode that conveniently picks up where you left off, but it does not record phone calls. The latest version of QuickContact (3.0) can now be invoked by simply pressing the green button. Just as a heads up, ButtonMapper does not work on Smartphones; MobileDownloader and ThemeEditor still only work on Pocket PCs, not Smartphones. The new version of Navigator II still does not work on square screen Pocket PCs.

Multimedia Applications

AudioNotes $19.95

AudioNotes is a powerful recording solution that allows you to record everything from a phone conversation to lectures. You can use it to make quick hands free memos while you are driving. It’s simple to use. You can even program a hardware button dedicated to its operation. When you have completed a recording, you can email it instead of laboriously tapping out a text message. The sound quality is superb. To conserve space, you can adjust the quality of the recording. To further save space, you can elect to install it on a storage card and store files there too.

AudioPlayer $9.95

Yes, your Windows Mobile 5 device comes with the Microsoft Media Player pre-installed. So, why would you want to spend extra money on yet another player? For me the answer is simple. Using Windows Mobile Media player is cumbersome to say the least. You have to navigate through endless menus and playlists to find files. AudioPlayer makes it ever-so-much-more-simple.

For convenience, AudioPlayer is set-up so that you can control it with the joystick and soft keys. Of course, you can also use your stylus. If you just want to cycle through all your music, just go to your storage card, and push play. Alternatively, you can play a single file once or repeat it, You can play just the songs in a particular folder, shuffle, boost the bass. To save battery power, you can turn off the screen. You can also set it to pause for an incoming call.

It plays MP3, OGG, and WAV formats, but unfortunately not WMA and some of the other formats now in vogue, so that is a limitation. As the name implies, it is solely an audio player and will not play video files nor some audiobooks.

RingtoneEditor $9.95

Why spend a fortune downloading ringtones and making someone else rich. Create your own out of any sound clip you like, even your own yodeling with Vito Ringtone Editor. This ringtone editor is far and away the best one I’ve ever tested. It allows you to find your files quickly no matter how deeply embedded they are. It allows you to start and stop your recording anywhere in the file you wish. This is an important feature because some other ringtone editors will only allow you to start at the beginning and the record for a predetermined time. If you are thinking of creating your own ringtones, this is the one to buy. Hey, you can even make ringtones to sell or give away as an incentive on your Website.

SketchArtist $15.95

If you ever wanted to create drawings like the forensic artists do for wanted posters, here’s your chance. With this fun application, you can have a lot of fun making sketches of your friends and enemies. With the choice of thousands of facial features, you build a caricature feature by feature. You will be astounded by the variations in noses, eyebrows, chins, ears, etc. There are a different set of hairdos and features for males and females.

A word of caution: once you start playing with this program, it becomes addictive. The SketchArtist palette does not fit a Palm Treo's 240x240 screen; part of the bottom of the face disappears until you shrink it so that it will come into view. I hope Vito will soon offer a release configured for small square screens. You may wish to wait on this one.

SoundExplorer $24.95

SoundExplorer is really three programs in one. It is an MP3 player, a sophisticated sound recorder, and a file explorer just for sound files.

The player will handle MP3 and WMA files including GSM and ADPCM and operates with one button recording. You can even use voice commands, and you can schedule preset recording times. You can record everything from a lecture to a phone call and expect excellent playback quality. For some reason, I have a difficult time finding sound files in MediaPlayer, but SoundExplorer makes it a breeze.

The Today screen plug-in allows you to control the program directly, which can be very handy. SoundExplorer also gives you a set of tools for sound editing right on your Pocket PC. It’s too bad that it’s not a multimedia player.

Communications

QuickContact $15.95

Granted, Windows Mobile comes with several different methods of retrieving contact information However, QuickContact could save your life by allowing you to gain access to contact information with one hand. All the controls and large buttons are set-up for use with one hand and a finger. You don’t ever have to touch the screen with a stylus.

There are three different search panel views. In the Box view, you start inserting letters until your desired contact appears. In the Diamond Panel mode, you can use a modified phone keypad to key in numbers or letters to seek your contact. In the touch panel you can use the standard phone keypad.

You can add new contact, sort by first and last name, and adjust the fonts to your specifications.

Have you ever had the dilemma of talking on the phone and having to search for a phone number at the same time? QuickContact allows you to expedite this cumbersome process with one hand while still talking.

Now all this is well and good, but there is no quick way to access the program itself. To make it readily available, it’s a good idea to program a hardware button to invoke it. For that reason, you may wish to invest in Vito’s ButtonMapper.

Voice2Go $29.95

Perhaps it’s because Microsoft wants to sell you their voice manager program, but it has always surprised me that there is no voice command program pre-installed with Pocket PCs. If the one-handed operation of QuickContact isn't your thing, Voice2Go is instead a handsfree application.

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5 years ago

RIM Backdating Shuffle - Nothing To See Here

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The Blackberry is probably Microsoft's main competitor in the smartphone space -- but when it comes to corporate size doesn't hold a candle to MS (really, does anybody?). So when the stock option backdating brouhaha that's been sweeping the nation (er, nations, as RIM's based in Canada) hit RIM, analysts expected it would cause some headaches. Apparently that's not the case, though. I guess the scandal that hits everybody is the scandal that doesn't destroy anybody. Anyhow, the chairman is stepping down (but still the CEO) and RIM changed their report on the financial hit to what analysts were originally expecting (up from where it was before).

What does it mean for us WM folks - looks like "not much."

And now here we are: a $250 million restatement, with Jim Balsillie relinquishing his role as chairman (he stays on as CEO) now that he's been directly implicated in personally choosing favorable dates for back-dated options. CFO Dennis Kavelman, also implicated, will be transferred out of that role and into his new position as Chief Operating Officer.
If there is a surprise, it's that shareholders aren't reacting more negatively to the news.

The linked article also references the plethora of Palm buyout rumors that have been circulating for the past couple of weeks. I still think Palm's going to fight that off, but as a thorough reading of this post would surely reveal, I am not a financial analyst.

Read: RIM vs. Palm: The Battle for the Smartphone

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5 years ago

WMExperts Prize-A-Day, Day 16

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WMExperts Prize-A-Day, Day 16

Kathy's post in yesterday's contest was right - the best way to be productive is to play some games every now and then. So today's prize is a game of your choice from the WMExperts Software Store (up to $30 US in value).

How to Win

I can't believe I haven't asked this before: What phone are you using now and what phone would you like to use if money were no object? Crazy, no? Post a comment on this entry between now and noon EST tomorrow, March 7th to enter.

Don't Forget: every entry doubles as an entry for the Grand Prize and the two Second Prizes - A Smartphone of your choice plus $300 to spend in the WMExperts store and a couple of Slingbox Pros. I should mention that we only have a few days left in our Prize-A-Day contest, so if you have some special-someone who needs a chance to upgrade their phone (or get a Slingbox!), let them know about us, hey?

(Full contest rules are here)

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5 years ago

DST Patch, Part Deux

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DST Patch, Part Deux

Apparently the first patch was buggy, in that its attempts to fix what hour is what actually broke what hour is what. All's well now, though. Go clickly and get your WM5 phone ready for the new times that are a-comin'.

These changes could cause clocks and Microsoft Outlook calendar appointments on Windows Mobile-powered devices to display incorrect times for March 11 – April 1, 2007 and October 28 – November 4, 2007 and again in subsequent years. You can find more information about the exact dates and potential impact in the Changes in DST section.

Read: Windows Mobile Updates for Daylight Saving Time, via Download Squad

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5 years ago

JB5 - Yet Another Browser

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JB5 - Yet Another Browser

This browser comes from Bangalore, from a company calles Jataayu (no, I don't know how to pronounce that, ethnocentric git that I am, but my best guess is that it rhymes with Atreyu). The browser is called jB5, and it uses something called "Adaptive Rendering Technology" (ART) to fit pages to your screen.

The linked page is their attempt at making a community site, but you can also download the WM5 Beta there as well. And by "Beta", I think they mean "It will start on your Treo 750v, but then immediately close after the splash screen." Beta, indeed.

jB5, our truly mobile web browser, is architected to extend the excellence of our earlier WAP1x and WAP2 browsers to the HTML world.
It's great, it's available for WinMobile SP and Symbian plaforms. Check out the Beta versions.

Read: Welcome to jB5 community

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5 years ago

Doh! MS *Not* Giving Vendors Free WM6 Licenses

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Doh! MS *Not* Giving Vendors Free WM6 Licenses

Ah, internets, you fickle thing, you. You made us believe that the likelihood of seeing WM6 upgrades for our current WM5 devices was very high, since you told us that Microsoft had given all their vendors free licenses to upgrade current devices.

Not so, says an MS spokesperson to Brighthand. Not so.

Ah well. I guess that means I'll be buying new devices to get my Windows Mobile 6 fix. Like you thought I wouldn't be anyway.

Last week, it was reported by several web sites that Microsoft is not going to charge a license fee to companies who want to issue Windows Mobile 6 upgrades for current devices.

According to a Microsoft spokesperson, this is not exactly true.

Read: Report of Free Windows Mobile 6 Licenses an Oversimplification

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5 years ago

Alltel: Won't Somebody Buy Us?

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Alltel: Won't Somebody Buy Us?

We reported earlier that Verizon was considering buying up #5 US carrier Alltel. Apparently that's not going as well as hoped, as Reuters is reporting that Alltel is, in fact, shopping itself around to its big brothers. More specifically, they're talking to AT&T. However, this article points out that it's probably just as likely that it's some sort of negotiation move with their real sweetheart, Verizon. It doesn't make much sense for GSM-using AT&T to pick up (primarily) CDMA-using Alltel anyway, it would be much easier to Verizon to swallow them up.

Alltel Corp. (AT.N: Quote, Profile , Research) has stepped up efforts to sell itself to carriers such as AT&T Inc. (T.N: Quote, Profile , Research), Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ.N: Quote, Profile , Research) and Sprint Nextel Corp. (S.N: Quote, Profile , Research), said people familiar with the matter,

Read: Alltel steps up efforts to sell itself - WSJ | Business News | Reuters.com

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5 years ago

WMExperts Prize-A-Day, Day 15

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WMExperts Prize-A-Day, Day 15

Let's make it a big prize today: A Jabra JX10 Bluetooth Headset - the stylin' black one. Let's just say the WMExperts Store is feeling generous after all of the store reviews you folks posted for Friday's contest (The store also sponsored a Wii for Engadget's contest, if you didn't hear).

How to Win

Over at TreoCentral, there's a new podcast wherein I forced myself to list my "Top 5" Windows Mobile apps (Yes, I'm shameless in my interlinking). I'll cross-post them here after the jump. It's likely, though, that yours are different. It's even more likely that you may disagree with my top 5. So to enter in today's contest, comment on this post with your top 5 apps for Windows Mobile, or criticize mine, or ask our readers if "there's an app that does X" ...pretty much anything Windows Mobile app-related works for me.

Today's contest will be open until noon EST tomorrow, March 6th. In addition to today's cool prize, every entry doubles as an entry for the Grand Prize and the two Second Prizes - A Smartphone of your choice plus $300 to spend in the WMExperts store and a couple of Slingbox Pros.

(Full contest rules are here)

Dieter's Top-5 Windows Mobile Applications

  1. SPB Mobile Shell, a great way to navigate through your Treo faster and easier.
  2. Resco Explorer, a very powerful file explorer, registry editor, and FTP Browser.
  3. Google maps, need I say more?
  4. Pocket Informant, a Calendar/Contacts/Tasks replacement with a ton of features. (I go back and forth, but I always come back)
  5. PdaNet, which automatically sets up Dial-Up Networking. I know it's not technically necessary, but not having to deal with config is worth it for me.
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5 years ago

Jeff Hawkins to Announce Palm's "3rd type" of Device in May

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Amidst buyout rumors, stock fluctuations, and predictions of doom, Palm founder Jeff Hawkins gives an interview to PalmAddicts that reveals he's pretty excited about Palm's future. While we love to razz the PalmOS for being out-dated and fugly, it's still a good thing to have competition in the smartphone space.

In the past Hawkins has dropped hints that Palm has an ace up their sleeve, a secret "3rd Category" of mobile devices. Will the mystery gadget compete with Windows Mobile (or the iPhone) or is it genuinely new? Nobody knows but Palm, but the interview is an interesting read, if only for this little tidbit:

One of the main reasons we did a Windows-based product is because we were worried we wouldn’t have access to the Palm OS. Palm is in complete control of its destiny again.

Read: PalmAddicts: Jeff Hawkins talks to Palm Addict

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5 years ago

More on T-Zones, It Should Be Back To Normal

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PhoneNews points out that T-Zones should be back and provides a few more details about why it went down. Lots of folks experienced problems with the cut-rate internet service lately. Given that the Dash has a T-Zones button on it, closing down ports on the thing was a bone-headed move by T-Mobile. Here's to hoping they don't do it again.

Late last month however, T-Mobile opted to reconsider their port offerings, and closed all ports on T-Zones. This shut down Google Maps and Opera Mini on phones, as well as forced Dash users to get a PDA Plan. WIthin hours, T-Mobile was flooded with support calls, and re-re-considered their position. T-Mobile has now restored the old settings.

Read: Phone News - T-Mobile, Ports, And You... The Current Shakeup

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5 years ago

MotoQ coming to Amp'd

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5 years ago

WM6 SDK Released to Developers

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WM6 SDK Released to Developers

Looks like the development kit for Windows Mobile 6 is a nice one - it appears to be robust enough that most folks won't actually need to purchase the devices they're writing apps for. This page has a few more details - most of which are mysterious and arcane to a non-developer like myself. Of course, some of you may have already grabbed it when it was accidentally released early in February.

The Windows Mobile® 6 developer platform release focuses on a few core goals: simplify line of business (LOB) application development and deployment, make the task of building a single application that runs successfully across the many different devices in the Windows Mobile family easier, and provide an enhanced user experience

Read: What's New for Developers in Windows Mobile 6

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5 years ago

Review: Aliph Jawbone Bluetooth headset

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5 years ago

More on 320x320 Screen Resolution Support

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In our first WM6 Mega-Roundup (there's also Mega-Roundup 2), I noted that Windows Mobile 6 supports 320x320 resolution (gee, who would want that?). Over at the WM Team Blog, Mike Calligaro goes into a little more detail on the whys and hows. I'm glad to see it, I'll be even gladder when Windows Mobile is fully resolution-independent, by which I mean fully scalable to any resolution without so much effort on the part of developers. Photon, I'm looking at you.

This is why that previous entry didn’t tell you what we were planning to do in the future.  It’s also why the comments are full of me saying things like, “This is something we can do, it’ll just take a lot of work.”  (Incidentally, that “a lot of work” bit was definitely true.  We barely finished 320x320 support in time for WM6 to ship.)

Read: Windows Mobile Team Blog : 320x320 Revisited

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5 years ago

WMExperts Prize-A-Day, Day 14

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WMExperts Prize-A-Day, Day 14

Well if the WMExperts Store is going to sponsor a contest at Engadget in addition to sponsoring our own Prize-A-Day contest, we should give them some love--in the form of helping them out with more Customer Reviews in the store itself.

Today's prize is a screen protector pack of your choice plus a pack of those neat 3M cleaning cloths to help make sure you get your plastic protector on just right.

How to win

As with Day 4, head on over to the WMExperts Store and review any product between now and noon EST on Monday, March 5th. Be sure to enter a full review, including your email address. We'll pick a winner randomly from all the reviews.

Most of you know the drill by now: Every entry in a daily contest doubles as an entry for the Grand Prize and the two Second Prizes! Namely: A Smartphone of your choice plus $300 to spend in the WMExperts store and a couple of Slingbox Pros.

(Full contest rules are here)

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