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5 years ago

Lord of Devices, or, WM6 Cache of a different kind

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That, ladies and gentlemen, is a big damn pile of Windows Mobile 6 phones. New information? Nah. Crazy Rumors? Nah. In-depth analysis? Nah. Sometimes you just want to see a pile of new phones and fondle them all - or at least see a video it happening.

In this podcast, we grab a few quick minutes with Raleigh Paenitz — Microsoft’s resident Lord of Devices.

Read: MEDC


Video: MEDC Podcast #3: Lord of Devices

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5 years ago

WMExperts Prize-A-Day, 3rd Batch-O-Winners

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Here's the (belated) batch of winners from last week. Today's contest is here - and I should probably point out that the last day of the contest is fast approaching (the last contest will be posted on Monday) - so be sure to enter every day to maximize your chances of winning our Grand Prize!

  • Day 10 - Jeff wins his choice of cradle
    ...Day 10 taught me that there are more Blackjacks out there than I'd previously guessed. I'm going to have to pick up one of those suckers myself so I can properly test stuff with it -- too bad I'm not eligible for this contest myself. ;-)
  • Day 11 - Scott wins a retractable Sync'n'Charge cable
    ...Day 11 basically confirmed what I'd already thought: most people find their battery life is ok, but not stellar. And the MotoQ is the worst of the bunch.
  • Day 12 - gjlowe wins a copy of CorePlayer
    ...Ditto for Day 12's lessons: Music on your phone is nice for some folks, but for many, it ain't no iPod (or Zune).
  • Day 13 - bubbatex wins a copy of FlexWallet
    ...Two camps on Day 13: folks who just store PIM and folks who throw every blessed piece of information they possible can onto their smartphones.
  • Day 14 - maldog wins a Screen Protector Pack
    ...Seriously, does everybody own a Blackjack? A lot of reviews for Blackjack accessories.

That's enough for this roundup, I think. If you're not hip to our RSS Feed you can always check out this page for the latest Prie-A-Day Contest. (Full Contest Rules are here)

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5 years ago

WMExperts Prize-A-Day, Day 17

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WMExperts Prize-A-Day, Day 17

Time for me to face facts: I'm a bad driver - I use my phone in the car too much. I check maps, I text, I take calls, I've even been known to read an email or two. Bad. Bad Bad. One thing that helps, though, is having a car mount - especially when you're using GPS to map where you are. If, like me, you're bone-headed enough to be interacting with the internets via your smartphone while driving, the least you can do it make sure the smartphone is in a decent position.

Today's prize, therefore, is the Arkon CM910 Vehicle Mount. It should work with pretty much any phone and it includes a suction cup mount, a dash mount (via double stick tape) and a vent mount too. So there aren't many cars that won't accommodate this little bugger somewhere.

How to Win

I gave you my mea culpa - now give us yours. What's the most bone-headed thing you do with your smartphone? Emails during a supposedly romantic dinner? Texting while driving? Leaving the ringer on the movie theater? Comment on this post between now and noon EST tomorrow, March 8th, with your confession of personal smartphone silliness.

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)

...and yes, I'm late announcing last week's winners. That'll be up later this afternoon. :)

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5 years ago

Tips From Former Carrier Reps on Getting Deals

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You really want to check out a couple of posts over at the Consumerist: "7 Confessions of a Cingular Sales Rep" and "8 Confessions of a Former Verizon Sales Rep". Both are chock-full of tips and tricks for getting the most out of these blood-suckers (the carriers, not the reps) when it comes time to upgrade your phone or change your plan. The gist: use the reps' incentives to your advantage. They get a big boost from text message plans, so offering to sign up for one of those should net you savings elsewhere. And with carriers constantly raising the costs of non-plan text messages, you probably should be getting one of those unlimited plans anyway (and the unlimited data plan too, lest you end up with a $8,677.29 phone bill).

Update: Add confessions from a Sprint rep to the mix.

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5 years ago

Yahoo Strikes Deal with HTC

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Yahoo Strikes Deal with HTC

When Yahoo Go Beta was released last year for Windows Mobile devices, I was pretty jazzed up about it. It basically offered quick and easy push email as well was calendar and contacts sync to your average Joe-Consumer with little to no setup. Sure, it was tied to Yahoo, but it was also incredibly well-made.

Later on Yahoo released "Gamma" which did not work on Windows Mobile, so finding the older version of the software became tough. I was unhappy. Now it appears that HTC and Yahoo have become BFF, as HTC plans to preload the Yahoo software on their devices - insipiring me to re-check their Windows Mobile page, which sadly shows just as many "Coming Soons" as it does compatible devices. Hopefully Yahoo will get it working on other devices soon - it's a great app for folks that want exchange-like functionality without the hassles of an exchange server. Currently it looks like April for PocktPC versions of WM.

Yahoo has teamed up with High Tech Computer (HTC) to put a suite of Internet software applications on millions of Windows Mobile handsets, the companies said Wednesday.

Read: Windows Mobile handsets get Yahoo Go

Update: I just noticed, there aren't any square screen devices on Yahoo's list of Devices that are "Coming Soon." Treo owners might be out of luck?

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5 years ago

FCC Confirms: HTC Titan / XV6800 / PPC6800 Still on the Way

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Leaked presentation slides, leaked pics, and leaked roadmaps are all well and good, but when the FCC approves a device, you can pretty much stop having doubts about whether or not a device is coming out. Engaget Mobile keeps a close eye on the FCC and it's paid off - the HTC Titan (aka Verizon XV6800 aka Sprint PPC 6800) is coming and coming soon.

The device should have EVDO Rev A, more memory, Bluetooth 2.0, and kill that damnable antenna. Heck, I'm even excited by the scroll wheel and WiFi on/off switch. In any case, if you like to read PDFs detailing radiation levels and suchlike, head straight to the FCC's report

there's some sort of wave of reassurance that washes over us when we see a promised new handset get two thumbs-up from our boys and girls at the Fed.

Read: HTC Titan all up in the FCC's business - Engadget Mobile

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5 years ago

Hacker Proof-of-Concept: T-Mobile MDA as "Evil Twin" Network

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A great article was posted on Friday over at c|net, describing how "Carl Banzhof, VP and chief technology evangelist for McAfee, outlined a scenario in which mobile phones--not laptops--could be used to sniff wireless packets". The upshot is that he took a T-Mobile MDA and made it look like a WiFi access point - i.e. showing how a malicious smartphone user could "trick" you into logging onto the internet via the MDA, thereby exposing all of your communications to packet sniffing.

I read stories like this and it makes me complain a little less about Microsoft devoting resources to security on Windows Mobile instead of "the pretty."

You still see the Internet, except all your personal data is now flowing through the criminal's machine as a man-in-the-middle intermediary.

Read: Security Watch: Hacking with smart phones - CNET reviews

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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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