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4 years ago

Review: Jabra Stone

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Review: Jabra Stone

Jabra has been making headsets, wired and wireless, for a very long time. Every now and then they come up with a design or feature that really makes their headset stand out. The new Jabra Stone not only stands out among Bluetooth headsets -- in many ways it rises above them. The headset was officially released on Nov. 8, 2009, and currently is an exclusive through AT&T.

Its unique style is an eye-catcher, and Jabra does a good job with introducing new features to the Bluetooth headset market. While the Jabra Stone is in a way groundbreaking, does the performance match the innovations? Does style meet substance?

Ease on past the break to read more on the Jabra Stone to see if it's worth the trip to your local AT&T store.

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4 years ago

Meet the Toshiba Dynapocket X02T, with a cameo by Quentin Tarantino

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Here's the Toshiba Dynapocket X02T from Japan's Softbank. If it looks familiar, it should. It's really just a rebranded Toshiba TG01. But what's new this time is that Softbank has U.S. filmmaker Quentin Tarantino (perhaps you've heard of him) shilling for it, and it's definitely entertaining. Peep video of the Q-Man (that's what he asked us to call him -- really) and more of the Dynapocket X02T (great phone, lousy name) after the break. [dvice via newlaunches]

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4 years ago

About those market share numbers ...

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About those market share numbers ...

It's that time of year when smartphone market share numbers are released, and we see even more stories about the death of one platform or another. Android kills WinMo. Android kills BlackBerry. iPhone kills everybody. (OK, hard to argue with that one.) But whatever.

It's not that the numbers are unimportant. It's just that we could all use a little reminder about context. The chart you see above from Gartner [via Ars Technica] is from the third quarter. Windows Mobile 6.5 and the rebranded "Windows phone" launched in October, thus the corresponding marketing push isn't reflected here.

That said, at least one analyst isn't overly optimistic. From Computer World, which broke down the results and said that Windows Mobile's market share fell 20 percent in Q3:

Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi, asked by e-mail today if Windows Mobile will get a boost in the fourth quarter from the new Windows Mobile 6.5, responded: "No, not really ... you might see enough traction that might stabilize the decline."

Not to mince words here, but stabilizing a decline sounds like a "boost" to us. It's all relative. OK, it's still relatively not good, but we'll take stabilizing a 20 percent year over year decline in advance of a presumed major OS announcement (Windows Mobile 7) and subsequent marketing push — see how we keep mentioning marketing?

Personally, I'll take stabilization at this point. Keeping the boat afloat is more important right now as Microsoft continues to position the fleet. Don't worry about one ship trying to outrun the others. Windows Mobile 7. Zune integration in the mobile and Xbox spaces. Windows 7. It's all (hopefully) coming together. The fourth-quarter numbers will be more telling, but we all need to be looking more long-term right now.

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4 years ago

Marketplace app gets on-phone update

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We saw the Web portal to Windows Marketplace for Mobile go live earlier this week, and now the one-device app has gotten a refresh as well.

So what's new in Version 1.1.1109.0000? Visually, nothing. Everything looks the same. Perhaps just bug fixes? (We were having problems with the Marketplace apparently hanging as it was installing the occasional app. The app itself would load just fine, but the Marketplace app balked.) Perhaps more behind-the-scenes support for things to come? Security fixes? (Update: Just read over the advanced security white paper again, and it does tie in with the Marketplace app, so that's a pretty good bet.)

Let the speculation begin! And sound off in the comments if you've found anything new.

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4 years ago

Microsoft's new Marketplace security reportedly cracked already

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Here we go again. A couple of days before the Windows Marketplace for Mobile officially launched in October, XDA Developers member Chainfire published his workaround to Microsoft's minimal security measures. When you load an app from the Marketplace, it's done transparent to the user, with no CAB file left behind.

Fast forward to today, and Chainfire's let us know that he's bypassed Microsoft new "advanced" security, which was rolled-out along with Web access to the Marketplace. New is the use of license keys that can be baked into apps. These keys are controlled by Microsoft, not the developer. Says Chainfire:

This new "advanced" protection was released today by Microsoft, and as far as I know no app available already uses it at the time of this writing.

So I got the code snippets you are supposed to put in your app and it was simply jawdroppingly WTF. While it was not exactly easy to beat, it took me less than two hours to devise a "generic" hack, without modifying any files on the device. (Well hey, at least it's better than the 5 minutes it took for the "basic" protection, right?)

A "generic" hack? Yes, by this I mean that this single hack (actually, running an EXE in the background) will completely bypass the entire code snippet provided by Microsoft that is supposed to check and validate your license code, for all Marketplace apps that use this "advanced" protection.

Indeed, that's no good. But Chainfire says he's no Robin Hood, stealing from the rich and giving to the rest of us.

I will not publish the code that performs this hack, so don't ask. My goal is not to crack Marketplace apps, my goal is to get MS off their ass and allow us to use our own licensing systems, like the good little resellers they're supposed to be. I will tell you that it has to do with runtime patching the crypto API, but that's it. All in all, I don't think it will take long for the warez people to duplicate this hack.

Follow along in the XDA thread, and let's hope, for developers' sake, that things get worked out.

Thanks, Chainfire!

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4 years ago

Review: Smartphone Experts Screen Protectors for HTC Touch Pro2

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I’m one of those people that made sure I hit my local AT&T store on October 18th to make sure I got my AT&T Tilt 2. There are so many things that make HTC’s Touch Pro2 devices great that I had to have one. One of those things is the screen. It’s just amazing, especially coming from the original AT&T Tilt. The downside of having that 3.6” WVGA flush mounted screen is that it gets scratched very easily, even through normal daily use. The answer to this problem is of course a screen protector such as the ones offered by Smartphone Experts.

Get the review after the jump.

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4 years ago

Toshiba TG01 poised for a Verizon launch?

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Let's play our favorite game: Guess the carrier. For those of you who don't work in cell phone stores, the photo you see above from Phone Arena is of a CelleBrite unit, which transfers info from one phone to another (presumably) pretty seamlessly. Note the "source model" here is the Toshiba TG01 (See our latest hands-on), and it's said that this one's from a Verizon store. Far-fetched? Not really. Remember that we've already seen a CDMA version slide through the feds.

If this pans out, it would give Big Red a pair of black slab Windows phones -- the TG01 and the HTC Imagio. That could be a tough call for VZW customers. On one hand you have the TG01 and its 4.1-inch (resistive) touchscreen and 1GHz Snapdragon processor. On the other hand you have the HTC Imagio, and all the custom ROM hackery that goes along with it.

This also probably all but rules out the HTC HD2 hitting Verizon first, but anything's possible, we guess.

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4 years ago

What's on your Today Screen?

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What's on your Today Screen?

Fess up: You can't leave good enough alone. You can't just use the stock Windows Mobile 6.5 interface. You have to crack open TouchFLO 3D and tweak every little setting you can. SPB Mobile Shell. Point UI. The list goes on.

After the break, see what we're all rocking here at WMExperts. Then, it's your turn. We want to see what you guys and gals have come up with on your Windows phones. (But let's keep it clean, folks. PG-13 and under.) Head into the forums and show us your stuff. And no need to fret if you don't have Windows 6.5 yet. We want to see from you guys, too.

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4 years ago

HTC HD2 vs. knife, keys, scissors

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4 years ago

Vodafone now offering HTC HD2 for free

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More often than not, the way it works overseas is you pay more for a phone up front, then save on the carrier plan. But Vodafone UK's now offering (a day ahead of when we expected) a deal that you simply can't refuse: A free HTC HD2 with a data plan of at least £35. That's 4.3 inches of screen, 1GHz of Snapdragon processing power, Windows Mobile 6.5 Pro and the possibility of an upgrade to Windows Mobile 7 (that's still not official though, so simmer down). For free. Don't bet on finding that kind of deal in the U.S. [Vodafone via coolsmartphone]

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4 years ago

Marketplace Phase II launches: You can now purchase apps from a desktop PC

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We've talked a little about Phase II of Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Tonight, those changes (or at least some of them) went live. Chief among them for consumers is the ability to purchase and browse apps from a desktop PC. From the Windows Mobile Developer Blog:

Starting today, Windows phone customers can browse, buy and download applications online at the Windows Marketplace for Mobile site. The selected applications are delivered wirelessly to the customer’s Windows phone and install the next time the Windows Marketplace client runs on the device. This creates another way for customers to easily find and purchase applications and gives developers a whole new level of exposure.

There also are a number of improvements for developers, including increased security to prevent app piracy.

Check it all out at marketplace.windowsphone.com.

Update: Oh, yeah, you folks running Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1 are still going to have to wait a little longer ("later this month") for official Marketplace access. In the meantime ...

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4 years ago

Video review: New Zune HD 3D games

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4 years ago

FWIW: Garmin-Asus M20 gets an update to Windows Mobile 6.5

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4 years ago

HTC HD2 - Noooooo disassemble!

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4 years ago

More Windows Mobile 7 beta rumors

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More Windows Mobile 7 beta rumors

And the march toward Windows Mobile 7 continues. This time, it's ZDNet Taiwan [via wmpoweruser] saying that WM7 is beginning its "Maldives" program in Q1 of next year, which basically means testing for device manufacturers. We'd heard "Maldives" in passing before, but in relation to Windows Mobile 6.5.1. So we'll have to see here.

ZDNet Taiwan's also saying that we should see Windows Mobile 7 launch in the third quarter of 2010, which is in the same window as most other rumors floating around. We've seen one that it's already been in beta. Another that it'll RTM this spring. So, work continues. Here's hoping for an announcement at CES.

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