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5 years ago

Google Voice reportedly may open up tomorrow

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Ever since Google announced the return of GrandCentral as Google Voice back in March, we've been chomping at the bit waiting for the beta to open up.

But Buzz Out Loud's Natali Del Conte may have just spilled the beans. She apparently told a caller on the 999th episode of the CNet podcast that a Google rep told her that June 18 was the day the rest of us finally get to play. She says it was originally supposed to launch in late may, and that if tomorrow doesn't hold true, it should still be sometime soon.

If all this turns out to be true, it's turning into one heck of a month for smartphone owners, with the launch of the Palm Pre, iPhone 3.0 software and now Google Voice. Now if Microsoft were to put forth Windows Mobile 6.5 and the Marketplace ...

Buzz Out Loud [skip to 24:35] via BGR

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5 years ago

GrandCentral returns! Now is Google Voice! Cause for exclamation points!

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Some two years after purchasing GrandCentral for a reported $50 million, Google has announced it is relaunching the uber-phone service as Google Voice. [via TechCrunch]

In a nutshell: It's gmail for your phone. And then some. You get a new number (that's the big downside, at least initially) from which you can get a ton of utility from the voice side of your phone. Frankly, it's almost too much to list here. But we'll give it a shot:

  • Call screening: Listen in before accepting a call.
  • Block calls.
  • SMS: Send, receive, store SMS messages. Read, search and forward them from the Web.
  • Place calls: Call any number in the U.S. for free.
  • Take calls: Your Google Voice number can ring a number of phones.
  • Call routing: Select which phones ring based on who is calling.
  • Voicemail transcription: Get a voicemail, and it's automatically transcribed and e-mailed.
  • Listen to voicemail online or on your phone.
  • Notifications: Get notification of voicemails via SMS or e-mail.
  • Personalized greetings: Have one for your friends. Another for co-workers. Another for your boss. Another for your spouse. You get the idea.
  • Conference calling.
  • Record calls. (legal issues there?)
  • Call switch: Pass the call off from one phone to another. (Just because you can!)

And many, many more! (OK, a few). There are videos to go with each of the above features, and a few more, over at the Google Voice page. For now, here's what you need to know: 

GrandCentral stopped taking new sign-ups a long while ago. But the lucky ones who got in in the beginning should have access to Google Voice in the next few days. Google will "be opening it up to others soon." Oh, and have we mentioned that all this is free?

OK, let's tie this in with Windows Mobile, shall we? We all know that a (current) WinMo phone basically is a mobile version of Windows (Windows CE) with a phone radio bootstrapped to it. This brings power to that end of things. Sure, there are third-party companies out there that will do some of what Google Voice promises (voicemail transcription, mainly). But now it's being brought under one roof. Seriously, go check out those videos.

All you have to do is give yourself up to The Google.

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5 years ago

Cool Freeware: Outlook Cleaner

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Cool Freeware: Outlook Cleaner

No doubt keeping your Contacts database in check by reducing redundancies is always a challenge, especially with all the multiple syncs we do these days (Exchange, backups, Google, etc.).

One question we get often here at WMExperts is how to remove duplicate contacts on your device, preferably the non-manual way.  Up till now, we recommended the super powerful SKTools (which may be overkill for many).

However XDA member zaijian has created a "still in development" freeware app called Outlook Cleaner and it does the task rather nicely:

How it works
Contact cleaning works like this:
1) Scan the Contacts database, looking for duplicate contacts.
2) Exact duplicates are deleted.
3) Near-duplicates are displayed for manual merging/removal.
4) You go through the sets of near-duplicates, where you can see all the values which are different, and choose to keep, delete, or merge Contacts.

Not too shabby and he promised to add task/calendar cleaning in later versions to make it even more useful.  The app requires .NET CF 2.0, which many of you have already in ROM.  More info including download can be found here.

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5 years ago

Sizing up the new Omnia line

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5 years ago

Smart Tweaker 2008

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Smart Tweaker 2008

One of the reasons I love WM so much is the ability to tweak and optimize the phone to my liking by editing the registry.  If you don't know about editing the registry (or want to learn about it) then take a look at our WM Registry Editing Tutorial or if you want to do some of the most common registry edits then you can browse through the Registry Edits That We Love.   But if you are too scared or too lazy to do any registry edits yourself, then you will probably be very interested knowing that there are programs out there that will add a safety net between you and the registry by doing all of the registry edits for you. 

One of those programs is called Smart Tweaker 2008.  It is a program that has a collection of registry edits making it fast and easy.  The downside to some of these types of programs is that you are limited to only the registry edits that they include.  If it is comprehensive, it is not an issue.  But if it is limited, then you end up going to the registry to do the edits not included.  Is Smart Tweaker 2008 worth the money?  Read on to find out...

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5 years ago

Admit it ... You're waiting for that iPhone thingamabob

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Look, we know full well some of us you are double-fisting and dabbling with the iPhone. Or at least an iPod Touch. And so you're probably sitting there, clicking the "Check for update" button in iTunes, waiting for the 3.0 software to come out today. And that's fine. But while your waiting, at least make yourself useful and read through The iPhone Blog's excellent 3.0 Walkthrough. And share it with a friend.

And join them tonight for the latest edition of iPhone Live, where you'll find out how you can win a free iPhone 3G S, courtesy of TiPB.

Then, you know, come back and hang out with us some, mkay?

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5 years ago

LG Introduces the GW550

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LG Introduces the GW550

You've got the HTC Snap and the Samsung Jack, and it looks like LG is following in their footsteps by introducing the GW550. The GW550 is another front-facing keyboard, 2.4-inch QVGA, Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard phone.

Just when you thought WM Standard was on its last leg, devices running the standard OS seem to be coming out of the woodwork. The GW550 also sports a 3 megapixel camera, "global" 3G, and 7.2Mbps HSDPA/2Mbps HSUPA capabilities. Based on the photos, the GW550 is follows the conservative appearance the Snap and Jack have, and it has the same lines as the Nokia N71.

No word yet from LG on pricing or availability. Depending on pricing and what the final specifications shake out to be, if you're in the market for a WM Standard phone the LG GW550 might make the choice a little more difficult to make.

Via The Boy Genius Report

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5 years ago

Zune HD gets a Tegra processor? Sonofa!

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See here! We're very much looking forward to the latest from HTC finally hitting the states. And that Samsung Omnia Pro and its even better specs is looking mighty yummy, too. But what we really want is some Snapdragon — and some Tegra.

And that brings us to the Zune HD, which was rumored to be housing said NVIDIA Tegra processor. And PC Perspective [via Engadget] is confirming that rumor. Basically, you're getting CPU, GPU and every other -PU you can think of on one chip. And it's a low-power chip at that, which means better battery life. And Endaget's right in that us Windows Mobile fans should feel a little put out if the Zune HD in fact does have that much power under its hood while we continue to chug away with more "standard" processors.

We've said it before and we'll say it again. Aside from the lack of a phone and a bizarre screen resolution (albeit an OLED screen), the Zune HD looks like it'll have a lot of what we've been wanting for a long, long time. And a lot of what we expect to see when Windows Mobile 7 finally makes it to market.

Still not impressed? Peep the demo video after the break and tell us you don't want a Tegra chip in your phone.

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5 years ago

Xperia X2 not being announced today

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Xperia X2 not being announced today

Yeah, it's really not surprising, but there won't be an announcement a Sony Ericsson X2 today from that event in Singapore. From the official SE blog:

Hi, over the last few hours there has been a consistent string of rumours regarding an event scheduled for the 17th in Singapore. This is a local event to recap the recent launches for Aino, Saito and Yari as well as the GreenHeart phones (the C901 GreenHeart and Naite.) There will be an update on local content initiatives but no new products will be announced at the event.

We’ll have some news on the X2 later in the year, but tomorrow’s event is not it.

Move along, folks. Nothing to see here.

Via Phone Arena

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5 years ago

Review: Smartphone Experts Sync & Charge Cable with Tips

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Review: Smartphone Experts Sync & Charge Cable with Tips

Geeks (like myself) tend to have a lot of gadgets. Those gadgets tend to come with an assortment of cabling for power, audio and synchronization. Trying to sell a geek more cabling can be like pulling teeth, unless that cabling helps cut down on the existing cable clutter.

Smartphone Experts produces a number of Sync & Charge solutions for various Smartphones, including several that offer retractable cabling that allows for easy storage and transportation. The problem with these types of solutions can be that they are locked down to one device manufacturer or model. This problem is handled elegantly by this option.

Stick around for the full rundown.

 

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5 years ago

Nvidia getting in on WM. Making processors.

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As Windows Mobile continues to explode (and the long drum beat of WM7 begins), it looks as if long time graphic card maker Nvidia is getting ready to debut their mobile processor designed specifically for WM devices.

Sweet.

What's even cooler is the promised speeds of 600 or 800mhz at less than 1 watt of power from this new "Tegra" line. The processor is actually "spread out" having several accelerators, as opposed to the Intel single-processor/multi-platform Atom solution.

Nvidia thinks that extra punch will give developers of Wm7 devices much more freedom in delivering those eye-popping custom UI graphics.

So when can we expect these bad boys? How about Q4 of this year. Not too bad. Along with Qualcomm's endless promises with "Snapdragon" (see our earlier coverage here), the mobile processor biz should get interesting real soon. It also looks as if the line between mobile phones and mini-PCs is about to get very blurry.

Read more about Nvidia's Tegra here

Source: T.Krazit Blog (Cnet) via Solsie

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5 years ago

Google spruces up Gmail's contacts

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Google spruces up Gmail's contacts

We love Gmail. It's our lifeline. But there are a few major hangups that cause us to bang our heads against the wall day after day. One is the lack of a proper IMAP idle process for true push support and proper use of labels on Windows phones. (Yeah, there are decent third-party solutions out there. We're talking about native, out-of-the-box push e-mail.)

The other issue is contacts, which Google finally is starting to address. From the official Gmail blog:

Up until now, Gmail only supported some contact fields. Whenever someone imported their contacts from apps like Outlook and OS X Address Book, we used to put fields Gmail didn't recognize into the contact's notes section. Based on feedback from you, we added support for more contact fields (like birthday and website) and now store each of these fields separately, which makes syncing and round-tripping your data work better.

There you have it. We're getting there. Still not perfect, but better. (Insert "beta" joke here.)

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5 years ago

Tip: Delete "Outlook Email" from Mobile Outlook

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Not one of the many who use Microsoft Exchange on your Windows Mobile phone? Totally understandable as it either costs hosting fees or requires you to work for a company with an Exchange server.

But if you're not using it, why can't you just delete "Outlook Email" from the email client, eh?  That sucker is just an empty void that you skip over to get to your real email accounts and alas, WM won't let you just delete it. Curses!

Have no fear, as it's all in the registry baby!  Diigibio at XDA documents how this is done, repeated below. Just use your favorite registry editor (or read our how-to) and navigate to this area:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Inbox\Svc\Activesync

Simply back up your device or that registry value and delete the \Activesync folder, followed by a soft reset.  Bam, no more "Outlook Email" folder to skip over.

Thanks, Scientific!

Update: Yeah, people are having, um, varying results with this one. Use at your own risk. And be sure to back up your phone first.

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5 years ago

Vito Updates SMS-Chat and ZoomBoard

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Vito Techonology announced today the release of updated versions of SMS-Chat (v1.21) and ZoomBoard (v2.04). Both applications have been improved with minor bug fixes. SMS-Chat now has threaded view for all three skins that was previously only available for the "bright" skin. Zoomboard now includes the "bright" skin to coordinate appearances with Vito's Communications Suite.

SMS-Chat is a threaded text messaging application that allows you to organize SMS correspondences into threaded conversations. We found it to be a feature-rich application that is definitely worth a trial run.

ZoomBoard is an on-screen keyboard that provides accurate finger typing. Every time you press a letter on the keyboard, a zoomed image of the key is displayed to confirm what you are entering. The letter is typed only when you release the key giving you the ability to slide from key to key.

In recognition of these updated versions, Vito is bundling SMS-Chat and ZoomBoard together for a discounted price.

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5 years ago

Sprint Treo Pro gets ringer patch from Palm

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No phone is perfect, and the Sprint Treo Pro has some hiccups as well. One that has been documented by many is an issue with the ringer where essentially the settings get corrupted in the registry, resulting in "silent" incoming calls:

The root cause of the Treo Pro No Ringer issue is related to a rare corruption of the Treo Pro’s registry key. This can lead to the smart phone not ringing and causing the user to miss an incoming call.

If you see a Software Version that is T850EWW-1.04-SPT you should install this update.

Interestingly this "update" looks to be an old fix for the Treo 750 found here and brought to Palm's attention here, though a complete tear-down of the official .cab fix needs to be done to confirm.

This also does not address the other missed-call problem associated with fringe reception (documented and addressed here), that is the one where you get no notification at all about a missed call as opposed to just a silent ringer.

Get the official patch/update from Palm here.  For those on the go, here is the OTA update link. And remember that you'll have to re-apply the fix if you hard-reset your phone.

 

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