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5 years ago

AT&T sells towers; earnings down for Q4

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AT&T sells towers; earnings down for Q4

AT&T unloaded 235 if its cell towers last week to Florida-based Global Tower Partners. [via]

Don't worry, Sunshine State. You're not going to lose your coverage anytime soon. It's not that uncommon a practice for a carrier to sell towers, then lease them back. We reported last summer that Sprint did the same thing, albeit in a much larger deal. In that sale, 3,300 towers were sold to TowerCo LLC for $670 million. So, towers don't come cheap.

And hot on the heels of the tower sale comes AT&T's fourth-qarter earnings report. [via] The bad news: earnings per share fell 10 cents compared to the fourth quarter of last year. The good news: The first three quarters of the year made up for that, with the full year EPS up from $1.97 to $2.16. And, yes, we have the iPhone 3G to thank for much of that.

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5 years ago

New T-Mobile Shadow available now

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New T-Mobile Shadow available now

After a decent little delay, the all-new T-Mobile Shadow (aka the Shadow II and Shadow 2009) is now available. [via]

Specs are still what we've been expecting, and what we saw earlier this month at CES. Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard. 320x240 screen. 1100mAh battery. 2-MP camera. EDGE only for data (as of right now), though you do get WiFi and Hotspot @Home access.

You can get the new Shadow now in White Mint or Black Burgandy for $199 on T-Mobile after contract and rebates.

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5 years ago

How To: Learn Mobile RSS and Why It Matters

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How To: Learn Mobile RSS and Why It Matters

Ed Note: Malatesta checks in with a great tutorial on RSS and why it makes your mobile life better. If you're not already subscribed to the WMExperts RSS Feed, here's the link to our feed. As Malatesta writes below, RSS really is like "TiVo for your favorite websites." If you're not using it now, you should be.

RSS or Really Simple Syndication (as of RSS 2.0) is a method by which a user can check updates on his or her favorite website, blog, news site etc without having to actually “visit” that site through their web browser. Instead, the information or “feed” is retrieved automatically and brought to the user instead The benefits are simplicity and speed as you don’t have to check every website to see “what’s new” but rather you can just view the headlines directly.

The purpose of this tutorial is to introduce this technology to the Windows Mobile user who may not be aware of how this system can dramatically increase productivity and decrease frustrating browser load times.

How it works: Desktop

To use RSS, you don’t need to know how the system works in detail but it is nice to know some of the basics. For one, if you are viewing this story through a Firefox webrowser, you may notice this icon in your address bar (at right).

That’s now the universal symbol to indicate an RSS feed is available for a website. Not all sites have them but you’ll be quite surprised that many nowadays do. If you want, you can simply click that symbol with your mouse cursor and a dialog window will ask if you want to “bookmark” this RSS feed. Doing so will add a new folder with RSS “live” bookmarks to your browser. The term “live” is used since they are updated automatically, pulling down the latest headlines, bloglines and information—what you see is what is on that site at that moment!

Say you do this for your top 10 or 20 websites. What this means is now you can check to see if those sites have any new stories posted simply by looking at your Live bookmarks. No change? No new story or posts. In essence, you can literally check up on all your sites within seconds by just looking through your RSS feeds.

Besides your home or work browser, you can also use RSS feeds hosted by websites like Google Reader or Bloglines. This allows you to view anywhere all your RSS feeds from any computer. You can also access these feeds from your mobile browser, if you prefer.

How it works: Windows Mobile

You can do the exact same thing on your Windows Mobile device (Standard or Professional) as your desktop. As mentioned above, using your Google RSS feeds via your Pocket Internet Explorer, Opera Mini/Mobile, etc are all ways to keep your RSS feeds up to date and save you time from visiting all of your sites just for updates.

There is also a “client based” approach by which you download a special RSS reader program. Some are free, others costs money, though they are usually fairly priced. What’s the benefit for a client-based approach? For one, it still saves your from launching your web browser and having to navigate to a site. Number two, client based RSS programs tend to have many more features (especially the pay-ware type): send a link as email, view pictures, sync on schedule, sort for keywords, Today Plugin and system notifications for updates, as well as full Podcast support.

But the best part of mobile RSS is this: Stories are pulled down from the sites (including photos), formatted for your PPC or smartphone with no “fluff” from the site i.e. you are just viewing that one story: no ads, no other stories and no filler for graphics, which wastes bandwidth and time. What you get is only the story you want to read about, accompanying photos and smooth legibility within seconds.

This is what I mean by saving time (over a 3g connection):

3 seconds: Time to launch RSS reader (Newsbreak) 45 seconds: Time to pull down the RSS feeds of 17 websites (x 15 headlines each = 255 headlines!) 1-5 seconds: Time to pull down actual story with pictures & graphics (only if you click on the headline to read the story)

So instead of me visiting 17 separate websites on my mobile browser, I simply pulled down the headlines, all in less than 1-minute. Now I can minimally browse through the headlines and determine if I want to read any of the stories. When I do find a story that interests me, the story takes 1-5 seconds to pull down the text and any graphics. Take a moment to think of how long that would take to do via a mobile browser. Very impressive! Now let’s see how to set this up…

Setting up

Adding RSS feeds to most clients is easy as they usually allow you to manually type in the RSS address, import a list of them from an external file, or the preferred: search an online database. For an example, say you want to read Engadget Mobile, you would launch the “New” window and go through the process, searching for your preferred site. Once you have all your feeds set up, you can then save and export all of them to your storage card or computer for safe-keeping or even share them with a friend.

But what else can these programs do for you? Take for instance, what is in my opinion, one of the best pay RSS programs out there: Ilium Software’s Newsbreak 2.1 ($19.95) (see here for full review). Using this program, you can have it auto-update your feeds every 2 hours, auto-search it for keywords (e.g. “Windows Mobile” or “Iraq War”) marking them with an icon and it will actually notify you when new stories are published, all without you even touching the device. Think of TiVo but for your favorite websites.

That is getting technology to work for you and is what makes your device truly a “smart” phone.

RSS programs can also handle Podcasts of your favorite shows or sites, allowing them to be automatically downloaded and even kept on your Storage Card to save space. Then on you way to work or on a break, throw on some headphones and listen away.

“Read more online!” Nooo….!

There is one down side to some RSS feeds. Running a website is not a free business, which is why you tend to see flashy ads and banners on many sites as they help pay the bills. No money, no website. But what if you never had to visit the website? Well, if you’ve been paying attention that is exactly what RSS technology enables!

For some sites, they get around this in two ways: (1) they put a small ad at the bottom of your RSS story (2) They only give you part of the feed/story, leaving the torturous “Read more online…”, a link to their site so you can finish reading the story.

Now in a way, this still is better than before as now your web browser will launch, but it takes you right to that story. Still, sometimes they take you to their full-site instead of their mobile one (assuming they even have one) and you spend the next 15-20 seconds pulling down needless graphics.

Unfortunately, they are only two solutions for this, as you cannot change that websites’ RSS feed content (that is up to them). (1) Don’t use their RSS feed and save it for home (2) Follow the dreaded “Read more online…” link and bite your tongue.

But there is a 3rd solution that helps ameliorate the pain: Developer John Cody has developed a free plugin called “John Cody’s SkweezeIt!”. After installing, when you click the “Read more online…” link, a pop up window will ask you “Do you want to Skweeze this link?”. What it is doing is now giving you the option to run that link directly through Skweezer, a web site dedicated to reformatting and removing waste from websites to make them more palatable for your mobile browsing experience.

Using this free and superb option (trust me, you’ll think it’s wonderful if you’ve had the “before and after” experience), clicking that dreaded link becomes a much easier option to choose.

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5 years ago

Review: Covertec Vertical Premium Case

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Review: Covertec Vertical Premium Case

Vertical or not to be vertical? That is the question and Covertec might have the answer in their Covertec Vertical Premium Case. I’m more of a horizontal kinda guy but some will prefer the “straight up and down” appearance of a vertical case. The problems I see with vertical cases is that they can be so large they swallow up the phone or hang off the belt so far that you have to avoid sitting on your phone. Covertec isn’t new to the dance and has produced some quality phone cases. Read on after the break to see how the Covertec Vertical Premium Case measures up.

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5 years ago

Exclusive: Sprint Treo Pro Hands On

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5 years ago

Astraware's Classic Collection

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Astraware's Classic Collection

With all the time I spend waiting in airports and on planes, I really value having a wide selection of games on hand to help whittle away the time.  I like getting the best value for my money while giving me the most variety at the same time.  This is why Astraware Classic Collection caught my eye.  It includes Astraware Sudoku, Astraware Board Games (collection of 8 board games), and Astraware Solitaire (collection of 12 solitaire games).  Sold separately they are $14.95 each for a total of $44.85.  The Astraware Classic Collection bundles these together for $29.95, giving a total of 21 games to choose from.  Good deal, but still fairly steep.  So the question is, are they good enough to be worth it?  Read on so I can show you what I found...

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5 years ago

Pharos Traveler 117 clears FCC

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Pharos Traveler 117 clears FCC

We've had our eye on the Pharos line of phones for a little while now, and it looks like the Traveler 117 has cleared the FCC. [via unwiredview]

This is a navigation-centric phone (thus the name), with aGPS on board. Other goodies:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro.
  • 256 ROM/128 RAM. (Yeah, that's not that much these days.)
  • 480x640 VGA touchscreen.
  • Quad-band EDGE (850/900/1800/1900); tri-band 3G (850/1900/2100)
  • agps
  • 2MP camera.
  • WiFi.
  • Bluetooth 2.0 +EDR.
  • MicroSD.
  • 2.5mm headphone jack.
  • 1410mAh battery.

All in all, a decent little device. Hopefully we'll see more out of the Pharos line (and its cousin, Velocity Mobile) in the near future. You can get the Traveler 117 online now for $529.

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5 years ago

Sprint Treo Pro: Now Delayed till end of Feb; Can do Voice + Data?

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Aye Carumba! Remember how Palm (and Sprint) hate committing to release dates, yet we pester them anyways? Well here’s why.

We’re hearing from Sprint themselves that the Treo Pro, originally slated for early December (see FCC docs), then January 25th, then February 15th is being pushed back further till the vague “end of February”. All outstanding orders are now canceled, with Sprint’s apologies and a $25 credit is being applied to our accounts.

We actually haven’t heard of any cataclysmic problems with the phone, in fact some early hands on have been quite positive, so this may be just some minor radio tweaking.

Speaking of, there is some potential huge news here from reader Joe G:

"This will be the 1st Sprint Palm device to support simultaneous voice and data usage. Taking full advantage of Sprints Rev A EVDO Network.”

Whoa, who saw that one coming? Could it be true that after years of GSM having this amazing ability, CDMA users are finally getting it? We do know it is technically within the specs of Rev A, so it sounds real to us. Hopefully that’ll keep your mouths watering till late next month.
 

Thanks Joe G

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5 years ago

Windows Mobile still tops for Enterprise Development

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On the heels of the news that Windows Mobile out sold iPhone during the third quarter of 2008, we are know learning that the WM platform is preferred for most enterprise applications. According to statistics from Evans Data's Wireless Development Survey (registration required to access the report), the number of developers that plan to build enterprise apps for Windows Mobile surpasses those that are focusing on Apple iPhone by 40%.

John Andrews, CEO of Evans Data, states

“Largely, this is a matter of Windows being a more mature platform while Apple has only been in the market a relatively brief time. It should be noted that during the past year, while Windows has remained flat in terms of adoption, Apple has increased three-fold, thus closing the gap,”

The introduction of Windows Mobile 6.5 next month at the Mobile World Congress and the potential release of a fully functional application store, should address the concerns of flatness and keep the gap from closing too much.  We point that out because, well, Redmond Developer News definitely points out the glass-half-empy side of the report, noting that .Net development has seen some reduction since the iPhone came out.  As with political polls, sometimes the trendlines are more important that the numbers.

[VIA: Mobiletopsoft.com and News.Softpedia.com]

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5 years ago

Pre-order iPaq Data Messenger

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Pre-order iPaq Data Messenger

We were largely underwhelmed when we got our hands on the iPaq Data Messenger earlier this month at CES. The hardware was solid, but there just wasn't much else there to make us want it over, say, the HTC Touch Pro. And it's still not seeing any carrier love here in the U.S. As a refresher, here's what's under the hood.

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
  • 2.8-inch 320x240 touchscreen
  • Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.74 x 11.4 cm
  • 128 megs RAM, 256 megs ROM.
  • WiFi (b/g)
  • Standard slider keyboard
  • Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR
  • Quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900), the European flavors of HSDPA (900/1900/2100 MHz)
  • aGPS
  • 3.1MP camera with 5x digital zoom and LED flash.
  • 1140 mAh battery.
  • Micro USB for sync and charge.
  • Micro SD card, up to 8 gigabytes.

If you just have to have one, you can now pre-order it from HP for the low, low price of about $600 (US).

Via Engadget Mobile

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5 years ago

Welcome Nokia Experts to the Family!

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Welcome Nokia Experts to the Family!

We're incredibly happy to announce that we're adding another member to the Smartphone Experts family of sites: Nokia Experts!  Nokia Experts will be run by the inestimable Matt Miller, also known as The Mobile Gadgeteer, host of ZDNet's Smartphones and Cellphones blog, palmsolo, and all around mobility guru.

Matt has a ton of knowledge about a subject that the rest of us at Smartphone Experts have historically lacked, namely Nokia, S60, and the Symbian OS in general.  He gives himself a brief introduction here, in the unlikely event you're not familiar.

Nokia has, as yet, not successfully made a big smartphone push in the United States, but that's quite likely to change as they have a slew of exciting new devices coming out and are also likely to have their E71 messaging smartphone picked up by AT&T very soon.  In other words, if, like us, you're relatively new to Nokia and S60 but want to learn more, Nokia Experts is surely going to be one of your best resources.  Heck, Matt's already published a full review of the Nokia 5800 Tube XpressMusic touch screen S60 device.  The 'Tube' is already a best-selling device overseas and is more of a worthy contender than you might think, so the review is definitely worth a read.

Go on and head over to Nokia Experts now and give 'em a big ol' hello!

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5 years ago

Sprint Treo Pro Up at BestBuy.com for, wait for it, $699

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We've been pretty on-the-ball covering all the Sprint Treo Pro news out there of late -- so on the ball, in fact, that we're starting to get a little tired of it.  From the going up for sale, to disappearing from the same, from the Feb 15th delay to the question of RAM based on internal document leaks, it's been pretty oversaturated.  In fact, we were starting to worry that nobody much cared about the device, so when Joe and Scott both sent in tips last night that it was available on "backorder" at BestBuy.com for a whopping $699.99, we'll cop to telling them "If we post one more time on the Treo Pro, there will be a riot."  Apparently not, however, because here we are, reminding you that it should officially go on sale on Feb 15, but Best Buy will let you lay your hard earned down now.

Now that we see sister-site TreoCentral and Engadget Mobile getting in on the action, we figured we may as well admit that, yes, despite the lingering question of whether or not it's Pocket IE 6 that's sucking the Program memory out of it (listen to our podcast for more) or if it's just plain old gremlins, we do think the Treo Pro should be a great device on Sprint's network and also sorely needed.  Now, we have to ask, what on earth is driving the price up to $699?  Even considering that it's the unsubsidized price, that's the opposite of "reasonable and affordable."

Thanks (and apologies for not believing in the Treo Pro) to Scott and Joe!

Update: One last bit because we can't help ourselves.  We expect the unsubsidized price to be $549 and have pretty much confirmed that, so this Best Buy Preorder, we're going to recommend you give it a pass.

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5 years ago

WorldCard Mobile - Business Card Scanning that Actually Works

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Did you know that you had a program on your AT&T Fuze that serves as a business card scanner? It's often overlooked amongst the AT&T Bloatware but WorldCard Mobile is down at the bottom of your Program listing and is a handy tool if you have to deal with a lot of business cards. It's not without challenges and does have a slight learning curve but if you have a lot of business cards to sift through, it may make the job a little easier.

WorldCard Mobile (version 1.0f.080901b on my Fuze) is a product of PenPower Technology that utilizes the Fuze's camera to take a snapshot of a business card and then matches the fields on the card to match the fields on a contact entry. Sounds simple enough? In testing WorldCard, I found it to be more productive with business cards with simple layouts. The more elaborate layouts tend to throw the recognition software more curve balls but have no fear, when thrown a curve ball, the application can be adjusted manually.

In hitting "Browse" you are taken to the photo of the business card and you can highlight the text you want to identify for a certain entry field. When you finish highlighting the area, a pull-up menu appears with selections available for how you want to define the text (First Name, Last Name, Company, etc.). I found the more you use WorldCard Mobile, the more it learns the card layouts. WorldCard can also be used for other text documents such as return addresses on envelopes or advertisements in publications. Keep in mind that the recognition of fields may need a little more adjusting in these situations.

Once you get finished adjusting the field recognition, you check the correct entries and tap "ok" to save the information in your Contacts. At first it may seem as if manually entering the information off the business card is more easier than calibrating WorldCard. I don't know how efficient WorldCard would be if you only had one card to enter but with a stack, it may help prevent writer's cramp.

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5 years ago

New ROMs leaked for Xperia X1

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New ROMs leaked for Xperia X1

Well, how about that. As soon as we post our review of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1a, a new ROM update makes its way onto the Internets.

The folks at XDA Developers are still deciphering exactly what's been updated, though Opera and WiFi connections are being mentioned. As far as the dirty details, you're looking for ROM version 1.03.936.6, labeled R2A. It also looks like there are a bunch of language options, and those of us in the U.S. should be looking for X1a GENERIC NAM CDF1219-1224 KOV_R2AA008.rar.

This appears to be the read deal, even if SE's update system is saying otherwise. As always, read through the thread before you try updating anything. And above all, back up your data first!

XDA Developers via Engadget Mobile

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5 years ago

Firefox Mobile may be on Touch Pro next week

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Despite a previous update from the Mozilla team, it now looks like the Firefox Mobile browser, codenamed Fennec, could be ready for a Windows Mobile beta as soon as next week, and they've chosen a phone to do the honors.

From this week's meeting:

We are targeting a Milestone release for the first week of February, targeting the HTC touch pro.

There you have it. And dollars to donuts once the kids at XDA Developers get hold of this, we'll see it ported to other HTC phones pretty quickly.

If you still can't wait and want to give Fennec a try on your desktop, hit us up here for a link to the emulator versions.

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