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5 years ago

Twikini: Our new favorite Twitter client of the week

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If we had to pick being guilty of just two things here at WMExperts (yes, we know the list is much, much longer than that), it'd be a love of all things beta, and testing out new Twitter clients. And with that in mind we've been playing with Twikini, a rather lightweight client from Trinket Software (@twikini). It's just been released as a free beta.

Hit us up after the break for a lightning review.

Update: There were some issues running Twikini on the Moto Q. A new version has been released that fixes this and adds some other updates. Get it here.

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5 years ago

Review: Cellet Emergency Charger

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Review: Cellet Emergency Charger

In my line of work, I travel a lot. It may be just a long day away from the office with local driving, or an 11-hour cross-country trip with three airplanes and two airports. I also do a lot of camping and fishing, which pose obvious power-availability challenges. No matter what, I have learned to have as many emergency power options as possible. But what if you could top off your phone’s battery with a regular alkaline AA battery? 

That is exactly what Cellet offers with its emergency battery charger. For $14.95, if you find that you are in a situation where you need it, you would probably gladly pay twice that… as long as it really worked. I put it to the test. To find out if this is a flashy gizmo with no punch or an indispensable item anyone who travels MUST have, then jump on inside and read the full review… 
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5 years ago

Best of SPE, 19 April 2009

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5 years ago

Making the case for capacitive touch

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Last month Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer raised a bit of a ruckus (OK, when does he not) when discussing capacitive touchscreens and how he doesn't believe the iPhone uses them in a way that keeps the phone price economical.

Needless to say, many of you scoffed – nay, you were outraged – over the idea that Windows Mobile still doesn't support capacitive touchscreens simply because it costs too much. (And more than a few of you could care less, and that's OK, too.)

But fear not, loyal reader. We're here today to tell you that we believe capacitive touch is coming to Windows Mobile. We don't expect to see it with Windows Mobile 6.5, but it's probably coming thereafter. Our reasoning, after the break.

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5 years ago

New PreCentral.net sure is Pre-tty

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New PreCentral.net sure is Pre-tty

That's right, we just broke the first commandment of the all-new PreCentral.netthou shalt not pun. But you'll forgive our excitement for our newest member of the Smartphone Experts family, who have been tirelessly poring over any and all news surrounding the rebirth of Palm. And they've backed up all the great content with more great design, and some Pre forums to boot.

So congrats to our PC frenemies. Job well done. Now, when's the Pre coming out? ;)

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5 years ago

'The Big Picture' now mobile with Kinoma Play

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My dream job has always been either a professional basketball player or photographer. While my skills on the court negated the latter possibility, I did work my way through college as a newspaper photographer enjoying every assignment.  While my career path shifted after college, I've always kept a hand in photography and an eye for good picture sources. 

The Big Picture is a photo blog created by Alan Taylor for The Boston Globe. According to the Globe, "The Big Picture is intended to highlight high-quality, amazing imagery - with a focus on current events, lesser-known stories and, well, just about anything that comes across the wire that looks really interesting."  No arguments here.

The blog has one of the best collections of photographs I've seen in a long time. While this site more commonly accessed on a desktop/laptop, Kinoma Play is now offering it as a channel with zoom and pan capabilities that retains the high quality aspects of each photograph. The Big Picture is in the Kinoma Guide at Pictures and Podcasts>The Big Picture. The blog is updated every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Via Fuze Mobility

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5 years ago

Managed APIs make life easier on developers

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We'll freely admit that much of what developers do is a mystery to us, some sort of magical concoction of code and pixie dust that eventually becomes a working application. But we do understand the importance of APIs – application programming interfaces – and that's why we get a little excited for our dev friends when we hear that Microsoft will be making their lives a little easier.

From the same ZDNet story (and spotted by wmpu) that brought us the announcement of a Windows Mobile 6.5 "launch presentation" at TechEd also comes word of a session on APIs, specifically that there now is a "Windows Mobile Unified Sensor API to access hardware sensors," and an SDK to control the camera.

“The world of mobility has evolved. While keypads, stylus, and keyboards are all good and fine for device input, newer input methods have been popularized in recent years, such as accelerometers, touch screen gestures, capacitive touch screens, light sensors, and such. More than just gadgets and gimmicks, these next-generation input methods allow you, the mobile developer, to offer the best interface possible to your users on the road, enhancing their device experience. This session explores various input methods available on some of the latest Windows Mobile 6.1 and 6.5 devices and how to programmatically leverage them using managed APIs from Microsoft .NET Compact Framework-based applications. Topics covered include working with the Windows Mobile Unified Sensor API to access hardware sensors, controlling device cameras using the Windows Mobile SDK, capturing stylus and finger gestures on touch screens, detecting ambient light, making your device vibrate and sound-off, and more.”

In layman's terms? Whereas HTC writes its own code to access, say, the accelerometer on its phones, and Samsung has another for the Omnia – and the two didn't always play nicely within the same application – now there will be one API to rule them all, developed by Microsoft. And don't get too excited over the use of  capacitive touchscreens as an example up there. We're not expecting to see any capacitive screens with Windows Mobile 6.5.

But we're not just talking G-sensors here. Basically anything that makes your phone do anything will be standardized across the platforms, and that should make a better user experience for our code-loving friends, as well as the rest of us.

Update: Er, apparently there's no unified API framework as reported elsewhere and repeated here. Move along, folks. And thanks, Joel, for that heads up. (We're feeling a bit like ol' Michael Scott when he followed his GPS straight into the lake, but these things happen.)

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5 years ago

HTC Touch Diamond 2 Product Video

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HTC Touch Diamond 2 Product Video

We've mentioned HTC's YouTube Channel before, right? HTC has taken advantage of this video medium by showcasing their phones such as the HTC Snap. Well if you need any help day dreaming about the Touch Diamond 2, just take a gander at the above Product Tour.

The Diamond 2 is available through overseas retailers, but these phones aren't compatible with U.S. 3G networks (they will, however, work on EDGE). With the Diamond 2 manual surfacing and this new video from HTC, the U.S. release can't get here quick enough.

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5 years ago

Verizon Releases LTE Specs to Hardware Developers

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We've made mention that Verizon was working on its LTE network earlier this year, and now it appears the big V is releasing network specifications so hardware developers can start designing phones capable of using the 4G network.

The specifications provide guidelines for both access and data transport for LTE-capable devices. A web conference will be hosted by Verizon on May 13 to discuss the specifications in more detail.

The company plans a commercial roll-out of LTE starting in 2010. LTE trials have the 4G network generating 60Mbps real-world speed (about 30x faster than a good 3G connection). Along with Verizon, AT&T is planning for a 4G network in 2011.

Via PhoneScoop.com and Electronista

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5 years ago

Windows Mobile 6.5 'launch' at TechEd 2009

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Windows Mobile 6.5 has been "announced," and apparently we're getting closer to "launch." The Windows Mobile Team Blog [via ZDNet] notes that there will be a "kickoff launch presentation" on May 11 at the start of TechEd 09.

Stephanie Ferguson, GM of Business Experiences at Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business is going to deliver the kick off launch presentation of Windows Mobile 6.5 on Monday, May 11th at 1:00PM – 2:15PM. This Tech Ed 2009 session focuses on one of the biggest launches in the history of Windows Mobile – Windows Mobile 6.5. It is targeted at both IT Professionals and Developers, with a cool demo and an outline of great stuff to come.

What's this mean for you, the consumer? Probably not much (though it'll certainly give us something to write about). There are launches, and then there are launches. Windows Mobile 6.5 still has to officially make it to the manufacturers (not everyone can use a leaked ROM, you hackers), and so we're still not expecting and devices to get sanctioned upgrades until the fall.

But chugging forward at any speed is better than spinning our wheels.

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5 years ago

Review: Freedom Slim Bluetooth Keypad

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Review: Freedom Slim Bluetooth Keypad

Typing is one of the first and hardest things to get used to when you are getting started on a mobile platform. One of the biggest decisions when seeking a new device is what style of keyboard fits your personal preference. Many people find the tactile feedback of a hardware keyboard indispensable; while others would prefer a slimmer device, relying on the software keyboard for their text based needs.

Freedom’s Slim Keypad ($69.95) attempts to bridge the gap between these realms. Traditionally, portable Bluetooth keyboards have been designed to fold up into a compact package. Freedom attacks the problem from a different angle by offering a thumb keypad that is about the height and width of a credit card.

To find out how much punch this keypad packs, stick around after the break.

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5 years ago

Head to Head: Palm vs. Jabra

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Head to Head: Palm vs. Jabra

 

Bluetooth headsets are becoming a staple commodity in the mobile phone industry. We've mentioned the increasing number of state laws requiring hands-free operation of phones while driving and even without the laws, hands-free phone operation while driving makes sense. We're also a more mobile society, and a Bluetooth headset can be very accommodating for the mobile user.

We decided to take a look at two Bluetooth headsets, priced in the "under $50" range: the Jabra BT2070 and the Palm Bluetooth Headset. Both have comparable features but in a cost-conscious time, which is the best bang for you buck? Follow the break to see how these headsets measure up against one another.

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5 years ago

Hows about a $269 unlocked Treo Pro? (Update: It's back at $359)

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Hey, a $400 unlocked Palm Treo Pro is nothing to sneeze at. But what if we told you it can be had for less than $300, and doing so won't land you in jail?

Dell's got it for a mere $269 (after an instant savings of $130). [Update: Eagle-eyed commenter Davidoff noticed that it's back up to $359. So much for that, but still not a bad deal.] Looks like So if you've been holding off, waiting for the price to drop, do you really have an excuse anymore?

Via Twitter

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5 years ago

Touch Pro 2 pricing trickles out

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Touch Pro 2 pricing trickles out

When it comes to buying a phone, you've got a few options. There's the official, carrier-subsidized route, which generally is the cheapest option. You get a discount on the phone in exchange for signing a contract with the carrier, usually for two years. There's the third-party route, such as eBay and Craigslist, which sometimes can help you find a deal, though generally not as good as with a carrier subsidy.

The most expensive way to buy a phone normally is "unlocked," meaning that it's not tied to a carrier. If the phone radio has the correct frequencies, you can use it on T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, whatever.

We've already seen pricing for the HTC Touch Diamond 2, which unlocked will run between $500 and $600. Now we're starting to see pricing for the Touch Pro 2. And you're going to have to dig deeper for this one. In Singapore, an unlocked TP2 is gonna cost you a decent laptop, or about $880. Ouch.

So, either start saving those pennies now, or be prepared to wait for the carriers to release it later this year.

HTC via Unwired View

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5 years ago

T-Mobile again charging $18 to upgrade

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Look, T-Mobile, you're about to get a cool new Windows phone, so we're not gonna go all fire and brimstone on ya. But bringing back an $18 fee when we upgrade our phone just won't fly. The idea is to keep customers on your network. Your recent rate changes are a bit of a start. And certainly another $18 shouldn't keep that from happening, but it's kind of trite. Like airlines charging to check a bag. What we're saying is, you're better than that.

So we join our Android Central brethren in saying "Boo to the upgrade fee." And then we start scrounging for loose change as we await T-Mobile's successor to the venereable Dash.

Via TmoNews

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