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5 years ago

Tweak, tweak, and tweak some more

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Tweak, tweak, and tweak some more

Easily the biggest advantage of owning a Windows Mobile device is the ability to, well, tweak the hell out of it. While you can do so with a registry editor, that can be tedious, time-consuming and sometimes a little fraught with danger.

But if you own a WinMo Professional (touchscreen) device, there's a very simple alternative. Enter Advanced Configuration Tool, a free app recently updated to Version 3.0 that now offers more than 200 settings for your OS and its applications.

If you're already a fan, here are some of the Version 3.0 changes:

  • Better device compatibility.
  • Import/export settings using provisioning XML.
  • Customize HTC's TouchFLO 3D, and map soft keys.
  • Full VGA support.
  • Custom values in the configuration files.
  • Restore previous settings.

And so on and so forth ...

This really is a simple way to squeeze out every last drop of power from your phone. It breathed life back into my old Treo 750, and you don't need any programming or super-secret registry skills to make it work for you.

You can download it in cab form or as a desktop installation. To learn more about the app, visit the page at XDA, or the Advanced Configuration Tool Wiki.

Reminder: This is for WinMo Professional (read touchscreen or Pocket PC) ONLY.

And as much as we love this program, please use it wisely, and be sure to back up your device before doing any major surgery. Happy hacking!

Via MoDaCo

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5 years ago

Sony Xperia X1 'coming soon' to Vodafone

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Sony Xperia X1 'coming soon' to Vodafone

In more "coming soon" news from Vodafone that should also mean good news for the rest of us, the Sony Xperia X1 (and Samsung Omnia) has appeared on the U.K. carrier's Web site.

Just as with the HTC Touch Pro mention from the other day, an imminent any day now hurry up already(!) release in Europe often means we're getting closer to seeing a device on our shores, too.

And the Xperia X1 is one most of us, save for a lucky few, have been waiting to get our hands on for some time now.

Coolsmartphone [via]

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5 years ago

Review: Kinoma Play

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Review: Kinoma Play

Kinoma Play ($29.99) is the new media player we've been hinting at in our series of media player reviews this past week. It's essentially a super-charged media player that aims to make media you find on the internet as easy to find, play, and interact with as the media stored locally on your memory card. Those of you familiar with Kinoma Player EX on the Palm OS are going to be pleased to hear that all the functionality of the PalmOS's player is here and then some.

Above, a quick video demo and review of Kinoma Play. After the break, a gallery of screenshots and a bit more. Read on!

Overview

As I mentioned above, the core purpose of Kinoma Play is to help you discover and play media both on your device as well as on the internet. In addition to a solid media player that handles audio, video, and images with relative easy and aplomb, Kinoma Play sports a comprehensive online media guide for finding, listening, and downloading media. It also has the ability to interact with several online accounts such as Flickr, Live365, Audible, and others for both accessing and uploading media.

I'm very impressed with Kinoma and I'll let the conclusion slip here at the start: I think it's an incredible piece of software that must be at least tried out by every Windows Mobile user. The Kinoma FreePlay (warning, link will auto-download the software) software includes much of what the full version can do. That link will give you a list of what it cannot.

That said, there is one very important caveat to recommending Kinoma Play: it's not at all shy about using your Program Memory. Kinoma Play can hover anywhere between using 6 and 9 megs of RAM (!) at any point while you're using it. The other unfortunate part is that Kinoma Play seems to default to auto-scanning your device every time it starts up, so it takes quite awhile to launch. It also doesn't respect some Memory Management systems like “hold X to close” on HTC devices (though it does quit cleanly when stopped by the task manager).

Browser

As you can see from the video above, Kinoma Play was a little overly aggressive in scanning and found a few odd things like XML files from Newsgator (read them as playlists) and album art. Fortunately, every screen in the browser has access to Kinoma's “Menu Pod” (more on that in a bit) with quality “Get Info” bits to help you hunt down where these files are -- however, there's no option to tell Kinoma to ignore certain directories.

Finding and organizing your media is important to any Player and Kinoma Play's browser is among the best I've used. After it (finally) gets finished scanning, you can use either the touchscreen or the 5-way pad to quickly navigate around standard sections like Playlists, Artists, Albums, etc.

There's also “type to find” within lists as well as a full search of your local device. All of which was very snappy on the two devices I tested on (Treo Pro and Motorola Q9h).

There's also robust playlist support. In addition to being able to read standard WM Player playlists, Kinoma lets you create your own easily. The great thing is that these playlists actually maintain album structure -- making them much more browsable and editable on the go.

There are two other bits to the Browser that are essential to the Kinoma Play experience: Favorites and History. “Favorites” seems like an odd thing in a media player, but it becomes essential when you start discovering content you like within Kinoma Play's internet media guide.

History is simply awesome. It keeps a history of all the media you've played for at least a few seconds (I believe it's 10 [Update: Make that 100] so you can go back to it. When you do go back to it, Kinoma Play remembers your place. It remembers, mind you, whether you were watching a YouTube video, listening to a podcast (woo hoo!), or streaming an audio book (Kinoma Play allows you to stream audible.com books).

Menu Pod

I mentioned the menu pod above, it's a relatively simple thing but makes a big difference in feel. When you hit the right soft-key, instead of getting a standard pop-up menu, you get the above menu in the center of the screen instead. The main difference here as opposed to a standard menu is that they're able to split up the various functions into tabs so you can more quickly find what it is you'd like to do.

Player

The player functions on Kinoma Play are fairly comprehensive -- allowing you to play the following media files:

Video: MPEG-4 Video SP and AVC/H.264 codecs, 3GPP (same as MPEG-4), Flash Video (Sorenson Spark codec), QuickTime Movie (same as MPEG-4) and Windows Media 9 (WMV9 codec) video formats. For streaming, Kinoma Play supports HTTP, RTSP, and MMS streaming

Audio: MP3, AAC (iTunes), aacPlus, Flash Video (MP3 in an FLV), and Windows Media Audio 9 audio formats. It also supports FLAC uncompressed audio. For streaming, Kinoma Play supports HTTP, RTSP, and MMS streaming.

The player has easy to use play / pause / back / forward buttons, 'scrubbing' within tracks and best of all, is ridiculously good at saving your place within each track. The nice thing about the player within Kinoma Play is that you have the exact same interface for nearly every type of media you can play on Kinoma, from local music to streamed YouTube video.

Kinoma Play also has a “player” for photos, which sports a slightly different interface. This interface does work with touch as well, but it's actually easy to use the 5-way pad to toggle between different photo interaction modes like zoom, pan, and rotate. Animations for all of the above are snappy.

Here (as elsewhere) you really get a feel for Kinoma Play's excellent 5-way support. This is probably the first Windows Mobile app that I've used that doesn't make me feel punished for using it on a non-touchscreen device.

Both the Audio/Video interface and the Photo interface work identically whether you're using them to access local or streamed content, they're very fluid and responsive -- for the most part.

Kinoma and the Cloud

All of the above would make Kinoma Play worthy (if memory-intensive) media player -- easily a contender for the best-on-Windows-Mobile prize. What's really incredible about Kinoma Play is how well it interacts with media out on the internet. There's a guide of media available from hundreds of media sources, from YouTube to Flickr to the BBC.

Kinoma auto-detects your bandwidth occasionally and then dynamically adjusts what bitrates its downloading at to ensure a good mix of speed and quality. It's able to search across the entire guide or within certain sites. You can add anything to the “favorites” so you can find them more quickly. You can save any file locally, email files you've found, and so on.

Sincerely, with a sufficiently fast connection, it makes internet media feel like it's local to your device.

The other thing Kinoma Play is savvy about, cloud-wise, is that it is able to integrate with several online services like YouTube, Flicker, Live365, and Audible. You can provide your login info to Kinoma so you can access your own data. For example, if you're logged into YouTube you can upload videos directly to your account from Kinoma, rate movies, and so on.

Heck, if you have an iDisk, Kinoma can read media file (though nothing else) from that too. Kinoma is also compatible with Orb for streaming media from your desktop.

Conclusion

I said it at the top: Kinoma Play is super. The History / Favorites / Podcast combo is simply killer, it's made Kinoma my default Podcast player.

I very much recommend that everybody with a Windows Mobile device give it a try -- but be sure you try it before you buy it, because as I said the sucker gobbles RAM like The Nothing gobbles up The Neverending Story. If you can spare the RAM, you will probably find yourself sparing the $29.99 to buy the full version.

You can buy Kinoma Play here ($29.99) and download the “Freeplay” version at this link.

Ratings (out of 5)

  • Playing Local Media: 5
  • Finding Internet Media: 5
  • Streaming Media (and Podcasts!): 5
  • RAM Usage: 2

Overall:

Pros

  • Good Player
  • Easy to browse and search locally
  • Just as easy to browse and search internet media
  • Decent file support
  • History / Playlist / Favorites

Cons

  • Sucks down RAM
  • Scanning takes too long and is overly aggressive about including files
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5 years ago

Review: Pocket Player

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5 years ago

Treo Pro Unboxing, Head-to-Head with the Competition

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5 years ago

The Treo Pro -- Brought to you by HTC? (Updated)

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Put your rumormonger hats on with us for a moment, although the big reveal of what we're thinking is already clear from the headline.

  1. As noted in the NYT article we referenced earlier, Palm Exec John Rubenstein cancelled some Treos not too long ago.
  2. The Treo Pro looks nothing like the Treo 800w
  3. The Treo Pro has a battery that's nothing like batteries Palm has used in the past. In fact, it looks an awful lot like the battery on the HTC Mogul. See a good image of the Treo Pro Battery here, and the HTC Mogul Battery here. They're not identical (the leads are in different places), but they're the same basic shape, mAh, and even have the same indentations.
  4. The Treo Pro sports the HTC Task Manager on the Today Screen.

Palm hasn't said who actually manufactures (the ODM) the Treo Pro, but the question we're aiming for here is who was primarily responsible for the "Thoughtful Design of the Treo Pro?" Could it be that the Treo that Rubenstein cancelled was the original Treo 850? If he did, how did Palm design the Treo Pro so quickly afterwards?

Our guess, if you haven't gathered yet: there was must have been some collaboration on design between Palm and HTC. There are still Palm touches aplenty here -- the Centro keyboard, Ringer Switch, and WiFi button prove that. On the other hand, we have an HTC-esque power button, battery, and let's be honest here: HTC's been able to design the innards in such a way as to make thin phones in a way that Palm just hasn't.

So we kinda sorta a wee-little-bit suspect that, hardware-wise, the Treo Pro is Palm on the outside, HTC on the inside.

Crazy? Crazy like a fox.

Update: Yep, HTC is indeed the ODM for the Treo Pro [via]. Sounds like another piece of confirming evidence about the design of the Treo Pro. That leaves only one question hanging out there -- what exactly did Palm order 5 million of from Compal>

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5 years ago

AIM for WinMo out of beta

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AIM for WinMo out of beta

AIM for Windows Mobile has escaped the Beta Zone. We explained earlier that it looked good but was still missing minor features like auto-updates and, you know, speed.

New support for Windows Mobile Pro and Standard running Windows Mobile 5 or 6 could make this an all around app for everyone. The fact that you can not only send instant messages but also texts to your contacts will help you save on that monthly bill. Check it out here and let us know if it

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5 years ago

Sprint's Touch Diamond manual leaked online

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You still can't get hold of the Sprint-flavored Touch Diamond yet, but you can be the first on your block to know how to use it, all thanks to your pals at WM Experts and PPC Geeks.

A quick run through the document hasn't divulged anything we didn't really expect. No true MMS (boo), and it appears that Sprint's Pocket Express is on the ROM, as is RSS Hub, Sprint Instant Messaging, and other Sprint goodies.

We're still looking for an official launch in September, with a price of $299.99 after rebates or $549.99 sans contract.

In the meantime, bone up on your Diamond skills here and keep counting down until the big day.

Thanks to Doc31 for the tip!

Update: A slightly more thorough look through the manual after the jump.

Upon further review, here are some more treats:

  • It looks like you can print through Bluetooth out of the box, so that's cool.
  • An MP3 Trimmer to edit down and save files as a ringtone.
  • You can switch between threaded and "classic" text messaging. (But why would you want to?)
  • Windows Live is built in, with Live Search Bar, Live Messenger, Live Mail and Live Contacts.
  • As mentioned above, Pocket Express, and RSS Hub.
  • Built-in tethering (for that nice $15-a-month plan).
  • The usual Sprint TV and Sprint Music Store options.
  • Sprint Navigation
  • That custom Opera Mobile build.

See anything else you like? Mention it in the comments.

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5 years ago

TreoCentral on the Treo Pro

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TreoCentral on the Treo Pro

A couple of interesting stories about the Treo Pro over at our sister site, TreoCentral. I had a chance to speak with Palm about the design decisions that went into creating the Treo Pro, including hardware changes (hellooooo 3.5mm headset jack!) and software changes (goodbye Palm Custom Threaded SMS). Check that out here.

Also, Jennifer noticed a bit from that New York Times story we mentioned earlier: apparently John Rubenstein, tasked with getting Palm out of its doldrums, “cancelled several Treos in development.” No idea what they were, but it'd be great to find out, eh? Check her article out here.

Comments on either of the above? This would be the place.

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5 years ago

Motorola Q9c on Sprint is back from the dead

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After some gnashing of teeth over whether Sprint had put the Motorola Q9c out to pasture, EverythingQ is reporting that it's back on sale online.

No word on why it was removed in the first place, though presumably it was to fix "all of the problems with the phone" that we'd reported on previously. But if that's the case, what happens to all Q9c's that are already out there? Some sort of software upgrade in the works?

You can pick up the resurrected Q9c now for $99 with a two-year agreement and $100 mail-in rebate.

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5 years ago

Free Skyfire Download for Limited Time

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5 years ago

Treo Pro Unboxing

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Treo Pro Unboxing

Engadget Mobile has scored the first hands-on with the Treo Pro. It's mostly the packaging (nice) and a few shots next to the iPhone (nice again!). Actually, we like pretty much all the details here:

Honestly, we think Palm might have one up on Apple with the presentation this time around. Also of note: the new modular power adapter (which Palm tragically forgot to throw into our box), earbuds you might not be ashamed to sport, and no install CD -- it loads when you hook the phone up to your PC.

When was the last time you actually used an install CD for a smartphone, knowing that more up-to-date version were almost surely available online? Anyway, congrats to Engadget on the unboxing -- guess we'll have to give that open letter tactic a try sometime!

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5 years ago

Review: ViTO Winterface

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5 years ago

Review: Vito Audio Player

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5 years ago

Review: FlipSide Player

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