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5 years ago

Review WMWifiRouter

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Review WMWifiRouter

Have you ever been on the road with work or on vacation and wished you could tap into the internet with your laptop, but don't have anyway of doing it? With this in mind, how cool would it be to be able to turn your WM phone into a WiFi router anywhere you are to access the internet? Sound a little far fetched? Well, that is exactly what WMWifiRouter does!

WMWifiRouter has a large fan base in the WM community, dating all the way back to its free beta days. Now WMWifiRouter ver 1.25 (which was just released in November 2008) has matured and grown into a full fledged commercial product. Some of the questions I explore and answer are... how easy is it to use no matter if you are an novice or expert? Is it worth the one time $29 USD (19 euro)? And simply, does it work and deliver on its promise?

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5 years ago

Software Keyboard Roundup

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Software Keyboard Roundup

One of the big selling points of Windows Mobile at this point is the amount of choice you have when you are looking to buy a device. Whereas some of Microsoft’s competitors in the Smartphone market are pushing one piece if hardware on one carrier, you can find Windows Mobile phones in all shapes and sizes on your carrier of choice. Honestly it’s kind of ironic that Microsoft is one of the more “open” or “accessible” choices when it comes to buying a handheld.

A priority when choosing a new piece of Windows Mobile hardware is what input method you prefer to use. I think most of us would agree that the software keyboard in Windows Mobile leaves a bad taste in your mouth, especially when compared to what is offered on some of the more popular hardware on the market.

With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at a small selection of what is available from third party developers in the way of software keyboards.

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5 years ago

Another Tech-Ed video: Making the UI better

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Probably one of the larger complaints about Windows Mobile is how it's lacking a bit of the shiny. In other words, the user interface could use a little sexing up. In this session from Tech-Ed, Andy Wigley and Andrej Radinger talk a little about what developers can do to spruce things up.

Actually, we're being coy. The name of this video is " //--> Can Windows Mobile UIs Look as Good as the iPhone? Yes, They Can!" And the description:

True, the standard controls in the Visual Studio Toolbox look a bit 'Windows 95-ish', but armed with some fairly simple programming techniques, a little knowledge of how controls get painted on the screen and the skills of a decent graphic artist, Windows Mobile developers can create applications that look great--and enjoy the far superior productivity that developing with the .NET Compact Framework gives you.

Interesting stuff. Give it a look-see here.

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5 years ago

Dashwire gets $1.6 million in new funding

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Looks like Microsoft's going to continue to have some fairly major competition in the cloud. Dashwire, the popular sync service and a direct competitor to Microsoft's beta My Phone service, recently secured $1.6 million in funding. Dashwire syncs contacts, pictures and other PIM data to the cloud and can upload photos to various online services.

Said Dashwire founder and CEO Ford Davidson:

“We’re growing our business right now. We will hire a few more developers. We’ll have some new things released later in the year, and we’re cranking away on it.”

So we'll be looking for more from Dashwire in the future. Currently it runs on Windows Mobile and Symbian phones, and BlackBerry and Android clients reportedly are in the works.

Xconomy via mocoNews

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5 years ago

Official Firefox mobile Alpha release is out!

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Work on the Firefox mobile browser — aka Fennec — has been marching steadily ahead, and the team has released an official Alpha build. The highlights:

  • New Add-Ons Manager
  • New Downloads Manager
  • New CSS based theme
  • TraceMonkey, Mozilla's new JavaScript engine
  • jemalloc, the memory management library used by Mozillla.
  • Faster application start-up time
  • Faster panning
  • Faster zooming
  • Initial implementation of bookmark folders and bookmark editing

Just like with the pre-Alpha and nightly build versions, this was built and tested on an HTC Touch Pro, so there's where you're likely to have the most success. That said, this is Alpha, and bugs are likely.

Says Mozilla's Brad Lassey (read our interview with him here) in his blog:

It is not yet recommended to use this release for daily browsing tasks. Certain performance problems will become immediately apparent to the user. Panning has a noticeable delay between the user first touching the page and the page moving. We are certain that other less obvious bugs exist and we invite you to help bring them to light. You can find detailed information on how to file a good bug in bugzilla , our bug tracking system, here .

So remember, folks. This isn't a finished version, but a pretty big step in the process. Get your download on here (or here directly from your phone), and let us know in the comments how it works for you.

Update: Video of the Alpha release after the break.

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5 years ago

Touching your phone is so 2008 ... Windows Mobile 7 may have 'non-touch' features

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We know there's a special breed of people out there who don't like touching the screen of their phones and instead stick to a stylus. (We're looking at you, Mal!) But what if Microsoft's trying to go one further in Windows Mobile 7 and make it so that you don't have to touch the phone at all?

ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley has uncovered slides from a January 2008 internal Microsoft presentation that showed "non-touch" technology. Basically you'd put the phone on a flat surface and wave your hand over it in various motions to make it trigger various actions. (These are not the droids you're looking for.)

"But, Phil," you say, "who cares about slides from January 2008? That's, like, a year and a half ago!" As Ms. Foley explains, the mock-ups in the slides have cameras in the top corner of the phone, not unlike the Zune HD mock-ups we've seen. And remember that the Zune hardware team is now part of the Windows Mobile team. And remember that touch (and specifically multi-touch) will play a big part in WM7.

She also notes that the phone is seen interacting with other devices – slide projectors, gaming consoles and the like – which is right in line with where MS is moving things.

Will any of this actually make it into Windows Mobile 7, which we're expecting to be announced next year? Who knows. But if it turns out to be true, we'll all have to stop worrying about Microsoft thinking outside the box.

Non-touch: Still on the Windows Mobile 7 Feature List?

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5 years ago

SideSight: Multitouch on Steroids

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SideSight: Multitouch on Steroids

We all know from the leaked info on WM7 that multitouch (already hardware capable on some HTC devices) is going to be a big part of the UI.

Word is MicroSoft is going beyond just aping the iPhone though and adding some further functionality, to wit: SideSight, as demonstrated above and described below

In this research project, dubbed SideSight, infrared sensors on the side of the device allow a user to, say, rotate an image, by making a gesture to the side of the device.

We have to admit, devices next year are going to be might-tee funky, between shaking them, touching them and in some cases...not touching them.

At least our Jedi-envy will finally be appeased by the tech gods!

Source: Cnet via SolSie

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5 years ago

Samsung Jack likely a U.S.-only phone

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Bad news for those of you outside the United States who were hoping to get your hands on the Samsung Jack. It looks like it's going to be a U.S.-only phone.

Says Samsung Austria to TamsWMS:

Like the Propel Pro, you are looking at yet another US-only handset. This means that Samsung Austria has no pictures or samples…

The good news: There's always the HTC Snap for some Windows Mobile Standard fun.

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5 years ago

Our guesses for 'Project Charlie'

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Our guesses for 'Project Charlie'

So three mysterious AT&T devices bound for AT&T have appeared in Best Buy's computer system. They're dubbed "Project Charlie," and that's all we know.

Is it possibly they're Windows Mobile phones? Sure. We're expecting new stuff from HTC — the Touch Diamond 2, Touch Pro 2 and the Snap — in the coming months. But HTC stuff generally doesn't get cloaked in that much secrecy.

The Phone Arena tipster thinks it could be placeholders for a possible upcoming iPhone, and that's probably a good guess. Us? We're hoping for a personally branded phone from one of our favorite Charlies.

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5 years ago

Spare Touch Pro battery takes its revenge

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Look. We don't know PPCGeeks user kidmet. He's probably a pretty cool cat. But we can't imagine it'd be too much fun to ride around in his back pocket all day. We'd just assplode.

And that's exactly what his spare Touch Pro battery apparently did.

I walked into my house early this week to the smell of burning. I couldn't find where it was coming from. Last night as I was gathering my laundry I noticed a burn through the back of my jeans. A HUGE hole. I had a spare Touch Pro battery in my back pocket. It had expanded and obviously started a fire in my jeans. They were in a clothes pile and buried, so I assume that there wasn't enough oxygen to start a fire.

We don't know if this was an OEM battery or if it was straight from HTC. But we're glad your butt's OK, kidmet, and we're glad this isn't an everyday occurrence.

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5 years ago

Video: More WinMo 6.5 from Tech-Ed (Oh, and 6.5's ready to go)

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Here's another video out of Microsoft's Tech-Ed conference in Los Angeles. It's just a 12-minute run-through of Windows Mobile 6.5. We see the lock screen, today screen, home screen, Office and My Phone. Nothing you haven't already seen before, just fresher. And some of the "finger-friendly" menus are still the same ol' thing, just a little bigger. (And can we get rid of radio buttons already?)

Check out the whole video here.

And speaking of Windows Mobile 6.5, the WM Dev Team on Twitter posted the following:

For the record, Windows Mobile 6.5 is DONE... complete... looks really good IOHO and every bit functional. ping us if u want to know more.

Here's what we want to know: Can we have it already?!?!?!? We kid, we kid. But not really.

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5 years ago

Under Pressure: WinMo Team explains UI changes in 6.5

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Looks like Ars Technica has done a nice summary of the TechEd 2009 and depending on your thoughts and feelings about the new UI layout in WM6.5, you may find this admission from Senior Project Manager Loke Uei Tan either remarkable for the talent or shocking due to the obvious time constraints, which resulted in an uninspiring UI layout:

The reason why we couldn't complete the interface on Windows Mobile 6.5 is because of time. We only spend what, eight months, nine months, to build 6.5 from ground up and it's actually an amazing engineering feat. But, in order to do that, we had to do some prioritization and we had to cut certain features. Eventually, we will make sure that the UI capabilities are carried out throughout the whole platform.

This pretty much confirms what we already knew: WM6.5 was not really suppose to happen, that in effect it was a stop-gap till WM7 gets released.  Just how old is WM7?  Anyone remember a thing called "Photon" mentioned at the end of 2005Yeah.

Anyways, being WMExperts, we're going to be less snarky than Gizmodo and give the WinMo team a little pat on the back, with a firm, violent shaking saying 'you better not let us down with 'Photon' er WM7'!

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5 years ago

Verizon pushes LTE to second half of 2010

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In a conference call late Wednesday, Verizon Wireless announced that it's shifting the planned rollout of its 4G LTE network to the second half of 2010, with national coverage in 2013 and complete coverage in 2015.

From Electronista:

Initially slated for early 2010, the Long Term Evolution (LTE) network is now said by wireless chief Lowell McAdam to be fully commercial for the second half of that year in 20 to 30 markets.

Also noted is that Verizon is scaling back its baseline speed to between 8Mbps and 12Mbps on average, which still should be faster than Sprint's upcoming WiMax network. But the near-term consideration is that as AT&T boosts its 3G network to HSPA+, Verizon and its EVDO Rev. A are going to be slower than its GSM competition.

And in other news ... We're still waiting on that promised GPS unlock. And, no, we haven't forgotten.

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5 years ago

Marketplace prohibited list explained

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Marketplace prohibited list explained

When Microsoft first released the list of what'll get an app blocked from Windows Marketplace for Mobile, some of the reasons weren't entirely clear. Now, we're happy to say, a number of them have been answered.

Microsoft's Loke Uei spoke on the Winmo World podcast (which features the guys from wmpoweruser, Unwired View and pda.pl) and cleared up some of our questions.

  • No VOIP apps using a carrier's data. (WiFi is just fine. But no Skype over 3G. Sorry, folks. Saw that one coming.)
  • No apps with an OTA download of over 10MB. (That's for the initial app download. So, no 800MB Myst games. Once the app's on your phone, it can suck in as much data as you want. Er, so long as it's not VOIP.)
  • No apps that change the default browser, search client, or media player on the device. (Admittedly, they need to define this a little better, but they're working on it, and apps like Opera, Skyfire, Kinoma and the like should be OK.)

There's also a lot of talk about fragmenting the Windows Mobile application ecosystem with these rules, which will keep a number of apps out of the Marketplace. Our take on that:

The Windows Mobile application ecosystem already is fragmented. Yes, there are software houses that sell their apps under one roof, and there are sites such as Handango (and the WMExperts Software Store) that sell a number of apps. But it's safe to say Microsoft will be bring a weight and legitimacy to to the process that has been lacking for the average consumer.

The Marketplace should help bring the ecosystem together. Will it reach the level of integration of Apple's App Store? Certainly not at first. And maybe not ever. (And that's not necessarily a bad thing.) But suffice to say the Marketplace is still one of the larger developements for Windows Mobile to come out of the past couple of years.

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5 years ago

Samsung Jack Hits AT&T on May 19th for $99 after Contract

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Oh, hello Samsung Jack on AT&T.  You'll be available on May19th for $99 after contract?  Sounds good!  You're actually a big upgrade to the Blackjack II?  How's that?  Oh, we see:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
  • Tri-band HSDPA (850/1900/2100) and Quadband Edge (850/900/1800/1900)
  • aGPS
  • 528 MHz processor, 256MB ROM/256MB RAM
  • Display: 2.4 inches, 65k, TFT, Color, 320 x 240 pixels
  • 5-way navigation with Turbo Scroll
  • 3.2MP camera
  • Dimensions: 4.4” L x 2.4 W x 0.5” D/Weight 3.6 oz.
  • 1480 mAh battery - Talk Time: 7 hours/Stand-by Time: 12 days
  • Connectivity options in Bluetooth 2.0 EDR and USB 2.0
  • 16GB external memory support via microSD
  • 3.5mm Headset Adapter
  • An arguably better keyboard
  • shorter than the BJII

Well, let's be fair, Jack, not all of those features are new.  But we're liking your looks and we're happy to see WiFi is in the mix.  Very happy to meet you.  Still no 3.5mm headset jack, Jack?  That's ok, we still think you look very svelte.  We're curious to hear about this "Turbo Scroll" thing too, do tell someday, ok?

What's that, you have a corporate-sponsored hands-on video?  Sure, we'll post it after the break. Anything for you, Jack.  A press release and a side shot too? Shucks, Jack, you bet.

(Update: Jack, you sly dog, the press release says you're upgradable to Windows Mobile 6.5.  We don't see a Windows Start flag button, though -- can you explain that one, Jack?)

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