Recent Articles

Headlines

5 years ago

Review: MemMaid Memory Management Utility

10
5 years ago

Cyber Monday Deals at the WMExperts Store!

0
0

Cyber Monday Deals at the WMExperts Store!

sponsored post

We invite you to come visit the WMExperts Store for the best selection of accessories (cases, headsets, chargers, memory cards, etc.) for Windows Mobile Phones at great, EVERYDAY LOW prices, year-round!.

Typically people think of Black Friday as the biggest shopping day of the year, but that applies more to brick and mortar than it does on the web. Here, we have Cyber Monday! To celebrate, the WMExperts Store has created a very special 10% Off coupon valid until midnight PST on Monday, for accessories in the store only.

Simply enter the coupon code WMEMONDAY at checkout, under billing info, to have the 10% discount applied to your entire cart of accessories.

(Cannot be combined with any other offer and does not apply to handling charges or taxes or software.)

10% Off until Midnight Pacific on Monday, December 1st.

Don't forget! The WMExperts store charges a flat fee of just $5.95 for UPS Ground shipments. UPS Next Day Air and Next Day Air A.M. shipping options are also available. Once you added an item to your cart, you can see a real-time quote for all the available services, delivery dates, and shipping costs to your destination.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
5 years ago

A look at the dual-SIM Glofish DX900

0
5 years ago

Velocity Mobile 111 goes through the FCC

1
5 years ago

Android Central on the Fuze

25
25

Android Central on the Fuze

The Smartphone Round Robin continues -- over at Android Central, Casey has his hands on the HTC Fuze. As a guy who recently made the switch to Android and who doesn't have much in the way of Windows Mobile experience, his video makes for a good watch.

This being a Round Robin post, comments over at Android Central enter you to with the G1. Comments right here enter you to win the Fuze.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
5 years ago

Help us Save GPS on Windows Mobile

39
39

Help us Save GPS on Windows Mobile

Dear Readers,

As you may know, the GPS situation on Windows Mobile is becoming unacceptable.

We're not talking about the fact that on certain phones you need to go into settings and muck around with Program Com Ports and Hardware Com Ports (though that, too, is pretty unacceptable). We're talking about GPS being locked down. This has to stop and we need your help to stop it.

Read on for the rest of our letter to you, our readers (but we hope that Microsoft and the manufacturers are reading, too).

GPS is Being Deliberately Broken

What do we mean by 'locked down'? We mean that GPS is there, fully functional, yet hidden from the OS and third party applications by the carrier. With several devices, users have to resort to registry hacks or other, 3rd party programs to 'enable' GPS for Windows Mobile and 3rd party apps to access it. Verizon is by far the worst player in this little lock-down game, but the other carriers aren't innocent either.

Often this 'lock down' is pretty easy to get around -- huge shout out to MoDaCo for freeing our AT&T WinMo Standard devices -- sometimes it is not. In both cases it is, as we said, unacceptable.

Why is GPS locked down? Well, so that only one program on your device can access it. It's known by several names: VZ Navigator, AT&T Navigation, Sprint Navigation. They're all the same program, though, TeleNav. By locking down GPS to only work with TeleNav, the carriers (and TeleNav, we suspect) are trying to force users into paying the monthly fee for Telenav instead of using free alternatives.

Here's the thing: Many of us love TeleNav. Some of us pay for the unlimited subscription and use it when we travel. Some of us even endorse it to people over on-SD-solutions when we're confident they'll usually have data available in their travels. TeleNav is fast, stable, provides nice 3D views, and good voice prompts.

Despite the obvious quality of TeleNav, we feel that locking GPS down out of the box so that it will only work with TeleNav breaks GPS on a smartphone.

Broken GPS Breaks the User Experience

Locking down GPS and forcing users into a subscription that, for many of them, is unnecessary is just plain wrong. It's turning something into a for-pay service solely by blocking functionality for users who aren't savvy enough to know what's happening. It's the evil god of ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) driving his horde of minions to perform unholy acts upon Windows Mobile, corrupting it with his dark stain. It's a devil's bargain and it needs to stop.

Imagine if the WiFi on your device only worked with AT&T hotspots, for which you had to pay a subscription. Imagine if the Bluetooth chip on your Q9h only interacted with Motorola headsets. Imagine if your phone had software built-in that purposefully blocked all IM clients except for the carrier-approved version from working.

That's what we're standing for right now with GPS. For you, reading this at this site, the pain of this isn't so bad. You know enough to know that you can get GPS to work with other programs after a bit of searching and a bit of work. Most people don't know this. Most will either not use GPS or think that they have no choice but to pay the subscription fee to use TeleNav.

Broken GPS Breaks the Windows Mobile Platform

Since most people are stuck in that situation, GPS may as well not even be on the device as far as development is concerned. Imagine you have an idea that will finally, finally, manage to really bring some sort of social/location based networking to the masses. It's popular enough and easy enough and clever enough that it will garner enough wide usage to become the 'de facto' LBS app that everybody uses and nobody will bother mucking around with trying to get their friends to sign up for this friendfinder or that friendfinder, because your genius app is the friendfinder. There are dozens of these companies around right now, but maybe you've figured out the LBS/Social trick that they haven't yet (hint: it probably has to do with FaceBook. Shh!).

Now imagine you have to pick a smartphone platform to release it on. Windows Mobile is easy to develop for, right? Most Windows Mobile phones these days have GPS built-in and a lot of users know that, right? You want it to be popular both in the US and abroad, right? You want it to work on a wide array of devices from the very cheap to the high end, right? Windows Mobile seems like an awfully attractive platform for you, dear LBS developer.

Now imagine a customer on Verizon who knows their phone has GPS because they use it with TeleNav. They download your app, GPS doesn't work, they tell their friends your app sucks. Not good. Maybe it's time to look at another platform for your first launch.

We're writing to our readers, sure, but just as importantly, we are writing to Microsoft and their manufacturing partners. Microsoft: this situation hurts your app, Live Search. It hurts your platform, in that it confounds people and drives developers to other platforms -- platforms that offer location APIs to all apps, not just to select, for-pay partner apps. It hurts your users. It hurts us. We hurt.

If a phone supports GPS it should support GPS at the OS level and make it available for all apps, just as is done on other mobile platforms like the iPhone and Android. Windows Mobile still can claim to be more 'open' than any other platform out there (perhaps barring Android) because of the deep and powerful access to the bits of the OS made available to developers. But if functionality can be locked down willy-nilly at the whims of carriers, suddenly the platform becomes arbitrarily closed and we lose those bragging rights.

How Can We Fix This?

We as Windows Mobile users have complained to our carriers, but yes, we could and should do more. We should boycott devices with locked-down GPS, but honestly we're likely to buy them anyway and unlock the GPS ourselves via backdoor methods. Granted, these methods aren't often actually 'hacks' but just small configuration changes -- but these settings should be the default.

So we'll make you a deal. From now on, whenever we find out that a carrier is releasing a Windows Mobile device with locked-down GPS, WMExperts is going to write an executive at that carrier a nice letter, on real paper, explaining why this is a bad idea. We encourage other lovers of Windows Mobile to do the same. If we all promise to do that, will you please try a little harder to stop your partners from locking down the GPS?

We've drafted up the our first letter to Verizon, here it is in PDF form. We invite you to write letters of your own (they're more effective if you write them yourself instead of just copying ours) as well. Just as importantly, we at WMExperts are publicly asking Microsoft to please work to place more pressure on carriers to stop breaking GPS for the good of the platform.

The short term gain in ARPU that carriers get by forcing users into branded versions of TeleNav is causing long term losses for Windows Mobile as a platform. It should be stopped. Now.

Hugs and Kisses, XOXO, and Happy Thanksgiving,

the WMExperts Team:
Dieter Bohn, Brian Hart, HobbesIsReal, Malatesta, George Ponder, Nick Gebhardt, Phil Nickinson, and Tim Ferrill

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
5 years ago

Verizon Touch Pro: Out of Stock, Out of Memory?

0

Aram pinged us to let us know that the Verizon Touch Pro is already out of stock at the Verizon Wireless site and sure enough, that looks to be the case. Strangely it seems to be showing as available for certain zip codes (like WMExperts home town of Inverness, FL) while it's definitely listed as out of stock in others (like Boston, MA).

Is it out of stock for you? Bottom line: if you were assuming you'd be able to wait until Black Friday to pick up a Verizon Touch Pro, assume no more. They appear to be flying off the shelves.

One side note: it does seem pretty clear that the Verizon Touch Pro has 192mb of RAM, not the 128 listed on the specs page at Verizon. wmpoweruser brings the screenshot with the proof and it looks like TouchFlo 3D leaves a paltry 45mb of Program Memory free after a reset. Verizon Touch Pro: Out of Stock in some places and apparently likely to be Out of Memory quite often.

Thanks, Aram!

More →
-
loading...
-
loading...
-
loading...
-
loading...
5 years ago

Skyfire and Opera Mini Updated

4
4

Skyfire and Opera Mini Updated

Making a decision on a next-gen Windows Mobile Browser just got tougher again, friends. SkyFire has been updated to 0.8.5 and the new version brings a few new features. Namely: support for larger screens (hi Touch Pro!) and the best feature of all: an immediate download of the open beta. Just head to http://get.skyfire.com/ to get the SMS punched out to your phone (US and Canada seems to be the focus here, though). Since Skyfire is proxy-based, it is able to render fairly quickly server-side and them push the page out for your zooming pleasure. It's also the best browser for multimedia since it's able to handle most Flash video and media embeds on that proxy server and then send it out.

If you're looking for a simpler proxy-based solution and you have an inexplicable yet abiding love for Java Virtual Machine, you might also be interested to know that Opera Mini is tapping in at 4.2 now with skins, performance enhancements, and some minor syncing abilities with Desktop Opera. Early support for video is here as well, but only for those dirty Symbian users.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
5 years ago

MasterSoft's Brain School

0
5 years ago

WMExperts on the iPhone 3G

29
5 years ago

Rant on, brother: Why WM still rules mobile podcasts

13
5 years ago

Pantech Duo 2 at the FCC; AT&T is next

3
5 years ago

Verizon Announces Samsung Omnia

6
6

Verizon Announces Samsung Omnia

The Omnia's announced, everybody, at long last. It'll be online tomorrow and in business channels around the same time, in physical stores on December 8th. Counting legacy devices, the Omnia is the 7th phone currently available on Verizon's network. That's nothing to sneeze at. Neither are the Omnia specs, which match what have been rumored:

  • 240x400 screen
  • Windows Mobile 6.1
  • 5mp Camera
  • 624 MHz Processor
  • 128 RAM (sigh), but 8gb onboard storage
  • TouchWIZ interface
  • Opera 9.5 Browser
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, EVDO
  • GPS
  • DIVX support

Samsung's sticking with the optical mouse and the lack of a 3.5mm headset jack. What they're not sticking is 'it-to-you' with the price, which is a reasonable (for these features and specs) $249 after rebates.

Check the press release if you're into that kind of thing, otherwise the Giz has some first impressions. [via Engadget]

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
5 years ago

A Microsoft Phone?

6
5 years ago

RealVGA: Do You Use It? Want To?

9
Show More Headlines

Pages