Members of the Windows Mobile team got together after the first day of Microsoft's Tech-Ed conference in Los Angeles to talk application development and discuss the upcoming Windows Marketplace for Mobile. It's an interesting video, albeit 42 minutes long, and well worth a watch. For you busy bees, a couple of interesting points:
Widgets will be exclusive to the Marketplace. Don't expect to be able to sideload widgets, because they have to be signed (read: certified), and that can only be done through the Marketplace certification process.
A widget, for all intents and purposes, has the same status as an app. That includes counting toward the first five apps submitted for $99.
Certification will give end users peace of mind that an app won't brick their phone.
SPB has released a Beta Update to their Mobile Shell 3.0, SPB Mobile Shell 3.0.1 Beta 1. The update Beta fixes several "bugs" in the original and adds a few minor features. According to SPB, the release is not designed to add additional "standalone" features but rather to fix known bugs and add small features.
I installed the Beta update on the AT&T Fuze and the overall performance of Mobile Shell seemed to improve. The application felt more responsive to the touch. One fix was to resolve the tremendously slow screen rotation between portrait and landscape modes. The rotation speed was back to normal levels (maybe a hair faster) when you extend the keyboard of the Fuze. However, when you rotate the Fuze horizontally (without the keyboard extended) the screen no longer rotates. The fix is still in the Beta phase so I'm sure SPB will correct this.
A few of the more notable additions/fixes with the Beta include the addition of a "Show Today" widget; the addition of a "Remove All" command in the call log menu, and support for the "call" button in certain screens. From an individual contact screen, when you highlight the desired number to call and hit your "call" button the number is now dialed. In the original 3.0, the "call" button pulled up your dial screen.
There's no word from SPB when the update will be finalized and it's nice to see the prompt response SPB has made in addressing these issues. The SPB Mobile Shell 3.0.1 Beta can be downloaded here and for those interested, follow the break for the complete change log provided by SPB.
Now, Microsoft officially has announced the Marketplace open for business on the Windows Mobile Team blog. Nothing new for the average user, however. No word on when the Marketplace (and thus Windows Mobile 6.5) will be available.
Just when you think the rumors of a possible Microsoft Zune phone has faded into the sunset, another one surfaces. This round can be credited to a Twitter update from the Microsoft Office 2010 team that hints "June 2009 will be an important month for Zune lovers." This alone is a fairly innocent statement and could simply mean a new Zune player could be launched. As for why it's the Office 2010 team that is dropping hints, we can't say.
It's the second update on the same Twitter page that complicates things. The update simply states, "New product launch, that's all I'm allowed to say. Hold off from buying an iPhone/Pre." The iPhone and the Pre are obviously smartphones, so it's tempting to put the Zune Phone back into the rumor mix. Us, though, we're remembering how strenuously Microsoft has denied rumors of being in the hardware business and of the Zune Phone specifically. So whatever it is, we're not expecting a 180 on this one (but a 360, or more specifically something to do with Xbox 360, doesn't seem crazy).
Regardless, June will be here before you know it and absent a "launch delay" we will all find out soon enough what's up Microsoft's sleeve.
In other words, Pink may be a prototype/demo unit/scaffold for developers to model their next-gen WM7 handsets on--so Microsoft is setting the bar on what the minimum requirements will be and what they envision the ideal handset would be like. Sounds pretty plausible to our ears. Now onto those rumored specs:
WM7 Chassis 1 Specification
Core requirements: Processor: ARM v6+, L2 Cache, VFP, Open GL ES 2.0 graphics HW (QCOM 8k, Nvidia AP15/16* and TI 3430 all meet spec) Memory: 256MB+ DRAM, 1G+ Flash (at least 512MB fast flash – 5MB/s unbuffered read @4K block size) Display: WVGA (800×480) or FWVGA (854×480) 3.5” or greater diagonal Touch: Multi-touch required Battery: Sufficient to meet Days of Use LTK requirements. Controls: Start, Back, Send and End are required (soft controls allowed as long as they are always present). Peripherals: Camera: 3MP+, flash optional, 2nd camera optional (VGA resolution sufficient) GPS: aGPS required Sensors required: Light Sensor, Compass (3 axis, 5 degrees, 100 Hz sample rate), Accelerometer (3 axis, 2mg resolution, 100 Hz sample rate) USB: High speed required, 20 MB/s transfer rate. BlueTooth: BT2.1 required, must run MSFT BT stack, CSR BlueCore6 or later recommended. Wi-Fi: 802.11B/G required, must run MSFT Native Wi-Fi stack, Atheros 6002 or Broadcomm 4325 recommended. Connectors: Micro USB and 3.5mm Audio required.
Options: FM tuner: If tuner HW is present it will be detected and supported by the Media application. Haptics SD Card (Micro SD recommended) DPAD, qwerty or 12/20 key keyboards all optional
So we have an addition of a compass (iPhone is rumored to get that too), microUSB, accelerometer, light sensors, required aGPS, there's that ol' Multi-touch and some high end processors on board. Gone is also anything less than VGA for resolution, which is something we welcome.
There we have it...think this all sounds legit? Can you (and the market) wait till 2010?
Loke Uei Tan, Technical Product Manager for Microsoft was able to capture a short performance video on the HTC Snap at the 2009 TechEd Meetings in Los Angeles. The video shows how fast the Snap can go from home screen to camera to taking the shot.
It's as fast as a snap and it will be interesting to see how the HTC Snap measures up to the pending Windows Mobile Professional phones that are coming up for release. If you are already a Windows Mobile Standard fan, the Snap is sure to excite but will the Snap's speediness convert any Windows Mobile Pro users?
A little while ago we told you about ChangeSkin, a utility that brings additional customizations to SPB's Mobile Shell 2.0. Well, the developers over at ChangeSkin has updated the utility to make it compatible with Mobile Shell 3.0. Follow the break for all the info on the update and some screen shots.
Earlier this year we reported on the Garmin Nüvifone G60, a collaboration between GPS giant Garmin and Taiwanese hardware manufacturer Asus. The G60 was first announced back in January of 2008 and slated for a third-quarter 2008 launch that would eventually be delayed until June of 2009. It now looks as if that delay wasn't the last one for the G60.
Engadget Mobile is reporting that the G60 has been delayed once again with an anticipated release sometime during the third quarter of 2009. The company is citing hardware/software complexities as the reason behind the pushed back release date.
The G60 was first thought to be a Windows Mobile phone but development has since gone the direction of Linux OS. The Garmin M20 is a Windows Mobile based phone and is still slated for a Summer '09 release.
Chances are this won't affect you whatsoever, but HTC has already released a ROM upgrade for the Asian variant of the Touch Diamond 2. This is especially interesting because the phone is just beginning to make it to market worldwide, and already we're seeing a major fix. This one involves the radio, which is what allows the phone to, ya know, be a phone. And that's pretty important.
The upgrade is free, but make sure you have an Asian version of the phone before trying anything. And we've said it before and we'll say it again: Back up yer schtuff before flashing anything.
For some, the camera on your Windows Mobile phone is an everyday tool. From snapping photos for your address book to capturing a scenic shot as you drive down the road these cameras can get a good work out. SPB Software is offering an application, SPB Imageer, that will allow you to organize these photos, upload them directly to your Flickr account and edit them.
To see how useful SPB Imageer can be for your mobile photography needs, follow the break.
Happy Mother's Day, everybody. Hope you weren't planning on picking up a T-Mobile Wing today for dear old Mom. (We mean it. We really hope you weren't getting your Mom a Wing.) It seems the underpowered slider has finally been put out to pasture and has been taken off T-Mobile's Web site.
Good news for those of you dealing with the "slog dump" error on the Samsung Epix (and good news for those of us looking for another reason to type "slog dump): Another fix is on the way. We say "another" because, well, the first fix didn't do so hot.
Sammy help-site CareAce.net has the deets on the new update:
Outrage is a choice word for the effects of the FOTA update provided by AT&T that we’d initially addressed. While the intentions were genuinely helpful, the patch did cost more problems for some users. The most apparent behavior includes the device freezes randomly when trying to dial. It is however notable that the problem (both SLOG DUMP and the effects after patch) does not apply to all Samsung Epix users.
AT&T has planned to release a revised patch in about two weeks, so if you’re experiencing frustration with the problem, help is under way.
So hang in there, Epix fans (henceforth referred to as Survivors of the Slog). Another fix is on the way. It might even work.